How People with Disabilities Looking to Start a Business Can Lower Their Stress

How People with Disabilities Looking to Start a Business Can Lower Their Stress

By: Ed Carter

Stress is something that comes with starting your own business. It can be a good thing in small amounts, as it serves as a motivator to succeed. But stress can also lead to poor business decisions, lack of confidence, and can negatively affect your health in a massive way.

The National Advocates Top 100 wants to see you succeed. When you’re considering taking the plunge into small business ownership, think about these ways to reduce your stress level and set yourself up for success.

Choose a lower-stress business

For some people with disabilities, it may be a good idea to find a small business opportunity that resides in a lower-stress field. This is not to say that having a disability makes you unable to succeed in high-stress fields, it’s just important to understand your own strengths and, more importantly, weaknesses. Shooting high is one thing, but it’s never a smart business decision to overextend yourself from the start.

Businesses that utilize the sharing economy – in which services are shared between private individuals typically through connecting via the internet – are flexible, low-stress ventures. You can use your skills to provide specific services to those in need, and can charge whatever the market will sustain. Babysitting, housekeeping, dog walking, and gardening businesses are good examples of this.

If you have professional skills from a previous job in fields like consulting, IT, tutoring, business coaching, or internet marketing, it’s a low-stress venture to set up a from-home, online-only business. You can not only choose your own hours, fees, and client base, but you’ll basically be able to take on as much – or as little – work as you want in any given week, month, or year. It’s truly one of the most flexible businesses you can create.

Choose a business with low initial costs and overhead

One of the surefire ways to cause yourself too much stress when starting up a new business is to overextend yourself financially. Many small business owners must draw from savings and take out additional small business loans to get their business off the ground, and there are plenty of businesses in a variety of fields that have minimal starting costs, comparatively.

Many at-home businesses can be started for less than a couple thousand dollars of initial capital. Tech-related businesses like graphic design, coding, and social media consultants fit this bill, as do freelance writing/editing, business consulting, marketing consulting, and photography-based businesses. If you have existing expertise or particular aptitude in any of these areas, you may consider building a business using that framework.

Cover legal concerns

As someone with a fledgling business, you have a lot on your plate. While it might be awhile before you hire permanent staff, legalities are best tended by an attorney. Microsoft explains an attorney can help you with things like local compliance, tackling contracts and agreements, and assisting you with tax concerns. You also need to establish a business structure.

Keeping in mind that you’ll need to officially register your business to receive the previously mentioned benefits, here’s a to-do list to get you started. First, you’ll have to appoint your registered agent and file your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Then you’ll need to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number so you can open a business account and then contact the Department of Revenue if your business involves the sale of goods. Most of this can be done quickly by an online filing service at very little cost.

While there’s no way to totally eliminate stress from the act of starting your own business (nor would you want to), there are ways to reduce it and make sure that you’re staying healthy during the process. As a business owner with a disability, don’t take on more than you can handle – physically or financially – and actively work to reduce stress with your lifestyle choices.

Look to Members of The National Advocates Top 100 for more information and advice throughout your journey.

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The National Advocates Announces Jonathan LaCour as the 2021 Top 40 Under 40 President

The National Advocates Announces Jonathan LaCour as the 2021 Top 40 Under 40 President

The National Advocates is pleased to announce that Jonathan LaCour of Employees First Labor Law in Pomona, California, has been selected as the 2021 National Advocates Top 40 Under 40 President. Since joining The National Advocates in November of 2017, LaCour has demonstrated extraordinary abilities with superior results, a high level of peer respect, and client satisfaction.


The National Advocates is a professional organization comprised of premier lawyers from across the country who have demonstrated exceptional qualifications in their area of the law, including Matrimonial and Family Law, Employment Law, Social Security Disability Law, Immigration Law, Bankruptcy Law and Estates, Wills and Trusts. The National Advocates provides accreditation to these distinguished attorneys, and provides essential legal news, information, and education to lawyers across the United States.


With the selection for presidency by The National Advocates Top 40 Under 40, LaCour has exemplified superior qualifications, leadership skills, and case results as a legal professional under the age of 40.


To learn more about The National Advocates, please visit:

How to Run for Office When You Have a Disability

Image via Pexels

When you consider that the CDC reports one-fourth of Americans have a disability, it’s easy to see that those with disabilities are grossly underrepresented in government. And this is true at every level, from local to state to federal.

If you live with a disability and have a desire to serve the public—whether it’s as a member of the city council, state legislature, United States Congress, or any other sector—it’s clear we need more representation by those with disabilities. And not only are you needed, you’re naturally qualified in certain regards—navigating through challenges is likely something you’re used to, and that can prove highly useful during a campaign.

While there may be some additional considerations you have to make, succeeding in a run for office requires many of the same things from everyone. To help you get started planning for your campaign, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Build your team.

