The 39-Steps

Published: 16 January 2023

The Thirty-Nine Steps was written by John Buchan in 1915; later being serialised on TV with Robert Powell starring as Richard Hannay, : though I rather prefer the Alfred Hitchcock B&W film version from the 1930's - Hitchcock apparently did his usual cameo, but he is harder to pick out than normal. In others such as To Catch a Thief, for example, he is an easy spot - back of the bus next on the other side of Cary Grant to the lady with the bird cage, if you are interested.

John Buchan wrote the 39 Steps from his bed whilst suffering a duodenal ulcer. Which all brings me, most tortuously, to a comparison.

A few years ago I suffered a perforated duodenum and spent a painful few nights in the surgical assessment ward, sharing it with three other patients, morphine on tap and two ongoing company sales that needed progressing. I have had happier times, but they completed - the sales... not the patients!

But that is nothing. My engineered coincidences just keep coming thick and fast...

This morning, I wrote for two separate clients to explain the process of selling their companies, and the steps along the way. Two versions: one for a known potential buyer and the other where no buyer has, as yet, been identified. The first has 44 steps and the second 58 steps.

If you would to know the steps through to a successful company sale, I would be happy to go through them with you.

Alternatively if tales of derring-do are more your thing it is a good time of year perhaps light a fire of an evening and watch the film instead.