Our future is not often what we planned

We like to think that we’re in control of our futures. We’re not. We can set the course, and we can set off down the path we have chosen. But we cannot predict the weather, nor who we meet on that road, nor can we foresee the bad things and bad people we will meet en route.

Two things happened this week that made me stop and take stock of who I am.

The first was some fellow in Upington, an ex client of mine, registering a Business Warrior Web site to attract anybody looking for my Business Warrior Web site.

My first response was to jump into action to defend ‘my rights’. After 24 hours of fuming I have decided that I don’t much care. At some point this fellow will face his maker, just as I will. I hope that when he gets there he has a good story – because he will need to step his game up a bit to get past this stumble.

Which led me to the last time I steamed into action defending my rights. A few years ago Rob Spendley (another client) took a piece of my writing that he liked and used it in one of his emails. The problem at the time was that he did not credit me with the writing. That was an oversight. An even bigger problem at the time was me.

I promptly fired off an email to all PetesWeekly readers pointing out to them that Rob had lost his FAIS licence, and pointing them towards all the web pages that made Rob look awfully crooked. I have regretted that ever since.

I spoke to Rob this morning because yesterday the SA Government apologised to Rob for destroying his business, his livelihood, and a large chunk of his future. (Three years ago he was forced to give up his practice and all of his clients.) FAIS carries no liability for any of their decisions so he gets no compensation for their mistake.

So what happened? One of Rob’s staff members defrauded one of his clients. SA Labour Laws prevented Rob from summarily firing her. (The penalties for not following the correct Labour procedures are severe and expensive.) Instead, Rob went through the correct procedures and she left the firm two months later. FAIS disagreed with this approach, and felt that his ‘lenient’ response was incorrect – and they removed his licence, his business, and his clients.

Chatting to Rob this morning he said something that made me feel a bit better. He told me that the only thing that kept him eating, and kept his family housed, was the CrashProof strategies he had put into place a few years before all this came to pass.

Your investment in these same ideas is R997-00, and you get it all back afterwards if you don’t think you got value.

In case you have not got my point, I offer an unreserved apology to Rob for kicking him when he was down, and I wish him all the very best for his future. He deserves it.

Next week, we’ll talk retirement and spreadsheets again. I need some sun first, and SA in Winter seems to have more sun than the UK in Summer.

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