• No products in the cart.
  • No products in the cart.
Back To Top
Image Alt

Family Business

Family Business

Episode 344 | May 16, 2024

Family Business

All Episodes

Alan Weiss PhD

Meet Your Host, Alan Weiss

Alan Weiss is one of those rare people who can say he is a consultant, speaker, and author and mean it.

His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, State Street Corporation, Times Mirror Group, The Federal Reserve, The New York Times Corporation, Toyota, and over 500 other leading organizations. He has served on several boards of directors in various capacities.

His prolific publishing includes over 500 articles and 60 books, including his best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting (from McGraw-Hill) now in its 30th year and sixth edition. His newest is Your Legacy is Now: Life is not about a search for meaning but the creation of meaning (Routledge, 2021). His books have been on the curricula at Villanova, Temple University, and the Wharton School of Business, and have been translated into 15 languages.

Get to know Alan

Show Notes

The old apothegm is that the first generation starts it, the second expands it, and the third ruins it. Probably not so true any more.

It’s not about a mandatory spendthrift or wasteful generation. It’s more about hunger.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up poor, and when I was fired as president of a consulting firm, we had relatively little money in the bank and two small kids with private schools and a wedding ahead of them. We also had elderly parents who needed our support.

So I did whatever was necessary to make money. I would charge $25 for resume reviews for people looking for work. I charged $750 to speak, though I often did it for free to get in front of potential clients.

That hunger subsided when I had “made it,” but it has never really left. I don’t work hard, but I work very smart. I pursued success and create tougher goals and higher standards for myself.

I think the metaphorical third generation I mentioned may just be bored. They don’t want to expand the business further, the don’t want to start another, and they have no hunger. Their education and living standard have been taken care of.

You can’t make your kids poor. The second generation might have experienced a period of your hunger, but not the grandchildren. They assume you were always well off. They think that’s what life provides.

My son would respond, when I was making a case about “the old days,” that “I know, Dad, you were barefoot, wrote on a shovel with charcoal, and walked to school three miles in the snow.”

“Yeah,” I said, “and it was uphill in both directions.”

Get More from Alan

Sign up for one or all of Alan’s Newsletters; Monday Morning Memo, Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset, and Balancing Act.

Sign Up
Follow Alan on Linkedin

Connect with me on LinkedIn. There I share business insights and innovative ways to enhance your consulting practice.

Alan Weiss’s The Uncomfortable Truth® is a weekly broadcast from “The Rock Star of Consulting,” Alan Weiss, who holds forth with his best (and often most contrarian) ideas about society, culture, business, and personal growth. His 60+ books in 12 languages, and his travels to, and work in, 50 countries contribute to a fascinating and often belief-challenging 20 minutes that might just change your next 20 years.

Introduction to the show recorded by Connie Dieken