A couple of weeks ago, I attended an Entrepreneurs Conference mainly because Blue Sky provided one of the guest speakers in the form of Alex Dryden, JPMorgan’s global strategist, but what a great day it was – well done Warren at Inspire.
Sitting back, listening to the array of excellent talks, it struck me that the experiences in business are just the same as most of us experience in life. You have good and bad times, you are lucky and unlucky, but what really shapes us is how we respond, particularly in adversity… and believe you me, the room was full of those who had experienced adversity, even the guy who sold his company for £20 million!
Some business owners actually see survival as success. No wonder, as an estimated 4 out of 5 businesses fail. For most though, a feeling of fulfilment is the barometer of success. Common amongst all the speakers was the thought of building something of which they would be proud but at the same time, recognising the challenges of creating a sensible work/life balance.
You don’t have to own a business to resonate with this. Are you building something you are proud of in your life? Are you feeling fulfilled? Have you created the appropriate work/life balance?
This stuff doesn’t happen overnight of course. Just like the business owner, it’s important to learn from our mistakes. As a business develops there is a realisation that more structure is required. Checks and balances are needed. There is a greater focus on managing risk. It’s not about survival anymore. It’s now about protecting what has been built and investing wisely. Thoughts then move towards exit strategies. Now what?
Again, this is no different for non-business owners. What is the payback for having worked so hard all those years? Is there a plan in place to ensure that you extract the benefits you want, when you want them? Can you be confident that you can live life to the full without a fear of running out of money?
Business owners, as the business matures, no longer try and do everything themselves. They pay experts in their respective fields to help them optimise the benefits from their company. When it comes to non-business owners however, and planning for the future, all too often there is a DIY approach. Perhaps this is all well and good in the early years of accumulating capital but when it comes to optimising returns and extracting benefits in a tax efficient way, professional expertise comes into its own.
The key is to have a financial plan and then be able to implement… with confidence.
The concern however is that only around 4% of the adult population in the UK have a comprehensive plan for themselves and their family! Do you?