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December 17th, 2014 by Ron Nakamoto

The Danger of a "Stress-Free" Estate Plan

I found the article below to be a good overview of the benefits of executing a well-conceived set of estate planning documents. The danger, however, as Lee Brower sees it, is that after executing these documents, people then tend to think that "Stress-Free" means that they're "done". That's why Lee often says that he would do away with the term "estate planning" and replace it with not only the term but also the bigger concept of "Family Leadership".

"Culture" was just named "Word of the Year" by Merriam-Webster, so it's a word that's in danger of becoming a cliche. It would be a shame if people began viewing "culture" and especially "family culture" as passe because nurturing and sustaining a family's culture is a primary responsibility of a family leader. This is why family culture is a major focus of the work that we do with family leaders.

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11 Fundamental Elements of a Stress-Free Estate Plan |
Forbes article by Mark Eghrari It’s easy to assume estate plans are intended to deal with future concerns: planning for retirement, providing an in

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This is a thought-provoking review by Maria Popova of the book "Let Your Life Speak" by Parker J. Palmer. I couldn't help but think of a recent set of distinctions that I'm working with; that is, authentic values vs. avowed values and lived values vs. not-lived values. It's probably unsurprising that lived avowed values and not-lived authentic values are sources of unhappiness, psychological suffering, and neuroses. Popova is excellent at ferreting out Palmer's insights on how to move away from living avowed values, not living authentic values, and move towards living authentic values (i.e., finding one's purpose).

Values keeping showing up as a common theme in our work. Watch for some exciting new Empowered Wealth concepts and tools pertaining to values and virtues in 2015.

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How to Let Your Life Speak, Discern Your Purpose, and Define Your Own Success
What it takes to learn to listen to the timid wild animal that is the soul. “Someone has a great fire in his soul and nobody ever comes t

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December 12th, 2014 by Ron Nakamoto

Blue Ocean Meets Red Tide

Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant
(W.Chan Kim, Renee Mauborgne)The 2005 international best seller, Blue Ocean Strategy focuses on expanding competitor-free markets and creating untapped market space leading to opportunities for highly profitable growth, as opposed to operating in "red oceans," which are well explored markets and crowded with competition. Cirque du Soleil along with other notable companies such as Southwest Airlines, Curves and Starbucks, was featured in the book as a "blue ocean" company.

When I read about Cirque du Soleil's transformation from street performers to creating world-class, pioneering entertainment experiences to now focusing on "growth", I think of Seth Godin's perspective on creating art and having the courage to continue to create art that matters.

Watch for our next Empowered Wealth book review of Seth Godin's "The Icarus Deception" in early 2015.

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Cirque du Soleil’s Next Act: Rebalancing the Business – WSJ
As Growth Prospects Slow, Company Seeks to Beef Up Non-Circus Business; ‘The Rarity Was Gone’

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Unfortunately, for those who might be initially encouraged by Peter Voogd's remark, in my experience determining "real values" isn't that easy. I believe that most people are strongly influenced by parents, popular culture, and broad societal forces which result in living "other people's" values. Over the course of what can be many years of experience, "real values" do seem to emerge. But, even with clarity as Voogd suggests, these values are not always lived.

I'm not arguing against Voogd's advice – get clarity on values, build confidence, upgrade your circle of friends – but my experience has been that it's not that easy to accomplish these seemingly simple objectives. That's why Empowered Wealth will be offering new tools for identifying and examining values in 2015.

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What It Takes to Go From Dead Broke to 6 Figures in 6 Months
Every change we need to make to prosper is within ourselves.