Wise Up Wednesday: Don’t Be Like SM-046!

Don’t worry I haven’t gone crazy, just bear with me and I will explain why SM-046 and contractual risk is relevant to all Specialist Contractors, Trade Contractors and Subcontractors.

SM-046, is an American woman with a peculiar type of brain damage that prevents her from experiencing fear.

First described by scientists in 1994, she has had exclusive and complete bilateral amygdala destruction since late childhood as a consequence of Urbach–Wiethe disease. Dubbed by the media as the “woman with no fear”, SM-046 has been studied extensively in scientific research.

But please don’t be like her! Because a certain amount of fear is going to keep you safe, whereas being totally fearless in business is going to put your business at risk.

How Much Risk Are You Prepared To Take?

Business is a risk we all know that right?

There is no business that does not involve risk of some kind. But how much contractual risk are you prepared to take and do you understand the risk you are taking?

Let’s Think About Contractual Risk

contractual risk and SM-046

That bigger more prestigious job, that new Contractor who you want to win more work from, are all well and good and yes you should be ambitious. And if you were SM-046 you would steam in regardless.

But you’re not SM-046 and you should always temper ambition with a degree of caution. Think of it as a continuum. At one end is SM-046 steaming in regardless and at the other end is the rabbit caught in the headlights paralysed by fear.

I’m advocating that you should be somewhere between the two. Ready and willing to snap up the opportunities, but sensible enough to evaluate the risks.

You see, in any given situation, the Contractor is trying to transfer as much responsibility and risk as he can onto you. The unscrupulous ones will stitch you up financially and won’t care if you get hurt.

You should not simply steam in regardless without checking the key facts or the Contractor’s onerous terms and conditions!

You should not be oblivious to the risk involved, even if it is not so obvious.

Checking For SM-046ness

The lady is referred to as SM-046 to protect her true identity and for her own safety, because quite simply her lack of fear means she puts herself at risk all the time without knowing it!

So, next time you find yourself in line for a big job, or are getting in to bed with a new Contractor or Client, just think;

Am I being an SM-046?

If you can’t see the risks because they’re camouflaged in a mountain of paperwork then you might need someone to point them out to you.

Of course there may be times when you have to take a commercial decision to accept some risks, accept some onerous terms and conditions, but if you don’t check, accept what you’re given and it turns out that it’s very onerous, then good luck to you!

If You’re In Doubt About Your Contractual Risk Give Us A Shout

If you are in any doubt about how to identify and manage risk, or don’t know whether or not the terms and conditions are onerous, then please take professional advice.

StreetwiseSubbie’s Nationwide Network of Consultants are experts in helping you to deal with such matters.

If you need help, you can call us or email us and there is no charge for initial advice. You can email here or call on 01773 712116.

More information: You can watch a short video about ‘The Case of SM’ here.


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