Illness, Disease, Adversity…
The old saying ‘You don’t know what it is like until you’ve experienced it’…is so true when it comes to addiction.
The pain in our hearts watching our eldest son slide into an “unknown place” from heavy substance abuse has been debilitating.
Just as hard to watch was the relationships breaking down amongst our 5 boys, reacting normally as fear engulfed the family.
Fear of our son not returning home because he was dead somewhere. Fear of when the next episode would erupt in our once noisy but calm home.
We never really gave it much thought over the years, you would hear of people ‘going off the rails’, or you may think they must be a bit of a loser or a bad person to get caught up in an addiction and everything that goes with it.
Or even better…It’s all “their” fault, they’re weak and don’t have any willpower.
Or…” those parents need to put their foot down, be stronger with their discipline” …etc. etc.
Addiction is indiscriminate, you hear of celebrities, your old classmates, or ‘those’ kids who live in suburbs where you might expect this type of thing.
“It will never happen to us” …famous last words…But it did, and it hit with the force of a Mack truck.
You don’t know what is going on…until it has taken hold and it IS going on!
Business As Usual
We have been in London getting treatment for our son for almost 6 months, working hard on understanding this illness and how we all play a part in the process.
Thankfully we have been able to continue working and running the business… but that old cliché of a lifestyle business…Pfffft!
Working when you want, from wherever you want in celebrity style is pretty much a myth…possible but damn hard work.
How do you keep the business running in the face of adversity?
For many business owners, the illness and disease vary, but the result is still the same.
How do you not only survive during these times but grow a business so that you CAN do what needs to be done for your loved one?
It’s like when a business’ cash flow is hit because of a change in a market or a downturn, what stops first….marketing and advertising…the very tools that will KEEP the business going.
A lot of business owners see this as an overhead, or a cost…it’s the exact opposite, and the lifeline to the business during these times.
There is no easy way to grow, to make more money, to add a revenue stream to your business.
There is just the work.
At any given moment in your day, you are in control of your emotional state, you may not feel like it at the time, but you do have a choice on how you act and react.
For us, in the past year, it has felt out of control a lot of the time, because we felt we were not in control over the situation.
True…but not true at the same time.
We were most definitely NOT in control of what our son did and was doing…he was.
What I now know is that to give away your power at these times causes no end of chaos.
Knowing what you’re feeling is half the work done.
It Starts Here
#1 Be aware of what and where your feelings come from.
When there are illness and disease, this can be super hard to deal with.
The thing is, problems do not go away, it doesn’t get any easier.
Illness is illness, it’s how you deal with it.
There will be times when you don’t want to deal with it and want to run to the hills.
Ask yourself this…
How will that help your loved one?
How will that keep things going when you need cash flow more than ever?
Now more than ever is the time to dig deep and keep the wheels turning.
Emotionally this may be the hardest thing you do in a while when going back to something safe and ‘easy’ sounds like magic.
How many times have you got yourself out of bed in the morning….re-deciding if you are going to go to work, re-deciding if what you’re doing is really what you want?
Energy is not endless.
Each day has a finite level of energy, which is why there are so many people walking around with ‘adrenal fatigue’.
Think about the energy used to re-decide a decision you have already made.
Conserve your energy by putting it into the decision you have already made and making it work.
You started the business with a load of goals, aspirations and dreams.
After launching Nurse Power in 2011 and Bron Watson in 2013, the time spent on making the decision was back then, not now, the decision has already been made.
I still love both our businesses, but does that mean I love what I do each and every single day?
That depends on whether I am wasting valuable energy and emotions on re-deciding something I decided years ago.
Yes, there have been days here in London where I look out over the Thames, at the cloudy grey sky, where I get on the Central Line tube, and wish I was anywhere else but here, dealing with an illness I don’t want to be around.
There will always be something that happens to cause trouble, it’s how you deal with it.
3# One Day At A Time
One of the most poignant times on our visit here to London was having a conversation with our boy.
He was telling me that he can’t say he will never relapse, what he can say that he wasn’t going to relapse today…just for today.
A focus on just today, and not way into the future.
‘Mum….what is important is what I feel and do today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.’
As a nurse educator in my previous life, what a simple yet powerful way to look at illness.
It’s EXACTLY the same with business.
Yes, you need a crystal clear (or as clear as it gets) picture of your business now, in 12 months, in 5 years and so on.
BUT, what you focus on TODAY is where it is at…just today…as long as you know where you are going.
Be informed and plan, not with getting it ‘right’ in mind, but more a clear picture of what is going to happen if you take a particular course of action.
There is no easy way to grow your business, to make more money, to create what you truly want to.
Even when the big internet marketers promise you an easy way to make sales without being “salesy”, and how clients will just flow through your door.
It’s simply not true.
There is the work…your work, and what sets you apart.
There is an understanding of your emotional state.
There is a smart use of your finite energy.
It is one day at a time.
Have you a story to share? What did you do to beat adversity in your business?
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