The mere mention of the concept of running a family business often makes people think about it one of two ways. Either you’ve got the idea in your head that running a family business makes absolute perfect sense or the idea of such a thing leads to you having a bit of a mini panic attack. Both of those responses are perfectly valid and honestly speaking given that I’m currently a part of a family business they’re both kind of true.
Let me explore both of those arguments and then I can get into why I think that they’re both kind of true.
Firstly let’s start with the idea that working with your family is a great endeavor. It really is awesome because we all function really well together because (at the very least I like to believe) we’re a really close-knit family to begin with. We’ve all got this certain level of dedication to the business that is a little bit harder to find in just a regular employees. We’ve missed important family events just to make sure we could get all of our ducks in order. My brother recently turned down a job offer even though it was arguably a fantastic position, with great pay and benefits, because it would have involved him moving away he turned it down. He told us his reasoning was simply “who’s gonna manage the books if I’m not around?”. I almost cried when that all took place and even though I still think that he should have taken that job and we would have found a way to survive without him I’m so grateful for the whole sentiment about it all.
However the other side of that coin is also quite real. Despite my brother constantly telling us not to be concerned about the whole thing we still found ourselves facing a weight on our shoulders. If we didn’t give this business our all then we’d effectively be disrespecting him and his commitment. A mistake in the orders we had a few months ago ended being a screaming match because we couldn’t figure out who had fudged up the order. The whole house was basically a reenactment of the cold war. It’s not like a typical workplace dispute where you can go home and just leave the issues there. In our case the state of the business inevitably dictates the mood at home afterwards.