Living with a disability can present obstacles and challenges when it comes to getting a job and being able to work. The stigma around disabilities usually causes employers to hesitate when hiring employees with a disability. It’s not fair, but it happens pretty often! So, if you’ve been struggling to get hired or you’ve been working with a disability, this is for you!
This week, I’d like to tell you about my friend Kari Poppleton, a self-made, six-figure businesswoman, full-time mother, and wife. Before working online, Kari spent 11 years in the e-commerce business. When diagnosed with systemic mastocytosis her life took an unexpected turn, leaving her unable to work and now living with a disability.
Make working online work for you
Living with a disability can present obstacles and challenges when it comes to being able to work.
For some people like Kari, leaving the house to work isn’t even an option. When Kari unexpectedly became disabled, it was difficult for her to do physical activities her old job required like sitting up for 8 hours a day. She also now relied more often on her family as she adjusted to her new lifestyle.
Having independence is empowering for everyone, especially financial and professional freedom. Imagine being able to work around your schedule and needs while making an income sustainable enough to get off your disability benefits. I know it’s a scary thought, but I want you to know it IS possible!
When you work online you can apply your skills while being able to work from anywhere, even in the comfort of your own home! This allows you more flexibility to choose when you want to focus on working and when you want to focus more time on family, doctor’s appointments, or resting.
Implementing systems to help organize your work can be transformative for your business! You’ll come to find this makes it easy for your business to work around your lifestyle.
Find the ABILITY in your disability
Whether you have previous work experience or never worked at all, 90 Day VA can help you learn the skills you need to work online while allowing yourself room to grow your business.
Kari’s advice for growing your business is to invest in certifications that will show your experience and provide a feeling of safety for your clients. It’s also important to be realistic and aware of your limitations, but these should not hold you back from finding what you love and doing it.
Working online has also helped Kari find her purpose in serving other online entrepreneurs. As a Certified Operations Consultant, Kari uses her previous experience as a business owner to help others just like her turn their ideas into action.
She has discovered her purpose in helping other business owners gain the same freedom she has set up for herself through her work. And this is because Kari decided to focus on what she CAN do and applied that to her business.
Remember that your business doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s and it’s okay to be outside the norm. Working online can empower you to choose the right people you want to work with and I can assure you there is no shortage of clients when it comes to working online.
Kari’s advice for finding the right clients to work with is to network with people who respect ALL parts of you because if people are not comfortable with working with you and all of who you are, they’re not the right people for you. And you want to work with the right people!
Let go of that lifeline and find your purpose
Now I understand that your disability benefits play a huge part when it comes to your income and for some people, this is all they have to live off of.
But if you could find a way to support yourself and not NEED the benefits, wouldn’t that be so freeing? I know there is a lot of anxiety at the thought of not receiving that money, it’s your lifeline, but it isn’t always enough.
For Kari, working online meant freedom to set her work hours where soon she realized that it doesn’t take that many hours working online to supplement the income from her disability benefits. This opportunity gave Kari the freedom to step away from her disability checks and into her purpose of helping other people! All while choosing her work hours, setting more time to focus on her family, and creating a career that works around her lifestyle living with a disability.
With this kind of flexibility, she was able to be present with her children, who transitioned into homeschooling when the coronavirus shut down the country. Working online has allowed Kari more time to create memories with her family and simultaneously build a career that works for her.
In 90 Day VA, you can learn how to work online and open doors to your success!
Working online is a mental health blessing in disguise
Before Kari built her business, she never thought she’d be where she is now.
Kari once had dreams of becoming a physician, a job that would physically be impossible for her health conditions. Instead, she found a different way to serve others through building up other businesses and she couldn’t be happier!
Instead of giving up on her dreams, Kari found an alternative way to fulfill her dreams, which has been significantly beneficial for her mental health.
If you’re feeling anxious and thinking there’s no way you could do this, then just relax and take a deep breath! Kari’s story is just one of many proving that anyone can work online. There are plenty of mental health benefits from working on your terms like spending more time with your family or having more time for yourself to do the things you love.
Key points from Kari’s story
- You don’t have to work within the limits set by working for someone when you can use your skills to build your own business.
- Being empowered by setting yourself up for success is possible for anyone!
- Nothing should ever be in your way of finding what you CAN do and LOVE doing.
- Your purpose and passion should not be limited by your disability.
I hope Kari’s story can inspire you to take the next step towards designing a life on your terms and show you that you don’t need a TON of previous experience to get started working remotely. You don’t need to work a corporate job if working from home is more convenient. You don’t need to know everything to become a successful Virtual Assistant online.
What you DO need is an eagerness to thrive and be successful, because if we can all do it, you can too!
Ready to get started? I’d love to tell you how!
You can learn more about working online as a Virtual Assistant by joining my FREE masterclass where I go over everything you need to know about starting your online career. I’ll tell you about the world of remote work and how you can start earning your income starting at $15-$20/hr.
Still not convinced?
Listen to Kari tell you her story herself on the Help Me Work Online, Esther! podcast, where we talk about how she started working remotely through managing a successful business online. And believe it or not, there are real benefits to working from home when you have a disability! You can also learn more about Kari and her work on her website.
In 90 Day VA, Esther teaches her students how to research and repurpose current content into blogs for the VAI website. Shawni is the student we’ve chosen this week to feature what she’s learned in the course. Get to know her:
Shawni Acfalle is a virtual assistant, who transitioned into remote work after working in the disabilities field for 7 years. Born and raised on the island of Guam, she combines her culture with her professional background to provide meaningful services to her clients. She enjoys making art or relaxing in nature when she’s not taking on new recipes in the kitchen! Shawni is also fluent in American Sign Language and has been an advocate for accessibility since 2013. Learn more about her and her business here.