Finding Teachable Moments, with Steve Legler

In this episode of Money Tales, our guest is Steve Legler. From birth, Steve was the anointed successor to the family business his father created. It wasn’t his dream to take over the business, but Steve knew it was his duty to take on these responsibilities. After getting his MBA, he was told the business was to be sold and there was not going to be anything for him to run. Steve was relieved!

Steve is a Family Legacy Advisor based in Montreal, Canada. After the unexpected sale of the family business in his 20’s, he ended up managing their family office instead. He also married into a business family, where he has witnessed a number of other complex issues.

In 2013, Steve stumbled upon the Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA) program in Canada, which turned into a career-changing calling for him. Since then, he has been working with other business families as they face the challenges surrounding their intergenerational transitions.

Money is a taboo topic. We’re taught at a young age it’s improper to talk about it. We’re also bombarded with messages about the power and importance of money in our everyday lives. And by not talking about it, we miss out on the skills and lessons we need to effectively understand and financially plan that changes today. Welcome to money tails, hosted by Sandy brager and Cami Dhotre. Money tails brings more than 35 years of combined professional experience and personal finance to demystify money and demonstrate what it’s like to speak openly about personal financial matters. Join us each episode as they interview modern day movers and shakers about how many decisions speaker twine with their daily lives in order to give you better insight into productive financial conversation. Subscribe today and register for our blog Fathom at a to increase your money Mojo and now here’s Cami and Sandy

Imani tell listeners This is Sandy. Today we speak with Steve Legler, who was delighted to learn that his future career was being taken away from him from birth. Steve was the anointed successor to the family business his father created it wasn’t Steve’s dream to take over the business but he knew it was his duty to take on these responsibilities. While Steve spent many summers and then several years working in the business. He was relieved when his father told him they had to sell. Steve ultimately found his calling helping families and business together as they face the challenges surrounding their intergenerational transitions.

Hi, this is CAMI Steve is a family legacy advisor based in Montreal, Canada, joining on his own experience and some additional training. Steve works with family clients as a facilitator and sometimes as a mediator. He also married into a business family where he has witnessed a number of other complex issues that he leverages in the work he does. Steve is the author of two related books shift your family business and interdependent wealth. We invite you to stick around after the interview for our takeaways now under a conversation with Steve Legler

Legler Welcome to muddy tales we’re so glad you’re with us. It’s

really great to be here Sandy and Cami this is going to be fun to

start off the conversation will you orient this to your life by telling us a little about about your journey and focusing on two to three pivotal moments that really make you the person that you are today.

