What Happens to Your Business If You Don’t Wake Up Tomorrow—Steve Goodman, CEO, SHG Planning

What happens if you don’t wake up tomorrow? Do you have a plan for your business and what happens to your staff, your assets, and other business interests? Our guest today, Steve Goodman, gives us incite and practical advice on how to be prepared for that worst-case scenario.

About Our Guest

**Get a FREE copy of Steve’s Book, “Business Succession Planing” = https://stevengoodman.biz/
**Learn more about Steve’s company = https://www.shgplanning.com/
**Learn more about franchising your business and Big Sky Franchise Team: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/

For more than 30 years, Steven Goodman, President and CEO of SHG Planning, has provided insightful solutions to the challenges of business succession, wealth preservation, retirement, and charitable planning. He currently services hundreds of clients focusing on the needs of owners of closely-held businesses and high net worth individuals. Steven Goodman is the author of Business Succession Planning: A Guide to Transfers, Sales, Family Harmony, and Minimizing Litigation, and has also written numerous articles for leading trade journals. He has paired with some of the most respected names in banking and finance to sponsor some 150 seminars about business succession and wealth preservation. His accomplishments have brought the attention of such publications as the New York Times. Steven Goodman is a CPA who was vice president of the Trust and Investment Division of JP Morgan Chase and a supervisor for KPMG Peat Marwick. He holds an MBA from Fordham University. In addition to his work with SHG Planning, Steve has been a Big Brother for the last 15 years and is passionate about supporting charities that fund the education of underprivileged children.


This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759. 


Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):

You’ve worked hard to build your business and now it’s time to grow. Welcome to the Multiply Your Success Podcast. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team and a serial entrepreneur. The purpose of our podcast is to give you a weekly dose of inspiration and education to help you multiply your success. And the opening question for today is, what happens if you don’t wake up tomorrow? I know it’s a little morbid, but what happens to your business, to your staff, maybe your businesses? Probably your businesses. For your team, your family, what’s your plan? Do you have a plan? Do you have a partial plan?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:49):

And our guest today, Steve Goodman, is going to help answer that question and help you get a plan if you don’t have one, or maybe reevaluate your plan. Steve’s an expert on succession and continuity planning. You’re going to love this interview. It is packed full of great info, so let’s jump in.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (01:13):

Well, thank you, Tom, for having me. My name is Steve Goodman. Name of my company is SHG Planning. I have a consulting firm in the New York Metropolitan Area that specializes in doing sophisticated work in business continuity planning, mostly for family businesses, but also for non-family businesses, as well as integrating that into people’s estate planning and risk management planning.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:40):

Wow. So, some of those were some big phrases and words, continuity planning and such. Those are things that I’m not very familiar with. So, would you mind talking a little bit about what that actually means? I’m curious.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (01:54):

Well, look, every business has a continuity plan. Sometimes it’s actually planned and sometimes it’s not planned. As an example, if you own a business and, God-forbid, tomorrow you don’t wake up, what’s the plan for your business? Does the business continue? Is there a child involved in the business? Is there other partners involved in the business? Is there a key employee? Has anything been put into place that specifies exactly what’s going to happen? Or is it just going to be a disaster when it happens? Because there really hasn’t been any thought given to it.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (02:33):

That’s really what succession planning, it really relates to when you either die, get sick, or retire, or want to sell, what’s the success … Where’s the business going to go? Does it go to children? Does it go to partners? Doe is it go to key employees or is it going to be sold to an outsider? That’s a lot of what I get involved in, that type of planning for people. Then estate planning is more when somebody dies, or usually at the second death of a husband and wife, and they’re passing assets down to their children, who gets what? When do they get it? What are the tax ramifications? What are the ways to mitigate litigation occurring when those things happen?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (03:16):

Then risk management gets more involved in insurance components like life insurance and disability insurance and long-term care insurance, and how do you hedge and protect against certain of these things happening, either by self-insurance or by acquiring certain types of insurance to mitigate those risks?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:34):

