Growing your Business when you have a Chronic Illness

The ultimate goal of most business owners is to grow their business so that it can bring in a strong income and have an impact on the world.

However, when you have a chronic illness it’s important to make sure you grow your business in a way that works with your health. Sometimes people understandably fear that by growing their business, it will mean that they have to work longer hours, that it might increase their stress and it could have a negative impact on their health and well-being.

When I’ve spoken to business owners with chronic illness, it is apparent that many people have a fear of success. A fear that if their business is a success, their health will suffer, their standard of living will suffer and they might struggle to keep up with demand. There is also the worry of letting their clients down if they’re not able to keep up with their increased workload

Fear of Success

This fear of success is completely understandable. If you’re finding it hard to run your business at its current level and are feeling an impact on your well-being, then it is normal to worry that the impact of growing your business will be enormous. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to grow your business in a way that is aligned with your health.

The fact is that growing your business doesn’t have to be detrimental to your health in fact it can really be beneficial. Growing your business can give you the freedom and the flexibility to live your life on your terms. It can give you the flexibility and the freedom to take time off work when you need it. It can also give you the freedom and flexibility to take time off when you WANT it, so if there are activities that you love doing or holidays that you would like to take, increasing your income and building a flexible business will enable that to happen. Also growing your business can increase your income, so that you can spend more money on your wellbeing. Maybe, you could join a health club or get specialist treatment.

How do you grow your business when you have a chronic illness?

First of all, it’s worth considering what success means to you. For some people success means a large income or at least the luxury of not having to worry about money. For other people, success means freedom. The freedom to take holidays when they want, freedom to take a day off work when they want to go to sports day or meet a friend for lunch, freedom to run their business in a way that works with their health. It can also mean flexibility. Flexibility to choose where and when you work. Maybe you prefer to have time for yourself during the day and work late into the night, Some people prefer to work in the night or want to work in term time only. You can define what this means to you. For other people, success is about the impact that their business has on the world. Maybe, they are an environmentally friendly business, or they can contribute to government or big business policy or maybe it is about the impact that you’re having on the lives of your clients. It’s really worth taking the time to work out what success means to you. Once you’ve defined it, you can make a plan and take steps to achieve it.

Once you’ve done that you can focus on the concerns that you have about growing your business. Are you worried that you won’t be able to cope with the extra work? Are you concerned about the impact that it will have on your health? Or do you question whether you are capable of running a bigger business?

Once you are aware where of your fears you can then start to address them and come up with a plan.

Growing your business the right way

It’s really important that you grow your business in a chronic illness friendly way. There is so much advice out there on growing a business and making your business a success but often that advice can be detrimental to your health. So, it’s really important to understand how to grow your business in a way that works at your health.

The first thing to consider is whether your business strategy works for you and your health. Will your business strategy enable you to grow your business within your energy levels or does your current way of working mean that you will wear yourself out by growing your business. There are so many different ways of running a business and I like to help clients to understand the best way for them. Often it’s a case of working out a business model where you are working with multiple people at once but there are various different variations on this and it’s important to make sure you find the one that works for you, your business and your health.

When I work with my clients to help them understand how to grow their business, one of the first things I do is to help them understand their energy levels and make sure that they’re working in accordance with those. Energy levels ebb and flow and this is even more pronounced when you have a chronic illness, so you want to make sure that you are doing the right tasks for the right type of energy that you have.

It’s also important to make sure that you’re working smarter not harder. We’re living in an era where people wear busy-ness as a badge of honour. If you can focus on working productively and on the correct tasks you can work in a way that helps you to achieve your goals in the least amount of time. Prioritisation of tasks is incredibly important. There are so many tasks that’s take up your energy and your precious time but don’t need you closer to your goals and you want to avoid those if possible

One of the other things to consider is are there any processes and systems that you can put in place to ensure that your business runs effectively and efficiently. This will ensure that your business takes up less of your energy and it helps to generate what income. One of the ways you can do this is the set up some automation in your business. For example, you can ensure that when a client signs up, they get sent all the documentation that they require automatically without you having to be involved. There are plenty of places where automation can fit really well in your business and it’s really important to take the time to look at how you can do this effectively. There are other processes and procedures that you can put in place to ensure that your business is running as efficiently as possible and when you’re planning on growing your business, it is worth making sure that these foundations are in place. Once you put these foundations in place your business will really begin to thrive.

Reducing the pressure

If you are particularly worried about taking on too much work, you can look at what you can do to reduce the pressure. Maybe you are offering a particular service or product that isn’t providing a good return on investment and you can look at streamlining your business.

Alternatively, you could think about growing your team. If you can delegate some of your work, to a team member or a virtual assistant , this can free up time for you to do the jobs that you enjoy and that you’re good at. When you run a business, you have to wear a lot of hats. Not only are you delivering your course service or product, but you are also marketing manager, sales manager, finance director, HR, and operations manager. That is a lot of hats to wear. Your strengths might not lie in creating graphics, or doing tax returns, or arranging logistics. These tasks might take up a lot of time and be very draining on your energy levels. By outsourcing some of this work and giving it to somebody who is an expert, this work will be done to a much higher level, it will be completed much faster, and it will free up your time to do those tasks that you love doing and you’re good at. It will also enable you to make more money, because your time can be focused on income generating tasks such as selling and delivering your services and products.

This really does make financial sense. In spending a small amount of money on outsourcing the tasks that you find difficult or unenjoyable, you free up more time to make sales bringing a great income. You will probably find that the cost of outsourcing is more than replaced by the increase in income. This will also be beneficial to your wellbeing because you’ll be doing the tasks that you enjoy and find easy rather than tasks that you find difficult and drain you of energy. This will energise you and increase your happiness.

It’s also worth thinking about the impact of growing your business on your household as well. If you are able to increase your income by growing your business you can look at outsourcing some of the jobs inside your house for example housework or gardening or childcare. This will also be beneficial to your health as often these tasks can be quite taxing.

How I can help you Boost Your Business

If you want help to grow your business in alignment with your health, check out my one-to-one mentoring package. I can help you to choose the right business strategy, plan your work and ensure that you have systems in place so that your business can still run even when you’re not able to work: Check out the details here