Being a caregiver and running a business is not easy. It isn’t impossible but it most certainly isn’t easy.
And as I found out while putting together this episode, there isn’t a lot of information out there to offer guidance when facing this situation. Or if there is, it is hidden under a different string of words than I used in my search. (If you are interested in starting a business as a caregiver, there is a lot being said about that topic!)
In the end, I decided to share a combination of ideas that have enhanced and shape the way I do business today as well as a few things to be aware of should you find yourself caring for a loved one while trying to keep your business moving forward.
Seven lessons from being a caregiver and running a business
- You really can work anywhere. Have a laptop and internet service – you are set. It doesn’t matter if you are in a clinic or a coffee shop, your work can go with you – just be aware of who is sitting nearby and what you talk about that could be overheard.
- Experience makes even the hardest news/situations easier to hear. When the experience you are having is overall positive, even the most challenging news can be easier to hear.
- Be your own advocate. Stand up for your loved one and yourself. Know what you need and what needs to be said – and act on it.
- Accept help when it is offered. And if it isn’t offered, ask for it. This is a tough one – we never like asking for help. It is often viewed as a weakness. Don’t let that idea prevent you from accepting help… you probably need it more than you realize.
- Every opportunity put in front of you is an opportunity for learning. Never turn down an opportunity to learn. It helps you grow and be prepared for the next time you encounter a situation like the one you learned from.
- Be transparent. Be open with those around you – family, friends, clients – about what is going on and why you might need help, need an extension or just need some space.
- Grief. This one is hard and comes at inopportune times and in ways you never expected. Know what it is and how it is appearing in your life and your business.
Do you have an experience to share?
Since I couldn’t find anything relevant words of wisdom to share with a business owner/entrepreneur who is trying to balance running their business and caring for a loved one, I’d like to create something. I don’t know if it will be in the form of another podcast episode, a blog post, a checklist or maybe an e-book. If you’d like to help me accomplish this, please reach out – either comment on this post, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post on one of my social channels.
As always, I’ve linked a few resources at the bottom of this post. I want to call out one – A Piece of My Mind. This is a moving essay written by a medical resident about her personal experience with cancer and how she sees the experience impacting her ability to empathize, advocate for herself, and how she will eventually practice medicine.
This episode was done in honor of National Family Caregiver Month and National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. My hope is this information will help someone else who is trying to balance their business, their family and caring for someone they love very much – whether that be a parent, a child, a sibling or a friend.
As always, in pursuit of purpose,
Resources from this episode:
- National Family Caregiver Month: 10 Facts Caregivers Should Know
- A Piece of My Mind (an essay by a medical resident who is facing her own cancer diagnosis)
- Finding the Confidence to Come Back After Major Loss with Book Coach Jodi Brandon The What Works podcast with Tara McMullin
- From my Experiencing Cancer series: