One of the most appealing factors of entrepreneurship is the independence it offers. You don’t need to rely on other people to get where you want to be and there’s no boss to report to. It is up to you to motivate yourself to grow and to learn new things—only you can seek out new challenges to pursue. While that level of freedom sounds incredible, it doesn’t come without a few drawbacks.
Since the success of your business relies on you, and you alone in many ways, the life you lead can be a lonely one. You might find that old friends drop off the radar as your business picks up speed and your responsibilities increase. If there is one thing that the majority of entrepreneurs have in common it’s the loneliness they face as they try to get their dreams to come true.
If you go to talk to your friends and family about the challenges you face every day in your life as an entrepreneur, they may not understand or know how to support you. While that can be seen as just part of the job, it’s also a very lonely road to walk. When times get tough, you’ll wish you had someone who understood your struggles. This is one area where entrepreneurs with a strong support system benefit greatly.
Reaching out and building a connection with other entrepreneurs can help you cope with the emotions that come with the job title. Fellow entrepreneurs will understand what you’re going through and give you someone to talk to when things don’t go your way. It’s easy to dismiss the emotional connection, but carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders can get heavy.
Everyone needs a community to help carry them through the worst parts of life, but for entrepreneurs this need is even more essential. The business world can be cut throat. It can and will test everything you think to be true about yourself and others. Problems you thought would never arise will come knocking into your life with a vengeance. After awhile, these attacks can break down your motivation and your will to continue building. That’s where community and a support system comes into play.
If you have people to talk to, you have people who can help brainstorm solutions to the most difficult problems you face. You have supporters to rally around your ideas and remind you why you started in the first place. If an investor or a prospective mentor falls through, you can reach out to your support system and find someone else to help. Whatever the issue may be, a good support system either has the answer or is the answer.
What’s more, and for many entrepreneurs this can be hard to hear, you don’t have all the answers. Entrepreneurs are famous for their confidence—after all, they have the self-assuredness necessary to create something from scratch and convince people they need it. Whether your idea is good or not, and whether or not you have a successful plan, looking to others for their perspective and input is never a bad idea. They can help you think of variables or challenges that hadn’t even crossed your mind. If the idea is lackluster, they’ll be able to tell you before you sink too much money into it.
You may think that you’re fine and dandy on your own. You may like the independence and freedom you have. But I assure you, at some point in time, you’ll come to find that living in a bubble for one is difficult and bad for business—not to mention incredibly lonely. Reach out to other entrepreneurs in your area and build a connection; make an effort to reach out to friends and family and take their opinions to heart—make a support system that can help take your business to the next level.
Originally published on ChrisPfund.com.