It’s the dark side of having a home-based business. Loneliness can be one of the biggest demotivators known to any home-based entrepreneur. Knowing that you have endless hours on your own, with just your laptop and your home’s four walls for company – it can paint a really depressing scene.

When we first make the decision to start a home-based business, the possibilities are endless. After all, we’re no longer limiting our earning potential, our working hours, or our creativity. We’re looking to work to a rhythm that suits our natural flow and to work with who we want to work with – the people who excite us the most – without anyone else telling us what we can and can’t do it, when we can or can’t do it and how it’s going to pan out.

But over a period of time, once we’ve settled down and got our business up and running, we realise that working from home can have its downsides to. As the reality of our situation kicks in, we start to experience those downsides – the need to be more organised and efficient, more focused and motivated. We also realise that for the vast majority of our working day, we’re working by ourselves, alone and in an environment that potentially doesn’t change – regardless of whether we’re ‘at work’ or at home.

Loneliness can wreck your business

I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that loneliness can (and will) wreck your business, if you let it. Not only does it demotivate you, it can also deflate and depress you, as well as cause your creativity and inspiration to run dry and, without those things – you have no business.

But as with anything, if you look for solutions to your problem, you’ll find them. And when it comes to loneliness, there are several options:

Build your own community

Surrounding yourself with your ideal client is a great way to beat the loneliness, as well as potentially increasing your finances in the long run. Find out who your ideal tribe would be and create that community for yourself, via a Facebook group or similar.

Get a support network in place

There are some aspects that you’re not going to want to necessarily share with your tribe, especially if they’re your potential and existing clients. This is where it pays to have your own private, support network in place. This can be your friends or other entrepreneurs, but ensure they’re people who ‘get’ being a home-based entrepreneur – people who understand what you’re going through and can give you practical advice to motivate and move you forward, as well as a shoulder to lean on.

Step out from behind the laptop

Working from home can easily slip into working longer than full time! Give yourself ample opportunity to step out from behind your laptop and away from your home office. Arrange to meet up with your support network, meet a friend for coffee, take regular days off and ensure you’re setting yourself set working hours.

Yes, working from home can feel isolating and lonely, but if you follow the advice above, you’ll be minimising the likelihood of that happening. The steps above will also ensure you have actionable steps in place, to minimise the impact it has on your business too – leaving you feeling more motivated, creative and a lot less isolated.

Do you find loneliness and isolation an issue for you and your home-based business? What plans and action steps do you have in place, to counteract this when it happens – or which steps outlined above will you now be following? Why not leave your thoughts and advice in the comments box below!

Image courtesy of stevenvicigor/