I was interviewed late yesterday by a Masters student as part of her research for a thesis on small business management. The discussion centered on the loneliness of the small business owner. Heavy stuff when you think about it – I mean, really sit and think about it … as Masters students tend to make you.
Beyond the obvious of navigating the employee / friendship challenge, most of the discussion revolved around how tough decisions, the decisions which affect people, are made and whether they, of themselves, necessitate a loneliness, solitude some might call it, in order to focus on what is right for the business.
I fought the notion of what is right for the business. In privately owned small business, without a register of shareholders to satisfy, you have the luxury of making decisions with a broader view. It is not always about profit. Indeed, it is often not about profit.
But back to the topic of the interview, loneliness. It took me a while to get there with my answer during the interview with the Masters student today. I won’t take you on that journey and bare my soul here. In short, no, I don’t feel lonely, certainly no more so that others with decisions they have to make alone. I could talk myself into it and feel sad but why? I enjoy solitude and so do not feel the aloneness of business decisions as others might.
That said, I enjoyed talking about this today. It unlocked some observations and thoughts which otherwise would have remained locked up. Maybe I crave more contact around these matters than I thought…
Blogging is good therapy.