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So go get a new family!


     Do these kinds of situations sound at all familiar, or am I just imagining…???

  • The owner’s wife in charge of collecting receivables takes the task too personally because –through her eyes– she can only see that some deadbeat is preventing her from pleasing her husband since she can’t afford to serve him the kind of dinners he most enjoys.    
  • The owner’s son is not as business-minded as his mother. She’s constantly berating him for wasting too much time playing around with creating new advertising approaches, and not paying enough attention to customer service, billing, and inventory.
  • The two feuding sisters are always trying to outdo one another’s sales accomplishments, and neither is willing to handle growing staff problems.

     Having worked with hundreds of family businesses (from trash collection to surgery practices), I can assure you –since the popular shrink notion is that every family is dysfunctional– that your family business is not unique in it’s breadth and depth of problems.

     It is —on the other hand unique inasmuch as it takes some very special give-and-take tolerance levels to be able to work day-in-and-day-out with the people you’re related to, and have grown up with.

     Having a history with others can be a positive and rewarding and affectionate experience, but working with those you have a history with can present many challenging opportunities.

     Opportunities? Aha! Therein lies the answer to family business problems. Would it be fair to say that the primary difference between whether someone views any given situation as a “problem” or as an “opportunity” reduces itself to how that person chooses to view it? 

Behavior is a choice… how we view it and how we do it!

     Okay, so some family members thrive on choosing “problems,”  yes? Oh, but you know what? It takes two to tango. YOU don’t have to choose to make a family-problem-chooser’s problems YOUR problems!

     Choose instead to walk away. Or choose to change the channel in your head from a confrontative talk station to easy listening. Or choose to offer choices.

     Above all, choose to be aware that it is a choice! That awareness alone will carry you through some of the rough spots and help keep others focused on what’s important. 

# # #  

Input welcome anytime: (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

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2 comments so far


  1. Andrew Jackson, CEOon 15 Jul 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Can’t wait for my own family to grow! And who knows, maybe Poor Irishman will be bigger and greater years from now. When I’m still in business serving clients at that late date … I HOPE I don’t have these nightmare issues with a family business. Maybe the kids will want to take an active part – maybe they will simply chase their own dreams.

    Either way – I agree with you Hal – Behavior is a CHOICE
    You only have the ability to control the way you respond to any situation in life – you have no control over others and their responses

  2. Hal Alpiaron 15 Jul 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks Andrew. I appreciate both your comment, your insightfulness and your visit as well. Please return soon. And for anyone reading this who’s in the market for a talented, experienced Internet marketing guru to give you some great work at great budget-conscious prices, give Andy a try at

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