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How do you overcome loneliness as a female entrepreneur?

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Sitting beside me in my home office (or laying beside me would be more accurate!) is my loyal dog Pablo. He doesn’t say much, except when the Amazon delivery arrives then he makes his presence known!

When you're working from home on your own it can get a bit lonely at times and having a dog definitely helps but the conversation isn't all that tbh!

As an introvert I've always enjoyed the peace and quiet of being able to work from home but when I made the transition from being employed to becoming a business owner it was a huge challenge.

What are the challenges of starting a business on your own?

In 2017 when I started my business we didn’t have a dog. I didn’t even have a home office. I was working from the dining room table, or the sofa, coffee shops, here there and everywhere.

Nothing new there, I’d been working remotely since 2009 and there were many benefits. Not having to sit on the motorway in traffic for 3 hours a day, flexible working hours, managing my own time etc etc BUT the big difference was having NO people around me.

  • No manager for guidance and support

  • No weekly team meetings for boosting morale

  • No colleagues on the end of a phone when I'd had a bad day

  • No monthly targets to keep me accountable

  • No annual appraisal to assess my performance

  • No one telling me I was doing a good job... or not!

There are LOTS of changes you need to go through when starting your own business and many of them are positive of course! But there is definitely a sense of loss and yes, feeling lost. Where do you belong?

Dealing with imposter syndrome

I really struggled with my identity. I felt uncertain in who I was and started to question myself and my decisions. Was I doing the right thing? Normally I'd check in with my manager or someone on my team but suddenly I didn't have that, it was all down to me. It was scary!

I started to doubt myself and my ability. I knew I was a great coach, I'd got a decade of experience. But I'd never owned a business before. What if I wasn't good enough?

I hear this a lot from my clients who’ve started their own business and struggle with self confidence and motivation. I can empathise with them because I felt exactly the same way in the early years. It’s tough because at the exact time you need to be being bold and believing in yourself to drive your business forwards, there are so many doubts that hold you back!

Building self confidence as a woman in business

Here are four ways I took action to break through fear and build my self confidence

1. Networking

I know you probably find it uncomfortable but honestly it’s vital if you work by yourself. Find a group where you belong. Doing go thinking you have to sell to people! Go along to get to know people. The relationships I’ve built through networking have developed into close friendships. The women from Unique Ladies in particular - it gives me such a boost seeing them once a month.

2. Office space

I know this is a luxury not everyone has but we turned our spare room into an office for me and my productivity improved dramatically! I had a space that was mine where I belonged, I felt organised and I knew where everything was. I could close the door at the end of the day and stop working on my laptop while watching TV at night! Whether you have a room to yourself or just a dedicated space in a room in your house, find the place that works for you and make it your own.

3. Boundaries

This was the most challenging for me. When I started working for myself I felt like I should be working ALL the time! I felt guilty if I wasn’t constantly working. There was the pressure to bring work in and my personal drive was on overdrive! It wasn’t sustainable so I had to implement boundaries - not working after 6pm; getting dressed for work (I am not productive in a dressing gown!) Not working Fridays - it’s my time to spend with Howard, my friends or family. I do make an exception once a month for Unique Ladies!

4. Being bold

Come on it had to be in here! Seriously though, at the start of 2020 pre pandemic, I set my intentions to be more bold and start being a role model for other women in business and live up to my brand. Being more visible on social media through videos helped people to get to know me and I built some amazing relationships online. I’ve got some great friends on LinkedIn that I’ve never met who helped me through the last 2 years. This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been bold and put myself out there.

So what can you do to boost your self belief? Do you need to be more bold with your boundaries? Is it time to get yourself out there or make a bold move online?

Following my experience of loneliness as a female business owner I launched the Bold Moves Speaking Academy in October 2023. It's a supportive and encouraging community filled with women just like you looking for help and guidance to make bold moves to grow your business.

Click here to find out how you can join us!

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