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Hank Williams wrote the song in 1949 due to the troubled marriage he had. It’s a sad refrain and I suspect it grew popular (even though it was a B-side record, meaning it wasn’t intended to be the song it became) because it’s such a universal feeling. Loneliness.
In recent years more and more research is being done on the high cost of starting and owning a business. Entrepreneurship is the sexy term for it, but it’s deceptive. It’s often anything but sexy or appealing. Notions of grandeur, fierce independence, never being told what to do, or how to do it give way to realizing we’ve willingly stepped into a slavery from which we can’t escape. We can’t quit. We can quit a job, but we can’t quit our business. Many business owners suffer a loneliness of being trapped.
The mental and emotional health of business owners is critical because, without it, everything falters. Our personal lives are impacted. Our business is certainly impacted.
Just this morning I saw a young lady post a long message on Instagram explaining her two-week absence from social media. Not because she was off doing something awesome, but because she suffers clinical depression. She’s been struggling for weeks. It sparked my memory of so many people I’ve seen over the last 20 years or so of life with the Internet (no, I’m not about to go slamming the Internet or longing for the “good ol days”). We just have a vehicle that enables our deception. We can portray ourselves as something we’re not.
Over a decade ago an Internet marketer who appeared to be knocking it out of the park (big cars, fancy homes, extraordinary lifestyle) went dark. Turns out his life was completely fabricated. And he was a wreck. He’d built his business and life on lies and the chickens came home to roost. That story has been repeated often as we’re tempted to show off to each other. But the business owner has a unique challenge. She’s built a business – one that may be filled with people – where she must appear strong, for the sake of the enterprise. She can’t go dark. She can’t retreat. She must grin and bear it.
But what if she’s so lonesome she could cry?
And there are plenty of business owners of every demographic – both age and gender – who are anxious to be able to do the same. We’re surrounded – I’m convinced – by as many (perhaps more) people wanting to cry than those wanting to celebrate. The celebrations are the outliers where life is depicted as being so awesome nobody would be able to stand it if it got any better.
I’m all for a positive outlook. I’m a proponent of optimism. I’m not in favor of “hanging crepe” (being a downer). However, our reality is often lonely. There are times – perhaps many times – where could use some company to help us. Not somebody to criticize us. Not somebody to second guess us. Not somebody to backseat drive our business. Just somebody with whom we can relate – and somebody who can relate to us. Somebody to help us think it through, encourage us and believe in us. Somebody to hold us accountable in all the best ways.
Don’t you think you need that?
Let me remind you of how many stories of success are fueled by people of all ilks who confess they had somebody, or a group of somebodies, willing to encourage them, push them and safely help them. People with whom these successful people could be open and vulnerable. People who could be trusted to not abandon them, or violate their trust.
Consider traditional support groups. Name the issue and there’s a support group for it. From parents of murdered children to men addicted to porn. From marriage woes to diabetes. A group exists to serve that need because there’s power in joining forces with others who are sitting where you now sit. Yes, it has an emotional healing influence, but more importantly, it provides a substance, a solid helpful service where people can improve their lives. It provides help in navigating our lives toward an improved outcome. The goal of each group is to provide members the best opportunity for growth, improvement, and transformation. The discomfort pales in comparison to the value…and eventual comfort of being joined with people capable and willing to help each other.
It’s the stuff of The Peer Advantage by Bula Network. Do you see the value of being surrounded by other business owners willing to invest in themselves so they can elevate their leadership and business performance to new heights? Click here and let’s talk.
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