Being successful in business can be difficult. Most markets my family business clients work in are competitive and getting more crowded with competitors every day.
That means you are going to have to work hard, work smart and be innovative if you ‘re going to create a long-term successful business.
You better love what you do
Your love for what you do is what will drive you. It is what will give you the fuel that you need to get up everyday, do it well and pour everything you’ve got into it.
In my family business consulting work over the past 20 years, it’s apparent to me when I see someone who loves what they’re doing and someone who doesn’t. Finding family members with a passion for the business is a key ingredient to have successful family business succession.
Too often the younger gens don’t find their professional passion
The easy thing for them to do is to plug in to the family business and pretend that they’re passionate about it. They heard about the business everyday growing up. They saw how much mom and dad loved it so it seemed natural for them to nod their head and say they had the same passion.
The problem is, if you don’t have the passion, you won’t have the energy. You also won’t have the resilience you need to work hard and compete in today’s highly competitive world.
So this month get your family together and ask the following question
- On a scale of 1 to 10 how much do you love working in the family business?
After your family answers this first question you could ask them,
- What are one or two things you could do to improve your score?
It’s not the end of the world if they aren’t loving the family business. It is important, however, that they find a way to generate love for the family business or hit the road. Life is too short to spend it doing something you don’t enjoy.
A great story in Arizona is a man named Adam Goodman. Goodman’s was our family’s number one competitor. The story goes something like this: Adam was lured back into the family business by his father, Murray. After working in their family business, Adam was coming to the conclusion that he wasn’t in love with the office furniture business. The story gets better. Adam eventually got the business very involved in giving back to the community in a variety of ways that allowed him to make an authentic heart and passion connection to the business and all it could mean to the employees and the community.
If you want to hear Adam’s story, check it out here at my friend Park Howell’s Business of Story podcast. https://businessofstory.com/podcast/purpose-brand-story/
Back to you and your family
Ask everyone where they are on the scale in terms of loving their family business. Give them the opportunity to set goals, take action and do some self-reflection. This will help them to find ways to find love and passion in the work they’re doing.
If it turns out everyone has a really high number, then the follow-up question is, “What do you love most about the family business?” That will be another good rich conversation to have.
You can do this
If they’re in love with the family business, it’s important to understand what they love about it. If they’re not in love with it, it’s important to help them find ways to fall in love or give them permission to go out and find what they do love.
Life is short
Family businesses can be wonderful places to put your time and energy. It’ll go much better if you love what you do.
Remember the old song lyric, “If you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with!”
Pete Walsh is a demanding, courageous and playful Master Coach in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the founder of Peak Workout Business Coaching and the Family Business Performance Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.