In previous posts, we’ve brought up author and psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of Flow, and how three things—work, active leisure time, and service/philanthropy—all contribute to this state of optimal fulfillment. By seeking to understand our individual gifts and talents and how they can be used within these three aspects of our life, we can begin to see our purpose and put our energy into that which brings us true happiness.
Exploring Your Purpose in a Family Business
For this reason, finding Flow in a family business mean career planning for younger generations: communicating with your children about their gifts and desires, and offering help and guidance in building a fulfilling work life. This often includes explicitly telling your child that they are not obligated to work in the family business, allowing them to foster their own talents and direction.
Leading a purposeful life attuned to one's’ natural gifts is also healthy for older generations, often the entrepreneurs and business owners. By finding ways to use their gifts and talents outside of the workplace, finding purpose in family or leisure activities, business leaders can find themselves reinvigorated, relaxed, and with a clear vision for their future outside the business.
Of course, after a few generations of building success within a business, families must begin to fight the dreaded sense of entitlement. With no need to work and a business that runs mostly autonomously, these kids run the risk of living a life without purpose. For them, stressing the importance of community service and philanthropy ensures that they have meaningful goals to push towards with their unique gifts and their new wealth.
By using these keys to cultivate a purposeful life within both yourself and your family business partners, you can ensure that your family business will survive and thrive for generations to come.
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.