Imagine running a relay race. Each person has to be individually competent but the thing that can trump the whole race is the hand off. Drop the baton and the team is disqualified. If you have a family business you are in a unique position to hand off to the next generation a great opportunity. Sadly, many experience heartache when passing the business on to their children: businesses fail but more importantly families are ruined, broken apart by unrealized expectations and misunderstanding.
Family business succession is an important topic because it affects many of us, indirectly. In the United States, family businesses employ 60% of workforce. In Canada the number is closer to 50%. Worldwide, in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – including France, Mexico and Sweden – more than 90% of businesses now have fewer than ten employees and are family businesses.
As Thomas William Deans says in Every Family’s Business, handing off a business is largely about setting realistic expectations, avoiding surprises and just plain communicating, and this can happen many, many years prior to the turnover of the business. Through this fictional story based on the real life events in 3 generations of the author’s family, you can discover some essential steps.
Earn, invest, and spend! Giving and being generous were not part of the conversation. A culture of consumption led me down a self absorbed road for a long time. Even though there’s been a shift towards generosity and giving in our culture, it’s a small step towards a great goal. Truth is most people don’t know how to give. That was me – 35 years old and self serving. Self examination doesn’t show us how greedy we are…..you can’t see it in the mirror.
Has anyone taught you how to be rich by giving? Society, culture, TV, advertising taught our parents to want it all and to overspend to get it. This left them with little to be generous with. Few schools teach how to give. Then fear of the future robs us of our desire to give and be generous. Often we don’t give as we value security, not only materialism, hoarding our possessions. There is often competition for Lordship in our lives between God and money.
How can you change? What’s the process?
Start with the foundation…..
Jesus himself reminds us, “…you cannot serve both God and money”.
Then consider the real security in life…..
“Therefore, do not worry about your life”
Jesus assures us we don’t have to worry about our life because God’s promised to take care of us.
……further Jesus teaches in verse 33,
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Then start praying…..
God what do you want me to do with all you’ve entrusted to me?
What does it look like on the surface to be rich? Ever upgrade a perfectly good computer, cell phone, car, or want a larger home? If you answered yes to any of these, then you might be rich and not know it or feel it. We often have a mistaken understanding of wealth. The richer we become the more our priorities separate from our needs. Our needs become relative to our wealth. The more we have the more we spend.
Are you somewhat uncomfortable making the statement that; you are rich? Maybe you don’t feel rich. That’s the other guy with more!
Go to www.globalrichlist.com and enter your salary to see where you rank. Then scroll down to gain perspective. How does it make you feel knowing that not only are you rich, but that you are one of the richest people in the history of the world?
Rich is having extra. Even enough to go to a movie! But you can be rich and not be aware of it. And that’s a problem. There’s a gap between being rich and being good at being rich. If we don’t figure this out we will go through life thinking money is all for us. Where do you turn to for insight and perspective?
Paul who had an encounter with the resurrected Jesus, acted as a mentor to a young guy named Timothy. He provides illumination.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17
Who doesn’t want more money? Here’s a site that gives a list of most wanted goals that people have declared they want to make for themselves. Take a look at 43 Things. Some common items seen involve acquiring more money. Things like getting out of debt. Becoming financially independent. Work because I like to, not because I have to. Save money. Travel. The problem is over 65% of Americans do not have a net worth of $100,000. In Canada the average is $200,000.
Everybody wants to have more, do more, be more but where do you turn to for advice? For some the goal is trying to get out of debt. Others are people who have already arrived at the destination of affluence.
Read on! You know this headline is a catchy way to grab your attention on an important subject.
Remember, I have shared with you about what it truly means to BE RICH. But if you are thinking about becoming financially rich; reflect on your life. Has your income increased in proportion to the number of years you’ve been working? Has your lifestyle done the same?
Culture baits us into having it all. Turn on the T.V. or surf the Internet and it is all “buy now, pay later”. It’s a problem we all face. How do we learn delayed gratification? How do we manage wanting to have it all now?
Headlines surround me with the enticing message of how to get rich. Those same headlines say, to be happy I need the newest and best “stuff”. I am tempted to focus my admiration on people who are richer than me. Most people think of someone as rich if they make double what they do. It’s called the Doubling Up Wealth Theory. If we make $30,000 we think someone who makes $60,000 is rich.
But who is really rich?
We spend so many years trying to get rich but we rarely realize how rich we already are. On a worldwide scale, we ARE rich.
The statistics are staggering. More than half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day.Go to Global Rich List and insert your family income. If you earn more than $30,000, you’re in the top 2% of all individuals in the world. If you earn more than $40,000, you’re in the top 1%. To poor people in the rest of the world, anyone from the west is “rich.” Bill Gates or you.
Once we realize we’re rich, where do we learn how to be rich?
Flash back to 1985 when I received the best piece of personal finance advice! Picture me, working my summer job as a laborer for a bricklaying company trying to pay for university. What was the best advice and who gave it to me? It came from an Italian bricklayer in his tattered and torn work clothes. You’ll need to read this aloud in an Italian accent while waving your arms enthusiastically to get the full effect.
“Stevie it’s not-a how much-a you make, it’s-a how much-a you save.” The significance of his statement stuck with me! Many of my university professors talked about personal finance but had not been in the marketplace.
These educated professionals were not practicing personal finance as well as this man who earned probably half of what they did. Arriving in Canada from Italy, penniless, this man owned 3 houses in downtown Toronto worth a substantial amount of money. He had learned one of the dirtiest words in personal finance: discipline. As my parents often had, we will have arguments, fights, worries, pain and disappointments until we practice what this wise bricklayer taught me. I believe it is based on the following Biblical personal finance truth.
In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.