First of all, no candidate who succeeds does so on their own. One of the first things you should do is to start thinking about your campaign staff. Your campaign manager will be the most important member of your team (besides you, of course) because they are responsible for overseeing virtually every aspect of your campaign. Therefore, look for someone who is not only qualified but whom you can trust as well.

Other staff members you should consider hiring (include but are not limited to) a communications director and/or press secretary, finance director, treasurer, political director, volunteer coordinator, field director, and legal advisor. And if you can budget for it, hiring someone with design and/or art experience can take your campaign marketing over the top and help build your brand.

For example, by hiring a graphic designer, you can provide voters with high-quality images and visuals through your social media pages, website, and so on. And if you go through freelance job boards, you should be able to find several qualified candidates to choose from in your area.

Ask questions and accept help.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re running for office. In fact, you should be afraid not to ask questions! Forbes says to pull from the wisdom of those who have done it before, whether it’s someone who has filled the position you’re seeking, is currently in the position, or even someone who has run and lost in the past. This is a great way to learn about what their team was like, how they ran their day-to-day operations, how much money they raised, and much more.

Also, if people volunteer to help out with the campaign, say yes. Unless you’re convinced that someone has been planted by your opponent to sabotage your campaign, you could use the help.

Fill out the forms. 

Before you run, you have to get on the ballot. This includes going through a process of applications, forms, and other materials, and you must meet all your deadlines. Since jurisdiction plays a major role in what your exact process will look like, check with your county’s elections website and your state’s secretary of state website to see what all is involved.

Make in-person meetings a priority.

This is an area where you may have to make certain adjustments to accommodate your disability. Nonetheless, meeting voters in person is still a crucial part of running for office, and all the marketing tricks in the world can’t replace its effectiveness. It’s a chance to share your platform message and help them understand why your ideals will make the world a better place.

For instance, if you’re interested in improving the accessibility of outdoor areas in your community, explain to them that it will improve quality of life for the community as a whole—as people in wheelchairs, with baby strollers, canes, and so forth would enjoy better health and inclusion.

You can be part of a movement to make local, state, and even federal government represent the number of Americans with disabilities more accurately. Build an effective team, prepare your message, and be ready for an interesting journey. The world needs more leadership from those with disabilities, and with the right plan in place, you can do it!

The National Black Lawyers Top 100 Names New Executive Director

Annamaria Steward, Executive Director of The National Black Lawyers Top 100 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Black Lawyers Top 100 is pleased to announce that Annamaria Steward of Washington, D.C. has been named as its first Executive Director. She joins the organization with nearly 20 years of experience and a reputation for providing exceptional leadership. Before joining The National Black Lawyers, Steward served as Director of Leadership and Strategic Development for the D.C. Bar and Associate Dean of Students at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. She is also a former president of the D.C. Bar, the largest unified bar in the country, and was the first African-American woman elected president of the voluntary Bar Association of the District of Columbia, a 148-year-old institution. In her new role, Steward will be responsible for fostering organizational development which will include expanding the membership base, improving the breadth of membership benefits, and ultimately re-energizing the organization. “It is important to me to recognize and celebrate African-American legal excellence,” Steward said. “I hope to harness the knowledge of these stalwarts of our profession to create a legal brain trust for our membership.” As an attorney highly skilled in program design and implementation, strategic planning, and leadership development, Steward’s appointment will enable the organization to fulfill its mission for top tier African-American attorneys. The National Black Lawyers is an honorary membership organization dedicated to promoting legal excellence. The organization’s membership is comprised of the nation’s most successful  African-American attorneys including legal giants like Willie Gary, Karen Evans, Ben Crump, and James Montgomery. For more information about The National Black Lawyers, visit or follow The National Black Lawyers on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Florida deputies to be tried for shooting disabled man

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that two Brevard County Deputy Sheriffs must stand trial for their shooting of an unarmed man inside his home, when family members asked law enforcement officers to Baker Act the disabled man. The appellate panel, consisting of Circuit Judges Adalberto Jordan, Britt Grant, and Frank Hull, reversed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the officers, finding that significant factual issues must be decided by the jury. The deputies fired thirteen bullets at the victim, eleven of which went through a closed door with the victim standing inside his home where he lived alone snice his elderly parents died two months earlier. Eight bullets struck Christopher Greer through the closed door, resulting in his fatal injuries at the scene. The case will now return to the District Court for the Middle District of Florida for a jury trial on the Civil Rights and excessive force counts. The Eleventh Circuit held that “the task of weighing the credibility of police testimony against other evidence is the stuff of which jury trials are made.” Plaintiff’s counsel and National Trial Lawyers members Douglas R. Beam and Riley H. Beam of Douglas R. Beam, P.A.  Benedict P. Kuehne and Michael T. Davis, of Kuehne Davis Law, P.A., and Marjorie Gadarian Graham issued a statement that “police shootings of innocent citizens are on the rise, and we applaud the Eleventh Circuit’s directive that juries are well-suited to the task of deciding whether the police are in fact responsible when using excessive force.” As the Eleventh Circuit explained, the “clearly established law” is that shooting a person through a closed door who has done nothing threatening and never posed an immediate danger violates the Fourth Amendment to be free from the use of excessive force.” Plaintiff’s counsel are anxious to “bring this outrageous police shooting to a jury to hold the Brevard Sheriff’s Office responsible for this senseless disregard of a decent man’s life.”

