Are you one of those entrepreneurs without a "sick boundary"?
That's what Rich Sloan, founder of entrepreneurial website StartupNation.com, calls it.
A sick boundary is a common sense strategy all small business owners should have. Here it is in a nutshell: When you're sick, stay home, don't work, get better.
This is pretty simple, no?
"Most entrepreneurs don't set the sick boundary," he surmises.
I know, how the heck do you make money when you're not working? That's the entrepreneurial conundrum.
A study by a U.K. flu pill maker found that:
"Over a third of entrepreneurs would be tempted to return to working for someone else because of the benefit of paid sick leave."
"The majority (57%) of entrepreneurs said they couldn't afford to take time off work through colds and flu, with 34% saying they would head into work regardless so as not to let customers down. An additional 22% of small business owners worried that taking a day off work due to a cold or flu would set a bad example to their staff."
Even Sloan himself admits he sometimes losing sight of his sick boundaries.
"Just having recovered from a bout with the flu, but having recently transformed StartupNation into a home-based enterprise, there was no escape? I couldn't 'stay home' and avoid work. I found myself doing the work, bleary and feverish anyway. In reflecting on that, I'll have to set better boundaries next time."
A lot of small business owners aren't even big on their own employees taking paid sick time off. About 41 percent of you don't offer the benefit to your full time employees, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business.
I know what you're going to say, people abuse it.
But come on folks, you know you can figure out who are the scammers pretty quickly.
There are many reasons why you should stay home. Here's a great post on the issue from a colleague of mine who blogs at the New York Times.
"It is NOT kosher to go to work sick and infectious. It's not considerate to the rest of the people you work with. That's my view," Sloan adds.
Sometimes even bloggers have to take some time off.
I started and stopped writing this blog post many times because I'm sick with the flu.
I have a fever, probably a sinus infection and I spent most of the day coughing up a lung.
If I had an employee or two, I would have felt pretty guilty about coming to work and spreading my illness. I am going to have an intern working with me soon, and you better believe I'll give her time off when she's sick.
OK, so I'm not paying her. That's not the point.
The point is, when you're sick you should stay in bed, right?
That's where I'm heading right now.