Working Under Stress

Running your own business, especially when it’s just you, is a full time job and a half. It’s manageable provided everything else ticks along.

But if your personal life goes into free fall, and you’re struggling to balance earning with your own sanity, something has to give.

I find it very hard to concentrate on work when things around me are falling apart and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I don’t mean the odd thing that comes along and quietly sabotages your peace of mind. I mean a continuous stream of negative events over which you have no control.

A quiet July workwise had already unnerved me financially and I was using the time to get to grips with working on the sales sites and marketing for my business when everything else started to go wrong.

It all started 2 ½ weeks ago when my best friend’s mother died.

The next day I was given notice on a houseshare I had only been in for two months. The reason – ‘she didn’t like me’.

Helping my best friend deal with her mother’s death and funeral, and within the next week the death of both her aunt and her brother have been distracting to say the least.

Added to this her six year old son (my godson) has been diagnosed with a heart murmur.

My additional sense of failure to stay in control came when I had to come to terms with the reality that I was going to have to rehome my pets because I can’t find anywhere new to take them.

Within 11 days of publishing this I will be homeless if credit checks and references for a new house don’t come through in time, or at all. Two disastrous houseshare tenancies since I moved to Manchester in January have meant I don’t have the easy references to finally move into a proper rental property with my boyfriend. Being self employed has also been detrimental to that application. But fingers crossed they see I’m not the kind of person who’s going to trash someone’s house and can afford the rent.

Being self employed and in those early years when things are less than perfect financially, affects your ability to get all sorts of help. And especially the simple task of just get a roof over your head. In house shares it’s easy because no one does credit checks or asks for references. That long drawn out administrative process is gone. But with estate agents it’s different. Plus there are the vast array of fees that seem to be standard amongst letting agents.

That of course means you run the risk of ending up in all sorts of situations which make home life tricky. If you want a proper home of your own you’re less likely to find anywhere shacking up with strangers or territorial live in landlords.

Ticking along in the background of all of this has been my father having tests to find out if he has cancer. And then the diagnosis that he does. That was Friday.

Many of these problems don’t directly affect me, but tragedies close to you, drip fed into each day of your life have an emotional effect that impacts your working life. If I was working in a company I might be able to take holiday leave, compassionate leave. But at least I wouldn’t be worrying who was making the money.

When it’s your business, if you don’t work, nothing happens.

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