Why I wrote my book
Living an idyllic life on Sydney’s lower North Shore, with a successful business I ran with my husband, two gorgeous little girls, a beautiful home and a beach house, all was blissfully running smoothly, or so I’d thought. I had always taken a more passive role in the financial side of the business so really had no way of knowing exactly what our financial position was at any given time.
I did know things were suddenly changing. Our booming business of 10 years was affected by an unexpected and dramatic change in the law which meant a lot less work in our area of industry. In a very short span of time, many of our clients had all but disappeared and revenue plummeted.
I’ll never forget the day my husband came home from a meeting with the bank.
I was making a pasta sauce – my two small children playing happily nearby.
I asked what the outcome of the meeting was. He tried to smoothly break the news to me, whilst adding through the broken conversation, that I wasn’t to worry – everything was going to be alright.
I insisted he share the news. He said, “We have to sell this house, our beach house, everything.”
My heart dropped to my stomach and I immediately left the kitchen to sit on the couch and cry. I regained some composure to turn the gas off and then I just belted out the questions.
My life flashed before me. I wasn’t worried about selling the beach house, as beautiful as it was. Losing the roof over your head? That’s a very different matter.
Life’s great until it isn’t.
Having sought medical and financial advice, I set about getting my thoughts down on paper – a book- The title of my book – “Great Handbag – don’t forget your Briefcase” came to me pretty easily. I thought every girl loves a great handbag – hell yes! But there’s an economic impact to that.
Look good, present well, do everything in your fabulous life you want to, but never, ever take your eyes off the finances – particularly in a personal or business partnership. Make absolutely sure that every decision made is a joint one so that nothing ends up in your lap to clean up that you didn’t have every part in choosing.
For me the writing of my book was a cathartic measure. It allowed my feelings of anger, insecurity, self-doubt and total fear to pour out of me in thirteen chapters over two years.
I have a few key pieces of advice to other women when it comes to finances
- Remain on top of your game. Make sure you have all those answers to the questions which are unclear to you. Ask questions until you understand the finances and have significant input into decisions that impact your family or your business financially now and definitely in the future.
- Keep yourself equipped with skills in order to be able to step up and take over or take on the remnants of a business or lifestyle, should you need to later on in life.
- Get independent professional financial advice.
- Know that you are so capable of stepping up and managing change. Piece by piece, surround yourself with like-minded business owners, or women in corporate jobs. You will be amazed at how much support from other women is out there. The sisterhood is strong – put yourself in there amongst it and do not be afraid to ask for help.
My book is available through my website: http://www.antoinettecolbran.com.au
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