Nigel Sutton was a special guest on our Podcast The Business Hangover with Nicky and Sarah. His raw and inspiring story on how he managed his cancer diagnosis and the growth he discovered throughout the process is only touched on in the conversation below.
What we loved hearing was how he reframed his experience and the powerful message he shared.
Listen to the podcast to hear more.
Long before I was diagnosed with cancer I had listened to stories from friends and family about battling and fighting cancer. I was never comfortable with the idea that someone was battling cancer, particularly if it was announced they had lost the battle. I understand why we use these terms, for many they are terms of empowerment, to rally up the strength to journey through cancer treatments.
A cancer diagnosis turns your world upside down. Every cancer journey is unique, and I support the whatever it takes attitude, do what works for you. When it happened to me, I became curious. I had friends with chronic health issues. I wanted to know their take on fighting and battling illness. The consensus, it’s about managing your illness.
Could I manage my cancer? Yes, I could. I would let my extraordinary team of specialist do any fighting on my behalf; they have an arsenal of weaponry to go into battle. I would concentrate on healing rather than fighting.
I was determined to manage my cancer with a deep sense of kindness. I thought about how I managed my business, how my mentor and friend Sarah Godfrey had introduced me the importance of having a kick ass tribe. I knew it was going to be the same for managing my cancer. There wasn’t going to be just one person to support me I was going to need different things from different people. I was blessed with a truly kick ass tribe that included clients who adapted to my needs.
Make sure you have enough insurance in your super to cover permanent disability and terminal illness.
I know no one wants to think about this and it always happens to someone else, but keeping your fingers crossed behind your back is not a business plan. It’s a small amount of money and a big impact if you have the right insurance.
Contingency Plan or who can run my business for me?
We think we’re irreplaceable when we are our business. But we must give some thought to the idea of having someone else run our business temporarily. Who in your tribe can do that? Have you set up a simple handover system that someone else can follow if needed?
Keep working during cancer treatment if you want to.
In fact, keep doing what you were doing before your diagnosis if possible. Work gives you purpose and keeps your mind active. Only keep working if your job brings you joy. If working is all worry and stress, call your tribe to help take the pressure off and take a break.
Keep moving, exercise is highly recommended for most cancer patients.
Exercise, exercise, oh did I mention exercise. Keep moving, keep living.
Ask for help!
Get a psychologist, the earlier you share the impact of this enormous change with a professional listener the better you and your business will be.
Finally, talk with other business owners who have had or are having the same experience.
Manage your cancer like you do your business, with the intention to grow and have a great future.
I am not in a war.
I do not go into battle every day.
I manage my cancer as a part of my life.
I give myself time to heal and time to manage a business that brings me and my tribe, or as Nicky Mackie would say my Groove Crew, a great sense purpose.