What words do you associate with entrepreneurs and founders?
Perhaps not the latter. And yet…
At the outset, most entrepreneurs act alone. They have an idea, they research it, develop it, make it happen – on their own.
They are self-reliant – they have to be. In the early days there is often no budget to build a team, there may not be a co-founder to share ideas with, or to moot the relative benefits of this strategic option over another. Entrepreneurs have to trust their own judgement.
Even when the business is able to support a team, founders have to keep a distance between themselves and the team some of the time. There are some things you just can’t share with the team – especially if the thing that is worrying you is “how do I pay the next monthly salary run?”
And yet, as the saying goes, “a problem shared is a problem halved”.
So what’s a founder to do?
There are practical things you can do to combat loneliness:
- Using co-working spaces can be a good way of ensuring you have people around to talk to.
- Making time for networking also makes sure you are meeting new people with different perspectives, but beware people’s natural inclination to present a positive picture of themselves which may mean you feel you can’t be as open as you’d like to be in certain circumstances.
- Working with a coach or mentor can provide an environment for discussing more sensitive, and potentially challenging, situations – but it can become expensive.
Or you could join an online Entrepreneur Board – an intimate group of entrepreneurs whose businesses are at a similar stage to yours, people who get to know you over time, building trust, rapport and understanding of each other’s businesses. It makes for a powerful support option. Not only does it combat loneliness but it is designed to facilitate problem solving, offer support in responding to challenges and in exploring strategic options. You become part of a community, surrounded by experience.
You are not alone, afterall.
Find out more about Entrepreneur Boards