It’s March. This year is flying by already!
We’re thinking about a couple of things during March: International Women’s Day on the 8th of March. I’d usually celebrate this by showcasing some of our incredible clients.
But March is also ‘Endometriosis Awareness Month’. You might not have heard of that before, so let me tell you a little about Endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition I suffer from – I’ve had it my entire life, but I was only diagnosed two years ago after years of testing and speaking with doctors.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis (Endo) is an invisible disease which affects one in seven women in the UK. It causes debilitating pain for the sufferer, caused by tissue similar to the uterus lining growing in other body parts. It mainly has to do with the reproductive system but can sometimes spread to other nerves and organs.
Unfortunately, Endo is not easy to diagnose: it can take, on average, seven to ten years to diagnose.
The condition causes pain, restricted movement, extreme fatigue, and anaemia. Endo has many other effects, but I won’t go into detail here: if you want to learn more about the disease, you can find lots of helpful information on the Endometriosis website.
My Endo story
Often, Endo sufferers find they are not taken seriously when they talk about the pain they are experiencing.
For me, this was compounded by my being a black woman – there’s a proven disparity in reproductive health outcomes for black women compared to other groups.
It took well over seventeen years(!) for me to finally be taken seriously by my doctors and begin to receive the treatment I need.
Endo and similar conditions often negatively impact the sufferer’s working life and economic power.
My previous employers had no knowledge of my condition, and they never believed my symptoms, with no evidence to back them up. Management regularly pulled me into disciplinary meetings to discuss my absences from work.
Around this time, I realised I needed a working environment where I could support women like me, women in the BAME community, women with invisible diseases and disabilities – women!
I knew I could provide them with a service that takes their needs into consideration and uniquely empower them.
It has worked out very well for me so far. I’m no longer held accountable to others who don’t understand my condition and aren’t willing to work flexibly around it.
Working for myself
What are the benefits of working for myself? I can match my time to the schedule that my body requires.
Some of my clients suffer from the same or similar conditions and have shared similar experiences.
Thousands of women are running their own businesses suffering from this invisible debilitating disease, all fighting the same questions every day:
- How do we manage our time effectively?
- How can we be reliable to our customers, employees, and team members?
- How can we meet deadlines?
- How can we put the effort needed into every day to run a business when we’re struggling with extreme pain?
I have so much respect for anyone out there suffering from a health condition like this one. It’s hard enough to run a business and be self-employed – adding physical and mental struggles to that makes it ten times harder.
Simply put, I get it.