If You Own a Small Business You’d Better Be Healthy

In the past – a long time in the past – I had the good fortune to work in situations where I actually got paid even while I was off sick. I was enough of a workaholic – fact, not particularly proud of it – that I was usually keen to get back to work as quickly as I could, but I did not have the financial worry about being ill that is usually part of being in business on your own.

Then some time after I’d had my own business I was put out of action for a couple of months and on about half strength for six months, through a medical mishap during a ‘routine procedure’. I had some good and loyal clients so my business did not collapse, but it certainly took a knock.

The fact is, for those of us who have a home based or other small business, being healthy and fit is basic. Health insurance is also a consideration. Although in the situation I experienced where I was put out of action, the insurance company used some fine print to weasel out of paying me the income substitution my premiums were supposed to cover – but that’s another story under the heading “caveat emptor”. I’m not knocking the value of insurance, but since that experience I’ve learned to take more responsibility for my own health as part of my insurance provision. And I’ll be at the gym tonight even though part of me would rather kick back with a beverage of my choice in hand.

On the new b5media business channel blog Small Business Boomers, entrepreneur Jim Norton has some good advice about health in his post Your Business Is All About You.

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.


  1. Chris Pearson says:

    You make some great points here! I know from my experince when I was working and hating my job I was sick as a dog all the time.

    In the past two years since I have been able to quite my job and work from home I have not been sick more than once or twice and I usually bounce back quickly!

    Maybe, because I love what I am doing know???? LOL

    And maybe, my mind does have an affect on my physical health.

  2. When I went solo my biggest fear was health insurance. Even though I’m fairly healthy and also work out several times a week that fact didn’t help my kid who broke his arm. Luckily the $7K bill to set the arm was picked up by the insurance company. Des hit this nail on the head, you better stay healthy but you better have health insurance as well when you fly solo.

  3. Anonymous says:


    Its a very good point. Someone I know is writing a book about health and well-being for 40+ folk. One of the points he makes is that its no fun having super if you aren’t healthy enough to make use of it. So keeping fit is very important for small business people – during the business years (as your post makes very clear), but then to make sure we get to enjoy the fruits of our labours in the post-business years.


  4. Thinking Home Business says:

    Five Trusty Tibetans to Help Stay Healthy

    As a follow up to my post yesterday, If You Own a Small Business, You’d Better Stay Healthy, I thought tonight I should mention something that has been very helpful for me and is very manageable in terms of space and time for even the busiest home base…

  5. Yes, my personal experience is more about flying solo, although I have worked in tandem with others at times and the same issues apply although not always as accutely. On the other hand, I can think of a few business owners I know whose continuing, focused attendance is pretty crucial to the success of their business. I acknowledge that in terms of the e-myth we are supposed to find our way out of that bind. 🙂

  6. Good point here Des. I think you might be talking more along the lines of flying solo. In some small businesses there are people to pick up the pieces when tragedy strikes. But this is still great advice. Of course I sit here typing at midnight having gone through my second box of tissues because of cold and flu.


  1. […] 2006 I reflected here on the topic with my post If You Own a Small Business You’d Better be Healthy. On commenter observed at the time that I was probably referring to working solo, which was a fair […]