Oh wow. pivotal moments. Oh, did I just add the 30th anniversary of a pivotal moment last week. So let me go back to I was born I’m in Montreal, Canada. I was born here, the third child but only son of an immigrant entrepreneur who had come here as a teenager and ended up starting a business and then had three kids and two of them are girls which isn’t good for you know, having someone take over your steel business in the 1960s so that he finally had a son but then that was me. And so my earliest memories were that I was supposed to take over my dad’s business. And so all through my teenage years every summer I would go work there and then I went to school and and what do I study in school? I have to study business because that’s what you study when you’re going to go take over a business and then despite what some people, counsel, you know, don’t hire your kids into your business right out of school. Make them go work somewhere else first. Well, my dad had heard that message but decided it did not apply to us. And so I went straight into the family business work there for three years. Then it was time to go get my MBA. And I went away for two years did my MBA came back and on my first day back. I walked by my dad’s office by this time he had moved himself up. The chairman had hired a president who was supposed to be kind of the bridge until I was ready to take off. And I was supposed to go work for this president as assistant for a while. And I walked by my dad’s office on my first day back and he sees me he says Steven cameri Close the door. So now what the heck is going on And so long story short well our businesses of our all our business has been going down our customers are scaling back and this and that. We’re going to have to do something drastic. We’re gonna have to merge we’re gonna have to sell we’re gonna have to close something’s gotta go and I was like, Ah, okay. Well, so long story short, within six months, we went from about 250 employees to four and two of us were named Steve Legler. And I had a junior after my Steve Legler my dad had just bought himself a farm to have fun raising beef cattle breeding beef cattle. I always left with Well, we still hold on these buildings. We got some money from the sale. And we have some patented products. So we got a license. And so this is your new job. And it was a little bit of an adjustment but it was certainly a pivotal moment and a lot of people think oh, wow, that must have been a rough and I think you know what, in a lot of ways it was a relief. Because although it was my duty, I felt I was being the dutiful son to the person who takes over dad’s business it certainly was not my dream. And I have since learned that there are other things that I’m good at that have nothing to do with business and so in as a family business advisor, that I which is what I do now. I realized that things that go on in our family circle are much more important and much more neglected. And so now I work with families, more on their communication, their preparation for transitioning to the next generation, their communicate, their family governance, all that kind of stuff and I try to stay out of the business side of things completely even though I have a bachelor’s in business and an MBA. So through theoretically I could help these family businesses with their business stuff. I prefer to work with their family stuff. So I was managing what we would call now a family office. But it was 1991. I didn’t know what a family office was. And most people didn’t know that and most people still don’t know now. That was 30 years ago. That was that inflection point. And then the other key inflection point was after about 20 years of that essentially managing family assets, which was a job that was okay, but not exactly the most fulfilling. I started to get bored with it. I stumbled into a program in Toronto called family enterprise advisor and I just started I want to say stumbled in I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I had seen an ad on LinkedIn become a family enterprise advisor. So that sounds interesting. I clicked on it and got a phone call sent the check and there I was in this class and I’m sitting in this room with a bunch of wealth managers accountants, life insurance people. And they’re all there because they have a lot of family business clients and they’re trying to learn about family business and what makes them tick so they can serve those clients better. And I have nothing in common with those people. But there are people at the front of the room who were telling us about families that they were working with, and helping them figure out their values and their vision and their goals. And you know, transition to the next generation and prepare the rising generation. I was like, wow, that’s a thing that people do that. That’s a job. Oh my god. I was like I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I was like in my late 40s by Better late than never. And so that’s when I decided, okay, this is what I want to do. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

So let’s go back to the early years of your life growing up in a five person family. What was that? Like? How was money handled and what were you learning about family dynamics as a participant in your family?

There were five of us Plus, my grandmother lived with us, my mother’s and so I never had a babysitter like when my parents went out my Alma was there, and not that they went out much but in terms of money. I remember we always used to have in the kitchen there was this one cabinet where there was a door where there was a book where I guess it was a ledger of some sort and there was always some cash in there in case somebody came and delivered a pizza or somebody whatever the money was there. And so there was no like hidden money. There wasn’t a lot of money there. But it was just sort of that’s where it is and we trust you. And then later on it became well you know, you should just get a job to make some money. So I ended up getting a paper route or paper route as I guess some people would pronounce it but paper route. I did it for three years. And my dad had had sort of instilled in me this importance of really tracking every last set. So when I would go collecting once a week on Monday night and he taught me leave at the same time and go the same route every time and it’s like at first I thought Why is he telling me to do this but then that the customers were come to the door with the money and the little card that I had to punch like it was like clockwork. And so I realized that it’s really important to like, you know, so my dad had you know, he had started a business he knew is important to take care of your clients. And so then when I came home with all this money, it was like okay, now you got to set up your accounting system to say how much was collected for this week’s papers. How much was for the stuff that hadn’t you didn’t collect from the week before? How many pay you in advance for weeks ahead? And then what’s left of as your profit. And so I had this this is way before Excel. I’m talking like I had graph paper and making lines with a pen and a ruler, and I had this done and I remember oh my god Christmas, like 300 bucks for a couple of weeks in a row on Christmas. We’re talking like the 1970s. That was a lot of money. But I didn’t I never really knew why I was making this money because I knew that we had probably more money than a lot of what we had the biggest house on our street. But we were the last ones to get a dishwasher and a color TV. And we were the first ones to have an electric garage door opener. And so it was the wisdom like mixed messaging of what’s important, but it was it was always about we have to be careful with money and don’t waste money. Dad tells the story when he came with his brother and his parents and they had $153 and when they got off the train after they got off the boat. He went found a job one day but tools the next day started working the day after that and then when he would come home, he would put his money that he earned on the table for the family, not for him because he was living with his parents at the time and they were immigrants and they were so money was never far away from kinda it was important to do this but then later on when you realize, hey, we might have more money than other people. But we don’t spend a lot more money than other people. Like we didn’t fly away on vacation or anything. We had a camper and we pulled it with the car and went to the campground a couple hours away and that was our summer vacation. So it’s not like we were spending a lot and I guess we were never made to feel too comfortable about having enough money.

