Sunday, May 5, 2013

How to raise a family entrepreneur

Ahead of Father's Day this year, I used this column to answer the two questions people often ask me about having a kid growing business bent.

First question: What do I have to make my situation? And second: What I would recommend to others?

People ask me questions because one of my daughters to run my software business founded in Oregon, other social media startup, and other relatives under the water in their own startups in New York.

I did not set out to create a family business or family startup. I was in my 30, married, with four children. I started the business planning software business, but it never occurred to me that someday the family members can join. I'm just trying to live doing what I'm interested in and find people who appreciate my products and services.

But this is what happened. My children, who never complained about the disk label and the occasional gathering Saturday morning in the 1980's, went with a bachelor's degree, the importance of technology and initiatives. They became involved in the company my own startup or both. (If you're curious to learn more, you can check them out on Twitter: @ teamreboot, @ meganberry, and mommyceo @ @ @ timberry eugenesocial me.)

Related: Tip Warning A father leads the family business grow

Regarding the first question about what my husband and I did or did not do to make a sort of family business, I have to say that it does not happen by accident or by any plan. But when I look back, I see, in retrospect, two important factors.

    Not encouraging. My husband and I had never considered, as we raise and teach our children, that we are pointing them in a particular direction. True, we did ask them to crunch time to help our software business. But there was not even a moment that they are supposed to work in the family business at some point.
    Education in our family is about learning, not preparing for a business career. All five had a bachelor's degree from a prestigious school and two college degrees, but no major business or a master's degree in business administration with them. They chose their own college and learn what they want. They found the technology and Entrepreneurship then, when the time is right.

About what I would recommend to others, I see advantages and disadvantages to mixing business with family. In my case, pro win, but that's not always the case.

Related: Father Inventor

People tend to reject the idea of ​​doing business with a partner, parents or children because the relationship seems to suffer. It is a tendency to mix business interactions family discussion, and I saw some in dealing with my wife and kids. There is also a tendency sometimes fall into old patterns and habits, parent to child and child to parent. We tried to avoid it, but it happens.

There are several ways to reduce most of the risk, such as family businesses adopt codes or get a mentor. While we do not always follow the best practices, we are basically trying.

Then there is nepotism, the ugly word that assumes a family member in a family-run business is less competent than others. But it is important to note that there may be a different side to the coin nepotism. I have been blessed with intelligent, interested, competent, hard-working family members and trustworthy applied their talents and make a major contribution to the business.

The whole issue is not simple, but for me, it was great to do business with a family member. I'm glad I did.

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