Wow. Wow. Well, again, there’s a wealth of information there. It is interesting, I’ve been around and working with successful business owners and entrepreneurs, really my whole career. Some are very well planned out in things like this, and many, unfortunately, are not. There is not a plan in place there. You talked through a lot of different scenarios, but where, if someone’s just getting into this, let’s just assume chances are most people, at this stage, have some sort of basic life insurance and just some standard things in place there, but where would you go for this continuity planning? What are some steps someone could take in going through to set that up?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (04:27):

Okay. Well, first off, the majority of people have not adequately planned. Some of them think they’ve adequately planned, but they really haven’t, and some of them know they haven’t planned. Then there are some people who think they’ve planned and they’ve actually done a good job of planning, but that’s a small minority. Usually, there are two or three main reasons why people don’t adequately plan. The first reason is entrepreneurs busy, they’re generally type A people, they’re putting out fires every day, and anything that distracts them from dealing with the issues that are in front of them today, to worry about something that may never happen or may happen way in the future, it gets low on the totem pole and thus very hard to pull them in that direction.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (05:23):

Second key reason why people don’t plan is some just view it like it’s too early to plan, like I just thought it out in a business, I have no idea what my plan would be. I don’t really have a plan, and even if you sat with me, Steve, what’s my plan? I don’t have any kids in the business. I don’t have partners. I don’t have an employee who could take over. Those are the cases where generally people need to buy adequate insurance, because if they were to die, their business is probably going to just close down. There’s probably not a lot of value, and thus, it may just close down. If that’s the case, the only way to protect the family is to have insurance protect them.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (06:07):

If there’s no plan, but the business has real value, then maybe your wife or your husband or somebody could sell it and reap some value, but clearly, you’re going to get a lot less value dead than you are alive. The third reason why people don’t plan is because some of the decisions, Tom, you have to make, are very, very difficult, emotional decisions. Let me give you an example. I have two children. They’re not involved in my business, but they could have been. When you have children, you learn as a parent that 150 million times while you’re raising your kids, they play you against each other, and you end up look, Tom, I realize that got your sister this, but I love you guys the same.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (06:57):

I’m always going to treat you equal. I got her something. When you reach her age, you’re going to get a yellow lollipop also, and then you’re going to get a cell phone, and then you’re going to get a TV, and then you’re going to get your own room, and then you’re going to get a car. And I love you both the same and you’re my two kids. Everything you get, she gets, and she gets, you get. You may not get it at the same time, but you’re going to get it. So, you’ve convinced your kids like dad, mom, they love us the same.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (07:21):

Then, all of a sudden, one day dad wakes up. He’s 65 years old, and he says, “Holy crap, I got this business that’s now worth a lot of money and I only have one of my kids in the business, and I don’t have a lot of other things besides the business. That’s my main asset. So, now what am I going to do? Am I going to give the business a third, a third, a third to my three kids when two of them don’t have anything to do with the business? That doesn’t seem fair. Am I going to give it a third, a third, a third and give all the voting rights to my kid in the business? Maybe, but they could just take advantage of the other two kids if they control everything.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (08:00):

Am I going to give it just to my kid in the business? And then, how am I going to take care of my other two kids? It’s such a difficult emotional thing for parents to make those kinds of decisions because there’s no perfect answer. There isn’t any. It’s like, my job isn’t to tell you what to do, it’s to tell you the different things you could do and the pluses and minuses of each of them, but ultimately, you have to make that decision, but it’s an emotionally draining decision for somebody, and a lot of times, especially more with men than women, they run away from that decision.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (08:35):

They say, if I tell my kids, if I make a plan and I tell all three of my kids, there’s no doubt one of my kids is never going to talk to me again. And if they’re willing to talk to me, their spouse isn’t going to talk to me, and then I’m not going to see my grandkids anymore because they’re going to be so off at me that they’re not … And now I want to see my grandkids. I want to have a good relationship with my son and my grandkids. I’d rather not say anything, because if I say anything, I’m just going to open up Pandora’s box and somebody is going to be really upset.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (09:04):

