Entrepreneurs Who Are Also Family Caregivers Series – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick

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Three Ways The Caregiver Entrepreneur Gets Ahead and Stays Sane

This article is the fourth in a series about successful entrepreneurs who are crushing it in their businesses but also managing the challenge of caring for a loved one.

Throughout Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, I repeatedly emphasize the need to take care of yourself and establish a caregiving crew of people who will help you and your loved one.  This week’s blog features two female business owner caregivers who share their experiences on maintaining a business while taking care of yourself and allowing others to help you.

      Elaine Pasqua

Elaine Pasqua, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is the author of #Mom I Got This: Building Your Legacy In College and Beyond.  She speaks professionally to colleges, high schools and pro sports teams about high-risk drinking and sexual assault prevention.  She has also been a caregiver many times to loved ones including her parents, her aunt and a cousin.  Here’s her advice on how to build a business while caregiving:

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help; it’s almost impossible to do it alone! Be creative, you have come up with a plan that works for everyone. You should never give up your goals, dreams, and years of hard work. You might have to adjust expectations and make modifications to satisfy the dual roles of caregiver and business person. Family and commitment to care should be valued above everything else in life. However, you also have to make a commitment to care for YOU, the caregiver. Take time to nurture yourself along the way; you will need it so you can continue to have the stamina and emotional reserves to juggle both.”

           Nora A. Burns

Speaker Nora A. Burns, owner of HR Undercover, a human resources consulting firm concurs.

I think it’s important to allow yourself some grace and recognize that perhaps the years when you are caregiving are not likely to be your most profitable years and that’s okay.  I would give anything for one more day with my mom, even if it meant losing my dream gig in order to make that happen.”

While taking care of her Mom and sister-in-law who were ill, Nora often had to fly from her home in Colorado to Wisconsin. “While in Wisconsin, friends would periodically lend me their vehicles so I wouldn’t have the expense of renting a car for that 1-3 week period – how awesome is that?”  Further, friends back in Colorado were kind enough to watch her dog Bella so she did not have to pay anyone to do that.    

What can business owners who are caregiving learn from Nora and Elaine?

  1. Temper your expectations for business growth while you are in the eye of the caregiving storm.
  2. Consider creative ways your friends and family can support your efforts to be a good caregiver and business owner.  Ask for their help.
  3. Remember that while business and work are important, people you love should still be your priority.

Join us next week for our final article in this series about successful business owners who are also caregiving!

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University and an Education Consultant to the Alzheimer’s Association. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

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