What having chronic Pain taught me about Business

Hey, y'all; I have a story!


I know. What's new? 😅 Just stick with me...


In the Winter of 2010, I was still living in Kalamazoo *Yes it's a real place*. You see, I went to Western Michigan University, and after college, I stuck around for a while. I'll tell you more about how it's always a GREAT day to be a BRONCO, later.


At the time, I was living that 20-something, bachelorette, life. I shared an apartment with my bestie *Hey, Ally*, I'm just started *seeing* someone, and I had a good-paying job at PNC Bank. I had my whole life ahead of me and a sparkle in my eye. Life and times were exciting.


As I mentioned it was Winter, so when I got the flu I didn't think much of it besides being annoyed at the inconvenience of the fatigue and the memories of times I'd taken being able to breathe out of both nostrils for granted. But, then, it continued on....and on...🙃


Then the aches got worse, and I started having severe chest pains, then it escalated to all sorts of bizarre and scary symptoms, episodes, Urgent Care and ER visits, tests, scans, and evaluations until after a year and a half I was diagnosed with something called Fibromyalgia. In the simplest terms, it's a chronic pain syndrome that causes all sorts of symptoms and issues, that has no cure or real treatment that works for most cases.

So, I live....and deal with it....most days somewhat gracefully and some not so much.🤷🏾‍♀️ Trust me, you'll read stories about some of my most interesting flares before too long.


Over the last 10 years, I have had several different jobs, life circumstances, and changes. This illness has been one of the few constants and it has taught me a great deal about God, myself, and others. It has also taught me a lot about entrepreneurship. Most of the time, I didn't know I was taking How to Build a Successful Business 101, but here I sit on the journey, drawing on lessons from it all. Let me share a few:


It matters how you start - Something that you learn VERY early on with a chronic illness is that you need to plan ahead. If you know you only have so much energy, you plan ahead so that you can accomplish the things that are most important for the day. In the same way, when starting a business you need to begin with the end in mind. If you do not start with a solid, legal, and organized foundation, your business will not last. We have seen this in a BIG way during this pandemic. Businesses that were not actual business entities were some of the first to go because they were not set up to handle the shift to online business or benefit from the federal and local aid that was available.


Discipline is KEY - Some days it feels easier to not be as diligent about doing the things that are best for your body and health when you're ill ALL THE TIME. Sometimes I want to just stay in bed because the pain seems unbearable or I want to eat junk that will *comfort* me at the moment, but not help my body in the long run. Giving in to that feeling will set you up for failure. Business is the same; you HAVE to show up every day and be consistent, as an entrepreneur or you'll NEVER get to the end goal, or beyond.


Try, try again - I have tried many treatment plans, medications, diets, and programs, to ease my symptoms and cure my ailment....and I will keep trying. Does it get old sometimes? YES. Have I stumbled across things that work here and there? ABSOLUTELY! So, I'll keep trying and tweaking. Everything that works helps me hang on and keep exploring to find relief. In business, you will find that some things just won't work. You'll have to switch it up until you find the systems, team, and processes that work best for you!


Yesterday is history and tomorrow is imaginary - One thing about chronic illness *if you're paying attention* is that you will start to see patterns and triggers. It's good to take note and use that information to make better decisions, but not to the detriment of living life! Don't let the fear of what might happen stop you from trying. In business, I've found that taking it one day at a time works just as well as it does in life in general. Learn from yesterday's mistakes and plan for the future, but NEVER let that distract you from giving your all, and creating your best, today. After all, your story is written in the present. So, that's where your focus should be.

Over the next week, I'll be making it extra easy for you to set your business up for success. All of my services are 20% OFF right now!



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