By Erica Francis | Posted Thursday, May 25, 2017
Building a business from the ground up is both rewarding and incredibly taxing. Long hours, physical and mental toil, and high levels of stress are all part of the new business owner’s life. It’s a tough time for anyone, but can present even more challenges for those living with a disability. Here are some tips to stay healthy while getting a new business off the ground.
Find the right business fit
For disabled business owners, it’s all about finding the right balance between pushing yourself to follow your dreams and being realistic about what kind of business makes sense for you - what you’re capable of and what kind of business will be the most lucrative.
Consider building upon your existing set of skills, talents, and work experience when dreaming up a business concept. Use contacts you’ve made within that specific business community to help you get started. A small business should challenge you and it’s ok to work yourself pretty hard - especially in the early stages. But if a business is causing too much hassle and you feel stressed and overworked to the point of severe exhaustion (mental or physical), it may be time to consider another business plan.
Consider doing the bulk of work from home
The ability to work from home and even run entire businesses from a computer in your house is a relatively new thing. Nowadays, so many business ideas can be started and realized with nothing but a computer, a chair, and a reliable internet connection. For those with disabilities, this can open up a wide range of possibilities that may have not been available just a decade ago.
“Running a business from home is popular with entrepreneurs, for reasons such as convenience, cost savings and flexibility. For those who are affected by health issues and disabilities, a home setting can also provide the freedom and flexibility they need to run a successful business,” notes The Guardian.
Consulting, internet marketing, running an online store that sells goods, freelancing, and online life coaching or tutoring are all booming fields in the work-from-home age. For those with disabilities, this business setup may be the only way they’re able to take on the full load of business ownership. For most businesses, the need for a brick and mortar storefront is slowly diminishing.
Don’t forget to focus on your own health
For many people starting up a new business, the health of said business is the most important thing and it’s what commands the bulk of their attention. But an unhealthy person cannot be a successful business owner. Take care of yourself - not only for you and your family, but for the health of your business as well.
Busy business owners may struggle to maintain a healthy diet, as the “eat whatever you can whenever you have the time” mentality seems to win out on most days. You can begin to curb this bad habit by always carrying healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, and yogurt so you don’t binge on unhealthy foods when you get too hungry. Business owners often find they don’t have enough time for exercise, but it’s vital that you find a way to work some moderate physical activity into your day. If your small business has you up and moving, carrying, lifting, and such, you may be covered.
Veterans are often the people with disabilities most likely to begin a new business. Specific veteran concerns include depression, anxiety, and effects of PTSD. Practicing relaxation techniques (like yoga, meditation, and focused breathing) can help stressed out business owners cope and prevent them from turning to unhealthy habits that could lead to addiction.
Many people with disabilities neglect their own health when starting up a new business by either working themselves too hard, picking the wrong line of work, or forgetting to practice basic self-care and maintenance. Don’t think you need to work yourself ragged to succeed. Hard work must be coupled with good health and smart decisions for true small business success.
About the Writer
Erica Francis writes for ReadyJob and thrives on helping young people prepare for the working world. She aims to help teens develop the career skills needed to be successful in the workplace.