Who are you, what do you do, and what do you love about it?
Hey hey! Sara Spasovski here. Get ready for a bit of a story but stick with me, I promise it has a happy ending!
I’m a Mum of three boys. Three gorgeous, cheeky, spunky boys! All under the age of eight. My boys are very LOUD. And my house is very noisy. This is lucky for me. The universe knew I’d need them because along with a degenerative hearing impairment, I have tinnitus.
A quick education in case you’ve never heard of it:
Imagine living your life amongst very loud, very annoying cicadas. All day. Every day. They never shut up. Even while you sleep. Pesky little things. You really wish you could just STOMP on them, but the little buggers are hiding! Nowhere to be found. Heard but not seen.
That’s tinnitus in a nutshell. So, it’s very lucky for me indeed that I have loud boys. Otherwise I’d find it hard to hear them! Their constant noise is also a great distraction from the noise in my head. And if I ever do miss something they’ve said, I can count on my oldest to look at me with and say with exasperation, “Mum, put in your hearing aids!”
I had my first son before I started to notice my hearing loss. Part way through my pregnancy with him, I got really sick, really quick. Gall stones and a high-risk pregnancy combo kicked off my quest for answers. Dr. Google became my best friend for a while!
Over the years I’ve been hit with an array of symptoms that ranged from inconvenient to debilitating. Symptoms that could be felt by me but seen by no one.
Symptoms that doctors deemed to be unrelated to each other and in fact, symptoms that apparently existed only in my head (according to one particular GP who I quickly ditched after that statement!). Fast forward to today, I have a diagnosis.
So, is this the happy ending I spoke of? Well, not quite. In fact, it’s not quite an ending so much as a beginning really.
A saving grace through all the years of not knowing, of sometimes thinking I may be nuts, was the holistic health and wellness community. I felt heard, supported. I learnt so much. In particular, a transition to a predominantly plant based diet really helped.
So, for a while there I considered studying to become a nutritionist or health coach. I wanted to help others in the same boat as me. Then one day it hit me. I’m a writer! Why not use my way with words to help holistic health and wellness professionals connect with the hearts and minds of people who need their help? Inspire them to act. To reach out. To get the support they desperately deserve.
So here I am. A newly minted freelance copywriter focusing on doing everything I can to help, by leaving the actual helping to the professionals! A bit of a long story? Possibly. But it’s one I’ve never actually told before. Well, not in print anyway!
I’ve always focused on just getting on with things. Soldier on. Put up and shut up. Just do it. But I’ve learnt that this doesn’t help.
I must honour my body. My mind and my spirit. Jumping into the wonderful world of freelancing fills my cup. Helping amazing people with wonderful healing gifts make an impact, sparks a light in me. I’m just getting started and the future is bright!
How does being a woman in business impact your life and how you manage your chronic illness or disability?
So far, freelancing has been an incredibly positive experience. I’m passionate about what I do and it’s amazing the energy you can find to keep going when you love what you’re doing! I’m working in a space that I’m passionate about. I’m writing with a purpose. With so much positive energy around me I feel like it’s a treatment in itself.
Most of my writing is done at night after the kids go to bed and this is usually when the cicadas are partying hard. The cops have turned up. Told them to keep it down. They’re keeping people up! They play nice for a sec but as soon as the cops leave, they crank it back up! But when I’m knee deep in copy, intensely focused on what I love doing, they take a break. Turn it down. Head off for a nap. I get some peace and quiet.
What is the advice you wish you were given (either business advice, illness advice, or both)?
I wish someone had sat me down and told me that it is ok to question the doctor. To advocate for yourself. To get a second opinion and even third, if that’s what it takes.
If I had more confidence to do that early on, I would’ve ditched my doctor and got my hearing diagnosis earlier.
What are the most memorable moments that have brought you to this point?
The births of my kids.
