The past week has felt like one long bad dream. After the news of my grandmother’s passing, there were still plenty of calls to make and arrangements to put together, despite feeling like all I wanted to do was grieve in peace. For anyone who has lost a loved one, I’m sure you can relate to this feeling. However, the one thing I didn’t have to do on top of everything else was reach out to an employer and let them know that I’d be taking bereavement time (although in this case, I’m taking “unpaid” bereavement time).
Since leaving my full-time job in October, there have been plenty of things I’ve had to cover (that my employer once did). Things like taxes, time off, and let’s not forget, health insurance are all things you need to procure on your own as an entrepreneur. But I never factored in what I would do if an emergency arose and I needed time off—until now.
While I found keeping busy to be a help after enduring a loss, my time has not been my own. There have been plenty of people to notify, attorneys to contact, papers to find, and a lengthy to-do list to get through. So, even though I technically wanted to get some other work done, there just weren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. Fortunately, I was strategic about how many clients I planned to take on over the summer, and from there, I let my clients know that I would be working reduced hours after taking a week-long break to handle my responsibilities as a caregiver. Of course, they were all familiar with my situation and very understanding—which I appreciated. Some had me over for lunch, others sent condolence cards, but they all kept me in their thoughts and prayers.
It’s been a year since I enrolled in Camp Clarity with Diana Davis (the next round is days away from starting, so if you’ve been wanting to work with a business coach, hit me up, and I can tell you more about it). One of the topics we covered early on was setting boundaries with clients. I didn’t know then how important that lesson would eventually be, but I’m so glad I had the tools to set proper boundaries, especially for an occasion like this.
As an entrepreneur, it can feel like you always need to hustle. And while it’s true that you don’t get paid if you don’t work, it’s also true that you can’t pour from an empty cup. The past week was a prime example of a time when I just wasn’t at my best for myself (or for anyone else), and I’m glad that I implemented Diana’s instructions when it came to building a business around my life.