It’s the combination of being too in the moment and not being able to pull away from the moment and plan for the future. They’re so early on in the process that there’s almost like really is no plan, or they’re far enough along in the process and they understand the complexity, more emotionally than even financially, to come up with a plan. That’s the reason. I hope that gives you a good answer.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (09:32):

Well, it does. As you’re describing that, I see that. I mean, I see that for my own business, I see it in my client’s business and all those different phases you’re talking about, a younger business with maybe a younger owner, that mid, middle aged. And then that person who’s in their 60s or so, and are now thinking, oh man, what am I going to do with this? My kids aren’t in, or one kid is like you described. I guess, as I’m thinking about that, okay, well, you’ve made a clear and compelling picture that I get, why it’s hard to kind of focus in on this, but how do we overcome some of those obstacles? What do you do or advise in helping people go through that?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (10:17):

Well, look, I’d like to say that I am the Messiah and that I’m able to solve it all the time. I think I could solve most of them if allowed to by the client, but it is a big challenge, because you can’t do this unless you get … Number one, you need momentum. This is a six to 12 month process that requires, let’s say minimum having once a month kind of a meeting. If people cancel the meetings, like you almost keep going back and starting all over again because you lose momentum. The first thing is you need to be able to get a momentum with a client to go through this process. The second thing is you need a client who likes to have a team. He likes to have his advisors work together. If advisors work together, what I mean by that is CPA, lawyer, whether it’s an estate lawyer or a tax lawyer.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (11:15):

Their financial advisor, the insurance professional, maybe they have a firm that does pension work for them, a consultant that does succession planning. Some of those overlap, but you need a team. If you don’t have a team, if you, either don’t have a team or you have a team, but they don’t work together because either you don’t let them work together or they can’t work together, very difficult to get it done. Because if you don’t let them work together, then what happens is I meet with you, Tom, and I give you my thoughts, and then you go to your lawyer or you go to your account, and their ego comes into play. They’re like, who’s this Steve Goodman consultant guy who’s recommending stuff to the client? I want to get rid of this guy.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (11:59):

He’s not part of our team, so let’s try to throw him out the door. And their ego comes into play and then they try to say, well, you shouldn’t do that, you should do this. Then the guy comes back to me. “Well, I spoke to my accountant and he told me I should do this.” And I’m like, “I don’t agree with what you accountant is saying, but this isn’t an effective way to do this because now I’m going to respond to what your accountant said. You’re then going to go talk the accountant and he’s going to respond to what I said.” We have to get on a phone call or in a meeting together and talk about this together.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (12:27):

If the end of that call or end of that meeting, it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But we got to work as a team. If you have any advisor on the team that’s ego gets in the way and they want to be in control, that generally causes a problem, because that advisor, although they may be very bright, doesn’t know everything about everything, and if they don’t let the team work together, things are going to slip through the cracks. One of my biggest selling points is like I’m the guy in the United Nations when the person speak in Portuguese and next one speaking Mandarin, and the next one speaking English, and the next guy speaking Hebrew, and they have their headsets on because they can’t interpret it.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (13:12):

I’m the one who’s interpreting everything. There’s nothing the insurance guy says I don’t know. There’s nothing to financial advisor says I don’t know. There’s nothing the estate attorney says I don’t know. There’s nothing to CPA says I don’t know. I’m like the person in the room that understands everything that everybody’s talking about, so nothing’s going to slip through the cracks, while everybody else in the room is smart and they know their area, and they know a certain amount about the other areas, but they don’t have my multi-disciplinary background to really understand what everybody’s talking about in the room.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (13:44):

That’s really important. That’s why you need a team. So, it’s getting momentum with somebody, which is hard, very hard, okay? Keeping that momentum, and then having a team that’s willing to work together for the benefit of the client. Those are probably two of the most important things that has to happen to have success.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:06):

