Some Small Biz Do's & Don'ts for Spoonies

Because we do things differently

As a spoonie, I live within limitations unique to my body. If I were to follow every bit of small business advice thrown at me by abled writers, I'd literally end up in the hospital.

My guess is that if you also identify as a spoonie, the same goes for you too.

Below are some dos and don'ts that are helping me build a sustainable small business. This list isn't the end-all list; it's a list that grows as I learn better how to support myself while building my small spoonie business. I hope they can offer you encouragement and support too.

DO prioritize tasks and only do what you can safely do.

There are only so many spoons (and hours) in a day, and you are the only one who can say what is too much on any given day.

Prioritizing your tasks and focusing first on the ones that matter most in your small biz journey is the key to not getting caught up on non-essential tasks and then finding yourself (literally for me) flat on your back and all out of spoons before you get to the actually essential task(s) of the day. This is supported by our first don't:

DON'T try to do it all, all the time.

Pick what matters most and start from there.

Even abled small business owners can't do it all, all the time. But for us spoonies, it is vitally important not just to our personal well-being but also to the health and sustainability of our businesses that we work within our limitations. So pick and choose — and let the rest go, at least for now.

DO have a flexible plan and schedule.

Please work WITH your limitations, not against them.

As spoonies, we all know how frequently our amount of available spoons can change — especially if we're over-doing it! Therefore, building a business with flexibility in your day-to-day work schedule and any launch/course/group plans is necessary. Remember, you can't do it all, all the time.

DON'T push yourself too hard and ignore your unique limitations.

Again, please work WITH and WITHIN your limitations.

Doing the old spoonie crash and burn bites a$$. Avoid it as much as possible by being honest with yourself about what you can and can't do at any given time. There is no shame in being compassionate to yourself.

DO stay curious and connected to your inner child.

Because if you're not having fun, what's the point?!?

But also because fun and joy and playfulness make life worth living, and being in that state, we have the most direct access to our creativity and resilience. Life is short. Make joy a priority.

Don't compare your progress to others, especially ableds.

Because you will never win those battles in your head.

They have more spoons in a day than many (most?) of us have in a month. So do NOT compare your ability to focus, work, and produce to theirs. That is an actual form of spoonie self-harm.

Do schedule periods of rest and recover.

Don't wait to fall down, to lay down and rest.

Rest and recovery periods are something that everyone needs, but us spoonies need them more often than ableds for sure. Put time to rest and recover into your planner. So go on, add in a nap right now; I'll wait ;)

And, finally, DON'T get locked into an idea that steals all your spoons.

Reassess and readjust as needed.

A few years ago, I was promoting the launch of my first paid group offering. And then I got a new job that started the same week as my offering. So I chose to cancel and send refunds rather than push myself into a significant flair and risk not being able to offer participants the experience I'd promised.


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