As an online business owner, a lot of my life is put in the spotlight. I'm active on social media, I do live streaming and webinars, and I'm constantly posting in Facebook groups.

Yet, there are certain parts of my life that aren't shared online.

Here's what you don't see:

  • Seven years ago, I found out that I had a disability and it changed everything about my life.

  • I had to quit the job I loved, change my major, and buy a cane (then a walker, then a wheelchair).

  • At my college graduation party, I couldn't dance, so I sat in the middle of the dance floor on a chair.

  • Left with virtually no options, I took the only job that would give me flexible hours and lots of sick days: a part-time job at my dad's publishing company.

  • Deep into my illness, I mourned the fact that I had to give up so many things that I loved: travel, walks in the park, skiing, singing on stage, going to concerts, and so much more.

  • Not to mention the never-ending list of daily activities that I no longer could handle without lots of help, including: cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning, driving, and even sex.

  • There were times that I wondered if I'd ever walk down the aisle to get married, and even discussed undergoing elective amputation with my doctors.

  • The pain was so strong and nothing helped. I suffered through piles of daily medication, hundreds of painful tests and procedures, brain fog, constant fatigue, years of muscle atrophy, and day after day of physical therapy.

  • I accepted that my life would never be the same again, and felt empty, alone, and depressed.

  • I longed for excitement in my life — something to break up the monotony of doctors, pills, and tears.

  • With my father on the brink of retirement and my whole life in front of me, I knew that I needed to find something more. Something just for me. And something I could do sitting down.

Enter = Entrepreneurship 

If anything has saved my life over the past few years...well, first, it would be my amazingly supportive husband Brent. But also, it would be starting my own business.

My whole life changed again. But this time, it was for the better. The so much better.

While my chronic illness and disability is slowly improving over time (after I had multiple surgeries in 2013), it still affects me on a day-to-day basis and I know that a "real" job will never be in the cards for me.

So I did the only thing that I could: opened up shop at home.

Back in November of 2016, I became a virtual assistant and realized that I freaking loved it.

1.5 years later and I'm still going strong!

Now with a team of 9 people and lots of experience in digital marketing, I have a crazy successful business and am supporting myself while working from home every day!

Becoming an online entrepreneur has been amazing. And it's all the more awesome because it truly saved me at a time when I needed saving the most.'s a Secret

For the longest time, I felt like my chronic illness was the biggest secret, and needed to be kept that way.

I was terrified that people would judge me, not want to be friends with me, or not want to hire me because of my disability.

It's true — I do have limitations. And there are still some days where I can't get out of bed.

But that does not mean that I can't be good at my job and run a thriving business.

Let the past 18 months of my life be a testament to that. I kept my disability a secret from almost everyone, even my team members, and proved that I could do my work just as well as a healthy person. (Or maybe even better.)

What Does This Mean For You?

Getting around to my point...this past weekend when I was in Chicago for a Create Your Laptop Life conference, I was told that I am at the point in my career where I need a mission.

I've known this for a while, but always felt like maybe something was wrong with me, because I'm not passionate about anything! I just want to work and make money. And teaching people how to be a VA is cool, too.

But then, somewhere deep inside of me, something that's been dying to come out finally did.

THIS is my passion.

I want to help people with chronic illness learn how to start their own home-based businesses and become successful, all while managing their limitations and thriving regardless.

So many people suffer from things like Lupus, MS, Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, and so much more.

These things can sometimes stop us from living a normal life, and especially working a normal job. But there's an answer...and it's entrepreneurship.

If you have a chronic illness, disability, or anything that causes you to feel unable to work a "normal" job, I want to make myself available to you. I know that you're out there, and maybe you've been hiding like I was, but it's time to break free of that.

Join me in my new Facebook group: Chronic Illness Entrepreneurs.

(or encourage a friend to join)

No judgement. No insecurity. Just love, patience, kindness, and support. Plus some business tips!

Got questions? Just hit reply and I'll be around all day today to answer and chat.

P.S. What about Everyone Else?

If you're reading this and you don't have a chronic illness or limitation (which I'm assuming is probably quite a few of you), I want to assure that nothing is changing.

I will still be posting blog posts on my site and running The VA Collective Facebook group. Everything will continue on as normal!

But I'm also starting something new on the side and I think it's going to be pretty awesome.

If you want to be supportive, I'd love for you to share this email with any disabled friends you have, or post about my new group online.

This is gonna be a game-changer for so many people.

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