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NO business is worth


your family!


     With the odds for success practically in the minus zone, it’s a wonder that family businesses–including, of course, formal partnerships–ever survive at all, never mind continue to be born on a daily basis.

     I mean I’ve always thought human beings were gluttons for punishment, especially in business and especially in family life. And here we have a non-stop wave of people actually putting the two lunatic fringes together, and calling them “family businesses.” 

     Maybe instead of LLC (for Limited Liability Corporation), these undertakings (pardon the expression) should be designated LMD (for Limited Maniacal Dysfunctionality).

     What kind of a nut case do you have to be to go into business with your brother-in-law? You never liked each other to start with. He’s a lazy good-for-nothing snail brain who prefers sitting in the back room watching TV and drinking beer to waiting on customers and stocking shelves.

     Oh, you’re a law firm? Sorry. Actually, that makes it all a whole lot worse; arguing over a TV and can of beer is nothing compared to suits and counter suits… and bad suits. Husband and wife team? HA! For how long?

     It takes a VERY special relationship for a couple, or any family members, to make things work in a business setting. There are natural authority and responsibility levels attached to family membership that almost necessarily spill over into the business.

     Family business partners need to work harder at not taking business too far into home life. It’s a good idea for couples to paint a red line across the bedroom doorway (one couple I know uses yellow “CAUTION” tape) to serve as a conscious reminder to separate business from personal life.

     Talking through business-related issues before heading home should be a goal if you want your personal relationship to stay healthy. When something needs to come home for discussion, do it in a home office, or porch or basement or backyard, but keep it away from the kitchen, the bedroom, the family room, and the dinner table.

     It takes two to tango goes the old expression; it takes two to drag business into personal home space. CHOOSE to detach yourself from potential confrontations. Home office? Keep it there when you leave the workspace. You need to work at this together. It doesn’t happen by itself.

     Father & Son, Mother & Daughter, Husband & Wife, Brothers & Sisters, In-Laws, Cousins, Aunts & Uncles: Talk to each other about it. More importantly, LISTEN to each other about it. RESPECT each other’s privacy and need for quiet time.

     When you push the limits, you push the relationships, and if one collapses, it all collapses. If you’re going to do this insane family business thing, do it in a spirit of cooperation and trust and mutual respect. Maybe then, you have a chance of making it work!     

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Hal@Businessworks.US  or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. 

Go for your goals, good night and God bless you!

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  1. […] personal, politics, religion, sex, dysfunctional families, friends, associates, and all your dirty little secrets are now jumbled together in one big knot […]

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