Well, that’s a great point. I wholeheartedly agree with you on that team aspect. I’ve been in that experience myself as a consultant advisor coming in. With some clients, it’s a very open and receptive environment between the business owner or the leader and their CPA and attorney and other advisors, and it’s very collaborative. It’s a wonderful environment where everybody is looking for the best interest of the client in that situation. Then there are others too, just like you described, it makes it very challenging to really support the client when some of the advisors are almost competing. It doesn’t help. It does not serve the client well. I think that’s well … Just great advice, really, really great advice. Really, really great advise.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (14:59):

Tom, just to add one point that’s important.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:01):

Yeah, please.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (15:02):

Sometimes it’s the client that causes that. The reason is some clients like to bifurcate their advisors because they … If you’re the client and all of a sudden the room is me and the estate attorney and the CPA and the financial advisor, we’re all in a room with you, and we’ve brainstormed, and we come in and say, Tom, we believe these are the two best routes to go. It’s very hard for you to not follow what we’re telling you to do, because you’ve got all your advisors that are all telling you to do something. Let’s say a client likes to be in charge like, I want to meet Steve by himself or I want to meet the lawyer by myself, I don’t want them teaming up against me and making me feel like putting me up against the wall that I got to follow something. I want to be in charge.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (15:45):

They’re hurting themselves because their ego is what’s causing the issue rather than the advisor’s ego. Sometimes it’s the advisor or an advisor’s ego that causes the issue. Sometimes it’s the client’s ego that causes the issue.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:01):

Great point. Yeah. Yeah. You’re right. Yeah. They want to hear what they want them to hear kind of a thing. Well, this one said that and that one said this and so on. Yeah. That’s true. Well, I guess, in terms of this idea of succession planning, going through this process, I guess I’m trying to think of just a starting point. What if they don’t have a Steve Goodman nearby or someone that they can work with? I mean, to me, it seems like something, to your point, it’s so far off into the future, it’s a hard thing to get that momentum that you were talking about. I guess, if we go back to the momentum, how do you help build that momentum? What do you do in that case?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (16:54):

Well, you know what? When I have success, some of it is who the client is, because I could be the smartest guy in the world with the best ideas, and some people, I’m just never going to move. It’s not happening. So, it requires, some of it as the client, but I think I’m very good at hitting people’s nerves. Not nerves, meaning to get them nervous, but I hit them on things like, have you ever thought about, how do you want to deal with this? Because I think [inaudible 00:17:26] end of the day, I’m a parent.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (17:28):

I think, at the end of the day, if you ask most parents, if they had that moment, that one moment before they left this earth, what would be the thing that they would most judge how good of a job they did as a parent is, what is their relationship like with their children and grandchildren, and what is their children’s relationships like with one another? That’s like, oh, it’s wonderful. I have, my two kids went to MIT, my other kid went to Harvard, and they all work on Wall Street, and they’re all worth tens of millions of dollars. They’ve all been divorced six times. They don’t talk to their kids. They don’t talk to each other.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (18:07):

So, great, I’m going to feel proud as a parent that I had these three really smart kids, but they’re totally dysfunctional in their life. At the end of the day, that’s really the measurement tool. When you leave this earth, it’s like, I’m just hoping my kids get along, they get together for Christmas or Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving, and they’re at each other’s weddings, and affairs, and christenings, and bar mitzvahs. They have relationships with their nieces and nephews. That’s what’s really important. I hit upon nerves to try to show people how, if that’s really what’s important to you, if you don’t do some of these things, there’s a high likelihood you’re not going to end up looking down and seeing what you really want to see.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (18:56):

Now, some people live in fantasy world. I remember I asked one guy, I made a comment about like, your two kids aren’t exactly equal. And the guy said to me, “No, they’re exactly equal.” I’m like, they’re exactly equal? I mean, even if they’re twins, they’re not exactly equal. They don’t have the exact drive, the exact intelligence, but what are you going to say to a guy? If somebody tells you, my two kids were exactly equal, they’ve almost drawn something in the sand that says like, how could you help that person?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (19:28):