It sounds like it. So Steve, I love that. Is it a paper route on your paper route? That you didn’t even feel like you needed the money? When did you start to steal money had admin something had value? When did you start to connect with it?

It’s funny because like I was making that money and I was just gonna putting it in the bank. And then there was one time when I had just bought myself a stereo. Like it was a turntable. And so now I wanted to go buy some records. I remember those LPS that I remember thinking I want to start my record collection. And I would go to this one store and they were like $6.49 for a record and I was thinking you know, like a buy three of me about 20 bucks. And maybe I could so I asked for permission. I want to go and I bought one of my three records and it’s gonna cost about 20 bucks. And I remember having this big debate, aid about oh, that’s not the way you should frame it up but the $20 Anyway, I learned that it was sometimes better not to ask too many questions and then just go do it. So I didn’t I went and it ended up being $20 in something because of the taxes. But I there was like a risk in me going to the store to buy these three records. Because money was something you had to really, really be careful about.

Instinct you mentioned before about being the youngest of three children and having two older sisters and that kind of changed your orientation to the business the family business relative to them. Were you getting different messages about money than your sisters were when you were growing up? Was that a thing?

I don’t I don’t think so. I like my sister’s got jobs and summer jobs and they actually they both didn’t work in the summers for the business but they worked in the office whereas when I was 15 I have when I worked in the shop with working boots and got all dirty. They had clerical jobs helping out and throwing punch cards and stuff like that type cards but they worked in the business as well. Messaging know that but they also like had jobs and babysitting and make money to put money away just because it’s good to have it not because you necessarily need it but that maybe the work itself was more important than the money in a lot of ways.

So it sounds like there’s a lot of messaging around money but not a lot of conversation.

Yeah, there was there was not a lot of well, so I talked about that one discussion of a Biden those three records that was like that, and it stands out because it was one of the few discussions where we talked about money as when I was younger, interesting that’s that’s true. We did not we never sat down and had a family discussion about money.

And what about the family business in in you being groomed to lead it? Was that a conversation?

I kind of wish it was but it never was. So I alluded to the fact that despite advice to the contrary, I went straight in after finishing my Bachelor of Commerce degree at McGill. My dad at the time had joined this local Family Business Association called Cafe Canadian Association of family enterprise. So here I am. I’m like 20 years old. And he says, You know, I went to some of these meetings. And some of these advisors say you shouldn’t hire your kids right out of school. And I can still remember like looking up at him. Hopefully like with yeah and then he hands me on the shoulder patronizingly and says, but don’t worry, we’re not going to do that. And when I think back to pivotal points in my life where something might have could have changed things What if I would have said, But wait a sec, why don’t we do that because here I am. Okay. I’m in my last year about to graduate everyone. Not all my friends know, I’ve got a job. I’m going to work for my father. And they’re showing up every other day wearing a suit because they got some interview on campus with some company for me and I’m, like kind of jealous of them but I never said it and they were jealous of me say oh you don’t have to do this. You already got a job. And I can tell you later on the fact that okay, what is it? What does it say on my resume? Where am I work? Like the only person who ever hired me was a guy named that. It doesn’t necessarily make me feel confident that I can go and get a job somewhere else. And so that’s the biggest thing that I when I talk to my family business clients now and they’re considering bringing their offspring into the business. It’s always framed around. Okay, well, but where are they going? To go and get some experience first? Because it really I don’t have that many hard and fast rules that you should always do this or never do that. But that’s as close as I have to a rule of for their own good. Make them go and get a real job somewhere else where their last name is not why they got their job, and they will benefit from that for the rest of their lives.

Steve, did you ever dream about what you might have done? Had you not stepped into the family business you talked about when it closed when when it was communicated to you there was a sense of relief, and that it wasn’t your dream to take it over? But were you dreaming?

