Episode 367: Breaking Free from Isolation, Strategies for Pet Industry Entrepreneurs

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 Ever found yourself surrounded by wagging tails and soothing purrs, yet feeling a bit like a lone wolf in the world of pet entrepreneurship? It's like being in a room filled with adorable companions, yet the business journey can be surprisingly solitary.

In this episode of "Bella in Your Business: Pet Industry Business Podcast,"  we continue our discussion on isolation and its impact on business owners. Today, I want to share with you some practical tips and personal insights that can help you combat isolation and thrive in your entrepreneurial journey.

First and foremost, it's crucial to prioritize personal growth. As business owners, we often get caught up in the day-to-day operations and forget to invest in ourselves. But by taking the time to learn and develop new skills, we can break free from old patterns and beliefs that may be holding us back.

So, if you're a business owner feeling isolated, I highly recommend giving this podcast episode a listen. It's packed with valuable insights and practical tips to help you overcome isolation and thrive in both your personal and professional life.

Topics & Key Points

  • The reality of isolation
  • The consequences of isolation, such as depression and poor decision-making
  • Taking action against isolation
  • The power of relationships
  • The importance of how we handle our thoughts and feelings
  • Support and resources to Jumpers to help combat isolation
  • You’re not alone


[02:15] – The causes of isolation

[06:10] – The impact of isolation on business owners

[08:31] – Strategies to overcome isolation

[10:41] – Dancing for energy and creativity

[12:51] – Conscious effort to cultivate relationships

[15:59] – Different types of relationships

[21:02] – Taking control of your thoughts and feelings

[22:04] – Reaching out for support

[23:07] – Sending love and support during the holiday season

Notable Quote

[00:07:08] “Something I’ve learned this year is that our feelings are not facts. And, you know, you might feel a certain way, but feelings are temporary.”

[00:07:35] “Isolation means fewer new ideas and less energy. The individual may lose motivation and have trouble envisioning goals.”

[00:10:19] “Taking time off and having new experiences. This is a really great time of year to do that, even if it’s just for a night or a day or a weekend.”

[21:00] “It’s what we do with those feelings that matter. And so I ask you today, what are you going to do that’s going to change the course of your life and make you more in charge of your life and your thoughts and your feelings?”

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Welcome to another episode of Bella in Your Business. My name is Bella Vasta. And today, we are going to continue talking about isolation. It’s a pretty big topic that I have, it’s been placed on my heart because so many times I’ve been talking to people. And I’ve been hearing this theme, reoccurring, and you know, this is my chance just to be in your ear and talk to you, I don’t take it lightly. I honor and cherish the moments that I get to sit here and speak to you. Even though I don’t get to see all of you who download it every week, which is typically over 1000 people.

In our last episode, Tracy and Kathy were so vulnerable and courageous to just kind of speak about their own experience with this. And I thought it was really important, you know, to kind of take it from a place of our peers, but also do a little bit more talking on it. Because sometimes we might not even realize this is what we’re doing. And it’s a really important time of year to do it. We just had Thanksgiving. And you know, social media can be the bane of a lot of people’s existence, you’re I said, you’re gonna tell you to, you know, attract employees and clients on social media and you’re scrolling to either get away from life, you’re scrolling to be entertained, you’re scrolling to catch up on people, but then, you know, it also kind of plays a role in our mental health. And I am no exception to it. I’ve had my battles that I’ve been very open with, you know, having a 12-ounce baby going through a divorce, you know, really kind of put a little blip in my step for a while. And then being on an ever-constant healing and growing journey, which I encourage everyone to be on is also interesting. Something I’ve realized is that as you level up, as you grow up, as you learn more about yourself, that also means that you have to shed a lot of things in your life. And sometimes you’re not ready to shed those patterns, those beliefs, those habits, those behaviors, which we did talk about episodes ago. And during that call, sometimes isolation happens. Isolation happens for several reasons. It could be just, you know, depression or mental health, it could be a shame, it could be fear, it could be guilt, it could be a lot of different reasons why it happens.

Today, I want to dive into what happens, when that happens, what causes it, and what we can do to overcome it. So I’m first gonna start talking about, you know, causes that may lead to a business owner, that start isolating, and I have a feeling that this is going to touch a lot of people and I just want to encourage you if you feel anger by this if you feel like ooh, Bella, what are you doing right now I just want to talk about business, I encourage you to just try to open your mind and listen. Because chances are what I’ve learned in my own life, is that when things kind of feel a little uncomfortable to me, most of the time, it’s because it’s scraping up against something that is a thorn in my life, it is something that needs to be healed. That may or may not be the case for you. But I hope to kind of challenge you a little bit today. So sometimes we start isolating because we have stress, the responsibilities of owning and managing a business can be tremendously stressful, trying to juggle many roles in the pressures on our own. It can cause us to withdraw and feel, you know, overwhelmed because we just want to avoid that overwhelming feeling. It could also be like a work-life imbalance.

