40+ Years a Vegan-a memoir blog

Feeling Lonely? 5 Ways to Cure the Entrepreneurship Blues
I’m prone to squirrelling myself away, binging on Netflix and hunching over DIY or writing projects without coming up for air. Suddenly, I’ll catch myself in a one-sided conversation with the dog. I lean introvert on the personality spectrum, but even introverts get lonely.

There’s plenty of proof that introverts make great entrepreneurs, and it can be assumed, more equipped to thrive in the isolation that comes with the lifestyle. Alone and lonely, however, are two very different things.

Loneliness has recently been linked with an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, and poor social networks can contribute to a number of other health concerns like obesity. Cabin fever, it seems, is a more worrisome diagnosis than I thought. And, it’s an epidemic: the rate of loneliness has doubled in the past 30 years, with 40% of Americans reporting feeling lonely.

Entrepreneurship’s “dark side” is the psychological toll that can put business owners at higher risk for mental health issues, and loneliness is a slippery slope.

Entrepreneurship can be Lonely

On Monday, I worked from home. I’d tell you it’s my preference – that I’m more productive, less distracted – but the truth is, after more than a day, I miss the energy of others (my dog notwithstanding). At home, I don’t benefit from spontaneous group discussion, or connections made at the coffee maker.

“There is a huge difference between being a remote employee and being an entrepreneur or freelancer. Like, night and day difference,” my remote colleague tells me. He’s lived in both worlds.

It’s true – when I work from home, I still have access to Slack chatter, and can hop into regular meetings on Hangouts. There’s a desk waiting for me on the other side. For solopreneurs, the company safety net doesn’t exist and the networks don’t come standard. In both cases, combatting loneliness requires a little proactivity.

About the Author

Sara Millman is a writer and filmmaker whose work has been screened on 6 continents. A vegan for 40 years (and counting) Sara’s life work has been to actively support and promote justice for all.