Life’s gone full circle. It seemed like yesterday I was on the wrong end of some tough decisions from Uncle Walsh during my family business career. All of a sudden, I am the boss and having to dole out difficult decisions with my children in my business.
Life’s funny that way. The good news is, like Uncle Walsh, I’m not afraid to make the difficult decisions when needed. It’s painful and I worry about how it will impact my relationship with my children. But, at the end of the day, I know I need to “practice what I preach”
My son William (www.willpowercinema.com) is my video man. I absolutely love getting to work with him creating my short videos for the Family Business Performance Center. We’ve made almost 50 videos together!
Early last year it became apparent to me that we needed to make the videos faster, better and cheaper (sounds like business right?). The earlier versions of our videos had long scripts, took quite a while to shoot and produce and paid William pretty handsomely.
I had to sit down with him and explain that we needed to do the videos in about a quarter of the time and at a quarter of the cost. I could see how much time and energy William was putting in every video and always believed I was paying a fair price for the videos. The reality of the situation was that we needed to make the videos less expensively.
I could feel myself becoming hesitant to break the news to him. I had to tell him his fee for the videos was going to be pretty small and we needed to have him turn them around twice as fast.
William took the conversation in stride and adjusted accordingly. I knew it was the right business decision even though it was going to have an impact on my young up-and-coming filmmaker. Of course, I explained it to him in a similar manner that Uncle Walsh explained the difficult business decisions he made that impacted my short-term earnings 25 years ago.
Sound fundamental business decisions are never easy but always necessary. Fathers and mothers will be serving their business well and teaching their children the tough realities of the competitive business world when they have the courage to make the tough business decisions.
They’re never easy but always the right thing to do.
If you’d like to see the video Will and I made about conflict you can see it here.