Family Business Confidential / BCR – Family Business NxtGen advising Family Business NxtGens

by Allen Esrock | Oct 23, 2023 | Celebrating Family Business

Small boy in plaid shirt standing in front of an enormous blackboard with a message about family busienss
Shutterstock Dean Drobot

Kyler Gilbert
Business Consulting Resources
G2
Honolulu, Hawaii / Los Angeles, California

Can you supply a short history of the business?

The company was started by my parents back in the 80s after they were both involved in real estate development. They wanted to do something that didn’t involve a lot of regulation and didn’t have a lot of competition and they had some previous experience in the consulting world and started working with companies in Hawaii on consulting. What they found working with a lot of companies is that a lot of them tended to be husbands and wives or families in business and the niche of business consulting resources was formed into helping families in business. Since about 2016 to 2017 BCR has been in California working with clients and all parts of California and even the rest of the United states and has been focusing on family businesses mergers and acquisitions and family office work.

How old were you when you started working for the family business? What was your first job in the family business?

I would say technically I started working for the business when I was probably in elementary school for free. I was typically shredding papers or mailing envelopes or gluing things or filing documents for my parents when I was a kid I was not getting paid but we’d always go to their office my sister and I to help out and basically be a part of the business.

Who or what inspired you to go into the business? Were you expected to go into the business?

I think what inspired me to go into the business was the opportunity. I saw the great potential that the business provided and it really aligned with what I was interested in and I saw how many opportunities my parents were involved with and how many businesses they worked with and people they worked with so I thought it would be great for me to join the business as well. I I think I wasn’t necessarily expected to join the business but my dad for sure definitely wanted me to join the business and saw that as a real option for my career.

How big a factor was the family business in your day-to-day interaction with your family members? Were there holidays, weddings or other occasions that were impacted because of the family business?  

I’d say because both of my parents are involved in the business it has a very strong impact on day-to-day interactions. There were definitely times where we couldn’t do things we wanted to because either of my parents had a call or had a meeting. Whenever we got in the car getting picked up from school my mom usually would be on the phone or my dad would usually be on the phone so we weren’t able to have as many conversations after school because we’d be listening in on calls with clients which is honestly very interesting. That being said I think my parents did a great job of making sure that they spend time with the family but there are always times where the business gets in the way.

What would you have done if you didn’t go into the business?

Honestly I probably would have been doing something very similar. I used to work in finance which I did enjoy but I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship so I’ve always wanted to start my own company and run a business. A lot of the things that we’re doing in the business and that I’m planning to do in the business are directly aligned to what I would want to do which is fantastic so I don’t think I would be in a very different space even if I wasn’t joining the business.

Can you recall the moment you made the decision to enter the family business?

I don’t think there was one specific moment where I decided I was going to join the family business but I do remember that when I was working in finance I was also attending some client meetings and meetings with the family business and I remember that I was having more fun in those meetings than I was having in the work that I was doing in finance. That was really the big turning point for me when I realized that I was getting more energy from the work I was doing in the family business.

What other family members are involved with the business (working or ownership)

All of our immediate family members are involved in some way in the business. Both my parents and myself are working in the business and owners of the business and my sister is on the board of the family business.

What is your long-term goal for the business?

The long term goal further business is really about growth and diversification. I want to expand the business in California and the rest of the United States and I really want to add more family business education services and create more of a holistic view of working with family enterprises family businesses and business families.

What’s the most important moment in the company’s history?

I think there’s probably a couple really important moments in the company’s history. I think the initial formation was such an important moment because my parents had to go through some pretty tough hurdles to keep the business going. At the same time I think another really important moment was the decision to come into California and to expand. That opened up a ton of doors and a ton of opportunity for us going forward.

What’s your favorite event for employees?

We recently had a pickleball event for our employees that was one of my favorites it’s a great opportunity to go outside see people in a different setting and have some fun.

Are there any “rites of passages” for family members that join the firm?

