My life in a nutshell is summarized by ebbs and flows! Running my own business is actually essential for me as a workplace would offer the flexibility I need. But let’s talk a bit about chronic health issues and business shall we? 

In 2012 I was involved in a 4 car accident. The traffic stopped. I stopped and the car behind me didn’t. The impact was enough to crumble the chassis and completely write off an 18-month-old car. I’ve worked really hard over the last nearly 10 years to look after my body and manage my other chronic health issues. This means that I put a massive value on flexibility and building a business that supports my needs. It also means I have a huge passion to support other women to build businesses that align with their needs, lifestyle and goals!

I’d like to share what I have learned over the years about building a business while managing Chronic health and pain issues.

First up – build flexibility from the ground UP!

Take a good look at what is realistic in the average and under average weeks. This is your baseline. 

Let’s say you are able to support 3 one-on-one clients in your coaching business. That is what you commit to. You build your business from the ground up to support what is VIABLE and then add the extra stuff. This is where having a project management system in places like Trello, ClickUp or just a document even is handy as you can start building your ideas and tasks information ready to act on in the good weeks.

So, for example, I know that on an off week I will still get about 10-12hrs client work done in addition to being a home-schooling mum with my own business needs. This defines how many WEEKLY clients I can take on at a time. BUT over the course of the month, I also know my capacity allows for additional projects like copywriting, delivering training or workshops, one-off projects for adhoc clients or work on some of the bigger projects my clients need done over longer periods.

 

My second tip to manage a business and chronic health is to have a clear way to document your tasks.

 

If you own a small business with 1-2 contractors and fairly straightforward needs something like Trello, Airtable or even just a document are generally enough to layout your projects. Think about your client deliverables (be it service or products), marketing tasks (such as social media, email, blogs, collabs), admin (like website updates, record keeping and customer support), and development tasks (such as creating new products/services, research, building new systems etc). 

 

With the big picture in place, you can then break it into a monthly, weekly and daily basis. Each week I write a list of the tasks in my planner that need to be actioned that week. Then on a daily basis, I pick enough tasks for 2-3 hrs work to start with.

 

Here are some other ideas to help you manage business + Chronic health conditions

-work on your communication skills. Build a reputation for GOOD communication. Not only does this mean you and your clients know when everything is due but it also means when you do need more flexibility you are working with a history of good communication 


-have a ‘toolkit’ of ways to support your health like foods/supplements, heat packs, rest, showers, music, oils or balms etc. Honestly, I don’t think I could live without my heat pack and balms! 

-embody values like kindness, compassion and flexibility in your business practices and seek out customers and clients who align with those values too. Attract your ideal customers and team who are on a mission to uplift, support and encourage others. 


-Keep good notes. Make use of emails, documents and project management systems. You are much less likely to miss tasks if you make a habit to document your plans and goals. 


-Find good communities to be part of who can encourage you. These might be online or in person. They may be business groups, mums groups or even health-related groups who can help you learn some specific tips. 

 

-Find an outlet that allows you to shift your mindset. For me, this is music, dance and painting. Bring something beautiful into your life where you can release and create. It is incredibly helpful. 


-Lastly, be ok with what works for you. Even if it looks different to what someone else does. You do not need to hustle all the time. You do not need to do 38hrs to be ‘productive’. You get to define what business should look like for you. It is ok if it looks different to what others do.

What new tips could you add into your business practices to help align with your needs better?