As someone who has experience living with a person who has an ‘invisible illness’ such as ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia which leaves people drained, fatigued, and in a lot of pain, I see how debilitating these conditions can be.
I won’t share too much about my experience other than my partner has not been able to enjoy a real fulltime job in over ten years.
Everytime she starts one, she has to stop due to being too exhausted and in too much pain.
The other big problem with these kinds of conditions is that they can affect speech and thinking.
‘Fibro fog’ and ‘fatigue fog’ as it is referred to, can mean that a sufferer struggles to think and speak clearly. Words get mixed up or forgotten completely. Forgetfulness is another symptom of these conditions.
Those suffering from ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia have less energy than those who don’t have the conditions. The best way of understanding it is to convert hours or energy levels into money and know that those with ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia (and many other conditions) have a lot less dollars to spend each day.
If a relatively healthy person has $100 to spend per day, a sufferer of an illness or condition like CFS could have $50… $40… $30… or even $20 to spend in comparison.
Every human on the planet is different. That is why some people have hayfever or an intolerance to lactose and others don’t. No two humans are the same, and it is the same with energy levels.
Some people have an abundance of energy and can do in a day what four or five other people could do combined.
That also means that there are some people, for one reason or another, who cannot do a full day’s work no matter how hard they try.
These people do not want to sit around and do nothing. There is nothing pleasurable about it for them. It is frustrating, depressing, and exhausting.
They hate it. I know this to be true.
They are not lazy, far from it, they are struggling and suffering, and there is nothing worse than not being able to earn money and pay their way in life.
There is nothing more these people would like to do than go out to work and live a ‘normal’ life. They want to earn money, they want to spend time with people, they want to help and be a positive force in society.
The last thing they want to be is a burden or a hindrance to people… especially their loved ones.
Imagine how you would feel if your life was one long constant of being in pain, being fatigued and exhausted all the time, and struggling to do even the basics such as having a shower and getting dressed.
Yes, people with these kinds of conditions can be left drained and in pain from doing things others do without a second thought.
It really is a nightmare.
I know that I have to write this carefully because I don’t want to come across as a ‘politician’ or an ‘old fart’ who thinks that they just need to ‘roll their sleeves up, grit their teeth, and get on with it because that’s what we had to do in our day!’
I have seen this illness from the inside every day since 2011. I know what it can do to people, and I know that there are others who are suffering far worse than my good lady.
So, I don’t want to be patronising or offer this up as the perfect solution for everyone who has one of these conditions.
However… I do believe that running a home based subscription business could be a fantastic way for people with these conditions to earn money because:
OK, you won’t be making money from day one, and you will need to do more than simply create content that people pay to access.
You will need to grow the subscription business and find people who are willing to pay for your content.
But the point I want to get across is that if, for example, you published four written newsletters per month (one per week), and four thirty minute video podcasts (one per week), which is not a huge amount of hard work, you could potentially have several hundred people paying you $10 to access that content.
Let’s say that you have 300 subscribers paying you $10 to access your content (4 x newsletters + 4 x podcasts = 8 pieces of content), you will earn $3,000 per month.
That is fantastic considering that you have created only 8 pieces of content.
One newsletter per week means that you have a full week to write it – it could be as little as four pages long (or a couple of articles published per week on Substack) – it doesn’t need to be a lot, and one podcast per week could take you an hour tops to research, outline, record, and share.
As I say, you will need to grow your business and find subscribers who are willing to pay to access your content, and that won’t happen overnight, but overtime (it may happen quite quickly) you could have a decent amount of people paying you to access easy-to-create content.
It may not be the answer for everyone who is struggling with conditions such as ME/CFS, or Fibromyalgia, but it is worth considering when you need a way to make money.
Plus, having something to work on that you enjoy, could also be a kind of therapy and help you recover or manage your condition better. It may give you some life and enjoyment back.