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Episode 65: Pursuing Evolution, Not Revolution

In this episode of The Family Business Show, host Michael Palumbos from Family Wealth and Legacy in Rochester, New York, warmly welcomes back Nike Anani, a colleague and expert in family business and generational transition. Nike shares insights from her newly released book, "Lifetime to Legacy," which focuses on empowering family enterprises to navigate generational transitions effectively.

The discussion delves into the challenges both founders and the next generation face in family businesses. Founders often grapple with letting go due to fears of losing identity and uncertainty about the future. For the rising generation, issues include struggling to engage with the business, feeling overshadowed by the founder's success, and the pressure of maintaining the family legacy.

Nike emphasizes the importance of clarity, communication, and collaboration within family enterprises to foster a successful generational transition. She advocates for the family business to serve as a platform for individual family members to pursue their passions and contribute to the collective legacy. By focusing on evolving together as a family and an enterprise, they can ensure a sustainable and prosperous future.

This insightful conversation sheds light on the emotional and relational aspects of family business succession, highlighting the need for understanding, communication, and a shared vision to bridge the gap between generations and build a lasting legacy.

Episode 65 Transcript


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Michael Palumbos: Welcome everybody to.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The family business show I am your host Michael Columbus.

 

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Michael Palumbos: From family wealth and legacy in Rochester New York and i'm super excited to have back my friend and colleague nikkei and 90 it was super cool welcome nikkei.

 

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Michael Palumbos: super each other in person and.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Russell planning Institute in Denver at the rendezvous last week.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Two weeks ago now.

 

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Nike Anani: Three weeks ago yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So it was super cool to you know, be able to give you a hug.

 

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Nike Anani: yeah so it was awesome to see here in 3D.

 

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Nike Anani: And and run over he had such a great impact on me, it was phenomenal.

 

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Michael Palumbos: to forget it was a super good conference is the only one, I really look forward to every year.

 

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Michael Palumbos: i'm I walked away saying, the only thing I wish is it was in September, because my summers in upstate New York or just a little shorts.

 

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Nike Anani: yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So at the conference I found out the you've got a project that is just about to come to fruition that you're really excited about and and it's a book.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so you just let the book is available at just came out it's available now correct.

 

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Nike Anani: Correct.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The name of the book is lifetime to legacy and tell us about what inspired you to write this book.

 

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Nike Anani: Yes, i'm you know i'm very passionate about family enterprises and helping them navigate generational transition and.

 

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Nike Anani: i'm a family business earner myself a second gen and I guess my inside experience and perspective.

 

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Nike Anani: And feeling, as we were trying to navigate building a legacy enterprise that a lot of advisors would come with the technical and the transactional without really helping with the relational.

 

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Nike Anani: And I found that it was the relational That was the foundation that we needed to build and then the technical came on top of that, and also through.

 

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Nike Anani: The work that I i've been doing with third party families, working with founders and navigating generational transition.

 

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Nike Anani: Helping next generation members finding their fits in their feet and that enterprises, it really starts with the relational.

 

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Nike Anani: And so lifetimes legacy is all about that, how can you build relational connectivity in your family to bring about co creation of ideas.

 

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Nike Anani: Where family members move from just coexisting to actively co creating unlocking diversity of thoughts and perspectives, so that we can together start going on this journey of building a future for enterprise and that's what it's about.

 

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Michael Palumbos: love it I love it would you do me a favor and I think your background is really interesting.

 

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Michael Palumbos: and talk about that, so that it, I think it adds a different perspective for people to really understand oh she's really lived this.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And you know I mean it's one thing to say it, but I think it's.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Better just like take a few minutes and give us that background, give give us the nikkei not a story.

 

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Nike Anani: love to um my father started off on the enterprise in Lagos Nigeria so i'm Nigerian by origin, the I was born.

 

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Nike Anani: So, entrepreneurship, has been in my life my whole life so my dad was a medical doctor and started his side hustle and supply medical consumables to teaching hospitals, the labs across nature.

 

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Nike Anani: And I went to the UK at the age of nine for my education with my brothers and my mother and started my career in tax planning in Deloitte London so i'm the equivalent of a CPA so I was very much on the technical side that's where my career started.

 

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Nike Anani: Sure um but I found it quite boring, and by this point our family enterprise has really evolved and had.

 

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Nike Anani: turned into construction business, a real estate development company and an engineering firm whilst also.

 

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Nike Anani: My father had been investing in a bunch of different sectors and I thought was I was kind of grappling with what's next for Nicole, why not just spend some time in Nigeria to really learn what dad has been talking about.

 

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Nike Anani: And maybe that would inspire me to find a good industry, finance and I put in an application to Business School at the same time.

 

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Nike Anani: and got to Nigeria and I lost the entrepreneurial culture, I loved working with my dad.

 

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Nike Anani: And I decided to stay and put my stake in the ground and founded and run our family office which drove strategic business planning and operational businesses.

 

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Nike Anani: drove investment monitoring of Ai investments, so I sat on a few boards of companies that we were significant shareholders have.

 

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Nike Anani: also helps with succession planning and governance and educating the next generation.

 

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Nike Anani: And so my passion for family enterprises comes from my inside lived experience of being on the ground running a business as a second generation.