If somebody thinks that way, you can’t help them. Some of it is, people have like, oh, my kids would never not get along with each other. My kids would always be at each other’s families. My kids a great. They get so well, behave with each other, they love each other. It’s like, yeah, but you’ve never spent a day where you’re not there with them. Things come out when it comes to money and how you divvy up things, and when you are not there anymore, there are sisters that loved and adored each other, and because one sister got certain shine or got a piece of jewelry that the other sister didn’t get, never speak to each other for the rest of their lives after being good sisters, caring of one another, over some stupid nonsensical thing like that.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (20:20):

But it’s happened because it’s almost like, hmm, this was mom’s way of showing who she loved more. By her giving this thing to my sister and giving me this, knowing we both would have wanted this, she has, in essence, said, I love your system more than you. That destroys somebody, like you can’t even talk to your mother about it, she’s dead, and that just destroy you emotionally. And who are you going to take it out on? You’re going to take it out on your sister because mom loved your sister more than you because of how she figured out who she gave things to.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (20:54):

I mean, it sounds crazy, but trust me, this happens all of the time. That’s what leads to so much litigation between brothers and sisters, forget second marriages and prenups. That just adds fuel to the fire. You know what I’m saying? I’m talking about even in a normal kind of plain vanilla family. That’s what I try to do. I try to hit that nerve. If I hit the nerve, I probably can keep momentum with somebody because I’ve hit that nerve. But if I’m unable to latch them and really make them start thinking about those things and say, holy smokes, I don’t want that to happen, I probably haven’t hooked him, and I’m probably not going to be able to keep the momentum with them to do the planning.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:47):

Yeah. When I had a family member, extended family member pass away, I saw the behavior of their kids. Even though there was a will and some things were pretty well sorted out, I could not believe what I was seeing happen between brothers and sisters. We were at the family reunion six months prior and everything was great. Mom or dad passed away, and holy cow, it was wild. It was wild. To your point, I mean, siblings that are still not speaking to one another or 10 years after, it’s incredible.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (22:27):

It’s terrible. As a parent, if you’re up there and you’re looking down, I mean, who knows what happens when we’re up there, but if you’re up there looking down, boy, you’re going to have a lot of restless nights up there if you see that, that’s what you left, because you’re not going to be happy as a parent, that your kids are looking to sue each other and they don’t talk to each other and they’re not involved in each other’s lives, because then, it’s almost like you were a failure to a degree. You failed at being a parent. And you’re part to blame because you left this mess that you could have resolved.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:56):

Yeah. Well, and that kind of leads to one question I was thinking about in terms of estate planning. You work with a lot of high net worth individuals and talking through different techniques and strategies that are utilized. Is there anything in particular, even from a high level, or maybe a few golden nuggets that you could share with our folks in terms of what you see some of your successful clients do?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (23:23):

Well, look, clearly, for ultra high net worth individual, I mean, today, the law is going to change, we just don’t know how it’s going to change for sure, but today, the federal exemption for estate taxes between a husband and wife is like $23 million. You’re eliminating, like 99.9% of the people do not have a federal estate tax. They may have a state inheritance tax, depends on what state you’re in. There’s just a very, very, very small number of people who need really high and sophisticated planning. We don’t have enough time in this, but between sales to defective trust and [inaudible 00:24:02] and family [inaudible 00:24:03] partnerships, there’s a lot of sophisticated techniques that people can utilize to minimize what the government’s going to get, and then a lot of people use insurance as a method of providing liquidity to pay taxes when they’re not there.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (24:15):

But there is a lot of people, the lion share of people, that don’t have a tax issue, but still can have disasters that go on. I’ll give you like a good example. This is always the example I give to people. If I’m sitting with a young couple that has not done a will, I could almost guarantee you that the reason they have not done a will is because the two of them can’t agree on who should be the guardian of their kids if something happens to the two of them. That’s the single item that stops young people from doing a will. I don’t want your brother to be the guardian. I don’t want your sister to be the guardian. I don’t want your parents to be … They’re too old. I don’t want your parents, your uncle, oh, your friend, I don’t trust them.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (24:56):

