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HOT TOPIC The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Entrepreneur

Roli

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I, like most human animals, am a sociable being, and thus find sitting at home day after day with no one to talk to pretty hard.

I know one other full time entrepreneur, but of course he is often busy and doesn't have time to talk. I am just going to the library now, just to be around people as I work. I find it tough, and on my worst days end up seeking some kind of human contact through Facebook, or even on here.

I find listening to classical music or music without lyrics helps me concentrate and somewhat alleviates the loneliness, but not entirely.

I'm just wondering what others in this situation do?
 

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I, like most human animals, am a sociable being, and thus find sitting at home day after day with no one to talk to pretty hard.

I know one other full time entrepreneur, but of course he is often busy and doesn't have time to talk. I am just going to the library now, just to be around people as I work. I find it tough, and on my worst days end up seeking some kind of human contact through Facebook, or even on here.

I find listening to classical music or music without lyrics helps me concentrate and somewhat alleviates the loneliness, but not entirely.

I'm just wondering what others in this situation do?

Work out a few times a week at the rock climbing gym.

Grab lunch with a friend once a week.

Socialize at church.

Talk to my neighbors.

Host a meetup of local entrepreneurs at a bar once a month.

I tried a co-working place for a while, but didn't particularly like the people, the environment, or the cost at my local place.
 

Young-Gun

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Just a few suggestions from my own playbook:

Outside-the-box Social Solutions:
  • Try to get friends interested in their own business; then they will always want to talk about it.
  • Be *super*-involved, outgoing, and present, when you're socializing (to bank up social energy for the solitary times).
  • Take a walk outside, greet anyone you see with eye contact, smile, and "Howdy".
  • Work at a busy cafe or coffeehouse.
  • Get an animal (cat, dog... something you can hold and pet). I take care of a stray cat outside my house, and she's always happy to see me when I need a break from work.
  • Get a girlfriend / boyfriend who works odd hours (just like you). Then work together at your house!
  • Get big enough to hire employees (although this can be more lonely, not less...)
Trick your brain with Music and Videos:
  • Keep looking for the right Work Music that puts you in the zone. Try using headphones. For me, loud thumping electronic music, with no words, is perfect. (Classical music *can* be good but it draws my attention more).
  • Version B of the above: Try putting on YouTube vids of crowded places, or other scenes. For a long time I put 3-hour videos of train rides through the country. This worked for me; maybe you should try a video of Times Square?
  • Put a movie, the news, or a show on in the background for company while you work - especially if you have a second screen to use.
Of course, there's always the ultimate play: be a hardcore introvert.
Have the personality where everyone calls *YOU* to come out, because they want to see you but they know you're a workaholic and if they don't call you then you're happy working in your cave, your lair, for days on end...

I'm 100% honest when I say, some of my favorite days are the ones where I don't say a single word to anyone all day, and I just work on the projects that matter to me.
And, there's always another day to be super-social, hang out with friends, and enjoy the company of others.
So, just be comfortable being alone, solitary, and don't worry too much about anything!

Edit: Facebook is NOT Human Contact. If you're seeking Human Contact, then Facebook will just make you feel worse.

In fact, I'd say Facebook is the OPPOSITE of "Human Contact."

One of the best decisions of my life... limiting my Facebook use.
I probably spend 30 seconds a week on it.
Quality of life has VASTLY improved.
Now, going on FB basically makes my physically sick to my stomach.

Get off of Facebook; it's like Kryptonite to Success and just makes us feel more Lonely, not less.
 
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Roli

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Work out a few times a week at the rock climbing gym.

Grab lunch with a friend once a week.

Socialize at church.

Talk to my neighbors.

Host a meetup of local entrepreneurs at a bar once a month.

I tried a co-working place for a while, but didn't particularly like the people, the environment, or the cost at my local place.


Thanks for that; I find the lunch thing hard because my friends are either 9-5ers or too busy to meet.

I like the rock climbing gym idea; I go to my regular gym, but just tend to zone into my own exercise routine and don't really talk much, unless I have a sauna/steam.

Meetup is a good idea, and I'll look into that.

Totally hear you about the co-working place!
 