I wasn’t. I was not. And maybe like it was sort of like the path of least resistance. And I never felt like I had some big ambition or some big dream and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Until that moment in the family enterprise advisor program. We’re finally at something clicked and I had a calling and I said we this is what I’m supposed to do. And so one of the first things as I was realizing, I’m making this career pivot. I said to myself, what else do I have to learn like, so people suggested coaching courses and conflict, ADR alternative dispute resolution and mediation courses? So I started to do all those things. And then I stumbled into the world of Bowen, family systems theory. And that was like really cool figuring out how families work and relating things to my own growing up and my wife’s family and other families of how family systems work. And so I mentioned my maternal grandmother, who lived with us when I was a kid, she used to say, you should become a priest. You should become a priest, and I would just laugh that well. A few years ago, I’m in at Georgetown. At the Bowen center that Murray Dr. Murray Bowen, founded at Georgetown University. I’m learning about Bowen, family systems theory, and I look around the room and I realize half the people in here are clergy. And so my grandmother had me better pay for what I was good at, than my father did. But my father needed someone to take over his business. He didn’t care what was good for me. I was his stopgap. I was his replacement that was good for him. Nobody ever asked me. What do you want to do? What do you think you’d be good at? I was always presumed to be playing this role. And I accepted it because I was the dutiful son.

It’s amazing how those those expectations in those relationships play a role in the decisions we make in our feeling about whether we have flexibility to make those decisions or not.

I didn’t feel I ever had a choice.

Steve talks about after getting your MBA when the business ultimately gets sold you start the family office. Are you running it yourself? Are you in partnership with your father other family members at that point?

It’s me and my dad. And more be unless him overtime. And so it used to be when you know, we would decide things or he would say I think we should do this and I’d say yeah, okay, and we do it. And then eventually it got to a what do you think we should do? And we’d make decisions and then towards the and it was just telling me once you’ve done something so I know that you did so it was really actually considering how stringent and direct he could be the fact that he let me have free rein for a while. I was actually quite impressed that he was able to let go as much as he did. And like I said, Now I work with other business families and sometimes that that patriarch letting go is the hardest part. Now the big thing is I told you he had bought that farm and he became that was his passion project. And he loved spending time out there. And so it was good that he had that because too many people retire from their job with nothing to go to and then they’re twiddling their thumbs and how much golf Can you play and then they come back, even though they’ve left their offspring in charge of the business, they come back because they got nothing else to do and then they stick their nose in and now the lines of who’s in charge of what gets blurred and that causes its own share of different issues.

Sounds nice and sounds like he had other things he was focused on. And he’d certainly trusted you to make decisions and was part of the decision making process early on.

He didn’t trust me. I guess as much as I hold things against him for the way I was sort of railroaded into my career. There’s a lot of pluses in the way he did. Let me do things and then towards the end, he had bought a farm and at the end, he bought other properties around there. And then he got diagnosed with cancer. And I thought oh great. I’m gonna have to go after he’s gone and disposable this and he surprised. He managed to negotiate from his hospital bed for different sales of different properties. And all I had to do was go sign at the notary to click because and that was the best gift he could give me was he sold all that stuff and didn’t leave me that and I haven’t shared that with many both but it is absolutely the case that this this was I was dreading that. Okay, he’s gone and bought all this stuff. Now he’s gonna die and leave me to go and clean up the mess and I’m sure he does a much better job than I could have done so I’m thankful for that.

Why do you think he did that?

I don’t know when I wonder if it’s because he thought I would mess it up. And and part of the whole thing of deciding to sell the business just as your son is coming in. There could be an assumption that oh my god, I don’t I think he’s gonna screw this up so I better sell it before he can. I never got the impression that he was feeling that he never said anything like that. But deep down inside when you look at if I look at it from how an outsider would see this, some people might think that and they might not be your own. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. I’ve gotten past that it was 30 years ago. I’ve done other things since then. That allowed me to forget about some of the negatives around that time. And I’ve raised my own kids now and I worry more about them than the relationship I had with my dad.

That’s a that’s a good segue. Steve, when you met your wife, how was it to talk to her about what your family business was, which was depending on when you met her a family office?

