The Loneliness Of The Business Owner
Getting stuck in the boss trap ...
Being the boss of your own business is a pretty lonely place to be. Whether you have staff or not, you need to take all of the decisions; decisions that your life partner may not understand much about ...
It can be quite lonely being a business owner, but there are things you can do!
copyright: iakov / 123rf stock photo (licensee)
And if you don't have the support of a husband or wife then it can become even more lonely. You become stuck in the 'boss trap'. You literally get into a rut, a way of working that can be lonely and depressing.
"If you work from home, this can compound your feelings of loneliness!"
A survey by Aldmore Bank showed that around 40% of self-employed people feel lonely. Loneliness is a strange thing. Although it is 'only' a feeling, it actually makes everything else worse. Even the common cold has worse symptoms when you are lonely. Loneliness is often linked to depression and even to heart disease!
Strangely, we can also be lonely even when working in an office filled with people. The point is you can choose to isolate yourself by focussing too much on your job and not enough on relationships.
Sometimes, as business owners, you are lonely just because you are the boss, other times you're lonely because your pattern of work means you work at home alone. But before we all start getting depressed and feeling bad about being a business owner, the point of this blog post is to tell you how successful business owners deal with business isolation.
"Do something about it!"
What can you do? Well, actually there are plenty of support mechanisms out there, you just need to do something to join in with them. Most of them are straight forward and practical, and for ease of categorisation I have split them into two categories; the lonely boss and the home worker.
Being the Boss
Networking should have a social dimension. Yes, you go networking to build a network of contacts that will be useful for your business as either suppliers or customers. But it is more than that as most networking groups end up helping you to build a cohesive social support network as well.
As the boss, and therefore the decision maker, you need someone who can understand your role, your decisions and the pressures you face. A mentor is a great person to take that role. As an accountant I provide a mentoring service to my clients, but also I have spent time with several of my clients, usually with a glass of something to help lubricate the throat, just being a shoulder to lean on.
If you are home alone then networking really is the first thing to consider. Get out of those four walls and go meet people! Build your social relationships.
Don't work from home!
If working from home ends up giving you cabin fever, then don't do it. Find a serviced office or hot-desking suite. There are usually plenty of options.
Use online communities
If you are one of those people who live in a remote place, and for whom geography or lack of a car imposes a measure of isolation, then find an online community to interact with. Indeed, this is often a useful thing to do regardless of where you live.
As accountants and business advisers, we are here for our clients. Not just to do the number crunching, but also to give help and advice with your business and to alleviate the loneliness of the business owner.
"Would you like to know more?"
If you'd like some recommendations for networking groups, want to find a mentor or are looking for a new accountant then I'd love to talk to you! Call me on 0333 335 0422 or click here to send me an email enquiry and let's see how I can help you.
Until next time ...
I've been an accountant in and for business since 1987 and have a wide experience of consultancy, audit, accounts, taxation and wealth planning work from individuals and small businesses to multinational corporations and charities.
My eclectic interests in growing and developing business span a number of areas … and can be summarised as strategic business advice and tax saving advice.
I have worked with the Chamber of Commerce to deliver courses for people about starting up in business and have lectured about tax for a major accountancy practice and for Milton Keynes College.
I relax by reading fiction and by getting away from the office in a campervan.