This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.
I was only 34 years old and a mother of a 2-year-old daughter when I was officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. A debilitating disease that is painful and difficult to treat. For years, I suffered from chronic pain that my doctors attributed to me being a hypochondriac. Of course, I wasn't. The symptoms got so bad that I had to quit my job. It was a stressful time for me and my family. I was having a hard time adjusting to being at home and it didn't help when depression reared its ugly head.
My diagnosis did not happen gradually. In fact, it was an eye opener.
Depression, pain and a host of other symptoms had finally taken its toll. I just did not know it. You must understand my doctors were telling me, "It's all in your head." Any new symptoms that I thought I might have, I ignored. My body was trying to tell me something but I wasn't listening. Desperate for answers I consulted mediums because I was hoping they offer insight that no one else could. If nothing else, they offered friendship and comfort.
A slap in the face set it in motion
One day while driving on the highway an incident happened that changed my views about my health and my life forever. It felt like the walls were caving in around me and I had tunnel vision. I could only see through a tiny hole if I focused hard enough. It was like driving while intoxicated. Terrified, I got off at the next exit and somehow made it to the hospital. To be honest, I do not know how I managed to drive that way. All I remember is passing out near the emergency room door. What I can tell you about the experience is that I went into the hospital drug-free and came out with an entire shelf of drugs and no job to pay for them.
My diagnosis: Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, HypoThyroidism and Anemia.
I had let my health deteriorate so badly that it almost killed me. It took months to get my life back on track and when it did, I decided that it wasn't going to hold me back anymore. I needed to get back into the workforce, but it wasn't as easy as I thought.
It wasn’t my health that was the issue. It was my work situation that was the problem. And, It was not until I decided to talk to a career coach that things began to change. Who knew there was such a thing? I didn't. One of the benefits of being sick is the information that professionals give you. I had a whole binder full. In one of the booklets, it suggested I try career counseling. So I did. As my husband put it, "It has to be better than talking to a psychic from http://psychicnocreditcard.ca/." He is a funny guy.
The coach explained to me that because of my situation I was better off choosing a job that would allow me to work from home. At first, I was a bit taken back by this but then I realized, she was right. A simple observation from a stranger changed everything for me. Because of this advice, I started my writing business.
I felt good about helping others with my stories. I was less stressed and money was starting to come back into the household. If I did not know any better I would swear it helped ease the pain a great deal.
Here is how I did it
It Began With a Website
I knew the best way to get my message across was through a blog. So I created a free one through WordPress and began to market myself, post articles and offer advice. I reached out to other bloggers who needed help and I went a bit more in-depth about the subject. I went from a stay at home mom and fibromyalgia patient into a successful professional consultant.
People began to turn to me for advice and before long I had one of the most popular sites. There was not a lot of information out there surrounding SEO and social media marketing at the time. People needed help and I provided it.
Then I Wrote A Book
I knew it was time to take the next step when I had more appointments than I could handle. My email inbox was full of questions. How could I spread my advice to all these people without splitting myself in a thousand directions, especially when I had a young daughter to take care of?
I decided to write a book and offer in-depth advice to reach a bigger audience. When I published my book, I understood that I had become successful. I was no longer a victim of my illnesses. I was a mother who built her career inside her home using her knowledge to help others.
I Then Booked Video Appointments
As a digital marketer, I understand the importance of integrating technology and digital media into my strategies. I couldn't have a website and write blog posts all day. I needed to meet up with clients who were seeking advice from me. So, I took it a step further by booking live video chat appointments which allowed me to get a better face-to-face understanding of my clients' problems. And, I could see how they reacted to my questions and advice. Pretty soon, I began to live stream video sessions to groups of people seeking advice. My sessions varied from appointments and reading excerpts from my books and articles. The business took off all on its own.
"If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. - Confucius
There is an app for that!
I am considering adding a mobile app into the mix. This is the way of the future and it only makes sense for me to adapt.
You can do it too!
Start out doing what you love. A hobby, skill or something you know a great deal about.
Find the right mediums to express your thoughts and views on the subject.
Make yourself an expert in your industry, domain or niche.
Expand your strategies with different media. Explore things like apps, video and social media as a means to grow.
Let things happen naturally
Savor the good days, forget the bad ones.
Share your experiences with others.
Research, research, and research again.
Get help when needed
Accept that things will not always go as planned and use them as opportunities to learn.
Smile and remember if I did it, so can you.
The best part about my experience, I didn't have to invest a dime. I built everything from scratch and free tools that I managed to find online. It was not a good financial period for me and this helped my decision to start writing. Something I could do that did not cost anything. I learned simple tips and tricks through research like you are now and I worked at it.
Anyone can start a business from their own home, but it takes time and effort. There is no such thing as making money quick.
Nothing irritates me more than getting rich quick schemes. They make a huge amount of false claims. And, pick on people like me who have health problems and are trying to make ends meet.
It took me twelve years and a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears to become successful. Don't let your health (or mental state) get in the way of your success. Make them work for you not against you by making simple adjustments. Work at your own pace and when you are most energized.
Why do I help others? Because it is rewarding and it teaches you the most valuable skills you will ever need. How to work with others.