Roli

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Just a few suggestions from my own playbook:

Outside-the-box Social Solutions:
  • Try to get friends interested in their own business; then they will always want to talk about it.
  • Be *super*-involved, outgoing, and present, when you're socializing (to bank up social energy for the solitary times).
  • Take a walk outside, greet anyone you see with eye contact, smile, and "Howdy".
  • Work at a busy cafe or coffeehouse.
  • Get an animal (cat, dog... something you can hold and pet). I take care of a stray cat outside my house, and she's always happy to see me when I need a break from work.
  • Get a girlfriend / boyfriend who works odd hours (just like you). Then work together at your house!
  • Get big enough to hire employees (although this can be more lonely, not less...)
Trick your brain with Music and Videos:
  • Keep looking for the right Work Music that puts you in the zone. Try using headphones. For me, loud thumping electronic music, with no words, is perfect. (Classical music *can* be good but it draws my attention more).
  • Version B of the above: Try putting on YouTube vids of crowded places, or other scenes. For a long time I put 3-hour videos of train rides through the country. This worked for me; maybe you should try a video of Times Square?
  • Put a movie, the news, or a show on in the background for company while you work - especially if you have a second screen to use.
Of course, there's always the ultimate play: be a hardcore introvert.
Have the personality where everyone calls *YOU* to come out, because they want to see you but they know you're a workaholic and if they don't call you then you're happy working in your cave, your lair, for days on end...

I'm 100% honest when I say, some of my favorite days are the ones where I don't say a single word to anyone all day, and I just work on the projects that matter to me.
And, there's always another day to be super-social, hang out with friends, and enjoy the company of others.
So, just be comfortable being alone, solitary, and don't worry too much about anything!

Edit: Facebook is NOT Human Contact. If you're seeking Human Contact, then Facebook will just make you feel worse.

In fact, I'd say Facebook is the OPPOSITE of "Human Contact."

One of the best decisions of my life... limiting my Facebook use.
I probably spend 30 seconds a week on it.
Quality of life has VASTLY improved.
Now, going on FB basically makes my physically sick to my stomach.

Get off of Facebook; it's like Kryptonite to Success and just makes us feel more Lonely, not less.


Thanks for these, some really good suggestions; just a couple of points though, I already have a girlfriend and my cat is an antisocial a**hole! :)

You're right about FB and I feel it killing me; I go on there to check out one of my business groups, and find myself listlessly staring at my "friends'" posts, which as you say makes it worse and of course distracts me from the important things in life.

I find any film/video/music with lyrics/words too distracting as I start to engage with what they're saying/singing.

I'll try that Times Square video thing now...

Thanks again :)
 

Young-Gun

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Thanks for these, some really good suggestions; just a couple of points though, I already have a girlfriend and my cat is an antisocial a**hole! :)

You're right about FB and I feel it killing me; I go on there to check out one of my business groups, and find myself listlessly staring at my "friends'" posts, which as you say makes it worse and of course distracts me from the important things in life.

I find any film/video/music with lyrics/words too distracting as I start to engage with what they're saying/singing.

I'll try that Times Square video thing now...

Thanks again :)
Hahaha, I guess cats never do what we want them to do :p

Dude, FB is sooooo bad. It's the most toxic thing.
Nearly everyone is putting on a fake front.
And 99% of people active on Facebook are Sidewalkers or Slowlaners. Just remember that.
The other 1%? Those are Fastlaners SELLING stuff on Facebook.
The only time I really get on Facebook is to run my Facebook Ads account and sell to Slowlaners. Lol :)

Everyone on Facebook is trying to show off, without it being obvious.
(Plus, the things people try to show off are generally pretty pathetic or commonplace.)
The whole thing got 10x clearer to me when I realized: "I should just read everything on Facebook as an attempt to brag."
Ever since then, I've wanted to avoid it.

Please do try the Background Videos thing!
Hope a virtual trip to Times Square helps :)
 

Scot

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Have you thought about signing up for a coworking space? A lot of younger entrepreneurs and remote workers are doing this now.

You get an open environment with coffee and wifi and a lot of like minded people.

I will definitely look into one of these once I get full time on my business.

Also, we have these beautiful old brick cigar factories from the 1800's that are abandoned all over Tampa that is love to renovate and turn into a tech space some day...
 

amp0193

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I like the rock climbing gym idea; I go to my regular gym, but just tend to zone into my own exercise routine and don't really talk much, unless I have a sauna/steam.

