george grombacher 0:00
I’m Bob Leffler discharge G and the time is right welcome today’s guests during a powerful Kristen Kessler, Kristen, are you ready to do this?
Unknown Speaker 0:21
I am ready.
george grombacher 0:23
All right, let’s go. Kristin is a thought leader and consultant at the forefront of a global shift and family wealth advisory known as wealth. 3.0. She’s the author of the myth of the Silver Spoon, navigating family wealth and creating an impactful life. She’s the founder of illumination. 360. Kristen, tell us a little about your personal life more about your work and why you do what you do.
Unknown Speaker 0:45
Yeah, so I’m, I live just outside Boulder, Colorado, I have three daughters two that are in their 20s and one that is almost 10. And I have an awesome dog and an awesome husband and I love to ride my bike. And yeah, the work that I do I get to work with families. I generally work with ultra high net worth families and families that own businesses, so privately held businesses, and I got to do a lot of the human capital work with them, really focusing on who the people are, rather than what the money is.
george grombacher 1:22
Got it. I appreciate that. Now, you lead with the daughters, and then the dog came next and then the husband is that usually how it goes or is that
Unknown Speaker 1:32
good question. You know, he’s like that he’s the anchor, he holds it all together. So there’s always he’s always gets mentioned that the ends not because he is the end but because he is like the glue.
george grombacher 1:44
There you go. Perfect. Perfect. All right. So tell me that phrase. Again. It’s focusing on the human capital.
Unknown Speaker 1:52
Yeah, it’s focusing on on human capital. So I’m really focusing on the the people within a family system rather than the money that so it’s really about like who are the people rather than what is the money what you know, it’s not it’s not about that ultimately, it is about that because that that interweaves as part of the family story but most advisors who come into this system family systems work with ultra high net worth families and enterprising families they have a technical expertise and so they’re really focusing on tax or law or some some part of the their work that has to do really with the money rather than the family and my work is with the family
george grombacher 2:36
which is theoretically speaking the most important stuff it’s it’s it’s the people are are who the money is supposed to serve designed to serve it’s it’s the obedience of the family or or whoever the family desires to to serve that with I’m on the right track.
Unknown Speaker 2:54
Yeah, for sure. It’s I think that in its best case scenario, it’s money is a tool to support to support any of us right, whether whether you have a little or a lot we all have a relationship with it and the healthier our relationship can be with it, the more we can use it as a tool to support our growth and development and and our ability to ultimately have impact and I would say the the people I work with have lots of money and it’s really important that that they also have a really healthy relationship with it because they have access to social networks and they have access to capital that many people don’t so when when they’re lit up and and on fire about who they are and the change they want to make they can have a pretty significant ripple impact there’s a lot of power in the position that they’re in many of the the rising Gemini work within those families recognize that but don’t know how to use that power. So yeah, it’s it’s pretty important.
george grombacher 3:59
So money is is not good or bad in the hands of the right people. It’s wonderful, the hands the wrong people. It’s terrible. You could give me the greatest guitar in the world if I didn’t know how to play it, it wouldn’t matter. So if I lack the ability the skills to handle money effectively if I if I know and that’s certainly up to me I can choose to not interact with it at all I imagine that that’s there’s probably folks that you’re working with that say you know what, this is all great and and fine and well but I’m not just just not that interested in it. And all answers are okay.
Unknown Speaker 4:35
I would say um, wherever you’re at on your journey is okay, because that’s, that’s where we start but the the where I think the greatest money is just a magnifier right? So it will take whatever you have going on individually or whatever dynamic is present in your family and it will just magnify it. So if there is healthy conversation, and a lot of love and A lot of support and a lot of yeah, a lot of investment in the human capital A family money will magnify that. And if there is deceit or lack of communication or tense dynamics or power struggles, money will magnify that. And so you said something really interesting I think about like some people in in families like this may choose to say, I’m not interested in that. And, and I would say I see people on, I see family members on sort of both ends of the continuum where they either are way over identifying with it, and like family, wealth becomes who they are, that’s not very healthy, or they under identify with it, and they want to get as far away from the significant name or the wealth or the influence that their family has. And honestly, that’s not very healthy, either. The healthiest places really the integration of your family story and who they are with who you are, and then finding your own voice and being really choice ball about how much do I want to interact with this? How much do I want to use this as a tool to create change? How much like, then you can be choice full, but I would say any choice that’s coming from a place of the subconscious, more than the conscious is probably not a very healthy one.
george grombacher 6:23
I think that that’s really interesting. All of it was really interesting. I think we all we all go through some kind of relationship with, with money that starts with, you know, identifying how I want to interact with it, and then figuring out how my family unit does, and then choosing how I eventually want to have it play a role in my life. But talk to me more about the conscious versus the subconscious.
