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Entrepreneurship can be lonely! And what to do about it!

 Digital PhotographyI felt it was really important to share this message, as I am sitting here alone in my office, having only spoken in person to the guy in the coffee shop today!  Entrepreneurship can be lonely!
If you’re anything like me, when you started your business you had a big dream and a beautiful vision, of flying round the world, living a laptop lifestyle and working from funky cafes with cute barristas by day (ok maybe that’s just me!) and meeting up with your awesome Biz besties for cocktails in the evening? Although anything would have been better than my office cubicle, this dream was the ultimate!
Unfortunately, when I started my business, the reality was a stark contrast, although I’d describe myself as an Extroverted introvert (I’m super chatty, thriving off company when i’m in it, if i’m feeling confident-sometimes i can be shy too, but I need copious amounts of alone time to recuperate), I generally loved the buzz of my office,  and it was the people that made going to work bearable, our morning coffee catch ups were the highlight of my day, we knew every detail of each others family life, love life, and how many pounds each of us had gained or lost that week! We spent so much time together, working long hours and weekends together, walking home together, we became almost like family, even texting and speaking to each other outside of work.
Then suddenly I was on my own, don’t get me wrong, running my own schedule was a dream, the ability to take long lunches and run errands whenever I wanted was amazing. But the only problem was I was the WORST BOSS I’D EVER HAD!! I was a task master, a critic and forced myself to work longer hours than I’d ever done in corporate, some days I didn’t even allow myself to leave the house- or get out of my pjs- I didn’t have time! I worked evenings and weekends and barely took a day off for the first 18 months of my business (I even worked through the holidays only taking Christmas Day off!).
And you can probably guess this didn’t do too much for my friendships, social or love life!
But to add to my crazy workaholic tendencies, I found that when I did spend time with my old ‘normal’ friends, we didn’t have as much to talk about anymore, we were taking different languages, they just didn’t ‘get it’. Plus I’m pretty sure I was as boring as hell as I had no gossip or man news to share as all I was doing was working, studying and working on my personal development (to become a better person and communicate better!) Ironic huh!
I know I’m not the only one that struggles with this one, many of my clients have experienced the same thing, I’ve even found this can be a huge money block; ‘What will people think of me if I suddenly have loads of money?’, ‘will they still like me for me?’, ‘do I have to dump all my old friends to make my business work?’ and I get it, what’s the point of making all this money if you have no one to share it with?
I even lost touch a bit with my family, I had less to talk about with them too, they didn’t ‘get it’ either, they asked ‘are you sure this is the right move?’, plus with timezones and my crazy schedule we spoke even less. I felt misunderstood and like I was always trying to explain myself.
There are lots of family money blocks too! When we are growing up we make a (silent, unconscious) vow to stay within our family tribe, we are also programmed with their money blueprints, so when you start to change and grow and change your mindset, sometimes family members can feel threatened. They subconsciously worry they’ll lose you, and often that fear can be expressed in negative unsupportive comments or judgements. They really only want the best for you and worry it won’t work out, they fear change and can’t see how it’ll work out.  Plus it’s sometimes hard enough convincing yourself this business is a good idea, never mind dealing with your families fears too!
And to top it off there’s the sibling factor….I once had a client tell me she ‘couldn’t possibly earn more money than her two big brothers’, I asked why, she said ‘it just wouldn’t be right!’
We play a role in our families, the sporty one, the smart one, the slim one, the broke one, the funny one, the baby, and changing that can upset the applecart! We don’t want to outshine our siblings and make them feel bad! Crazy huh?
Back to the story….to add to all this, shifting and changing, I hardly made any money for the first 6 months of my business….so all this hard work was achieving what felt like nothing but stress and I was beginning to wonder if my family was right after all!! Noooo!
Where was the fun? Was it even worth it? I was asking myself the same question!
I am incredibly grateful this hasn’t continued and I now have fun and make money!!
What was the answer? Well there were a few things;
1) I stopped judging others and making them wrong for not wanting to be an entrepreneur or talk about online marketing, spirituality or personal development!!
2) I stopped looking for validation from others and my family, they didn’t need to ‘get it’ and that was ok!
3) I started being kinder to myself, taking time out, exercising and treating myself to massages!
4) I started getting out of my pjs everyday! 🙂
5) For the money shift, I got some coaching on my own money blocks and everything changed.
6) But most importantly I started surrounding myself with others who did ‘get it’,  at the beginning it wasn’t a conscious choice, but I started spending more time with successful people with a similar mindset.
 
My mentor Tony Robbins says ‘Proximity is Power’. We are the sum of the 5 people we spend most time with.
Our income, health & fitness, relationships and even dress sense starts to align! (just look at old married couples who dress in ‘his and hers’ to see what I mean!)
I think this is why Facebook has become such a popular medium for work-from-home people, it makes us feel less lonely- BUT you can only get so much connection online.
When I started attending in-person courses, events, even local networking I met some incredible ‘like-minded’ people.
I joined an online program that had 4 overseas events in Paris, Los Angeles, Florence and Sydney.  I knew it was important to make an effort to be at every single one. The energy and inspiration i felt in these high-vibe locations was amazing, but it was the friendships, community and connections that were priceless. I’ve made life-long friendships with the most amazing women from all over the world.  We’d travel to these amazing locations together, stay in stunning hotels or rent huge stunning Airbnb homes in Paris and throw champagne parties!
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When that course ended I felt a bit lost again, these events had been the highlight of my business, so I flew to Miami to attend one of their weddings and then spend time with these ladies on South Beach before flying up to New York to attend yet another in person event. Here I mingled with industry influencers who have now become friends, mastermind buddies and affiliate partners for my programs and events, I have appeared on their podcasts and regularly contribute as a guest expert in their programs, and they have even agreed to speak at my upcoming event. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t put myself in those rooms.
The support I get from the people I’ve met in person is different from solely online. They know the real me (not that I’m that different online- but i’m much funnier (and better looking) in person!) ;), they support me and they champion me in a way no one else does.
You don’t always have to fly all over the world to make these connections, sometimes you can do it closer to home too.
My love of events has led me to create my own, I’ve now hosted events in Sydney, Miami (which went viral and sold out!) and New York and now I’m coming to Los Angeles and I’d love to invite you to join us. If any of this post resonates, I’m guessing you’d be a great fit to join our community. I believe we cn’t do this alone and have to come together to make a difference.  Click here for more info.   Look forward to meeting you in person!
Big love,
Jo xx
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