Help me survive...
May 9, 2010 7:31 PM   Subscribe

The complexities of my "family" business and it's dynamic is driving me crazy. Help me survive.

It's a never ending story so I don't want to go into detail. Is there any hints/tips you could suggest that helped you with your problems with family businesses.
posted by Bacillus to Human Relations (7 answers total)
Dude, you are gonna have to give us a little more than THAT.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:34 PM on May 9, 2010 [11 favorites]

A wise man once told me to keep your family and business completely separated.
posted by box at 7:44 PM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

The only advice I could offer, with regards to such little information, is that you never bring work home. When you get home at the end of the day- especially if you live with these people like the situation I was in- you do not discuss anything work-related.

(While ideal, this never actually happens. Work always got brought home.)
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:48 PM on May 9, 2010

I work from home with my sister. She likes to bring the parentals into it but they don't know nothing about the business and act as some sort of mediators. My sister thinks it's really important to have them but I see it more as a chain of command problem and now everything is like scrambled eggs.
posted by Bacillus at 7:51 PM on May 9, 2010

I think you need to not work with your sister under those parameters. That would be a dealbreaker for me.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:58 PM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Still not much to go on, but I think you want this to be a Bro/Sis partnership (maybe because that is a comfortable dynamic for you; one where you think you can come out on top?). Your sister wants this to be a family business. (perhaps because she see potential capital coming from parentals? Perhaps she's uncomfortable with a partnership because she see you coming out on top too often.)

The two of you need to decide which it is, and to do thatwithout intervention from parents (unless it's to mediate in the dissolution of the firm, and divvying up of assets). While you're discussing that you should go over the responsibilities of each partner.
posted by Some1 at 8:40 PM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some guidelines I've learned for working with family businesses:

1) Don't get involved.

Seriously. If things go badly with a business, you can burn a bridge or two, walk away, and eventually recover.

If things go badly with a family business, you're likely to burn every bridge you own -- even if you are unquestionably right.
posted by schmod at 7:22 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

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