If you’re like me you pour your life and soul into building your business. But when did you last stop and ask yourself, ‘What for?’

When I recently asked myself this question the answers came pretty quickly.

At first I wanted to control my own financial destiny. That’s why I started my own business. When I was growing up my parents went through some tough financial times. I wanted to make sure that my own family had a buffer.

As my business matured, my confidence grew, and my focus moved to maintaining a good lifestyle for my lovely wife and three young children. We have a nice house, late-model cars, and our kids go to a quality school. Given the hours I still work, my wife and kids get to enjoy this lifestyle more than I do. But I still feel good about being able to provide this for them.

As I get older I am getting more regular reminders that I may not be immortal, and my focus is once again changing. I am asking myself ‘what if something happens to me’, or one of my business partners? Will my family be able to maintain our lifestyle, will my children be able to finish their schooling? Will I actually get to realize the value I am building in my business? Am I really protected as well as I can be?

If something happened to me I want to know that my family will be able to get a reasonable amount for our business. I want them to have certainty, and not end up in an expensive dispute over what they will get, and when they will get it. Likewise, if something happens to one of my business partners, I don’t want to be supporting their family, as well as my own. I want to be able to buy them out and move on – perhaps find another person to replace them.

A lot of people think these issues come down to ‘expensive’ life insurance. But that’s not necessarily the case. The solution starts with a clear understanding of what might happen, and what you will do about it if it does. There are the obvious events, like disability, sickness and death. But there are also the less obvious, and more likely events, such as a disagreement about your business’ direction, retirement of your business partner, or your business partner going through a divorce.

Having spent some time thinking about what could happen – and what I can do to minimise the financial impact – I am now back focused on building value within my business. I feel comfortable in the knowledge that my family will benefit from that value when it matters. How confident are you?

Andrew Andreyev

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