They are all around us, almost everywhere we look. We see them at breakfast, lunch, supper, and in the evening. I am talking about snobs here, what kind(s) are you, or are you agnostic?

You know whom I am referring to, so let’s start at breakfast. “Oh, you have a Keurig? I have a Nespresso, it brews much better coffee”.

At lunch you offer someone a San Pellegrino with their lunch. “Oh, you don’t have Perrier?” At supper you offer someone some Tabasco with their meal. “Oh, do you have Sriracha?”

In the evening you offer them a beer. “Stella?” “Oh, I prefer Heineken”.

The coffee snob, the carbonated water snob, the hot sauce snob, the beer snob. Ughh. They drive me crazy. Does it really make a f#?&*%@+#ing difference? I could have also added the cola snob, the phone snob, the car snob, and of course everyone’s favourite, the wine snob.

I am usually pretty indifferent to most of these issues, so sometimes I wonder if I am the one missing something. Deep down, I often secretly wish I could conduct a blind taste test with some people, and I feel pretty sure that half the people could not even tell the difference if the labels were missing.

So why did I feel the need to share these thoughts? I find that you can tell a lot about someone by the way they behave. Duh! No kidding. But sometimes these snob issues just jump out at me.

I read the book “The Millionaiire Next Door” almost 20 years ago, but I still remember the story about the guy who only drank two kinds of beer: “Free, and Budweiser”.

What he meant was that if you offered to buy him a beer, he did not care what kind it was, he would drink anything. If, however, he were buying, then he would insist on buying his favourite kind, a Bud.

I thought that was so cool, I must have repeated this story dozens of times over the years. And it remains my best “anti-snob” story.

Thanksgiving is now behind us in both Canada and the US, and the holidays are around the corner. Do we practice too much gratitude or not enough? For most people, it is the latter.

I volunteer at a food bank, and most of the people we serve are gratefully for most of the food we provide them with. But even there, exceptions exist. Some people are always thankful and smiling, others are bitter and complain every time. Guess which ones sometimes get a little extra?

As hard as some snobs are for me to listen too, the worst are the ones who try to convince you that they are right, and that whatever they eat/drink/drive/use is the best, and if you do not agree with them, there MUST be something wrong with you.

I inherited many traits from my father, and I am happy to say that this was one that missed me.

He would cook up some kinds of foods that he grew up with, involving part of animals that North Americans would not dream of eating, and then he would offer to share.

He was a hard person to say “no” to, but my sisters and I usually resisted. But he wouldn’t just be satisfied with “Oh, you don’t know what you are missing”, or “OK, then there will be more for me”.

He always tried to make us feel wrong, and I remember it like it was yesterday.

Oh well, more chicken feet for him!

Steve Legler “gets” business families.
He understands the issues that families face, as well as how each family member sees things from their own viewpoint.
He specializes in helping business families navigate the difficult areas where the family and the business overlap, by listening to each person’s concerns and ideas.  He then helps the family work together to bridge gaps by building common goals, based on their shared values and vision.
His background in family business, his experience running his own family office, along with his education and training in coaching, facilitation, and mediation, make him uniquely suited to the role of advising business families and families of wealth.
He is the author of Shift your Family Business (2014), he received his MBA from the Richard  Ivey School of Business (UWO, 1991), is a CFA Charterholder (CFA Institute, 2002), a Family Enterprise Advisor (IFEA 2014), and has received the ACFBA and CFWA accreditations (Family Firm Institute 2014-2015).
He prides himself on his ability to help families create the harmony they need to support the legacy they want. To learn how, start by signing up for his monthly newsletter and weekly blogs here.