Are you Lonely in Business Today?

It’s a different kind of lonely. This loneliness of a business owner is an island all to itself. It has places where no one else can go. The cave of unspoken disappointments. The chasm of unpaid bills. The well of your marooned team. It is a pure form of loneliness that doesn’t make for headlines in redtops or lengthy treatises in serious newssheets. It now has a summit of the sharpest rocks of loneliness which are hurting so many so badly in this last year that all that lies beneath is dreadful to behold.

It’s almost all been said. The debates, the entreaties to government, the pleas to councils, the increasingly tough calls to the team. We know that there are people out there who care. We know that our industry organisations are every day fighting our cause. We even know that those pitiful looks we get from our neighbours and friends as we turn the key on our business door to keep the dust at bay, are well meant. We know that this truly great scientific miracle of the vaccine is on its way.

A recent chance encounter with a local business owner who unexpectedly stopped and turning around revealed in her eyes a depth of tremendous sorrow and loneliness for her shuttered business.

This business owner is someone who has ‘pivoted’, has a great online store, sends lovely parcels all over the country, is ‘ticking over’ and yet in the space of a mere five minutes, I saw terrible sorrow for the business she had built from an empty space which is once again a space of emptiness.

It doesn’t really matter the nature of the business, whether it is making great food or horseshoes, someone once had a dream which they bravely and tenaciously followed and finally gave it birth.

This loneliness is getting harder because our friends, our families, our colleagues all know. They all understand, they all ‘get it’ but at 4.00am when our eyes are gritty from lack of sleep and riveted to the ceiling, the business is still closed.

If you are lonely in business today, there is another business owner out there who would love to go for a walk with you and listen, there is a friend who will care at the end of the phone, there is another business owner in your town, on your street who will hear and understand. Reach out.

Courage is not always loud and shiny, sometimes it’s making that call and saying “Hi John, do you have a minute?” “Hi Mary, have you time to go for a walk today?”

‘Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it’s that little voice at the end of the day that says “I’ll try again tomorrow” .M. Radmacher.