When your Greatest Desire is also your Greatest Fear
I once attended a presentation by David Lansky of the Family Business Consulting Group about “Family Wealth Continuity”.
I had an A-Ha moment when seeing one of his slides:
It said: “What benefactors most want…they also most fear.”
Wow. I‘d never heard anyone put it that way, so let’s think about it.
People work hard to create wealth for their family.
They work for their wealth so their family can be safe and happy, have nice things, get a great education and excellent healthcare, and lots of similar reasons.
They want their children to have a great life, and often they don’t want their kids to have to work as hard as they did.
So far, so good.
But for families who’ve created more wealth, than they could ever use in several lifetimes, some doubts creep in, and these parents worry about leaving their kids too much money
How do you make sure your family members are beneficiaries of your family business, and NOT its victims?
There are many complicating factors at play that can lead to disputes, jealousy, and lack of motivation, to name a few.
Unfortunately, the fact that wealth can be a blessing OR a curse will always be with us.
When you’re trying to pass your wealth down to your children, you need to be clear on “Why” you wanna do that.
And then you need to figure out “How” to go about it, in a way that lines up with the “Why”.
You have to LOOK into the future, and figure out all the details around HOW you’re gonna do it, while making sure the details are aligned with the WHY
Some Families DO pass wealth down to their children, WITHOUT the fear that other families experience.
The families who do it well, are very careful with the How, and they’ve taken the time to talk with the entire family, about the What, the Why, AND the How.
It’s not always easy to have these critical conversations, but having them is what separates the successful families from the ones where the fear is justified.
It can be done, but it won’t just happen by itself. Then again, nothing important ever does.
Yesterday was a good day to start talking about it, but today isn’t bad either.