Death, Taxes and Childbirth! – Exit Strategies
“… There’s never any convenient time for any of them” – a line from Margaret Mitchell in Gone with the Wind.
You might think that since I write about business, this post is about these three inconveniences; in business. As indeed they are! But this is all about death.
A few years ago I was privileged to have known two gallant clients, who sadly died of cancer, very quickly; within a year of each other. Both, however, were aware of their impending demise and were able to plan for their deaths and what should happen to their businesses afterwards. Martin Orridge had key man insurance and was able to create a residual income from his Intellectual Property for his wife. The other, Sarah Howells sold her business to her prodigy, Kate Chastey, who continues to build the business with the same passion.
Not many of us actually have that privileged knowledge.
What would happen to your business if you attracted a terminal illness? What would happen to your business if you stepped off the curb at the wrong time? How might your families cope with not only their grief, but dealing with a business that they have not been involved in the daily running of?
I have seen the toil of that too.
What would happen if you lost the power of rational thought. To whom would you trust the power of attorney?
A couple of years ago, I was delighted to facilitate the lecture series at the Good Funeral Awards in Bournemouth. Delighted; because the subjects were interesting and delivered by people passionate about the experience of death. It wasn’t pitched at the business community but … what they said was worth thinking about.
In particular, Barbara Chalmers of Final Fling explored our exit strategies. Let me make something clear … this isn’t about you! This is all about those you have left and that includes your family, your staff and your customers. There are many who will state the cliché that “since you are dead why would you care?” But … would you really want your loved ones (including your staff and clients) stressed, distressed, and completely lost without you?
So here is your challenge … How are you planning to let them to feel safe and secure in their love and their memories of you; of you … continuing to want the best for what will become their business problem?
I’d love to know your plans for this … please share.