We think we should do it on our own.
And maybe your battle cry is like mine (used to be) “If you want it done right, do it yourself” and it continues to influence how you come up with ideas and get things done. By yourself.
We want to think we can do it on our own and continue to believe that if we are the slightest bit vulnerable (even to our partners, trusted friends, staff or colleagues), it’s a sure sign of *gasp* weakness.
Even if we’re brave enough to share/ask for help in spa professional closed Facebook groups, it can be a treacherous domain for even the most confident spa owners. Sadly, I’ve seen some really nasty & uncompassionate comments to valid and vulnerable questions.
Which entrenches our choice to be distrustful of sharing our insecurities, business concerns and financial woes others.
So we continue to go it alone.
Seems logical, right? Besides, we kinda like it that way. It’s more comfortable. We know this place.
But isolating your thoughts about your business for extended periods of time (ironically, even while working with clients and staff every day) can have disastrous side effects that hinders your ability to be creative, strategic, take action and feel happy and sane.
Even the most talented and creative spa owners can find themselves feeling depressed, anxious, sleep-deprived, wondering how they got here and contemplating if they should just pack it in because they feel so alone.
I speak from experience, my friends.
Last July I publicly posted that I hated my f*cking business. What took me until September to figure out was I was really missing people.
It hadn’t been quite a year since I closed my esthetic studio and even though I had only been working 2 days a week as an esthetician, after I had closed my doors, the emptiness of not genuinely connecting with real people (in-person, eyeball to eyeball, heart to heart) had left a big gaping hole in my entrepreneurial fulfillment.
Coaching clients online and engaging with Social Media was exciting and fulfilling in many ways, but didn’t feel quite the same as working with people on location.
Something was missing. I was exhausted and didn’t know why. Until it dawned on me: I'm really lonely during the day. I’m missing the energy of good people.
So I began making more of an effort to get out with my industry friends, made a pinky-swear-pack with a neighbor friend (who works from home too) that we’d call each other when we’re starting to feel the creep of loneliness and committed to meditating and taking better care of myself in general.
Something was missing. I was exhausted and didn’t know why.
Until it dawned on me: I'm really lonely during the day.
What else can you do to heal your Lonely Spa Owner Syndrome?
Look for networking that doesn’t suck.
Not all networking is created equal. Just because you’ve tried a few groups and you weren’t thrilled with the vibe, people or whatever...keep looking. Check out MeetUp.com in your area. If there aren’t any that appeal to you, perhaps it’s time to start a “Networking for People Who Hate Networking” group of your own. Title it that way and put some parameters on it (only want 5 people? Only accept 5 people! Only want women entrepreneurs? Your call! Only want to meet for 30 mins once a month? Great idea!) and I know you’ll attract like-minded entrepreneurs who are looking for the same.
Find an accountability partner.
I’ve been suggesting accountability partners a lot this past month in Cash-Strapped to Cash Flow. All of these spa owners are on a huge learning curve this spring, and if they don’t change their accountability and execution habits, they won’t be able to create change in their business as fast as they’d like to.
But accountability partners are also a powerful method to discuss vulnerable issues you may be facing at the spa. Maybe you’ve been struggling to pay yourself, and you have a strategy to change that. Sharing and discussing each other's journey, wins and frustrations with your accountability partner helps you to remember it’s okay to be on the Transition Curve of entrepreneurship.
Build a virtual team.
Especially as a solo entrepreneur, it’s tough to be chief, cook & bottle washer. One of the ways you can get support in your business if you don’t have a manager is to hire a Virtual Assistant. This relieves a tremendous amount of pressure when you can outsource your Social Media, email marketing, and client bookings.
But it also gives you an opportunity to share, with a trusted professional, what’s going on in your business and collaborate on solutions.
If you’re in THE PIT and your loneliness has shifted into anxiety and/or depression, it’s time to seek professional help. There is absolutely no shame to search out a therapist to get through this time. Mental health is as important to your spa business success as your physical health...hands down.
Anxiety and depression are creativity killers, social outcast-ers and tell you all sorts of untruths. How can you possibly action out savvy business goals when it takes every ounce of energy you have each morning to get out of bed and go to work? When what you really want to do all day is lie in bed and stare at the walls, hoping the world would go away and just leave you alone.
When loneliness moves into depression and anxiety,
that slope gets real steep, real fast and is frighteningly slippery.
Don’t get me wrong...I love having my alone time. But there’s a big difference between being alone and feeling lonely. When you feel the loneliness creeping in, awareness is what will help you prevent it from becoming a constant companion.
How have you dealt with loneliness in your spa business? Post your comments on my Facebook page.