 

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Nike Anani: Trying to collaborate with the older gen trying to grapple with what's my vision for my future whilst also trying to.

 

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Nike Anani: contribute towards the legacy of the family and seeing that often folks that do come to help families are.

 

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Nike Anani: Speaking the wrong language they're speaking the language of the technical and not enough of the relational answer that's what my.

 

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Nike Anani: As you alluded to that's my experience my background and a year ago I moved again with my husband and our kids to the US, so I come with I guess a global perspective, having lived in works now in three continents and I also come with the inside time perspective.

 

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Michael Palumbos: that's it's pretty amazing and your dad you must be the whole family must be pretty proud of what he's accomplished a pretty short period of time right.

 

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Nike Anani: Oh yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know the the typical family probably doesn't experience that level of change in a generation usually it's two or three generations to get to that level so he's that's pretty amazing and I bet a from as kid as children.

 

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Michael Palumbos: i've got your dad's probably pretty strong willed.

 

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Michael Palumbos: about how he does things right.

 

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Oh yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So that I mean that goes back to he's also, though, it sounds like based on what you're what you've said.

 

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Michael Palumbos: open to change and open to other ideas which is really at the core of all this, everything we were talking about the relationships and how that was so important.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Aside from the technical even more important, the technical if dad didn't believe that and just stuck in i'm not i'm just going to do the business, the way that i'm doing it, none of this would happen.

 

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Nike Anani: 1,000% and I give him credit for honestly I had I enjoyed a lot of autonomy and agency, it was literally a conversation that I think we should have a family office Okay, what do you need for me.

 

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Nike Anani: Like I need training, I need to understand what this is about, I need to travel enjoyed some associations do what you need to do.

 

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Nike Anani: And I will support you and that's, not to say that there were not moments of this power struggle of, I would like us to do ABC I know you can't or God, we had a lot of that there was a lot of resistance on his part with respect to.

 

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Nike Anani: Having more technology in the family business with respect to my ideas on diversifying our investment portfolio and it's an ongoing journey of one where I.

 

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Nike Anani: influence him and he also influences me, but there was a common ground kind of respect for the fact that I had a different perspective with my.

 

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Nike Anani: technical background as a tax accountant, and my global perspective, it was welcomed it wasn't always embraced, but it was there was definitely a feeling of I can make my impact here.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Okay, I wanted, I wanted to find one other thing before we move on about the book, because I think it sets the stage a little better, most of the clients that you know, most of the people that are listening to this are running family businesses okay or their family business advisors.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And most family businesses will not get to a stage the you know, a point in where they need a family office.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so, but, but a lot of the same things that the family Office does they need what the family Office does, but they can't afford the family office.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So what let's go through and talk about what is a family office, so that we can just separate that piece out for them, and they can really start to understand it, I don't.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I don't think everybody really understands, you know what a family offices and who has a family office when do we think about that.

 

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Nike Anani: Fantastic question a family office is a bespoke curated vehicle to serve the family's needs right and just given the example of my family, we were G one we've instituted to.

 

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Nike Anani: And we're now thinking about we want to build a business and wealth that without live dad me my kids and how can we go about doing that.

 

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Nike Anani: And so the services that we required for our family office surrender to the family was in terms of wealth planning tax planning estate planning succession planning next generation, development and education.

 

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Nike Anani: As well as strategic business planning and operational businesses.

 

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Nike Anani: So essentially a family office is curated for what your family needs for some families that's more you may need concierge services if you've got like planes and birds and things like that to.

 

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Nike Anani: You may have a philanthropic arm, where you have a desk in your family office that looks at curating and designing your strategy, as well as implementing so it really is dependent on your needs.

 

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Nike Anani: Now the how is where there are many ways to skin a cat and the affordability question is one i'm throwing up by a number of families, I said to me.

 

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Nike Anani: We need to be intentional and deliberate about building our wealth and our legacy business but we really can't afford to have all these members of staff on our bills.

 

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Nike Anani: On our payroll and, but we need the services and I think there's some level of creativity that can be taken this in respect to how you do it right so.

 

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Nike Anani: One way you can do it is like an embedded family office usually you need a minimum an accountant and a lawyer and some.

 

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Nike Anani: quarterback are the strategic person that just hold the fort and coordinates the different advisors both externally and internally, so you can start with.

 

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Nike Anani: Perhaps your existing accountant and lawyer, maybe in house in your family business or if you've got external ones.

 

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Nike Anani: Where they're not full time but their part time that's one option another option is to have an outsourced service, where the family.

 

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Nike Anani: outsources all these functions to third parties and then again you're just paying paying a coordinating role.

 

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Nike Anani: And then the third option, is where we have the bells and whistles and you put everybody on your payroll.

 

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Nike Anani: And in our instance we had five members of staff, so I had the chief investment officer, I had a chief financial officer chief legal officer compliance assistant and myself.

 

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Nike Anani: So there's a lot of kind of flexibility and how you go about it, but I think what I like to tell my clients is it's important to have a family office in your mind.

 

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Nike Anani: That we are working yeah, we need to move from working in our family businesses to working on our business families.

 

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Nike Anani: And that mindset of we're working on our business family now means we need to think about education of the next generation and the current generation, we need to think about family.

