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Edition 422 – The Reason

It’s Wednesday afternoon. In this current client project, we’re having a meeting in between our regular meetings, as we map the road forward for this family’s business.

We’re making great progress – not fast, but the sort of forward movement that drives long term change in a family business. Some recent decisions will, in years to come, be reflected upon as monumental, in my opinion. Only time will tell.

At the comfort of their dining table, in a room surrounded by the story of this family it’s me, Mum & Dad. In the corner are two acoustic guitars, sitting on stands, which no doubt play beautiful music. What catches me is the elegance of each of these creations. Perhaps that’s my musical past coming back to me.

Behind me, on the sideboard, is a memory of someone special, who has passed. It tells this family’s story, much like something very similar does in our own home, of my dearly departed mother-in-law. As I’ve written before, the greatest privilege anyone can afford you, is to invite you into their home.

As we talk about the plan for the business of tomorrow, one of those monumental decisions is being discussed. With the whiteboard sitting at the head of the table, we’re working away at what this will mean in the business in terms of clients, revenues, profits, staffing and the type of work it does in the future. This is life changing stuff.

Mum excuses herself to retrieve Master Six from school. The other two children in this young family are in day care and will be collected later on, after I’ve departed for the day. However, our meeting straddles the end of school day and the short drive into and back to bring home their eldest, occurs.

15 minutes, or so, passes, and Mum has returned with Master Six. He’s chatting away to Mum as he walks in the back door, then wanders into the dining room, to spot me on one side, and Dad on the other. He runs over to Dad and throws his arms around him, holding him tightly. Dad responds in kind. As they unlock their embrace, and talk about the day, Master Six repeats the gesture, holding him tightly for a second time. I have the joy, and indeed the honour, of observing this unfiltered expression of love from son to father, and from father to son.

It’s not about the big car, or the other toys that we seemingly gather around us to demonstrate our perceived level of success.

It’s not about the big premises, with the offices more representative of your personal part of the world, rather than a functional work space.

It’s not about the big house, with all the new furniture and electronic gadgetry that, invariably, befuddles some of us, and for others, sits around idle.

It’s never about the money. Never! Money is a tool – a resource. Yes, we all need it. It’s just that, for so many that I’ve observed over the years, it’s their sole determinant of having made it. For others, it’s the only thing that seems to drive them.

It’s about the people in our lives, and the joy we receive from being present with them. It’s about the moments you take to duck out and watch your children play soccer, win an award at school, or simply share time together, reading a story before it’s lights out.

That’s the reason we do this. Nothing else matters.

This Week’s Tip

“The problem with financial statements is they only interpret “success” or “wealth” in one form,
yet there are so many ways in which it is demonstrated”.