Working for yourself, setting your own schedule, making your own rules and doing meaningful work you love – that’s the dream, right?
But for many people who live with a chronic illness or disability, the challenges of setting up a business can feel insurmountable. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
I’m not saying there won’t be challenges to overcome, or moments when you doubt your dream (or yourself) but there are some great things you can do now to make the process smoother and brighter. Let’s go!
My top 3 tips on becoming self employed while living with health challenges:
Practice Compassionate Awareness
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted. And working with a chronic illness or going self-employed with a disability can be tough at times. You may find that you get tired more quickly than you’d like and might even find it difficult to concentrate at times. Of course, YOU are the most precious asset your business has and taking care of yourself needs to be the number one priority.
What do you need to do to look after your wellness?
What do you need to be able to work comfortably from home?
Where can you seek that support?
(Get on my list and you’ll get some amazing tips for building your business securely and sustainably.)
I find I need somewhere to rest and lie down, as well as a hands-free system for the phone.
It can help to run through your day and see what you find difficult, and then think what solution would work for you, speak to an occupational therapist or talk to other disabled entrepreneurs about adaptions.
If you are able to get adaptions to make your work life easier, do make sure to get them. You will then find that your day is a lot more comfortable. And who doesn’t want more comfort?
We grow, live and thrive in community and connections. Connecting is important to everyone, not least the self-employed, no matter what industry or field you work in.
If you’re looking to go self-employed with a disability, you may be concerned that conferences and other business events may be inaccessible or just cost too many spoons.
But thanks to the internet, though, you can still connect with plenty of people. It just won’t be in person. Yay saving energy, yay lots of space for introverts.
One of the best ways to make connections online is through social media.
Twitter is the perfect platform for finding and connecting with potential clients and customers.
Facebook is where your customers are probably already hanging out.
Pinterest is where they are browsing and making wishlists
Where do you need to spend your business time?
It can be scary starting new things, I know that – I’ve felt that.
But I want you to know that I believe in you and your potential.
I know you have a passion that you want to act on. It could be making the best vegan ice cream ever, it could be sharing your copywriting skills, it could be running a plumbing company to bring in independent income to fund your travelling adventures…
Whatever it is, even if you haven’t grasped it yet, I’m proud of you for considering this step.
I wish you luck, love and hope in your business dreams.
What’s your top question about starting a business with disability/chronic illness? Let me know in the comments.
P.S If you aren’t in a place where work is an option right now, I’ve written this for you. You may also enjoy my article on Entrepreneurship and Disability and check out my new Working, Business and Self-Employment blog collection.