When Tragedy Strikes

When tragedy strikes

Last summerjacob Rutzen-Gibbs I was in a store shopping for a birthday present for one of my kids when I got the call.  My brother, sobbing on the phone tells me his son had just drowned. My nephew Jacob was gone.  At 21 he had his whole life ahead of him.  Jacob was strong and funny, passionate, caring and loving and now without him our whole world would stop. It’s been six months and the pain of loosing Jacob still impacts my world on any given day.

In business conversations we don’t often talk about death.  We don’t talk about the impact of the daily and ongoing pain of loosing someone so close. Maybe we should?  I wanted to write this post to give you permission to think about and consider planning for the potential loss of a loved one even though it’s really hard.  Have you saved for a rainy day? …. this was our rainy day.    You will emotionally if not physically need a couple of months to be “away”.  Having two months operating cash in the bank would afford you this time.   Does your team know what to do to keep your company running?  Do you have documentation and a schedule for everything that needs to happen to keep your company viable should you need to take a couple of months off?   Writing down “How to’s” is annoying and boring and may seem pointless until that unexpected moment when you can’t be there and someone else needs to step in and take over.

Setting up your company so that it can run independent of you is a gift you give yourself and those you care the most about.  Sometimes sadly we loose one of our own and I want to spare you the burden of having to worry about your business.

Loosing Jacob also reminds me to ask, “ Why am I working so hard?”    What really is the best use of my time? Do I really need to work 10 hours today?  How much is enough?  Does the book have to be finished this year?  Do I really need to be out tonight or should I just stay home and play cards with my kids?  Thanks to Jacob I know the answer.

Missing you Jake from your heart broken Auntie Bev

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