Metaphors and analogies can be very powerful ways to explain concepts to people and to make certain points that are difficult to get across in other ways. I have a tendency to try to come up with a parallel story whenever I am trying to wrap my head around something new, if only to help me understand how things are connected together.

So this week’s blog is nothing new for me, but it may seem like a stretch to some. I came up with this one during a recent meeting with my business coach, Melissa, when she asked me how I felt now that my book is finally out.

Like any good coach, she asks great questions and listens without judgment to what I say, and when I get on a roll, she stays out of the way and lets me run with it.

I told her I felt like I just brought home a new puppy. What I meant was that I was thrilled that the day finally arrived, and this new addition was going to make my life so much more fun and interesting. But it also meant that everything was now different, and the work was only beginning.

About this time last year, I decided that I wanted to get a puppy in time for my 50th birthday, which is now only a week away. I spent the next couple of months trying to figure out what breed made sense for me. The parallel story is that I decided to write a book, and I knew it was going to be about family business, but I had not figured out the theme or the point of view yet.

A few months later, I had settled on the breed, and figured out the title, SHIFT your Family Business (Stop working IN your family business, Start working ON your business family). So at this point I had chosen both the breed and the breeder.

In January, I headed for the cottage for a little over a week, and returned with the outline, the first two chapters written, and all of the content for the rest of the book on a couple of hundred index cards. The doggy momma (tempted to use the B-word) was now pregnant, and I had a due date.

The pregnancy went well but felt long at times. There were some review steps with the publisher that I really did not understand, and I finally okayed the final print version about 6 weeks ago. The puppy was born, but I needed to wait until it was weaned from its mother before I could bring it home.

Two weeks ago, while on vacation in Europe, I got an email that told me that the puppy/book was now available. I immediately ordered the Kindle version, just to make sure that it actually worked and looked like I thought it should. (It did).

I then ordered a few copies, just to make sure that they would be delivered and that the book actually existed. They arrived a couple of days after we got back. Wow, cool, I got to hold my book in my own hands, what a feeling.

People congratulated me on the accomplishment, which was also cool.

But now the work truly begins. This puppy needs to be trained, it needs to get into the big dog shows, it needs to make a lot of new friends, it needs to have people like it and say nice things about it and it needs a lot of people to tell other people about it.

The fun and the work are just beginning. I just hope it doesn’t pee on the carpet too often.

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.