Business owners often struggle with working extremely long hours and having little separation between their work and personal lives. And we might just start isolating because we’re just so busy with all of it. It’s kind of like a tornado. We also might start isolating because we have a lack of a support system that supports system entrepreneurs. We kind of lack it because we’re so involved in the turmoil or the tornado, keeping our business going right. We we let all of those relationships from mentors, peers, and maybe groups of people you hang out with professionally or socially and it causes loneliness, right? We also might have antisocial tendencies. Sometimes we’re naturally more introverted and antisocial. And so success and attention may cause them to seem isolated due to more discomfort with social expectations.

Control. Sometimes we isolate ourselves because we want to feel like maintaining control by not delegating or reaching out to others. insecurity, impostor syndrome, impostor syndrome, and feelings of inadequacy are common among entrepreneurs. It’s very common. I’ve even experienced, you know, imposter syndrome. And I’m pretty sure our last podcast, Tracy and Kathy talked about that as well. So isolating may be an attempt to avoid exposing any pre-perceived weakness. Sometimes there are life situations, or it’s just kind of how our biological makeup is. We have depression or anxiety, and pre-existing mental health conditions like depression and social anxiety can be exasperated by the stresses of owning a business, owning a business. Or maybe we just failed, maybe we just fell flat on our faces. And the failure can be humiliating. Or we have that guilt, shame, and fear inside of ourselves. And it causes us to withdraw, due to shame, or loss of self-confidence.

And so all of these things, and I’m sure I’ve missed them, and please, you know, feel free to reach out and let me know where, where, if there’s something else that I missed that we can continue the conversation, but, you know, when this stuff happens, it does impact a business owner, it does impact us. And I’m going to tell you more about what I did in a little bit. But you know, I’m also speaking from experience here, sometimes, because of all of this, you feel depressed. It is, you know, we’re alone in our thoughts, we have less social interaction mirrors to mirror back to us, what we need to see or what we need to draw out of ourselves, anxiety levels rise, because we are without the normal positive social interactions, what they call cognitive distortion. So spending large amounts of time alone can lead to distorted patterns of thinking. Something I’ve learned this year is that our feelings are not facts. And you might feel a certain way, but feelings are temporary. And when we don’t realize that when we’re caught in a rut, it distorts our thinking. It also causes us to lose our motivation. Inspiration is often sparked by collaboration with others or just listening to others. Isolation means fewer new ideas and less energy, and the individual may lose motivation and have trouble envisioning goals, I know that a lot of you, you know, you’re like, I don’t know what gold to do, I am at a loss, right?

Sometimes isolation also causes us to have very poor decision-making. Because we lack objective reasoning, and we have, this bias that our cognitive distortion has done for us, and the business owner will suffer because of it. And then alienation. I mean, I think this is for me, as an extrovert. This is probably like, the biggest thing is that you just feel alienated you withdraw from friends, family, colleagues, and community. And it just adds to the loneliness. So what can we do about this, I’m also going to tell you kind of what I did. And my hope in this is that you guys, realize what’s going on, we’re not just sheep going through this, it’s Groundhog Day, the same thing every single day because we can stop ourselves in our tracks, and make the tiniest changes through habit stacking or behaviors, and habits and behaviors. So the very first thing if you identify with any of this, especially right now during the holidays, and there’s a lot of opportunities to reach out and to, to, to not be so isolated because there’s so much stuff happening right now this time of year. I want you to seek out a business mentor, or join a peer group, a positive peer group, that is full of inspiration and ideas and people telling you that you can do it. Connecting with more experienced business leaders, or a group of peers can provide fresh perspectives, advice, and accountability. Are you hanging out with people telling you that you can do it? Or are you hanging out with a bunch of people telling you 100 reasons why you can’t attend industry conferences? I know a lot of you guys have been doing that lately.

