Business, whether online or ‘brick and mortar’, is a lot like life. It can have some unanticipated, amazing twists and turns.
My life recently brought one of those “twists,” when I was diagnosed with cancer. Totally unexpected. Totally unanticipated. And, of course, as an entrepreneur and writer, I knew it would affect my business.
I also knew that it did not have to destroy it. That it was up to me to assume responsibility for managing my business in much the same way I have always done with my life…meeting whatever challenge is presented with a positive attitude and total belief that I was in charge of the outcome.
Not alone. I knew it was time for help. I started first by outlining the “who, what, when, why and where’ for both my personal and business life.
- Who…could help me manage my home life immediately before and after surgery and who could help me manage my business life until I am able to return full-time?
- What…needed to be done. With as much detail as possible, what were the priorities? Personally, I knew I would need to arrange for someone to help my wonderful husband with home care. For my business, I needed to make sure all my client relationships were cemented, and that any work that was pending was either completed, acceptably postponed, or outsourced.
- When…would I need to have everything set up? As soon as I knew my surgery date, and what recovery might look like, I contacted my clients, and worked through the details of how to best proceed, ensuring all of their needs would be fully met in my absence.
- Why…should I share what was happening? While I could have simply asked for postponements on pending work, or outsourced without providing additional information, I thought it was important to continue to build on the level of trust I have with my clients, and work together to build a good interim solution set. And I have to say the support I got was AWESOME. When you have a good relationship, either personal or in business…empathy, cooperation, and a great plan for success are readily achievable.
- Where…should I start…and end? For this, I made a 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day plan. To accommodate unanticipated twists and turns, both for my home and business, I set a flexible schedule to cover what needed to be done, when it had to be done, and the most important versus the least important tasks. I will continue to work on updated plans if it becomes apparent my full-time return to work will be delayed.
At this time, I don’t have all the answers. Will I survive? If I require more long-term care than I anticipate, will my business survive? Fortunately, in both cases, I have been proactive. For my health, I have added numerous supplements to strengthen my immune system and to hasten my recovery time. For my business, I had already established multiple streams of income to help smooth out the “bumps in the road” that business can have at any time.
Life’s twists and turns can be….either…disaster or discovery. Being ‘your own boss’ can add a few extra twists when the unexpected arises. I choose discovery over disaster. And what I am finding is a shared adventure…the beauty of friendship and the value of lasting personal and business relationships.
Life…or business…come with no guarantees of success. The best we can do to come back from the brink is to set a good plan in place…and have absolute faith that we are all meant to succeed.