We are business owners, independent souls that thrive on taking charge and doing it our way. Often this is for good reasons:
- We see an efficiency to capitalize on.
- We have an innovation to spread to others.
- We have a skill set others want.
And sometimes it is because we do not like:
- Taking orders from others
- Working on another's time schedule
- Being corporate and compromising in order to work in a larger, more established system
These are all powerful beliefs and motivators to being on our own, but some of these points can also create issues.
This can really hurt us and our families when we embark on a large amount of planning that impacts the people in our business and personal lives.
A few examples:
- Estate planning
- Buying, selling, or transferring part of our business/intellectual property to another
- Financial planning
- Real estate purchase or transfers
- Divorce or separation
- Retirement asset management
An example from eight years ago: I was referred to a business owner in construction several years ago who owned several real estate properties here in NYC. His son was graduating college, and to give him a boost in his credit score and as a graduation gift, he transferred part of the ownership to his son. Four years later the son got married, and four years after that filed for divorce. The soon to be ex-wife now owns half of the son's property (no pre-nup) and that property specifically housed one of the businesses. It was not a friendly divorce and caused major havoc on the business and stress to the other partner of the business. This business owner would have been best served by telling his CPA and lawyer when gifting, when his son was getting married, and when the marriage was slipping into dysfunction.
Because we business owners tend to be take charge kind of people, we do not often think through how our actions, though done at the time with great intentions, impact the people and assets in our life. All that we do is intertwined with our family, professionals, business partners, and assets. Keep this in mind in all of your actions as these mistakes cause wasted time, money, resources, attention, and stress for yourself and those who surround you.
*All investment advice given by Jeanne Brutman is just opinion. Please consult with your financial professional for a more thorough discussion of what is appropriate for you.
Jeanne Brutman is a financial planner and a business owner advocate. She is a member of the New York City Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors as well as the Million Dollar Round Table, which represents the top one percent of the financial services industry. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and through her website, askjeannebrutman.com.