There was one in Florida there was one in Texas psi just had there’s a lot of people have been telling me to bring back jump into paradise, which was my little gathering of professionals and we kind of stopped doing that after COVID is Is there something that you can do and it doesn’t even have to be in our industry, it can be some local events that are going on. It could be a freakin parade, okay, or a fall festival or a spring festival or something like that. And that’s why I talk about business in a box is so important for you to have a booth at events and just get out and meet people. taking time off and having new experiences. This is a great time of year to do that. Even if it’s just for a night, a day, or a weekend. I know it’s really busy for the pet sitters. I know the dog walkers kind of start slowing down. But taking a vacation or sabbatical from the business can provide mental distance relaxation and exposure to new people in places. New experiences outside the norm can stimulate creativity, insight, and a vision for the future. Also pursuing a hobby or an activity outside of work for me, that’s dancing. I love to step. I love salsa bachata, I love West Coast swing, I love just getting out where there’s live music, and I am known for creating my dance floor, I don’t go to the dance floor, I just dance where I’m at that kind of thing. And dancing and dancing at home a lot, a little-known fact, got a really good, you know, stereo system. And I know my neighbors. So you know, they allow me to do this. And I just dance. And it’s amazing how much energy is released and how much you just shake it up and get it out.

That’s me personally, okay, you might not be the same. I don’t know if it’s good dancing, but I just love it. And it resets my parent’s sympathetic system. And so guys, I, this year has been pretty pivotal for me, it’s been a personal growth. And because of that, I had to permit myself to not be so creative, not be creating a new class and a new product and a new and a new and a new and a new and a new. Because when I was creative, it was coming from a place of survival. If you believe it or not, I’m being really honest with you right now. Because I think that the more you can see that I’m just like you and that I teach from experience, and I love and I fight for you, from my own experience, from my lessons, you can only teach what you know. And when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I believe in that because I see that in my life. You know, everything is different for everyone. And I like what I’ve done this year I’ve made a real conscious effort of collecting people in my life, who I wanted in my life. And I was like, oh, you know, there’s a person that I would like to see more of, well, then I’m gonna start making it a habit of seeing them.

I have one friend that we left up to Oh, yeah, we should get together more often. And that wasn’t working out. Big surprise, surprise, surprise. So what we did is we said, Okay, the first Thursday of every month, we are having dinner. And we can decide that week, whether we’re gonna cook dinner, we’re gonna go out to dinner, but we’re gonna have dinner. And if there’s some sort of life event, or sickness, or illness that has happened, we have also made it so that we are going to reschedule within a week, so that it happens. And when those meetings and those get-togethers happen, it is full fuel for my soul. It is someone that I’ve known out here in Arizona for 20 years. She’s one of my best friends. I’m 41. She’s 74. The fun fact was one of my clients when I first had my petitting company, and she and I have seen each other through so many different stages of our lives. I feel like I have I’m like a cat with nine lives. You know, she sought me single, she hosted my bridal shower. She was at my wedding, she was there for me through my divorce. She was there for me, during NICU, she was there for me through everything. I was there for her in many different stages of her life. And being able to maintain and flourish those relationships just really makes me feel seen and heard. And I encourage you if there are those people in your life to do that, do that. Now, it’s not just her the other thing too, is that all of these people in my life are so uniquely different. I almost feel like they’re the Care Bear Stare. And I’m sure that you have people like that in your life as well. And it takes intention. And I don’t get to get all these people together at once. Although I think that would be magical. But what I do is everyone is unique and different. I speak to each one of these people differently, but they speak life into my life.

There’s another person who lives three hours away. However, we talk every single day and she and I like to wear boxers. If you guys have not seen Voxer go download it, V like Victor ox, er, it is a walkie-talkie app where you can leave each other voice notes. This is great for the busy person who’s often driving, who is a verbal processor who likes to talk. And you can leave each other voice notes and you can reply to the voice notes. It’s a fantastic way of communicating without having to sit there and be on the phone. You can do it when you want to do it. And so she and I Vox all day long. And that’s what works for her. And I.

There’s another gal who is also a mama. She is a Reiki worker. She also has two sons. So she’s a mom like me, she and I used to be truth be told out in the clubs, like 1520 years ago, and we both got married. We both got divorced, our kids go to school together, and they’re even in Kung Fu together. And so I love to cook. That’s one of the things that makes me so happy. It makes me so happy to have kids over my house destroying the house and oh my gosh, you boy, moms, I have so much respect for you. I am a single girl mom for a reason. The energy and chaos that those little boys bring are so beautiful. But it’s something I never get to experience. But it makes my heart full. And it makes me exhausted. But it’s all good. And so that is a completely different type of relationship that fills my soul. And so we have family dinners, friends that our family on Sundays, and I get to make my homemade sauce and meatballs, something that I would never do. When it’s just Olivia and I Olivia has a special. She’s kind of picky when it comes to eating right. And I wouldn’t necessarily be cooking pasta sauce and meatballs just her and I. But they gave me a reason to do that. And that makes my heart so happy. And I have someone to do that and share it with and then what happens is, I start inviting more and more people over. Because I now am I have a reason to do this.

