40% of self-employed people say they have felt lonely

The Guardian Small Business Network recently posted a feature “Working from home has plenty of perks, but nearly 40% of self-employed people say they have felt lonely since becoming their own boss.” That made me think about myself and what were the downsides of working by yourself.

At Chapter 3 we have a little questionnaire that we use on our Be your own boss – is it for you? workshop. The questionnaire assesses your suitability for self-employment against a number of criteria. Obviously, I have taken the quiz and it turns out I am not fully suited to running a business, in particular in answer to the question “Do you like working on your own?”  I score 0 out of 5 as in, hate it.

However, I absolutely love being my own boss so how do I mitigate the feeling of loneliness, how to I prevent myself from feeling isolated?

  1. Set up a joint enterprise 

I set up the business with a friend, Dianne is always there for conversations, whinges, to bounce ideas off and to meet up for the occasional lunch and cocktail.

2. Meeting your clients

It is always a good day when I deliver workshops. I enjoy meeting new clients, hearing their thoughts about starting off in the business world. Hearing their stories about how they came to the point of considering self-employment.

3. Keep in touch with your clients

Workshops for me, are not just a one-off activity. At Chapter 3 we like to hold occasional networking events where old and new clients can meet up. I often call on individuals to speak about their own business experiences at these events. I think it makes for a more authentic conversation when you can see people who have been there, done it and got the tee-shirt. People like Dr Max Gowland MD Founder and Managing Director of Prime Fifty Ltd, a start-up company aimed at the health and wellbeing of the over 50s. Its focus is both on targeted nutritional supplements that have been formulated specifically for the needs of the over 50s metabolism, together with exercise, which in combination can make a significant difference to the quality of life of the over 50s.

 www.primefifty.co.uk who spoke about his entrepreneurial journey at a one of our events in Hull.

4. Network and meet contacts

You know the sort of people who you could work with, people in your line of business, people who you can help and who can help you. For example, I had a really useful Twitter lesson in Hull library – thank you Lewis Symonds @BIPCHull.


However, it is easy to get sucked into lots of networking events to combat the loneliness so choose events wisely and be sure they are part of your overall business strategy. 

For more information on networking read our blog

Let us know if you have felt lonely and how you combated it.  

About The Author - Terry King OBE

Following a very successful career in the UK Civil Service Terry became the classic olderpreneur,  co-founding  Chapter 3  Enterprise, a not for profit company at age 60. She has  since gone on to set up 3 other companies, including another not for profit. All aimed at utilising  her considerable  skills to help others.  

She is an acknowledged expert  on enterprise particularly as it concerns community and social enterprises and  over 50’s start-ups. Appearing regularly on local radio to discuss current issues including mature enterprise, mature unemployment and age discrimination.