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Starting the conversation:
Part of you is building your business for the legacy. Legacy to your family, to your name, to your community … to the dream you are making real every day with your hard work. Most wealth does not make more than one generation – and Steven Goodman, President of SHG Planning, Inc., shares a key reason: families do not talk about money enough, and there is a general avoidance of this messy yet important topic.
In this discussion, Steven Goodman, President of SHG Planning, Inc., shares tips and stories about how to discuss setting up a successful future for yourself and your family. Let the wealth you’ve created from your hard work make an impact for more than just one generation by having the right mindset, having difficult conversations, and knowing what you will not compromise. The framework you create will support you as your business grows, your financial situation changes, and you make choices of how the results of your effort will support you, your family, and your community.
Host: Jess Dewell
Guest: Steven Goodman
This is uncharted, a series of candid conversations about facing uncertainty. When we are called upon to be courageous, the strength of our leadership is tested. Red Direction has developed the Fast Track Your Business program to help you stay aligned to your business’s TrueNorth. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique true north. Now, here’s Jess.
Jess Dewell 00:40
Everybody. Welcome to the Bold Business Podcast. This is an episode of Uncharted I am with Steven Goodman. And there are going to be some things that we talked about today that might hit home for a few of you and a whole different level than what we normally talk about. We’re going to be talking about mindset around not just money, but around wealth creation and protecting that and what do we want to do with it. And the things that we have to keep track of something that Steven and I have in common is that we didn’t start with much yet. We’ve built a lot over time. And so we’re going to dig into his, his concepts, his learnings, he’s going to share maybe a struggle or two with us about how he overcame those things. And, most importantly, when we are there when we can face that when we can remove those beliefs, those things that are limiting us how we can actually leverage it to create more safety, security, impact, opportunity, less legacy than we ever thought possible. Steven, welcome to the Bold Business Podcast. And will you take 30 seconds to a minute and tell us a little bit about you?
Steven Goodman 01:51
Well, first of all, thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it. Happy holiday. My background came out of school with a degree in accounting went to work for one of the big accounting firms KPMG peat Marwick was there for about five years. I’m a CPA, I have my MBA in finance. I worked for JP Morgan for three years as the Vice President and their Private Bank Trust and investment division. And for about 30 ish years, I’ve had a consulting firm shg planning. And I do high-end sophisticated work in business succession planning, dealing with a lot of family businesses in the succession of their business estate planning, and various risk management areas like life, long term care, disability insurance, and so on.
Jess Dewell 02:41
I’m so glad to have you today on the show. And you know, one of the things that struck me because I keep multicolored notes it from our, from our conversations that we have just so I can reference back and prepare for this. And I know that when you’re talking about business succession, family businesses, there is typically issues that we have, have to face and deal with mostly, do our kids really want it? Or are we going to force it on our kids? How much of that do do you actually deal with? And what are the ways that you help family businesses, whether it’s a legacy or passing it on? What’s the most important thing to keep in mind as a company is starting to think about that family succession?
Steven Goodman 03:29
Well, that were addressed in your first point. There’s no question that there are children that are in a family business, either because they feel that they’re forced to be in or they realize that I’m never going to make the kind of money I’m going to make in my family’s business if I had to go out on my own. So from a financial standpoint, they’re incentivized to be in the business. And neither of those are good. I mean, you know, if, if a child is in the parents’ business, they could have been their grandparents’ business and so on. And they’re there either because they feel compelled to be there or financially compelled to be there, that’s already you’re off to a bad start. Like that. It was, you know, I can’t tell you what the percentages are. But there’s, you know, it wouldn’t shock me if you know, you know, a quarter to a third of kids that are in family businesses are there for the reasons that I just mentioned. You know, as far as what I try to do when helping, I mean, you know, we could spend a whole hour you know, just on the subject. It’s a very, very, very complicated area because it’s it besides the tax issues and the legal issues which are complicated on their own. There’s emotional issues that, that come into play in the best way, way that I try to get people in an analogy is, you know, I’m a parent, my kids, you know, don’t happen to be in my business, but you know, growing up, you know, your kids play you against one another, you know, like, oh, well, you got my sister this and you know it you love my sister more than me or my, you know, the sister decision love my brother more than me. And like, you know, you go through life and like, you try to be like fair, and you try to be equal, and you try to re-emphasize the kids all of the time that, you know, look, I love you the same. And let’s face it, most parents do love their kids. But so you’ve gone through this whole period of time, and you always treating them fairly. And then one day you wake up and you say, hmm, I’m 6570 years old, I