While carrying my first son, I heard one of the most gut-wrenching statements a pregnant woman could hear from her doctor: "1 percent chance!"
I had been diagnosed with a placental abruption and told that I had less than 1 percent chance of being released from the hospital with my baby in my belly. On day nine of my hospital stay, the doctor told me, "Brigid, in order for you to be released from the hospital, you must go on bed rest for the duration of your pregnancy to keep your baby safe."
At 26 weeks into my pregnancy, my doc gave me strict orders: "one shower a day, take the necessary trips to the bathroom, otherwise, don't move."
For the 10 weeks leading up to the birth of my son, I either sat in a big, oversized, comfy chair or laid on the sofa. On the outside, I felt like stabbing myself in the eye, I was so freaking bored. However, on the inside, my body was working overtime to bring my baby into the world. I knew I was doing the right thing by following the doctor's orders and taking it easy.
In retrospect, bed rest turned out to be not all bad. In fact, it helped me become the successful entrepreneur I am today.
Here are the five critical things I learned that have helped me grow my coaching business as a result of this medical emergency.
1. Unwavering Focus
I had two jobs to do while I was on bed rest: (1) be still and (2) do everything in my power to keep my son safely snuggled in my belly until he was ready to meet the world.
In running a business, you must have laser focus on who your target audience is and what your goals are in reaching this group of clients. If you try to appeal to everyone, you'll ultimately appeal to no one. Get focused on who you are targeting and how you are targeting.
My husband and I had to be extremely organized when it came to my bed rest. My husband was working full time, and had to prepare my breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks I might need during the day and put them in a cooler next to me so I didn't get up throughout the day. If I was reading a book and I forgot it in the bedroom, then I asked him to grab it or I didn't get it till I went to the bathroom the next time. Being organized was crucial.
In running your empire, you must be organized. It's essential to plan your content out, your social media posts, and your marketing and communication efforts with your clients and future clients. The more organized and prepared you are, the less likely you will forget something or have any unforeseen surprises.
3. Daily Plan of Action
It may sound odd to have a daily plan of action while I sit on my behind for two months. Going from an energetic, full time employee to resting all day and being unable to work full time was a challenge. I had to create a daily plan of action so that I had something tangible to achieve. My plan included writing, working on my computer, knitting, reading and a little time for TV.
Today a daily plan of action in my business is indispensable and is the same for any entrepreneur. By setting three goals to achieve each day, you can easily set yourself up for success. I don't recommend doing more than that, because it's vital to get the three things done and done well. It's also a great feeling to check them off the list at the end of the day.
I mentioned that I am super energetic. To be told to sit still and rest felt like I was just a bump on a log. It was a challenge for me, even knowing what I knew. However, I had to be disciplined. I thought, "come on I just want to change the load of laundry, what could it hurt?" But I stayed disciplined and followed through on what I needed to achieve. Yes there were times I wanted to cheat, but I always did the right thing. There was a big reward at the end and I knew my little guy's life was on the line.
Being disciplined in business is vital when becoming an entrepreneur. When working for yourself you might want to put off something that doesn't come easy, but it needs to get done. The key is to stay disciplined, and do what must get done first.
5. Deal with Reality
We were dealing with life and death when it came to our reality. While on bed rest we were allowed to attend one baby class. We spent the first hour listening to parents tell their fears, which were valid, but very different to our fears and our reality. They were worried about the sleepless nights, while we worried about our baby staying put for the duration of my pregnancy. It turned out we couldn't stay for the full class, because I started to have contractions and needed to return to my nest. It was a big reality check for us and we had to accept it.
There is a reality check that when starting your own business. Will you have 1000 people on your list overnight? Most likely not. It will take loads of time and hard work to build your list but don't let that stop you. Stay connected to reality, and dream about where you want to go with your business and consider how you're going to get there. Have fun with building your business that's what is it all about.
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