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Building a Business with a Chronic Illness

Building a business with a chronic illness is not necessarily the easiest thing for me to talk about. In fact, I have been avoiding this conversation for months.

I started my business during one of the most difficult times of my life. My health hit rock bottom and I had zero answers. My health literally was swept out from under me in a single night. And it has never been the same since.

I’m discuss my journey building a business with chronic health problems and the honest truth about where I am today. Plus I’ll give you tips and solutions to growing your business with a chronic illness.

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As a health & wellness coach, you likely decided to become a health coach because of your own personal health struggle. And more then likely, you are STILL dealing with this issue.

I started my business in the middle of experiencing my own chronic illness. I went from feeling status quo to not sleeping all night long. I had insomnia. At first I chalked it up to a bad night’s sleep. But then I kept happening, over and over again.

This insomnia went on for six months.

Then I had a summer where I didn’t really feel 100%, but I was sleeping decently. Then one year to the date, it happened again and I stopped sleeping again. I tried everything – sleeping pills and relaxation techniques, but nothing was working. I would just be up all night and it felt like my body was vibrating.

At this point, I was in the middle of completing a diploma in holistic nutrition. I had spent a lot of my free time learning about this stuff, because at this point, I was also dealing with a chronic acne issue.

I stumbled upon the functional diagnostic nutrition training program and as a part of that training program, you run labs on yourself. So I learned about all these things I had going on with me – and it wasn’t pretty. Parasites, bacterial infections, hormone imbalances, liver congestion, the list went on.

I worked to correct these things and they did help me, but I was still struggling so hard with sleep.

Through the next few years, I did make strides towards better my health, but the fatigue and the insomnia were still there. And it was at this point that I discovered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis.

I went down this rabbit hole of the important of minerals and I discovered that I was incredibly copper toxic. I believe that copper toxicity was feeding into my insomnia and fatigue because when I did detox that copper from my body, I did notice a shift in energy and in sleep!

I had six years of feeling like total garbage, and within those 6 years, I probably had less than 10 days where I actually felt normal. Up until that point had basically been coaching myself through the insomnia.

I really just wanted to hire someone to basically just tell me what to do at this point. So last year, I hired Dr. Evan Hirsch. With him, we started dive into mold and Lyme disease.

We ran a test for Lyme and the test results showed so infections but not enough to be considered Lyme disease. I felt a lot of resistance to treating myself for Lyme and to aligning myself with Lyme disease or literally anything that has the word disease in it.

We eventually decided that Lyme disease is not actually what I have going on. And that felt a little bit more aligned. I don’t know what the resistance towards accepting the Lyme disease was, but something felt off.

Long story short, I started working with Dr. Hirsch in January, and I am feeling so much better. I feel like we were finally getting to the root cause of what has truly been going on with me.

I feel like an imposter!

Now you might have a similar story of working through your own health issues as you’re building your business. I find that a lot of health coaches who are still struggling with the problem that they are niching in, end up battling imposter syndrome.

Here’s the thing, by waiting to solve your health problem, you’re actually doing your audience a huge disservice. By waiting, it may result in you never taking action. Because health is an ongoing journey. I don’t think we’re ever going to wake up, be a hundred percent healthy and never have to consider our health. So if you wait for your health to be resolved before you start helping people, a lot of people are not going to be helped because of that.

Just because you aren’t a hundred percent doesn’t mean you can’t help people. You can help people even more because you can connect and relate with them. You see exactly where they are and understand them.

I can’t tell you how many people came to me when I was a health coach, because I had the same experience they did. They didn’t want to go to the doctor who had never experienced what they had experienced.

The fact that you are still struggling with the thing that you are trying to help people with positions you even better as the person to be their coach, because you can relate to them because you can understand them because you can speak to their experience.

I don’t want your chronic illness to prevent you from moving forward in your business and prevent you from helping people. Remember, your business is about them and the people you serve, it’s not about you. So don’t let your discomfort with your story and your experience prevent you from helping the people that you want to serve.

Building a business with chronic illness is challenging

I’m not going to lie, building a business when dealing with chronic illness is touch. I’ve struggled with it. If you have an illness while building a business, this whole hustle mentality doesn’t work. And you don’t want your business to be the reason and why you prolong your health issues.

If you are building a business with chronic illness, the other thing you need to be aware of is to not tie your self worth into the success of your business. And this is really easy for us to do because our businesses are babies. So when our business doesn’t work out, we take it personally. When you tie your self worth into your business, it’s going to have failures over and over again. Which will take a hit on your self esteem & impacts your health and any chronic illness that you may have. So I encourage you to build your business with your chronic illness and not despite it.

You have to prioritize self care and weave it into your daily schedule. This is true for all entrepreneurs, but it’s especially important if you are building a business with a chronic health issue.

My daily routine

I have a very long and robust morning routine. Morning is always when I have the worst energy and so I don’t start my work until 9:30 or 10am. I have a morning routine menu because I feel different every day. The menu includes walk in the forest, breath work, meditation, journaling, stretching and staring at the wall.

I also take lots of breaks throughout the day to go outside, walk around, lift weights or stretch. I avoid sticking to a strict routine because again, I feel different every day. And anytime I try to stick to a strict routine, I end up forcing myself through things that I don’t feel good doing.

Instead, I have a list of my three priorities and I’ll figure out which priority is the most important. And that’s what I will work on.

I probably work five to six hour days and I take lots of space. I try to be really intentional with the time that I have and because I feel different on a daily or weekly basis, I have some weeks where I feel really good and really focused. And I crush it and I work a 40 or 45 hour week. And then the next week I’m not feeling it and I don’t do that much. That’s the wonderful thing about being an entrepreneur.

So listen to your body, prioritize your health and manage your time based on you. If you have a chronic illness, hustling will be your one way ticket to burnout and never getting over your chronic illness.

- Kendra
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