Jonathan Goldhill - 4th Generation Inheritor, Coach & Author of Disruptive Successor [The Business of Family]


30 November 2020

50 mins 52 secs

Season 1

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Special Guest

About this Episode

Jonathan Goldhill is an Experienced Coach to Entrepreneurs and Family-Owned Businesses. He states that the dwindling chances of multigenerational success are due in large part to the issues unique to family businesses that are often wrapped up in a tightly woven knot of unspoken plans.

In his new book DISRUPTIVE SUCCESSOR, Jonathan offers a proven framework and playbook for unwinding this knot, scaling up your business or planning your exit.

Standout Quotes:

  • "Perhaps all multi-generational businesses should have a family constitution, while we're naming secretaries and treasurers... why not name a historian?" – [Jonathan Goldhill]
  • "There's no evil to money... it's the absence of instilling good values as to what the significance of that money means" – [Jonathan Goldhill]
  • "There's a requirement of the older generation that if they're going to leave money to a younger generation that they provide some guardrails around it" – [Jonathan Goldhill]
  • 96% of all business in the US are under a million dollars in revenue, and 64% of the GDP in the US is coming from family businesses. – [Jonathan Goldhill]
  • "It takes time for one generation to let go and release and enjoy what they've built, and trust the next generation to grow it bigger and do it safely" – [Jonathan Goldhill]
  • "I'm not in the business of family coaching, I'm in the families doing business coaching" – [Jonathan Goldhill]
  • The hardest part I think of running businesses is managing the people and getting the right people in your company. – [Jonathan Goldhill]
  • "There's a time for family, a time for business, and then there's time for the family business or the business of family where they overlap in between" – [Mike Boyd]
  • "Life is hard work and if you're not working on yourself then nobody else is going to" – [Jonathan Goldhill]

Key Takeaways:

  • One of the downsides of being wealthy is that wealthy people can be very busy at the expense of spending time with children
  • Jonathan emphasizes the importance of a family business archive as he explains he does not know exactly how his grandfather's family business was shut down.
  • The blessing and curse of setting up a trust fund: there's lots of misinterpretation of younger generations when they inherit that wealth
  • There's a requirement of the older generation that if they're going to leave money to a younger generation that they provide some guardrails around it.
  • Jonathan explains that there is a generational gap with unspoken conversations between generations, and the families he knows had the best transitions communicated as peers.
  • Business coaching is not about hitting a mass number of people, it's about the business of the family.
  • If you're not having important conversations, then you're not building a healthy business.
  • Hard work isn't always in the form of just long hours and physical toil, it comes from commitment and dedication to improve oneself and be better.

Episode Timeline:

  • [00:48] Introducing Jonathan Goldhill who shares some history of his grandfather's family business.
  • [08:09] How exactly did the business end?
  • [11:57] Jonathan describes one of his attempts at starting a new business and the challenges that effectively impeded the success of the business
  • [16:08] The impact of wealth on Jonathan growing up
  • [21:40] How did you take this formative experience from your own family to help other business families through their situations?
  • [32:50] Who typically engages you; is it more of the successor generation or the boomers who have built the family business and are looking to hand over?
  • [34:55] About Jonathan's book: "The Disruptive Successor"
  • [41:10] The role of the different cultures in the family business
  • [44:50] Defining "Family"
  • [48:00] A letter from Jonathan to his kids

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