There's a famous adage that goes along the lines of "there are only 2 certainties in life: death and taxes".
And whilst there seems to be a constant flow of articles, conversations, arguments, and such like around tax and business, it seems no-one wants to talk about death and business.
Specifically - what happens to your business when you die.
My reasons for such apparent morbidity in starting to explore this theme are multiple - I was asked to support a Board of Directors work out what to do with the business that they were responsible for after its founder and chief exec unexpectedly passed in their sleep (not that easy when they kept all the passwords and security details for the bank, Companies House, HMRC, etc in their head, and for various reasons it wasn't possible for me to obtain a copy of their death certificate from their grieving spouse...); and I'm also occasionally approached by founders of social enterprises who've recently received terminal diagnoses and are keen to try and ensure that their efforts in this life will have a worthwhile legacy.
And there's a clear business case for trying to get us to talk about death more openly too - research shows that most business continue to struggle for years after their founders death.
Ultimately, I think it comes down to succession - whilst we may be very good at planning for all sorts of risks and contingencies in our enterprises, charities, and others, we rarely (if ever) plan for us not to be a part of it, and think about what sort of future it should (or could) have without us being involved with it.
We seem to have also fetishised entrepreneurs - tech entrepreneurs and hailed and presented as saviours of our economy; health ones will save us from suffering illness of all types; and social ones will fix all the problems in our local communities; with nothing but the magical power of their will and without the need to rely on others to get there. That's a lot of expectation to heap on someone who's just trying to see how far their idea will go...
As entrepreneurs, we're already more likely to suffer mental ill health (which seems to be repeatedly quietly glossed over); have our relationships with friends and family suffer; and be more likely to be victims of targeted crime.
So if we die unexpectedly, then the venture that we've gambled all of the above on, will likely crumble and be messily wound up. It will leave people upset and angry, and mean that all of the above we suffered was for nothing, as it's likely that there'll be no legacy to what we were trying to build up (because we never thought we could die because we're the ones who are supposed to be saving everything and everyone else).
In those rare instances where entrepreneurs do dally with thoughts about the grim reaper, it's usually a conversation with their accountants who direct them as to the ways in which they can get the most money out of the business they've built to date to enjoy their final months with - or can soften the loss on their immediate family.
It seems to me that as entrepreneurs we don't talk about our own mortality enough in ensuring that the visions which have driven us to risk everything we have to realise them, will have a good chance of continuing to impact the world and change communities for the better, even if we're not around to celebrate that as it happens.
Death is already far too taboo a subject, and as such, creates lots of unnecessary problems for those around us when we leave this life.
So - what's your plan for your enterprise (be it social, charitable, co-operative, private or other) if you were to suddenly not wake up, or receive the news from your Doctor that none of us ever want to hear?