By December 16, 2013 Read More →

The disabled entrepreneur – a work in progress

More from award-winning disabled entrepreneur Jane Binnion

Home working and the disabled entrepreneur - Jane BinnionEarlier this year Jane Binnion wrote about the positive option of self-employment and home working for the disabled entrepreneur.

I’m delighted that she’s back with another guest post about her progress…

because what she’s learnt is a useful lesson for all of us:

By September of this year, half way into year three of being a disabled entrepreneur, I was aware that I was VERY tired. And then I got anxious. I’m on a business growth programme and I got scared that growing just involved more hours and even more tired.

I choose to work from home for the flexibility it gives me in terms of resting when I need to, BUT I found that I am never at home anymore as I’m out and about delivering training, at planning meetings, or networking. I had lost the work/life balance that was so important to me as a disabled entrepreneur and I really couldn’t carry on like that.

What to do?

A little taking stock was required for this disabled entrepreneur:

1. The networking scene.
My first 2 years involved working full-on to build my reputation and my network. I have done a good job of that, but I had forgotten to stop and review it all. I have a good network, though of course I don’t want to become complacent, so I need to go further afield – even more time networking!

So time to evaluate. Which networking is most effective and which do I go to out of habit? (And if we are being totally honest here, out of a fear of missing something). Plus I hadn’t noticed that if I was networking of an evening then that was part of my working day and not to be added onto an already full day.

Conclusion: don’t renew membership to networks that are not bringing any results and see networking as ‘real work’.

2. Taking control of my diary.
My work load has increased – hooray! – but of course that also means more hours, and cramming more and more into my day. Again fear of not getting any work means that I work when I am asked to. In stepping back I saw that I can take control of my diary if I just feel secure enough in the work that I am bringing in.

Conclusion: if a self employed person can’t take control of their diary who can?

3. Getting help.
Not only do I run a business but I am a single mum and a member of the sandwich generation with an elderly mum to think of.

In having more work I obviously have more money. Of course I don’t want to make that typical entrepreneur mistake of going out to buy that Rolls Royce (ha ha, I wish) only to see the work dry up soon after.

But I could use some of the money to make my life easier. I already outsourced some bits of work, but in taking stock I got to see my stress points. Housework is a real difficulty for people with dyspraxia (no, honestly it is!) So for the first time in my life I now have a regular cleaner. Just 2 hours a fortnight at the moment, but it really takes the pressure off.

I also decided to have someone clean the inside of my car once a month which also removes the stress of arriving at meetings in a dirty car.

Next I am taking someone on to do my invoices and then…I am looking at taking on an apprentice. I am pretty scared about that, but I have seen it work out very well for a friend of mine, and if I am going to grow my business and not drop down dead in the process, I HAVE to have someone to help me out.

Conclusion: it is not necessary to do everything myself. I will let you know how I get on with that.

So that’s my de-stress plan. What’s yours?

(PS. I am lying on the sofa writing this!)

Jane Binnion is a social media and ethical sales trainer at janebinnion.com.
Do you know anyone with a disability or chronic illness who would benefit from working from home?
Please share this post with them.
And if you would like to discuss the issues of disability, home working and becoming a disabled entrepreneur, you can contact Jane directly here.

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