Is this you?
“Our family is close at work, but it seems like we never get to the problems and issues that divide us in life. This has been going on for years and I am afraid we are drifting apart, emotionally, and living in siloes so we cannot really communicate with each other.”
Such insight and honesty are necessary in family businesses. But the problem can be hiding in any family where only one thing like a business holds the family together.
Yes, the business can be a double-edged sword, providing the glue but also possessing the grating energy that finds individuals unable to find the honesty and happiness that can knit a family together.
Let’s begin by recognizing the large number of parts that exist in a family business:
- The business that may be growing, contracting, changing, conducted in different places, loved, hated, demanding, tiring, forcing people to assume roles and attitudes they do not welcome, that looms over a family and cannot be broken up or it dies
- The papa that directs
- The mama that tries to keep things together
- The one or more children that are forced to give up playing to work
- The one or more children who have dreams and gifts that do not fit into the business
- The one or more children who are struggling to make the business more like they are
- The possible need to hire non-family individuals who do not share the family values
- The other businesses which compete
- The local laws which direct or restrict how the business MUST operate.
And compare those issues to the non-business family next door
- A papa that comes and goes, plays with his children, and cuts the grass
- A mama who also tries to keep things together but has many more options and resources to help
- One or more children who can play with anyone else in the family or the neighborhood
- One or more children who have dreams and gifts they can develop that fit into their own lives
- One or more children who have more schooling options and the freedom to choose one they like
- Neighbors are neighbors which do not push themselves into the family and what it wants to do
- Businesses are places to get what one needs and wants, take it or leave it.
- Local laws show up when a policeman rings the doorbell, so
Which family appears to have more freedom?
Which has more potential to make a positive impact on the community?
That comparison is only one of many that that can be made. But it is the one that many business families make as it looks at the price they pay in order to be a successful family in the community.
Resolving many such complicated issues requires experienced professionals with extended experience working with family businesses. If you have questions or would like to follow up and learn more, get in touch using the contact form below.
Understand as well, that each individual in the business family may look at any one of these issues in a different way.
That possibility lies at the root of why there are so many kinds of business families as well as why the business family may have many different decisions turn into a problem. And it is the reason so many business families need help to organize their lives into a functioning family that every member wants to belong to.
Many business families are blessed by having every member of the family participate in the business because their energy impacts lives beyond the family.
Indeed, some family businesses have founded whole cities built around the one central family. That happens less often now as a larger city also has so many parts that it is difficult for one family to affect each part.
But the gift of the business family to each member of the family is the interest and support each member can give to another member.
That is why we are here: to assist in helping that process end well for everyone.