Stewardship: How Young to Start?

May 14, 2024Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I work with wealthy families, some very wealthy families, and even some uber-wealthy families, and the truth is that they want what poor, working class, and all families want: happy, healthy, and productive kids. One of the growing areas of my practice is coaching wealthy couples before they have kids and parents of very young children—babies and toddlers. I call my work with them the Purposeful Legacy Family Project . While I’ve always included teens and young adults in coaching and family retreats, I’m Read more »

Fairness, Once Again

March 25, 2024Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

“Once Again” is in the title here because I’ve already written several blog posts about fairness in the context of family; this is one of the repeating topics arising with the enterprising families I work with. It is understandable that families often ask me for the best way to be fair in their situation. It makes complete sense that they ask this. If there was a rule book or definitive guide, I’d share it freely. Of course, there is no Read more »

Mom’s Death Gift

February 21, 2024Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

First of all, my mom is still alive. She is wise, has a wicked sense of humor, and is always willing to talk about topics most people find challenging. All of this is a gift, in and of itself. Let my explain, then, why I am referring to this lesson as: Mom’s Death Gift. Death is a typically challenging topic of conversation. I see people avoiding death (thinking about it, planning for it, discussing it with others, even believing it Read more »

Family Business Meets Family History

January 15, 2024Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I’ve worked with numerous enterprising families in my decades of consulting. One of my favorite sayings is, “Family is tough enough on its own; when sharing a business or other complex wealth, it is a whole lot tougher and more complex.” One of the (many) sources of that complexity, and one of the most powerful, is the long history that family members share. For better AND for worse (although humans have a tendency to pay special attention to pain). I’m Read more »

Engaging Families With Flexibility

November 16, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Meeting a new family is one of the most interesting parts of my consulting work. Often they are eager to meet me and tell me their story and, at the same time, are hesitant to open up that very story. There is usually some level of hope that I can help them manage the complex family dynamics that every family contends with—and families sharing a variety of assets have to manage such dynamics in exponential form. And there is usually Read more »

Mentor Or Tormentor???

September 19, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I recently took on a new client, a family business going strong in the fourth generation. At our first meeting I asked the family (mom, dad, brother and sister) to tell me their story – always interesting. As they dug into the various perspectives they each held about the history of the family and the business, and there are always a variety of perspectives, the patriarch described his father and grandfather, both long gone. “I was looking for mentors but Read more »

Next Gen Pushback

July 22, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

“Pushing back” is one of the ways members of the next generation assert their independence and differentiate themselves from parents and other, older family members, and even the family system as a whole. Pushing back can be subtle, such as frequent polite disagreement, or it can be glaring, such as disregarding specific, important requests from parents. A natural part of growing up, resisting the control and authority of parents and other senior family members and caretakers is common in one Read more »

Warren Buffett and Raising Kids

June 17, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

My friend and colleague, Marvin Blum, is an estate planning attorney in Texas. He is a really good guy and has a wonderful and creative blog – The Family Legacy Planning Series . Marvin’s May 9th, 2023, post inspired the idea for this one. Warren Buffett is famous for saying “I want to leave my children enough so that they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing.” You may have heard this quote. At a Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Marvin had the “ chutzpah Read more »

Talking to Young Kids About Family Wealth

April 23, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

You can talk to kids about family wealth without talking about money.    You can talk about money without mentioning numbers.    These principles are the essence of the philosophy I use when coaching parents of young children in financially wealthy families. I use the term “financial wealth” to refer to wealth based on money. There are other aspects of wealth – health, community, family relationships, social support — and it is important to recognize all kinds of wealth in Read more »

Family DYSFUNCTION

March 9, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

What is it about family dysfunction? The large majority of my job is facilitating, educating and coaching families who share ownership of businesses and legacy wealth to help them communicate well, manage conflict, create high-functioning, family-ownership teams and develop governance for decision making, sharing information and inclusion of subsequent generations. I also specialize in working with couples–pre-children or with very young children on how to set the stage for responsible, productive and values-based lives in the context of family financial Read more »