Unknown Speaker 6:48
Yeah, so I think that, you know, the, the truth is, like, if we just put the lens of money on this, like, if we’re, if that’s the the primary focus, for this part of the conversation, it really is, like we, we absorb so many messages about money from very early ages, right? You look at how your parents interact with it. And you’ll see like, was it a point of contention? Was there power there? Did one person sort of own more of that domain than the other person? How much did we talk about it? Or how much did nobody talked about it, and like, we absorb messages about money, you know, men shouldn’t be providers, women should, whatever the message is, there’s money messages that we get from a really young age. And that is all woven into our subconscious way of being in the world. And because money so often is a proxy for for human needs, right? Like it’s a standard, and it can be a standard for love, it can be a standard for power, it can be a standard for, for affection. So it becomes this, this proxy that, then when we’re adults, if we still have all these subconscious beliefs about what money is, and what it isn’t what it’s allowed to be in our lives, then those get played out in ways that that show up in our behavior. Right, so So you can imagine someone who observed a lot of who maybe had an apparent that was somewhat absent really focused on their career, but they’re that parent showed their affection through gifts and rather than time, right, here’s something I could do for you, rather than here’s how I’m going to be with you. And, and if that’s the message inside, and you grow up, and you haven’t become conscious about that, you will probably perpetuate that behavior in your adult relationships with either with your spouse or with your kids. And, and that is coming from an unconscious place, you may consciously say, gift giving is my love language, and the choice well, and about that, but that’s a different thing than having, having gift giving. And in that at, by extension, money, be a standard for the love you’re trying to express.
george grombacher 9:06
Got it makes a ton of sense. So being been able to have an adult conversation about this with myself and me as a grown up, recognizing and exploring these subconscious beliefs is one thing. And then as a family as a parent, than helping my kids do that, especially when there’s affluence and wealth. And then you as an advisor also coming in and interacting. How does that all work? Yeah, right. There.
Unknown Speaker 9:47
Well, I would say, first thing is that none of us can do for our kids that which we can’t do for ourselves, right? So you can’t ask your kids to have to have Have a healthy relationship with money and with what you know, with whatever the significance of a family name or anything else, unless you have that yourself and can role model it and speak to it, even speak to your, to your struggles in your journey towards finding that. And so that’s step one is like we always have to, we always have to be willing to look at our own money scripts, or our own stories around that. And then be thoughtful about how we’re talking to our kids recognize when we get stuck in an old in a trap, that that we didn’t expect, you know, whatever it might be, like letting letting money be a standard for time, and then naming it saying, like, that’s not how I actually want to do that with you, I really want us to have time together. And then invite your kids into that, into that work into that they’re, you know, they, they can be on the journey with you. And then finally, as you as you mentioned, there’s this other dynamic when you have someone like me coming in, where there’s this, there’s already a family dynamic at that is set, like all families are their human systems, right. So there’s already a dynamic that is at play. And one of the great things actually about having someone that skilled come in from the outside is it’s a disrupter that takes those dynamics that everybody knows their role and their part, and this is what I say, and then you react like that. And like we all know how how, you know, in in families that have a long history together, we all know how it’s gonna go. Having somebody from the outside can be a healthy disrupter and invite everybody to look more to pause and look at like, how is it that we want to do this? Do we want to perpetuate what you know, in in families with multigenerational businesses, and in that, and very often multi generational wealth? Do we want to perpetuate like, just because grandma and grandpa did it this way. And then, and then our parents said, well, grandma and grandpa, grandma and grandpa were successful. So we’re going to do it that same way, we’re not going to tell you about what’s going on, we’re going to keep this you know, all this stuff under wraps until you’re 40. Like having being really thoughtful about how you’re doing things. In a family where there’s a lot of dynamics and a lot of joint assets. And a lot of joint decision making can be tough. And so having someone from the outside who can come in and and and start a new dialogue can be really helpful.
george grombacher 12:35
Yeah, I can definitely see that. Man, there’s a reason why consultants exists at every level, you know,
Unknown Speaker 12:42
there’s room for us in the world, even if people don’t always love us,
george grombacher 12:46
for sure. I think that you did a wonderful job describing it. And I think looking at as or thinking about as a healthy disrupter is is a really good is a really good way to think about it. As even with the best of intentions were pulled in so many different ways. And there’s just not enough time resources. So bringing somebody in to say, Hey, this is something that I’m working on as as mom or dad, and it’s something I’ve struggled with in the past. And Kristen is going to help all of us work together on it.
Unknown Speaker 13:21
Like new conversations, right? Like, that’s one of the great things about, I think that’s one of the greatest gifts I feel like I can give and that it’s such an honor to be in these conversations with families, because it’s, it can be hard to have a new conversation with an old dynamic. So having someone new and fresh come in and say, hey, you know, how about if we talk about this and giving psychological sit creating psychological safety for everyone to be able to do that is it is a healthy disrupter. And it does change the conversation. And in that I think there’s opportunity for for, you know, the upward spiral of, of health and well being and in any family.
george grombacher 14:06
Yeah, odds are people are thinking about it.
