Loneliness of leadership, become a mentor, find a mentor, community involvement

Using Community Involvement to Combat Loneliness of Leadership

Let’s face it, being a business owner can be lonely. You are juggling many hats, much more than people see, and there can be very few people around you who are also in the position of ownership. It’s important to surround yourself with people who challenge and inspire you to become your best self, and who understand what ownership entails. Here are some tips to fight the loneliness of leadership.

Become Involved in Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Loneliness of leadership, become a mentor, find a mentor, community involvement

Chambers of Commerce have all kinds of events where you can mingle and meet many other business owners. From luncheons to golf tournaments to ‘women in business’ meetings, Chamber of Commerce is all about widening your network and providing opportunities to make new friendships while gaining specific tools to help push your business along. It is important to remember that your local Chamber of Commerce is for all local business owners, including many businesses that will have nothing to do with your industry, and some businesses that may be competitors. By connecting with other business owners you can find ways to work together to better serve your customers and the community.

Get Involved in Your Community by Volunteering to be on a Committee

With your full schedule of clients, employees, meetings, and the other 101 things you are juggling, community service may see absurd. However, every community has a real need for people with motivation, vision, and creative ideas. As an entrepreneur, you have these skills! Most communities have several committees, with a diverse range of needs to be filled. As there are plenty of jobs to be done, you should be sure to find something you are good at and enjoy, and something that can fit in your allotted time.  Not only will your service benefit the community, but you will be seen as a leader, and will assist in introducing you to other leaders and making new connections. There is an excellent article on entrepreneurs and community involvement in Forbes.

Become a Mentor

Most communities have business or entrepreneurial mentorship programs where you can volunteer to mentor another business owner. Anyone who has taught knows that as you educate another you usually learn more yourself. Being able to explain to someone what works in your business- and what doesn’t- forces you to analyse different aspects of your business on a deeper level than you have probably ever done before. Mentoring a fellow business owner will allow you to view your own growth, and your company, from a completely different perspective. Being a mentor will also take you out of your comfort zone by giving you an Loneliness of leadership, become a mentor, find a mentor, community involvementopportunity to focus on improving someone else’s business.

Find a Mentor for Yourself

When you’re feeling lonely in your business it can be helpful to find a mentor to help you see ways to improve your business that you may not be aware of. Find someone with a skillset you admire who has overcome challenges you are facing and ask them to be your mentor. Go to lunch a couple of times a month. Ask their advice on how to look at the challenges you’re facing. You will be amazed at what you will learn. Besides helping you through the difficult times that any owner faces, what a boost it is to know that someone else has been there and has some answers! There is nothing like knowing you are not alone in your dilemma.

Attend Conventions for Your Trade or Industry

Meet other business owners who are in a similar industry and network with them. For example, Route 66 RV Network has created a new 20 group. By having an online group they hope RV dealers from across the nation will be able to have access to information that can help all of their dealerships thrive. They will be able to communicate quickly without traveling, and discuss issues and questions they all have in common. Another example is called EO, standing for Entrepreneurs’ Organization. According to their website: “ Chapters provide EO members with a local resource to learn and grow, including access to executive-education events, networking opportunities and mentorship programs”

Joining 20 groups, or other such conventions, provide you with great associations to meet others in your industry without directly competing with each other.

You are not alone even in feeling alone! There are many organizations and groups of entrepreneurs meeting around the world precisely because they have been in the same situation you might find yourself. Challenge yourself to get online this week and find a local chamber, group, organization, community committee, or mentor program, and then go to the next meeting! When you are surrounded by like-minded individuals who understand your trials and your successes, life as a leader will not be so lonely anymore.

So What do YOU Think?