Have you ever noticed that articles about success always assume that everything’s perfect for you? There’s this premise that you’re whole, you have no medical conditions and that life is just fine apart from the work you need to do.

That’s not how life works. Many people who are striving for success suffer from disabilities, others from chronic pain and others still from stress and exhaustion. There’s good news for those people too – success is attainable even in the face of adversity. Here’s what you need to know:

Working For Yourself Is Flexible

Kayley Meloche of Maple and Honey, a digital agency, has been dealing with a degenerative back condition. She found that when she worked for other people, they weren’t too sympathetic about her problems.

After all, who wants an employee who may, literally, need to lay down on the job?

So, she realized that if she went into business with her husband, she could take control of her working hours and her life.

“I can be having the worst day ever with pain, but it still beats working for someone else. It means I can factor work around pain. If needed, I can lie down to work,” she said. “No one has to know I am not feeling the best and because I work for myself, it means I can work at times that suit me.

“As long as I get the work done.”

When you meet Kayley, you can’t tell that she’s got an issue to struggle with, she comes across as the successful businesswoman that she is.

Transitioning Takes Time

Laura Banks has a different story. She started her business in 2014. What she hadn’t realized is the toll that working for herself would take on her life.

She’d begun her work as a side hustle and that meant she was already putting in long hours when she quit work and began concentrating on her business full-time. In fact, her hours were way too long.

Laura found herself finishing a meeting after 6 p.m. in the evening and starting the day before 5 a.m. the next day. Then she’d do a four day marathon in a client’s office and work through the weekend in order to catch up with her own admin and business management.

In the Summer of 2017, she found herself with a serious problem. Burn out.

So, she took some time off.

Then she came back to work and started the same cycle all over again. 80 hour weeks quickly led to panic attacks and misery.

Finally, she understood what she had to. “You have to set boundaries (with clients and friends) and learning to listen to your body. It was difficult accepting that sometimes, I had to let people down in order to meet my body’s needs.,” she says.

Focusing On Your Strengths


It doesn’t matter what the issue you face is, you can always focus on your strengths rather than play to your weaknesses.

Stacey Copas, of the Academy of Resilience, is a wonderful example of this. She is a quadriplegic.

She says, “I focus on what I can do, work to strengths, use it to my advantage (people look at me and see straight away I must know something about resilience!), use my resilience framework published in my book “How To Be Resilient”.

“For those aspiring for success, get a coach, know what you’re good at and focus on being the best at that, be kind to yourself, hustle/grind/working stupid hours doesn’t work, gratitude and rituals are everything.”

Bronwen Sciortino built her business whilst tackling cancer and now she teaches people that there is another way to live and that it doesn’t need to be stressful.

“I spend everyday teaching people from all different walks of life that there’s a very different way to live – and it’s no more difficult than learning to ask yourself a few simple questions. I want everyone to know that challenging the status quo and stepping away from stress and exhaustion is easy and that taking control of your own life is not only achievable but can actually be loads of fun,” she says.


You can overcome anything in business, as long as you play to your strengths, structure your work to suit your needs and take the time to transition into something to make the most of it.

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