Sometimes working in the family business can feel like an arranged marriage. You might have a group of people who were brought together with good intentions. Yet true love, their true passion isn’t happening.
So then the question becomes: What, if anything, do we do about that?
The answer is clear. Life is too short to be stuck suffering in your family business. It’s something I’ve said for the past 20 years. It’s something that I stood for when I left our family business after a 16-year career.
I’m not asking you to do anything I haven’t done myself.
First of all, and most importantly, I worked really hard at finding the love and creating a relationship that would work well for me. As a result, in the end, I knew it was time to go. That’s my story, your story may be different.
Are You Stuck?
Too often people come into the family business for the wrong reasons. Perhaps they weren’t finding professional passion elsewhere and took the easy road. They joined the family business. I hope you or other family members in your business don’t feel stuck. It’s a terrible place to be.
One of the cornerstones of coaching is to help people step back, be self-reflective and be more thoughtful and intentional about what they’re doing in the family business. For some people that might mean to have a change of assignment in the business. For instance, it could be getting into a new role, opening a new division or moving to another location.
The most important thing is not to give up and not to settle. Keep being courageous about designing and creating a life that works well for you.
Seek Outside Advice
Sometimes it is hard to “see the forest for the trees.” Get the help of a counselor, a family therapist, attend a personal development workshop or bring in a family business coach. It doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that you continue to expand your knowledge, your awareness and your willingness to ask for what you want.
A Case Study…
Here’s a real life case study. I just spoke to a former client the other day who now tells me she is enjoying the family business more than ever. When we first met she was incredibly frustrated with the lack of communication and vision with the owners in the business.
After much self-reflection, she realized the best thing she could do was find a role in the business that she enjoyed and could do very well. Realizing she should minimize her interaction with some of the less visionary people in the family helped her find peace.
She is now thriving in her role, serving customers and having a positive impact in people’s lives. Coming to the realization that her family partners were not who she had hoped they would be, helped her move on. As a result, at the end of the day, she’s found a nice role and meaningful work within the business.
Get the Right Tools to Find Happiness in Your Role
Give everyone in the family business the opportunity to be reflective. Get them the tools to either find a way to find joy in the family business or find the right way to encourage them to venture out and find something else that works well for them.
Life is short. Find passion in what you’re doing professionally and who you’re doing it with. There are countless tools, seminars and teachers out there to help you dig deep to find what matters most.
Play to your potential!
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.