Listen as our Founder & CEO, Alex Kirby talks to Jason Pereira about bringing unity to families in the financial planning process.
On today’s episode of Financial Planning for Canadian Business Owners, Jason is going to talk to Alex Kirby, Co-Founder and CEO of Total Family Management. It is a company focused on family coaching and helping families through the dynamics and personalities in the family to create better cohesion, better family wellness, and long-term satisfaction for everybody. They explore the challenges of entitlement within family businesses and how purpose can be used to unify the family's values and goals. It also touches on the initial steps of onboarding with Total Family Management.
- 1.16: Alex describes Total Family Management as a private virtual family coaching company that primarily serves clients from the wealth advisory sector, including family offices and state attorneys. TFM works directly with families, helping them manage various aspects of their family dynamics.
- 2.40: Alex highlights the importance of family in people's lives, emphasizing that it is universally significant. People often prioritize family above all else, and this aspect of life is unifying across different cultures and countries.
- 4.12: Jason wants to know how family dynamics change as young families evolve into families with teenagers and adults, and ultimately as the older generation, the patriarchs and matriarchs, transition into their senior years.
- 4.38: Alex outlines his approach to classifying people into four distinct life stages like the wonder segment, the balance segment, the harmony segment, the wisdom or legacy segment within families and these stages are akin to being sorted into different houses like in Hogwarts.
- 6.45: Alex highlights that having a clarified vision is crucial for a sense of direction and well-being, regardless of one's age or life stage.
- 7.56: Alex emphasizes the value of having someone to talk to about one's goals, values, and direction, whether it's young individuals shaping their future or committed couples unifying their goals and values.
- 9.20: Alex mentions his workshop called "Each of My Kids, All of My Kids," which focuses on identifying the skills, experiences, and attitudes parents want to instil in each of their children while they are still young. Alex and Jason emphasize the importance of starting early because it becomes more challenging to instil these values once children reach their teenage years and establish their own social circles.
- 10.50: Alex emphasizes the significance of reframing challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.
- 11.20 Jason agrees with the idea of framing lessons as a way to raise functional, capable individuals who can handle various aspects of life effectively because at the end of the day, what we really want is functional human beings.
- Alex highlights the lack of resources available for long phase of parenting, where children become adults but remain a significant part of their parents' lives.
- 13.18 Alex says, maintaining a healthy, normal relationship with adult children and transitioning from a parenting role to a more peer-like relationship is an important challenge that needs to be addressed over an extended period.
- 14.02 Jason ask to talk about how to navigate the discussions and ensure a smooth transition and planning process for individuals and their families in this later stage of life.
- 14.52: To help clients build the necessary communication skills and comfort with the later stage discussions like medical issues, finance or estate planning, Alex suggests starting with lighter topics and gradually working up to heavier, more complex ones.
- 17.01: Jason is interested in understanding the common reasons clients seek coaching services and whether these reasons are related to existing problems or other factors that prompt them to hire TFM.
- 18.34: TFM aims to lower barriers for potential clients by offering a money-back guarantee if they complete three workshops and are not satisfied. This approach helps clients gradually become more invested in the coaching process, building trust and connection with their coach.
- 20.10 Jason wonders if part of the coaching process involves helping parents recognize their own baggage and potentially course-correct their parenting approaches.
- 20:43: Alex emphasizes that their approach is not about fixing individuals. Instead, their coaches typically spend only 20% of their time speaking during workshops. They primarily set the stage by asking questions and allowing the conversation to unfold naturally.
- 23:52: Alex acknowledges that not everyone has the desire or autonomy to engage in family coaching, and individuals must choose to participate willingly. He notes that people often come into coaching sessions sceptical but tend to find the experience valuable and do not regret the time spent because it allows them to focus on an area of life they genuinely care about.
- 25:01: Alex discusses the importance of conducting exercises related to values and vision within family businesses. He emphasizes that it's crucial to involve all relevant family members in these exercises, especially when not all parents or children are involved in the business. The goal is to ensure that different perspectives and values are considered, and this may require adapting the exercises for different family members.
- 25:53: Some people assume their children can figure things out on their own, but these are the same children who may have had conflicts growing up and have since developed as independent adults. When they are brought back into the family business, it can lead to challenges as they navigate coexistence and business responsibilities.
- 29:02: Alex discusses the concept of passing on values and how purpose can be a unifying factor in families, especially in the context of family businesses.
- 32:02: Alex discusses the process of engaging with Total Family Management and outlines the steps clients typically go through to make the most of their time with the service.
- 34:04: Alex emphasizes the authenticity of their company and how everyone in their organization goes through the processes they advocate for, ensuring that they practice what they preach.
3 Key Points:
- Jason and Alex discuss the challenges faced by business owners, especially when it comes to succession planning and family dynamics within the business.
- Jason highlights several challenges and complexities that arise in family businesses when it comes to succession planning.
- Total Family Management offers a transparent and straightforward process for clients to engage with their coaching services, with a focus on providing ongoing support and flexibility to address family dynamics effectively.
- “Waiting until the final stage to address important family dynamic and communication issues may not be the most effective approach.” – Jason
- “Parents often possess the answers to the questions asked during the coaching sessions but may not have explored them before. The goal is to create a safe space for discussing important family matters. “- Alex
- “If parents care enough to participate in a conversation or coaching session about their children, it demonstrates a significant commitment, which is a crucial step in addressing family dynamics.” - Jason
- “People who seek out programs like Total Family Management are self-selecting; they are actively looking for ways to improve their family relationships. This self-selection process contributes to the success of such programs, as the participants are genuinely motivated to have healthier relationships. Jason acknowledges that the success rate of programs like Total Family Management may not be representative of the success rate if everyone were included.” – Jason
- “Many business owners express a desire to pass on their values to their children, but they may not have a clear understanding of their own values. By going through the exercise with the patriarch and matriarch of the family, they establish a common language that can be used to discuss personal and business matters.” - Alex