Running a business with a concussion

Being a sole proprietor is scary when you run a physically strenuous business. I’ve got deadlines and a tight schedule without a whole lot of flexibility. What happens if I get sick or hurt and am out of work for a while??

Recently I got to answer this question when I suffered a ‘mild’ concussion…

About 6 weeks ago I was somehow involved in a Muay Thai Kickboxing match “sparing”.. (don’t have any idea how that happened..)? Well, now I know what they mean in training when they ALWAYS say “Keep your hands up!”.?? I got knocked around a bit, not too much, and felt I held my own.? I got some good shots in too.? I felt week and wore out after the fight, maybe even a little shaky, but I thought it was just really physically demanding and my body was recovering.? I did get hit the head a few times, but nothing hurt in the moment.? I left class thinking, next time I wont let the short guys in, and I’ll keep my hands up better.

Needless to say, there has yet to be a next time.?? The next morning I had a really bad headache which lasted all day.? The next few days it got worse and I started getting tunnel vision and dizzy.? I took some Ibuprofen for my head and figured it would pass.? I was feeling OK, still a little foggy about a week after it happened and thought, hey, I haven’t worked out in week.. I’ll go hit on the bag.? About 10 minutes into it and my head was hurting worse, “oh well” I thought, it’s been hurting a lot so it’s not really new.? I got into it more and started hitting harder, then I realized as I hit the bag, the back of my head would ache on impact, almost like I could feel my brain hit the back of my skull.. so I figured I should stop.? By the time I walked inside I was feeling sick, was dizzy, and my vision was going.? The next week was hell.? Couldn’t concentrate, super tired and foggy, horrible head aches, and feeling sluggish.? Luckily I never had any of the other symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome like short term memory loss or mood swings / depression.

It’s been a hard 6 weeks, but aside from a minor headache and still feeling foggy, I’m doing alright.? Taking it very slow and not exerting myself much at all.? I went on a 3 mile family bike ride over the weekend and could tell I wasn’t ready for that yet.? Had to lay down for a while to recover.? So.. no more anything for the next 3 months is what was ordered.

So this is it.. I’m behind on orders, working slow, stressing out about getting customers drums to them, and feeling like I should have gotten more done most days.? But what have I learned??

1. I’ve hired some part time help which I’m very excited about.? I’ll post more about this later, and hopefully he’ll post a little intro soon.

2. I got a CPA to do all the stuff I don’t like doing so I can concentrate on drums and not on taxes

3. I have a plan (an actual plan, not just an idea of the plan) in place (although admittedly not in effect ..yet…) to get more organized and clear up “junk” in the shop that makes it harder to work efficiently

4. My customers ROCK.? You guys are so understanding about delays and almost always take the “do it right and take your time” approach.? I appreciate the trust in that, and I’m putting systems in place to make this not as much of an issue should there be a next time.

5. Take it easy MAN.? This isn’t a cut on your finger that you can work through until it heals up…? I use to head 3-4 drums a day if needed, I’m maxed out after one now, and have to rest between pulling verticals.? This will slowly get back to normal

6. Hey, I’m blogging more and working on my website because I can handle sitting at the computer more than I can being in a loud shop with sharp spinning things all over…. This will hopefully make a better customer experience on my site, and give you guys something else to read about.

7. I don’t know, my short term memory isn’t so hot. 🙂

So I’m still working.. just slowly.? I have some great help on Mondays and hope to be able to pull him in for more hours once things get back to normal.? I think the biggest lesson that I learned, and learned fairly early here is that I just can’t do it all.? The “what if” is too big, the responsibility is too much.? Hopefully there wont be a next time, but if there is, I’ll be ready for it!

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