Ever since I first got started on my entrepreneurial journey, there have been many things I’ve loved about being a business owner:
The freedom to make my own schedule, being largely location independent and working from home or anywhere in the world, getting to do what I love and get paid for it, and having more time for the things I enjoy outside of my business …
These are just a few of the many advantages of being an entrepreneur.
However, as wonderful and exciting as living my dream freedom lifestyle has been for the most part, running an online business can also come with its challenges.
While I don’t miss the epic commutes, the neverending deadlines, and noisy, overcrowded open-plan offices that were part of my daily experience in the corporate world, working from home can get somewhat lonely sometimes, even for an introvert like me.
After a little more than 9 years of being self-employed, I really began to feel this last year. And I’ve heard similar stories from some of my close friends in the business world, too.
Regardless of how many people we get to connect with on social media each day, spending too much time online can feel isolating. It’s just not the same as meeting up for coffee with a soul sister, spending a relaxing evening with a close loved one, or enjoying a fun weekend trip with family.
Too much isolation can lead to anxiety, depression, physical health issues, and a lack of emotional support in challenging times. Therefore, it’s important to balance your online time with a healthy amount of real-life interactions.
If you’ve been feeling the desire for deeper, more intimate relationships in your life, here are a few of my favourite ways to break free from home-office isolation and create space for closer, more fulfilling connections both in and outside of the business world:
1. Get out of the house: Regardless of how much you love working from your home office, make sure you regularly spend time outside of your usual surroundings. Sometimes, this can be as simple as going for a walk or taking your laptop to your favourite coffee place. Other times, this might look like signing up for a yoga class, taking a workshop abroad, or meeting like-minded others at an in-person networking event.
2. Limit your social media time: As tempting as it can be to constantly check your phone or scroll your Facebook feed for the latest updates from your friends, spending too much time online can be an addictive habit that causes a sense of disconnection from ourselves and others. Therefore, be mindful of when and how you use social media (even for business) and consciously make space for real quality time with your close loved ones each day.
3. Collaborate with other business owners: Being a solopreneur doesn’t always mean that you have to run your business all on your own. Collaborating with like-minded others can be a fun, rewarding way to create deeper connections and new kinds of experiences for yourself and your clients. Start a podcast, host an interview series on your YouTube channel, or perhaps even get together with a business partner for a joint venture. Your imagination is the limit!
4. Create in-person experiences for your clients: As much as I love hosting virtual intensives and having live sessions with my clients on Zoom or Skype, there’s nothing like meeting up for a fun day with a soul sister client in person. The in-person workshops and VIP days I hosted for my clients while I was traveling the world back in 2012 are still among my most treasured memories. If you can, why not teach a live class in your area or offer your clients the opportunity to meet you for a private retreat at a special destination?
5. Connect with something bigger than yourself: Finally, one of my favourite ways to regain a sense of true connectedness is to remind myself that I’m never really alone in this universe, but that I’m part of something greater beyond the limitations of my human perception. Regardless of how important social interactions with others are for our human well-being, ultimately, the true connection can’t be found outside of ourselves, but can only begin within. Therefore, prayer and meditation are usually my first go-tos when I feel empty or lonely. Once I have regained my sense of connectedness with Spirit, everything else usually unfolds quite magically from there.
What are your favourite ways to deal with feelings of loneliness in the online space? Which of the above resonates with you the most? Let us know in the comments below!