12 Ways My Entrepreneurial Spirit Helps Me Cope With My Debilitating Chronic Illness

01/19/2016 11:43 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Since my Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) bulldozed into my life and turned it up side down and shook it sideways, my life has taken several drastic turns and pushed me to learn lessons about myself and the world I never wanted to experience.

From the powerhouse CEO, most highly regarded employee and corporate business wonder-woman to being stalked, insulted and fired by my employer in a short few months, I had, unbeknownst to me, jumped in a tough love roller-coaster of life.

It was a harsh, painful and humiliating experience, but also an eye opening, push-over-the-edge and see what you're made out of life test.

I am happy to announce that I did pass the test with flying colors and now I live life on my own terms, make much more money than before and I'm my own boss.

This chronic illness forced me into discovering my innate entrepreneurial spirit which in turn, helps me cope with my debilitating chronic illness.

Let's go on this journey I took and see how lessons learned in one aspect of my life reverberates and spills over into the other parts of my life, how my entrepreneurial spirit got me through the toughest time in my life, helped me cope with my chronic illness and at the same time helped me built my dream business and life.

1. If I don't take care of myself no one will

Strong pain in my neck and right shoulder, followed by pinching ear pains and daily awful headaches were as much of a dilemma for doctors as they were for me. After a few months painkillers stopped helping and I was in physical pain and mental agony over my inability to work as I've always been an ambitious business woman who loves to work and work hard.
After months of this torture, I learned one expensive lesson: Don't wait for anyone to save you: doctor, employer, family or friends. Take matters in your own hands!
So, I did a ton of research and went to multiple specialists and tried a million things.

In my business I know that if I don't do the work in order to build the business and life I want, no one will do it for me.

2. Believe in myself completely - no need for outside validation

In three months I went from being the most highly regarded employee to being fired because I was sick and couldn't do my job. My employer didn't believe me, had a neurologist suggest that it was all in my head, my general physician was pushing me to go back to work siding with the employer rather than taking care of me, his patient...so yes, I had to believe in myself and validate my own pain and suffering.

I do this in my business now and I make easy $35,000 month when the other entrepreneurs say it's a "slow month." I believe in myself. Completely.

3. Never Assume - just take Action

Once diagnosed, I was told that Repetitive Strain Injury was not recognized in Switzerland (well-known diagnostic in the US and UK). But somehow my insurance still paid for all my doctors, testing and treatments. Don't assume, take action and you might be surprised by the result!
I tell all my clients to Take Action! I even say in my Ted talk - "Be inspired. Think big. Take action." - that's how much this has changed my life

4. If it sounds and feels right to you, keep at it

The physiotherapy, trigger-therapy and medical massage didn't help much at the start, but they sounded like the right thing to do while I was figuring out how to make it work to improve my health. Then the key ingredient showed up in my life in such a simple form - Kinesiotape- the tape physiotherapist use now. It saved me and made the other therapies finally give amazing results.

Now I know in my business as well, if I find something that I feel works (webinars being one of my things), even if I don't see immediate results, I trust myself and stay consistent. The key ingredient always comes along and turns everything into a big success.

5. Never give up. Move forward

When things looked grim and I had to find my own answers, switch my doctors and insurance, I never stopped putting one foot in front of the other, even not knowing the outcome. I moved forward. I looked for different paths. I never gave up. Action is better than sitting around and playing victim.

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I took this self portrait on February 25th 2011 when I had been sick for three months.

6. There's times to be vulnerable and trust people

A friend of mine from the US called me to check in with me couple of months after my pains started and while I never liked to be a victim and always played tough, I opened up to him and while my doctors at the time did't know what I had, my friend recognized it on the spot. I was vulnerable and trusted my friend and I was rewarded with an answer to my dilemma. Finally.

Being vulnerable and trusting people sometimes pays off and sometimes it doesn't in business, but when it does pay off, just like in life, it makes a world of difference.

7. There will be tough times - guaranteed, but trust that the storm will end. The sun will shine again.

I got fired, insulted, called crazy, legally harassed by my employer's lawyer and waited three months for a diagnosis. I isolated myself and only my closest family knew that something was wrong with me. But the storm did end. I was diagnosed, I did receive treatment and I did find the key ingredient to my treatment.

Perseverance is key for success.

8. Knowing the answer is not always the end of the road

Most of the times the story, new story, just begins when you finally get an answer. Like my diagnosis or the magical kinesiotape. That's when things start to make sense, and understand which of the multiple therapies tried, would now work for me. The journey is just beginning and the building blocks that you already accumulated start falling into place like puzzle pieces.

9. Detours are a must

My journey pushed me into building my own business that I love. But there were many roadblocks and detours. RSI being one of them. All these just help me figure out what works and what doesn't. Change is hard but necessary in building your piece of art, your "dream life."

10. Integrity will propel you to new levels

After I was fired from that job, I was immediately hired as a country manager by someone who knew how good I was at what I do and who also was intimately familiar with RSI. Fifteen months into the job I realized that for his company, it didn't make sense to have a local country manger and I shared that with my employer, relieving myself from a very easy and lucrative job just by being honest. But it paid off in the end as that was the crucial moment when I knew I was never going to work for anyone else ever again.

11. Don't have to see the entire staircase to take the first step

When I took the decision that I was going to open my own business, I did't know exactly what I was going to do. I did't have a full image of my dream business. All I knew was that I wanted to work from home, have flexible hours and be location independent.

12. Build your business around your needs

Never the other way around. I had to cater to my RSI now, take care of my health, take the breaks that I need and go to therapy when needed. That's how it started. So, I built my business around my needs, then wants and it does not mean it's less profitable, on the contrary, I make much more money now than I ever made before.

Be Inspired. Think Big. Take Action!

Trust your passion to guide you towards rewarding profits.