I am a home-based entrepreneur. My husband and I run a small online jewelry boutique, selling items straight from our bedroom.
Two years ago, I decided to quit my full-time office job to focus on growing our concept of a PWD-run fine jewelry brand. I had my doubts, but I did it anyway. My husband joined me in the business. Initially, he was reluctant, but now that we are earning an income from the business, he feels much better about it.
Our business has had its ups and downs. We have pushed through the difficulties, celebrated our successes, and thankfully, we are still thriving.
What I love most about running my own business is that it allows me to stay home with my family. I get to see my daughter grow up, and I can watch over my husband, who has hemophilia and epilepsy, whenever he has a bleeding episode. When he is bedridden due to a bleed, I perform essential tasks for him. It’s sometimes physically exhausting, but at the end of the day, I am happy to help him with his needs.
Staying home all the time has its downsides. Sometimes, I feel like the days blend into one another. Although we do our best to maintain a work routine, the lack of division between office and home space sometimes makes me feel lazy and unmotivated. The fact that my feelings tend to be influenced by environmental factors adds an extra layer of challenge. My lazy mood sometimes triggers my depression, which tricks me into thinking that I must be a failure.
Whenever I find myself feeling down and disheartened, I find that a change of scenery helps. I like working outside the house and meeting other people. A face-to-face meetup with a supplier is enough to energize me.
I’m also fond of buying trinkets for myself. For me, it’s an uplifting habit. When I go out for supplies, I sometimes end up buying a thing or two for myself. I just need to make sure I don’t overdo it, because saving money is important to us as a family with chronic illnesses.
Entrepreneurship has its inherent financial risks. As former entrepreneur Larry Alton writes at Entrepreneur.com, those who are not prepared to take risks might not be cut out for an enterprising career. Many a warning exists for aspiring entrepreneurs not to expect financial stability when starting their own business.
Yet finances are important to someone with chronic illness. Even if family members support them financially, it’s good for a person with chronic illness to have a consistent income stream to help meet the enormous costs of hospital treatments, visits to the doctor, and medications, along with other things necessary to maintain good health.
This is one reason we save. Recently, we committed ourselves to following the “20% savings rule,” by stashing away 20% of our income into an untouchable bank account as soon as we receive it. My husband has created an accounting system to keep our expenses in check.
Admittedly, I still find it tempting to pick up things I want before those that I need — especially when my depression is beating me. I know I need to be extra mindful of this tendency, especially now that our daughter is growing up. In a few years, we will enroll her in school, which is expensive.
The uncertain nature of entrepreneurship sometimes worries me. I wonder where our business is headed in a few years. I’d like to see it grow into a much bigger entity someday. Looking back, our growth curve seems to be slow yet steady. We haven’t been able to take overly ambitious risks, yet somehow, we still exist. (I’ve got our faithful client base to thank for that!)
At the end of the day, there’s no point in worrying. After all, a business is the sum of what one puts into it every day. It should reflect the resources, energy, and planning we dedicate to it. And so, we keep on hustling.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.
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