It seems to be a pretty popular assumption that running a business will tear your family apart. The two compete for time with each other, your family always getting jealous of your commitment to your company, and you becoming bitter that your family doesn’t understand and support you. We’ve all heard the argument before. In many cases, with many business owners, this is very true.
But let me present a different possible perspective to you. Contemplate the example of my partners and I for a second:
- We spend a lot of time together almost every single day
- We live off of the same income, finding a way to meet everyone’s needs even when times are tough and resources are low
- We routinely encounter difficult and stressful problems and need to solve them as a team
- We often disagree on important matters, but always find a conclusion that suits everyone
- When someone fails at something and is having a bad day/week, we pick each other up
- When someone does something great, we make sure to give them praise for their hard work
- Despite our stressful surroundings, we always make time (at least once a month) to get away as a group and celebrate our hard work and accomplishments, and the joy of getting to do it with great people
Doesn’t that sound a lot like a successful family to you? It does to me. In fact, it sounds a lot like an ideal family.
With the right mentality and effort from everyone involved, a business partnership can be an extremely gratifying experience that can teach you the tools necessary to further develop the other relationships in your life. Sure, if you’re a dictator at the office you’ll probably be a dictator at home and my point is moot. Or if you truly care about your business more than your family you probably won’t care to apply lessons learned from one to the other. But if you constantly are other-centric and thinking of the ideas, needs, and perspective of those around you at work, I think it will most definitely translate positively to your life at home.
Obviously I can only speak to my own perspective, but I’ve found that over the last two years of our business partnership I’ve been able to have stronger relationships with my friends and family outside of work. Part of that is probably due to normal maturation that people go through at this age, but I also feel strongly that a large part of it has come from an overall change in attitude because of the ups and downs I’ve been through with my business family.
Just some food for thought.