No, I met her in MBA school. And so I always coming back to take over this business. She was also from a family business. And so

she got it. She understood

she understood it. She’s also the youngest of her family. And her father had started a business and grown it quite successfully. We were a good fit in that way. And I guess we each thought that while the other one is kinda like financially secure, so that’s a good thing. And so we actually don’t have a combined bank account. I think we do have one account because our mortgage is in there and whatever. But other than that, like there’s no like, I have my money and she has her money and I got this and I pay this bill and she pays that bill. And it all kind of worked itself out. We’re 28 years into the marriage and so far so good. So but but in terms of talking about money with our kids, that’s a whole other because they know that both of their grandfathers built and sold some relatively interesting sized companies. And so my kids were able to go to boarding school and they’re now able to go to school in the US which for Canadians, compared to we could pay like 5000 bucks a year. Here or 50,000 US dollars down there. It’s a big difference. And so they understand that their privilege but we certainly didn’t live a lavish lifestyle because we it’s funny when it when it’s when you didn’t make the money. Maybe you don’t treat it the same way. There are the fruits of your parents that have afforded you certain things. There’s just a whole different level of respect that you have towards it and maybe how you treat it and think about

what about the fact that you mentioned you your parents role model more than they talked about it? How did you and your wife approach talking about money? Was it through role modeling or through direct communication?

So a lot of role modeling because we also do we that we never took lavish vacations like we fly somewhere and rent a motorhome for a couple of weeks and drive around and there was no flying. Well, we did go to Brazil. That was like the biggest trip that we had, because I had some friends there that we spent some time with, but it was role modeling. And we did talk about money we did talk about we have talked about the fact that we’re in a privileged situation, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve got more money than we know what to do with and it’s very important that we spend the money on things that are important. Like their education, and they took that seriously and have done very well in their studies and have you know, they understand that it’s an investment in them. And they haven’t necessarily had to ask for a lot of things but I mentioned boarding school a couple of minutes ago and it’s interesting the kinds of people that your kids will meet in boarding school. So this was we had boarding schools that were like an hour and a half drive away. But other kids at that school were from Europe and Mexico and China. And and so what class of people from those countries are coming to Canada to go to boarding school that’s not the working class. And so they met interesting people who had that his credit card and were able to do whatever they wanted with and even then my son went to school, that he’s in Chicago, and he’s got all these international friends and, and he says, you know, we go out for dinner, and people are ordering the DOM pairing yo and all this stuff. And he’s like, I can’t keep up. I was like, don’t keep up with that. But some people that’s the reality. That they have. And so it’s really interesting for your kids that sort of face. This is such a huge problem. And it’s very different than hanging out with people who don’t have any money and maybe being expected to pay for them and things like that. So I’m really happy with the way my kids I think they have a very realistic grasp on money and crazily enough I attribute a lot of it to watching Shark Tank. So we watch Shark Tank, and I’d have the remote and this is when they were like you know eight and 10 and maybe I don’t even know if it was on back then but maybe 11 and 13 Whatever. And someone would come and say you know I want $100,000 or 10% of my company and I pause the TV and I say okay, what’s the valuation and we talked about and so they actually watch a lot of Shark Tank and just I say this now to clients that I have who have young kids and they go home talk about money with our kids and I say watch Shark. Don’t try to have one big money conversation on one day and share everything. Find ways fine teaching moments. You’re driving down the street and you see a billboard for the McDonald’s Happy Meal. For 499 Talk about what does that mean is if you think if your body to the things separately, will it cost more? And what about this, just get them talking about money so that they feel that they’re able to ask you questions about money so that you can have these teaching moments here and there. That’s how you teach kids every it’s this week or that day or this happened and some conversation came up and that’s what I think a lot of people don’t feel comfortable doing but I just sort of you know, let’s just just talk about ask them questions, see if they understand, be there to answer their questions. And

I think that’s really great advice. And way to turn anything into a teachable moment to the folks at Shark Tank would appreciate that as well. Steve, I want to go back to what you were saying a little bit earlier about you and your wife keeping your money separate. That’s something that many couples choose to do and it would just be great if you would wouldn’t mind diving down a little deeper. Um, you said you guys have figured out what you you know, each of you pay for when it comes to some of the expenses related to your offspring. What have you decided to do have you and your wife navigate those conversations amongst each other? And is there anything that our listeners can learn from your experience with your wife in those conversations?