 

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Nike Anani: bonding and learning, we need to think about family communication, we need to think about succession governance estate planning tax planning.

 

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Nike Anani: Succession planning how we go about doing that there's some flexibility and not depending on what we really need what our budget is and so on and so forth.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And I want to I haven't heard anybody talking about that, and I think that is gigantic, we need to think, from a family office perspective, regardless of whether we have them in here's.

 

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Michael Palumbos: here's what's really important, I think that there's this whole thing out there, right now, about well 3.0.

 

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Michael Palumbos: and get getting away from the you know families fail at keeping wealth for pre generation shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves and all that.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And I would I don't want to say I push against it, but I think it's not it's not about the wealth it's about the family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so, in I think we, what we need to think about and I think you hit the nail on the head is most families, and I can look at my father, my father grew up with all of his cousins okay.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And they would have family reunions there was this was not about wealth, this was just about bonding like you said in the relationship and getting those people together as they got older.

 

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Michael Palumbos: That stopped happening because why because they all have their own families and now they're you know so those six cousins or seven cousins that he used to see all the time they don't see as often because it's called life.

 

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Michael Palumbos: and always growing and expanding and changing and unless we're intentional about these things.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The relationships go to the go to the wayside, and when you have family wealth that provides a reason to do something different.

 

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Michael Palumbos: than other people do so I I don't want to I don't want to say i'm challenging well 3.0 because that's not what i'm saying, because I do like coming at everything from a positive perspective and.

 

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Michael Palumbos: not talking about the negative side of things, but I think, and I don't know if you would agree or not, but I just think it's it's a natural evolution of what happens within a family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And where families of wealth, have exactly the same thing happening it's just an evolution it's just you know it's come on.

 

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Michael Palumbos: we're either growing or dying we're.

 

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Nike Anani: Changing and then.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I just think it's just it's a natural dichotomy of things that happen so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah I love being intentional about this i'm thinking about you know we are an outsourced family office that's how we view what we do we're.

 

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Michael Palumbos: We know the the the good the good attorneys that you should be using, we know that the the great accounting firms that you know somebody who should be using but the the thing you know the the piece that's always missing in the middle is somebody that makes them all talk.

 

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Nike Anani: About.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The family and about all the situations, so that you're not you know, every time you push a button on the accounting side, it might affect something on the legal side or the business side or the personal side and unless you have all those players in the room.

 

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Michael Palumbos: you're not going to know which buttons what the reaction, or what the you know what the effects of what you're you know the choices that you're making.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I love the fact that you pulled that together and i'm going to start I think that's a whole book in itself is.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah family office mindset and what does that mean it's talking about the education it's talking about what are the things that are important to everybody in the family, plus the business and the investments and the wealth ah, I love it Thank you thank.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You really I think will help a lot of people to see.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Why it's important to be intentional around those things so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: you've been doing this for a while now, and what are some of the common mistakes that family business owners make on their legacy journey.

 

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Nike Anani: um one I alluded to, is working in the business but not working on the family, working on the business family.

 

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Nike Anani: and getting through and I understand that i'm an entrepreneur myself bills, have to be paid, we want to maximize cells, we want to get lean we were thinking about strategy.

 

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Nike Anani: But when we are moving from lifetime to legacy it's important that we have a legacy mindset and that's one that's very long term missed.

 

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Nike Anani: And I say that legacy is not built overnight, you have to consistently be sowing seeds, so you need to work on the family and think about the qualitative.

 

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Nike Anani: The qualitative wealth, not just the financial capital, but the human capital, the knowledge capital, the.

 

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Nike Anani: intellectual capital, the social capital, how we building that within the family to maximize the resources, the family has.

 

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Nike Anani: And in my book, I talk about the secret sauce of a family right I liken it to every family has a secret sauce.

 

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Nike Anani: To this amazing recipe that we want to pass from generation to generation, and it goes beyond just the financial capital and so working on our business families is really important propelling our enterprises from lifetime to legacy and like you said it's down to that relational element.

 

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Michael Palumbos: that's huge that I really want to make sure that people understood hear that and we bring that home it's you said it, the differently than i've ever heard and you're talking about working on the family business working on the business family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And many, many of the owners of businesses have heard you can't just work in the business, you have to work.

 

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Michael Palumbos: On the business and what you're.

 

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Michael Palumbos: saying is when you have a family business, you also have to be working on the family aspect.

 

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Michael Palumbos: of things now.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Oh, my goodness that's super powerful folks amy I really.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I love that again, that is what we're talking about, but without saying those words I don't think it sinks in for people.

 

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Nike Anani: huh huh.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The one of my one of my mentors actually is a younger than I am, I think you can be mentored by anybody if they have different knowledge than you.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And he has two phrases that came to mind, as you were talking and one of them is the difference between good and great is the words that you use.

 

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Nike Anani: hmm.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so, when when you think about the family, if we start talking about working on the family, if we add those words.

 

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Michael Palumbos: To our repertoire, then it just becomes a habit to start doing those things Okay, what are we doing to work on the business, what are the strategy there i've got that but what are we doing to work on the family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah if you're not doing it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: don't expect it anything else you know don't don't expect the the business, like the family to stay together and you really need that family relational piece.

