Family businesses are inherently messy. With work and life almost inextricably intertwined, balancing both worlds is challenging – and people can end up feeling exhausted, unappreciated, and stuck in certain problems.
But family businesses can thrive by focusing on a few things:
- Disentangle different relationships. To keep your house in order, create four separate discussion rooms (not silos) for specific interactions: one for business managers, one for the board, one for owners, and one for family members.
- Manage your “crocodile” brain. This is what neuroscientists call gut emotions that affect thought processes and dampen impulse control. Identify and understand the emotional side of business to make rational decisions.
- Develop the next generation. Your role, while central, is temporary. Prepare your children to succeed in your business by challenging them with real jobs, letting them fail, and then helping them up. Accept that they will lead differently.