I don’t have to wait for the holidays to cook. And it makes me so happy. And it’s that time that I get to spend another gal. She lives right here she’s another business coach, she and I have often been at each other’s kitchen tables crying, oh my gosh, she’s like, I need a Bella butt kick in, and I’m like, Girl, I need you to get my head on straight right now. And she’s a no-BS kind of person. She also is a mom, a single mom. And everyone is just so uniquely different. I consider all these people the Care Bear Stare of my life. Something that I had to realize and move past was that I had to get out of my head. And I have cultivated these relationships, I have had to make a conscious choice to do this. Because being in isolation and being alone was not an option. I pick and choose who I talk to, based on you know what’s going on or what I need, which is great. Every morning almost every morning, let’s say four or five times out of a week. I will tell them all Good morning beautiful, or what’s your intention for today? Or I’ll send them a song. Or I’ll do something that in all honesty, it’s kind of selfish because I wish someone would do that for me. So guess what, I started doing that for them months ago. And now guess what givers get now that I’m on their radar. They reach out to me too now. And it just fills my soul. It helps me get out of isolation. It helps me get out of my stinking thinking. I have people aware, I am caught in my feelings and my thoughts and I am knocked out on the couch feeling completely depressed and heavy. My body feels heavy, and I just want to sleep and I need to be reminded of who I am. I reached out to one of them. And I’m like, yo, I need a perspective change right now. And they’re like a gotcha girl because I’ve cultivated and nurtured these relationships. I call them my board of CEOs. And if you listen to the podcast, week after week, you’ve heard me mention them. And this is who they are and what they do. And I just want to inspire you that you can do the same thing in your life. They don’t have to be a certain type of person, they can be young or old. They can be in the business they can be out of the business they could be living next door to you or they could live across the country. givers get you have to reach out and try to start cultivating your circle of people and it will move mountains in your life.

Please don’t feel isolated this holiday season or going into 2024 Do not isolate because isolation is what the devil wants. They want to get you in the corner. They it want to breed all this doubt negativity guilt, shame, and fear. Oh, I can’t possibly tell them about that. Oh, you know what there’s a there’s a there’s a problem between my head and my heart. My head knows I shouldn’t be doing XYZ, but my heart just wants to do it. I’ve been there, I am there. But what you do, here’s the thing, your feelings a temporary, it’s okay to feel angry, sad, depressed guilt, shame, fear. But your feelings are temporary, they pass they do not define who you are. And God bless neuroplasticity go look it up and start reading about it. I have so many books I can recommend, email me if you want. We can change the brainwaves in our brains. Okay, this next month in my community, we’re talking about self-care, I’m sharing all of my apps, my videos, my music, my podcasts, and everything that I use to try to battle this. Because I’ll tell you what, there’s one thing that every single one of us share. And that is all of those thoughts and feelings. It’s what we do with them that matters. It’s what we do with those feelings that matter. And so I asked you today, what are you going to do? That’s going to change the course of your life and make you more in charge of your life and your thoughts and your feelings. What are you going to do to help yourself not isolate? It is it’s embarrassing. You’re going through I went through a breakup this year. And you go through a breakup and you you feel guilty, you feel shameful. I know I shouldn’t be feeling this way. Are you honest enough with yourself and the people around you that you can keep you know, solving the same problem your life is not business. And, and oftentimes, you’ve heard me say this, I think I believe that our business reflects our shortfalls in our personal life. And if we’re open to it, and we use it as a mirror, we can dive into it. I want to call you besties. But I’m gonna call you jumpers instead. But this is a beautiful podcast that I hope has touched your heart. Because I’m just talking to you right now. The actual individual that is listening to this right now. I am not talking to the masses, I’m talking to you. And I know that you struggle with the same things that I struggle with. And I hope that I have given you a little bit of a glimmer of hope or a way out of it. Because you’re not alone. You are not alone. Email me Bella@jumpconsulting.net on a 20-minute call with me at jumpconsulting.net/20. Join one of my communities messaged me on Facebook or Instagram. I am everywhere. There is no excuse for not reaching out and getting around a group of people that are amazing. Maybe you don’t know anybody. I’ll start introducing you to people online. I’ll start introducing you to things to feed your brain. Don’t do it alone. Don’t let this holiday season go by with isolation. I care about you. I love you. And I’m here for you. This has been another episode of Bella in your business. I’m giving you the biggest warmest Virtual hug right now. Always keep jumping by now

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