 

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So that your.

 

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Michael Palumbos: emotional intelligence.

 

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Nike Anani: Exactly, and I would add.

 

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Nike Anani: it's so easy to get overwhelmed right it's so easy because there's so many books in this space and so many things we need to be thinking about on the family side on the business side on the technical side.

 

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Nike Anani: I would say when you're reorienting your mind to work on your family just choose three things three things three things that you're going to chase after and be very deliberate on whether it's.

 

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Nike Anani: You want to have an annual retreat or you want to do, learning together or you want to start thinking about confidence for the family just choose three things and work on those three things.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah I know I that really helps to take the pressure off families, I would add to that start small you know start small and you know you don't go into the gym after not being in the gym for a long time and think that you're going to bench press 300 pounds.

 

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Nike Anani: You know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: not going to happen.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So, so you know this building of the relational family muscle that it's all of a sudden, we have this new idea and here's what we want to do in every family comes at this with some good things.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know what i'm saying that they have some relational muscle muscle, they have it, they maybe they're really you know, education is super important to that family, and so there there's conversations about those things, but if you just just pick three new things, and then start small.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You can start a family philanthropy project with $100 you can start with.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You can start with zero if you so choose and just make it about the time and the talent, not about the treasure.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Something that's really good and then he just you know doing work together to say Okay, so now what's next.

 

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Michael Palumbos: pressure off and just they're building the family relational the family muscle, so to speak, I think that's genius I love them now work on the family, remember, working on the family anything else that are common mistakes that you want to talk about.

 

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Nike Anani: yeah I talked about in the book about how a lot of families, similar to what you just said, pursue revolutions and not evolutions so we tend to one instant change.

 

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Nike Anani: In pursuit of this desired outcome that we needed to have happened yesterday, whether it's you know.

 

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Nike Anani: Doubling revenues diversifying overnight and implementing technology, you know being sustainable, you know being very effective with our philanthropy.

 

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Nike Anani: In engaging and including the next generation so on and so forth, the challenge with revolutions, is there was a sudden quite often there's a high risk of failure.

 

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Nike Anani: let's think about political revolutions, like the French Revolution, or all sorts of revolutions we've seen.

 

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Nike Anani: In recent times, right, so we don't necessarily want a revolution, we do want change right that's what we're all moving and working towards and families family enterprises we're seeing change on the self individual levels.

 

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Nike Anani: we're seeing change on the family level we're seeing change on the enterprise level so to manage that change which is so.

 

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Nike Anani: Complex because they're also interrelated, we want to proceed evolutions not necessarily revolutions.

 

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Nike Anani: So for the next generation are very frustrated and grappling with my parents not letting go and they're not digitizing fast enough they're not using sustainability measures you know more as effective as they could be.

 

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Nike Anani: pursue an evolution, not a revolution, and how can you do that so start to think about.

 

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Nike Anani: How can myself and my siblings banding together and collectively gaining clarity as to our shared vision our submission are shared values, because of.

 

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Nike Anani: An evolution, that we need to happen from G wanted you to is one from founder driven two siblings partnership right one from kind of.

 

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Nike Anani: One where the founder takes a lot of decisions to one and evolve evolution to collective leadership and collective decision making.

 

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Nike Anani: And that takes time so it's not a revolution that we're going to get two siblings partnership it's an evolution of.

 

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Nike Anani: learning about self who is Nick and what drives her what her strengths what's her vision, you know how does she operate optimally.

 

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Nike Anani: and learning the same about your siblings and also being honest with ourselves about.

 

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Nike Anani: The emotional blockages that stops the siblings from collaborating because we all have our history, our drama our past hurts right with regards to family dynamics working through those and starting to also as we're coming together.

 

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Nike Anani: Collectively forming what is our policy on conflict, how we going to manage how we can ensure that we fight fair because we will fight it's a given, we will fight.

 

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Nike Anani: and fighting isn't necessarily a bad thing you know conflict can be very constructive, it does not have to be destructive so coming up with ground rules around that and a policy and a mechanism for that these are all ways in which one can start to pursue an evolution and not a revolution.

 

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Michael Palumbos: love it if I say to people all the time, none of us have ever gone to a movie where there was no conflict and walked out saying that was a great movie.

 

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Nike Anani: yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: To have the conflict, we need, we need the evil, we need the hero, we need the journey.

 

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Nike Anani: that's just how.

 

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Michael Palumbos: we're designed, we understand those things but there's a difference between respectful and constructive criticism and conflict than there is just outright yelling and screaming and fighting.

 

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Nike Anani: Deeds the you said one other thing that I want to make sure that we that we focus on.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And that was shared values, though, we live in this world, right now, where polarization is happening left and right.

 

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Michael Palumbos: and families, sometimes are so polarized that they fracture because of political statements and beliefs or religious statements

 

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Michael Palumbos: there's a lot of polarized us, but if we're smart let's let's not discuss what we disagree with.

 

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Michael Palumbos: let's make sure that we're taking the time to find out where are our shared values that we should that we that we have as a family as siblings and let's focus on starting and building from the shared values, because we all have shared values to.

 

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Nike Anani: yeah we know we do.

