This article isn’t so much about voiceover, but about business.
I really thought I was on the mend last week, but I regressed over the weekend and ended up with acute bronchitis. Yep, the plague just doesn’t want to leave me alone! Armed with a new antibiotic, steroid, inhaler, personal steamer, and a stack of pillows to rest upright on, it’s back to bed.
I’m very thankful for my clients. They have been very understanding through this. Even so, I’ve lost $1,400 in business this week that I know of. That’s in addition to what I’ve lost in the prior two. In a few weeks, things will be skinny around here! But this raises a very important thing to think about.
When you’re self-employed, you don’t get paid sick days. No working means no invoicing. No invoicing means no checks are coming in. It is imperative that we think ahead and plan for such eventualities. Hence the emergency fund.
If you have a nice cushion in the bank from your healthy days, you can take it easy on your sick days. It’s like paying for your sick days ahead of time. Dave Ramsey says start with $1,000 in an emergency fund before starting to pay off debts, but then get that cushion up to several months of living expenses.
Of course we can (and should) do this with our personal finances. But I recommend doing it with your business as well. If you have a corporate structure like I do, then any money you keep in the business is not realized income in your personal finances. (Check with your CPA to be sure…this may vary by state…I’m in Michigan.)
What does a sick day look like in your business? Imagine this: you walk into your studio, turn the computer on, and well…it doesn’t come on. After several minutes of troubleshooting, calling in your teenager to diagnose it, or calling tech support, you determine your main studio computer is toast. What to do? If you have an emergency fund, just go buy another one. If you don’t, you either a) use credit or b) hang it up.
Thankfully, I have an emergency fund. Even though I’ve lost some work, I have great relationships with my clients. My steadiest clients have said there will be work for me when I’m healthy again. Yes, I may need to spend some extra time marketing in a couple of weeks to fill up my pipeline again, but I don’t need to worry. I planned for this. My body and my mind need the rest.
And with that, it’s back to bed with me!