8 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Overcome Loneliness and Isolation

Lonely entrepreneur

While it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs often struggle with mental health issues like stress and burnout, other challenges may not be so obvious. Many entrepreneurs struggle with loneliness and isolation, especially those who run online businesses.

This article features practical tips from entrepreneurs who share their own practices and habits that help them stay connected and fight off feelings of isolation.

Network Proactively

Running your own business or being an entrepreneur who works from home can sometimes be a lonely experience. One way to overcome this loneliness is to build and utilise your networks. Join B2B groups, business breakfasts, local and online networking events; acquire the contact sheet from each event and reach out to those on the list. Offer to meet for a virtual coffee and explore how you can both help each other’s business grow whilst also getting to know each other and making real-world connections; these connections are important in not only supporting your business but also your mental health and well-being

Emily Maguire, Managing Director and Career Consultant at Reflections Career Coaching

Emily Maguire

Engage In Interests That Involve Other People

Whether you want to join a local pickleball league or pottery classes, spend time with people in a group setting that will allow you to form connections. Don’t just go to one event. Find an activity, and stick to it for a while. Commit to being in the same place at the same time with the same people. You’ll find yourself having fun and building a community.

Sanna Khoja, LPC

Sanna Khoja

Volunteer in Your Community

Whether it’s directly related to your business or not, involvement in community organizations is a good way to develop relationships with others when you run your own business. I’ve been involved in diverse causes, such as tech meetup groups and dog rescue. Volunteering provides a lot of the social interaction you get from a job but in smaller doses that you can fit into your schedule.

The friends I’ve made volunteering are some of the best I have, and it’s always great to catch up with them outside of office hours. I’ve fostered really great relationships across the various meetings and events involved in running local community groups, and I always feel like I can be as active or not as I need to be based on how busy my business is at the time.

Kathleen Burnett, Founder of Anywhere League

Kathleen Burnett

Collaborative Skill-Sharing Sessions

I personally LOVE collaborative skill-sharing sessions (either virtual or in-person) because they truly foster connection and combat isolation. Entrepreneurs are able to organize gatherings where participants take turns sharing their unique skills, expertise, or hobbies with the group.

These sessions encompass anything from teaching a cooking recipe to demonstrating a professional skill related to their business niche. By creating this interactive and supportive environment where individuals contribute their knowledge and learn from one another, entrepreneurs not only expand their skill sets but also forge meaningful connections based on shared interests and experiences.

This collaborative approach not only breaks down barriers of isolation but also cultivates a vibrant community of mutual support and collaboration among like-minded people who love to learn and grow.

Natalie Rosado, LMHC, Founder of Tampa Counseling Place

Natalie Rosado

Surround Yourself with a Support System

The founder journey is often times a lonely one as you need to keep your head held high for both your team and your investors no matter how difficult it gets. The path to success is filled with moments of peril and despair, and negative thoughts can overwhelm you if you’re not careful.

To carry you through, utilize those closest to you, whether it is friends, your family, and/or your partner, who will be the ones to support you. These battles and emotions are not something you should have to go through by yourself and you will come out all the better for it if you rely on your support system.

Nelson Chu, CEO and Founder of Percent

Nelson Chu

Schedule Time with Friends and Family

I own a digital copywriting agency, so I work online from home and constantly face isolation. I try to plan activities with friends and family, so I’m fostering personal, intimate connections outside of work and business. You have to be VERY intentional about overcoming feelings of loneliness or isolation; otherwise, they will consume you and grow bigger.

Haley Slade, Founder & CEO of Slade Copy House

Haley Slade

Time Block and Find Tasks for Outside the Home

A tool that I have offered my clients and use myself is to time block your day. Time blocking means that you separate your day or week into larger chunks of hours for certain types of activities. I personally like to keep it simple. My most creative hours are in the morning, so I use that time to develop content strategies and write. In my calendar, this would look like “9am-12pm creative writing @ home”. Time blocking is primarily used as a time management tool; however, it’s incredibly effective in meeting any goal, including goals for socialization.

One of the tricky bits with feeling isolated or lonely as a business owner or freelancer is that it becomes easy to lose track of the hours and to allow all the never-ending tasks to take over your full day, week, or year. When I time block, I specifically know that there are certain task types that I can do outside of the home. So I am not only helping myself figure out what to focus on and when but also where. This is critical.

Working in a shared working space, cafe, or any new environment creates an opportunity for social contact through accidental interactions. These are interactions that are not planned and may or may not happen again. The supply of studies promoting social interaction as a critical component of mental well-being is plenty. But not all of that interaction needs to be regulated, meaning planned. Sometimes accidental interaction can help you realize that the entire world is right outside your doorstep and is actually enjoyable.

You can also make deep connections by frequenting spaces filled with other creative and driven individuals. Being a business owner can feel like there is no one else that fully understands what you do, but I have discovered that there is a very large group of people who are creatively driven that also feel not fully understood. We all just have to leave our doorstep and find each other in shared working spaces.

Jola Jovani, owner of Joint Reality Media Inc

Jola Jovani

Find a Coworking Community

It makes a big difference if you can get out of your house on occasion to work alongside others. Hosting a coworking gathering can be as simple as finding a cafe, library, or other shared space to gather a few friends in.

Got lots of meetings? Try to block out a day or even part of a day when you can commit to minimizing calls—even a few hours of freedom to leave your house can help.

Tony Bacigalupo, Founder of Belongfulness

Tony Bacigalupo

About the Author

Marc has been building websites and online businesses since 2007. He's built successful businesses in several industries, including web/graphic design, photography, travel, and personal finance. Marc has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Flippa, and many others.

Founder Reports is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.