 

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Nike Anani: Go ahead, I was gonna say I like to say we want unity, we don't want uniformity.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Ah, I love that.

 

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Nike Anani: If we take away who who Michael is and we take away who Nick is it takes from the beauty and diversity, the richness of your art different perspectives.

 

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Nike Anani: We can agree to disagree, but we can also agreed to agree we focus on what we agree on our band together about so we want unity of vision mission purpose values, what is it that we're united on let's focus on that and.

 

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Nike Anani: There may be conflict like we spoke about as a result of our different values or perspectives or experiences or personalities, but we have a process through which we have we know how to manage that conflict for the benefit of the enterprise and the benefit of the family yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: i'm going to show our company like the firm's core purpose is to inspire change.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So what I am going to start calling myself and i'm not i'm making this up i'm not really going to use it, but I think that i'm the chief change officer for the families.

 

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Michael Palumbos: um that's.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I think that it family when you're thinking about that family office who are you going to name as your chief change officer who's that person that's going to help to the evolution of the family now.

 

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Nike Anani: Instead of the revolution hmm.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I love that I.

 

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Nike Anani: love it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And I think we need to like take you know I say it, keep it as simple as inspire change in our purpose, because if I wasn't of course it's with the family businesses and it's because of the family that I want to see them.

 

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Michael Palumbos: make an evolution, to the next plateau in all areas in all areas.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But I say inspire change and I don't get specific about family business, because if I stop being part of this family business world, whether I was a teacher or the you know, a musician or whatever I was doing, I know that my passion and my purpose is all about inspiring change.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so that's why I keep it that simple, but I think that I love the idea i'm going to start talking about the chief change officer I.

 

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Nike Anani: Love I love it to.

 

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Michael Palumbos: feel free you're you're welcome to use it as well and.

 

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Nike Anani: I will definitely.

 

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Michael Palumbos: we'll start.

 

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Michael Palumbos: we'll start an about.

 

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us.

 

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Nike Anani: Yes.

 

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Nike Anani: Please yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So let's talk let's change gears a little bit, why is it difficult for the founders, you know, to let go and you know what tips, would you say you know have.

 

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Nike Anani: Come to.

 

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Michael Palumbos: assist them.

 

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Nike Anani: To think of.

 

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Michael Palumbos: your father did some really neat stuff and not everybody's wired that way.

 

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Nike Anani: and

 

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Michael Palumbos: And even he who was open to some change and open to some different things had some resistance along there and I know that working with other families you've seen.

 

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Michael Palumbos: It on that spectrum probably more polarizing and people that might be even easier than you know, open to change than your father once.

 

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Nike Anani: Indeed, you know I why it's so difficult for founders let go is that they're dealing with transitional anxiety and i've dealt with this recently.

 

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Nike Anani: moved all the way from Nigeria to the US, and there are moments of share like exhilarating I just felt so excited for the future there's also moments of deep fear like this is all going to fall apart and why that happens is because we're in between seasons.

 

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Nike Anani: So Suzanne David calls it betwixt that anxiety of being in between.

 

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Nike Anani: And so you've got grief over the season that you've just your your your fear of what you've lost right and uncertainty around.

 

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Nike Anani: what the future holds as you go anxiety in one hand you got grief, on the other.

 

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Nike Anani: And so, thinking about founders in thinking of letting go of their businesses that potentially letting go of their status their identity that tripe.

 

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Nike Anani: That cooling was also navigating anxiety and fear over them mortality and anxiety and fear over what's next for me where, am I going to get my.

 

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Nike Anani: Identity my status from and sometimes where it's going to pay the bills and not have.

 

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Nike Anani: We don't talk about this enough in the industry, where a lot of retiring founders have not necessarily have a good retirement plan they've relied on the cash flow from their businesses right.

 

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Nike Anani: And so, how can I let go when I don't know where the check is going to come from and I don't know where whether nika junior or whoever.

 

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Nike Anani: Has the wherewithal and the skill set to take this business to continue so that I will have a continued dividend flu so that's why it's so difficult for founders let go.

 

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Nike Anani: And I think in terms of tips on how they can navigate the season is really taking time to start to think about what's next, so I when I had to move from this fear of what I was losing to reframing to what I was gaining.

 

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Nike Anani: and also what could I be creating what is a compelling enough vision of the next phase of my life gets me excited energized and really brings up the joy, rather than be focusing on what i'm using.

 

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Nike Anani: So transitions not easy but taking time to focusing on what's next maybe in conversation with a coach a guide that can help you shopping even that next season of life.

 

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Nike Anani: In conversation in the family what's next in the family enterprise what's next you know who's going to lead this into the future what's next in terms of structuring in terms of our governance oftentimes.

 

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Nike Anani: Why is also so difficult for founders let go is they literally can't see themselves can't see the enterprise's running for a day, without them, because they're so.

 

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Nike Anani: Deep knee deep in the decisions, so we need to think about a governance mechanism on the business side and the family side, where they can trust in the process, actually everything hasn't fallen apart right and we've empowered the right people to make the right decisions.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Love yes perfect I have as I often do a few thoughts to add to this because I just love this.

