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When Planning a Pause in Business Is Necessary

February 28, 2018

Inspiration, Wednesday Wisdom and Advice for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners and New York State Small Businesses

In May 2007, almost one year after starting Women TIES with my membership numbers growing rapidly, I had to take a “medical sabbatical” from my beloved company to take care of some pressing health issues. The sabbatical occurred a month after my father passed awhile unexpectedly. Whether or not his loss contributed to the physical issues I was having at the time is hard to determine, but all I knew was my husband and family asked me to take time to get well and heal from the loss. It was at that time a wise seventy year old member said to me, “Tracy remember the word ‘women entrepreneur’ means you are a woman first and entrepreneur second and sometimes personal situations we face as woman come before business because business will always be there.” It was hard to believe her at the time. Like most entrepreneurs I thought if I paused my business, it wouldn’t regain its strength or growth.

On March 3, 2018, Women TIES celebrates its 13th year in business! What I remember about coming back from the sabbatical was being recharged, refocused, and healthier in mind, body and spirit. I didn’t lose women after a three months pause of my business, I won by showing women how to take care of themselves when it matters. I also returned more resolute in taking Women TIES from a local organization to a state-wide one. My medical condition improved and I found time to rewrite my business plan for something larger.

Déjà Vue is a funny thing because I’m back in the same situation 11 years later. The same medical issues (non-life threatening so don’t worry) are back. After twenty three years as a woman entrepreneur, I’m blessed to have only had two instances when I needed to “pause” my business operations. As I prepare to take off three months on another medical sabbatical after March 31st, I realize communication and planning will be key to Women TIES success – and more importantly – the success of my members using our marketing platform to advertise their businesses to other women and online to consumers.

In the next few weeks, every member of mine will receive a detailed letter with ways they can promote themselves more through my company. In fact the letter will highlight membership benefits they might not use regularly but will be offered to use more until I return. Call it an experiment or call it a brilliant way to remind customers how much we have to offer them and ask them to be more involved. I will continue to write the Wednesday Wisdom but just not host any of our own events.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to encourage you to consider how you would plan a pause in your business if something sudden or planned happened to you or a loved one. We never want to think about these issues but it is the reality of entrepreneurship unless we have a large and trusted staff who can take over for us. Most of our members are solo women entrepreneurs or have only a couple staff members. Do you have a plan if something happens to you? Do you know how you would handle taking “family leave” if and when the situation arises? Now is the time to think how you could pause your business whenever the day arises.

I know like last time, I will roar back with some really creative ideas to help the women I love succeed in business and unite. Hey you never know, maybe Women TIES will go national or international! You’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2018 8:07 am

    Months after starting my business I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I can definitely sympathize! But what your member told you long ago is right Tracy, we are “women” first ~ and everything that comes with that. And that means taking care of everything that is important to us, and that includes ourselves. In fact, that is one reason many of us start our own businesses ~ the flexibility to take care of the many things in our lives! So take this time to heal yourself. You will come back better for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. March 1, 2018 9:15 am

    Thank you for sharing your history with us Kim. I have many members who are breast cancer survivors. I am glad you are healthy. I learned along time about the flexibility aspect of entrepreneurship was more important to business owners than money. You and I are both proof you can “pause” and then come back stronger. Tracy

    Like

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