I have previously written about how lonely I was in the first year of business, but on reflection, I am pretty sure it was my fault! I wrote about Jen a couple of weeks ago – click here for Jen’s story, and she had the same issue. She worked so hard that she didn’t make time to connect with people, she didn’t make time to reach out to her network or ask for help. She was simply “head down, bum up.”
I, like Jen, hadn’t taken the time to reach out to people in a meaningful way, was absorbed into a whole new world of business which I was loving, but forgot to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.
Jen was lonely, really lonely. We, as human beings crave connection. In an increasing world of disconnect, this can be hard to find. We all want to be in stable relationships with those who have our backs, our cheerleaders, our supporters, or those that tell us the hard truths we need to hear. When you work in an organisation, you typically have a team of people who will do that for you, when you step out into business, you need to find that team who will do that for you.
The research shows that loneliness increases the risk of premature death – WHHHAAATTT, this is an epidemic of massive proportions. Check out the study here. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, loneliness is posing such significant health risks it is now reported to cause a high risk of premature death than smoking or obesity. In fact, many nations across the world now suggest we are facing a loneliness epidemic.
Here are three tips that helped me feel less alone, but the first things was recognising the feeling that I was feeling in the first place. Was it loneliness, or was it something else?
- Get out more.
- Find your tribe.
- Love them hard.
Let me unpack these a little more:
- Get out more. Go and find and connect with like-minded individuals – in person. You need to find the people who share similar values to you, who you can count on and who you can pick up the phone to on a crappy day and have a chat with.
- Find your tribe. This was really quite tricky for me; personally, I had been to a few networking things and had clicked with one or two people, but never really found my’ home’. I had to reframe how I was approaching this, and I kept trying. I made a deal with myself to go to one networking event a month.
- Love them hard. When you find your tribe, you automatically love them to pieces. That’s now how I feel with the tribe that I have found. Did I find them all in the same place – I should be so lucky, but are they are connected in some way – yes they are – to me!
There really is no need to feel lonely in business, all you need to start with is a desire to go out and chat with people and connect genuinely. I know that at times, this can feel scary, but once you do it a few times, you will become a pro at it!
Thriving Women is a 12-month program that includes a mix of tailored workshops and private networking opportunities with other women on their journey, accountability groups, strategy sessions and 1:1 coaching. We focus on results, whatever results means for you (it may be revenue, a promotion, more confidence etc.) We will work through the chaos and commit to a plan and will inspire those around us to be a better version of themselves along the way.
Here’s what Melitta Hardenberg, one of our Thriving Women, had to say:
“I wanted someone who would call me on my bullshit, really challenge me. I wanted a network I could connect with, my own tribe, a cheer squad, hold the mirror up, the high calibre of amazing women. If you are going to accelerate and get results quickly, I don’t think you can look anywhere else.”
Take a look at Melitta’s video here.
I’m Emma, and I’m a business and executive coach who believes wholeheartedly in the potential of women. My coaching philosophy is simple- taking action leads to results- and I love working with women in business and in corporate roles to take their passion and drive and transform their professional and personal lives.
Be enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic, every day.