5 Ways To Succeed As A Disabled Entrepreneur By Sarah Berthon

Living with a disability, whether it is visible or hidden, can lead to the development of useful skills, such as adaptability, resilience and determination, which are great competencies to have when running a business. At the same time, being self-employed works well for someone living with a disability as it creates financial independence as well as flexibility in both time and location which can be incredibly beneficial. However, it is important to ensure that the stresses and pressures of entrepreneurship don’t have a negative impact on your health. Here are some strategies given by Sarah Berthon of Excel against the Odds, to ensure that you succeed in business but not at the expense of your health.

Choose a business that works well with your health

When choosing a business to build, you want to choose something that you love. Your business will take up so much of your time, that it needs to be something that you can imagine doing day in and day out. Think about how your business will impact on your body. If you are making products, will your arms and shoulders struggle with the repetitive movements? Will standing at a fair, make you feel unwell? What is the impact at sitting at a desk all day? You want to choose a business that works well for you and that can be sustainable for the long term.

Know your body 

Understanding how your body feels at certain times of the day and then scheduling your work accordingly can make all the difference. If you’re trying to do detailed work when you are in pain or have brain fog, you won’t produce good quality work, it will take much longer to complete and your body won’t thank you for it. Get curious about your health and understand the best time to do each of your tasks and the best time to relax. Keep a journal and spend a month analysing your energy and pain levels by the hour to get an in-depth understanding.

Prioritise the work that matters

When running a business, there are always many jobs to complete, many of which are unrelated to your core business. Focus your attention on the work that will bring in the clients and make more sales. Avoid being distracted by the tasks that keep you busy but don’t have any measurable impact on your income.  If there are jobs that you don’t enjoy or take an unreasonable amount of time, then consider outsourcing them so that the time you have available is well spent on tasks that are important for your business and that play to your strengths.

Optimise productivity

When you have a disability, it is important to ensure that the time you spend working is focused and intentional. It is very easy to get distracted and procrastinate. Plan your work in advance, so that every time you sit down to work, you know exactly what you will be focussing on. Turn off all distractions and avoid multi-tasking. If it helps, set a timer and work solidly on that piece of work for 30 minutes, have a break and then do it again. This way you will be working smarter, not harder.

Make time for you

It can be so easy to get caught up in a business and forget to make time for ourselves. It is incredibly important to plan in activities that either bring you joy or are good for your health. Make these a priority. Arrange these in to your to do list and your diary before you plan your work. You might not feel that you have enough time, but if you schedule these activities in first, you will find that your stress levels will reduce, your energy and concentration will increase and you will be able to achieve more in less time. The impact on your health and your business will be incredible.