Life often presents us with unexpected challenges, and for me, that challenge was being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 57. This news was shocking because I am an entrepreneur who is extremely passionate about my business. But I quickly realized that my experience with cancer and entrepreneurship could inspire not only my fellow entrepreneurs, but also people who are going through difficult times in their lives.
In this blog, I will share my personal experiences, offer ideas on how to run a business while dealing with devastating news. I hope that by sharing my experience, people will learn the resilience of the human spirit and receive practical advice for dealing with similar situations.
Accept your emotions
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer while pursuing my dreams, I was overcome by strong emotions. Fear, sadness, anger and uncertainty flooded my heart and mind. At that moment, I realized that dealing with bad news as part of running a business required me to first acknowledge and accept those emotions.
I allowed myself to feel every emotion deeply. I cried, I talked to friends and family, and even sought professional advice. This emotional release gave me the strength and clarity I needed to move forward.
Accepting your emotions is the first step to dealing with bad news as an entrepreneur. It's essential to give yourself permission to feel, process, and heal before taking action.
Prioritize personal well-being
As a business owner, I'm used to working long hours and pushing myself to achieve my goals. However, when cancer entered my life, I realized that my health had to become my top priority.
I learned to balance medical appointments, treatments and my work responsibilities. This meant delegating tasks when possible and making my health well-being non-negotiable. I scheduled regular breaks, practiced mindfulness, and focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Prioritizing well-being is crucial when facing bad news as an entrepreneur. Your health is the foundation on which your business success rests. Without this, all other achievements no longer have any meaning.
Build a Support Network
Entrepreneurs often feel like they have to carry the weight of their business alone. However, when you face challenges, it is essential to lean on your support network.
I reached out to mentors, friends, and other entrepreneurs who had faced similar challenges. Their guidance, empathy and encouragement provided me with information and emotional support.
Creating a support network is a good strategy for dealing with bad news as an entrepreneur. Do not hesitate to share your difficulties and ask for advice; you will find strength in the connections you make. .
Adapt and adjust
Entrepreneurship is about adapting to changing circumstances, and the same goes for a health crisis.
I learned to redefine my goals, adjust my workload, and sometimes take a temporary step back from my business to focus on my health. This flexibility has allowed me to continue to progress even in the face of adversity.
Adaptability is an important skill for dealing with bad news as an entrepreneur. Be prepared to pivot and adjust your strategies as circumstances change, and never lose sight of your long-term goals.
Set realistic expectations
Entrepreneurship often requires high levels of productivity. However, when facing challenges, it is important to set realistic expectations for yourself.
I had to accept that during my battle with breast cancer, I could not operate at my usual capacity. I made an effort to focus on the essential tasks and let go of the non-essential ones. This adjustment allowed me to maintain a sense of accomplishment without overwhelming me.
Setting realistic expectations during difficult times is a necessary approach. It prevents burnout, ensures better time management and helps maintain your mental and emotional well-being.
Finding inspiration in resilience
Resilience is a quality shared by many successful people. In difficult times, drawing inspiration from their stories can be a powerful motivator.
I found comfort in the stories of entrepreneurs who had faced challenges and triumphed. Their journeys reminded me that challenges are part of the life of an entrepreneur and that they can be overcome with determination and resilience.
Seeking inspiration in resilience reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles. Others have taken similar paths and emerged stronger. Their experiences can serve as lessons and will give you hope during difficult times.
Transparency is essential when you face challenges in running a business. It helps manage expectations and maintain confidence.
I made sure to communicate my situation to my team, my clients and my partners. Sharing my struggles and my plan to address them not only gave me support, but also helped make sure everyone was on the same page.
Open and honest communication is a strategic decision. This promotes understanding, aligns expectations, and can lead to unexpected offers of help.
Celebrate small victories
In difficult times, it's easy to focus on the negatives. Celebrating small victories can provide a healthy dose of motivation and positivity.
Even in the midst of my health battles, I've made it a point to celebrate every small victory, whether it's a successful treatment session or a positive update from my doctor. These moments of joy reminded us that progress was being made.
Celebrating small victories fills your journey with optimism. This boosts morale and helps you maintain a positive attitude, which is good for both your health and your business.
Seek professional help
In difficult times, seeking professional help is a wise decision. Specialist doctors, therapists or counselors can provide advice and support.
I did not hesitate to consult specialist doctors and therapists specializing in cancer care. Their expertise and emotional support were instrumental in helping me along my journey.
Seeking help from professionals shows resilience, not fragility. These experts can provide you with the tools and strategies needed to effectively deal with the challenges you face.
Remember your purpose
Your passion and purpose in entrepreneurship are powerful motivators. Even in the midst of your battles, these can keep you moving forward.
Throughout my journey, I kept reminding myself why I started my business in the first place. My passion for what I do and my desire to make a difference gave me the determination to overcome both my health challenges and my business obstacles.
Remembering your purpose is like a guiding star. It helps you stay focused on what really matters and inspires you to keep moving forward, regardless of the obstacles in your path.
By sharing my journey as a breast cancer survivor and entrepreneur, I hope to inspire others facing challenges to find strength, resilience, and a renewed sense of purpose. Life can throw unexpected things at us, but with determination and the right support system, you can not only survive, but thrive through the toughest of times.