Here are the top three things that make family wealth a blessing.
Love. This means family members care more about each other than they do about money.
One aspect of love is having realistic as well as high expectations of the next generation with appropriate support. This is challenging for parents because it varies from one kid to the next. Everyone needs unconditional love from someone; those who don’t ever have it are handicapped.
For me it was my parents, my special bond with him was indestructible. Having someone who believes in you, no matter what, is priceless. This is just as true in wealthy families as it is in other families.
Choices. Yes, choices can be a double-edged sword. Sometimes it feels like there are too many choices, but this is an illusion. Choices are an immense blessing. The choices you make when you were a young adult will have led to where you are now.
Gratitude. By this I mean the intentional practice of gratitude for what you have been given; respecting yourself and others; showing humility, kindness and generosity; being confident and accepting others.
I am grateful for work that I am passionate about, for my 25-year marriage and our precious children.
Here are three ways to make family wealth a blessing.
1. Foster teamwork. A family needs to work together on many fronts. Teamwork can be as simple as nurturing closeness and traditions. Or it could involve managing the family beach house, business, or wealth. If these tasks are left to siblings who have no history of collaborating, and who may not even like each other, there will be trouble.
Teamwork rarely happens naturally. It needs to be taught and takes time to develop. The older generation can train the next one and set up a framework to help avoid conflicts. Assign each family member a specific task. This fosters unity, as family members become interested in one another and individuals feel responsible for each other.
2. Communicate openly. We can all become better communicators–for example, by improving our ability to listen; be assertive; use body language purposely; and be thoughtful about setting and tone. Often improvements create ripple effects in the family. Any practice and improvements go a long way toward fostering better family relationships.
3. Ask shareholder equity questions. These are questions designed to help you and your family members understand each other. Open a family meeting or holiday dinner with a question such as: “What is our family’s greatest strength?
What strength can you see through the generations?” “Your greatest joy?” “The legacy you are creating? For what will you be remembered?” There are no wrong answers. Everyone, old and young, gets a chance to respond.
The blessings of wealth can be yours, but they are not delivered on a silver platter. Counter intuitive as it may seem, you must work for them. But your hard work will yield ample rewards.