have this really big successful business, I got one or two of my kids are in the business, one or two of my kids are not in the business. And like I’ve spent my whole life telling my kids, I’m always going to treat them the same. I love them the same, I’m going to treat them the same. And now I got to make a decision, am I going to take this family business? And give it to all my kids equally? Because that’s kind of like treating them the same? Or am I going to say, Well, wait a minute, I have, you know, one or two of my kids who have invested time in the business, and the others have opted not to for whatever reason that may be. It could be for good reasons or bad, but whatever. And I’m just going to give it to my kids in the business. And, and then like, if I’m going to give the business to my kids that are active, do I have enough other things to leave to my other kids because, you know, I could have a successful business and, and my one or two kids in the business can make hundreds of 1000s of dollars and maybe millions of dollars a year in the business. And I just don’t have enough other things to give my other kids and my kids that are not in the business, they’re going to live a very different lifestyle than my kids in the business. And are they going to get together in the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, whatever your denomination is, you know, are they going to be at each other’s you know, birthday parties, and bar mitzvahs and weddings and christenings and all those things. And, you know, I always say, as a parent, you know, when you when you were, when you get when you kind of evaluate, like, if like I was up there, and I had, you know, like five minutes to like, assess before I’m gone. You know, besides being upset that I’m not going to see all the people I love and care about, you know, I would say like, like what kind of job that I do on my kids good kids? Do they get along with each other, like, have I established a family legacy, maybe not a financial legacy, but a family legacy. Because at the end of the day, no matter how wealthy you are, no matter how successful you are, if you don’t have relationships with the kids, and the kids don’t have relationships with each other, and nobody really gets along, somewhere along the line, somebody did something, not to the, to the way they probably wanted it to be, you know, sometimes it’s not within our control, there are situations where you could be a great parent, a great grandparent, but for whatever reasons, maybe a two-year kid marries or a family they marry into it just like causes conflicts that no matter what you try to do, you can’t fix. But you know, at the end of the day, you want your kids, like what’s a better legacy than on the holidays for your kids to be together. And at all these important events and care and love one another. It’s really important. So when you have a family business, sometimes how you deal with that issue is going to have a big impact on what happens going forward when you’re not here anymore, because they may not. They may hold back some of these things while you’re alive. And you and your spouse is alive. But they’re gonna come out of the woodwork when you’re not here anymore. So true. And also to that to your question.
We will return to Uncharted in a few moments. How you work on your business often means the difference between failure and success. When you commit to developing skills, increasing capacity for the unknown, and prioritizing your mission, you’re taking action toward success. Find out more about how to Fast Track Your Business at FastTrackYourBusinessToday.com. Let’s get back to Jess.
Jess Dewell 10:04
I think that’s a great answer. And one of the things that I heard is that there’s really no one right way to do this on. Another thing is our best-laid plans don’t always turn out the way we would expect them to view we’re talking about it in reference to the path you put your kids on, which I completely agree. And I was like, Well, that would be the same thing for our businesses to the path we put our business on what best-laid plans, then something else that came out of it is, am I making decisions about this from what’s important to me? And when you were talking about how this is going to affect people when I’m gone when you’re gone? And are they still going to be tight as a family? Can they still rely on each other? Will they lean into what that concept is? And you know, money has a way of dividing people more than bringing together especially with and families. And so you’re bringing up some incredibly good points when we’re thinking about, about this. And I can tell you from my experience that I’m, and my listeners know a little bit about this give or take, here there. My personal experience is that what with my parents is that they love us equally, each of us has different needs. And it’s been really hard. I think, specifically for my mom to think about equality when it comes to money when the way that we live, and the choices that we have made make that hard to be equalized, does that and there’s no, you’re right, right. And so one of the things and I, I don’t envy this, by the way, I am have one child. And so I guess, I think it’s gonna be hard for that. To recognize what kind of a person am I making my child? Is my child going to do better than I did with learning about the hazards and the benefits of what money can do. And the opportunities it can bring not only for self but also for the greater good. And so I think I was thinking about values a lot and what you were saying, and this concept of when we know what’s important, we know what’s nonnegotiable, and it can become, it can become the basis for the decisions that we’re able to make. And they may not seem fair, if you were to look at dollar to dollar, but they may be fair, or equitable or equal when we look at the needs of each person. And that’s hard to do. Are you, you know, how much can you navigate with people around that about? Well, let’s find what’s really nonnegotiable here so that you can do a good job with your succession.
