It can be very lonely running your own business….
It’s 3 am in the morning, and you wake with that fear in your chest and your heart racing.
You crept out of bed and pace to your office and stared into the glow of the screen feeling utterly alone. Been there? I bet you have.
For anyone who runs their own business, there have been plenty of times whereby you are exposed to risk; the stakes are high, or the events that have occurred have left you head in your hands thinking I don’t know which way to go forward. It can be a very lonely place at the forefront of business.
And I know from the messages I get that that many of you listen to my blogs in these wee hours and find it reassuring that all the shit they are going through is the same for me, and the fear is shared.
I know some of the most influential people in my business life are my friends in business – leading or owning their businesses. And these relationships are paramount to my sanity as a person and my trajectory as an entrepreneur.
Because in vanilla land – in the world of PAYE – when the day is finished many can shut down their PC and go home to relax. But we, my intrepid adventurers, can never switch off. Our business is in our blood. Not to mention the volatility of the life of an entrepreneur or the risks we routinely take, or the sheer stress of running your own business.
So you need people who empathise. You need a community. A veritable collection of fellow members of Workaholics Anonymous, with whom to share, support, discuss and indeed challenge.
The friends I now have are a LIFELINE. I have a group of friends from around the UK who all have businesses of varying shapes and sizes, and we get together sometimes monthly, sometimes bi-annually – and the fun we have and the lessons I learn are invaluable. One of my favourite buddies I see once a year – and every time I see her not only do we both give each other a real kick up the arse, but she contributes a nugget that abso-bloody-lutely makes my business grow.
You can pretend you can do this all yourself. Many a commentator – such as the late great Felix Dennis – says the road to success is a narrow single track. You can be that rock in a stormy sea, that solitary hardened person who can do this all alone. But I tell you now – it will leave you wanting – not just in a personal sense but a business sense too. You need people to challenge your perspective, to give you a kick up the arse to offer criticism and support. As well as the enjoyment of friends who know exactly what you are going through.
So get out there people – join places where your fellow business addicts hang out, make friends, and enable that new community to help your business grow –and assist you in soul feel comforted by the new support network you have built around you.
Build your community – your sanity. Your business depends on it.