Running your business is exhilarating: you get to call the shots, you get to experience the thrill of closing a sale, and you get to bring to the world the passion that drives you. But entrepreneurship can also be lonely.
When the going gets tough, here’s how I beat the it’s-lonely-on-top blues.
Create an accountability group.
About a year ago, two good friends and I decided to form an informal “accountability group” as a way of keeping ourselves on track. Every Monday morning we meet over the phone to discuss our plan for the week. And then every Friday morning we meet again to review how we did. We keep a Trello board that’s essentially a “to do” list for each of us. We get the satisfaction of checking the box when we complete our tasks, but more importantly, we get continuous encouragement and great ideas from each other.
Join a networking group.
I’m not a big one for schmoozing and hobnobbing, but I’ve found a home in one networking group, eWomen Network. Every month I go to my hometown chapter meeting for a lunch and then the “afterglow” in the hotel’s bar. The networking exercises are sometimes a little goofy, yet often fruitful. But the biggest win from going to these meetings on a regular basis are the long-term friendships I’ve built. In fact, I met both of my accountability partners through this group.
Team up wherever and whenever you can.
I recently decided to get a booth at a big conference. I was hesitant to do it due to the cost and the work it would take. So I decided to team up with a friend who has a complimentary business to mine. We created a theme – “celebrate your awesome-ness” – that married our two brands. The booth was good for our businesses and was great for our spirits. We made lots of important connections with potential customers and strategic partners, but we also had a hootenanny of a time.
Find time to play!
I rode horses as a kid and then rode professionally for several years, but I had hung up my boots and saddle once I became an entrepreneur. About two years ago a horse came along that I couldn’t say no to, so I started back up with the sport that’s been my deepest passion since I was five. It’s not easy making the 45-minute drive to the barn, much less finding the money and time to go to shows up and down the West Coast. But getting back to riding with my horse “Frolic” has been so rewarding. The commitment and the sheer physical and mental strength the sport calls for have parlayed into my entrepreneurship skills as well. I find I’m better able to focus on business decisions and have way more energy to keep moving forward.
Keep your perspective.
No matter what challenges you face as an entrepreneur, remember to keep your perspective. What you’re doing is not easy and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. So when you feel overwhelmed or discouraged, just take a break and remember all of the incredible things you’ve done to date.
If you have some “tricks of the trade” of how you keep up your momentum, I’d love to hear them. Just add them to the comment box below.