Entrepreneurship has changed over the years. With the dawn of the internet, social media and modern technology, there are many different categories of businesses, entrepreneurship and opportunity. Today, there are solopreneurs, lifestyle and online entrepreneurs, freelancers and much more. The term "small business" has come to life as people find new and exciting ways to make money doing something they love. The access to potential customers all over the world through the internet has also made an old school threat even more fierce.
It takes a lot to start and grow a business. You must have a strong mindset that's determined to push through any failure or struggle. You must make smart decisions and keep your emotions in check. You must be self-motivated and able to work on your own, and in your head, for long periods of time. For the category of entrepreneur that doesn't need a physical location, this is even more prominent but it is a problem that threatens all entrepreneurs.
The threat is isolation that can easily derail your progress and growth.
Isolation is when there's no one to challenge you or for you to bounce ideas around with. Isolation drains your motivation. You feel mental and physical fatigue with no one but yourself to challenge you to push hard and consistently.
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Even a strong and confident entrepreneur craves connection to battle self-limiting beliefs and magical thinking. You want to be challenged and inspired by others who are just ahead of you on your entrepreneurial journey. You don't always want to be stuck in your head. You want to release in a healthy way.
So, you realize isolation has been a struggle that you want to overcome. The good news is that there are many practical ways to get connected with like-minded entrepreneurs.
1. Join a mastermind group.
The Internet has given entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet weekly, bi-monthly or monthly with other entrepreneurs to share strategies, wins/loses, and ask for advice. You can meet with conference calling software or through Skype with other business owners from all over the world. These mastermind meetings have been a key factor in creating success in many business owners lives. You can find a mastermind group through an online search, a recommendation from friends, or you can be adventurous and start the kind of mastermind you want to be in.
2. Build a virtual team.
There's always the temptation and urge to want to do everything yourself. In your mind, no one can do things the way you want them done. But, to grow, you need to delegate at least a few tasks. As you grow, your time should be spent on strategies that grow the business instead of you always being IN the business. Hiring a team of one or several virtual assistants can be a good option. You can build a team online efficiently and it can be cost effective. Your communication and interaction with this team will help you battle isolation.
3. Join local Meetup groups.
Meeting online is great and convenient but there's nothing like the thrill of shaking someone's hand or sharing a drink with them in person. The website Meetup can show you where local entrepreneurs meet, what they are interested in and who comes to the meetings. Search Meetup or search online, but find great local groups and meetings that can help you connect in-person and beat isolation.
4. Take classes or hire a coach.
There are many great courses and coaches online. The courses alone can offer you the opportunity to network with people who are doing cool things and taking action on growing their business. However, before you take a course or hire a coach, be sure to check their testimonials and make sure they know what they are talking about.
Don't be the constant lone wolf entrepreneur who is slowly dying inside because isolation is winning. Connect, learn, grow and help others and you will get back what you put in. There are many ways to stay connected and be inspired. Use some that I mentioned here and figure out a few of your own. Don't let the feeling of isolation keep you from creating the kind of life and business you want.