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Spooniepreneur: Health over hustle

spoonie entrepreneur

As I write this, I’m on the couch with a terrible pain in my neck and TMJ joint. I recently went through something stressful, which caused the mother of all flare ups. Instead of immediately seeing it as a sign that I needed to take it easy, I started feeling the stress of not getting work done, which doesn’t help my situation. Isn’t stress what got me in this predicament to begin with?

Oh, the life of a spoonie.

Spooniepreneur: Health over hustle

Spoonie is the term used to define a person with a chronic illness.

When I stopped working at #WeAllGrow Latina Network last summer, I had to make a few tough choices. Do I go work in an office somewhere? Should I freelance? Should I get a part-time and start selling my art? Do I get cracking on my blog? Should I start my own business? 

After calculating the hours I needed for self-care, I went with the latter. I could not imagine what sitting in traffic would do to my neck. And I was worried about the length of my dentist appointments every few months. Getting my orthotic adjusted is like a three-hour ordeal each time. I also really had no interest in working for someone else at this point in my life. I always dreamt of having my own business (it’s in my DNA), and I felt this was the time to do it. But I knew my chronic pain disorder would still make this challenging, and got my first taste of it this week. Because here’s the thing: You really can’t take a sick day when you have a small business. I knew this going in, which is why I made the decision to bring on a partner. I knew there would be days I could not give it my all. 

Related: My TMJD story 

If you’re a spoonie and starting a business, you’re not alone. I actually think it’s a lot more common than we think. 

Everyone’s situation is different and I don’t want to generalize by offering a set of tips that would not apply to all spoonies. Big difference between someone with, say, TMJ, Lupus or Fibro. There’s no one size fits all.

However, I will say this: Prioritize your health over the hustle.

The moment my neck went out, I felt stressed out about work and immediately started to feel as though a cold was coming on. I had to pause. I went to my chiropractor and set aside time to nap after my adjustment to let my body work on healing itself. I had to fight the guilt and the thoughts of my email going mad. Our  health is a big part of the job. If your smartphone breaks or your computer stops working, you’d get it fixed, right? Why don’t we think to give ourselves that same self-care?

I was a little late on deadlines but, truth,  no one even noticed. In fact, when I finally got back on track, I was thanked for all of my hard work. 

Dealing with a chronic anything is hard enough. Give yourself grace and love, and listen to you bodies whispers before it screams. Your self-care will reflect back into your work. 





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One Comment

  1. I never heard the term spoonie. But I can relate to having a chronic illness and trying to get work done. As an entreprenuer there are no sick days and yes the feeling of guilt when you miss deadlines. Thank you for reminder to listen to our bodies.

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