Isolation is the dream killer

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I was in a coaching session with a client yesterday, and she mentioned a theme that seems to come up all the time for solopreneurs: how easy it is to lose focus and motivation when you’re on your own. Having worked for myself for many years, and heard it from many clients who set up their own business, I know only too well that “Isolation is the dream killer” (Barbara Sher).

You might know the feeling: you have a bunch of brilliant, creative ideas and set off to make some of them happen. Somewhere down the road, you feel that grey fog settle on your shoulders, and it all just seems too damned difficult. And you can’t do it. And who were you to think you could make this work anyway? (The self-talk is persuasive at this point.)

Nothing has changed about the idea – it’s still brilliant. All that’s happened is you’ve lost momentum and you’re haemorrhaging self-belief. (Yes, I did have to look up the UK spelling.) Working from home with only the computer for company can distort anyone’s thinking after a while.

So what will help? It might the last thing you feel like doing while you’re floundering around in the fog, but actually talking about what’s happening with a trusted friend or coach works. Reframing the situation as a dip in the road, rather than a bear trap might keep you moving forwards.

In ten minutes, I’m going to call the client I saw yesterday. She committed to working on her abandoned project for just one hour today at a specific time. I suspect the fact that she knows I’m about to call to see how she got on might have got her unstuck.

Who can you rope in for timely support and a reality check?

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