Rock climbing gym is better than regular gym, because there's a lot more socializing. Climb a route, then rest 10-15 minutes. Sometimes when I go, there's 20 people sitting around, and no one climbing.
 

JWelch

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Dude, FB is sooooo bad. It's the most toxic thing.
Nearly everyone is putting on a fake front.
And 99% of people active on Facebook are Sidewalkers or Slowlaners. Just remember that.
The other 1%? Those are Fastlaners SELLING stuff on Facebook.
I'm on facebook and am kind of war-ing with myself on whether or not to get rid of it altogether. It's difficult when you want to keep in touch with family and stuff but I guess even doing that through facebook is so one dimensional and impersonal as well. Not only that but when you have a fastlane mindset and lifestyle it just doesn't jive with the majority and is probably more of a huge distraction than anything. I really need to get my photo's off of there too.
 

JWelch

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Rock climbing gym is better than regular gym, because there's a lot more socializing. Climb a route, then rest 10-15 minutes. Sometimes when I go, there's 20 people sitting around, and no one climbing.
Not to mention in most gyms people are there to be more anti-social and have their "me time". I know when I'm at the gym the world needs to shut off, but I'm quite a big introvert too.
 

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amp0193

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I'm on facebook and am kind of war-ing with myself on whether or not to get rid of it altogether. It's difficult when you want to keep in touch with family and stuff

So delete your facebook, then make a new one, and only friend the 4 or 5 people in your family you care about.


I did that a few years ago, and it was a very healthy change for me. I don't even check the family one anymore, as we do a weekly video hangout now.
 

OldFaithful

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The book deals with the "desert of desertion" and as entrepreneurs we'll all go through it at some point, to some degree.

If your loneliness is part of that phase, then don't worry, it too shall pass. IMO, you have got to just embrace it and persist. I'm in a similar situation myself. I can't talk about my business at my current day job, and I get little/no support from the family. My friends don't understand, so my outreach/socialization is here on the forum.

If loneliness has been a normal part of your life, then you have a bigger task in front of you. I can understand how one might slowly lose ties with friends/family and if this is your case, you have been given some good suggestions for meeting new people. Give them a try and see what happens.
 
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Roli

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I see you like the gym. Learning a martial art is always an interesting experience.

Yes thank you, that has been on my mind for a while actually. Though I would like to give it the time and dedication it deserves, I've been thinking jujitsu or even judo.
 

Roli

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Rock climbing gym is better than regular gym, because there's a lot more socializing. Climb a route, then rest 10-15 minutes. Sometimes when I go, there's 20 people sitting around, and no one climbing.

There used to be one in my old neighbourhood, which is only a 15 minute cycle ride away, I'm going to look it up tomorrow :)
 

Roli

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Have you thought about signing up for a coworking space? A lot of younger entrepreneurs and remote workers are doing this now.

You get an open environment with coffee and wifi and a lot of like minded people.

I will definitely look into one of these once I get full time on my business.

Also, we have these beautiful old brick cigar factories from the 1800's that are abandoned all over Tampa that is love to renovate and turn into a tech space some day...

I have looked into it; they are quite expensive in my part of London; however what price sanity? I will try and find one that's not too expensive that I can do at least once a week in I think.
 

Roli

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I'm on facebook and am kind of war-ing with myself on whether or not to get rid of it altogether. It's difficult when you want to keep in touch with family and stuff but I guess even doing that through facebook is so one dimensional and impersonal as well. Not only that but when you have a fastlane mindset and lifestyle it just doesn't jive with the majority and is probably more of a huge distraction than anything. I really need to get my photo's off of there too.

The fact is, when I'm feeling strong, positive and happy I spend about 10 minutes every few days on the social side of FB, usually I'll post an inspirational message or two, because friends have told me that they find them inspiring and a couple of my recovering addict friends have said that I've literally "saved their lives with my posts", which is incredibly humbling and makes me want to do it more.

I guess we all have days like I had today, when you just feel like connecting with people you know... I actually installed an add on for Chrome whereby it doesn't let me spend more than 10 mins a day on it. However then I joined various fastlane type business groups where I post questions and garner advice, so I started using Firefox to log on.

Basically it should be used as a kind of live diary and a way of keeping in touch with friends and family in other cities and countries.

I feel better now, and have had lots of good advice, I'm glad I posted this, I definitely won't be wasting any more time on it for the foreseeable future.
 

