Dealing with a Personal Tragedy


Instead of my regular post today I decided to share yesterday’s newsletter about a personal tragedy in my life instead because I got such an amazing response. Each week I share fresh content, action steps designed to help you implement systems in your business.

September 26th Newsletter

This has probably been one of the hardest newsletters to write for you, in part because I’ve spent so much time this week off work with my family.

On September 22nd my cousin died in his sleep and our family is still in shock. Justin was just 26 and leaves behind a 2 year old daughter, and we’re staying pretty close as a family to share memories, talk, cry and grieve.

In today’s articles I want to share some examples of how my business has changed and supported me during this difficult time, to hopefully inspire you in your business.

How Much Can Change in 3 Years?

Three and a half years ago I was working a corporate job when my Grandma passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease. It was quite rough for me, her caregiver, but dealing with a difficult employer made it worse.

I needed time off to be with the family and my Grandpa as well as complete the service folder and slideshow. Not to mention the actual funeral. Instead of understanding, my employer refused to let me take my vacation time (which was illegal) and expected me to come to work the afternoon after the funeral.

You may think that the solution was starting my business…

Two years ago when my Grandpa passed away I was in a much different business model serving just two clients exclusively. Their businesses took up a lot of my time and I once again ran into trouble when needing time off.

I gave so much of my time to these clients that I actually felt guilty that I took the day off for the funeral service (and it was a Saturday!).

And while I hate that once again we’re dealing with a death in the family, I am so grateful that things are so different in my business.

I’ll give some specific examples below but I’ll just say that because I have systems in my business that work for me, I don’t need to exhaust myself putting in overtime just so I can attend a funeral. I don’t feel guilty about the time I spent with my cousin’s daughter or helping prepare for his service. I am so thankful for the support I have in my business which allows me this flexibility.

Most of all I am grateful that even taking this time off to be with my family, my business keeps going and serving all of you. That the resources and systems I’ve spent hours setting up are continuing to work this week and next and the one after that.

I hope that your own business is set up in a way that enables you to have the freedom you want and need. If you need support continue reading below for 3 Action Steps you can implement today which will give you more flexibility and freedom.

Three Support Systems You Need

I love these three systems because they don’t just work in an emergency – they serve my business every day!

System #1 Scheduling Calls

With new clients coming on weekly, existing client calls, networking with colleagues and managing a lot of content and teaching time, my calendar is pretty full and it can be hard to find time to talk with everyone!

So I fully transferred control of my calendar to my talented VA knowing that scheduling calls was not only a huge time suck but really difficult when rescheduling came up. Not having to dread 10 conversations about why I needed to cancel in order to attend a funeral was additionally helpful.

Action Step: Continue to watch, or re-watch, the 5 days to Finding Fabulous Help video series and write down how an assistant can manage your calendar and scheduling. It will change your business!

System #2 Regular Marketing

Monday I sat down to reply to new subscribers (something I do regularly because I honestly appreciate when someone opts in to learn more about systems!) and realized that I had lots of “action” in my marketing despite not being focused on it. Regular postings like my Facebook Tips, twitter and guest posts all went out automatically.

Once you build up the momentum, like pumping your legs on a swing, if you stop for a little bit the momentum will continue to carry you for awhile.

Action Step: Add one time block on your calendar right now to create tweets or pre-schedule a blog post for the week ahead. Getting a little ahead like this is a great practice.

System #3 Sales

Although I’ve had a big change in my life there are so many clients and leads who still need support in their businesses this week. By having Sales Systems in place I can easily send out proposals, contracts and invoices to my new clients in much less time.

While this helps me to keep the business going, much more importantly it allows my clients to get support uninterrupted.

Action Step: If you don’t yet have a template proposal and contract create one today. You can re-save an older one and take out the client specific information. This will save you so much time!

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  • Rishi

    I’m really sorry for your loss Kelly!

    great post.

  • deb

    Hi Kelly
    I stumbled across your blog and related so much to your comments. Although small business does have many challenges (which i am sure your systems help :) )it certainly provides for some level of control over personal matters such as those that you faced this week. Importantly it also in many cases provides that same opportunity for team members in small business. So many of us look to create a caring family environment in small business and this really does offer team members an opportunity that is a real benefit not often available in large companies. I love the fact that small business can offer humanity to owners, team members and our clients. I hope you and your family are ok and send best wishes at this sad time all the way from “down under” deb

  • Ryan Paugh

    Kelly, I was so sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for inspiring me every day to create better systems for my business. It’s so important. Not just for the continued success of your company, but also so you can spend time with family, friends, and loved ones when it matters most.

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