The movie, The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner, tells the story of a rebellious teen who uses running as a means to escape a world that he sees as unnecessarily restrictive.
Normally, running is an isolated activity. You know from your own experience from just driving around that it's unusual to see more than one person jogging. Two together is very rare. More than that is pretty much unheard of unless they're participating in an event.
In many ways, the life of that long distance runner approximates the life of an online entrepreneur - your life, as a matter of fact.
You're dissatisfied with the status quo in some area that's called your niche.
You can't understand why you should have to play by the rules of society.
And commuting to an office every day seems like an utter waste on many levels.
Working at home alone makes perfect sense, and you often do it for hours at a time.
There's a difference, however, between being alone and feeling lonely.
Paul Tillich reminds us that "loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone."
Online entrepreneurs often feel the pain before they experience the glory.
Maybe this is true of you.
There’s pain because there’s no one to talk to.
There’s pain because no one would understand what you were talking about if there were.
And there’s pain because all of us were made for relationships. We’re social beings.
How can you avoid the pain?
Lonely people tend to become more reclusive, the opposite of what they need.
In order to get out of the pit of loneliness, you need to get out of your cave. Caves are usually associated with men, but women have them, too.
And maybe you hadn’t really thought about it like this, but when you stay inside of your cave day after day, week after week, you subject yourself to a kind of solitary confinement.
In 2011, the UN condemned solitary confinement as cruel, inhuman and degrading. Why would you voluntarily inflict this on yourself?
There are a number of ways to break out of this habit. One that is becoming more and more popular is to rent a hot-desk periodically. Co-working, as it's called, places online entrepreneurs from a variety of niches together in the same room. You can rent a space by the day, week, or month, and coffee is understood to flow freely.
In an environment like this, you'll be among your peers. You can share your experiences, laugh together, get technical help, and even make friends.
And how's this for an idea?
If no such place exists near you, then why not start one. Contact the people who have them already to find out how they did it. You don’t necessarily need to own a building to do it. A friend with a farm, for example, may welcome a second stream of income.
It could be an entirely new niche for you.