DJ Rezac is the author of the book series and program, Dare to Dad, which launched on Father’s Day this year. He also happens to be a great client and friend.

So many of my clients are juggling complicated work and home lives, which is a lot like playing six-dimensional chess. When I first met DJ, he was going through some major upheaval with his business, having just lost his biggest client (who represented half of his revenue). Meanwhile, his wife had given birth to twins and decided she wanted to step away from her job as a CFO to become a full-time mom. It wasn’t long before she was pregnant again—with twins, again.

DJ tried to focus on the family, but his business was stagnating. He was exhausted all the time, as I’m sure to his wife was, too. “There was this notion that you can either have one or the other . . .  but you can’t have both.” He was not willing to accept that, so he and his wife began to question what it was they wanted and what they believed.

He managed to turn around his business, KB Building Services, based on their values. “Our mission was to serve others exceptionally well.  Not just our partners, but also our employees, our team members.” It worked so well in the business, it made sense to try a similar approach at home.

They had to decide what they believed was the purpose of their marriage and their family. The Rezacs began to have family meetings when the kids were aged 13, 13, 11, 11, and 4.

“We asked what they valued about being in our family.” Together, the family came up with three main values:

  1. Sharing
  2. Believing in ourselves and each other
  3. Achieving and trying new things

I am amazed at the different activities and strategies they came up with—DJ calls it gamifying. One game they created is called Family Trivia, a fun way to learn about family history.  And they teach their kids about finances using something called Summer Contracts.

When you’re a parent, it’s so easy to become an ATM for your kids. I decided instead of doing that, we’re going to have Summer Contracts . . . We teach them that they need to negotiate the worth of their project.  They get to learn about how money really works. (Instead of an allowance) they get a 10% signing bonus so they have money to spend . . . and when they’re all out of money. they’re out of money.

One night a week they have a family meeting.  “The first part is logistics, who’s going where, etc, but really it’s about connecting with each other.”

So why Dare to Dad?  “We put the structure in place because we knew they were growing up too fast and we wanted to be intentional about raising our kids.” Now they are sharing what they learned.  You can check it out at the website Dare to Dad.  DJ is also available to speak or facilitate your group—e-mail him at djrezac@kbbldservices,com.

photo credit: ChrisGoldNY Loons in Lac-Kénogami, Saguenay – Quebec, Canada via photopin (license)