There are so many benefits to working from home and for me, the flexibility, is the main reason I quit my 9 to 5 career of ten years to start my own business. I want to be here for nursery drop offs and school pick ups, half term holidays and sick days. I also hated commuting to central London on packed trains, sandwiched between sweaty armpits.

But, one thing I wasn’t anticipating, was the loneliness.

I’m an only child so naturally, I’ve always been happy in my own company. It’s come as a complete surprise to me that the biggest challenge about running my business is the fact I’m doing it alone.

In the beginning, I relished the peace and quiet, the space and the freedom.

Then, a few weeks in, the novelty wore off.

A pitch would get accepted and I’d want to high-five someone. Orders would come through and I’d wish there were others to join me with a happy dance round the kitchen. Every achievement, small or big, is celebrated on my own.

A pitch would get accepted and I’d want to high-five someone. Orders would come through and I’d wish there were others to join me with a happy dance round the kitchen.

Sometimes, I message my husband with some news I want to share and he replies with some congratulatory emojis. He tries his best to get it, but, he just doesn’t. He runs his own business too but it’s an entirely different industry and we’re leagues apart at the moment.

I’m learning that offloading and oversharing with your partner is the reality of running a business alone.

Like every job, there are good and bad days. The bad days are the slow days, the frustrating days, the days where the only people I talk to are Alexa and someone calling about PPI.

When I felt really isolated, I started taking myself to local coffee shops. After a while, I found there were too many distractions and the lure of cappuccinos and pain au chocolats too tempting.

Having spent the last ten years of my life working as part of a team, I am missing lots from those days. The chance to bounce ideas off someone, brainstorm ideas together and get opinions from others on what’s working and what’s not.

Sometimes having the pressure entirely on your shoulders is exhausting.

Even during our school and university years, without realising it, we are collectively part of something. Now, for the first time, I’m completely solo.

Sometimes having the pressure entirely on your shoulders is exhausting.

Most of all, I miss the colleague banter. There’s nobody sitting across the kitchen table to moan to about Brexit. There’s nobody to natter in the kitchen with while doing the tea round. I miss the group discussion of last night’s episode of Killing Eve, the payday lunches, the office gossip and the camaraderie.

So, I find myself seeking out online communities for freelance parents and supportive Facebook groups. I’ve joined a local Mumpreneur group and we go for coffee each month.

I’m pushing myself to go to networking events, talk to other founders, and swap stories and Instagram handles.

As a bit of an introvert, it’s amazed me how much I genuinely enjoy meeting new people.

And of course there are benefits for the business too. Building relationships with other entrepreneurs has led to collaborations, sharing good tips and also introduced me to lots of small businesses I now love to support.

There’s no such thing as a perfect job but, for me, the trick is to turn the negatives in to positives. There are so many perks to life as a solopreneur and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone is one of them.

So, if you’re feeling lonely, seize the opportunity, be bold and learn to embrace it.

Inspired? Got something to say? Then join in the conversation on Instagram or in the DIFTK Facebook Community. And if you’d like to write your own piece, then get in touch. I would love to hear from you!