My health journey – not my fave word but appropriate in this context – has played out over the years that I’ve been figuring out how to raise tiny humans whilst holding down a job, managing a household and basically doing All. The. Things. My boys are my everything. As much as I believe in balance and following your passion, I’d give it all up tomorrow if it didn’t work in with my most important job, Mother.
Do you love labels? If so, what do you identify as?
Nope, not a fan. Although, perhaps I am a fan of one. The one that was stuck on my bassinet at birth. Sara. I’m just me. Doing my thing. No need to slap a label on it.
Are you comfortable talking about your chronic illness or disability with the rest of the business world or have you found it has negatively impacted you in the past?
I haven’t been entirely comfortable with talking about it with many people to be honest. Not in any great detail anyway. I’m a strong person. Someone who just gets on with it (and falls apart once my front door is shut). This is what the world sees. However, I’m realising how important it is for me to share more of myself as I develop my business. My story is my why. So I am beginning to tell it.
Where do you find support? For business, for life, for managing your illness or disability?
My husband. My friends. Hugs from my kids. My business coach. Online business communities. My doctor, naturopath, reiki master, myotherapist and pharmacist. My ENT, audiologist and my hearing aid guy (he’s the best!). Oh, and most importantly, my barista!
What does life look like for you in 5 years?
All my kids are in school. Business is in full swing. I’m booked out months in advance. I’m making a positive impact. My client’s businesses are growing. They are reaching more people who need their support. Oh, and I have time to have a shower, completely uninterrupted. No one’s coming into the bathroom to ask for a sandwich, a cuddle or the iPad password.
What’s the one thing you’d want people to understand about who you are and how you operate as a fullysickbusinesschick?
I get things done, and they’re done exceptionally well, always.
Who do you look up to in your industry or in the world?
Can I say you Jay? Jay Crisp Crow. I love the way you are unapologetically you. I want to be you when I grow up *insert winky face here*
(Ed: I now feel equal parts totally honoured and utterly old.)
What advice would you give to women starting in business who are also juggling multiple balls?
One foot in front of the other. Just get that one foot moving. Forward. Always forward. No matter how big or small the step is. Just keep going.
Some days you will feel like you can do anything. You can do it ALL! Other days, not so much. And that’s OK.
As long as you keep taking those steps. No matter how small they are. You’ll get there.
What makes you fully. Faffing. Sick? (Ummm… that’s: ‘awesome’.)
My way with words. Especially ones that appear in print. If superpowers existed, this would be mine. I can craft and deliver a message that hits home. Every time.
What will you do after you’ve finished answering these questions?
I want to say go to bed and get some sleep because it’s after 11pm and that would be the sensible thing to do, but… everyone else in my house is asleep. No one is asking me for anything. The prospect of alone time with my beloved Netflix is too enticing.
So… I might just watch one episode of Outlander. Season 4 just came out. Flame haired Jamie Fraser is calling. I could say something about the saucier side of the show at this point but have decided not to, best keep this profesh.
Using words to engage, inform, motivate and inspire action is something I’ve been doing since the day I learned to spell……but I bet my Mum would say it started the day I learned to talk!
Combine my early years with over 15 years writing in the corporate world, throw in three energetic kids under eight just for fun (shout out to all the boy mamas out there……I feel ya!) and voila, a freelance wordsmith is born!
Why are we doing this thing? Because there’s enough noise in the world telling women what we ‘should’ be doing.
We should parent more consciously, but not be helicopter parents. We should take care of our bodies, but not be vain. We should make boys pay, but demand equal rights. We should dress appropriately, but also be confident in our skin, wear what we want, but not be provocative, oh and please feel comfortable in the world’s skimpiest school bathers but then wear your jeans to the formal because last year the boys looked up the girls’ skirts and so you’ll have to be the ones to modify your behaviour. Yeah. No.
We are a mother and daughter writing team who launched a platform for women 14 – 104. Women who need to read stories of daring. Women who need to write them.
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