The Work/Life (Family) Balance - Mixing Family with Business

Written by 8PathSolutions Published in

Working with family can be great, but without careful planning, it can also complicate your life and your business. If you’re thinking about starting a business with family members or already running an established family owned business, there could be any number of scenarios that can blindside you if you’re not careful.

According to Barbara Walters, President of the HR Advantage (, you can start protecting your business by considering these scenarios and then ask yourself if these situation could come up in your business now.

SCENARIO 1 Kate and Joe started a business together as partners. In the early days of their business Kate and Joe communicated by going directly to employees and telling them what to work on. As the business grew, they did not make time to establish clear roles for themselves within their business. As a result, Kate and Joe began confusing their employees by duplicating their effort and contradicting each other.

SCENARIO 2 Diego loved fixing cars and enjoyed working in the family auto repair business. Diego’s dad often found other tasks for him to do outside of business hours, such as mowing the lawn, washing the windows, or scrubbing the family barbecue grill. But being bossed day and night, had Diego seriously thinking about leaving the family business.

SCENARIO 3 Robert was the godson of Michael, the company CEO. Michael had promised his godson’s mother to give Robert a senior position within his company. Unfortunately, Robert was not good with math or analytics and was poorly suited to be CFO. His simple transposing of numbers were frustrating at the very least and sometimes ended up in costly mistakes.

SCENARIO 4 Cynthia and Sheila started their business in a garage 25 years ago. It was now a multi-million dollar organization with 75 employees, 10 of which were family members. Cynthia was ready to retire and pass her ownership on to her son. Sheila did not want to work with someone else’s son when her own son was in the wings. They found it impossible to work out their differences.


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