You know what I’m saying? And they’re fighting over it. Now, in reality, the only time that matters is if the two of you die at the same time. You’re in a plane crash or in a car crush. Because let’s say, Tom, I’m your wife and we don’t agree, whoever dies second is going to change everything. So, you could say whatever you want of who you don’t want to go out in to be, but if you drop dead first, I’m just going to go to the lawyer afterwards and I’m going to change it to who I want. You know what I’m saying? You can’t stop it. You’re dead.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (25:23):

Basically, the guardian holds up so much stuff, but then there’s another component to the guardian that I always explain to people. First of, if somebody is going to be your guardian, obviously you need to tell them. You don’t want to die and someone finds out, oh, by the way, you’re the guardian of these two kids. You don’t spring that on somebody who their guardian is. You got to make sure, are they willing to be guardian? Okay, great. Now let’s say, Tom, you’re willing to be the guardian of my kids, and you have your own children.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (25:54):

Whether you’re a friend, whether you’re a sibling, whatever it is. But now I take a look at your house and I say, hmm, Tom’s got a nice house. But if I die and my three kids now have to live with Tom, his house can accommodate my kids. I can’t ask Tom … First of all, I don’t want my kids squeezed in some like hallway living. I can’t ask Tom to go out and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars buying a bigger house or expanding his house to fit my kids in so that everybody’s living comfortably.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (26:28):

You know what? I have to provide for that. I have to say, Tom, I’m going to put a quarter of a million dollars. I’m going to give it in trust to you. The purpose of that quarter of a million is for you to either your house or to buy a bigger house. You don’t have to ever pay me back. You taking care of my kids is and valuable thing you’re providing. I couldn’t possibly give you enough money to pay you for what you’re doing for the two of us. So, that’s your money now. If you never use the money, well, then it would go to my kids. You know what I’m saying? But it’s yours to use because I want my kids to be comfortable. Okay, great. Let’s say we got over that.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (27:10):

Now the next thing is, I’m a lot richer than you, Tom. My kids are being left a lot of money and you are my friend or you’re my brother or sister, or whatever it is, and you don’t have the same kind of money. I’m going to instruct my … Now I got to have a trustee to watch over my money. Now, I could pick you to be the trustee, but I don’t have any checks and balances. Who knows, you may say, you know, I’m paying for Steve’s kids to go to camp. You know what? He wouldn’t have minded. I’m going to pay for my kids to go to camp out of Steve’s money that he left to the kids.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (27:45):

Nobody’s watching over you. You would rationalize like, he would think that’s fair. Maybe he would have, but if he didn’t tell you could do it, then you’re just making up that you think you could do it. One of the questions comes down to like, do I pick a different person as a trustee that I pick as the guardian? Well, the benefit of that is I have checks and balances. The negative is I’m insulting the guardian. I’m almost saying to the guardian, I’m trusting you to watch my kids, but I’m not trusting you to watch the money.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (28:19):

Okay, so what’s probably the best choice? The best choice is to probably pick co-trustees. Let the guardian be a trustee with somebody else so that you don’t insult them that they’re not a trustee, but you say, look, I think it’s important. I picked somebody who’s more sophisticated than you financially. I wanted them to be involved. You’re really doing it because you want to have checks and balances, but you don’t want to say that, so you make it that you’re putting somebody with more expertise. I pick my CPA, or my attorney, or my financial advisor, or somebody to be that person. I’m just giving you examples.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (28:56):

You don’t need to have a lot, a lot, a lot of money, but these are issues that come into play. I saw it firsthand. My father-in-law died, he wasn’t a wealthy, wealthy guy, but he had some money, and he picked my daughter’s cousin was picked as the trustee. And he was like an older brother to my wife. We loved him. He was a great guy, but he was having some business issues. He figured I’ll take some money, I’ll pay it back. My wife’s dad would have let him do it, and he probably would have lent him money if he needed it. But he never asked anybody, he did it on his own. We caught that he did it.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (29:35):