Roli

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So delete your facebook, then make a new one, and only friend the 4 or 5 people in your family you care about.


I did that a few years ago, and it was a very healthy change for me. I don't even check the family one anymore, as we do a weekly video hangout now.
Great idea!
 

carlolacson

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Here are things which helps me:

usually if that 'loneliness feeling" triggers, I just grab my bike and explore my local town (The more bikers the better)
Join any cheap sports club or likeminded group
Spend more time in local parks or nature, appreciate the moment you're there.
Help someone today(friends, homeless, etc) give Value
Also to improve my social skills, I small talk with the people like the vendors asking them about their day.


Limit Facebook as possible (Unless it's business purposes) It makes you feel worse and lonely the more you stay.
 

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1. Upgrade your friends. You are the average of your 5 closest people in every way; income, net worth, hobbies, political and religious views, education, etc.

Look at the 5 people you spend the most time with. Is that the life you want? If not, you need to actively purse new friends. That doesn't mean you automatically kick the others to the curb, but you minimize the time spent with them. It may seem callous but it's reality. You either accept it or you will settle for the average of those people.

Now you need to get out there in the right places.

Meet ups can be great. Host your own or join others (meetupdotcom).

Go to a conference in your field. Or go to a conference that is interesting and completely out of your field of expertise. Network.

Be more social at the gym.

I like the idea of the rock climbing gym or martial arts training. Those things build bonds around a common interest.



Sent from my SM-G900FD using Tapatalk
 

LPPC

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I'm dealing with this too right now. I work at the university library, so that helps. But working 6 days a week makes you feel lonely and crave social interactions. I might work less and do more social activities/hobbies where you get to interact with other people. Also building a great social circle is key.
 

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Have you thought about signing up for a coworking space? A lot of younger entrepreneurs and remote workers are doing this now.

You get an open environment with coffee and wifi and a lot of like minded people.

I will definitely look into one of these once I get full time on my business.

Also, we have these beautiful old brick cigar factories from the 1800's that are abandoned all over Tampa that is love to renovate and turn into a tech space some day...

"Some day"
 

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Roli

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1. Upgrade your friends. You are the average of your 5 closest people in every way; income, net worth, hobbies, political and religious views, education, etc.

Look at the 5 people you spend the most time with. Is that the life you want? If not, you need to actively purse new friends. That doesn't mean you automatically kick the others to the curb, but you minimize the time spent with them. It may seem callous but it's reality. You either accept it or you will settle for the average of those people.

Now you need to get out there in the right places.

Meet ups can be great. Host your own or join others (meetupdotcom).

Go to a conference in your field. Or go to a conference that is interesting and completely out of your field of expertise. Network.

Be more social at the gym.

I like the idea of the rock climbing gym or martial arts training. Those things build bonds around a common interest.



Sent from my SM-G900FD using Tapatalk

Good advice; I find it hard to make new friends because I'm in trying to progress business-wise, or getting some much needed family time in with wifey and daughter. I'm 45 so I'm not as sociable as I used to be. Plus I suspect I'm turning into a cantankerous old so-and-so who really doesn't like the general public :). I do like your advice about bike riding and small talk though.
 

GlobalWealth

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Good advice; I find it hard to make new friends because I'm in trying to progress business-wise, or getting some much needed family time in with wifey and daughter. I'm 45 so I'm not as sociable as I used to be. Plus I suspect I'm turning into a cantankerous old so-and-so who really doesn't like the general public :). I do like your advice about bike riding and small talk though.
I'm 42 and cantankerous AF. I just force myself.

Sent from my SM-G900FD using Tapatalk
 

amp0193

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The fact is, when I'm feeling strong, positive and happy I spend about 10 minutes every few days on the social side of FB

I think this is the key to using Facebook in a healthy way. Being in a good mental place and having high self-esteem.

A few years ago, I was stuck in a job I hated, with no clear path to change things. The daily bombardment of the success of acquaintances led me to feel isolated and unsatisfied with my life. Jealous of theirs.

I've actually been reconsidering getting back on Facebook after a few years off. Now, I am in a much better place. My daily life is in line with my values and goals, and I honestly don't give a flying f*ck what anyone else is doing. I think I could be legitimately happy now for people's successes, as most of them are climbing a ladder i have no desire to get on.
 

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