Building an Empire Part 2 – Start with Your Assets


              What are your assets?  Most people think of bank accounts, stocks, bonds, land, and businesses when they think of assets.  They would be right, they are assets, but those are not the only assets that we have, nor do most people view them as the most important assets.

There are several categories to assets, and I tend to follow Lee Brower’s categorization as espoused in his book, “The Brower Quadrant”.  They are


  1. Material assets (like those listed above)
  2. Experience assets
  3. Contribution assets
  4. Core Assets

Many are familiar with material assets, and they are also familiar with the other categories as well, even though they are not used to thinking of those attributes as assets.

Experience assets are the sum total of your experiences that have brought you up to your current knowledge and understanding.  This includes any schooling, work, athletic, interpersonal, and general life experience.  This also includes your earning ability.

Contribution assets are those assets that are gained through the contributions to others or to society.  Many families set up a foundation, or a charitable trust that gives value to support a particular purpose.  Positions or service on boards, PTA, scouting, or any other volunteer capacity constitutes your contribution assets.

The final category is core assets.  Core assets are in part your experience assets, but it would also include your ethics, morals, religion or spirituality, ambition,  and other personality traits–  in sum whatever makes you, “you”.

Now ask yourself, if you were able to pass only one category of assets to your children and loved ones which category of assets would you choose?

I have done this exercise with clients and not one of them has picked material assets.  Not a single one of them would leave material possessions over their Core or Experience assets.  In the next installment of this series I will talk about the proper framework needed to be in place to build your empire.

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