Here’s something very different today . . . We freely share our 1-page, 9-Box Model which is divided into the 3 Pillars of business. Each pillar comprises 3 boxes. We cycle around this model each quarter as it’s the foundation of all we do. But today I want to talk to you about the ‘box’ that sits over the whole 9-box plan itself . . . we call it ‘Box 10 – Personal’.

While we talk mostly about the key areas of business . . . too often I see business owners and leaders so focussed on business that it’s easy to forget the personal.

I was guilty of it myself many years ago and it backfired on me horribly . . . but that’s another story.

Today I’m going to ask you to take a couple of minutes to think about what happens ‘when the worst happens’? And yes, I’m talking death, illness and disaster here.

Please forgive me if I take a bit longer this week . . . I said it was important. It is.

Most people know that an important mantra of mine is ‘fix it before it goes wrong’. Not surprising for someone who had 20 years in financial services in the UK and overseas. I’d encourage you to adopt my mantra . . . mainly because I’ve seen what happens when you DON’T fix it before it goes wrong.

I could give you countless examples of the pain, suffering, sadness, heartbreak, financial calamities, uncertainty and fearfulness . . . but I won’t. Because I want to give you solutions. Or at least some help in managing your solutions.

As we used to say in financial services . . . and in life . . . ‘you either pay the premium or you pay the price’.

Robbery, loss, theft + no insurance = you pay the price of not having paid the premium

Robbery, loss, theft + insurance = you paid the premium so you don’t pay the price.

Same with investments for your retirement. And . . . the same with illness and death.


Think about your own potential worst case scenarios . . . just for a short time (but long enough so that you get clear about what would happen, and how). Just enough so that you put a simple plan in place and make sure the right people know. Now.

Now. Because we never know what’s around the corner. But, if you work with the mindset of ‘fix it before it goes wrong’ you’re covered, and ensure the key people know.

Here’s a quick list (you can create your own) and I’ll start with the worst – and one that will come to us all – hopefully not for a while yet!

  • Death – what happens in the event of your death, or the death of someone close to you? Your partner/business partner, your family.
    I really don’t mean to do anything other than dig you in the ribs to get clear on what will happen. Because it can be the most difficult time. Sort this now so you can be fully present when it happens to someone close. I’ve seen people who’ve paid the premium, and those who’ve paid the price.

    You can ease it by talking about it and getting clear on wishes and what you’ll need to find/do in advance.

    Example: I got so fed up with people not understanding how much there is to do that I did some research and updated my own (very old) document ‘What I own and Where it is Kept’ (thank you ‘Hambro Life’ as it was then, back in 1979). I gave it a massive overhaul and created a ‘Template – Funeral Wishes’.

    Action: Reply ‘Funeral’ to get your copy and take a look at it when it arrives in your in box. Be prepared. Fix it before it goes wrong.

    Communicate: Once you’ve completed yours/someone you need to plan this for – trust me you won’t want to wait until you have to do it – tell those who need to know – family, partners, solicitor, executor, etc (you’ll know who’s right when you complete it) where it is and talk your plans through with them.

    Update: Make it one of those things you review each year (or as needed) to make sure it’s as up to date as possible for when it’s needed. If you move it . . . tell the relevant people.
  • Insurances – you have to insure your vehicles, maybe even your pet(s), how good are you at insuring your properties, your health (big list to review here – your critical illness, income protection, medical insurance, your life and your business (especially partnerships)?

    Pay the premium not the price. Do an audit of your life, business, everything and see if you’re up to date.

    Example: we have properties in joint and individual names. We have buildings insurances on the rental properties, we have the right kind of life assurance on the mortgages and everything has been drawn up correctly with our Financial Adviser. The plan again is to ‘fix it before it goes wrong’. I bought a property that was refurbished and ‘good to go’ or so I thought. There was a fire. Tenants were all ok, the house was trashed. It took months to get it all refurbed again. Months of no income, work and additional expenditure – council tax. I paid the premium so I didn’t pay the price.

    Andy and I also use ‘Dashlane’ as a password manager with shared access. No getting locked out of anything. That’s happened to my family members . . . partner dies and all the passwords were known only to them . . . no longer able to access their storage unit. Small example but ‘fix it before it goes wrong’.

    Speak to a good financial adviser/broker and get it sorted.
    Communicate: Make sure you know what would happen, where your policies are, etc.
    Update: as required, I suggest minimum annually.

I’ll wrap this up with ‘Wills’ – because we live in Spain and have property here and in the UK, where our business is based – we have an English will and a Spanish one. We have an executor who knows where things are (you can give them electronic copies of so much now).

Get yours done by a professional and review it as you need to. Please don’t assume anything. Don’t assume ‘it’s ok because we’re married’, or it’s ok because we know what would happen. Do you? Really?

Let me know if you want that template. Hit reply and just say ‘Funeral’.

And if this isn’t something YOU do but you have someone who does (partner?), forward this to them. They’ll get it done.

I know it makes some people uncomfortable but I’d rather have a bit of discomfort now and greater clarity for when something happens. I’d rather take care of it now so I can focus on what I will need to ‘in the moment’. It might not make me the most romantic of partners in life and business but I do want to ‘take care of things that matter’. And thank goodness Andy is used to me after nearly 20 years.

Plan for the worst, expect the best and enjoy every moment.


As you’ve progressed in your career, you should have learnt several things that you can teach others that are just starting their journey.

Audiences love this type of content.

Because it comes from experience. And it helps others learn and improve faster.

And a big PLUS that you’re giving them a light at the end of the tunnel!

So, you could create posts like this one by Tim Stoddart:

It’s a post that can take you 5 minutes to create.

But it’s easy to consume and easy to understand.

And it’s packed with value.

So, what’s the advice that you would give your younger self?


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