By Carrie-ann | Oct 29, 2013 | Do It Yourself

Encouraging Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

Regardless of whether you’re differently-abled or not, there is a certain freedom that comes from working from home. Of course, like me, you may have to attend client meetings, but the point is you are very much your own women or man. I was very worried about starting my own business but years later the financial and personal freedom I have made my concerns disappear.
There’s nothing quite like running your own business. It’s your talent that counts and nothing else. All entrepreneurs need persistence and drive. Running a business becomes addictive and takes you out of yourself.  You become less pre-occupied with your own problems – whether they are physical or financial, and more focused on the outside world. This was certainly true in my case, I really figured out the whole ‘mind over matter’ thing!
To anyone out there reading this who has concerns they can’t run a home business because of their circumstances I say this: Create a business around your circumstances. I did and I haven’t looked back. That’s not to say becoming an entrepreneur/business owner is hassle-free. It isn’t. But if you can find something you love doing, it will get you a large part of the way there. And if you’re competent and professional the last thing clients will notice is your disability. To those of you who have met me you’ll notice my stubborn nature, you’ll also be surprised i am writing so personally – but as you grow, you embrace your achievements and worry less about what people think… i’ve enjoyed a long successful career, my obstacles are part of my success.
For those of you with the inclination and aptitude for business, you’ll find working from home is emotionally very rewarding. That’s good for both body and soul.  I love what I do and really enjoy seeing clients and their businesses grow. My business is a big part of my life. Believe it or not it helps my pain management.  That’s because business keeps your mind strong and focussed and in my case helps me block out high levels of pain.
How?  Well if you concentrate on building a business around what you can do and excel at, you’ll get massive levels of satisfaction that keep you motivated on bad days. Anyone running a business simply can’t afford to be focusing inwards. In my experience, involving consultancy type assignments keep my mind occupied, and this means I stress less about health issues, I find myself absorbed in clients projects.
Entrepreneurs face obstacles whether able bodied or not and all at some point will suffer a crisis of confidence. But if you stick with what you are good at, your confidence will eventually increase as a result of doing a good job. And the obstacles?  Whether its money, mobility, pain, or something else, becoming a successful entrepreneur has always meant finding a way round problems. There’s no difference there.

It’s part of life to have obstacles. It’s about overcoming obstacles; that’s the key to happiness.

Working from home does bring freedom. I can testify to that.  But it also brings commitments and obligations. And it’s certainly not right for everyone whether differently-abled or not. You need grit and determination to propel yourself through the bad times. However the rewards are immeasurable.
In my case, I have now got to a point where clients never mention my disability. Politeness? I thought so, until one Finance Director said to me, “Dear you know so much that you appear very tall”.
I firmly believe too many people write-off the idea of starting a business before they have properly explored it. Being differently-abled shouldn’t hold you back.  Believe your capabilities outweigh your incapacities…go for it.
Read My interview in Access Magazine (ignore the typos..i didn’t write it) 🙂
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