September 12, 2022

It’s Lonely At The Top

By Paul Bieber

Sure is. You are the top banana, the head honcho. You can “suggest” what to do for your team of employees, but your suggestions are usually not open for discussion. More often than not your suggestions get implemented and when there is pushback, you get the final vote. End of memo.

Sure is lonely. You allegedly make the big bucks and drive a company car or truck. You even have a secretary to help you with your workload. But, and there is always a but, you can’t share all your problems with anyone at work. And there are the numbers. When they are good you can share them and when they are bad, it is tough luck for you.

Well, you can join with other owners of businesses and enjoy your time. The best place to start is your local chamber of commerce. You will be mingling with owners and managers in your geographic area who may have the same problems you have. Don’t be surprised if the problems are identical! Join a local adult fraternity, like the Lions Club or Knights of Columbus. Go to the trade shows that impact on our various industries and speak with compadres from other parts of the country. As you are not competitors, you will share problems and solutions and learn what others are doing.

SCORE is a US government program that allies retired business executives with current business owners so that there can be an ongoing conversation of help. It is usually at no charge. (score.gov)

Entrepreneur’s Organization (hub.eonetwork.org) is a membership organization of business owners which sponsors education and comradery events. There is a fee for membership.

For other ideas search “business owners’ group” in your area.

Find a hobby that totally relaxes you and lets you take the business out of your head for a couple of hours. (Mine was coaching baseball for elementary school kids.) Yours can be following a certain author’s books or watching movies from past eras or spending time with the grandkids.

Find one person who you can talk to in rough times. Maybe a religious leader, a local politician or your best friend who understands business. You may want to speak with a medical professional, which should be covered by your insurance. There is no shame in speaking with someone trained in mental health!

Once a year sign up for a business course at your local college, university, or online. You will find folks who want to learn just as you do. Enjoy the conversations.

Depending on your age and/or the scope of the business, you may need to bring in a “number two” to help you run your business and maybe grow into ownership. You become a teacher and a business mentor. This will help take some pressure off of you and actually help the long term future of your business.