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Keep the Peace?!

It sounds great, right? Going into business with your family, those who have loved you and supported you from day 1. They love you, you love them (my apologies if you now have the theme song to the old Barney TV show and movies stuck in your head). And of course you trust each other, right? Afterall, you’re family! If you can’t trust your family then who can you trust? It almost has a Utopian ring to it, doesn’t it? What could possibly go wrong? Allow me to briefly introduce you to Murphy, but fair warning, he’s a jerk of epic proportions. Murphy’s Law states, basically, that if it can go wrong it will go wrong. Think of that road paved with good intentions. Or someone whose heart was in the right place. I’d be willing to bet that both of those conjured up images of someone’s face that you’d still like to punch. Or maybe that time that someone punched you in the face. Why? Because we all know that when it comes to family, anything can, and will, happen. Ever heard of Jerry Springer, Maury Povich or Dr. Phil? Their shows, among others, are designed to highlight the dysfunction in families. And we’re drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Now imagine all of the stress that goes into building a business. Not just something where you can sell goods or services, but you want to build a brand; a legacy, if you will. You want to be successful, whatever that looks like for you. Maybe it’s a 5 million dollar mansion by the ocean. Maybe it’s just working a straight 40 hours a week and being comfortable enough to not have to live paycheck to paycheck. Whatever your visions of success are, you’ve decided you’re going to go for it! You’re going to give this adventure all you’ve got and your family is coming along with you! In the beginning everyone is like, “Yeah! Let’s do this!” and you’re all excited. The adrenaline was pumping, you’re burning the candle at both ends working your regular 9-5 and trying to do what’s necessary to build your new empire. Sounds familiar right? Awesome, you’ve got a side hustle going. Really, good for you. We’re proud of you. We mean it.

Then the inevitable happens. Uncle Jimmy does something to anger your pops and next thing you know they’re going at it because Uncle Jimmy once looked at your dad’s former girlfriend sideways back in 1970. Or you hear that Aunt Matha is coming to town with her little dog, and everyone groans and rolls their eyes because they already know what’s coming. We all know of those stories. We all know some version of Uncle Jimmy or Aunt Matha. Think I’m exaggerating? Maybe just a little, for dramatic effect you know… but the point remains the same. Think back over your life, your parents lives, your in-laws, your wife, whomever… can you name one single holiday event where there wasn’t some sort of drama somewhere, from someone? If you can, congratulations and go buy a lottery ticket, my friend, because you may just be the luckiest one of us all. For the rest of us mere mortals though, we better buckle up because the ride is just beginning…

Whatever it is about business and families, they can bring out the worst in us. The jokes about families putting us in therapy later in life exist for a reason. Again, do a quick internet search for family holiday drama and you’ll see some pretty funny, albeit stereotypical, images. Sometimes it gets so bad that even the dog hides. Tempers flare. Things are said. Profanities spew from mouths like projectiles. And this may just be your average Tuesday night.

Now imagine combining your normal, every day, family drama with the stress of running a business. See what you just did? You took the holiday drama we all dread (think Aunt Matha and her poor little dog that bites everyone), added a few accelerants, shoved it in an airtight container and decided to shake it really fast. You’ve basically made a powder keg. It isn’t a matter of if it will explode, it’s a matter of when. And it’s almost always going to be at the most inconvenient time possible.

Let me give you an example. There’s a lady I’m vaguely familiar with, we’ll call her Mrs. H. Now Mrs. H had her hopes and dreams set on opening a store to peddle her wares. Her family was heavily involved, because again, if you can’t trust family then who can you trust? Well on the day of Mrs. H’s big grand opening, disaster struck. Her family didn’t know their place, there was bickering amongst them (and in front of clients), software wasn’t working right. You name it, it probably went wrong. Pretty much everything you don’t want to happen when you open a business, happened that day. Customers had to be turned away because things weren’t operating as they should. Is it all Mrs. H’s fault? No. Is it all her family’s fault? No. Did the combination of the two create a complete fiasco? Yes. That day was Mrs. H’s powder keg. Mr. Murphy showed up at that grand opening, and will likely be there again at the family holiday supper.

Now I don’t know this for sure, but I’m sure that words were said. They may still be having words (this happened not long ago in the spring of 2019). Imagine all of that stress and tension and what it’s going to be like at their family holiday suppers this year. We’re all imagining an epic food fight and people leaping over tables to get to the other person, right? It starts off like an idyllic Norman Rockwell painting, everyone in their holiday sweaters and sitting down around a large table to share the holiday meal. Then inevitably someone says something or snorts in derision and it sets the whole chain of events in motion. Right? No? Maybe that’s just me and my flare for the dramatic.

Anywho, all of this is to say that while it’s fine if you want to open a business and have your family work with you, you need someone else to do the heavy lifting if you want to have a chance at keeping the peace with your family during the holidays (or any time really). Running a business is stressful enough. Holidays are stressful enough. Families are stressful enough. Why not outsource what you can? Let us take that off of your plate. Let us handle disciplining your cousin Mary for not adhering to policy and procedure instead of you doing it (you do have documented policies and procedures, right? Please tell me yes; lie to me, even as you call me to develop your employee handbook. Seriously, start dialing or drafting that email to tell me you’re lying to me and you really do have those protections in place but you want our help just to make sure you’re good…). Allow Growing U, LLC. (the consulting experts) to keep the therapy bills to a minimum and your face off of TV (whether that’s a mugshot or an appearance on Dr. Phil, the choice would be yours. Or perhaps you’re an overachiever and will have both the mugshot and the cameo on Dr. Phil).

Outsource. Seriously. We’re here to help YOU succeed in any way we can. You know you've been thinking about it anyway, so stop wondering about it. Go ahead, pick up the phone and call us. Or shoot us an email. You can even text us! There is never going to be a perfect time to do it, but I assure you that if you get taken to court for any reason, you’ll be wishing you had.


Growing U