Running a Business With a Visual Impairment
I learned at an early age the importance of cultivating relationships. I have heard different versions of the quote: “you never know who is watching you that may have the power to bless you. What are they watching you do?” I feel like this is so important when running a business.
Success due to intentional relationships
In October of 2016 I gave “birth” to Purple House Project PA Inc., a Delaware County-based non-profit with a mission to strengthen, empower, and transition women impacted by intimate partner violence via connection to essential resources that aid in the healing process.
Since conception, most of our success is a direct correlation to the intentional relationships I have formed throughout the years. For example, our graphic designer Jessica Motta, whose hands are blessed, practically donated the majority of her work to Purple House Project PA because we could not afford to pay her monetarily at the time. However, every chance we got, we mentioned her skills and have been able to connect her to at least three clients who have accessed her services on a continual basis.
When people feel value, they will give value
Money isn’t the only currency you can give to show appreciation, and often times a referral is worth more than a one-time transaction. My experience has been that when people feel valued, they will give value.
Something damaged brings healing
I often share that I have poor sight and excellent vision. I feel like this is evident in my role as a business owner. I am in the beginning stages of searching for a physical building for Purple House Project PA Inc. The building that I have fallen in love with is in horrible condition. Almost everyone who sees the building has the same reaction:
"Christine, this building is going to need a lot of work! Have you seen the inspection report?"
"That’s what I love about the building!"
Something that was once damaged will be the source of healing. I strongly believe in order to experience this feeling you have to have poor sight because looking at all the imperfections up close would probably scare me away.
The importance of asking for help
At an early age, I learned the importance of asking for help and out-sourcing. I did not realize it was out-sourcing when I was younger of course, but reflecting on my past affirms that I have been outsourcing for a while. For example, I struggled with taking notes while I was in school because of my visual impairment. I eventually shared with people my struggle; in college, I was connected to the Disability Resource center and they paid someone to take my notes.
I learned a valuable business lesson at that moment. More often than not there is someone who gets paid to do the task you do not like. It is okay to stay in your lane and outsource when necessary. In fact, it is actually detrimental not to!
Out-source when necessary
Could you imagine your primary care provider giving you advice about marketing on your social media accounts? No, you look to them for support regarding your overall health and find a social media strategist to assist with social media marketing. Such is true for running a business and that much more imperative when running a business with a visual impairment.
If you do not stay in your lane or out-source when necessary, you run the risk of making mistakes that could have been avoided and ultimately wasting time and effort.
So, do what you can with what you have and ask for support when you need it… at least that’s the way "eye" see it.
Did you experience any challenges receiving an official MD diagnosis?