Steven Goodman 12:52
Oh, look, I’m, I’m going to make a couple of comments on it. Number one, it’s very, very unusual when relationships of siblings gets better if the parents die. You know, it’s unusual look, there could be some times that that loss brings people together, and they forget about some of the crap that they fought over all these years. But Jen, it’s much more common that relationships become much more estranged after parents die, then get closer. And a lot of that has to do with money. I mean, their sisters, their sisters that are super close. And mom decides to give one piece of jewelry and another different piece of jewelry. And the two sisters never talk again. Or I mean, when you really, really think about how ridiculous that is, you know what I’m saying? But it’s all about measurement of love. It’s like, Mom must have loved you more than me, if mom gave you that because that was mom’s nicest piece of jewelry. So the fact that she will give it to you instead of me says something about how mom viewed the two of us. And, and thus can you carry that, that with you the rest of your life towards your sibling. The, so a lot of times what it comes down to is community communication, the more you communicate, while you’re around with your kids, the more you could address people’s feelings. And so that when you’re not here anymore, you’ve had a chance to have some give and take. And, and you’re never going to make everybody happy. But at least nobody’s surprised when you’re not here anymore. And somebody reads a will. The problem. Here’s the problem. And I know this as a, as a, as a grandparent like and I don’t have this issue, but I’ll give it in a hypothetical. Right. Okay. Like, you know, oh, I don’t get along that well, my grant my daughter in law, you know, which is not true. I love my grant my doing well, but
Jess Dewell 15:00
But it’s common, what you’re describing is common. Yeah?
Steven Goodman 14:03
It’s prophetical I don’t get along with my daughter-in-law. And I have two sons, which I don’t, but in this example I do. And want my other son is in the business. And this son of the daughter, I don’t get along with that well, is not in the business. And I have grandkids from both of them. And, and my relationship with my grandkids with a daughter-in-law that don’t get along with is a little more difficult than it is with my other but I do have a relationship with all of my grandkids. But if I explained to my two sons, my plan, there is no doubt that my son who’s not in the business is not going to be thrilled with what he hears, which then he’s going to communicate to the wife. Why don’t get along with that well to begin with, and I don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with my grandkids or my son. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to shut up and I’m not going to say anything, because if I, if I open up, it’s going to lead to friction. And, you know, when I’m dead, I’m dead. And, you know, if they don’t want to come to my gravesite, they won’t come to my gravesite. But I won’t be here to, to have to deal with those consequences. And because of that, a lot of times parents more so men than women, but a lot of time parents avoid the communication that would prep their children better for what to expect them to give their children an opportunity to express their concerns, and maybe to work things out. So that when you’re not here anymore, you know, there’ll be a little more peace. Yeah. What because of the fear of what you know, like they say, remember the movie with Jack Nicholson, you A Few Good Men, you can’t handle the truth, right? You know, like, some people can’t handle the truth. So it’s true. So it’s kind of like, I’m not going to tell them the truth, because they’re not going to be able to handle it, and it’s going to jeopardize my relationships, I’m just going to shut up. And when I’m not here anymore, they’ll deal with it. And obviously, when the two brothers find out what my plan is, when they didn’t know about it beforehand, the odds of the two of them maintaining a good relationship are very small. And my grandkids are probably not going to know that cousins very well going forward, because of why I did it. But I was selfish because I didn’t want to risk losing the relationship. So I just shut up.
Jess Dewell 17:33
So and part of that is because the parent, in this particular case, it didn’t have a role model that gave them any other option. And they didn’t know how to do it. So they just didn’t have that. Right. So we talked about that a little.
Steven Goodman 17:48
Look, there’s no question that if you were the child and you had a parent, and how to deal with these issues, you understand better how it’s like to be the child in those situations, and probably better at dealing with that, you know, both ways. It’s like, you know, some people who come from a divorce family are the greatest parents on the face of the earth. And some people that come from a divorced family, get divorced five times in their own life because of what they’ve experienced. So sometimes you run away from what you’ve seen, sometimes you run towards what you’ve seen. So there’s no always one way or another. But there’s no question that somebody who has been the child in those conversations and has had that experience is probably a little better equipped for how to deal with that conversation to the next generation.