 

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Michael Palumbos: radio station, but so the one of the things that POPs into my head is.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The succession planning, more often than not, when I look at businesses the CEO the founder is in there, making it happen.

 

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Michael Palumbos: hmm and so there's a process of building a leadership team, and that you know it takes 345 years to transfer that data, not to one person, but to build the CEO and leadership team, you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: To develop that team, so that you then have a lot, a lot more faith and what's going to happen, because not everybody can can fail at the same time.

 

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Nike Anani: Somebody might have a hard.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Time in their life somebody might not be able to get it, but it's so much easier, that if you as the CEO start to slowly.

 

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Michael Palumbos: build this leadership team where rather than you telling them what to do, which is the way that you've got to where you are today now to get to start to teach them, you know, and one of my favorite phrases is, what do you recommend.

 

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Michael Palumbos: and learning to coach you know and that might be to your point that might take a coach to help them to do that, you.

 

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Michael Palumbos: might be there to help the CEO and leadership team evolve and that I think goes a lot to succession planning and helping on the family side i'm a giant fan of family philanthropy.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I believe that philanthropy is the sandbox for creating future entrepreneurs and future leaders.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And I don't you Jay Hughes, who we both know you know, wrote the book family, while keeping it in the family, wrote a White Paper, called the grandparent grandchild philanthropy project it's not that's not exactly what the.

 

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What it's telling.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And in there, he says, the natural enemy of the parents or the children and the grant and the grandparents, you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Children, you have to discipline them so they you know, are there and for the grandparents, you know, sometimes parents are like all you do is you come over and spoil them.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: When you put your father and mother in a spot of being elders in the family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: and taking what they've learned and then.

 

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Michael Palumbos: coaching that the grandchildren one you're busy working you're building a career you're having to put those pieces together.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And all of the lessons that you want to teach them can be taught through philanthropy and the one of the best people to teach them is the grandparents who love them unconditionally.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And can be patient and take the time and watch them make mistakes and coach instead of just telling them what to do.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I just think it's a marvelous way of giving them purpose as the Elder in an area where they'd love to do it any way.

 

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Michael Palumbos: They want more time with the grandchildren.

 

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Michael Palumbos: More often than not.

 

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Nike Anani: I love it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: let's let's flip the coin from the founders to the children rising generation next gen I love rising generation, but I know a lot of people it's like okay just the next generation.

 

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Michael Palumbos: what's going on for them what are some of the white lines that make it so difficult to you know to grab the ring, and to do those things, and what are some tips and some ideas that you might have to help them think through those that process.

 

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Nike Anani: You know, new quite often as a result of the founders struggling to let go next gens often struggle to grab on they struggle to engage they struggle to have that autonomy agency authority exercised, and what that means is.

 

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Nike Anani: I write in my book about how I went to see this amazing sure and.

 

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Nike Anani: The main actor was obviously on stage and he stole the shine and everything and after the show, I went backstage and I saw like the hairdresser's the makeup artist the light people all the different technical people.

 

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Nike Anani: And it dawned on me that the folks backstage was they contributed to the massive amazing sure they were not substituted for for the main actor on stage and so quite a lot of the time next gens feel this deep kind of.

 

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Nike Anani: anxiety insecurity that if I were to be called on stage as a hair person how in the world will I perform under the heat because i've not had that experience that expertise that practice that repeated practice and it really.

 

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Nike Anani: It really contributes to that question in the ability, a competence leads to imposter syndrome of sorts.

 

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Nike Anani: Another issue that a lot of next gens rising gesture with is the anxiety of living in the shadow of the wealth of the founder and the success of the founder, so it really contributes to the first point I mentioned, where it's the success of mom and dad, how can I compare.

 

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Nike Anani: I don't I I can't build what they've built and we're still can I even maintain the stewardship anxiety can maintain this wealth this abundance the success.

 

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Nike Anani: Of do I have the skill set the web, with all my friends don't have to navigate this it's so new to me as a next generation when others are projecting onto me a sense of entitlement of ease and they don't understand the burdens.

 

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Nike Anani: The responsibilities, the family issues that the wealth can create right, so it becomes a very lonely place as an rising generation and.

 

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Nike Anani: Another issue that I find a lot of racing Jen struggle with is this idea of championing change with their family enterprises.

 

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Nike Anani: This idea of they want this beautiful enterprise that is future ready tech enabled sustainability for workers, etc, and they're not quite there and again they feel kind of hands are tied behind their backs.

 

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Nike Anani: You know, unable to effect the change that they want to see, and it leaves them feeling very demoralized.

 

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Nike Anani: So those are the key issues I find amongst my clientele with rising germs and how do we navigate that again with this mindset of evolution not revolution evolutions of self evolutions of family evolutions of the enterprise at the self level really grappling with no longer.

 

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Nike Anani: suppressing avoiding the emotional kinks in our hearts and minds around wealth and what that means, as to who we are, as a person so working through that privately doing the inner work to heal to gain new perspective.

 

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Nike Anani: As you're not necessarily oneness in prison shackled by your circumstance, but you have agency autonomy and you all the scripts to your life So what is it that you want as Nikki for yourself.

 

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Nike Anani: And how can we make that happen in your world and also in the world of a family and a price using the family enterprise as a great platform.

