I have experienced loneliness from time to time as a solo founder and who would have thought that a research study by Havard Business Review found that 50% of founders experience isolation and the founders within that group 61% feel that it’s hurting their performance, who knew? Those of us who survived the pandemic which was an out of the ordinary year and may I add the pandemic is still raging on in some parts of the country. So, how should we deal with our feelings of isolation?
Here are a few suggestions
- FIND YOUR PEERS
There is strength in numbers, says Alice Default, CEO and co-founder of Double, which connects executives with assistants and time-saving tech. “I have a couple of CEOs around me who I can be completely vulnerable with, are always positive, and are also looking for support,” she says. “We’ll call each other every few weeks to exchange war stories, ask each other hard questions, and keep ourselves in check.”
- TELL YOUR STORY
“Journaling is my secret weapon to combat loneliness,” says Jordan Husney, co-founder and CEO of Parabol. “While it may seem counterintuitive to write to oneself to feel less alone, I find as a founder, I have a lot of unprocessed feelings.” Hunsey says keeping a regular log of his feelings can help give a better “sense of the scope of the journey” he’s on.
- ASK FOR HELP
“The perception that talking to a therapist or coach is a sign of weakness is now an antiquated concept. Or at least, it should be,” says Edris Bemanian, CEO of Engage3, which uses data science to improve pricing performance. “My experiences meeting with a therapist and working with an executive coach have been game-changers for me.”
Why it’s important to seek help or change things up when dealing with feelings of isolation. I like to give bad news last!
Statistics on loneliness
Loneliness is extremely unhealthy, especially for your mental health. When your mental and physical health is in bad shape, productivity plummets. Vulnerability rises. Consider some statistics:
- Researchers at BYU found that feeling lonely can increase your odds of dying prematurely by 14%.
- A 2010 study from the University of Chicago showed that people who are lonely have less effective immune systems.
- The researchers Sigal Barsade and Hakan Ozcelik looked at the relationship between levels of loneliness and productivity for hundreds of employees across more than 100 teams. They found that employees who felt lonelier had significantly lower levels of productivity than their more socially active colleagues. – Dreamit