He didn’t have the money to pay it back right away. This was somebody I would have just left a blank check to. It’s like, you think you know people, you think you know how people are going to handle stuff. Money does bad things to good people. If they’re put in a position where nobody’s looking over their shoulders, they rationalize and justify things that they think makes sense, but maybe don’t.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (30:01):

Yeah. Thank you for sharing all of those examples. I’m listening to you speak, I’m seeing all of these scenarios play out that I’ve either seen actual scenarios or had those conversations with others and seen it go through, and it can be really, really messy, which gets to the whole point of why you need to have this planning in place and make these decisions ahead of time. Well, what I’d like to do at this point, Steve, is I’d love to get into the formula for the show here. And I’d love to ask you and go over our four questions that we ask every guest before we break. The first question is we ask about a miss or two that maybe happened in your career or life that you could share and something you learned from it.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (30:53):

Yeah. I would say, I mean, I’ve tried a whole lot more than one miss. I’m trying to think of one. I mean, a miss that I would say, probably two big misses in my life, I made decisions from an educational standpoint. I was capable of going to really, really exclusive schools, and because I had a lot of issues, family, with health, with my parents, and was raised with basically no money. My friends were important to me, I didn’t really want to leave my friends, so I gave up opportunities to go in a direction educationally that most people from where I grew up didn’t have that opportunity, and I forgo doing it because I was attached too much to my friends.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (31:53):

I would say, in my life, that’s probably the biggest miss that I ever did, but the counter side to it is I met my wife by having not gone and taken those paths and had my children. Obviously a lot of good things came out of it, but that was … If I had to say one miss in my life, that probably was the biggest miss.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:12):

Wow. Yeah. I appreciate that. It always seems that there’s some positive outcome for most folks when they’re on the show and sharing something. You found your wife. Hey, what, what could be better than finding your life partner? I mean, goodness. Well, and how about a make or two that you’d like to share?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (32:30):

I think that deciding to leave the corporate world and go into my own business, I think financially, I don’t know, because you don’t know what would have happened if I would’ve stayed in the corporate world, but I think financially, I’m in a better place than I would have been if I didn’t. Also, it gave me freedom like, I coached my kids. My son was a travel ice hockey player, went to boarding school, played very high level hockey. I can go to every game. I didn’t have to answer to anybody. I could be my own person. It’s an invaluable thing to have that.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (33:14):

I mean, there’s people in this world that make millions of dollars a year, but they still can’t always do what they want to do. They have superiors, they have board members, they have … I would say my biggest make was probably deciding to leave the corporate world and go into my own business and giving me the freedom to do that.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (33:34):

Wow. Yeah. I love that. I love that. My wife comes from a hockey family, so I know traveling and ice hockey rink, they’re only so many, right?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (33:43):

Yeah. Trust me. I’ve been to many of many a hockey rink freezing my you know what. [crosstalk 00:33:50].

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (33:51):

Yeah. Well, and how about a multiplier or two? You’ve had quite a decorated career here. Has there been a multiplier you’ve used as you’ve grown professionally personally in your business that’s helped you expand?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (34:05):

Yeah. I mean, look, I think the combination of having a really, really solid multi-disciplinary background and foundation has been invaluable to me. I think the other thing is realizing that the best way to get access to a larger number of these clients is to build relationships with their advisors. I’ve built many relationships with CPAs and tax lawyers and financial advisors and property and casualty insurance firms. By doing that, it’s expanded the network of people that I can meet with and has allowed me to grow my business more, excuse me, more rapidly.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (34:50):

Yeah. No, I appreciate that. Just building those referral networks and relationships, and really building that relationship, I like that. The last question that we ask every guest, Steve, is what does success mean to you?

