They were inseparable, until they were separated. They had no contingency plan. Fortunately they had enough time to work things out. But the lesson is clear: “Put in place contingency plans for the things that you don’t think are going to happen to you.”
The quotes are from my interview with Phone Power’s Jim Murphy, who talked to me about picking up the pieces after his business partner Ari Ramezani died of stomache cancer at the age of 44.
“When you’re married to someone, the responsible thing is to set up a will to plan for the unexpected. In business, the principle is the same. I would recommend first discussing with your partner(s) what a succession plan would look like. Should there be a buy/sell agreement? Key Man Insurance? And if appropriate, document those plans in your Operating Agreement. We were fortunate enough to have the time to discuss and make plans. Many people might not be so lucky. With the business being the primary revenue stream for both the remaining partner and the deceased’s heirs, things can get chaotic really quick.”
Sometimes things will play out as you planned, and you can implement the plans you prepared. More often, you’ll need to adapt your plans. In those cases, manage the things you can manage, adjust to the things you can’t manage and keep moving forward.