Is your business healthy enough to survive a seriously illness? Here’s what I learned:
BIG Entrepreneurial Lesson #1: A balance sheet can show a healthy net profit but be WAY out of whack.
I was so afraid of neglecting my end of the business that I neglected my body and it failed me. Unable to push anymore, I left it all up to my partner. We’d built a very successful business that required our very different and complimentary strengths to maintain. When I became too ill to do my share, the business became as unbalanced as my body.
Lesson #2. Consider future possibilities when you enter a business partnership, including an option to sell and a plan for how you will handle the illness of death of one partner.
It may not seem necessary if you start a business with a close friend or family member but historically, the statistics show a business partnership can do irreparable damage to a relationship.
Before I got sick, I was feeling ready to make a change. I was putting all my energy into something that had lost meaning for me. While it felt good to know we were providing the opportunity for so many people to earn a substantial income, I was constantly stressed about the responsibility of having over 100 employees. My partner and I had a different long-range vision. A life-long friend was interested in buying into the business and I was ready to sell my share but my hands were tied because my partner didn’t want a different partner. In hindsight, we should have had an agreement from the start that if one of us wanted to sell and had a competent, qualified buyer, the other would agree to either allow the sale or buy the other out.
Lesson #3. Create a duplicatable business model that is not solely dependent on your own physical presence.
That is something we did right and enabled us to bring in revenue even when neither of us were present. Had the only revenue been dependent on my personal hours-for-dollars, income would have come immediately to a dead halt as soon as I become ill.
Are you prepared should an illness or accident mean you are unable to work for awhile? Is your business healthy enough to survive an illness?