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (35:13):

It’s a good question. To me, to be successful financially, means to know that, if you decided you didn’t want to work anymore, you could live a nice long life and do the things you want to do in your retirement and provide something for your family. I think that’s a financial success thing. I think, on the emotional side, it’s just feeling good about yourself. Feeling that you help people. To me, I’m a major reader. I want to be smarter every day. It doesn’t have to be business. It could be about healthcare. It could be about technology, whatever.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (36:05):

I like to learn and learn and learn. I’m always reading and reading and reading. That’s part of why I think I have the diversified knowledge that I have, and that makes me feel good about myself. I feel I could be in a room, almost, I mean, obviously there’s rocket scientists. I couldn’t be in a room with Elon Musk and understand how he gets the rocket to go up in the air. That’s a little out of my pay grade, but for the most part, I could be in the room and be able to carry on a conversation with almost anybody at a high level, because I’ve spent so much time in my life reading and learning.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (36:41):

That’s part of my success that makes me feel good about myself, that I feel I have a great wealth of knowledge that I can help people. It’s not just for my ego. It’s also [inaudible 00:36:50] people by taking what I know and providing advice to others.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (36:57):

Yeah. Well, I, too, enjoy reading. As I’ve shared before, one of the reasons that I wanted to do the podcast was I get to meet with so many just successful people in so many different walks of life and backgrounds, that I get to learn from what you’ve done and your experience as well, so I’m glad you’re here. Well, Steve, as we kind of close this out, I want to make sure that if there’s anything that you were not able to say or share that you’d like to make sure you get across before we go.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (37:29):

Yeah. Well, I appreciate that, Tom. Well, first off, if you go to stevengoodman.biz, you could download a free copy of my book on business succession planning, which I think your listeners, who this is important to, would learn a lot from it. My website is SHG Planning. I’ve written probably 70 articles. My email address is sgoodman@shgplanning.com. And if anybody wants to call me, best number right now is a cell number based on dealing with COVID, 516-2977-390. Tom, I really appreciate you bringing me on as a guest, and I hope that your audience got value out of listening to this.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (38:13):

Well, thank you. Yeah. We’ll make sure we include all of your … The free download, the links to your website, phone number, email. We’ll make sure we have that all in the show notes. If you’re listening in and didn’t have a chance to write that down, it is in the show notes, so you can just click right on the link and it’ll take you right to Steve’s website. Well, Steve, thank you again so much for being here. I really appreciate it.

Steve Goodman, SHG Planning (38:35):

Tom, thank you again. I appreciate you having me.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (38:37):

Steve, thanks again so much for being here. What an absolutely fantastic interview. Let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. Number one is that money can do bad things to good people. As you’re doing your own planning and going through that, it’s just incredible, money can do bad things to good people. I thought that was a great takeaway. Number two, when you’re working with your advisors, make sure they’re working well together. I’ve experienced this as a consultant and advisor when I have worked with clients over the years, where some advisors view you, another advisor, as the enemy.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (39:25):

Any, in my opinion, I should say, good advisor should welcome other experts and advisors that are looking out for the best interest of the client. So, collaboration helps support you, as the client, and then number two, or the second part, I guess that’s part A, and this is part B of the takeaway, is that make sure that you listen to your advisors. That’s the whole point why you have them. When your advisors are, what should be giving you a good advice, take heed.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (40:01):

Number three is when Steve talked about multipliers for his business in his growth. One of the big multiplier for him was relationships and building relationships with other clients, advisors, other people along the way. Now it’s time for today’s win-win. Today’s win-win is all about having your succession plan and continuity plan in place. You probably could have guessed that from tuning in here, but truly having that continuity plan, succession plan in place, so that there is peace of mind if something happens to you. Heaven forbid something unforeseen were to happen to you or the other owners of the business, it’s critical, critical that those around you know that there is a plan, and it’s clear, it’s identified, so that if something happens, your business, your assets, those things are taken care of.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (41:02):

And the people that are impacted from it will have a plan and will be taken care of as well. That’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you like it and subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. Remember, if you or anyone might be ready to franchise your business, please connect with us at bigskyfranchiseteam.com. Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to having you back next week.

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