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Cannot get through to my washed up dad, MM advice?

AAAgent

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So my dad is getting worse and worse as he gets older and no one can reason with him anymore. Everytime someone says something negative about him he tells us we don't understand and we don't have real experience. People that are pharmacist don't know anything and wouldn't make it in the REAL world, etc.

My dad came over as a teenager and asian immigrant. He started his own business at age 21 saving money working as a bell boy at the mar riot and made his first million dollars at age 21. His net worth at one point was close to 15 million but after the crash in 08 it's probably 1/10 of that now. Plus, our family is in more debt and he has very little income coming in. He makes horrible decisions as he is very rash and isn't educated outside of what he's learned in life. He's been scammed MANY times by people promising to get things done for him and he's given then 10k, 100k, 200k, etc. and lost it all. My mom has helped in invest in real estate in the 90's and 2000's and he made half his fortune that way and she always managed the finances and had a say until the last 10 years or so. Now he doesn't listen to anybody, our debt is piling up, and he's not smart enough and doesn't have any money or leverage to do anything. His real estate is sitting there racking up costs because he won't sell. I worked my whole life at his warehouse, his club, doing deliveries, stocking the bar, cleaning trash, bartender, laying tile floor, etc. You name it, i've probably done every blue collar job out there and i did it for 16+ years from around age 6-22. He doesn't let anyone touch his stuff because nobody can do it as well as he can. He's a very handyman that can pretty much trouble shoot, electrical, plumbing, build, clean abestos, etc. but he is horrible with finances and people.

He doesn't listen to anyone and therefore has a horrible relationship with everyone in the family. He was also very abusive and harsh on us and forced us to learn everything through manual labor and punishment (old school Asian style). If i had to describe him for some of you guys to understand, (no offense and this is for reference purposes only) imagine the typical old school italian dad who owns his own restaurant and has done well but his restaurant is now crappy. He won't listen to anyone and no one can see eye to eye with him. He knows he has a horrible relationship with his kids and he is proud of us. He tries to talk to us and he literally frustrates us because we can't have conversations (every time we sit down, he tries to teach us how he's smarter or what he knows that we don't). The last 7 years he's basically put the family in a worse and worse situation and everyone has given up try to tell him what to do and let him just do his own thing. We only talk to him about none business/finance related things otherwise it'd be a huge heated debate where we end up walking away because he always feels like he's right.

He told me no one can have built such a nice ship the way that he has (aka everything he owns/acocmplished, etc.) and i broke it to him that sure his ship is as nice as the titanic but it has huge holes everywhere and it's sinking. He's not willing to listen to other opinions and continues on his path which is driving this sinking ship to the bottom of the ocean. He did not take this well and it turned to shouting.

He makes a big effort to talk to us (his children) but is so hard for us to really talk back because he's so stubborn. How can we reason with him? Any older gents have advice.

Tl:DR

Dad is old washed previously successful uneducated businessman. He didn't adapt well throughout the years and lost most of his fortune. He will no longer listen to family or anyone but wants to rekindle relationship with his children.
 

dasein

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Have seen this story many times. Easy leverage and the 20 year blowoff top in real estate made lots of average folks look like geniuses. The "genius" is old and set in ways, but not incompetent or senile, at a crisis time. Some of this is devil's advocate:

1. You are 27, yet have done it all? I doubt that. I worked for my Dad at 27, and was generally an idiot at the time with respect to business. I had some good ideas, and could have gotten them all implemented, but I expected him to simply say yes without the full legwork and planning on my part. There are probably people in your father's employ or network who have been with him a long time, win them over in small steps, don't make my mistake of going to him arrogantly as the "savior son with the big ideas."

2. What exactly are you wanting your father to do? If it's listen to half-assed, half-baked suggestions provided in a scattershot way willy nilly, then why should he? You don't mention any kind of legitimate business planning process. You should be approaching your father as if you were meeting with Kleiner Perkins or Blackstone x2! Is the plan thoroughly detailed, flawlessly written, endorsed by allies (accountants, lawyers, family, key people... is it a team or just some nagging, spoiled sons? STRENGTH IN NUMBERS) Have you made reasonable numerical projections, goals, milestones? Is it polished and presentable? Seriously, you should devote your own time away from work time to this process and pitch it like you would to the top VC in the world.

3. Is -your- ass on the line enough? Are -you- willing to make this happen without pay or special pay at least? Do -you- have skin in the game other than wanting to preserve an inheritance? If you have no contribution as in $$ why would anyone listen to you? Can you contribute other necessary skilled services that amounts to more than sweeping floors or loading trucks?

Enough for now, sorry if that sounds negative, but I find more people like me in the mistakes I made at your age than not like me and didn't have anyone to smack me and tell me to wake the f up then. Good luck.
 

