An Important Lesson I Learned in Real Time About Being An Entrepreneur
Updated: Feb 21
I know the last entry was on planning your business and what an important step that is, however this week we are going to switch focus, just a bit. I want to share with you how one moment a couple of weeks ago taught a very heavy lesson both personally and in business.
The Back Stroy
It was Thanksgiving and we traveled to New York to be with family. The day was a little more special since we had not spent time all together in the same space for quite some time. I remember walking into my mom's house in Brooklyn and feeling so nostalgic. So many business ideas, poetry, and chapters were written in that apartment. Then came the smell of well seasoned, oven-roasted turkey, like only my mom can make. There was just something about how she did her turkey that made it just melt in your mouth...and the thing is, I don't really like turkey!
My youngest helped my mom in the kitchen as my eldest hung out with my stepdad, and I got started setting the table. We had joked, talked, and glanced at the T.V while waiting to finally dive right into what was shaping up to be a great dinner. After saying grace, I made my plate and that was all she wrote. We sat with the reminisce of our meal in a moment of pause, and as always sat and talked from current events to neighborhood happenings for the remainder of the evening.
As per usual the time seemed to fly by. Before I knew it, it was time for us to pack up and head back to New Jersey. We bid our goodbyes and began to make our way to the subway. For just a moment I lost my balance. I remember my son asking if I was OK. I nodded and chalked it up to a miss-step. The ride home was normal and pretty uneventful, however, it was about 20 minutes after arriving home that what seemed to be an ordinary Thanksgiving, turned into a series of w.t.f events.
On arriving home I got my youngest ready for a shower, at which time I needed to blow my nose. So I did. OMG, that set off a nose bleed that was anything but ordinary. The blood was deep red and the flow was relentless. After trying unsuccessfully to stop the bleed we had to call 911. From the moment the EMTs arrived everything seemed surreal. My blood pressure was soaring. The EMTs wasted no time taking me to the hospital, preparing me as calmly as possible for the possibilities that awaited.
To say that the moment I got to the hospital to the moment I realized I was not going home was a blur is an understatement. An examination occurred followed by two little words, 'Code Stroke'. I know words have power but, those words wielded a host of nurses and techs who all swarmed my bed, stripping me, inserting IVs, and hooking me up to machines in perfect synchronicity. From there came a slew of tests, scans, and me being admitted to the hospital.
I would spend 2 days and 2 nights in my hospital bed. I would be taught how to walk with a cane and prescribed medicines that I was told I would be on for the rest of my life. Yup in three days my entire life was flipped upside down.
So what was wrong?
A diagnosis is still pending but my Blood Pressure was high, my sugar levels were low, my cholesterol was high and my iron was low. Basically, my body was completely out of alignment.
Part of the problem was that I was not eating on time, or at all, causing my sugar levels to be consistently dangerously low and my blood pressure was more likely than not out of control because of it.
Fully nourishing my body was taking a backseat to my work. Most days I would get lost in formating templates, or laying out project proposals, with the words, "I will eat right now, I am almost done.." on loop in my mind. Then before I knew it, it was time to do school pick-up, then homework, then dinner...and there went lunch. Heaven forbid I was writing, forget about any mental prompt to eat. Once I got lost between the lines pouring onto my screen, only myself, the characters and the storyline exists, at that moment.
I might be taking a leap here, but I think most of you can relate.
Taking care of your health, physically, emotionally, and mentally should be your top priority personally. Professionally, they are paramount to your efficiency, consistency, and all-around functionality within the parameters of your business.
Remember, you are a business owner and more likely than not, a sole proprietor, so when you are unwell there is no one else to complete projects or onboard clients and that means your flow of income will take a hit in one way or another.
You are your business.
Where am I now!
Thankful. Now, I have a schedule. Set work hours, breaks for lunch, I wake a little earlier to have breakfast before the school run and on Sundays, I do a little more food prep for during the week. Luckily, our diet has always been healthy and low sodium, so it is just a matter of eating on time.
Hopefully, you learn from my experience and never have to go through anything like this yourself, because I am telling you, that moment shook me in a way that I never want to be shaken again.