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How loneliness can cost your business success and what to do

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If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, let’s go together. This proverb summarizes the conundrum many entrepreneurs face. But working long hours and doing whatever it takes to run a successful business doesn’t necessarily mean spending time with other people. However, human connections bring tangible benefits and should not be ignored.

According to Simone Heng, author of Secret Pandemic, connecting with others is an important part of ensuring business success. Heng is a relationship specialist with clients including Google, Bytedance, Salesforce, SAP, L’Oréal, TEDx and The United Nations. As a former international broadcaster, Heng has appeared on her Virgin Radio Dubai, HBO Asia and CNBC, and she and her work have been featured on CNN and publications such as Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar.

“If you want to be more resilient, you need to be healthy and you need human connection in your life,” Heng explains. That’s why it’s so important for entrepreneurs to intentionally and strategically build their tribes.

3 types of loneliness

Entrepreneurs without team members may find it more difficult to make and nurture connections. This is largely due to the fact that interactions at work have traditionally been the primary source of connection. Without some purposeful daily connection, the risk of being lonely increases.

According to Bruce A. Austin of Rochester Institute of Technology, there are three types of loneliness. The first is intimate loneliness, the longing for someone to whom you are truly vulnerable. In most cases, this need can be met with a romantic partner or best friend.

Then there is relationship loneliness. This can occur when people do not feel that they are part of a social structure that they can call on if they need help. have turned to colleagues to provide

The last kind of loneliness is collective loneliness. This occurs when people feel that there is no one around them who shares their vision: “Out of his three main types of loneliness, the workplace is free from two of them.” ” he says Heng. “But unless entrepreneurs intentionally cultivate human connections, individual entrepreneurs can suffer from collective and relational loneliness and burnout.”

connection and energy relationship

Connection and energy reciprocity are built into humans. “Studies show that when we have someone on a mission or journey with us, our bodies have more bioenergetic resources than when we go on the same mission alone. is shown.

Entrepreneurs often take on many tasks in their journey to build and scale their companies. Traditionally, entrepreneurs have been able to focus their energy on completing these tasks by connecting with people in the office. But the global rise in telecommuting has made it more difficult.

Working from home can be productive, but it can be costly. The more people experience the emotional stress of loneliness, the more depressed and anxious they become. This makes them more likely to experience burnout, and burnout experiences contribute to feelings of loneliness.

The silver bullet for loneliness is connection

From Heng’s research and her personal experience, she came to one inevitable conclusion. “Human connections make us more resilient,” she said. “As an entrepreneur, if you don’t have a work team to cushion you, you’ll need to nurture your connections in other ways.”

For example, you can make it a point to have a great relationship with your partner. Focusing on your significant other ensures that you are still part of a supportive social structure.

You can go even further by scheduling catch-ups with friends and family at least twice a week. Treat those appointments as unbreakable the same way you treat work meetings. By constantly making time to connect with others, you greatly reduce your chances of burnout.

Talking about work on social networks can also foster incredible innovation. At the same time, discussing work with (relevant) friends is a great way to avoid feeling like you’re climbing the entrepreneurial mountain alone.

learn from foreigners

Heng also suggested taking advantage of what is known as the “village effect”. This is also the title of Susan’s Pinker book, who coined the term. This includes seemingly mundane interactions like nodding to a Starbucks barista, shaking hands with a neighbor, or giving a high-five to someone walking their dog.

“These little social cues don’t have to be that deep,” Heng says. “But they make you feel like you are part of that very important social fabric. Make friendly eye contact with people passing by.

“Go to a coffee shop once or twice a week to work.” Smile and exchange friendly greetings with the people at the table next to you. “You’ll be amazed at how consistently these behaviors reduce and alleviate feelings of loneliness and burnout you might otherwise feel.”

This is exactly what people who move to a new country do. Expats are thrown into a new environment that no one knows. Their minds respond by telling them they are not safe because they do not have enough resources and support. So they can step outside their comfort zone and meet new people.As entrepreneurs, they can find and grow relationships in the same way.

Long live the connected entrepreneur

Social connections are important to avoid burnout, but they’re even more important. “Studies show that people with strong social ties live longer than those who are lonely and lonely,” Heng said. Being recognized by others releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin and dopamine.

By taking each of these steps, entrepreneurs can nurture relationships and avoid loneliness. In addition, these steps are key for entrepreneurs to strengthen their social fabric, helping entrepreneurs and their businesses thrive.