Jess Dewell 18:42
What is one of the things that you have had to face and overcome in accumulating your wealth as an individual and as a business owner?
Steven Goodman 18:55
Well, look, as you had mentioned, you know, I didn’t come from a family with basically any money. And my parents, unfortunately, both of them passed away when I was pretty young. Which, you know, as I’ve said, many times, it makes you or breaks you, you know, a lot of people get broken by it and use that as a crutch and an excuse, which is not a nonjustifiable excuse, you know, it’s a legitimate excuse, a reason I don’t want to use the term excuse, it’s a legitimate reason that that happens. It kind of made me you know, it toughen me up. You know, I, you know, I had to be a man earlier than most young people become a man and, and deal with, you know, adult man decisions and issues earlier on. So, you know, I guess the combination of a not having money and then experiencing a lot of loss in my life. You know, just, it made me tougher, and it made me more driven and motivated to be successful in life. You know, you know, my parents, you know, besides that have a lot of money, they didn’t really plan they didn’t really think through issues. My issues was simple because there was no money. But there was still issues as there always are when, when you lose people that you love and care about. So, um, you know, I’d say for me just hard work. Drive, commitment, honesty, integrity, living up to my word. Being a learned person, you know, somebody who is Every day, I want to learn something I didn’t know, the day before, I mean, I actually want to learn a lot more things that I knew the day before. But there is a limit to time. And as you get older, there’s a limit to how much your brain can take in. But what you know, I think a lot of those things have contributed to who I am financially, and as a person, I, you know, I kind of got into my business to some degree, because I was very interested in reading about, you know, wealth planning, and financial planning and things like that, like, before I was in the business, I read a lot about it, and I enjoyed it. And I learned a lot. And, and it’s helped me measurably in what I do for a living. And it’s helped me in, you know, preparing my financial life. The other the last thing, and then you asked me some other things on this topic is that, you know, you’ll learn early on, it’s a catch 22. The more you save, the less you spend, the more you accumulate. And the less you need, because the person who spends everything they make, has high lifestyle and high needs, which means they need to accumulate a lot of money to live that lifestyle, but if you’re not saving, how do you ever accumulate that money, that’s why you know, like, you know, The Millionaire Next Door, there was a book, like, you know, sometimes you can have a person living in your community that like, doesn’t dress nice and doesn’t have a fancy car, and has a, you know, an okay home with kinda old furniture. And you know, that person could be worth millions of dollars, because they’ve made a decision early on that they weren’t going to spend their money on frivolous things. And because of that, they’ve saved a lot of money. Now, you could argue that some people take that to the other extreme, which isn’t good either. And that they don’t really enjoy their life based on what they could, and they don’t really provide things to their children, and they die. And their kids say, I’d never know, my parents had all this money, you know, and it’s like, and then the kids, you know, want to piss it away, and like, an hour and a half, because they never got any of this through life. So, you know, it’s, that’s one of the biggest challenges in life. We don’t know how long we’re gonna live. You know, if we all had the, you know, we could plan easier. So, you know, making that assessment as to how much do I spend today to enjoy my life today? And how much do I provide for the future?
Jess Dewell 23:47
Oh, you have so many good things. Now, this is quick time to remind people you are listening to the Bold Business Podcast, this is uncharted with Steven Goodman. Here’s the deal. We have been talking about some amazing conversations. And really it comes down to what do we care about? What do we, what do we want to instill for and what’s important to us? And then, even further than that, which we’re going to do after this break for our Fast Track Your Business listeners is, we’re going to talk about generational wealth, we’re going to talk about how do you have some of these conversations? What can we set up? How can we do the things that we want to be doing to the best of our ability, and I’ll give all of you who are not going to be able to go over there, go to Fast Track Your Business today.com Find out how because Stephens going to be sharing with us. For those of you who are you get to go pop over and listen to some of what he’s going to share. Because here’s the deal, the more we practice now, the more we know, it’ll change because what we decide today isn’t necessarily what’s going to be necessary in the future. But it starts us off where we want to be. Okay. See over there.
You’ve been listening to Uncharted. Fast Track Your Business subscribers receive access to a vast set of resources, including extended conversations to this and other Uncharted episodes. Visit Fast TrackYourBusinessToday.com. Your preparedness and the right perspective is absolutely necessary when you find yourself somewhere Uncharted. Special thanks to The SCOTT Treatment for production assistance.