Should Every Father Start his Own Business?

So we’ve got a question that I was asked recently, should every father start his own business? For every single dad, is it really a good idea for us to have and own a family business?

A lot of people listen to me, to Jeff, to see our lifestyles and others. I know particularly for a lot of us in Cincinnati, a lot of dads have made this decision, and so this question comes up all the time. Do dads need to start their own business? Is that really what we’re advocating for to be a family team, okay.

So I want to answer it in two ways, okay. First of all, the answer, just really briefly, is no, not every father should start their own business. However, I do think it’s a good idea to have a part of your long-term strategy, the acquisition of family-owned assets. That’s the distinction. I’m not advocating every father should start their own business. I am advocating that if you’ve got 50 years ahead of you, you’re in your twenties or thirties, I am advocating that as a part of your long-term family provision strategy, you try to acquire some assets, okay. That’s the difference.

Now, how do you acquire assets? There’s a couple of different ways you can do that. One is you can start your own business, right? That’s a really clear way a lot of people really build assets. I was having a great conversation with a friend of mine who is in his thirties, who’s got a great corporate job, and he was asking me, “What do you think, should I quit? I mean, I really like my job, it’s perfectly balanced with my family, I’m making good money.” I was like, “No, that’s a great …” He was also making decisions to, how do I invest this into assets, and I think the fastest way I can acquire assets for my family is to stay in my corporate job. I was like, “Stay in your corporate job, that’s a great reason.”

Now, the reason why I think it’s important, there’s many reasons to start assets, you guys, but there’s one that’s unique to family teams I want to talk about, which is that I think it’s important that you understand, as a family team, you probably are going to need to have more flexible time on your hand in your fifties than you need to have in your thirties. So, I have seen this in so many families play out as they’ve gotten older-

Yeah, and it’s usually the opposite in the west, right?

… and that means that as your kids get older, and your kids turn into teenagers, adults, they start to invest in their … Families tend to start to blow apart in your late forties and early fifties, and for most corporate jobs, the trajectory is that your highest income producing value comes in your fifties. So they also want more of your time than ever, and they want you to be less flexible than ever.

So, like with my friend, he actually was saying, “Look, I want to make sure that in my late forties, early fifties, I get out of this corporate job, but in order to do that, I’ve got to save a lot of money to get assets, so that I can make money through my assets in my fifties, to be able to work with my kids, to work as a family team.” That doesn’t mean you completely quit all jobs. Maybe he’ll continue to have, and he’s decided, and he was telling me stories about how some dads decide to stay at a lower level in the corporate world so that they can do that in their … and really work with their kids, and really spend more time together, to really build that family together.

But assets have a massive impact on whether or not families stay together generationally. I mean, an outsized impact. If you read the stories, they make a really big difference, and it takes time to acquire assets, you guys. It takes capital to acquire assets. So it’s important that you don’t just haphazardly move into that. But, man, you’ve got enough time. If you’re in your twenties or thirties, you’ve got 50 years, you can acquire some assets. You can get some real estate, you can get some capital intensive assets over time if you really are thoughtful about how you’re building your family’s future.

There’s a great podcast, by the way, a lot of us have recommended, Abraham’s Wallet. A bunch of friends of mine who have started that, they’re really trying to coach dads how to figure this out because this is much more complicated than we can answer in this one question. But, short answer is no, not every person, not every father needs to start his own business, but I do think as a part of that long term financial picture, you should have as part of that, the desire to acquire some assets for the family team. And, Jeff, how have you thought about this one?

Yeah, I mean, I agree, and it’s exactly what you said. Not only does the corporate ladder usually demand more and more as you get into your forties and fifties, but then also the American model of family then also becomes … You kind of feel like, Oh, I can let my kids … my kids are more and more sustainable, so I can release from them, when the family team model is kind of inverted, right, where it’s actually like, no, no, once they actually become adults and are going in later in life, then we’re actually building a strong team. We have kind of played people all over the world, kind of like the Rothschild bank family, when, at that point when he had four adult sons, they were the global empire of the bank.

So to be able to do that and strategize, and then to be in your forties and fifties and be able to travel more to your kids, then I think, yeah, you have to be building it towards there. And I agree, I think sometimes we short circuit that by thinking, “Oh, I can’t do that. I can’t just start a business right now. I can’t quit my job.” Like you said, don’t. Actually let the normal 9:00 to 5:00 job bankroll your goal of your fifties, right. Let it actually be the thing that stabilizes you, that gives you that income and lets you do those things.

Even, for example, the real estate BRR method, which is, instead of … basically it’s B-R-R, which is buy, rent … or I think it’s, buy, renovate, and rent, which basically means it doesn’t matter if a house goes up or down in value because your strategy for that is you’re going to buy it, renovate it, and then rent it for 30 years, and as long as you have cashflow, that’s all that matters.

But if you start doing that method when you’re 25, you will be actually out the door, house fully paid off, done, where it’s literally just a solid asset by 55. That’s insane, right, where then it’s just generating full cash and you have the actual equity of the home that you can move around and give and take from. So stuff like that, it’s just, it’s a strategy, right? It’s a strategy that you’re kind of going there, you have to have this trajectory, and I think it’s really, really important.

And by the way, Jeff and I are not financial advisors.


That’s why we have our friends at Abraham’s Wallet, and those guys are. So, you guys, if you want specific advice on your case, please get an advisor and be talking to people who have really, really good … who see your picture. But all the principles that Jeff just described and that I’ve been describing are super solid. But, yeah, get into the details with somebody who can really help you establish that plan, and then stick with it, and really get those assets over time.

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