Can you run your business when you’re sick?

Surround yourself with enthusiastic people, sickness can strike anyone, anytime.


Yes you can, if you prepare

Everything in your life is generally a result of the choices you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice, particularly about the food you eat, the exercise you do and the sleep you get. If your sickness didn’t come about from any of them, look to the workload you had and the stressors in your life.

Unfortunately, good health doesn’t come with a guarantee and at some point, we all have to face the inevitable of running a business while we are sick. While there are many benefits to owning a business, one of the downsides is we don’t all have the luxury of calling in sick. The work doesn’t stop just because you become sick and have to take time off.

It can be a rather stressful time. Not only do you have to deal with being sick, you also have urgent tasks and deadlines looming over your head and you still have to manage and meet the expectations of your customers, staff and volunteers.


“Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting and just have faith that the business will keep working and you will return to work”. Peter Sergeant


It is important to try and accept that you won’t be able to do everything done when you are sick, it will help you to cope. If you spend all your time thinking about your deadlines, to-dos and all the work you should be doing, you will only stress yourself out more which won’t help you in your recovery. Your recovery should become the most important thing on your agenda.

The first thing you should do is to change your to-do list as quickly as possible and where necessary delegate the tasks. Your time management and planned activities will go to hell. When you are sick you won’t be functioning at your best so you need to be ruthless with your to-do list and you will recover quicker.

If something doesn’t have a pressing deadline, it’s not bringing you in money straight away or there isn’t a cost if you don’t do it immediately, then put it on a separate to-do list for when you are well again. You will find good communication really is the key to doing what you have to have done and a faster recovery.

Everything heals, people do get well. Always remember bad times don’t last. Sometimes you won’t be able to tell someone how you feel, you can never really find the right words to make them understand, but that’s okay, keep moving forward.

When you are sick rest is critical. Don’t stress yourself by continually thinking about what you haven’t done and what needs to be done. You will find that while most people will understand your predicament, how well you deal with running your business and handling your recovery will determine your level of professionalism.

As you recover slowly start to plan how you will approach your work when you do feel better. By jotting down any ideas or notes that will make things easier to when you are well again will be a big help.

And while you are writing try and do some research about your illness and its causes and don’t forget to write about how you feel, both before and after. You should want to avoid becoming sick again, particularly if it’s something major.


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Personal Experience

Look around you. Appreciate what you have and while following a major illness nothing will be quite the same, there will be many changes you will appreciate and you will probably become more excited about the future. True friends will accept you exactly as you are.

You will become excited in that you were able to see your business working without you.  Your employees clubbed together and put their shoulders to the wheel. While they might not have gone as well as you would have liked they reveal a potential you may not have understood before you became sick. Be thankful for everybody in your life, good and bad, past and present. They all made you the person that you are today.

When I had my first heart attack, I remember lying in the hospital emergency dictating to my wife, as the doctors were working on me, all the important things that had to be taken care of, no ifs or buts. You can’t just assume that everything will be alright without you.

It’s not wrong to break down and cry when the frustration becomes too much and you cannot take the pain.  Remember even clouds cry when they cannot carry the load of rain.


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