Is it reasonable or realistic to think that you should love your family members when you are in the turmoil of a family business?
Yes… you can and you should. It’s not easy but you can do it and it will be good for you and your extended family.
One of the dangers of being involved in a family business is getting embroiled in family drama and eventually losing your love or respect for a family member. It saddens me when I see that happen to family members.
Here’s a quick recipe for avoiding that pitfall:
Ask yourself what’s most important to you. If push comes to shove is it important to have a healthy, loving relationship with your family members? How important is the job in the family business? Can you get another job? Can you get another family?
It seems the logical answers are that of course you could get another job but it’s difficult or impossible to get a new family. Now we all know, for some people they might think, “I’d love to do BOTH – get a new job AND a new family” but that probably isn’t realistic either.
For me one of my guiding principles is to stay in a healthy, loving relationship with my family. Why – because I lost two of my three brothers by the time I was 25 and realized what a special opportunity it is to have a family. I also look around the world and think if we can’t learn to love our family what possible chance do we have to learn to love the rest of world?
Don’t put your family business squabbles in the way of family relationships. Learn to compromise, accept different perspectives or self-select out of the business like I did.
When I say I love my brother that doesn’t mean I like him all the time. It doesn’t mean we don’t have differences of opinions about how to go through life. It doesn’t mean we hang out together socializing every weekend.
It does mean that we get along well at family events and genuinely love each other and wish the best life possible for each other. That genuine ability to be together models the behavior I hope will set an example for all of our kids and cousins. I think a strong, healthy extended family can be a great source of pride and strength.
Your job should be a place where you can work hard, do something you enjoy and is meaningful and ultimately helps you provide financially for your family. Stay focused on not letting things get out of order and have the job become something that destroys the family. You can do this!
Let me know if you need my help.