There weren’t really rites of passage but there were requirements that my parents set for me before I would be able to join the firm. They wanted to make sure that I worked somewhere else for at least two years, they wanted to make sure that I got a promotion in that role, and they wanted to make sure that I was enrolled in an MBA program.

Are there any family business rituals that were impactful on you? (Examples, going to lunch with father; working on holidays, taking inventory)

I would say we tend to have a lot of family meetings both generally and over meals. We also typically have some sort of family retreat every year where we’ll go on vacation together and talk about the family talk about the business and everything in between.

Are there any non-family members in the business (old-timers) that you were close to when you were growing up?

There are a few non family members in the business that did watch me grow up didn’t know me when I was a kid which is very interesting now because those are the people that I’m working with.

Was there an event that triggered the change from “the kid” to a valued member of the management team?

I don’t think there was an event that triggered the change I think it was more of a slower progression where people could see the capabilities that I have and could realize that I am a valued member of the team.

What was your closest moment to leaving the business?

I haven’t been in the business for too long so I haven’t had a moment where I thought I was going to leave the business but I was hesitant when I decided to make the decision if this is really what I wanted to do. Ultimately I realized that it was what I wanted to do but there was a point in time where I was questioning myself and thinking about if this was really the right decision for me

Who gave you the best piece of advice regarding the family business?

I had a lot of similar advice from a lot of people when I told them that I was quitting a good job to join my family business. They all said this sounds exactly like what you should be doing and they just said there’s going to be difficult times there’s going to be good times know that going in and you’ll be fine.

Most embarrassing family business moment?

No real embarrassing family business moments. The ones that do come to mind are when my dad obnoxiously enters a random location and tries to sell them on our services which by the way actually works more than it doesn’t work so I guess he’s on to something but it can be embarrassing for my mom and myself when we have to follow him into our store.

What is one memory from the family business that you cherish the most?

The family retreats are the best memory I think that you could ask for. It’s such a great experience for the family it’s a great way to get out of our day-to-day and really talk about what’s important.

What do you know now that you wished you knew when coming into the family business?

The biggest thing is that there is a big group of people that are going through the same thing that you’re going through. Everyone’s in different stages but the stories are all very similar and having that support system being able to talk to your family your friends your colleagues about the transition is one of the most rewarding things that I have done.

Short Answer

Biggest non-family idol or inspiration?  Alexis Ohanian
What keeps you up at night?  Making sure that we’re doing all we can to help the families that we’re working with
What are you streaming?  I usually don’t stream a lot. I watch a lot of football and live sports
What’s on your turntable or Spotify playlist?  Lots of Jesse Gold, Alt Bloom, and Surfaces
Godfather I or Godfather II?  I haven’t watched either unfortunately
Favorite SoCal Sports team  UCLA Bruins
Favorite SoCal College  UCLA
Favorite venue to listen to music.  I’ve never been but I think the sphere in Vegas would be amazing
Quintessentil SoCal activity or experience Going to Santa Monica
Desert, Beach or Mountains? Beach
What do you like most about SoCal?  All the diversity and different things to do
What don’t you like about SoCal?  The traffic
Favorite restaurant  It always fluctuates but anything sushi
Best junk food  Ice cream or most desserts honestly
SoCal Social Cause  Anything related to the environment, food and housing and income security

Kyler will be one of the featured panelists for our Driving the Family Business Future event on November 2 at Beverly Hills Porsche in Los Angeles.

 

 

Allen Esrock is the Founder of NxtGen Nexus, a platform for the next generation of family business owners which is based on his experience of growing up in a family business. Prior to that he started Jitter Fingers, the first safe, social networking website for tween girls and their bffs with Jitter Finger clubs in 12+ countries and 250+ cities in the US.

About the Author

Allen Esrock is the Founder of NxtGen Nexus, a platform for the next generation of family business owners which is based on his experience of growing up in a family business. Prior to that he started Jitter Fingers, the first safe, social networking website for tween girls and their bffs with Jitter Finger clubs in 12+ countries and 250+ cities in the US.