Running your own business can feel extremely lonely. This is especially the case when you are a new business owner. You may have gone from a large company with a busy office. There were always people in and out of the office and by your desk. Perhaps you had an office buddy who you always caught up with for a chat, or a lunchtime walk friend? These are all things you might not even be aware of when you are in your job. However, you very quickly miss it when setting up on your own.

Perhaps you are starting your business from home? The silence in the house throughout the day can feel deafening. You find that as soon as you need to pick up the kids or your partner is home from work, that you finally get to see and speak to someone. While zoom has been a great addition for many of us, it has boosted feelings of loneliness for many. People opt for a zoom meeting instead of meeting in person. After all, it does save time and money. But, it’s not real. That connection with a real person is still missing.

Why not set yourself a day each week, or month, when you work from somewhere else? This is what I do. I will look at my diary for the month ahead and see when I can work out of the office. Right now, for example, I am working from McDonalds. I had to take my car in for an MOT so that’s where I’m working from today. I have already spoken to 4 or 5 people and it’s not even 10am. This is more people than I can speak to or see in a whole day sometimes.

Plan your social life. Make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of working all the hours under the sun. Stick to ‘normal’ work hours that work for you. Outside of this time, don’t keep yourself locked up at home. In my case, I have 2 friends that I will go for a walk with each week, on separate days. I get the fresh air and exercise I need, plus I get the company I want too. I also go to fitness groups with lots of people, such as netball and Clubbersize. These are great for socialising and seeing other people.

Finally – get networking. I started Creative Networking in the early days of starting my business. This was because I wanted to meet likeminded people. These people could become clients, but they were also people in the same boat as me. Some of them are still extremely good friends today. Networking shows that you are not alone and it helps avoid the feeling of loneliness when running your own business.

These are just three ways that I avoid the feeling of loneliness when running my own business. I hope they help you avoid that feeling of loneliness when running your own business too.