“To some extent, being an entrepreneur is a lonely journey” – Chad Hurley
Being an entrepreneur can be liberating and exciting, but it can also be lonely. As an introvert, initially working from home all the time was awesome sauce. Then after several days I found myself having conversations with my computer and I realized I might be going nuts. A few more days went by and I realized I was talking consistently to the characters in my Netflix shows. Having read all of the negative effects online, I rushed to figure out how to become social! According to Business Insider, isolations’ detrimental effects include:
- An increased risk of death by about 50%
- An increased risk of inflammation in adolescents
- An increased risk of high blood pressure in older adults
Below are the different “social” things I jumped into and tried out. I enjoyed each of them in different ways and I suggest trying them all until you find what you enjoy the most!
- Engage in Facebook Groups – Answer posts or post your own questions/comments. Most administrators advocate engagement within their groups and posting can help you find other like-minded individuals you can build friendships with. Don’t be afraid to say hi virtually to someone!
- Visit a local, small coffee shop to sit and work – I recently discovered a local delicious coffee shop owned by a genius barista! It’s a small place with a few tables and a couch but the vibe is amazing and the owner is kick-ass and very knowledgeable about coffee. So he’s become one of my newest friends. So get out there and have a delicious cup of joe or tea! Note: If you get distracted easily you might want to bring your headphones
- Visit a co-working space for a day – I work from a co-working space once in a while and have met some amazing people. Spaces have a lot of entrepreneurs in all phases of business and most of the time they are friendly and looking for some conversation as well! Many spaces have a ‘hot desk’ plan where you can rent a desk for ½ a day or a full day and pay anywhere from $15-$50 a day. They also occasionally have other activities planned for engagement such as meet-ups, lunches, etc. Note: If you get distracted easily you might want to bring your headphones
- Find networking events nearby – If you are an introvert like me this can be so difficult but get to the event early and go into that networking event with a different intention than selling yourself. Make it a point instead to learn about 2-3 local businesses around you! I’ve found some fascinating businesses including Barbershop Quartets, Scent focused and spatial design organization.
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I know it can be a struggle to even get your foot in the door so email me and let’s chat, complain, and/or motivate each other – whatever tickles your fancy!
Overall being an entrepreneur can be a fantastic experience and, just like with everything else, the good comes with the bad. Social isolation is real and it is important that you address it so that it does not affect your productivity and quality of life as an individual.
Sonia Narvaez, is the founder of Socially Passionate Consulting, a solopreneur focused on supporting passionate entrepreneurs who are overwhelmed so that they can find peace of mind and abundance in their business. She obtained a Masters in Public Health at the University of Illinois and uses her public health background to help diminish the stress, overwhelm and social isolation that entrepreneurs may feel.