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UFB Issue #016a Catastrophe - addendum
August 16, 2003
Looks like we had our own "blackout" yesterday while New York and the northeast were having theirs... we failed to include Allan's words. Here's what he had to say and a link to his whole newsletter issue...

Allan's Newsletter I'm having an unscheduled holiday - in hospital - and that has persuaded me to write about a very important subject most of us probably avoid but shouldn't.

I'm sitting up in bed in hospital writing this. I'm here for 10 days or so getting immuno-suppressant therapy for a rare blood disorder called aplastic anemia.

A dual drip line has been sewn into my upper arm and it stays there 24 hours a day. They're pumping me full of a cocktail of chemicals to try to teach my T-cells to stop attacking my immune system.

The doctors insist that what they're giving me isn't chemotherapy but it seems awfully similar to me.

The effects of the treatment the first day weren't nice. The ill effects included rigors - the shakes so bad I could hardly talk. I felt as though I'd been thrown out in the snow naked. I had raging temperature, and then I was so hot I felt as though I was lying on a heated bed.

If a few drops of this non-chemotherapy stuff happen to fall on the floor, the nurses call it a "cyto-toxic waste spill" and they wear plastic aprons and thick rubber gloves to clean it up.

And this is the stuff they're pumping into me.

Come to think of it, every nurse who enters my room always wears a plastic apron and rubber gloves.

Believe it not, this is the less invasive option. If it doesn't work, the next line of attack, in about six weeks, will be a bone marrow transplant, where they kill my bone marrow and then pump in someone else's.

Relax guys, you don't have to launch a bone marrow drive. I'm lucky. One of my sisters turned out to be a perfect match.

It's all pretty scary stuff, and it's given me plenty of time to think.

I don't want to sound too morbid, but perhaps you ought to think about this...

What would happen to YOUR Internet business if you were run over by a bus tomorrow?

Or what if you were incapacitated? Yes, I know - I didn't think it would happen to me, either.

Or what about burnout?

It's easy to suffer burnout when you work crazy long hours for far too long. Are you prepared for it? I ignored the warnings for years. I eventually slowed down a bit, but too late to prevent this illness.

What if you merely grow old, or tired of the business and want out?

Do you have an escape plan?

Even if your Internet business is just a part-time one earning a few hundred dollars a month, you wouldn't want to see that thrown away, would you?

* Do you have a spouse, business partner or friend who could step in and run your business?

* Even if the person you have in mind has the necessary skills, could they find all the information they needed, such as passwords?

* If there are regular procedures you do, are they written down - in such way that someone else could follow them?

* Would the business collapse totally without you?

* Imagine if the person looking after your estate wanted to sell your business? Would they be able to find a neat list of all your web sites? Would they have any idea how to go about selling the business?

* Could your business be sold? For how much?

* Would the business be sold for a fraction of its true worth, depriving your spouse and children of many thousands of dollars? Considering the price you're likely to get, it might make more sense to get someone else to run it.

Consider this...

You've probably spent several years creating a business on the Internet. Wouldn't it be an awful shame if the fruit of all that effort was thrown away because you hadn't told anyone how to handle it?

Here's your action plan:

TODAY, start a Letter to Survivors file on your computer. Start jotting down a few things they'll need to know. Keep the advice simple and easy to understand.

You could also use this 41-page Estate Planning Organizer:

Tell someone the Letter to Survivors exists. You can also write a note - a Letter of Wishes - and attach it to your will. It could tell people where to find the Letter to Survivors. Such an attachment won't be legally binding but it's still extremely useful for the person trying to sort out the mess after you've gone.

If you have employees, consider giving at least one of them more training, so they're ready to step into your shoes. You should be doing that anyway, so you can take decent holidays.

If you don't have an employee, I strongly urge you to consider hiring one as soon as you possibly can. It frees you up to do the things you prefer doing and gives you time to step back from the business and do some serious thinking.

If you're like me, you'll find that your best money-making ideas come when you're taking a break, not when you're working.


If you have some good ideas on the smooth passing of a business to a successor, or how to prepare a "just-in-case" file, I'd love to hear from you. If I receive some useful tips, I'll publish the best of them.

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