Alvafe

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I don't think its as long inheritance then save his own ass of his father bills will hit if he keeps doing stupid things.

thing is don't matter the old dude will not listen to his kids, so he can only do one thing leave him be, you can't force him to listen, so or you leave him be and do his own things, or you forcefull take his things.

as long he is not senile and sick, let him be, but tell him you will not save his ass when he sink.

little example, my father also have his own firm and all, I find the thing he do stupid, like charge less for clients who says he is charging too much, he like to everything be perfect and lose a lot of time in doing so, and like to spend in things he don't really need be he want to because or he is jealous, thing is when I can I hold the oldman back, I prevent him to spend money on new computers when he didn't need new ones, try to push a little on clients who don't pay, and tell him to send then off and so on, can push much, but of course my oldman at least listen, I just let him do the decision.

sometimes you need to be a little manipulative to save his @ss
 

speed dawg

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I don't know your attitude, but if I were you, I'd make sure I came at this in a way that shows you care about your father, rather than caring about what YOU get after he dies.

Other than that, what dasein said is spot-on. Are you the sniveling, spoiled kid or someone who actually wants to make things happen? That is what's lost in this. People LOVE to b*tch.
 

AAAgent

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dasein said:
Have seen this story many times. Easy leverage and the 20 year blowoff top in real estate made lots of average folks look like geniuses. The "genius" is old and set in ways, but not incompetent or senile, at a crisis time. Some of this is devil's advocate:

1. You are 27, yet have done it all? I doubt that. I worked for my Dad at 27, and was generally an idiot at the time with respect to business. I had some good ideas, and could have gotten them all implemented, but I expected him to simply say yes without the full legwork and planning on my part. There are probably people in your father's employ or network who have been with him a long time, win them over in small steps, don't make my mistake of going to him arrogantly as the "savior son with the big ideas."

2. What exactly are you wanting your father to do? If it's listen to half-assed, half-baked suggestions provided in a scattershot way willy nilly, then why should he? You don't mention any kind of legitimate business planning process. You should be approaching your father as if you were meeting with Kleiner Perkins or Blackstone x2! Is the plan thoroughly detailed, flawlessly written, endorsed by allies (accountants, lawyers, family, key people... is it a team or just some nagging, spoiled sons? STRENGTH IN NUMBERS) Have you made reasonable numerical projections, goals, milestones? Is it polished and presentable? Seriously, you should devote your own time away from work time to this process and pitch it like you would to the top VC in the world.

3. Is -your- ass on the line enough? Are -you- willing to make this happen without pay or special pay at least? Do -you- have skin in the game other than wanting to preserve an inheritance? If you have no contribution as in $$ why would anyone listen to you? Can you contribute other necessary skilled services that amounts to more than sweeping floors or loading trucks?

Enough for now, sorry if that sounds negative, but I find more people like me in the mistakes I made at your age than not like me and didn't have anyone to smack me and tell me to wake the f up then. Good luck.

1.) my dad lost everything. His business is gone and his own employees started their own business and squeezed him out and he sold. He sold to someone that never paid him and went bankrupt. He kicked out Fedex from one of his buildings and lost a steady 30k a month payment because he was greedy and wanted more and now the building has been vacant for 7 years and he needs to pay 20k just in maintenance fees. my dad doesn't listen to anyone not even my mom, who has been his business partner who's talked sense into him previously to stop him from getting scammed. I grew up building houses, condo's making deliveries and collecting payments from his customers since i was 10. I've seen him grease city officials because, etc. and also see my dad make stupid mistakes that have put him in prison.

2.) It's not that i'm telling my dad to do things, I'm not telling him to do anything in particular. I have my own life and so does he. All i'm asking is that he listen and consult people. If multiple people think it's a bad idea, it probably is, but he doesn't care and won't listen. FYI, my job involves working with companies like goldman sachs, Private equity firms, corporate law firms, etc. I give presentations to billion dollar corporations and have planned presentations for him to help him and the family but he basically tells me to fvck off. So i left and got my own job, my own place, and built my own career. I figured if i can't help him, at least not make myself a burden.

3.) is my ass on the line? No, but it's pitiful to see my dad who has worked so hard for everything, because of his stubbornness to listen to reason from ANYONE, piss it all away with stubborn and stupid mistakes. He tries to make all these meetings with city officials to get zoning and buy property and they blow him off time after time. They rarely answer his phone calls and he still thinks that persistence will yield him results. I'm just frustrated he isn't adapting and kind of said to see the dad i looked up to and taught me everything get old and senile.

So i don't think he's senile….yet but he won't listen to reason from anyone and has not been making any progress and if anything is moving backwards. I've told him the outcome of certain issues where i could see the mistakes plainly and he would just tell me to basically shut up and mind my own business. Then it happens and he tells me to not talk about it. My mom, sister, and brother have given up and tell me to just let him be. His ego won't let him LISTEN to anyone else. They tell me to just take care of myself.
 

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AAAgent

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speed dawg said:
I don't know your attitude, but if I were you, I'd make sure I came at this in a way that shows you care about your father, rather than caring about what YOU get after he dies.

