I came down with a case of pneumonia a few summers ago, and believe me, it’s true what they say about taking good health for granted until you don’t have it! Reflecting on that experience inspired me to share some thoughts about surviving as a solopreneur during times of sickness and ill health.
As solopreneurs, we have the unique experience of being responsible for most things in our business. Marketing, production, client outreach, and support; it’s ALL on us. This can be difficult enough when we are vibrant and healthy, plowing through our daily tasks with steadfast determination and energy. Give a solopreneur that same workload when their health is failing them, and you have a recipe for panic.
Around the same time that I was struggling with my upper respiratory thing, I recall that there was a rash of hurricanes around the country. They were often so bad that they forced Southern residents to evacuate their homes. Many people started to build “survival kits” full of food, water, medicine, clothes, and other living essentials.
That inspired me to create a solopreneur “survival kit” for times of unforeseen hardship and ill health. However, it’s easy to compile a list of necessities when it comes to an emergency survival kit for your home (extra water, candles, canned goods, flashlights, batteries, first-aid kit, etc.). But what do we “pack” for an entrepreneur preparedness plan?
I want to break it down into three parts:
Every solid construction begins with a well-built foundation that stands the test of time, passes stress tests, and defies some turbulence. The foundation of our business should be no different.
To ensure that our business endures the rare times outside of “business as usual,” it pays to have strongly-established client relationships. If you’ve already proven your worth by delivering on tight timelines, providing outstanding service, and offering several “wow” experiences, you are going to be in a much better position with your client base if you need extra flexibility and accommodation.
When we get hit with something unexpected, we usually swear that we will never be caught in a similar situation again. But sometimes, this isn’t possible. Some things are just out of our control, such as our health. Other times, we do have the power to plan and be proactive.
The popular proverb, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” applies here. You’ve likely heard that 80% of diseases are caused by stress. That is an alarming statistic, especially for a solopreneur who is responsible for every aspect of their business.
So, what kind of stress prevention are we talking about here? How about conscious routines like sleeping 8-9 hours per night, eating leafy greens, meditating, getting gentle exercise, and utilizing positive thinking. These are not just trends; they are real strategies that you can use to reduce your stress level. Taking regular action to be mindful and applying self-care can save you loads of discomfort. Maintaining a healthy immune system is the best place to start when it comes to striving to be your best, both at home and at work.
Another way to be prepared is to have a detailed plan. When it comes to business communication, for example, an editorial calendar can be beneficial. Imagine that you get sick, but already have a month of blog posts written and social media posts scheduled. Can you imagine the stress and pressure that would be alleviated when you are flat on your back during recuperation?
If you’re blindsided by illness and find yourself down for the count, here is what I suggest doing:
A common trait of solopreneurs is that we are stubborn! Asking for help is usually not something that we are accustomed to doing because it’s typically much easier if we do it ourselves. However, when you are physically unable to work, you must let go of your ego. Whether it’s asking your assistant (if you have one) to take the wheel, a friend to bring you some herbal cough syrup, or your partner to mow the lawn, any task that someone can take off your plate is worth its weight in gold!
When our business revolves around when and how we show up, it is all too common to push ourselves past our limits. However, our bodies might not be on the same page as us. Trying to force yourself to get better when you’re ill is almost always counterintuitive. Stressing your body will only prolong the journey back to wellness. Accept the facts; you’re sick. You need to rest, trusting that if you take care of yourself, you will be back at work before you know it.
And there you have it! Secrets on how to survive getting sick as a solopreneur!
It’s never easy, especially if you are someone who “willpowers” their way through life. But trust me, it will be ok. The world won’t end if you take a day or two off work, especially if you have a solopreneur “survival kit” to pull out in times of emergency.
Until next time…breathe joy,
P.S. Do you have any tips on keeping your business healthy during the times when you may not be? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Enter your name and best email and click the button below. :-)