Article by Carrie Green, Founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association
Founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association says; “Loneliness is a really important conversation for us to have as entrepreneurs.”
This week is Loneliness Awareness Week (13th- 17th June) and Carrie Green, Founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association says; “Loneliness is a really important conversation for us to have as entrepreneurs.”
Carrie Green is the Founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, Author of the Best-Selling Book She Means Business, she said; “Loneliness is one of the biggest reasons why I started the Female Entrepreneur Association. I felt so lonely building a business, like I just didn’t belong. I felt like there were very few people who understood what I was going through.”
“I’ve been on this wild entrepreneurial journey for over 10 years, but it hasn’t always been fun, purposeful, or fulfilling in the slightest. In fact, it’s been full of ups and downs—can you relate? I finally created FEA in 2011 after dreaming about it for years. Helping female entrepreneurs create the business and the life they’ve always wanted is what I live for.”
In the Harvard Business Review study, more than 50% of the CEOs interviewed shared that they had felt lonely at some point in their business journey. With nearly 70% of first-time CEOs who experience loneliness report that the feelings negatively affect their performance.
Carrie continues; “There’s so much pressure as a business owner, and it’s so easy to get in your own head about how you’re feeling and what you’re doing, especially when you have no one to talk to about what’s going on.
“Building a business is an emotional rollercoaster, so I wanted to share 5 tips that can help if you’ve been struggling with feeling lonely as you’re building your business.”
- Building a cabinet of friend-tors – Build a cabinet of people that are your friends and mentors (friend-tors), who are building businesses too. People that you can connect with and have honest conversations with. When you find your friend-tors and surround yourself with the right people for you, it makes such a big difference. We need people to turn to, who we can speak to about what we are going through, they are there when you need them (and vice versa), to say it’s ok, to say I have felt this too… having these conversations and pep talks have helped me so much. Some of my best friend-tors have been online connections who I have never met in real life. Ask yourself; who are the people you can turn to and speak to when you’re feeling lonely and isolated? These are people that hold a safe space for you – to hold you and champion you.
- Book in time to chat and connect with others – Connections organically happen when you are networking or in a business space with like-minded people and getting involved and showing up. This happens when you are in groups and spaces that feel like the right vibe for you. Give yourself time to interact and make that effort and then once you’ve found those connections, make a concerted effort every week to reach out to your business friends as this will help the bond grow. I personally like using Voxer as it’s a great app to send voice notes to each other.
- Get out and go along to events – Start going to events in person, where you can connect and chat to people in real life – this can really change your energy and make such a difference. However, it’s important to go to the right events, because I’ve been to so many events in the past where I just felt like I didn’t belong and this made me feel more isolated and lonely. Obviously, you have to try a few to find the right ones for you. Get out there and connect. Find the events that feel like you – there are so many fun and engaging events happening right now.
- Prioritise working on yourself – We’re so busy rushing through life and sometimes we don’t take a step back to recognise how we may be feeling. It’s important to take some time to connect with yourself on a daily basis and tune in with how you are feeling. Recognise how you are feeling and give yourself space to work on it – that could be; reading part of a book, connecting with someone, listening to a podcast – take time to do the things that help you and your mental health, doing this will also help you build a more successful business.
- Find Coaches to Support You – Having coaches means you can have honest conversations and they can support you and help you with your mindset. This provides you with a scheduled safe space where you can open up and be vulnerable. This can be game changing during those rollercoaster moments and lulls that we all have in business.
Loneliness Awareness Week – 13th June to 17th June 2022, hosted by Marmalade Trust which is a charity that raises awareness of loneliness and helps people to make new connections. To find out more please visit: https://www.marmaladetrust.org/
Carrie has talked about Loneliness more in depth on this YouTube video: