What’s the Importance of Branding and Image?

What kind of branding services do you offer?

Most people have and project an image of themselves which they want the world to see and believe. Oftentimes I find that’s not the case when if you spend time doing research, reading professional blogs, or even going through social media. For example, when we were hiring people it was common practice to look on Instagram and Facebook to see what kind of pictures people posted when they were not under the scrutiny of employers. In one situation, we had an employee call in “sick” only to find out she spent the night at an Irish Pub celebrating St Patrick’s Day! Sick with the Irish Flu!

Our goal is to help clients take a realistic look at not just what they want the world to see, but the world actually sees. Sometimes bad things happen to good people – the old saying is true in that we all make mistakes. I am a perfect example of this. I spent most of my career serving my country in uniform, as a civilian government employee, and even in the private sector with the business I founded. When my company became the subject of a government investigation and I encountered legal troubles, I could have given up and walked away. Even since then, I’ve had to deal with the scrutiny that comes from going through what I went through. The most important thing has been helping show people who I am and the things I have done my entire life, prior to this incident and since this occurred. My actions are the true measure of the man I am, have become, and will be.

Our services help clients portray the image of them that is fair, unbiased, and accurate based upon who they are as people. In some cases, it simply means building a website (like I did), sharing your past (like I have), and even revealing personal things about you that you have hesitated to share in the past, but have become relevant now. Making these accomplishments public is an important aspect of building your brand and your image.

How do you help clients who have zero negative press build a brand reputation?

Building a brand from scratch is like a clean sheet of paper where the artist can create his or her work and ensure that it accurately reflects their abilities. Building your reputation is no different and it starts with a plan. Like any good plan, your reputation plan has a goal; I am HERE now and I want to get to THERE. Getting to that end point is where we specialize in helping clients understand what it takes to get to the endpoint, and what tools can be used to assist them along the way.

How do you help clients who do have negative press?

The challenge of addressing negative press can seem insurmountable. When I first Googled my own name, I found dozens of articles written by authors whom apparently did little if any research on what actually happened to me and my company. If they did, they would not have written the things they did unless they were solely focused on selling the sizzle.

For clients with negative press, it’s not the end of the world. Look at Martha Stewart and her brand.  She went through some incredibly difficult times and even spent time in a Federal Prison. She emerged stronger, tougher, and even financially more successful. In 2005 she launched her comeback campaign, and in 2015 her company was acquired. Again, overcoming this is a function of creating a plan with a clear end goal and means of getting where we want to go.

Do you do brand research for clients?

We do have some capabilities for research however they are limited. To the extent our clients need additional resources, we do have a select team of partners we rely upon for research, accounting, finance, and legal advice. In addition we have reputation partners we work with whom can assist our clients with specific campaigns.

Do family offices usually offer branding services or is this something you offer because you know how important image is?

No, most family offices do not offer branding services because their scope of services typically falls within managing the needs of one family, or a very small group of 2 or 3 other families who have pooled resources. Because my personal situation felt different to me, and because it was not a service I saw elsewhere in the market, I felt it was an important issue to address. Life happens and we all know that. We can choose to ignore it and sweep it under the rug, or we can face it head on and build a plan to overcome these challenges.

What is the most important step, in your opinion, when it comes to helping a client who has experienced bad press in the past to rebuild their reputation?

The most important step is talking and meeting with someone who has gone through the same challenges and sharing your concerns with a trusted confidante. This experience can help you not only learn how they dealt with overcoming their adversity, but prove that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of the challenges that deal with overcoming adversity begin at step one; talking about it and confronting the matter. An experienced advisor is not there to judge you – he or she has been there and they know how it feels to be in those shoes.

What Do I Tell My Family During this Global Crisis?

We’re in the middle of a COVID-19, a global pandemic virus unlike any other we’ve seen in modern times. Cities and States are going into lock down, grocery store shelves are empty, and social distancing has become the norm. Doomsday preppers are safe in their bunkers smirking at the rest of us saying “I told you so”, but I’ve got news. It’s not the End of the World!