I was worried that this conversation would get to something about what can people learn from you and I want to be clear, I am not trying to say that anyone should do anything the way we did it. And I didn’t come on here to try to profess any of that. And I know you’re not suggesting that I am. As it turned out when my wife’s family had their liquidity event. There were a lot of trusts put in place, including some stuff for the kids for education. And so those major expenses like boarding school and universities, private universities in the US are something that Grandpa is the one who is paid for. And those are clearly among the largest expenses that we’ve ever had. And so those are all taken care of there, which leaves more of the run of the mill so I pay the electricity bill and my wife pays the gas bill and I pay them the city taxes and she pays for the whatever the sprinkler system and the lawn may get on. It’s just sort of a divvied up over the years as things came up. And that’s how we do it. We just keep our things separate and nothing falls through the cracks and we managed to do it that way. I can also understand why it’s not a standard way of doing it. But I also know of a lot of anecdotally about you know, the husband comes home and puts the paycheck in and then gives the wife and allowance or the or the wife manages like whatever works. The problem with a lot of those is there’s a lot of spouses that are not financially literate or involved in it and when the other one dies. Now the person is lost and it’s usually the patriarch dies and then the mother is left but she doesn’t even know how to, you know balance a checkbook. We don’t have any of that kind of a problem. And I’m sure my kids won’t be in that situation because they’re aware enough of what’s going on. We’ve never said you know, we’ve never had a meeting and said we will not have a common but just sort of never sort of evolved over time. Exactly. It evolved. Yeah.

And it sounds like you guys are doing a great job negotiating when new expenses come up. It just it kind of works itself out. I appreciate you sharing that because I do think that a lot of couples have different ways of handling finances and it’s always good to hear what other people are doing, because it just gives you some more insight into how you approach things for yourself. So thank you for that.

I haven’t partaken in this, but I’ve thought about it a lot. Those lottery tickets that pay you so much a week for life. That’s always been the kind of thing that and it fits nicely with your how much is enough. Like if I knew that every Monday morning or whatever it is another $7,000 coming into my account or whatever the heck it is. There’s different ones. I wouldn’t worry about signing a contract to deal with something because I know that well I’m no matter what I do, there’s more money coming in. Not that I have to bust my ass to go and you know, beat the bushes to put food on the table. And part of me isn’t doing what I’m doing necessarily for the money although I charge people for it. Just sort of knowing that it’s there so you don’t have to worry about and that number is different for everybody.

Six is in your current world today working with families and business together in helping them kind of work out on their relationships and how they’re communicating. And doing things. How has that worked formed your current relationship with money?

Well, it I don’t know that it is changed much about my personal relationship with money. What I can tell you is I have seen a whole variety of different things from clients within a family and how volatile how dangerous how, how explosive the whole money issue can be. Especially when when you have some siblings who work in the business and others who don’t. And where maybe the salaries become a huge part of the money that it goes out to the shareholders as as somebody working in and then one of the shareholders that they don’t get much in terms of a dividend versus others where the salaries are kept low because the company is above and beyond everything else. And so it’s just it’s shown me that there’s no it’s all over the place. It’s all over the place and when there are conflicts between the family members, money is usually not that far removed. It might not be central and it’s rarely Central. But it’s it’s right there. Like there’s a conflict between siblings. And yeah, it’s not about money. But yeah, it is about

money. Is that right? I’ve always been curious if money is the problem, or if there’s some other problem that just gets manifested the way

so yeah, it is the place where everything ends up coming up. I think more often than not, it’s some other personality clash misunderstandings a lot. And then it’s when, when the money gets out of whack, that it sort of really starts waving a red flag heightens it. Yeah, it just makes it more noticeable. And all of a sudden, this problem which in one family is no big deal and and another family it became a big deal, because the number was much higher. Yeah, oftentimes it’s the number that the dollar figure that made it that much more unpalatable or untolerable. Or that was the straw that broke the camel’s back or something. It’s it. The money is usually not that far away.

Steve, for you. You mentioned money was something to be really careful about then and that’s something your dad taught you. You still feel this way.