Unknown Speaker 14:09
Right? It’s true. It’s true. And that is actually one of the things that you know, it’s not uncommon for when I get hired for the rising generation, the next upcoming generation who might be in their 20s and 30s, to be the one to reach out to me and say, you know, what, some stuff about how we do things isn’t clear to me, and it doesn’t work. Can we? Could we find a safe way for all of us to have this conversation? So it’s, it’s not even that it’s always top down, which is really refreshing to have this bottom up, like, hey, we want to change the trajectory of our family. We want to have different conversations.
george grombacher 14:49
Yeah, I think that that’s, that’s nothing but a positive thing. So hopefully, everybody gets on the same page. But if they’re not going to do that, then maybe maybe Maybe the best consultants, even Kristen Cutler, who doesn’t have the ability to, to fix a problem like that,
Unknown Speaker 15:07
right? No, it’s true. And like with any human system, you can only go as far as, as the most resistant person is willing to go. And then then the invitation and this is an invitation for all of us, like, you know, everybody listening, like the invitation is like we can we have the opportunity to go back to who we are as individuals and make and decide like, well, how, like, what, what about how I was raised, in this case, as it relates to money works, and doesn’t work for me? How do I want to do this, with the family I’ve created with my spouse, with my kids, with my friends? Like, how do I want to do this different and so even if you can’t, even if you get stuck in trying to repair something from your family of origin, there’s always room to take radical responsibility for yourself, and change that, that dynamic going forward into your kids and their kids.
george grombacher 16:04
Love it. So when somebody picks up a copy of the myth of the Silver Spoon, what are you hoping that they’ll get out of it?
Unknown Speaker 16:11
It’s a great question. So there’s, there’s basically three things that that really mattered to me that get across and while this book, The myth of the Silver Spoon was written specifically for, for higher net worth, families, and individuals from those families, the message, so those were the examples in the book. But the message really, the first big message is really about our cultural relationship with money and with wealth and how very tangled it is, how very often talking about money still remains taboo in our culture. And our projections about people on both ends of the economic spectrum are big, or like we have significant projections. And most of them are not based in good data, it’s based in a lot of inner clutter that we have around around money and what it is and what it isn’t. And so the first most important thing is I want everybody to think be a little more thoughtful about how our relationship with money impacts the way that we that we behave, that we interact with each other, that we project onto others, what it would be like to be rich, or what it means about them if they’re poor, like they’re like, part of our challenge with the wealth gap that we have is that we don’t, we haven’t done really good work around money and wealth. So it remains this thing that is very much in our collective subconscious. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is i i It matters to me that I really feel like people who hold wealth. In in I’ll speak just in our about in our culture in our country, there’s the people I work with, are are wonderful, heartful, caring people. And they end often when when they are raised in a situation where they have, where wealth has been a buffer for them from many natural consequences and responsibilities. They haven’t built the skills that they need to build in order to make that wealth really usable. And so the second point of the book is that there is clutter, kids who are and young adults who are raised with wealth, from the outside, it looks like they should not have problems. And it’s true, their problems are different. They’re not worried about food and safety. But but they it doesn’t mean that there’s not a lot of psychological clutter that can pile up. And the second point of the book is to one shine a light on it, and and illustrate that there’s a process to start to clean up that clutter. And it’s really a process. Most of us could could do as a particularly as it relates to money. And then the third point of the book is that when we are when we are ignited and excited about something, and we feel like we have the skills and the ability to do something about it, we are uniquely positioned to create change. And those who have, as I said earlier, those who have access to financial capital and social networks, and when they’re lit up, and they know that what their skills are like that, to me is a is a powerful conduit for significant change. And at a time when I think most of us kind of are yearning for a different norm, right. We’re yearning for some really big problems to be solved. But governments and nonprofits and NGOs they don’t necessarily have like they can’t move as fast as private capital can move. And so even with the most the best plans and the most well intentioned people working in those organizations, private capital can be deployed faster and So that that’s the last message of the book is there’s a call to action like to whom much is given, much is expected? And what if? What if we had a whole generation of people who had received, had received inheritances had received money from from their predecessors who really went to work on creating change with what they’ve been given? What if, what if?
george grombacher 20:28
I love it? I think the answer is that things would be better. So
Unknown Speaker 20:32
you and me both right, wouldn’t be.
george grombacher 20:36
It all makes sense. I love it. Well, Kristin, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And how can they engage? And where can they get a copy of the myth of the Silver Spoon, navigating family wealth and creating an impactful life?
Unknown Speaker 20:49
Awesome, Jordan, thank you for for teeing that up. So my websites probably a great place to learn more about the book in my work and that’s illumination 360 So I L L u m i n a t i o n 360 dot com. You can also buy the book on the site or you can certainly buy it from your favorite bookseller. And I’m also on LinkedIn. So you can look up Kristin Kepler KEFF, e l e r. I’m not awesome with other social media I just like I get like, I can’t seem to tend to it enough to make it worthwhile. But LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to find me and my websites a wonderful place to to get more information which I’d be delighted to be in conversation with anybody who is interested.
george grombacher 21:39
Excellent. If you enjoyed as much as I did, show Kristen your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to illumination, three sixty.com Find Kristin on Facebook and LinkedIn. And finally pick up a copy of the myth of the Silver Spoon wherever you buy your books or from the site. Thanks again, Kristin.
Unknown Speaker 21:58
Awesome. Thanks, George.
george grombacher 22:01
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best
Transcribed by https://otter.ai