Treacherous Waters Ahead for Royalty Owners and Lottery Winners

Anybody know some great success stories about the winners of multi-million dollar lotteries?

They seem hard to find, at least compared to how easy it is to find stories of the lives and families that have become fragmented over how those winnings were shared and used. Let me ask you a question: Is it a curse to win the lottery, or could it just be a curse to unwisely manage and steward those funds?

Similarly, horizontal shale wells are creating wealth for mineral owners who may have held little hope of ever seeing those minerals produced, even as most of our country’s population is in the middle of some of the most difficult economic times experienced in our lives. A relative handful of royalty owners, compared to our total population, are coming into significant, life-changing wealth. Kind of like winning the lottery, isn’t it?

Without explanation of why I am so passionate about the subject, I would like to encourage those of you that come into this wealth, to do two things: manage it wisely, and steward it generously. Will this new wealth be one of the best things or worst things that ever happened to you? Only time will tell, as your management and stewardship will shape yours and your family’s character, as well as your relationship with your community.

Manage wisely. In a world where professional athletes go bankrupt after making millions, I encourage you to seek out the counsel of those you have watched manage their wealth wisely through the years. And managing wisely isn’t just measured in dollar signs, but more importantly by how family members matured around such wealth, either becoming spoiled and arrogant, or generous and humble. Consider asking your banker, attorney, CPA and pastor for some positive and negative stories related to wealth management. Again, this is not just about how much you have, but who you will become.

Steward generously. The vast majority of us would agree that we have a responsibility to use our resources to provide for the poor, the sick, the orphaned, the disabled and the mentally ill, to name a few. How about challenging the rest of us to pool resources to match your philanthropy to help those folks? I don’t mean to meddle, and the rest of us can’t expect you to sacrifice if we won’t match up with you.

Be generous with not only your resources, but also by using your influence for good. In Jewish history, a Jewish woman named Esther had been selected as Queen of Persia. Her uncle awakens her to the ramifications of the King’s edict to eliminate the Jewish people, saying: “Do not think that because you are in the King’s house, you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”

This is your opportunity to make a difference. Find purpose and fulfillment in wisely managing and stewarding your new wealth.