Jeffrey S. on November 30, 2016
This site is a great resource. So glad I found it! My situation is a bit different from many of the posts I’ve been reading, but it still involves having a career after dealing with cancer. I am an entrepreneur and I ran a successful online business for over a decade, but had to sell it two years ago to focus on my health and to get through my treatments. Now that I’m on the road to recovery, I am struggling to find the right path back to a professional life. The issue is that since I lived the entrepreneurial life for so long (and liked being the boss), I don’t think I can ever go back to working for someone else, at least not in the traditional manner. So I am trying to find a “solopreneur” opportunity, especially in an area that I’m passionate about. Ideally something I can do from my home office. My cancer journey has taught me life is precious, so I’m looking for something that is meaningful and makes a difference in this world. I launched a small venture a year ago online to test the waters. It’s an amazing resource and I’m very proud of it, but it’s struggling to get traction so far and the long term viability is still a huge question mark. So I am on the search for another path, another viable idea that works for my current situation. I am also not 100% and I deal with fatigue and concentration issues. I try to make time each day for exercise, meditation, and spending time with my family, so I need to find something that fits my “new normal” lifestyle. A traditional 9 to 5 job would not work for me. I’m only in my early forties, so getting my professional life back on track is important to me, but as with everything post-cancer, I have a new perspective on life.
Do you have any suggestions? Are there any resources, groups, coaches, etc. for entrepreneurial survivors such as myself?
Nov 30, 2016
Cancer and Careers Staff Comment:
What a great and relevant question! While we normally ask one career coach to answer, I have sent your question to a few of our career coaches so you can get a variety of opinions and responses. We'd also love to follow up with you after you're received their feedback so we can discuss further.
You should hear back shortly!
Maddy Meislin, Associate Manager of Programs
Nov 30, 2016
Career Coach Comment:
As a long-time career coach and volunteer for Cancer and Careers, I will tell you that so many survivors want to find a meaningful, flexible, and autonomous next career. You sound amazing and you are quite young so there are many opportunities for you. I am not sure where you live however almost every metropolitan area has business development non- profits, SCORE offices, and local networking groups as well as coaches who are reasonably priced.
I suggest that you think about causes that are important to you, the skills and competencies you want to use or that you'd like to learn, and what your needs are regarding income, benefits, lifestyle, etc. FYI, freelancing is the most popular type of self employment. Once you narrow this down you probably want to start networking with people to hone in on what exactly you should focus on.
I realize that my advice is a bit general. Maybe you can write back to tell us what your online business was as well as your most recent venture, and what some of your ideas are and I can be more helpful. I know several of our other coaches will be writing to you as well.
Dec 1, 2016
Career Coach Comment:
First of all, I’m glad that you’re on the road to recovery.
I am an entrepreneur who had a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. My treatment slowed me down quite a bit. I had to give up a demanding travel schedule to focus on my health. I also get it about not wanting to work for someone else. I started my consulting practice in 1988. By 1998 I was joking that I was glad I liked what I was doing, because after 10 years of self-employment, I had made myself unemployable in the eyes on many employers.
You say that you ran a successful online business for over a decade. Can you get back into a similar business? Or is a non-compete agreement preventing you from so doing?
You say your current venture is struggling to get traction. Is it generating any income? Do you think it is viable in the long term? If you believe it is, I suggest that you keep plugging away at it. If you think that it is not viable, it probably is best to look for something else.
The good news here is that you seem to understand the online business world, so you don’t have a steep learning curve in the mechanics of making an online business work. It appears that your challenge is to find something that interests you -- and that you can monetize.
I would caution you to stay away from services available on line that will promise they will show you how to create and run a successful online business. I personally have wasted over $25,000 in my lifetime on such services.
My best advice to you is twofold. First take a hard look at your current venture to see if it has long term potential. If so, keep plugging away. If not, shut it down. Second, if the current venture is not viable in the long term, find something about which you’re passionate and figure out how to monetize it.
You were not very specific on the type of business you ran previously. So, I can’t be more specific here. Feel free to post a response that provides some specifics and I’ll respond.
All the best as you go forward in your life.
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