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The Art of Slow Growth and Quiet Resilience

Setting up a small business can be difficult at the best of times. Between the lack of funds, help and resources in those early days (ahem, years) and the ever-growing list of things you absolutely ‘need’ to learn for the Google algorithm to even register your existence, a lot of the time it can feel […]

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Setting up a small business can be difficult at the best of times.

Between the lack of funds, help and resources in those early days (ahem, years) and the ever-growing list of things you absolutely ‘need’ to learn for the Google algorithm to even register your existence, a lot of the time it can feel like you’re sinking.

In 2020 entrepreneurs have to know more than ever before.

From tradespeople to social media managers and consultants, small business owners can’t just sell. They have to be website designers, photographers, social media managers and PR experts.

Or pay people to do ALL of the above.

They don’t even exist without regularly updated social media pages – that take the average small business 6+ hours a week to maintain.

Oh! And that website you’ve just spent hours and/or $ crafting? You now either have to throw money at ads or hours upon hours on SEO.

Sorry about that.

Now lets consider things being a little harder ………………….

According to the Office for National Statistics, as of 2019, 20.6% of working disabled men were self-employed, compared with 17.5% of able-bodied men.
There was no significant difference for women, but we know from ………………….. that year on year the number of disabled entrepreneurs is growing.

For anyone thinking of setting up or already running a small, independent businesses with a medical condition that affects their

But what happens when don’t have the benefits of being pain-free and uncomfortable. Sure, everyone gets brain-fog from time to time and everyone gets tired, but what happens when you have to make allowances for those things every, single day?

the daily pacing

Here’s the strangest thing. Even before the covid-19 pandemic, self-employment attracted large numbers of people who considered themselves in poor health or disabled, but why?

The truth is that traditional employment has long

What piece of advice would you give a disabled person considering setting up their own business?

1.  Start with what you know. 

Think about what skills you already have or what things you have an real interest in. Try not to get swept away by social media ads that promise a perfect career, or promise the earth for £££.

2. Research everything thoroughly – I sadly know way too many people who have thrown money at sparkly courses, ‘experts’ or promises of success, only to find themselves still lacking what they need to move forwards.
Always do your due diligence before you part with a penny or waste your precious time.

3. Make a list of what you need to do to go from nothing to having a fully  operational business.
This is usually how it goes down – You’ll design a website.  Fantastic! But it will be on page 10 of a Google search,  so what next?

Keyword research, image optimisation,  blogging, social proof ……..

Making a list might feel hideously overwhelming,  but it’s a necessary part of your planning process and it’s a big mistake to miss it out.

4. What can you figure out or learn for free (without throwing away hours of your life that would be better spent elsewhere).
There is so much free information out there. Some of it is amazing, some of it not so much.
Finding good free information can feel like falling down a rabbit hole.
Look for real, established experts with a track record of creating amazing content.

5. Do what you can comfortably manage without setting unrealistic self-imposed goals or targets – unless your goal is to be permanently stressed and exhausted.

Plan for the next day, the next week and have a few goals for the end of the year. This should help you to pace yourself.  Try to tick one thing off each day to give yourself a mental boost, but be prepared to carry tasks over.

6. Good time management, using something like the Pomedero technique, will help you to be more organised and help you to keep moving forward.

7. Like a lot of people living with chronic pain and disability, working in relative isolation is normal for me.
My condition has meant that for a very long time I’ve been unable to attend in-person networking events and trade shows.

So, I found virtual work-arounds. I’ve taken online courses, joined membership communities and cultivated my online connections.
I talk to people across the globe on a daily basis. I have zoom calls with people from California to Tel Aviv. My business is stronger and I’m happier because if it.

8. Leave room to pivot. Sometimes,  even the best ideas & the best laid plans just don’t work out.
If you’re going to invest time & money  in a business,  try and make sure you’re investing in transferrable skills.
Website design, Facebook ads and Email List Building are all examples of skills that would be useful to any business if you change your mind about what you want to do.

9. Comparisonitis isn’t healthy or realistic.  There’s no point comparing yourself to every other business owner you stumble across online or beating yourself up over how successful your competition is.
There will always be those with more time, more money and more help. 

Build the best business you can with the tools at your disposal and you’ll create something you’re proud of.

10.  Be kind to yourself.  Slow down when you need to.  You don’t have to do all the things, all by yourself, sometime yesterday.

Never listen to anyone who suggests that if you want it enough, you’ll find the time, the money, the childcare,  the help or a way.
I most certainly didn’t live in that world.

I built my business slowly and organically over years, but it worked and my family and my deteriorating health. Today, I’m stronger for it.

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