Sometimes Entrepreneurship really sucks. It can be an isolating journey. The stresses and responsibilities fall squarely on Our shoulders. Friends and family can’t fully relate. They just can’t.
A great team is amazing, but you know that nobody will ever be invested as you are. It’s easy to feel alone.
Nobody Understands What You’re Going Through
As an entrepreneur, you live experiences that are foreign to most people. The highs and lows, the nonstop work ethic, the constant risk – it’s a 24/7 endeavor that only fellow entrepreneurs can truly understand.
When things get tough, support from loved ones, though well-intentioned, rings hollow.
They tell you to “hang in there” or “take a break” or “it will get better”, but it’s clear they don’t really ‘get’ your daily reality. The pressure, the lost sleep, the self-doubt.
This lack of understanding can make an entrepreneur feel depressingly alone. You have no one to confide in who can grasp the full weight of your stresses. It’s easy to think “nobody gets it”.
Your Team Has Limits Too
Surrounding yourself with a stellar team is one of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur. But even amazing team members have limitations when relating to your experience.
At the end of the day, they still get to clock out and detach. As the founder and leader, you live the company’s problems night and day. No matter how skilled your team is, they aren’t up at 3am agonizing over customer problems, payroll, HR, legal … everything – like you are.
Great team relationships can soothe entrepreneurial loneliness to a degree. But team bonds can only partially fill the gap.
Mentorship is Vital
To truly combat entrepreneurial isolation, you need mentorship from those who have been there before. Fellow entrepreneurs who have built businesses themselves are the only ones positioned to understand your day-to-day reality.
Whether you regularly meet 1-on-1 or join a mastermind group, having a community of mentors provides counsel that comes from a place of true empathy. They’ve navigated the same storms so their guidance is practical and heartfelt.
Building relationships with seasoned entrepreneurs will help you push past the loneliness phase that almost every founder experiences. Their wisdom and war stories are invaluable fuel to keep you going.
Share Your Experience
Once you’ve achieved some entrepreneurial success, one of the most rewarding things you can do is share your own lessons learned. Your experience becoming an entrepreneur will resonate with someone earlier on their journey.
You can do for them what others have done for you.
Be transparent about your highs, lows and mistakes. Pave the way for future entrepreneurs to avoid isolation. The battles you’ve fought through serve as a guiding light. Create a virtuous cycle where today’s mentors become tomorrow’s mentees.
Becoming a Better Entrepreneur
I often think there are two ways to become a better entrepreneur. The first is to learn from others. The second is to share what you’ve learned – because in sharing it you’re forced to truly process and understand the lessons you’ve earned.
The path of entrepreneurship is a lonely one, but with the right community it doesn’t have to be. Seek the counsel of those ahead of you. Be generous with those behind you.