Other than that, what dasein said is spot-on. Are you the sniveling, spoiled kid or someone who actually wants to make things happen? That is what's lost in this. People LOVE to b*tch.
My dad taught us to earn what we want and told us since we were children we wouldn't get anything of his when we grow up but he would help us get learn how to get our own things. So i'm not really worried about what i will get, plus he has millions in property, but also millions in debt.

I just don't want my dad making ridiculous mistakes over and over again. He taught me to learn, adapt, and learn from other people but he refuses. He feels like because he had a tougher time growing up than we did, we don't know anything. Just don't want him becoming a senile old man who only looks back on what he once was…….my whole family has given up on trying to talk sense into him.
 

sodbuster

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No luck. I'm 55 and a Dentist.... I can't tell my dad sh1t.... he doesn't listen... He'd rather listen to a stockbroker who gets a commission than his son.... Quit wasting your time thinking about it and figure out how to make your own millions...
 

apprenticedj

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IMO, and of course this is just an opinion, I would work on myself. I would try to learn and accept that my father is a grown man with his own beliefs, opinions and ways of doing things. The history you've laid out for us seems to demonstrate that he, your father, is not a man that can be easily swayed from the position he has taken. So I would stop trying.

That probably sounds easier said than done and it is no doubt but one thing I've started to figure out is that you cannot change anyone. We can bang our head against the wall until we're bloodied, trying to change the course someone is on but it won't matter. THEY have to realize there is a problem and THEY need to change it.

Go to your father and show him that you love him regardless of his choices, whether he has $1,000 or $10,000,000. Don't talk business, don't engage him in a battle you simply cannot win. Enjoy the time you have together as father and son. Forget the money. As you've see, it's here today, gone tomorrow. Connect with him on a level of mutual interest and go forward from there.

TLDR: He's your father, love him regardless.
 

AAAgent

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apprenticedj said:
IMO, and of course this is just an opinion, I would work on myself. I would try to learn and accept that my father is a grown man with his own beliefs, opinions and ways of doing things. The history you've laid out for us seems to demonstrate that he, your father, is not a man that can be easily swayed from the position he has taken. So I would stop trying.

That probably sounds easier said than done and it is no doubt but one thing I've started to figure out is that you cannot change anyone. We can bang our head against the wall until we're bloodied, trying to change the course someone is on but it won't matter. THEY have to realize there is a problem and THEY need to change it.

Go to your father and show him that you love him regardless of his choices, whether he has $1,000 or $10,000,000. Don't talk business, don't engage him in a battle you simply cannot win. Enjoy the time you have together as father and son. Forget the money. As you've see, it's here today, gone tomorrow. Connect with him on a level of mutual interest and go forward from there.

TLDR: He's your father, love him regardless.
You're probably right. Surprised i never thought of this before.
 

hithard

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apprenticedj said:
IMO, and of course this is just an opinion, I would work on myself. I would try to learn and accept that my father is a grown man with his own beliefs, opinions and ways of doing things. The history you've laid out for us seems to demonstrate that he, your father, is not a man that can be easily swayed from the position he has taken. So I would stop trying.

That probably sounds easier said than done and it is no doubt but one thing I've started to figure out is that you cannot change anyone. We can bang our head against the wall until we're bloodied, trying to change the course someone is on but it won't matter. THEY have to realize there is a problem and THEY need to change it.

Go to your father and show him that you love him regardless of his choices, whether he has $1,000 or $10,000,000. Don't talk business, don't engage him in a battle you simply cannot win. Enjoy the time you have together as father and son. Forget the money. As you've see, it's here today, gone tomorrow. Connect with him on a level of mutual interest and go forward from there.

TLDR: He's your father, love him regardless.
This is money.

I was lucky enough to work with my father for years, it was never about the money.
As time went by I took over the reigns a little more as he saw me learn his methods and became more comfortable with the idea. I was able to steer through some rocky times to safety with fresher ideas.
The time spent with him was priceless.
 

Tictac

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If you were half the man that your father was and is, you'd already be in a position to help out your own family instead of whining about your Dad.

Get busy sonny. 27 is too old to be sniveling about your inheritance.
 

AAAgent

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Tictac said:
If you were half the man that your father was and is, you'd already be in a position to help out your own family instead of whining about your Dad.

Get busy sonny. 27 is too old to be sniveling about your inheritance.
@OldGeezer, if you took the time to read my posts, you would see there is no inheritance. Pick up the reading glasses. Just worried about my dad potentially becoming senile and driving everyone that cares about him away.
 

BigSlick23

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Don't bother trying to change him...

Focus on building a great relationship with him while hes still here. As a son or daughter lol focus on becoming the better example and provide for your family especially your father. Its hard to change a man with a vast amount of experience and that is not in your control. You cant change a man how he thinks but you can always change his heart
 

sodbuster

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The biggest problem with successful people .... they did it right ONCE... and think they are F'ing smart at everything
 
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