Family Business: How to Thrive not Just Survive

As a mother-daughter team in business we are often asked how we do it, how do we run a successful business and be family at the same time? Truth is, it isn’t always easy and sometimes it can be downright hard but the rewards far outweigh the daily sacrifices we all make in order to grow a family business successfully. 

Who Does What, Where

In any business and especially in a family business there has to be very clear goals and expectations from every member. In our business we decide what we are going to accomplish and who is best suited to what tasks. For example one of us is an early riser and the other a night owl. This used to be a bone of contention until we realized that between us we are up almost 24 hours a day! There are many opportunities to turn potential negatives into positives when we acknowledge each other's strengths and admit our weaknesses.

Stick it Out, When the Going Gets Tough

In eleven years of being part of a family business there have been a few occasions where a family challenge has come up. During those times we hold tight to our vision and keep moving forward, even though it would be easier to toss in the towel. Perhaps because of the small space and the fact that we both rely on the business for our living, the car has served as a place for us to work out our issues. Being in business with a family member has its special challenges but the reward of knowing that someone REALLY has your back is priceless.

Honesty, Always the Best Policy

For any business to thrive, we must be honest with ourselves and each other. After every client interaction, seminar or phone call we critique each other and decide together what we could have done better. This keeps us accountable to the business and each other and serves as a way to always improve and move forward. This way of being in the world does not come easily to most of us. By being honest (and kind) you decrease the chance of unspoken truths hindering your growth as a business and family.

Have Fun, What Else is There to Do?

When we think of business, the word fun is rarely mentioned. Between the financial pressures, time constraints and challenging clients, we often forget the reason we are self-employed in the first place. One thing about working with your family is you know how to make each other laugh and what will break up a particularly difficult situation. Often when we have felt like bursting out in tears we have laughed so hard instead and been able to put the challenge in perspective.