How to work on your TPT business when you have a chronic illness.

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I am a teacherpreneur. My name is Nikki Tester and I have a Teachers pay Teachers store, as well as my own online website . I have had chronic illness of the body, mind and spirit which began in 2015 after a surgical implant created a foreign body response in my body and my autoimmune system began to suffer, as well as neuropathic pain. I had been working in the classroom since 1976, and this saw the end of my teaching career and led me to focus on something that I could do from home. I had already started my TPT store in 2010 but only began to take it seriously from 2013.

I’m not a medical doctor, nor do I have any medical training.

This is my blog to share experiences and knowledge of my life with chronic disease.

Chronic Pain and Health Issues

Chronic pain is a physical disorder of the body’s organs that is characterized by persistent, persistent and pervasive pain. There are three main types of chronic pain:

  1. Neuropathic Pain: This type of chronic pain affects nerve endings in the body.
  2. Spinal Pain: Spinal cord pain is caused by damage or injury to the spinal cord.
  3. Vascular Pain: Vascular causes of chronic pain include angina and peripheral artery disease.


How to Deal with it As a Business Owner

When the owner of a business is sick, everything turns into an uphill battle and it’s more difficult than usual. The entrepreneur decides to seek medical attention and then everything starts to get complicated. Should I delay my work? Will I be able to finish my projects? Should I seek help from a doctor?

A chronic illness will often, in fact, make you feel like you are going through life as if you have no strength. You want your business to grow so badly but you can’t even do that because of your chronic illness. By doing things the way you normally do them, especially when you are sick, it will only make matters worse.

It’s not easy being a self-employed person when your health is not in good condition; that’s why here comes the reason why it’s important for you to plan ahead and manage every aspect of your business in such a way that it will have as much rational value as possible. If you want your TPT business to be successful at all and succeed in such a way that it will allow you to live an enjoyable life at the same time, then here comes the trick.

A chronic illness will force you to take care of yourself during this period; no one else can take over this responsibility for you. That is why it’s important for any entrepreneur who has had a chronic illness or is currently dealing with such an issue.

Build up resilience, strength and determination so that if something happens even more severe than before (and let me tell ya – there are many things worse than being sick), you still manage to keep on going by yourself with full confidence.



Take Care of Yourself

You are not your health. Your health is not the same as your physical health.

Your physical health is a reflection of the mental and emotional state you are in at any given time. Yes, if you have a chronic illness, you may need to take medication that in turn will affect your physical health. Yes, it can be tough to be sick with a chronic illness. But try to remember that even though you’re sick, you are still here and able to do the things you love doing: cooking and baking, gardening, writing poetry or researching new ideas or projects… anything creative!

It’s all about perspective!

How to Stay Productive When You Feel Like Crap

You can have a great life and still feel like crap. Everyone who is diagnosed with some sort of chronic illness knows that feeling like crap is something you need to be prepared for. But at the same time, you also want to do your best to stay productive and do something productive with your time.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can stay productive when you feel like crap. You just need the right strategies. I’m not going to tell you a bunch of how-to’s for staying on top of your game, but I am going to give you my top four strategies for help in being productive and getting things done even when you feel dreadful.

1) Stay motivated by using motivation tools .

Amazing as it may seem, staying motivated is one of the most difficult aspects of being an entrepreneur, especially if you have a chronic illness. You need to think about what motivates you or what keeps you going when it doesn’t seem like doing anything else matters all that much anymore. I find motivation tools that help me focus on the goals I have set for myself so I can keep working on them despite my feelings of fatigue, pain and anger at myself. The best ones are simple but effective: a calendar, folders with goals marked on them, or anything else that helps me keep track of what needs doing and how much progress has been made towards those goals each day. Trello and Asana are powerful tools that can help you to achieve this. This blog has some alternatives that you may like to explore, especially if you decide to work with a Virtual Assistant.

One of the most difficult times that I have had to face as an entrepreneur was when I developed symptoms of my Chronic Illnesses and neuropathic pain. I was unsure of myself, but despite being sick, I still managed to keep going, doing what I needed to do.

It’s amazing how much more you can accomplish when you’re in pain.

The problem with having a chronic illness is that you can’t work well on your own projects. You have limited energy and energy comes at a price. But you can manage your chronic illness by getting help from your friends and family, Facebook communities and even using a Virtual Assistant or outsource to Fiverr.

I have been diagnosed with chronic illness for about seven years now.

Am I still able to do the things I want to do? Yes. The biggest thing I have learned is that you can’t be in constant pain and not be an entrepreneur. You can’t just ignore the pain and run around doing stuff that makes no sense. You need to take care of yourself, but also you need to take care of your business as well so that you are able to support yourself and your business at the same time.

It is important that you find ways to balance your life without causing too much damage in the process. You must keep yourself healthy and mentally strong so that you are able to work at a high level and yet still be able to recover from illness, burnout or whatever else comes up during the day.

If you are an entrepreneur, or even if you are just a solo developer, the single biggest thing holding you back from growing your business is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of burnout. Fear of pain and injury (if it’s chronic).

1) Don’t let it stop you. Your business will always need help if there is any reason why it won’t succeed. You can use your own success as motivation to go out and find help when needed.

2) Organize your business so that if something happens to one person then all of them can still move ahead together, one step at a time.

3) Stay in touch with people who have helped before and will help again, both on the technical side (the people who have helped with design work and video production) and on the emotional side (the people who have sold products). This way if something happens then everyone can adjust their schedules accordingly without having to worry about them not being able to do their job (which might be entirely unrelated but could cause a lot of stress for someone else involved).


Finally I think the most important point here is that we should not underestimate how much we need ourselves motivated by our own successes; we tend to forget how much better off we would feel were we all doing well rather than feeling miserable because someone else has failed while we didn’t (and also because every new person stepping into our world makes us feel less alone!).

I also, focused on getting healthy, eating right and exercising. Books, like The Inflammation-Free Diet Plan and The Ultimate pH Solution were read, highlighted and dogeared. Blogs, like Kitchen Stewardship, were read and discussed over and over and over again.

I made lots of changes, cutting out lots of things from our diet and lifestyle. From moving to chemical-free cosmetics to switching to organic and alkaline foods, I did it all.

You won’t perform at your best level if you don’t take good care of yourself. Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and follow your doctor’s orders. Also keep track of how you’re feeling from day to day, and make sure to keep in regular contact with your health team. Don’t ignore any nagging symptoms in favor of getting a work assignment done.

As soon as you start to feel sick, address the issue, and get the treatment you need. Delaying care could cause complications at work. Waiting to see a doctor could mean more days out of work and a longer recovery time. Know you are more than just your illness. Work and personal life can be very hard when the people identify you so closely with your illness. However, it’s important to remember you are separate from the disease you’re battling. Managing a chronic illness can take a great toll on your sense of self-worth, so it’s important to remind yourself you have value. And it’s important to do your best to maintain your self-esteem, so you don’t hinder your career advancement due to a lack of confidence.

Get support

Managing — or more accurately, battling — a chronic illness is physically and mentally taxing. It will be very important that you have someone to talk to regularly. A mental health professional can help you work through all of the ups and downs that come along with balancing sickness and a demanding work load. Also, keep close friends and family in the loop. You’ll need as much support as you can get. Having a trusted support circle will reduce the chances of you having a meltdown at work when things get tough. It’s OK to be sad or angry about what is happening to you, but dealing with those emotions in healthy ways is key.


There are tools available to help you thrive in your work and personal life while managing a chronic illness. You can still have a successful career even though you aren’t as healthy as you once were. Here are some resources that can assist you with your journey. Websites





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