As a young country we’ve been through a lot over the past 200+ years. Even the recent history of difficult times like September 11, the financial crisis of 2008, and the natural disasters of hurricanes and floods have impacted many of our lives and those of our families and friends. Much like our founding fathers endured the challenges of religious and economic persecution to fight disease and famine crossing the seas in search of a better way of life, we too must come together as Americans and families to preserve our way of life.

Here are a few simple strategies you can use to help guide you and your family through these tough times.

Ø TALK — Talking about your concerns and listening to each other’s feelings is one of the most important things you can do for your family to help get through any difficult times. The hectic pace of our normal lives often makes it difficult to have family dinner. STOP, and take advantage of this time together by sitting down at the dinner table, talking, and listening. You might just be surprised at how refreshing it is and what you’ve missed!

Ø PLAN — Make a plan for what you want to do when this is all over! It does not have to be big or extravagant — it could be as simple as walking the dog in the park, or maybe taking a trip to see family out of town whom was also isolated during this situation. It’s important for people to see and understand that these events will pass, and things will be back to normal. One of the best ways to do that is by focusing on the finish line and set a goal.

Ø ORGANIZE — Make a list of the things you have been meaning to do but just haven’t gotten around to. What better time than now to make it happen? Clean the attic or the garage, organize the photos from the last family trip, and review your plans for your family regarding how you handled this situation. Were you prepared? Could you have done a better job and how?

Ø RECONNECT — Now more than ever is the time to reach out to family and friends, let them know you care, and make sure they are getting through these difficult times. Too many of us became comfortable with social media as a form of managing our relationships with family and friends. PICK UP THE PHONE and call people important to you. If you can, video chat! I called my Aunt Lisa in Maine this past weekend, and didn’t notice until we hung up the phone that we had talked for over 2 hours!

Ø HAVE FUN — It’s not every month, or even year, that we are given the chance to take some time off work, reconnect with family and friends, and focus on the things that really matter in our lives. Just because we are limited in our movements does not mean we can’t have fun! Family meals — get everyone involved in planning and making dinner! Movie night — all the on-demand channels we have access to mean there’s something for everyone. Read a book, listen to music, play games, exercise…the list goes on and on!

Your ability to help lead your family through these tough times is important for everyone’s well-being. If you find yourself having trouble reach out to a friend or family matter and talk about with them. You are not alone, and if you don’t have anyone to speak with, feel free to contact us! I am happy to help and I want you to be the best you can be! www.danlounsbury.com

Health and Wellness at Age 50 – Understanding Blood Lab Test Results

When I began my journey to improve my health and wellness I thought I knew a lot about nutrition, my body, and how to remain healthy as I prepared to turn 50 and start the next phase of my life. As far back as I could remember I was always physically active, playing sports in high school and college and maintain an active lifestyle. What I came to learn was that while I had been active and led a healthy life, for the most part, I was doing a lot things WRONG!

That’s when I started to realize that I needed to gain a better understanding of my true body chemistry. I started by reading a lot of books and as technology advanced, my research moved online as I digested information from tons of websites, blogs and anyplace I could learn. Like some of you, I also fell victim to some of the fad diets and programs like Atkins, Keto, no-carb/low-carb, etc. I tried different cleanses and experimented with just about every supplement and holistic product I could find. Sounding familiar?

Something was still missing as my weight yo-yoed, my energy levels and mental acuity varied, and I felt like I was running but on a tread mill, and not making any real progress. I decided to visit a concierge medical doctor for a routine checkup and physical exam. At age 45, it was the first time I had ever experienced a Complete Blood Panel designed to evaluate my overall wellness from the inside out. Light bulb!

Where do you start?

Understanding my body chemistry through analyzing my bloodwork opened up a whole new world. I’ve always enjoyed the aspects of finite and tangible things like numbers. Numbers don’t lie. Looking at a piece of paper which different numbers and variables was also a little bit daunting. Fortunately, the doctors and PA’s that I’ve worked with over the past five years have been amazing as they helped guide and educate to better understand the meaning behind my results, as well as ways to improve and change readings which were not optimal.

