5 Tips for Running a Business While You Are on the Mend
I was completely rested and ready for a fall season filled with networking events and conferences, including the first ever Entrepreneur360 Conference held in New York City on Oct. 7. But my plans came to a screeching halt when at the end of September, the unthinkable happened: I fell and broke my right foot.
All I could think about was the scheduled business events I was going to miss because of my broken foot. After I learned that I could not put any weight on it, had to wear a cast and be on crutches for the next four to six weeks, I went into television-producer planning mode.
For any business owner, being sick or injured is an unfortunate inconvenience. However, if entrepreneurs put forth a few procedures and have good teams in place, then they can still manage their businesses and responsibilities efficiently.
Here are five ways to run your business, albeit a little slower, while you are on the mend:
1. Decide what you can and can't do.
Even after the doctor told me to stay off my broken foot, I was determined to attend all my conferences. In my head, it was possible, but the reality was I could not walk and would have to miss the Entrepreneur360 event in person. Since the event was being livestreamed I was able to follow along at home.
When you are incapacitated, it is important to take a look at your to-do list, calendar and deadlines to figure out what you can get done in a realistic and timely manner. Instead of having a meeting in person or attending an event, plan to participate via video conference or by phone.
If it is a money-making project that you can complete, then get it done. If you can't do it, set a new deadline to complete it when you are feeling better.
2. Share your condition with clients, friends and family.
It may be tempting to hide your condition in hopes of not appearing weak or unprofessional, but resist that feeling. You don't have to share all your medical details, but let everyone know that you are not working at top speed at the moment.
I posted photos of my injured foot on Facebook and explained that for four to six weeks I would be on the mend. Several associates and friends reached out to ask how they could help. I reached out to clients as soon as possible and moved a few deadlines and rescheduled a few meetings and calls.
Be forthcoming with your status and arrange a little more time to get your assignments done.
3. Delegate, outsource and stay in touch.
In this situation, it is OK to ask for assistance. Once I realized that I couldn't do things and be everywhere I had planned to go, I decided to ask for help. Having a reliable support team to delegate or outsource work to is key, whether you're healthy or feeling under the weather.
I reached out to Deborah Mitchell Media Associates's social-media manager Jason Francis to attend the Entrepreneur360 Conference while I monitored it online at home using #E360.
The best thing about social-media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Periscope is that you can always be a part of the conversation, no matter where it's happening. While I didn't get to ask conference speaker will.i.am a question in person, he did retweet one of my posts after his presentation. Very cool!
4. Get help or equipment to assist you.
This might be the perfect time to hire a part-time assistant to run your errands. In my case, I am on crutches and need the use of my hands to do my job. Friends suggested I get a wheelchair or knee walker so that I have more mobility and better use of my hands, two things I need to get work done.
I was a little embarrassed to use the knee walker, but in the end, utility was more important than how I looked to clients. It turns out clients were happy to help me out.
5. Don't feel guilty about your recovery time.
I walked on my broken foot for three days before going to the doctor because I knew work needed to be done. Crazy, right? Once I was diagnosed, it took a while for me to understand that I needed time to recover.
Give yourself permission to take time to mend. While you're sick or injured, it's about resting and recovering so you can get back to running your business on its normal schedule.
What business changes do you make when you are feeling under the weather? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles and finally connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Mitchell is author of So You Want To Be On TV.