THE FORGE: Crossroads at the Family Firm and How to Honor a 50 Year Legacy

Big A and Wally
Jan 30, 2024

"I could write a book on anxiety... I'm fighting for reconciliation within the family and the business because there's brokenness." Mystery business owner David is holding on to the threads of a 50 year legacy. Should he go with his gut or listen to the other family members about what to do with the business?

How do you build a legacy for your kids and grandkids without the risk of them becoming entitled? Or do you make them work for everything they ever own?

These challenges and more are the foundation of a 50 year legacy that David is facing with his siblings and his wife and his wife's siblings... yes, lots of family members AND lots of opinions at a family firm.

Key Takeaways:

  • The dangers of building your future on a handshake
  • The best way forward when family problems leak into the business
  • How do you honor the family legacy without compromising on dreams and values?
  • How to set boundaries and at what cost

The narrative weaves through tales of divine calling, the importance of preserving personal relationships above business dealings, and the wisdom of legacy planning. It's a candid look at the sacrifices and decisions made at the crossroads of personal aspirations and familial obligations.

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Anthony Witt is a professional licensed counselor and a business owner with a deep understanding of how entrepreneurship impacts personal health and those around them. Having bought, sold, and started multiple businesses, he has gained valuable
experience at the intersection of personal health and business. His belief that "a healthy business owner creates a healthy business" underscores his approach to helping entrepreneurs thrive.

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Bret Barnhart, Jr. is the fourth generation in his family to start his own excavation company. He began Bret Barnhart Excavating (BBE) in 2002 with $1,500, a single backhoe and truck, and a trailer. Since then, BBE has grown to an entire fleet of heavy machinery and trucks, averages just under 20 employees, and grosses $4mil annually. Bret started out with the family business knowledge and expanded it. In the beginning, his work mainly consisted of general earthwork, utility installation, and excavating pools and storm shelters. As his company grew, Bret saw the need for being more specialized and began pursuing certifications for government contracts and local municipal work. Being specialized, along with having a personal mentor and joining a mastermind, has helped shape not only Bret's company but also himself as well. Bret and his wife Crystal have been married for 16 years and have two children, Cole and Adelyn.

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