 

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Nike Anani: I often find that rising jen's see the family enterprises boomers this the other sibling got all the love and attention right.

 

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Nike Anani: Right from the parents or grandparents and they thought abandoned and the sense of.

 

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Nike Anani: resentment towards rather than embracing, what can I learn from this that doing what platform disassembling give me to achieve what I want to do, and also say that I can make the impact on the enterprise right.

 

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Nike Anani: um see I see the evolution of self and the evolution of the family understanding that, as I change as.

 

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Nike Anani: everybody else in the family is changing, and I can start to become a champion for change, rather than a critic of the status quo.

 

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Nike Anani: And that is really developing emotional intelligence persuasion and influence skills such that you can influence and persuade your family members to start to guide the ship of the family enterprise in the direction that you'd like to see whether.

 

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Michael Palumbos: that's super super helpful and love the idea of you just going back to that evolution piece, and the the the the family enterprise is there to support us.

 

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Michael Palumbos: As as we're doing things in for families that you know, again I want to make there's more families don't have a family office aren't having this mindset, you know of that I need a family office or i'm going to put this family enterprise together.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But that's not, I think that's a misnomer I think it's really important to start to say you know if you've got a family business and that family business.

 

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Michael Palumbos: is doing $5 million a year of revenue $10 million a year of revenue and that's what's feeding this family I think it's really important to continue, you know, to think about what are the needs of the family as well, making sure that you've got somebody in charge of that.

 

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Michael Palumbos: so that you know, so that the family can be thinking about you know the autonomy.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And the talents of each individual family member so we're looking at it not saying you know ooh nika you have to come in and run this business because you're my heir apparent and i'm choosing you.

 

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Michael Palumbos: that's right rate, but if we don't have the emotional intent, you know, without emotional intelligence that might be something that happens, but with emotional intelligence, it gives us that ability to say oh this isn't something that you want to do what.

 

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Nike Anani: Do you want to do where.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Are your passions.

 

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Nike Anani: and equally if it isn't something that you want to do, I find that family enterprises, even if you don't have a family office and you're running you know your.

 

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Nike Anani: couple running a $5 million a year business.

 

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Nike Anani: there's so much it's like a university that your children can be learning from right that can be applied in all aspects of their lives, whether they choose to be entrepreneurs in of themselves or they doing right.

 

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Nike Anani: there's the resilience the grits the visionary like what it takes to run a business is just it's business owners are super super human there, especially visionaries ones that you know, it was an idea in your head in your heart and you brought it to life, how.

 

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Nike Anani: Your case study in of itself, like so that legacy of learning of wisdom of intelligence.

 

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Nike Anani: I find is even more important than the tangible so legacy is about leaving something in people, not just leaving something for people I forget who said that but I will find it and share it with you say.

 

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Nike Anani: I can attribute that I want to say it's pre Peter struggle it's in my book, think it's Peter struggle.

 

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Nike Anani: So if we're leaving something in the rising generation we're not just leaving assets for them, we want to pass down this legacy of entrepreneurship and then they can choose to do for their individual selves what they wanted to do with it right, but it's important life skills.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I love it and I think that kind of leads right into what are some of the things that families can do to create that enterprise of the future it's.

 

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Michael Palumbos: One I would say it's thinking in that in those terms right leaving in not just leaving them with right.

 

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Nike Anani: Indeed, indeed I focused on I often say the three c's the critical success factors, because I like to.

 

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Nike Anani: I like to think in acronyms because it's helpful it's memorable and it's simple, so we want to work on three c's the first is clarity.

 

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Nike Anani: Who are we as a family, we spoke about this in terms of what our shared values, was I said vision what such admission what's I said purpose.

 

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Nike Anani: The second is, we want to communicate, we want to communicate effectively not just about the technical you know, we need to expand into five States this year, but we want to communicate about that.

 

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Nike Anani: As a child, I thought abandoned by because you always working because guess what it does impact on the succession planning process because.

 

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Nike Anani: The heart, to which I look at the enterprise is very different, because it's one of actually don't really care because.

 

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Nike Anani: You know why should I care about this business that he sacrificed everything for it's all about him right rather than this is our collective legacy that we're working on together.

 

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Nike Anani: And lost the collaboration we want to move from individual rulership to collective leadership we need to understand each of our respective roles our strengths weaknesses mission vision and band together.

 

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Nike Anani: In trying to win our game collectively.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Perfect perfect perfect um.

 

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Michael Palumbos: you're you're coaching a family, for the first time, what are this you know what what's the first step you'd recommend that they start to undertake.

 

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Nike Anani: stops off conversations together first start usually if i'm coaching the family, I work individually with each family members understand where they're at to understand.

 

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Nike Anani: What they their views are on the enterprise what they'd like to see who they are individually what their strengths are what their vision is what their values are, and then we start to have.

 

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Nike Anani: conversations, based on what I observe as to what the different like aspirations fears anxieties are.

 

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Nike Anani: Whether it's, we need to work on an acute issue or just generally thinking through, how can we stop crew creating this legacy we want to be leaving and the legacy we want to be living.

 

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Michael Palumbos: love it yes in an hour terms when we're talking to families, we call it the family business roadmap or the family roadmap.

