We are reviewing the ten most important factors that will determine your success (or not) as an entrepreneur.
#7. OK with Loneliness
Some people need lots of people around them. Others do better when they are alone.
One definition of extrovert is a person who gains energy when around others and loses energy when alone. The definition of introvert is of course the opposite - a person who gains energy when alone and loses energy when surrounded by many others.
Whether you are an extrovert or introvert*, as an entrepreneur, you are going to have to get comfortable with the fact that - at least in the beginning of your new venture - you are going to be spending a good deal of time alone. For some people, this situation creates overwhelming loneliness and they do not function at their best.
When you start a new venture, you are the CEO, CFO, COO, CTO and CIO of your company all wrapped into one. Oh yes, and General Counsel. In the beginning you have to do it all and you may not be able to afford outside help. This can be lonely, scary, and frustrating.
In a big organization, there are people who can help with technical issues, legal questions, ordering supplies, making budgets, etc. In a start-up, there is often no one but you.
As you become successful, you will be able to hire or pay for others to provide assistance. But, there is almost definitely going to be a time when you are on your own … OK with that?
*For an excellent book on extroverts and introverts, see QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain (Crown, 2012)