Undoubtedly, entrepreneurs are traditionally seen as singular in their role—the founder, the lone-ranger, the decider of all, the solitary leader. That’s a tough place to inhabit and it sounds very lonely! As they say, “It’s tough at the top!”
However, in this day and age, there is no excuse to exist in isolation, even if you’re running a one-person entity or small enterprise. Not only that, but it is most definitely detrimental to your business potential and progress to become removed from the mainstream. The reality is that everything can change in the blink of an eye in our fast-moving world, and as an entrepreneur, you NEED to become an active and vocal participant.
The way I analyze this topic is relatively simple. There are two dimensions in which the entrepreneur cohabits and each require different approaches:
The Two Dimensions Cohabited by the Entrepreneur
The Internal World
The External World
The Internal World is where many of us need to visit regularly – to tap into our thoughts, our ideas for the future, our pondering on our day-to-day systems. In other words, we need to turn inwards to connect with ourselves, to have a little internal chat. This is best done in isolation and is a much-needed time-out for quiet reflection.
This is especially important for the entrepreneur that is the sole leader of a business. After all, the buck stops with you. You are the driving force, so thoughts need to be evaluated in peace before being allowed out to the external world.
The External World is where we put those thoughts and ideas into action. This is where we must connect and collaborate with others in order to bring our businesses to the world’s stage. They say that meeting at the crossroads of connections is where innovation happens. It certainly doesn’t occur in isolation.
This is the landscape to bring your business ideas to life, and refine and amend according to what you’ve learned from this outward interaction. Even if this doesn’t take place in the physical face-to-face sense, it can happen nowadays over the internet via social media discussions, Skype, email, and so forth. Distance is no object today.
Finding a Healthy Balance between the Two Dimensions
In essence, the entrepreneur needs a healthy balance between these two dimensions. In fact, there is a certain amount of overlap between the two. There are times that isolation, no contact, and silence are needed, but that has to be balanced with outside world interaction for a myriad of reasons—without which your business would dissolve. This balance may evolve in accordance with your personality type—some of us are more prone towards introversion, and others are the reverse.
But, that crucial balance can only be decided by you as the entrepreneur, because at the end of the day, this is your business, your journey, and how you navigate is your decision. Sole decisions—sole travels…that’s a big part of the story of entrepreneurship, and this is what you signed up for.
But remember, it’s not the whole story. There are two sides to every story and entrepreneurship is no different. S is entrepreneurship a lonely quest? Quest—yes. Lonely—not necessarily!
This is very inspiring. I’m an entrepreneur, and I know first hand how lonely and discouraging it can be to be an entrepreneur. One of the greatest decisions in my business career was finding a partner. Partners are great to keep you inspired, motivated, and sticking to the path!
Fiona Donnelly says
Thanks very much Diana for your comment! Partners are a wonderful idea and the symbiotic relationship most certainly elevates morale and so forth – support and a shared vision keeps the business partnership afloat and ultimately, the actual business. Fiona.
Sandy Archer says
Hi Fiona, thanks for the article and something well worth remembering. It’s easy to get wrapped up in either too much isolation or too much communication, finding a balance is sometimes a challenge. I’ve set up a simple weekly plan that allows for both – although sometimes I have to force myself to get out there and deliver what I’ve created – and then if I’m not careful I’ll have to carve space to get back into creation! I like the simple list – I need more connecting, demonstrating and talking time for sure…
Fiona Donnelly says
Thanks Sandy! I agree, finding the balance really is a challenge, and of course depending on your personality, it can be hard to create that balance..I know as someone that’s prone to introversion that I crave alone time and I could easily end up isolated by accident! I like your weekly plan idea! Best wishes, Fiona.