A lightbox with the words "think outside the box" on a chair in front of a wall

Minding my own business; the highs and lows of trying to adapt and develop in these challenging times

3rd September 2020

Wow September already! I hope you’ve all had a good summer despite the strange times we’re living through.

Since my last blog, life has been busy: I have had some lovely summer days out with family and friends visiting local places; I’ve been recruiting PA’s and guiding them through their new role; And above all, I have been developing my career as a public speaker, influencer and advisor.

For anyone managing a business these are challenging times. Being a disabled woman and running my own business can be especially tricky. I am aware that I have to have a solid business strategy in order to keep afloat and for new doors to open. Initial networking is a challenge and nerve-wracking in itself, as I feel that I have to go that extra mile to prove that I have the ability to be successful.

As with most businesses, the COVID pandemic has had a major impact on me and has meant I’ve had to adapt my strategy and plans for this year and probably beyond. In some ways this has been extremely stressful, however it’s also been exciting to explore new avenues and make new contacts.

So far, the majority of my meetings have been on Zoom and it has been a very positive experience. Some of the people I’ve met with include website designers, business and funding advisors, HR managers and Diversity & Inclusion managers from the public and private sectors. Without exception, everyone has been extremely positive, enthusiastic and helpful and seem to be very interested in my work which is hugely encouraging.

With so many meetings happening virtually at the moment, I’m not sure the perception of my disability truly reflects the reality. The people who I am having conversations with only see my head and shoulders. If they are yet to read my blog, I wonder what their perception of my disability is and would their attitude towards me be different if they were meeting me face to face?

I have had interesting conversations and some people have actually been very open and honest in admitting that their own experiences of interacting with disabled people has been fairly limited and that they are keen to learn and explore their own perceptions at a personal level.

For me, whilst I am enjoying making contacts and growing my business, it’s also hard work. Researching business support grants and the complexities of navigating funding options is a minefield. Having said that, I’m discovering and exploring some exciting new possibilities and thankfully it’s nowhere near as taxing as the hours spent trudging through my PhD!

Do you own or manage a business? How has the pandemic affected you and are you managing to adapt?

Have you much experience of working with disabled people ? If not then why do you think this is?

Photo by Nikita Kachanovskyon Unsplash

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