Life, Business and Bad News

In the last few weeks it seems my world has gotten smaller in almost every sense. It started when my wife’s health took a hit and she was diagnosed with not one, but two serious conditions, one of which was cancer. This kind of news will make everything else seem unimportant, all of a sudden. The fact that I lost my mom to cancer in May is probably not helping any.

The good news is that they caught it super early, and that the doctors are expecting a full recovery from the cancer part. There’s still the other issue of course, which will require surgery and several weeks of recovery. The ugly kind, where they give you hardcore meds just to deal with it. Right now, we are both mentally and physically preparing for what’s ahead.

Since we are both independent businesses owners, this situation has another effect on us – neither one is working much, while the bills keep piling up. This is added stress that we really don’t need. We are not on the brink of starvation or anything like that, but we are definitely feeling the crunch. Which is what led me to write this post.

If you are a freelancer or a one-man band, do yourself this favor: cover your bases in case of an emergency. Get health insurance. Let me repeat that. Get. Health. Insurance. As an independent, insurance is expensive and if you’re bootstrapping it is easy to tell yourself you’ll add it later. Don’t. Bite the bullet and pay the man. Cancer doesn’t wait until you’re ready.

You’ll want a support network. We have had daily messages from friends and family, checking in and offering help and encouragement. This support is crucial, especially if you’d like to try and stay positive.

Anybody working for themselves will be used to being immersed in the work, and powering through to get the job done. You may even enjoy it. But when illness hits the household, that is taken away. Focus shifts, and staying on top of business quickly fades into the background. It has to. If you can, put a little aside for a rainy day. You might even look into getting a backup in place, if you have clients who need regular pampering or can’t be rescheduled.

Whatever you do, don’t just sit there thinking it will happen to someone else. It’s not a gamble worth taking.

7 Replies to “Life, Business and Bad News”

  1. I am so SORRY to hear this. This really hurt my chest reading this like I “know” you two. I really hope for a speedy recovery. I am so glad you have a support system and are still able to blog and help others with this powerful advice. Be strong. xoxo

  2. Hey Ras, really saddened to hear this news. From the few interactions we’ve had I get the strong impression you’re both very strong people, well equipped to push through these sorts of setbacks. Here’s to a speedy recovery.

  3. I am sorry to hear this is all happening for you, and I fully appreciate the stress and concern this all places on you. I was enjoying a great deal of momentum at the beginning of this year and then on June 28th I got bit by a rattlesnake and everything changed very quickly. details:

    I have been meaning to blog about some of the topics you’ve touched on and I read your post with great interest.

    yes: Medical insurance. I was 2 days from having my medical insurance reinstated when that rattlesnake unexpectedly bit my foot. Fixing this particular problem minus insurance is costing me, personally, $48,815. Security is an illusion and life occasionally can change the rules on you very quickly. For me, this happened in an instant.

    and an even bigger yes to support system. I have not been able to work much this summer, and I have been dealing with a lot of pain and dysfunction. However my family and friends have been generous, supportive and caring in all the best ways and I am definitely feeling the love. While I am currently in the process of recreating my work, I am also clear I am abundantly rich in community and support.

    so yes yes yes to everything you’ve shared above. All my best to you and your wife. After you get through this phase we’ll have to meet up.

    And, I’ve been meaning to learn more about stock photography, thus I’m going to download your guide. :)

    Thank you for sharing.



  4. My heart goes out to you. Yes, you are right, health insurance is essential for the entrepreneur, even if it appears like a huge expense and one can feel invincible when starting a company. Best wishes for getting through this and coming out strong and healthy.

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