entrepreneur loneliness

“No Sweat Means No Wealth”

With the level of technology we’ve reached today, it’s no wonder that more and more young individuals decide to undertake their passion and become entrepreneurs, myself included. From a young age, I broke free of the 9-5 mentality and decided to go on the road less traveled: entrepreneurship. I didn’t really know what the journey was going to offer, but I knew that it was what I wanted to do. At first, I was very motivated to grow my business and didn’t really pay attention to my lack of social life. I was focused on one thing and one thing only: growing my business. I was aware of the parties I missed or the get-togethers I wasn’t invited to anymore, but I was still in my entrepreneurial heaven. Business was going great, I was learning a lot and meeting inspirational individuals left and right. Then, I became lonely.

The Under30 Phenomenon

If you’re a young entrepreneur with a few months under your belt, you’re either going through this phase or you’ve been through it already. Either way, you know how difficult this phase is. You spend hours in front of your Facebook account, stalking your friends from High School as they post pictures of their last pool party or Spring Break vacation. You go to bed dreading your decision to break away from these people, thinking that you should just go back to living your life as a twenty-something instead of being an adult and growing a business. You wonder if you’ve really made the right choice to be an entrepreneur and in turn lose all motivation to continue on this path. You look around and realize that all you have are business partners, not friends and that’s when you become extremely lonely.

It’s the Entrepreneuritis syndrome. Don’t look it up, I just made it up.

The point is though, that this feeling touches every entrepreneur in their early-life but in particular young entrepreneurs. Why us? Because society is pressuring us into thinking that we need to “live it up” because we “only live once.” Although it’s true that we only have one life, society forgets to mention that we have 75 years in this one life. They pressure twenty-somethings to go crazy right now simply because we’re more easily manipulated. Proof, we feel bad for being responsible and thinking about our future!

What Can You Do About It?

There’s a lot you can do to spring away from Entrepreneuritis Syndrome. Being a young entrepreneur myself, I have to say that getting out of the syndrome is not an easy task and takes a lot of sweating. But it’s well worth it in the end though. Here’s your list to break free:

Cut back on Social Media

Most of Entrepreneuritis Syndrome comes from Social Media. Seeing all your friends from High School or College (if you went) having fun at parties while you’re at home working for a client is a bummer. It doesn’t take long before you become nostalgic of your teenage years and start looking through old pictures, wondering where the time went and why you decided to take the road less traveled. Next thing you know, it’s midnight and you’re still gazing at your friends’ birthday party, which you weren’t invited to. I’m writing it out of experience and it’s not a good feeling, trust me.

Which is it’s important to cut back on Social Media. Log off your Facebook for a few days and delete your Twitter or Instagram application for a week or two (unless it’s needed for your business). Gives yourself a break from all this information on your friends’ lives to recover from Entrepreneuritis Syndrome. Social Media has this ability to make everything look more awesome than it actually is, which is what usually happens with the pictures posted by your friends; they make it seem like everything in their lives is perfect because they’re smiling and having fun. Most of the time though, those pictures are just that: pictures. If you sit down and talk to them, you realize how confused they are about their lives and how much they admire you for choosing the road less traveled. Again, talking from experience.

The minute you cut back on Social Media stalking, you will become much happier. You will focus on your life rather your friends’ lives. You will see clearly that your life is actually quite awesome, and you’ll be one step closer to getting out of the Entrepreneuritis Syndrome.

Create a vision board

Whenever you’re feeling unmotivated in life, create a vision board. This board should be place in an area where you can see it everyday, like your office or bedroom. It should contain motivational quotes, pictures of your goals, reminders or what you’ve accomplished, pictures of who you aspire to become and affirmations to be said out loud every day. Seeing this vision board every morning will activate your motivation and remind you of why you’re doing this. It’s very important to look at it right after getting up and right before going to bed, to fall asleep remembering all the reasons you’re sweating on a daily basis to reach your goals.

Change the contents of your vision every few months, as you progress in your journey.

Write down your accomplishments

Every night, before going to bed, write down five of the things you’ve accomplished that day. They don’t have to be business-related, but you have to write down five things you’ve accomplished that day. It could be cleaning the house, having an adult conversation with a client, getting over your fear of success or even not texting your ex. Regardless of what it is, if you’re proud of what has been accomplished, write it down.

This creates a positive mindset as you feel proud about your accomplishments. Writing them down at the end of the day will remind you of everything you’re doing right, rather than focusing on what you’re doing wrong (according to society’s standards). Whenever you feel down, you can look through your “accomplishment” journal and remind yourself of how great you are. I know how these reminders are needed sometimes, especially during slower days where it’s very tempting to spend hours on Social Media.

Make it a goal to go out once a week

Before you jump to my throat saying that I am contradicting myself, hold on. Read this first and then you can think about jumping to my throat… for sharing with you the best advice you’ve ever gotten. For free.

You don’t have to go all out every weekend, but you do have to socialize with people. Those individuals don’t have to be people your age, especially if you feel more mature than you are. You should simply meet up with people who have the same ambitions as you in life; they can be young entrepreneurs themselves or they can share the same hobby as you. Regardless of what brings you closer to that person, you should meet up with someone at least once a week to break free from your business. Talk with them about what makes you happy without talking about your business. Engage in conversations with strangers at coffee shops or at the gym with people you see on a regular basis. As long as you socialize, you’ll be alright.

You might be surprised, but the best ideas come when you are away from your desk. The fact that your mind is free creates new inspiration. By socializing with people once a week, you let your mind take a break from number crunching or in my case, letter crunching!

Take Action!

I’ve just written down the prescription to cure you from Entrepreneuritis Syndrome. Now it’s your turn to take action and implement what you’ve just learned! It won’t be easy at the beginning, but nothing worth doing is easy in life. As a young entrepreneur, you should know that.

You’ve taken the road less traveled and even though it might get lonely at times, the beach and the sun is waiting for you at the end. Sure, you can make a U-turn and follow what society thinks you should do as a twenty-something, but then where will your talent go? Where will your passion be? How will you stand out from the crowd? Most importantly, will you be happy? If you will be happy going back into the rat race, then please go right ahead. After all, happiness is what’s important in life.

If, on the other hand, you know that you will be miserable if you stop your journey short, push harder. Push through this episode in your life and keep your eye on the ball! Keep your focus on your why.You can do it, I know you can!

Sarah Anton started her entrepreneurial journey when she turned eighteen and has been on a fabulous roller coaster ever since. She found herself by inspiring hundreds with her voice and aspires to guide twenty-somethings through the long journey of self-acceptance and self-worth. You can find out more about her at www.writingleo.com

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