Yes, but not to the same extent that he did. I think I didn’t grow up ever wanting for anything and stories I heard from my father’s childhood of having to go and do things because they didn’t have enough in certain situations when they were refugees. I understand where he came from and didn’t really have a childhood. And so I still feel its needs to be respected, but I don’t I don’t have the same attitude towards it. That he did.

Steve, what’s one piece of money wisdom that you’d like to share with our listeners that hasn’t come up yet? In our conversation?

I would just say that. Realize that the way you think about money and deal with money. Maybe it works for you don’t assume that other people have the same thing, the same view and working with families at different levels and different things going on. That’s what I keep seeing is that people kind of think that, well, the way I look at money is like the right way and so when other people look at it in a different way. There’s something wrong with them because really, I know what it’s like there are so many different ways to look at money and it affects so many more things than we’re even willing to admit. And maybe that relates to when you’re young and you meet someone that you’re thinking of spending the rest of your life with. You’re better off having the money conversation before you go too far, to make sure that you’re going to be able to get along because there’s just this whole thing in our industry of women now being the wealth owners or the or more wealthy than the men which a generation or so ago was very rare. I worry about some women that might meet some guy who feels emasculated if she makes more money than him or has more money. Or inherits more money. And it’s just it needs to be worked out. And it needs to be understood and it needs to be discussed. Because otherwise things are going to come up later and maybe not at a convenient time. So I don’t know my kids are not there yet. And who knows what’s gonna happen when they are. But I’m hoping that if they asked me for guidance that I will begin be able to give them some guidance around how they should approach the subject.

So Steve, to close out this conversation What’s your next Monday conversation going to be? And who’s it going to be with?

It’s gonna be my son who’s graduating in the next few weeks and moving to start his first job in New York. My wife has been planning to go there he’s in Chicago to go and help him move. And I don’t think I’m not sure he wants her to go there and help him move. I think he just wants her to pay for a mover My son has been away at school and the school has been paying for through this thing that from grandpa. But now he’s graduated now he’s on his own, and he’s got himself a good job, but he’s got to find a place to live, but he’s got to figure out how to get there. And my wife is trying to be the mother who takes care of everything. And I’m kind of saying like, Well, I’m not taking care of anything, but maybe you shouldn’t do as much as you’re planning to do either. And, and then but definitely would become a money thing rather than a labor thing. Right? This is a work in progress. And it’s going to come to a head in the next few weeks. And it’s going to evolve my it’s not so much my discussions me trying to align line with my wife to try to figure out how to deal with this whole situation with our son which is a really interesting and it’s it’s not like a huge make or break kind of an amount. It’s just kind of like getting him off on the right page. You’ve got to figure out your own stuff, and he’ll be able to do just fine. That’s almost more is my wife going to be able to stay out of it?

I don’t know. Stevie talked about finding teaching moments. And your point was don’t wait till it’s the huge stuff. This seems like a great teaching moment opportunity.

Don’t wait. Don’t wait for huge things. Don’t try to save everything all up for one conversation. Just just talk about it a little bit

more. See why really great conversation. Thank you so much for sharing with us the stories of your life and how money played a role in it. And we’re just really glad that you found your calling and that you’re doing the work you’re doing and getting so much satisfaction out of it.

It’s been fun. Yeah, I’ve been on other podcasts where we talk about family business stuff a lot and I say the same things over and over. You guys made me go all over the place into things that I hope that people found entertaining and useful. And please remember the part about don’t think that I’m saying this and you should do it that way because that’s how I do because that’s not me at all.

Hey Steve, thanks for sharing and thanks for gone in these connections with us. My pleasure.

Kimmy was so fine talking to Steve. I was really looking forward to the conversation because on paper, his story seemed like it would be very similar to Vinson phyllaries. They’re both Canadians. The only son and their families they were both sons, two fathers who are immigrants who created businesses

and fold groomed to take over the family business that was taken away from them before they had the chance to actually become the leader of the organization. So really fascinating.

And their stories are so different. That’s why I love many tales. No one has the same exact Money Story.

