Every week on Twitter, we host #SoloBizChat, a weekly chat for solopreneurs, freelancers and solo business owners. This week, we decided to discuss a topic that isn’t often talked about in entrepreneurial circles: the importance of building a support system to handle the loneliness and overwhelm that comes with running your own business.
This is what our community had to share about creating your solo business support system.
We started with an icebreaker discussing the first professional community we remember joining. We had a range of answers from structured professional meetups to coffee shop gangs and virtual communities.
Bottom line: There are many different communities that exist and every solo business owner can find the one that fits their needs and preferences.
Q1. It’s normal for not everyone in your life to “understand” your decision to work for yourself. What would be your advice to anyone who is facing criticism from people in their for life for starting their own business?
We dove right in addressing a common occurrence that many solo business owners face when they first start out: battling criticism from people in their lives. Our community found this a tough question to answer and it is because it’s a tough situation to be in. But overwhelmingly, the consensus was to believe in yourself and to know the reason why you’re making the decision. Additionally, the group recommended tuning out the haters and treating them with kindness because ultimately, it’s your life and journey.
Bottom line: There will always be people who disagree with your decisions but if starting your own business is something you believe in because you know it will improve your life, GO FOR IT
Q2. Loneliness is a common feeling for anyone who is self-employed. Do you ever feel lonely working for yourself? If yes, how do you handle it?
Loneliness is a prevalent feeling for many solo business owners and yet, it’s something that isn’t talked about. We wanted to hear from our community if they have ever experienced loneliness and how they handle it. The response was an overwhelming YES. Everyone had felt lonely at some point or another but they’ve found ways to combat loneliness like finding coworking spaces, reminding themselves of the wins they’ve had in their business and creating their own community.
Bottom line: Loneliness is a very real struggle for many solo business owners, even for introverted solopreneurs but there are ways to combat it!
Q3: How would you suggest an entrepreneur start building connections to have support in their businesses?
Since everyone struggles with loneliness, we asked how everyone goes about creating connections and finding support. The group agreed that everyone needed to network but to do so in a way that makes you feel comfortable, whether it’s IRL or online. Also, many participants suggested networking with people within your industry and at the same level of business so you can create a peer group that understands what you’re experiencing in your business.
Bottom line: Be brave and network. You can create your own communities, find MeetUp groups, join Twitter chats or connect on social media but you have to get out and make those connections.
Q4. In addition to having peer and friend support, what else can an entrepreneur do to make sure they feel supported in their business?
Finally, we wanted to know, in addition to creating relationships, what else can solo business owners do to feel supported? The answers ranged from investing in support like a virtual assistant, mastermind or coach to investing time in closer relationships even as you branch out your networks.
Bottom line: To feel supported, you need to invest in yourself, whether that’s investing time in building relationships or money in tools or programs. And of course, always, believe in yourself.
Now it’s your turn, tell us in the comments, how do you find support for your solo business?
And, join our community during #SoloBizChat on Twitter at 4pm ET every Wednesday. Follow us here.