Decisions by Jim Treliving- Family Law Book Review

Book Review

Decisions by Jim Treliving is one of my favorite books. It was written as a business book, but it has a lot of family lessons as well. A lot of family law clients enjoy reading books. People tend to get philosophical when going through a divorce. They are hungry for information that helps them cope with their dark times.

I have decided to do book reviews of some of my favorite books. I will cover the books from a family law angle. Read this article and then go read the book. Reach out to me on my Linkedin and let me know what you thought of the book!

If you have read the book before, leave a comment below and let me know what you got from it.

This book review was written by Alistair Vigier, the CEO of ClearWay Law. Any opinions are his own and do not reflect the law firm or the family lawyers.

Decisions by Jim Treliving

Today’s book review is Decisions by Jim Treliving. Jim is the CEO of Boston Pizza and is better known for his role on Dragons Den on CBC. Dragons Den doesn’t seem as popular as it use to be so I strongly suggest watching season’s 1-5 for fun.

You can purchase the book on Amazon if you wish to read.

Decisions by Jim Treliving

Jim starts the book sharing his story as a 27-year-old RCMP officer in Prince George BC. He talks about how he accidently went to Boston Pizza after a police shift which started his life journey.

Jim’s book really is about, you guessed it, decisions. His road to becoming the CEO of Boston Pizza was filled with divorce, disagreement with his father, shareholder disputes, a death of a friend, and almost going bankrupt multiple times.

How to Be a Leader

“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.” -T. Boone Pickens

It is also important to be able to make decisions in divorce as well. It is easy to give up once your life has been hit hard by reality.

Jim offers this helpful piece of advice for how to know which decision is the right one.

“I make decisions about work with my heart, about money with my head, and about people with my gut.” -Jim Treliving

It comes as no surprise that financial difficulties are the main reason that people get divorced. Jim explains about his father’s background moving to the tiny town of Fleming, Saskatchewan.

His fathers belief was that he would wait until he had enough money to pay for a house before buying one. It would be paid in all cash with no mortgage. His father said that a sold financial background was more important than love in a marriage. He believed that if you could not provide, you are not a man.

Coming From A Happy Family

Jim mentions many times throughout the book that his parents shared an excellent marriage. He says that both partners shared the same goals:

  • Raising a family
  • Being nice to each other and
  • Giving back to the community.

His father even rejected a gift from Jim (dish washer) because he did not want to change the routine of hand washing with his wife.

Stress Breaks Or Bonds People

“Money creates momentum, not enthusiasm.” – Decisions by Jim Treliving

Jim writes that he is the kind of guy that if he doesn’t love what he is doing, he cannot do it for very long. Isn’t that true for most people?

Marriage might keep momentum going in the relationship. It might seem like the logical next step after living together and getting a dog.

Is there still a spark after being together for many years? How are you meant to stay together for 50 years if there is nothing… real?

Jim shares a helpful list of how to become a leader. I think this list could be applied to someone going through a divorce.

Surround Yourself With People Who Want You to Succeed

This is a common reason that men want to get divorced. They might be trying to build a business and they do not think that their wife is being supportive of their ambitions. Perhaps the man meets someone younger or who is supportive of his vision. This situation plays out nicely in the movie “Gold.”

A Decision Isn’t an Action: It’s just a Decision

Someone decides to move from Vancouver to Paris. Where do they live? Vancouver. They only made a decision, not an action.

If you are thinking about getting out of a bad relationship, that isn’t a decision either. Once you have committed to doing it, put together a game plan. You should have a step by step strategy. Then you need to turn that strategy into action.

There were not mentions that Jim went through litigation during his divorce. He does not talk much about marriage or divorce in the book. It sounds in the book that he went through an uncontested divorce.

In one of my favorite parts of the book, Jim is speaking with his father about a real estate deal. He tells his father that he sold land for 4X what he paid for it. His father says that it didn’t sound like a good deal because he didn’t leave something on the table. Basically, his father called him greedy.

I wish people that went into divorce mediations would think in this way. The goal of a divorce should not be to get 100% of everything.

There are lots of other exciting parts in the book that I did not cover in this book review. Go out and get the book yourself and leave a comment about your thoughts.


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