No, everyone has something to learn. Sani Can we start with his one comment that his only boss on his resume was his dad. And how tough that was? Firstly,

it sounded like it was and this is something that is very common for people who work in their family businesses. Just like Steve said if the family doesn’t require the family members to work in another job in some other company first the family members never get the opportunity to develop their own independence and have their own experience as an employee somewhere else who needs to be accountable to some other boss into Steve’s line who doesn’t have the same last name as them.

I thought it was really interesting when he talked about that being a given recommendation in his new capacity. And it wasn’t obvious when he was going into His family business that he should make sure he gets this experience outside that family company.

Or in fact his dad was aware of that advice and just pooed it and said we’re not going to do that here for our money to listeners who are in a situation of having a family with a business. This is good advice to take into consideration.

Sandy What do you think when Steve talked about that parent when his dad was nearing the end of his life and he sold the land? And Steve said, if you look at it from an outsider’s perspective, you could assume that dad was afraid I’d screw up the sale if I was in charge.

I thought that was a surprising response because as Steve was telling the story to us. I was assuming that dad realized he wasn’t really interested in selling the land. And when we’d be bothered by that process, and dad was trying to do Steve a favor. I think it highlights what can happen when people aren’t in conversation with each other. If we’re not in conversation about the decisions we’re making about why we’re making them about the implications. We might each make assumptions and those assumptions could be right or they could be wrong. Oftentimes when working with clients, especially when clients are interacting with their children. There’s a lot of assumptions on the parents part and on the kids part. And oftentimes those assumptions can be off and can lead to other assumptions that sort of snowball. So it highlights for me the benefit of having open conversations about decisions and especially money related decisions.

Standing up was so good. If you don’t have conversations, assumptions are made. And that’s really for everything but we’re talking money here and it really underscores such an important message of money towels.

Can we another thing I appreciated Steve sharing with us it was about how he and his wife have separate finances. They keep separate checking accounts. They divvied up the bills separately between the two of them.

I appreciated that, that for them that worked and I feel like first everybody’s got to figure out what’s appropriate for their situation, whether you combine it and it’s one checking account, or you keep it separate, and both are fine.

I completely agree. I’ve seen three different models. There’s the let’s keep everything separate. The Steve and his wife model. There’s the let’s combine everything together, which I’ll label the conventional model. And I think for some people, a conventional model has a lot of deep seated expectations around it. And then the third model I’ve seen is the yours Mine and Ours model where there’s three different buckets of money. My expenses are paid from my bucket, your expenses are paid for your bucket, and our combined expenses are paid from the combined bucket. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way but I do know that when some couples decide to take the less conventional route, they can have some concern and stress and anxiety around it which isn’t necessary because as you said, find what works best for you and go for it. There’s no rules.

Sydney my next takeaway was I loved I loved the Shark Tank conversation is line was fine teaching moments when he’s talking about his kids in really even in his consulting I think he he consults to his clients to find teaching moments. And then we asked how the how do you do this new product Shark Tank and I laughed. I think what a great tool for your family to have conversations around investing and finances. What about you what you think?

I appreciated how descriptive Steve was I could imagine him closing the shop would just say okay, wait, let’s talk. Let’s get out a piece of paper. Let’s figure out the valuation. And I thought that was beautiful and engaging and something that we can all relate to. I think just about everyone seemed Shark Tank at this point. And I want to thank Steve because I’ve always enjoyed that show and I didn’t quite know why but I think Shark Tank inherently teaches all of us about about business valuations and entrepreneurialism, find those teachable moments where you can and exploit them. And importantly, as Steve mentioned, all these teachable moments and money conversations don’t have to happen all in one place on one day at the same time. Let it be an ongoing conversation

Sandy. Thank you. Thank you, Steve Legler.

Yes, thank you, Steve. Thank you many of listeners. We learned so much from each and every one of these conversations.

Hey, listeners, let us know how you’re doing and if you find a certain podcasts that you are particularly enjoying a certain episode or if you’re hoping we talked to someone on one of our episodes, let us know. You can email us at podcast Thank you Kami. Thanks, Sandy. You’ve been listening to

money tails hosted by Sandy braggart and Tammy to subscribe to the show on your favorite platform or to increase your money Mojo via their blog fathom, head on over to a Thanks, and we’ll see you next time on money tails

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