Posts

The Impact of Money on Your Family

What has been the impact of money on your family? This is a big question and one often addressed in a family meeting. Also, it is often asked by your financial advisor in the financial planning discussion.

There will be both positive and negative impacts of money on a family. In many ways these impacts will shape who the family is, determine the family relationships, define the family legacy and how the family is remembered by others. So, the impact of money is very significant.

Importantly, the impacts of money on the family will also shape each family member’s relationship to money. Your relationship to money will then have a large bearing on your relationship with the family.

Another question for a family meeting is what beliefs about money did your family give you? To understand this for yourself is very powerful for your development and building a healthy relationship to money. Then, having the family members share this together will be very revealing about their attitudes to the family and its purpose. Because every one in the family is different, there will be no surprise to find very different attitudes.

Remember, money and the belief systems built around it can do a lot of good in families and also it can do a lot of harm. The key point is to understand both perspectives for your own quality of life, financial planning and also building healthy family relationships and communication.

If you want a really good book to read on this topic, then get the Golden Ghetto by Jessie O’Neill.

What is Balance?

During a recent Wealth Mentor Training with a group of financial advisors we were discussing our definitions of a Quality Life. A number of advisors made a very key observation: Is there such a concept as a balanced life? Can a person really have balance? This discussion really hit a chord with me as this point really gets to the core of what the Financial DNA program is all about.

What the discussion boiled down to was that balance is different for all of us. You cannot directly compare the life balance of one person to another. So, the conclusion of the group was that there cannot be a universal definition of balance. The reason is that we are all uniquely wired and consequently we will have different life outlooks and motivations. For some people this will mean spending more time and energy involved in work or business activities, or for another person more time and energy will go into family or sports or recreation and for others perhaps planned giving activities will be given more time.

Therefore, balance is really unique to your life. To a large degree balance will vary depending on your innate behavioral style, the environment you have lived in and currently live in, life experiences, education and values. At the various stages of your life the time and energy you put into these activities may vary. Also, an important part of the equation will be how much money you spend or invest in these various activities as that is part of balance too.

So assuming we accept that there is a concept of balance but recognize it is different for each of us, then how do we measure it? In essence, we need some frame of reference to monitor ourselves and also guide others. Some measurements may include: degree of happiness, contentment or general comfort, confidence, positive energy, low levels of stress, excitement and sound relationships.

So in advising, mentoring, coaching and guiding clients and others in your life it is important to recognize how you design your own life plan for balance may be different for others. Importantly, you also need to be careful in passing judgment on your clients or the family and friends you may be interacting with.

Your Likeability Factor

Do you know what your likeability factor is? What do others say about you? What do you say about yourself?

I recently read a book called “The Likeability Factor” by Tim Sanders. The message of the book was to focus and continually reinforce all of those aspects about you that are likeable and further, to encourage you to be doing more of what is likeable about you. The other side of the message is not to continuously look at the negatives.

In a number of group sessions I run, whether it be a team, family or business discussion group I often conduct an “icebreaker” exercise by going around the room and having each person say what they like about each other. From such an apparently simple exercise, I have always found the outcome amazing. Everyone is usually highly liberated in some positive way by being told something they had not realized others saw in them. Just imagine the positive life development that will come from living that “likeability factor” more.

Interestingly, the likeability factor is often related to the person’s greatest behavioral strengths from their Financial DNA profile, e.g. for me people have always liked my approach to continuous development or being straight forward or pioneering. For others, it may be their compassion or ability to think out of the box.

The power of the exercise is that it allows people to be vulnerable in a very safe way. The camaraderie and bonds get tightened. This then helps in making the platform for developing relationships more sound, which we know is critical to team or family prosperity.

Try focusing on your likeability factor and see what changes it makes to your own life, family and teams you are in.