My business has been impacted by Covid; now it’s the financial crisis


Rohan Silva

Never grow old; it sucks. That’s what Tom, my 90-year-old neighbor told me. Mind you, he also used to sunbathe naked in the garden, so I always thought getting old wasn’t so bad.

But I’ve since found out that Tom was right after all – because, at the risk of sharing too much here, my prostate swelled to gargantuan proportions. This is something that normally only happens to geriatric men, like Joe Biden, and leaves you constantly having to pee, which is a real depressing thing. What’s worse is that it means it’s impossible to get more than a few hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, before waking up desperately needing to dribble a meager stream of urine. And then you frantically try to get back to sleep before the urge to pee comes back – because when it does, you have to get out of bed and start the whole process over.

I went to see a doctor about it, and he happily told me it was due to stress. “When some people are stressed, they get a twinge of pain – with you, it’s a funny little gland in your lower regions. So sort out the stress and you’ll be back to normal.

But what causes stress? This is the business I started, a creative workspace business called Second Home, that was sabotaged by Covid.

Even before my prostate started playing, I’ve had so many sleepless nights since the pandemic started, worrying about how we’re going to carry on when government shutdowns have taken our income down, but we still had rent and other bills to pay.

It’s hard when you’ve done your best and suddenly get hit by something out of your control – but every time I start to feel sorry for myself, I remember if I was running a cafe in the ‘East Ukraine, things would be much worse.

Until I started my own business, I honestly never realized how difficult it would be. You have a heavy sense of responsibility for your employees, mixed with a deep sense of personal shame if the business isn’t working, because you’ve invested so much of yourself in it.

But here’s the fun thing about entrepreneurship – and so many things in life, I guess. If you really knew in advance how painful things can be, you would never do them in the first place.

Now, when I meet people who want to start their own business, I’m overwhelmed with the feelings of camaraderie – because I know it’s a journey that can be rocky, even if you’re one of the few whose company makes it big.

As for me, I’m relieved to say that it looks like my business will survive – it’s been touch-and-go for a while. Many entrepreneurs are not so lucky and have to endure the bankruptcy of their business. I feel their pain – from the depths of my prostate.


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