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Sick Days

Most self employed people will probably laugh if you ask them about sick days. We can't afford sick days, and while we might cut back or do less demanding work when sick, we probably aren't going to close down shop entirely.

Sometimes that's just economic reality: a sole proprietor sometimes can't afford to be sick for very long. A lot of it is just stubbornness - if you were an employee, you might have called in sick, but since it's your business, you'll just tough it out, right?

Yeah, I know. I do the same thing. But sometimes it really isn't smart to do that. You'd be better off to just take one entire day off for rest rather than having a week's worth of not so productive days.

Be smart about your health. Self employment can be demanding, so you need to be healthy. Pushing yourself when you really shouldn't isn't smart.

There are worse things than a cold, of course. You could have a stroke, a heart attack, lose your vision, damage your spine: many things could affect your ability to work and earn an income. Disability insurance can be very expensive, especially if you are not young. With some businesses, there are ways that you could keep going after a serious health problem, though perhaps with some limitations or extra expense (employees, aides, extra equipment, etc.).

Planning for such difficulties can be worthwhile. If you are already aware that you have a high risk factor for certain problems, you definitely should be doing serious planning ahead of time.

As for this season's cold or flu, well, like most self employed folks, you'll probably tough it out and work through it, right? OK, we understand. But try to give at least a little thought to your own best interests.

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