Business - Satisfying Your Personal and Professional Needs - Having Family Work With You

Business Solo Professionals



There are both advantages and disadvantages to having family members work with you in your business. One of my dreams has been to build a business in which all of my family members have an opportunity to use their skills and gifts if they choose to do so.

At this time I have two of three children and four of six grandchildren on staff. My daughter is my business assistant and marketing director all of which is done virtually as she lives three hours from my office. My older son does all my technological work, graphic design and accompanies me to speaking gigs. He lives five hours from my office. One grandchild works on social media. Another produces products that are for sale. A third grandson serves as my janitor. My granddaughter is the librarian.

When you have family members working for you, there seems to be less training. They know you and your style as well as the values that you wish to honour. Their wages are a business expense. The grandchildren are usually thrilled to have the opportunity to earn a cheque which they might not otherwise have had. You also have the precious thrill of working with and teaching them skills that will last a lifetime.

Working with family can also cause problems, especially if boundaries aren't strong. Everyone has "history" which can interfere with the working relationships and emotions can, at times, run high. You cannot easily fire someone to whom you gave birth!

If you are planning to work with family members it is important that you have clearly defined roles for each of you. You must be prepared for differences of opinion that might be rooted in past issues. Being able to work through problems will likely be beneficial for everyone - if the process is a healthy one.

The most important thing to remember is that you are the boss and because of that, have the responsibility to make the final decision on everything. You cannot micro-manage your family but you need to ensure that you and your family members know that you are the Chief Executive Officer.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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