Adversity in Business: How to Power Through Professionally When Your Personal Life Gets Tough

By Sara Cheeney on February 12th, 2023

5 years on from my 3D nipple tattoos after a double mastectomy at 34 years old, I’m taking a moment to
reflect back on this adverse time in my life both personally and professionally.

As a business owner, there’s almost no time for adversity and stress. Business won’t wait for the sick, life
keeps ticking over and if you want your business to survive the other side you have to find a way to keep it going.

What to do when adverse situations strike
One day you’re running a successful business, the next you’re battling cancer. At least that was my story.
That’s the thing with adversities. They are personal, random, unfair and untimely. They can strike at any
moment and they take no prisoners.

They can include everything from illness, to surprise pregnancies, divorce, family problems, stressful
teenagers, tax investigations, financial strain and house builds.

No matter what your situation, the first thing to do when an adversity strikes in your personal life is to accept that business is going to have to change a little. You are only human and you must be kind to yourself and give yourself the time needed to cope and recover from whatever has hit.

So accept that the first step is indeed – acceptance.

Get the right support network in place
You are most likely to survive this difficult time – both personally and in business – with a strong support
network around you.

Open up, and fast. Be honest about your situation and you’ll be surprised how understanding people can be. Build your ultimate team to keep things running whilst you’re away, and then put your trust in them to run them well.

Assign a revenue generator
As the business owner, it’s likely you are generally in charge of revenue generation. It’s your business after all.

But when you’re dealing with tough personal matters, the last thing you need to be worrying about is booking clients in and generating leads. Think about who you can hand the reins to temporarily. Who understands the business direction and goals best? And probably most importantly, who would enjoy the challenge of this responsibility? They are the people who are most likely to excel in the role.
A good next step is to eventually to turn the business around so you as the owner are not main earner. A truly successful business will be able to thrive and generate revenue without you in it – keeping the stress levels down as and when the unknown arises.

Become best friends with technology
We are very privileged to live in a world where there’s a tech solution to almost any problem. Don’t make
extra work for yourself or your team by shying away from technology.

Ask yourself what systems and tools exist that could help save time and keep things running smoothly. Where are there gaps in your business that could do with optimising? If you’re not too up-to-date on the latest tech, do some research. Jump on the internet and look for solutions to your problems and speak to the network around you. What solutions are other industry bodies using?

Get insured

Always make sure to keep on top of your insurance policies. Life can deal some tough hands when you least expect it, so you should never take anything for granted.

Insurance policies for things like critical illness and extensive health cover can really help to protect both you and your business when times get tough.

Do what you need to do to cope
Everybody has different coping mechanisms. What might work for one person to de-stress and unwind won’t work for another.

In challenging times, you just need to do what works for you. If taking a long walk every morning sets your mind straight for the day – do it! If having an early night is what you’re craving, go for it.

Be kind to yourself, look after number one and keep those stress levels down. Business waits for no-one, but your team will. Put your faith in them to keep things running smoothly and I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised just how much people can achieve when left to their own devices.

Sara Cheeney

Clinic Success