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Serious Actions – by Jo Haigh

Jo Haigh

Jo Haigh

When you are running your own business, there are times when everything seems overwhelming and in need of serious attention. The worry bank goes into override and your ability to prioritise disappears, everything needs immediate attention and it all seems to be going horribly wrong.

I speak from bitter experience and from nights and nights of lost sleep. What experience has taught me is that it usually all comes right in the end and if it isn’t right now, it’s because it isn’t the end. In the meantime I have aged a few years unnecessarily.

If you are a born worrier, simply telling you not to worry is pretty pointless, BUT I have actually found a very effective mechanism which at least for me has proven to work. It’s simple but for me very effective.

I keep a small notebook in my bag, it’s a Smithson. Not that it makes a difference but rather that’s its job. It’s something I am likely to lose because as we say in Yorkshire “it cost a fair bit.”

Every time I feel I have a big worry I write it down and the date of the worry. Don’t ask me why but firstly writing it down seems to help. I look at it more objectively for a start, but what is really powerful is when I come back to look at it again, either in a few days, a few weeks, a few months or even years, I realise just how unimportant in real terms it was, as nearly always the matter is now of no consequence. Either because it’s been dealt with, it happened and we have moved on, or it’s simply gone away.

It doesn’t really matter what has happened, rather that something nearly always has.

This process is not a way of problem resolution but rather a matter of beginning to understand perspective. Just as a by the by, I find it works just as effectively on personal issues.


Jo Haigh is head of FDS corporate finance services and the author of The Financial Times Guide to Finance for Non Financial Managers. You can reach her at


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