Sometimes a routine event in corporate life takes on a whole different meaning when it occurs in the context of a small startup.Â Take, for example, being sick.Â At Microsoft I’d never hesitate to use the health benefits and get a checkup at the slightest sign of a sniffle or cough.Â Better to be safe than sorry right?Â Besides, with the generous benefits provided by Microsoft, I never had to pay a dime.Â Getting sick when doing my own thing has proven to be a totally different beast, as you’ll soon see…
It started ten days ago with sinus pressure, fever, and a headache – classic signs of a sinus infection.Â Having had them in the past, I decided I would let it run its course – a viral infection might last just a few short days.Â Of course, the real reason was that the insurance plan I had chosen when we started the business (when I was feeling on top of the world and invincible) had a high deductible and didn’t cover office visits, so I’d have to pay for everything out-of-pocket.Â That brings us to the first lesson learned:
Two-Bit health lesson #1: Choose health insurance very carefully, making sure not to overlook things like office visits and prescriptions.
So did I improve after a few days?Â No; on the contrary, I picked up an annoying cough to go with my other fine symptoms.Â At this point I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and utterly frustrated that I wasn’t able to be productive with the business.Â However, I was still concerned about the costs of a full-blown office visit, so after some digging I found a number of great local resources, like free nurse hotlines and local clinics.Â Â Ultimately I found a local Minute Clinic where the nurses confirmed my sinus infection and prescribed antibiotics to treat it.Â I was really pleased with my experience at the clinic – it’s a great concept that I hope becomes more widely accessible.Â This leads to my second lesson learned:
Two-Bit health lesson #2: Learn about your local health resources, such as community health clinics, free 24-hour nurse hotlines, and low-cost quick clinics.Â Make use of them.
Now that I had the antibiotics, all was well, right?Â Not quite; otherwise I’d have posted this sooner. Â Once I started taking the antibiotics some of my symptoms disappeared, but unfortunately not all of them.Â Of particular annoyance was the hacking cough, which over the next few days got stronger and more frequent, finally keeping me awake all night and turning me into a tired, hacking zombie during the day.Â After six days on the antibiotics I decided it was time to see a real doctor, so I went to the local urgent care clinic.Â After an afternoon full of poking, prodding, and x-raying, I got the news that congratulations, my sinus infection had developed into pneumonia.Â Yes, the same pneumonia that took out our dear President William Henry Harrison.Â This time I was prescribed even stronger antibiotics, which I’m glad to report seem to be doing the trick.Â Due to lesson #1 above, I’ll have to pay for the costs out of pocket, but that’s preferred over letting the illness linger on.Â Which brings me to the third and final lesson learned from this painful saga:
Two-Bit health lesson #3: Health trumps wealth.Â Don’t cut corners when it could cost you (and your business) a lot more in the long run.
And that’s the story of how the past ~2 weeks have passed, where my only productivity has been the form of phlegm. Â Sometimes it takes a sharp reset to bring new perspective and renewed focus towards an ongoing project, and I think this definitely did the trick.Â As you can see I also learned a number of lessons which, had I applied them in this case, would have saved me both time and money. Hopefully some of these lessons will help keep you and your small business healthy and productive.Â
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