I’m guessing most of us have trusted someone, a friend, a business partner, a store owner and ended up disappointed in the results. Otherwise, you live a sheltered, protected life, behind closed doors. Business owners usually have numerous agreements, contracts that require careful agreement from all sides.
After 40 years in the business world and lots of experience and exposure with different issues, a variety of individuals, there are numerous challenges for agreement as well as disagreement. It may be a challenge with a new business partner, a customer, a client, a vendor, your banker, an employee and others.
Hopefully, most of us can say we trust our Mom and Dad, maybe most of our siblings, too. Is it possible that your inheritance can get screwed up, maybe a slick maneuver by a sibling, your favorite cousin or it can be by some other family member. Wisdom says, “inspect what you expect” or you may end up on the short side.
You’re asking, how can anyone suggest that our immediate family members are NOT trustworthy? I understand but have lots of experience with family, with business partners, surprises we never expected. How could that possibly happen? Good question! My goal is simply to encourage your awareness of how things happen and why.
Obviously, greed, lack of personal integrity is seldom recognized UNTIL an agreement or contract is ignored that you assumed was written, signed and lived up to according to the document. Many people say things to another in good faith, intent, but never follow through, it never happens. Promises made verbally have NO power.
For example, I recall a gentleman who promised his executive employee ownership of the business once the older boss was deceased. After 43 years of running the business for the “boss” it never happened because the boss never got around to making it a legal promise. The boss had 2 adult children who inherited the business assets either by WILL or default as his legal heirs. I mention this as the reality of promises made that never happen because it’s simply the way our legal system works.
You may remember Donald Trump, a Presidential contender, responding to questions about his 4 bankruptcies and his response being that he only used the LAWS of America, all legal, nothing more or less. I’m guessing millions of dollars invested were lost by someone, maybe Mr. Trump, his closest friends and others. As we should know, a business is a 3rd party entity rather than an individual which provides personal protection. IF you don’t understand this law, please learn more as it happens over and over again across America when a business fails and someone experiences loss.
Unfortunately, when these things happen to a Small Business Owner it’s usually total disaster because few entrepreneurs have any clue about survival thru bankruptcy. The IRS is trained by the meanest mafia, vendors suddenly are no longer your friend, bankers turn a deaf ear and you’re in the dump all alone.
I’ve seen (former) friendly vendors bring out their legal team to suggest that their former business client now should become personally responsible for all the debt of his company. If you ever own a business it should be set up as a corporation with your legal counsel to protect your personal assets.