Illness, typically considered a sign of weakness, is a taboo subject in the business environment. Business owners keep their conditions hidden so that their customers keep their attention where it should be anyway, on the value and quality of the business service or products. Employees throughout the ranks keep their health issues hidden, fearing loss of employment. Yet, illness is a part of life, not just for a select few, but for millions of people around the world.

Nearly 1 in 2 Americans are living with some kind of chronic illness—133 million in 2004 (1), and 60%—approximately 80 million—of those are between the career-building years of 18 and 60 (2). It stands to reason that a significant portion of entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs will have to deal with the challenge of facing a health crisis and managing their business at some point in their lives.

If you’re like most people, you probably rarely talk about your problems, and may end up feeling isolated—like you’re the only one dealing with this issue. However, these statistics indicate that on any given day, there are many more people like you, who are also working from “under the covers” in the comfort of home or bed, because it’s the only way they can earn any kind of living while attending to their health.

In our modern culture, there is neither tolerance nor time for illness. Our business lives have been designed so that we must be continuously engaged, lest we feel like we’re falling behind. We set aggressive agendas that even the healthiest people have difficulty managing. Most days are filled with more to do than time to do it, and reliance on our ability to continuously produce dominates. I’ll wager to guess that cave people had more down time than we do, and they had far fewer resources at hand! But I digress.

It’s time that those of us who must slow down for our health stop seeing ourselves as weak and ineffective. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. Such determination is a sign of commitment to two seemingly conflicting priorities: career success and managing one’s health. If necessity is the mother of invention, finding a way to work, even if from bed, is most certainly an innovative solution for those who need to do so.

Technology offers many alternatives to traditional employment, and in just five years, the advancements in “tele-technology” have increased significantly. Business owners, and many employees, can more easily work from anywhere in the world under a variety of circumstances. Why shouldn’t working from bed be one of those circumstances?

When you are ready to rebuild your business—and your life—it may not be the same as before you became ill. You are not the same. As you move away from illness and towards wellness, you straddle three personas:

  • The way you used to do things, and who you were before the health crisis
  • The person you are now, perhaps more vulnerable, somewhat weakened, yet strong and resolute
  • The person you will become as you integrate your insights and physical recovery with new growth

The key to rebuilding your business life while also maintaining a connection to improved health and well-being is to find a way for your mind and your body to live in harmony.




  1. Chronic Care in America: A 21st Century Challenge by the Institute for Health and Aging at University of California, San Francisco, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  2. Non-Employer Statistics” from the U.S. Census Bureau. Non-employer businesses are described as those “businesses without paid employees that are subject to federal income tax.”