It is indeed a great thing when you work for yourself as either a Small Business owner, a Freelancer, or any other form of entrepreneur busy being your own boss and managing contractors or employees on the side for your business. You are highly dedicated to your business, clients and client relationships, so much in love with whatever you are doing that factors like “accidents and sick days” or “unforeseen circumstances” always skip your plans….till the day they happen…like to me now…
I am a Freelance Writer and Researcher and have been managing my freelance business for 9 months now. I have been pretty busy these last 3 months with lots of client projects and managing contractors as well. Of course there are bad times in being self-employed and there are good times as well. There are times you get so much work you thank God and sweat so much to get the work done, and there’s absolutely no rest at all. There are also days you pray someone will call you to handle a project just for one-third the fee for such a project and you would be okay. In being a Freelancer you mostly control the money you make every month. If you need more clients you advertise more and accept more contracts, if you are feeling lazy obviously it will reflect in the money you earn at the end of the month.
I did my best these two months and did not get any rest at all, i outsourced very little because i hadn’t figured out how to make money as an agent by outsourcing, which is also a business on its own. AND THEN IT HAPPENED…..I GOT SICK!!!
I begun shivering while working on a client’s project and i had to call it quits. I wrapped myself up in my blanket after wearing a really heavy jumper and i was still as cold as a penguin on ice. I was out of first aid, and so weak i couldn’t even pick up my phone to make a call for help. So i had to just sleep. Although my deadline was in 6 days it was pretty short for the kind of project i was handling. While in bed all i kept thinking about was how to get myself off that bed to type something..but well i fell asleep. I woke up next morning and luckily got someone to get me drugs which made me better during the day (thanks to my parents’ call). But not strong enough to sit..i had to outsource my work to one of my trusted contractors to pay him the money i had made plans for, and i was mad at myself for being ill. I had to outsource all my work with deadlines within that week to be able to keep up with my clients deadlines, since business does not give a damn about whether you get sick or not. Actually what matters most to every client is you don’t die before submitting their work right?
As a freelancer you are basically the only person in your business, if you get sick and are unable to work for any reason it means you make nothing for those days, or weeks..absolutely nothing. So you shouldn’t wait for the empty purse situation to catch up with you.
How then does an entrepreneur or freelancer manage to still make money during sick days?
During your sick days you can still make money by outsourcing the work you accept from clients to other independent contractors. Make sure you only deal with highly skilled professionals because you cannot afford to do over projects when you are sick. Also always give yourself at least a day or 2 to proofread and edit the work handed over by your contractors to make sure you always submit work that is up to standard to avoid losing your clients by the time you are back to work from sick leave due to poor work submitted by the contractors. You make money from outsourcing by the discounts each contractor pays you for passing your client’s project to them.
2. Become an Agent
When you are not so weak at home but yet not completely fit for work due to a cold or recovery process you can benefit from outsourcing by being an agent. You can focus on advertising for more clients via social media and through referrals, which can all be done using your mobile device or laptop on your bed. Get more clients and outsource more to professional independent contractors at higher discounts. These discounts must cater for your marketing and the proofreading and editing you will be doing for every contractor’s work submitted to you. This way you are able to slowly recover from your illness and get back on your feet before being committed once again to projects that required lots of research and thinking from you.
How to Cope with Sick Days as a Self-Employed Entrepreneur
1. Make Preparations for next “sick days”
Make preparations for sick days by setting aside some money every month as an emergency fund purposely for when you are sick or unwell. This will help you cater for your time at home if you are unable to work during a sick leave and you will not have to necessarily spend all the money you make within the sick month to leave you with an empty pocket by the time you are recovered. This way you can take your time to recover and then get back to business safely when you are completely healed and fit for work.
As an entrepreneur one of the best ways of learning to improve your business is to learn. No matter the business you operate there are books you can read to help you improve your knowledge about your business, your clients, your clients preferences, and the industry within which you operate. You can take your sick leave days to read as many books as you can while in bed. These days could be the only free times you have within a month or even in 6 months, and reading is a good way of relaxing and working the brain at the same time.
3. Watch Videos
When you are too weak to read or even sit you can just watch educational videos lying down. Watch videos on the stories of entrepreneurs operating similar businesses like yours and how they succeeded or failed. Watch inspirational videos and pray.
The last but not the least. Sleep. As an entrepreneur or freelancer you barely get enough sleep during working hours, days, months,… Take advantage of sick days to have enough sleep to heal completely.
Thanks for Reading and Good luck. Get back to work and hustle hard. Work smart so you don’t work all your life.
By Jill Boafo
Meet you in my next blog..