By Tara Caetano
As a young entrepreneur, your dream lights you up inside like the New York City skyline after dusk; but does it also sometimes leave you feeling like the only light in a sea of darkness? With dreams that embody the depths of our existence and dare to stretch our every belief, it’s without question that something so visceral and introspective might also carve out space for a sense of loneliness, as invisible walls begin to mount between the human connections we once relied on to feed our spirit. As our dreams move from being in the fun, brainstorming stage to demanding all of your attention and there’s no backing out now. You’ve loved this damn dream, you’ve cursed at it, you’ve let it awaken parts of you you didn’t know existed - but now at a time where things are starting to take shape, you find yourself feeling lonelier than ever.
While building the dream has meant less social occasions, you hopefully still have your support team. After all, they are part of the reason why you do what you do in the first place; so you're ultimately able to be your best self for them. But still, they don’t completely 'get it’.
I mean, how could they? No one knows this dream like you do. It’s depths, it’s beauty, it’s excruciating challenges. How could they have experienced the way it’s kept you up at night, the way it hurls you into an unknown space and time, and the silent tears it’s caused you to keep hidden?
"Dreams have only one owner at a time. That's why dreamers are lonely." Erma Bombeck
This loneliness in the entrepreneurial world is real and widespread; one of the many things that ironically binds us together. While birthing a business can be exhilarating and exciting, each step forward can too feel brutally lonely, especially if you’re a one-woman start up. You've experienced the long hours of giving it your all, the weeks of mounting pressure, and the most soul-stretching personal development experiment you’ve ever endured.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t have to be a lonely road to the top.
Meet people and let them in
Whether it’s via face-to-face meet ups, entrepreneurial Facebook groups, workshops or masterminds; don't just skim the surface with biz chit chat, actually let people in to the in’s and out’s of your struggles, so that they might feel comfortable doing so too. It’s through vulnerability that we find the connection we’ve been searching for. You both know what the other is facing and there’s room in the relationship for both yourselves and your kick ass dreams.
Choose to work with your needs during this time
If you're feeling lonely, maybe you do need to incorporate more people into your biz life. This might mean more collaborations, supporting the dreams of people in your industry, and recognising we’re all in it together. No doubt your ego will try to convince you that this will distract you from your individual goals, but we are allowed to be bosses and friends with each other at the same time!
A problem shared is a problem halved. Feel into the freedom that will come from not holding onto your vision alone.
Have a life outside of your dream and your enthusiasm on Monday morning will skyrocket!
Explore your hobbies, seek out a tribe and get your deep community fix elsewhere. Knowing we are part of something bigger than ourselves is integral to our sanity. You may find that with connection and community outside of your biz, you’ll find more appreciation for the opportunity to rock your work solo.
Together we can do so much
You are the human being through which these ideas are being brought to life. And while your ego will continue to try and convince you that you need to do it alone; make it your personal mission to open up to those who dare to share it with you. Alone we can do so little and together we can do so much. Let’s band together, fizzle out the entrepreneurial loneliness syndrome and set out to do what we do as a collective. I truly believe there’s no better way.
Tara Caetano is a certified coach, self-love teacher, professional encourager and broadcaster of spirited insight.Unapologetically married to her own personal boundaries, Tara is a fierce advocate for having a kick-ass relationship with yourself so you can live a life of greatness, and shares her deep devotion to feeding her spirit (and how you can too) via her online home Feed Me Blog, which houses practical online programs and resources for those who seek to live their life out loud, on their own terms.