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Business Tips From a Cancer Survivor
More than 10 million individuals in the United States work in establishments with less than 100 employees, according to 2020 data. Coincidentally, cancer has cost the lives of an estimated 10 million people worldwide. These figures suggest that some small businesses may have had employees or owners diagnosed with cancer. Running a business as a cancer survivor can be a tumultuous challenge.
Different factors in a work environment can potentially cause diseases like cancer. For example, exposure to asbestos in the workplace can cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer type affecting your lungs or abdomen.
Removal and proper disposal of this material can help prevent or reduce the possibility of having mesothelioma, which has four stages.
Entrepreneurs looking to improve their businesses can consider looking into the perspective of cancer survivors. What tips can a cancer survivor give business owners to improve a business? In what ways does a cancer diagnosis affect a business?
This article presents tips and lessons for running a business from the perspective of a cancer survivor. The write-up also explains how getting diagnosed with cancer can affect a business.
Tips on Running a Business From The
Perspective of a Cancer Survivor
Some sound business advice can be found in unlikely sources like cancer survivors, as they have perspectives that can help business owners run a business.
If you’re a small business owner, cancer survivors can help you teach a thing or two about business like the following tips:
Acknowledge That You Are Not Superhuman
Many people can perceive entrepreneurs as talented beings with skills incomparable to the average person, and that observation isn’t unfounded. After all, many business owners are always working and juggling numerous responsibilities that require them to put in time, effort, and skill to keep the business running smoothly.
But at the end of the day, entrepreneurs are still humans that can get stressed, depressed, and sick. Even healthy people aren’t entirely immune to diseases like cancer.
In the face of such adversity that can sneak up when you least expect it, ensure to have backup plans in place. Please don’t get too complacent when your business operation is sailing smoothly. Planning for contingency can spell the difference between your business surviving or not.
Rely More on Your Team
If you’ve heard of the saying, “no man is an island,” the same concept can apply to running a business. Whether you have a sole proprietorship or small business, you can only do so much on your own. You need a team who can help you keep the business going.
A person with cancer can quickly realize this predicament since they may be unable to perform specific tasks they used to do. They need others—relatives, friends, caregivers, and a healthcare team—to get through the illness.
From a business perspective, having someone assist you with tasks can help you bounce back, especially when you face more responsibilities than you can handle.
Having a team can be helpful in situations where you:
- Have little time to spare for other business responsibilities
- Need people with skills you don’t possess
- Need someone to fill in your shoes when you’re indisposed, like when you’re sick or injured
Help Others in the Process
Some cancer patients understand what it means to be sick and see themselves in other people with similar conditions. These patients can consider helping others become less burdened by the disease by lending a helping hand.
Running a business to earn a profit is one goal of most entrepreneurs. As your business becomes more successful and profitable, you can position yourself to expand your operations and hire more people. This way, you’re helping others by providing jobs.
You can also help by giving back to your community through corporate social responsibility (CSR).
You can help improve employee retention rates, increase motivation, boost morale, and build loyalty through CSR. Happy and engaged employees can take pride in their work and are likely to become highly productive.
Make Necessary Changes to Your Business Goals
Cancer can change a person’s life. For example, you may be unable to eat the foods you used to eat or do activities you regularly used to do. In these cases, you make adjustments to your diet or seek new things to do to keep yourself active.
Businesses also go through changes, for better or worse. Inflation can cause you to increase your products’ prices, or changing labor standards can cause you to make changes to how you train and retain your employees.
You should also consider making changes when you reach specific milestones or when some things aren’t working.
So when you implement a new workplace policy and later discover it’s not achieving your objectives, revisit it and make necessary changes to be more successful.
How a Cancer Diagnosis Can Affect a Business
Businesses can face similar challenges as employees do when it comes to cancer. One study mentioned that adverse aspects associated with cancer include:
- Job loss
- Financial toxicity due to decreased earnings
- Advanced financial toxicity due to bankruptcy
Job loss can affect a business as this factor affects the workforce. If an employee gets diagnosed with cancer and pulled out from work, your manpower gets affected, and you can operate at a reduced capacity.
So if your best-performing salesperson gets cancer, your business’ capacity to profit can be adversely affected, leading to a potential reduction in revenue.
But while cancer is a dreaded disease any business would rather do without, this health condition can open up opportunities to improve the business.
For example, you can consider implementing best practices to improve employee health and workplace safety. If your store contains asbestos, a heat-resistant material used in walls, floors, or plumbing and often linked to mesothelioma, consider replacing this material with a much safer one.
If you want to help the cause to end cancer, donate to the American Cancer Society or contact 1-800-227-2345.