Telling the truth about SME life today

How to do it all (without having a breakdown)

I’ve written three business books (and just finished a fourth for the FT). I write countless business articles a month. I train thousands of senior staff at around 80 events a year. I sell or buy around 20 companies a year. I sit on the board of seven companies as a non-exec director. I travel thousands of business miles every year. I’m setting up a new online business. I run three homes (one overseas). and I bring up four children (five if you count my husband). 

How do I do it” Here’s how.

  • Firstly, “I” do not do it all. I admit to being an A* control freak and like things to be my way but, once I trust people, I’m an A* delegator. And I have help. Lots of it: brilliant PAs; a fantastic professional support team; a full-time housekeeper; two gardeners; and every gadget you can think of. 
  • I’m very, very organised. I am one if those very sad people who writes everything down. Yes, I have lists of lists. And I have a daily update from each of my key reports. 
  • I use every moment to maximum advantage by travelling in anything other than the car (where I am driving) so that I can write, use the phone and catch up on emails in what would otherwise be down time. 
  • I take my work to the hairdressers and even the beauticians, the latter being somewhat challenging at times. Even a multitasker like me struggles with a manicure and sending emails from the iPad. 
  • I do as much shopping online as possible. I have all my Christmas shopping done and wrapped by end of September, latest.
  • I’m blessed with very good health and much more than average stamina. If I am not very, very busy all the time I feel both worried and bored. I do go on holiday a lot to renew my batteries but largely, after a few days, I am itching for a distraction. 
  • I admit that I’m not an easy person to live with. I’m manic. But I am happy.

Is this what makes a successful entrepreneur” Well it makes me.

Jo Haigh is head of FDS corporate finance services. Jo can be contacted on 01484 860 501/07850 475 878 or [email protected] Her website is



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