Immigration judge talks about how to fix courts

Dana Leigh Marks has been an immigration judge in San Francisco since 1987, and is president emerita of the National Association of Immigration Judges. In the Washington Post, Judge Marks writes about what it’s going to take to fix the overwhelmed immigration legal system:
The volume of work can be overwhelming. Some of our judges carry caseloads of 5,000 cases or more, usually with limited support staff. Because we work for the Justice Department, we are directed how to arrange our dockets and micromanaged about how much time we spend on cases. Beginning in October of last year, judges were ordered to complete 700 cases each year or risk a less-than-satisfactory performance evaluation, which can cost a judge his or her job. This is not how a court should be run. Attorney General William P. Barr told Congress this week that he is hoping to boost the number of judges in our courtrooms from around 425 to 535 over the next few years and for a commensurate boost in lawyers and clerks. We desperately need the help.
Find out more about what it’s going to take to reform the immigration legal process at the Washington Post. 

Video: Former ICE head criticizes Trump’s plan to eliminate immigration judges

courthouseA former acting head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency says President Trump’s call to eliminate immigration judges is the “single dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” Former ICE director John Sandweg tells CNN it would be wrong to get rid of immigration judges because the Constitution guarantees due process. The president wants to take immigration judges away in an effort to speed up the immigration process.   

Federal Court Orders Timely Bond Hearings and Legal Protections for Asylum Seekers

On Friday, in a groundbreaking decision, a federal judge in Seattle dealt a blow to the government’s campaign to deter and obstruct asylum seekers applying for protection in the United States.  Judge Marsha Pechman ordered the government to provide certain individuals with bona fide asylum claims either a bond hearing before an immigration judge within seven days of their request or to release them from detention. Ruling on a nationwide class action lawsuit, Pechman further ordered that, at those bond hearings, the government must justify continued detention, record the hearing, produce the recording or transcript on appeal, and produce a written decision with individualized findings at the conclusion of the hearing. The government has 30 days to implement these measures, which will impact thousands of asylum seekers currently detained across the United States.  In shifting the burden of justifying continued detention from the noncitizen to the government, the court noted that “[i]n every other context (both civil and criminal detention), the Government bears the burden of proof regarding suitability for release.” The court’s order is the first nationwide ruling placing this burden on the government at an initial bond hearing. The case is Padilla v. Sessions and the plaintiffs and nationwide classes of asylum seekers are represented by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and the American Immigration Council. “This is a tremendous first step toward more equitable bond hearings for asylum seekers,” said Matt Adams, legal director for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. “These protections are essential in order to ensure that detention is not used as punishment or a mechanism to block asylum applicants from asserting their rights to seek protection.” “The court’s decision recognizes the physical and psychological suffering that asylum seekers have been forced to endure for weeks and months as they await bond hearings,” said Trina Realmuto, directing attorney at the American Immigration Council. “We are thrilled that under the court’s order, our class members will receive prompt bond hearings with basic due process protections.” The court’s decision can be read here, as well as the amended complaint, the court’s order granting nationwide class certification, and the court’s orders denying the government’s motion to dismiss.

Will Trump close the Mexico border?

Mexico mapRepublicans from border states and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are criticizing President Trump’s threat to close the border with Mexico over his belief that Mexico isn’t doing enough to stem the tide of migrants from Central America. USA Today reports that the administration could start shutting down ports of entry this week. Critics point out that Mexico was America’s third-largest trading partner last year and they’re concerned about the effect closing the border would have on the economy. The Philadelphia Inquirer says House Democrats are talking about holding a vote on the border closing later this month to force border state Republicans to take a stand on the administration’s controversial proposal. Politico says Trump plans to visit the border on Friday while GOP members try to guess which move the president will make. 

Florida bankruptcy judge criticized for ordering jail time

A U.S. bankruptcy judge in Fort Lauderdale is causing controversy after sending at least ten people to jail, including two lawyers, reports the ABA Journal. While Judge John Olson is described as “brilliant,” his actions, including sanctioning several lawyers, are drawing scrutiny. Judge Olson has ordered several attorneys to pay fees or risk being banned from bankruptcy court. One lawyer jailed by the judge, Lawrence Wrenn, says while Olson might be brilliant, Wrenn believes he’s “power mad.” Another attorney ordered detained by Olson, Tina Talarchik, filed a court motion saying Olson’s actions “give rise to an appearance of partiality, antagonism, vengeance and other judicially inappropriate conduct.” Some people are questioning whether Olson actually has the authority to send people to jail.