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Has life ever thrown you something negative out of the blue that you couldn’t predict?

Odds are it has.

Well, when you add that painful curveball (ie: health issue, divorce, family member death, etc) to the amount of business responsibilities you have, it’s a recipe for stress.’s, Lisa Evans, collected some advice from several entrepreneurs on how they continued to operate their businesses during a personal crisis.

Here are the results:

Outsource and learn to ask for help.

Entrepreneurs are used to running their business solo, but when personal crises arise, you may need to consider recruiting some back up. Marianne O’Connor credits her staff with helping to keep her creative PR agency, Sterling Communications, alive after her daughter became ill in the fall of 2010. Although the company didn’t grow during the three-year period that her daughter was ill, O’Connor says her team stepped up, allowing her to focus on taking her daughter to doctors’ appointments and caring for her at home.

“Entrepreneurs tend to be ‘I can handle this’ types, but you’ll get through any personal crisis better and faster if you share the burden,” says O’Connor. “The people around you – colleagues, friends and family – want to help, so let them.”

Find the things that can easily be taken off your plate and transferred to someone else so you can dedicate your time to only focusing on the most important things that only you can take care of.

Be honest with clients and customers.

If you find you aren’t able to go about your business as usual, alerting clients to your situation is the best thing to do to avoid any misunderstandings. Most people are understanding of those going through tough personal times. Reassure them that their business is still important to you and tell them what level of service they can expect to receive from you during this time.

Focus on maintaining relationships with key clients.

Margaret Reynolds was diagnosed with breast cancer at a time when business was booming. “My pipeline was full for the next six months,” she says. She continued to work as much as she could but shortened her working hours when she felt weakened by the treatments. “I focused my limited time on serving clients – those already on the books – over my other role of rainmaking,” she says.

Reynolds felt making sure current clients got her best work was more important than taking on any new clients. “Our reputation was not to be compromised,” she says.

“Managing my client and associate relationships through these times with as much transparency as I could muster helped them know how to help me and earned me their respect. By maintaining strong relationships, I maintained a strong business.”

Do some soul-searching.

There’s nothing like a personal tragedy to cause you to reflect upon the things that are important in your life and to realize what makes you tick. Reynolds realized how much she enjoyed her work and relied on her love for her work to get her through the tough times.

“Work helped me stay grounded,” she says.

Lisa, thank you for compiling this useful information.

Hopefully, you, the reader, will never have to encounter some of the above personal situations, but if you do, now you have some options to help ease your anxiety and stress.

To your success,


Michael Palmer

Article by Michael Palmer

Michael is the CEO of Pure Bookkeeping, the host of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast and an acclaimed business coach who has helped hundreds of bookkeepers across the world push through their fears and exponentially grow their businesses and achieve the quality of life they've always wanted.