expansive view of the guttau farm in southwest iowa

The Barn Story: an example of building generational prosperity

June 30, 2017 | TS Prosperity Group

If one thinks back, they may find moments in life that can be pinpointed as having defined them. Perhaps it was an event, a conversation, a story they were told, or the wisdom and guidance from a certain person.

It is not so much the moment taking place, but what we learn from it and take with us that help create one’s life story, sometimes even their family’s generational story.

While one of Mick Guttau’s defining moments was many years ago, he doesn’t have to travel far to go to the place where he experienced it.

Mick grew up and still lives on the original farm that his great-grandfather settled on after leaving Germany.

“When I drive out of the driveway every morning, I can look up the long lane at the homestead where my family has lived for almost one hundred fifty years (1874) and see the history and the story of my roots,” states Mick with pride.

Memories often flood in his mind upon looking out at the sizeable white barn on their farm ground where he spent many hours as a young man. 

There was a defining moment that occurred in that barn one day as Mick, in his early teens, and his father were working.

“We were forking a kind of semi-dry, sticky, mucky cattle feces out of the barn into the manure spreader after some rain,” recollects Mick, “The kind of rain that left the air completely still and the flies swarming.”

“I was whining while I worked,” Mick clarifies, “I had just spent some time staying with my friend’s family, he was one of my best buddies all through school and his family had just purchased a new car - it was beautiful!” There was chrome everywhere, from the handles on the back to the white leather covered front seat.

“It was just unbelievable compared to riding around in our family car,” recalls Mick with a laugh, who remembers how his family’s 1949 Ford four-door required passengers to hang on tight going around corners because sometimes the backdoors would fly open. To make things worse, the second gear wouldn’t work because of all the wear and tear of the dirt road leading to the gravel one nearby.

Mick also announced to his father, his observation that this same friend’s family farmed about the same amount of ground as his own family - with similar operations. “We had stock cows and farrowed hogs compared to my friend’s family feeding out cattle, but they always had nicer stuff!”

Upon that observation being shared with his father, Mick says the lesson from this defining moment came in his father’s response.  “I remember as I was whining, my father came to a dead stop, turned around, put his fork tines down into the dirt, placed his right foot up on the fork, leaned on the fork and said -"Son, we do have similar operations but they're renting their farm and we're buying our farm. We are paying extra money to buy. We could have some pretty nice things too if we weren’t making farm payments. SOMEDAY, you will appreciate that fact!”

Mick implies his doubt that the lesson actually sunk in that day, but maintains it changed his life and the course of his family’s generational prosperity, about 20 years later. “That same farm my father was disciplined enough to pay for over the years, was what he and my mother put up as collateral to provide me, their then thirty-one-year-old son, with a quarter of a million dollar loan to make the down payment on the hometown bank -TS Bank,” as Mick shares.

An action that laid a path for generational prosperity.


That history happens to be directly related to that of TS Prosperity Group, as TS Bank was the foundation on which TS Prosperity Group would eventually be built.

In his father’s decision to purchase the farm over the years, work hard, and put away money, Mick’s father made a path that enabled Mick to also continue building, by growing the bank he was able to purchase.

This story is now ingrained in the roots of our company and is a reflection of what TS Prosperity Group, wants for you and your family: Be the one to start or continue building the path of generational prosperity in your family.

TS Prosperity Group believes generational prosperity can begin with you!

At TS Prosperity Group, we IGNITE PROSPERITY® by helping our clients do more with their money. Whether it’s saving a little extra cash each month or accomplishing a long-term strategy, our goal is to help you transform your financial life. Call and schedule an appointment today, one of our team members would love to help you do more with your money at TS Prosperity Group. TS Prosperity Group is based in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with clients across the midwest. For more information visit tsprosperitygroup.com or call 844-487-3115. #igniteprosperity