Business is personal

by Kate on June 30, 2012

Sorry for inconvenience

Business is personal

This post is on a topic most of us would prefer not to think about. But it’s important, and I hope you’ll read on.

This sign, spotted in the window of a local business, is a reminder that business is personal.

Major illness, accidents and death interrupt and disrupt our lives. They affect people and have an impact on business, especially family business.

It pays to stop once in a while and consider (without getting too gloomy) whether action is needed in some key areas. Here are three areas to look at:


  1. Practical: Is your will up to date, and are powers of attorney and enduring guardianship in place? Do you have appropriate business and personal insurance?
  2. Family: It’s a good idea with your partner and family about the issues that may arise.  Consider whether the conversations should extend to business colleagues and advisers.
  3. Business: Could your business continue day-to-day if you were sick or incapacitated for a long period? Consider matters such as customer contact, daily operations, staff wages, paying bills? This applies to key staff, as well as owners.

These are practical matters and it’s simply good practice to consider them. Why not add these to an annual family business review?

Beyond the practical, there’s a whole other area, which is the question of how we live our lives and any adjustments we might want to consider. If you want to think a little deeper, here’s what Mitch Albom wrote in his book ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ as a start to your reflections.

Everyone knows they are going to die … but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently

Albom goes on to suggest a way to live well is to understand we are going to die, and be prepared for it at any time. Find meaning in your life and live it forward.

A practical activity that many people find helpful (often recommended as an annual exercise) is to consider what you would do if you found out today that you had 6 months left to live. That you would live that time in perfect health, then drop down dead.

Just something to think about, and consider what that might mean for priorities and how you live and work.

Helpful links:

  • NSW Trustee and Guardian (information about wills, powers of attorney etc):
  • Law Society of NSW (information about power of attorney and enduring guardianship):

Or contact your solicitor.

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