“I spend every day working with those I care about; I don’t need a break… right?”
Of course, this family dynamic is fluid: The father may be able to take breaks from the business in more complete or concrete ways, or the daughter-in-law may be less affected by this constancy than the rest of the family. Those that thrive the most on this family business dynamic are often the least likely to recognize the stress it can impose on other members of the family. As we know, inter-family stress can lead to the erosion of the family unit and vulnerability for the family business, and this is exactly why setting up systems of balance is so necessary.
Rituals help take the “business” out of “family business”
One of the healthiest ways to seek balance from the constant pressure of running a business with your family is to set up family rituals that reinforce family connections outside of a business context. Oftentimes, these rituals can be small, such as a simple “no shop talk during dinner” rule that promotes interpersonal engagement without a focus on the business. Other rituals can be larger, such as yearly family vacations where all members take time off work (resource permitting, of course) in order to spend time with their family physically away from the business. Including family members who aren’t part of the business in these rituals (such as in-laws, extended family, etc) can also provide external motivation to keep work out of the picture.
Healthy friendships, healthy families
By setting up systems to make sure your family balances business needs, meaningful time together, and quality personal time, you too can ensure that your family business doesn’t overwhelm your very existence. For more practical solutions to the problems unique to family businesses, contact Hubler for Business Families today to set up a free orientation meeting with Thomas Hubler, the expert on family business planning.