02 Aug 2023 - 5 minutes to read
Becoming a CEO is what many people spend their entire careers dreaming of.
However, while the role of CEO comes with power and prestige, another part of the deal that you might not necessarily anticipate is loneliness.
The answer to this question is yes, being a CEO can be a lonely job by nature. You have the most significant level of responsibility for the success or failure of the business, and might even feel uncomfortable expressing your worries to colleagues.
This is supported by a study that found ‘half of CEOs reported feeling lonely in their roles, and 61% believed that it hindered their performance’.
This emphasises how if not addressed, feeling lonely can impact not only your confidence and ability as CEO, but also your mental health overall.
Luckily for CEOs, there are numerous things you can do to minimise feelings of loneliness.
Ways to combat loneliness as a CEO include, but are not limited to:
One of the best ways to combat loneliness as a CEO is to find a coworking space.
This is a particularly good option if you’re running your own company, but don’t yet have a large team.
Working from a coworking space allows you to bounce ideas and seek advice from like-minded people and other CEOs, form professional relationships, and also presents opportunities you might not otherwise find.
At Tramshed Tech, we offer a range of coworking memberships depending on your needs as a CEO, including day passes, part-time passes, and full-time passes.
So, whether you wish to work from a range of locations, need a hot desk, or are looking for a base to scale your venture, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re interested in any of our coworking spaces, get in touch today.
Aside from the usual benefits of getting your name and business out there, networking can also significantly help you to combat feelings of loneliness as a CEO.
Networking events allow you to meet people in and outside of your industry, build connections, and strengthen relationships with individuals who are facing similar situations to yourself or have faced them in the past.
They can also help you to build your confidence, which is especially important when feelings of loneliness and doubt begin to creep in.
Learn more about how to network here.
Another key tip to beating the loneliness associated with being a CEO is to lean on a support network.
Support networks will likely look different for everyone, as everyone has different needs and routines. That said, this might include leaning on a spouse, or friends and family for support throughout the week.
You might even want to seek professional support from a therapist, other CEOs, or a business coach.
A good thing about a therapist is that your conversations are confidential, which is a huge bonus when you don’t want to air business concerns in a public setting.
Whatever your support network looks like, leaning on the people you trust will get you through times of hardship.
You will also want to ensure that you are making time to exercise to put you in the best stead to combat feeling lonely as a CEO.
The stress and anxiety associated with a high-powered job can have a big impact on your mental health, especially if you’re already beginning to feel isolated by your role.
The positive correlation between exercise and mental health is evident, as ‘exercise [can] improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood[s]’.
Incorporating exercise into your routine will allow you to benefit from the endorphins exercise provides whilst also making you feel fitter, healthier, and more confident in yourself to avoid imposter syndrome as a CEO.
As such, you should be making time in your schedule throughout the week to exercise, whether this is a gym session, taking up a sport, or even just walking.
Last but not least, you can listen to other CEOs to help combat feelings of loneliness.
Being a CEO often transcends the 9 to 5 model many of us are used to, which can contribute to feeling isolated. Listening to other CEOs can remind you of why you’re doing it and relight the fire in you if the loneliness has you questioning your motives in the role.
Industry experts sharing their own challenges and tribulations will remind you that you’re not alone and listening to their mistakes and what they learned on their journey as a CEO can help you to foster a more positive work environment.
Hopefully after reading this article you’re better equipped to deal with feelings of loneliness as a CEO.
We are Tramshed Tech: a startup ecosystem home to 50+ companies ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to scaling businesses with 600+ registered members from the digital, creative and tech communities. We’re currently based in Grangetown, Cardiff Central & Newport, and are soon expanding to other sites across South Wales to Barry and Swansea.
If you’re interested in joining us at any of our locations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And for more entrepreneurial tips, including '9 things to consider when starting a new business', check out our tech startup blog.
Written by Jemima Thomas for Tramshed Tech.