What is loneliness?

I have learnt over the years that running a business is a fundamentally lonely place.

One client, who had taken on the burden of a debt ridden family business after his father had died, described it like this:

“On Sunday night I get little sleep. I worry so much about the day ahead, what it will bring. More suppliers chasing their debts, will a machine break down, will an employee fail to turn up, so many things that can go wrong. The drive to work is morbid as I design catastrophes in my head. I sit at my desk and open the post, and yes!!…..the pain turns to elation as I get an order for £5,000….someone believes in me”

This describes not a physical loneliness, but an emotional loneliness. The feelings that we have in business but which we cannot easily express, and we feel that no one else will understand. The feelings can be elation or depression. They are hard to share as others tend to judge us as ‘in it to make money’ and so they see an 'order' in terms of money, and 'worries' as acceptable in the normal course of business.

Bottling up these feelings only exacerbates the problem. The solution is to talk to a mentor. We know the same feelings for we have all travelled the same journey. We will listen, and sometimes that is all it takes to relieve the loneliness.