Obviously I am not a doctor, so I am not trying to give any advice or tell you what to do, eat, not eat, etc. What I can do here is share pieces of my story, what worked for me and why, and give you ideas on how to gain better control of your own health and wellness. As I spend more time writing about this topic over the coming months, I will dive deeper into the practical aspects of specific lab test results, desirable levels, and how to change your results by lifestyle and diet choices you make.

From the 10,000 foot level I can tell you this; it’s taken me nearly five years to slowly change the results of my bloodwork. There is no pill, no remedy and no get will quick fix. Yes, there are certainly a lot of OTC and prescription medications you can take for everything from cholesterol to diabetes. My only advice is this – start with healthy life choices which including eating the right things, drinking water and exercising. If I can do it, so can you.  As of this writing, my weight has come from 275 to 224. My bloodwork looks like a different person. As it continues to change, I will share regular updates.

The Basics

I’ve experienced a lot of tests all designed to help me create a better life strategy for my wellness. Any basic blood lab test, in my opinion, should include the following;

  • Lipid Panel – Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol), Risk Ratio, HS-CRP (C Reactive Protein)
  • White Blood Cell Count, Red Blood Cell Count, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit
  • Glucose, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Calcium, CO2, BUN, Creatine
  • eGFR, Magnesium, Uric Acid, Protein, Albumin
  • HGBA1C, Insulin, eAG
  • Cortisol, IGF-1, FSH, LSH, Free Testosterone, Estradiol, Progesterone, DHEA
  • Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Folate, Ferritin
  • Estrone, PSA

If you have never seen all of these before and you have no idea what they mean don’t worry, neither did I when I first saw them! The first step in gaining control over your desired level of health and wellness begins here. Your blood chemistry can’t lie. You CAN change and impact these result by eating right and making healthy choices. As I continue to write more about this, I will share my own results as well as what worked for me, how I got to this point, where I want to go, and how I will get there! To learn more please see my blog at www.danlounsbury.com

Were You and Your Family Prepared for this Global Crisis?

Nobody could predict a crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak we are witnessing around the world. Whether or not you believe you are at risk, the simple fact remains; the impact is real.

According to the latest research, over $6 trillion dollars in wealth has been erased by the panic and fear created by the COVID-19 virus. Grocery store shelves are bare, medical supplies and hand sanitizer are hard to find, and even toilet paper is being auctioned on Ebay for three times its retail price.

Why do we provide Legacy Growth Services? The help families create a strategic plan to manage their entire lives. Crisis and Disaster planning is just one aspect of the multi-faceted work we do with our private clients.

What should your family Crisis plan include? The answer is different for every family because no two situations are exactly the same.  There are, however, basic building blocks which should be component of every plan. Let’s take a short look at some of them here.

Resources & Needs

What tangible resources are most important for your family to be able to be independent for a period of 15 days? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that most families be prepared for a period of at least 3 days, but if you’ve ever lived through a hurricane like I have as a South Florida resident, you know it can take 3-4 weeks or longer just to have power restored!

Your basic list should include enough food and water, medical supplies, prescription drugs, and household essentials to provide for you and your family during this time.  The rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person, per day. This means your family of four should have between 40 and 50 gallons of water just to carry you for 10 days! (and your pets!)

Another smart strategy is keep cash on hand. Depending upon the crisis, such as a natural disaster, it’s conceivable that ATM’s won’t work and banks won’t be open if power is lost. Cash is always an important aspect of any plan.

Communication & Logistics

We value communication as one of the most vital parts for any Crisis or Disaster plan. If your family has the ability, we also like to establish pre-planned meeting points in the event of a crisis. In some situations, it may not be possible to travel by some modes of transportation, or even travel in certain directions. Your plan to “head south” to the Florida house won’t work if the roads are shut down, flights are grounded, or a natural disaster made this the wrong place to be. As such, we create pre-planned meeting places and prioritize them based upon the factors and the situation.

