“THE Greatest Failure is never to have attempted at all!”
It sounds and feels great to be born in a family that owns a business. If you are born in a family that successfully owns a family business, you would know that despite the hardships it entails, there is pride, honor and a relatively different kind of comfort in your lifestyle that come from it.
It gives that sense of financial security among the members of the family. Knowing that you have something solid to carry and depend on is a big deal. It is something to be proud of and to look forward to especially to those with the entrepreneurial mind and spirit.
I am sure some of you have fantasized about your family owning a business. You walking in to your business office feeling all inspired with a sense of freedom and power, building wealth, training your staff and educating your kids and the whole family about the business. What a beautiful picture, is it not? While others may have thought this way, they may have bounced back to “reality”, and slap their faces with a negative approach and said, “That’s crazy. That is never going to happen. Who am I kidding? My husband (or wife) would not have approved it.” You see, that kills the idea. If I were you, I would pay a closer look at those “crazy” thoughts. Successful people have been driven by their craziness. Moreover, I would not believe that “impossible” is ever real.
In these days, life is really hard. You are lucky to have an eight-to-five job in this world of fierce competition, but not so if you are just there, and not loving it. Such is one thing common to those who would willingly resign from a regular job, and start their own family businesses only if they could. Note that: Only if they could. Now, that is the line that makes the idea all dull.
Reasons, upon reasons, and upon reasons are there piling up as high as the sky that close down the door of opportunities to them. It all boils down to these – lack of vision, knowledge and creative ideas, family support and teamwork, budget for almost anything else other than for all the basic necessities in order to live by day after day, and the most dreaded obstacle: fear. These insufficiencies get on the way. I am not surprised why there are many people who are getting so frustrated about how they could possibly build a business that will serve its purpose for the benefit of the family.
For decades, even centuries, many families have been working together, owning family businesses. Look around, many families are establishing businesses, and not only in the Philippines, but all around the world. So, why could not your family do it too if you are have the passion to do so? You see, I understand. It is not so simple to do anyway. It is not like something we all know instantly. Non-family businesses have its problems. However, when it comes to family businesses, there are unique problems.
There are many factors to consider: family dynamics, financial capital, and of course the business side (executive, management, administrative, and many other roles and responsibilities).
Eventually, your head and your heart could get affected on the downside when it comes to issues in professionalizing all activities while keeping the relationships in the family alive, sibling rivalry, succession, generational transitions, the family’s reluctance to intervention of non-family members, participation of in-laws, retirement and many others. Sounds familiar? Maybe not to someone who is new in the industry. So, when families struggle to establish their own businesses, I find it normal and understandable. Establishing your family’s own business has its many complexities.
The most sensible step to do is to become prepared, learn, and start whatever you can the earliest possible time, and not just “as soon as possible:” set a date and do it with your family!
There is no doubt about it. Establishing a family business is really life changing.
You could be free from the shackles of employment; your family would be there to support you, and they would be receiving tremendous benefits; you could provide outstanding products and/or services to the public, serve the community, the nation and who knows, the whole world.
One laments, “I am sick and tired of working as an employee. I want to stop this. I have a great idea.” Then, that person goes to meet the family and blurts out excitingly, “Let us have our own family business!” “Wow! That sounds amazing, but how?
We have not done that before in our family ever. What are we going to do? In the end, when there are doubts, I always refer to what Lao Tzu, A Chinese Taoist Philosopher wrote in his “Tao Te Ching” (The Book) …”the journey to a thousand leagues begins with a single step.”