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How to Combat Isolation in Entrepreneurship

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Disclaimer- Presented by BetterHelp. How do you combat isolation in entrepreneurship? Despite what you might see on social media, being an entrepreneur can be an incredibly challenging and lonely journey, especially for new entrepreneurs and small business owners.

While many entrepreneurs are surrounded by employees, clients, and colleagues throughout the day, it can be tough to share more vulnerable feelings, like doubt or fear. When you can’t let your guard down and share your struggles, it can be easy to feel isolated, and isolation can have negative consequences.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at how isolation can impact you and your business. Then, we’ll walk through a few strategies for keeping yourself connected and supported. 

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

The Impact of Isolation

Many entrepreneurs feel like isolation is just an inevitable part of the grind. However, that’s not the case. In fact, chronic isolation can have devastating consequences on your physical and mental health, including:

  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Weakened immune system
  • Higher levels of inflammation
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Poorer sleep quality
  • Altered hormone levels
  • Increased risk of obesity
  • Accelerated cognitive decline in older adults
  • Increased risk of moderate depression and anxiety disorders
  • Impaired memory and cognitive function
  • Reduced self-esteem
  • Impaired social skills

Clearly, the impact of isolation can be disastrous. So, how can you avoid the isolation that often comes with entrepreneurship?

How to Combat Isolation as an Entrepreneur

Here are 10 strategies to tackle isolation and boost your business along the way.  

Networking

Networking is the key to building meaningful business connections. It’s also a great way to combat isolation. Consider attending events in your industry or around entrepreneurship to keep yourself sharp on your skills and socializing with others.

Join Online Groups

The internet has made it possible to connect and get to know others in your industry via online groups. You can also find groups of like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners. There are several places to find groups in your industry, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Discord, Reddit, and other social platforms. If you don’t find a group, consider starting one to get conversations going. This can be great for socializing with people who understand the unique challenges of your industry and entrepreneurship while keeping yourself in touch with what’s happening in your industry.

Consider a Shared Workspace

If you work from home or in an office alone, consider working in a shared workspace a few days a week. This can be as simple as working from a coffee shop with the internet or going to a more formal shared workspace center. Alternatively, if you have an office where others work but aren’t accustomed to coming out of your office, try to make more time to join the rest of the team on projects when you can.

Mentorship

Find yourself a mentor or consider mentoring others. Having someone you can talk to regularly can keep your skills sharp and ward off isolation. Mentors can be especially beneficial for helping you work through challenges and self-doubt and give you proven strategies for overcoming those hurdles. 

Attend Virtual Events

One good thing COVID brought to the business world was virtual events. Make it a habit to attend events in your industry to stay connected with others. If you feel up to it, you can even host your own. Virtual events often require less time and commitment than in-person events, making them a great compromise for busy investors. Just remember to actually participate in the chat section!

Volunteer

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

One great way to combat isolation and do some good is via volunteer work. Whether it’s volunteering with a local charity event or giving your time to speak at a leadership conference, volunteering benefits others and makes you feel good. As a bonus, it also looks good for your business.

Reach Out to Your Support Network

While it’s great to have connections with people in your industry, it’s also important to stay connected to people outside of work. This includes people like your friends and family. No matter how busy you get, making time for those you care about most (and who care about you) is important.

Make Time to See Others

While your schedule may be packed, it’s still critical to pencil in regular time for socializing. It can be as simple as chatting with other parents during school pickup or a once-weekly dinner with your best friend.

Hire An Assistant

Not only will hiring an assistant free up more time for you to get away and connect with others, but it will also give you another human to interact with on a regular basis.

Create Projects That Require Collaboration

Consider starting projects that force you to speak and work with others. For example, start a podcast or blog that you can invite other people to participate in.

Takeaway

While it can be easy to isolate when you’re busy working on your business, being isolated can be devastating for your health. Thankfully, with some simple strategies, you can stay connected with others and help your business, too.

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