From Casey in New Orleans
I’ve been in the business with my father for seven years and I’m at my wits end. I think I should probably leave the family business but I’m not exactly sure if it’s the right thing to do. Any thoughts or ideas on how I figure this out?
Really good question Casey! I went through this very same scenario in my own life after working in our family business for 16 years. In fact it had been my lifelong dream to run the family business but I eventually realized I needed to come up with a different dream.
The first thing I’ll say is you’ll know when the time is right to either go or stay. Don’t push it, don’t rush it, but at the same time don’t simply give in and not deal with. You should be practicing regular reflection about what’s important to you, what’s working and not working in the family business and where you see yourself professionally in the next 5 to 20 years. You should also be putting together a team of advisers made up of friends and other professionals who can help bring some clarity to the situation.
In fact if it weren’t for a couple of colleagues, Carl Bardy and Stephen Back, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to go out on my own. Other professionals can help you understand your strengths and how they may be used in the marketplace. Consider enrolling in some personal development seminars to really explore your strengths and how they might be used.
Lastly bring your father into the dialogue but in a way that is not confrontational and threatening. It’s up to you to say what you want in your life and communicate that to him and see if you can find a win-win or if you need to move on.
I applaud you for the courage to explore this. Life’s too short to be suffering in your family business. You can do this!