Most Business Owners, especially small business owners, would agree: It’s lonely at the top. Unlike any other leader in their organization, the buck stops with them and when tough decisions need to be made, it’s very often the Business Owner is making that decision on their own. The Business Owner encounters stress, fatigue, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. Sound familiar?

There is a fascinating study of entrepreneurs, and the effects of loneliness on them. You can read the details here. The conclusion? “If occupational loneliness is a hidden cost of management, then owner-managers could attempt to strengthen their interpersonal resources, including establishing social connectedness with peers. In addition to being an invaluable strategic resource (Geletkanycz, Boyd, & Finkelstein, 2001), this type of support can have the side-effect of lessening the feeling of loneliness.” This study explores burnout among Owner-Managers, or Small & Medium Business Owners, and its direct tie to loneliness. This comes from the Owner holding multiple roles in the company (Owner, Manager, Visionary, CFO, Human Resources, Marketing and more), and a lack of a support system.

What can a Business Owner do about their stress? Here’s a couple tips:


Most Business Owners know that networking is essential to growing business, connecting with potential customers, and enhancing a business owner’s business acumen. But have you thought about who is in your network? Are the members of your networking groups also Business Owners? Do they have employees like you? Do they have similar-sized companies? Are they on a path to rapid business growth? Are they aligned with you on their desire to grow as a leader? These are all important considerations when choosing your network of peers.

Our clients all are invited, and most participate in, our President’s Roundtable group. This group of the highest executives in companies big and small meet quarterly to discuss a topic chosen by them, to talk through how to handle difficult situations, and get advice from each other. Another perk? They usually end up doing business together too – hiring each others’ companies to do work for them. This group is unique in that every single member of it has a coach, which means they have chosen to be in the Top 10% of achievers in their field. They have all invested in being one of the best leaders. With that same mindset, it helps amplify the growth of all of the participants.


One role of a coach that is not as frequently discussed is the role of sounding board. Do you need to make a tough decision? Ask your coach. Need some advice on how to handle a difficult employee? Talk through the problem with your coach. A coach, as opposed to a consultant, will come into your team and advise, hold accountable, and support the Business Owner. Consultants have knowledge in one particular field, use their knowledge and expertise, and leave with that knowledge when their contract is complete. A coach is there to develop the leader for the long haul and take away the feeling of loneliness among the Business Owner. Investing in a coach is one that will pay dividends for the business, with most businesses doubling or even tripling their profits in a short time. Not too shabby. And all with greater mental health, happiness, and less work.



Don’t feel like the loneliess of being at the top has to overtake you. There is help out there for Business Owners who are stressed, overwhelmed, and close to burnout. Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation business analysis today. You won’t be disappointed that you invested in your own health, happiness, business growth, team and success. We guarantee it.

About the author,

Director of Marketing, ActionCOACH Columbus

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