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I wish I’d spent more time at the office!

John Willcox-Jones
30th October 2020

A quote that you will rarely hear when remaining life becomes short. The opposite comment is almost invariably the case.  Lost time with one’s partner, children and grandchildren is impossible to catch up – but you can reassess the future and take action to redress the balance.

Entrepreneurs are often driven as much by the thrill of the chase as they are of the material rewards generated by their business activities.

This often blurs the question as to when to ‘wind down’ and let others drive the business.  Some are fortunate in recognising when they must stop trying to make the world turn and realise that it is highly likely to continue turning without them.

The current pandemic provides a real opportunity to assess two completely separate situations – your ideal future personal and family plans and the future management and development environment for your business.

In many business sectors the impact of COVID-19 has been so dramatic that businesses in those areas require a fundamental reset.  This will involve a three to five year forward management and investment plan to enable them to achieve survival, followed by a steady recovery and then a growth phase in the New Economy (the phrase Oasis Europe will be using to prevent any continuing thought that life will return to conditions pre March 2020).

Many owners will feel that the personal, mental, and financial commitment and continuing risk is not something that they wish to take on at this stage in their business career and we are already seeing decisions made to reassess retirement plans.

Indeed, their business may be far more likely to survive and flourish in the hands of an organisation with greater commercial strength and more financial and management resources to take advantage of market opportunities in the New Economy.

Many people, not just business owners, are asking themselves – what is really important to our family from 2021 onwards?

Many families have been able to spend more time together, enjoying experiences and outdoor activities not requiring immense cost.  Their reduction in discretionary expenditure has led to questions as to just how much wealth they should be seeking to acquire to create an enjoyable lifestyle for the future and an appropriate legacy for their children.

Perhaps also the experience of running the business in the current climate is becoming similar to managing a cemetery – you have plenty of people under you but few seem to be listening!


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