 

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Michael Palumbos: We need to get everybody in the family, on the same page and and understanding, where everybody's coming from right.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's a process and it's sometimes there's conversations that come out of that that has never happened before.

 

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Nike Anani: Oh yeah oh yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: positive and negative and let's go with i'll share a positive one, and then you probably if share one as well that'd be great.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Night a father who lent his daughter money to start her business and she paid interest on that loan forever.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Years never paid back any of the principal and we were doing the Assam estate technical planning, you know for the mom and dad.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And I said what's the plan for this here, he goes, you know oh yeah we've got that loan to our daughter, we probably should forgive it she's she's earned it and I looked at them both and I said, have you ever told her I just saw the pride in his eyes that she.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, he wasn't happy with her when they first did when she first chose to do this because she was she was choosing was to work out of the family business and go start your own thing, and that was really difficult for Dan.

 

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Michael Palumbos: When we had the family meeting and he shared with her how proud, he was of her.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And then that mom and dad made the sign the papers to forgive the note, you know, it was a beautiful beautiful moment that one of the capture that we didn't just start having some conversations in.

 

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Nike Anani: The that's beautiful, I have one as well when father and son had been working together in the business and dad was supposed to step down.

 

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Nike Anani: And he kept on saying one more year when we and son was getting very frustrated with the whole process, and he had already activated lawyers to sue that.

 

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Nike Anani: Because it had financial implications for him and his many nuclear family, and so we had a conversation I mediated a conversation between dad and son as to expectations, what really was at the heart of hindering dad from.

 

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Nike Anani: You know honoring his promise, so to speak, and it was this deep fear of what's next for me.

 

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Nike Anani: What would my future hold this is everything that I know my friends are in this enterprise, I have friends outside of this, this is my hobby This is my life calling and what am I supposed to be doing.

 

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Nike Anani: And so we were able to have a really fruitful honest heart to heart conversation as to what was really at the root on both sides of the table emotionally.

 

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Nike Anani: Right and the implications of their actions on that and then starting to workshop moving forward now, what can we do to create a future that would be mutually beneficial for both father and son, and it was it was beautiful there were tears.

 

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Nike Anani: But you know these conversations.

 

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Nike Anani: That continued conversations right you sow the seeds you start today, and then you continue to have a practice of effective communication with your family members, where you're able to deal with matters of the heart, because it does impact on the enterprise yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's as your as you're talking about the father son piece of it and I took it was Father daughter piece before it's at the end of the day when I talked owners and they we talked about frustrations that within the business at the end of the day and usually it comes back to people.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And how do I manage people and whatnot, and so my tie in is that we forget that, as a family we're just people.

 

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Michael Palumbos: um, and so we have feelings we may not be our feelings, but we're feeling things and when those relationships are so important, so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, to plant those seeds of how do we become more emotionally intelligent, how do we have these conversations, how do we open ourselves up to critical conversations.

 

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Michael Palumbos: How do we listen better right, how do we focus.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Not being said how do we see what's being said and hear what's being said, not just being present.

 

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Nike Anani: i'm really i'm.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Really digging in you said it you plant seeds and I have a buddy that says the same thing it's like plant seeds to grow trees and that's that so it's like all these little conversations and they don't have to be like to your point before you don't have to be revolutionary conversations.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah there were start with the maybe it's sometimes it's just there where you do have shared vision, you do have shared values let's talk about that.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And then, and then hear each other and then to say okay now where do we have different visions and different conversations, so that we can you know be ready for that next phase, because that is shared in every one of those conversations isn't there.

 

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Nike Anani: into into.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Not this is awesome is there anything else that you know they will again the name of the book is lifetime to legacy.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And it's available where can people get the book.

 

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Nike Anani: You can find it on Amazon, and if you want to learn more information there's also on my website www dot nika and nanny for.com forward slash book and there's video there's some sample chapters, and this will save the link to the Amazon page great.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I I know we could talk for another three hours.

 

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Michael Palumbos: At the time, and saying all right, I want to be cognizant of your time.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I just want to say thank you, Nick a you're.

 

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Michael Palumbos: A super unique person that comes at this as an you know from a different perspective, both you've got the technical side you had to work within the family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: To bring the relational side and the human factors together you've done a great job there, and now you're out coaching families to do the same thing.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Just a gift today really, really.

 

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Michael Palumbos: appreciating what you've shared and we.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I think that there was two or three i'm Christina I hope you're taking great notes out there's two or three conversations in there that need some additional unpacking.

 

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Michael Palumbos: That make those take those seeds and grow those seeds a little bit I think we've uncovered some really neat stuff in our conversation.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you have enjoyed our time with me K today, I had a blast, as you can tell.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I love my job I love being able to be surrounded by people like you, my name is Michael Columbus, this is the family business show with family wealth and legacy in Rochester New York, thank you all for joining us and I can't wait to have you on the next episode take care, everybody.

If you’re a family business or a family business consultant and want to be on the show, share your story and help other family businesses, send us an email to producer@thefamilybizshow.com or fill out a contact form here!

*not affiliated with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.

Michael Palumbos is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Family Wealth & Legacy, LLC is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. and its representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a legal or tax advisor regarding any legal or tax information as it relates to your personal circumstances.

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