Recently I was attending a large-scale international conference. Despite being surrounded by hundreds of brilliant business leaders, at times I felt lonely and disconnected.
At some breaks, I’d grab a cup of coffee and stand in a corner pretending I was reading the conference program because I didn’t feel up to the small talk. I had a big letter L on my forehead, and it stood for Loner not Loser.
As I’m usually a highly sociable extrovert, this loneliness had me perplexed until I realised that I much prefer smaller gatherings of people in casual and cosy environments, whether I’m sharing lunch with my co-workers at The Hub, hosting a deep dinner for my business friends or chatting with my School of Philosophy buddies.
It’s because there’s no requirement to put on my game face or pull out the well-oiled elevator pitch. It’s an opportunity to share, listen and make friends with people that care about the same things I do. When I put myself in these small circles of like-minded people, I feel plugged in and switched on.
A dose of loneliness can actually be good because it leads to self-enquiry around how to more of what makes us feel happy and connected. On the other hand, prolonged periods of loneliness can become debilitating and even deadly if not diagnosed and rectified.
As a business owner, if you’re struck by loneliness, there are many things you can do to get connected. You can join a co-working space (I highly recommend the global Hub network), attend a networking event or meetup group, create your own business mastermind group or invite a bunch of friends in business to share breakfast with you each month at a local café.
The antidote to loneliness is to find or create your own circles of connectedness. These circles open up new ways of thinking, new connections, new business opportunities and new friends. They keep you motivated and accountable and they help keep things light-hearted and fun (which is how running a business really should be). These circles are absolutely essential for your personal and professional health and wellbeing. I recommend them wholeheartedly.
What one thing will you do today to create your own circles of connectedness? If you need some ideas, drop me a line and we’ll make a time for a chat.
Yours in conscious marketing
PS Here are some cool ways you can get involved in my own circles of connectedness:
Join my Reinvent your Business lunch and learn webinar on Thurs 17 October Click here
Contact me for a 30 min consultation on how you can take steps to create your own circles and chat about the Reinvent your Business program Click here
Join me at the Network Central, Art of Connecting breakfast on Wed 27 November Click here
Here’s what people are saying about Reinvent your Business:
The greatest gift for me has been developing relationships with other participants. The opportunity to share our personal stories of being in our own businesses along with all of the ups and downs that come with that and the space to willingly share our skills and talents with each other has been simply wonderful. These are relationships that will endure and nourish and sustain me for years to come. Thank you Carolyn. Diana Coverdale