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Escaping loneliness as a solo entrepreneur

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Loneliness as an entrepreneur is a problem that is not often talked about, yet it is a heavy burden that affects entrepreneurs in all sectors.

If you have become (or are about to become) self-employed and work alone, you should be aware that, although there are positive sides to self-employment, you will feel loneliness sooner or later.

And loneliness is not easy to counteract if you don't know many other entrepreneurs. Generally, even if your close friends and family support you, they don't really understand your problems because they have never experienced them... So in this article we have put together the 5 best ways to get out of this isolation!

Solution 1: tap into a community

At nyuko, we take care of our alumni through a dedicated community space, concrete workshops, sharing and meeting events. We know how important it is to stay connected and we remain available even long after our support has ended. We often hear from entrepreneurs who say that a face-to-face workshop followed by a moment of networking over a glass of something to nibble on did them good. Sharing a bit of their daily life with peers relieves them and motivates them.

If you can benefit from such a community, great! Look on Google, Facebook or LinkedIn to find entrepreneurial communities that appeal to you and where you can interact with people who share similar values, challenges, goals, etc. If it's a good match, you'll feel less lonely in no time.

Solution 2: invest in coffee shops

To begin with, you'll be able to keep track of inflation on a daily basis based on the price of your drink! 😅 More importantly, it's a neutral place where you can focus while getting away from your office at home. Start with a coffee shop in your neighbourhood.

In times when motivation is a bit low (yes, it will happen over time and it's perfectly normal), this is a solution that can be particularly good for you: seeing retired people coming to have their daily cup of coffee and chat with their usual waiter or waitress, young mothers with their babies before their older children leave school, etc. These little scenes of life are like little breaths of fresh air. They help you to gain some distance, to realise that everyone has their own little rituals. In short, it can be very comforting.

Finally, in the course of the day, you may even come across other freelancers like yourself with whom you can chat, or even schedule joint work sessions... If you like this option, remember to check these three things: the price of your favourite drink, the length of time you can stay before you are asked to drink again, and the strength of the Wi-Fi signal!

Solution 3: coworking spaces remain a good option

The most obvious solution, but not necessarily the most suitable for everyone: it represents a potentially significant cost at the start of your activity. But if you're looking for a change of scenery, a dedicated space and entrepreneurial encounters, you should seriously consider coworking. Most coworking spaces offer a daily option, as an alternative to a monthly fee. Set aside one day a week to build a routine and see the same people again, without committing to a long-term plan if it doesn't work out for you. This allows you to create new habits and to network. A particularly rich resource if you are looking to establish new partnerships.

Solution 4: revive virtual coffee meetings

Which group are you in? Are you fed up with virtual coffee breaks or do you want more? Virtual meetings can be a great opportunity to better target your encounters by freeing yourself from certain barriers (geographical, for example). LinkedIn allows you to search for specific people (by location, by activity, by seniority, etc.). And an invitation message costs nothing. What's the worst that can happen? You won't get a reply, that's all! To force yourself to stick to it, you can block the same time slot every week (30 minutes is enough) to interact virtually with another entrepreneur.

Solution 5: try out local events

We recommend that you focus on events related to your sector or your current problem so that you don't spread yourself too thin. The result may not always live up to expectations (yes, there is a risk of filling up your agenda with events without getting much benefit in the end... Those who come for the free meal, we see you! 😼😉), but it's always nice to talk about your entrepreneurial problems and successes with a drink in hand. Plus, it allows you to meet new people, test your pitch, observe how other entrepreneurs present themselves, sell themselves... Of course, it's also an opportunity to meet prospects and/or start future collaborations.

Solution 6: break out of your routine

This is the most extreme but it is effective! To break your routine and get away from your loneliness, take a few days off! Jump on a train, find out where the cafes are that you can work from and meet the local communities. You don't have to go far to get a change of scenery! Take the opportunity to do some sightseeing on the way and if you can combine it with a trade fair specialising in your field of activity, it's not bad. You will come back with renewed energy and this may also allow you to look at your problems from a new angle.

Whatever solution(s) you try, remember that you are not alone in feeling this loneliness! If you start a discussion with a freelancer, there is a good chance that he or she is in the same situation as you and wants to talk too. Ideally, you should find your own balance and have the luxury of choosing your moments of solitude so that you can fully embrace them.

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