We also suggest creating a family web based email account which everyone can access regardless of where they are, and how they access it. For example, SmithFamilyOffice@gmail.com allows everyone to access the account from their location via phone, laptop or elsewhere to share real time updates and maintain communication regarding the family’s location, movement, wellness and safety. Living in Florida has helped a lot of our clients understand how to prepare for natural disasters, but there are many other factors which come into play when creating a complete family strategy.

Once your plan is built and has been communicated and shared with the family, the next most important step in implementing a logistics strategy to implement your plan, should the time arise. If the family plan is to meet at the vacation home in Aspen, how are you going to get there? How can you communicate “Meet in Aspen”? Can the college student drive from New England to Aspen? Does he or she have gas money, food, water and an understanding of what to do? Are there sufficient resources in Aspen to meet the family needs?

These are just two of the many components which are part of any good Crisis plan. It also reemphasizes why having a strategic plan is such an important aspect of any smart Family Office. It’s why we provide Legacy Services! For most of us, the experience of witnessing what are going through should serve as a wakeup call. If you were not prepared, chances are you and your family will be fine once the dust clears and things are back to normal. For those of you who heed the warning, it’s time to step back and create the plans you need to ensure your family is taken care of.

To learn more about Legacy Services and how we help Private Clients create strategic plans visit my blog at www.danlounsbury.com

My Journey to Take Control of My Health and Wellness at Age 50

I was always the “big guy” and carried the body of someone who played sports in high school and college, and spent many years working out. The problem was over the years, the pounds kept creeping up on me. When I was younger and working out daily, I could eat and drink anything I wanted. Weight was never an issue and even into my early thirties I felt like if I needed to shed a few pounds, I could just do a “fad” diet for a few days and be fine! Then I turned 40!

I was not unlike most men in that around age 40, my metabolism started to slow down. I found myself lacking the same energy I used to have, consuming more caffeine, and looking forward to afternoon naps of the weekend. I didn’t really think anything was off until around age 45, and I saw a shirtless picture of myself on vacation at the beach. If “Dad-bod” was in, I was well on my way to becoming the spokesperson!

Over the coming months, I am going to spend some time writing about the journey I’ve been on since turning age 50. The journey is still underway now, so as I reflect on the historical perspectives of my changes I will also talk about what I am doing now and how it’s impacting my body, mind and wellness.  I am no Superman, but if I can take control of my health and wellness at age 50, there is hope for you!

By age 50, I was tipping the scales at around 275 lbs. My blood panels were not great – my total cholesterol was 243 (anything over 200 is considered high), my energy levels were low, I was not sleeping well, and I was eating too much of the wrong foods! My stress was off the charts as I had gone through a difficult divorce and was also dealing with a ton of legal issues, facing losing my company of over 20 years.

Some people talk about having that “Ah-ha” moment or epiphany when they wake up and realize that if they don’t make a change, they’re doomed. For me it was a series of events that occurred which felt like going 5 rounds with Mike Tyson! I spent the entire weekend reflecting about the events which had been occurring in my life and came the realization by asking myself this one question; How could I be the person that my friends and family needed me to be IF I WAS NOT WELL and taking care of myself? Perhaps you need to ask yourself that same question?

Please follow my journey here, on my blog at www.danlounsbury.com to learn more about this adventure.

Dan Lounsbury Family Office celebrates establishment of Legacy Growth Services

One year ago today, Dan Lounsbury established a Family Office in South Florida with the goal of building a legacy for his family. Today, that effort is evolving as he adjusts his strategy based on his own past business challenges.

Lounsbury picked up knowledge and experience in investing and stock markets working with Merrill Lynch after moving to the D.C. Metro area shortly after leaving the Navy. But that’s not what his Family Office is about.

“Let the experts do what they do best,” Said Lounsbury. Creating a strategy for growth of a family’s legacy is a dynamic process. It’s so much more than just asset management. And while asset management is the one aspect most firms concentrate on because it generates fees, Lounsbury doesn’t. Instead, he focuses on what he calls Legacy Growth Services (LGS).

