What's your story?

1 Minute Tips

Date: 14/05/2019

 Your 1-Minute Leadership Tip


On May 1st I had the opportunity to share our family business story at the 1st Annual Family Business Excellence Dinner, hosted by Family Business Association Saskatoon.  This is the organization that was birthed out of the former Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE).

Sutton Financial Group was named the Canadian Family Business of the Year for CAFE in 2016, which was a huge honour for my parents as we celebrated their years of success in business.

It was a privilege to share our story at the dinner, and it was a great opportunity to reflect on the many blessings we have seen in our 29 years in business. 

Here are 3 things I learned from sharing my story:

  1. Much is risked to start and build a successful business

My parents risked a lot to get Sutton Financial Group up and running.  Money was risked, time was at risk, and a lot of energy was invested to get us to where we are today.

  1. Our family succession story is rare. 

If we filled a room with a thousand family business owners and we were able to fast forward one generation, there would only about be about 300 left that went to the next generation.  That means that 700 businesses would have disappeared before making that transition.

The main reason that we survived that very difficult process because fundamentally my dad was in the business of helping business owners transfer their business. That's our business.  We help people transfer wealth from one generation to the other, and to do it successfully while maintaining the most important thing - transferring not only the money, but the relationships as well. 

  1. It’s important to honour those who got you to where you are.

There have been many people who have believed in me over the years, and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.  First and foremost are my parents.  I am so grateful to them for giving me this opportunity to carry on their legacy.  I’m also very thankful that we had a tested process to go through as they were preparing for retirement.

And I’m thankful that I had a chance to honour them (and embarrass them a bit!) at the dinner.  To tell them publicly how much I appreciate them.

What’s your story?  Have you had a chance to share it?

You have something to share from your journey, and you have people to thank for helping you get to where you are today.


Stuart Sutton, B.Comm., CFP
Certified Financial Planner



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