But without capital to attract the attention of big-name management firms and trust offices, Lounsbury has spent a lot of time learning from successful people around him – lawyers, accountants, business owners, and other mentors who had developed their own custom strategies. It’s these lessons, learned over a career of diverse business challenges that led him to helping others build their own legacies.

“Going through my experiences, which culminated with my legal troubles, forced me to analyze a lot of complex issues and matters in my life and create a plan to sustain all the important aspects of my life – that is what Legacy Planning is to me. Its a little bit disaster prevention and protection, and a little bit preparing for the unexpected. A life prepper.”

Lounsbury has been through a perfect storm of challenges, both personal and business-related. He went through a difficult divorce in 2015, lost his mom in 2018, and has fought lawsuits and federal court cases – and lost. But it’s exactly those experiences that he feels drive his current successes.

“Celebrating one year of a successful Family Office means the world to me,” said Lounsbury. To learn more about Lounsbury’s services, visit DanLounsbury.com

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/4617842#ixzz6GOOv5KP3

Creating a Strategic Plan

What is Legacy Growth Services? It starts with building a strategic plan. The key to building this plan is being able to dedicate a significant amount of time to sit down, write everything out, and then step away.

That’s why having a coach or a mentor can help you realize all the various aspects of your plan and how many moving parts are involved. Once you step away and come back to the plan, it becomes easier to see the things you missed the first time, make adjustments, and start to create a living, working blueprint.

Let’s take a quick walk through a short example of a situation without an excessive number of variables and moving parts. This example is about my buddy Patrick.

Patrick is an avid outdoors man and has spent most of his life focused on everything outdoors. After working in the outdoor industry for years, Pat saw an opportunity to create his own brand of flies for fly fishing. He was already making his own flies; stonefly, mayflay, trout flys and more! All his buddies were buying his creations, and word spread throughout New England that if you wanted to land big fish, you need to use his flies!

Fast forward 15 years and Patrick’s little company became a big fishing equipment business and was purchased by a much larger retailer for a tidy sum. Over the years, Patrick acquired a fishing camp in Idaho, along with his property in Maine and a small place in Vermont near the corporate office.

Patrick created a unique legacy for him, his family, and generations to come but his complex situation had a lot of unique challenges. Hence the reason we decided to create a strategy tailored to his family and their needs. Asset management is only one part of his plan, but there were so many other important variables that we needed to address and many people overlook them.

Actually sitting down to discuss, explore and write all these variables down was seemingly daunting. It looked a little like this;

Asset Management – Assets including multiple accounts, investment accounts, bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, precious metals, retirement accounts, trust accounts, and reviewing the effectiveness of current asset allocation strategy/fee structure

Physical Assets – Homes, jewelry, boats, personal effects, art, toys, aircraft, wine, movement and location of assets, value and adequate insurance coverage for all assets, and even other investments ( restaurants, land, etc.)

Operations – Budgets, spending, credit cards, small staff, home/s maintenance, payroll, family operations (travel, vacation, college, etc.), insurance, umbrella polices, life insurance, annuity, safety/security

Planning – Contingency planning (disaster recovery) and continuity, safety and security, data security, goals and plans to achieve the goals, charitable giving plan

Health and Welfare – Family physical health and well being, diet and exercise, nutrition, alcohol or tobacco use, mental health and well being, stress, quality of life, plan for extending life to a comfortable age

Business – Ongoing operations and involvement, liquidity plan, key man insurance, exit strategy and many more

As you can see, this was just the starting point for sitting down and addressing the most obvious variables and moving parts. Putting a plan together for Patrick was a dynamic process which evolved over a period of months, and we know monitor it on a quarterly basis, making adjustments when needed.

We literally filled the white boards in the conference room, adding different pieces in various colors of dry erase marker. It was a brainstorming session which helped us visualize all the important aspects of Patrick’s life.

If you think it’s time to sit down to discuss your situation and evaluate your strategy, reach out to me!

-DTL, West Palm Beach, March 2020