Mother’s Day is just around the corner and for all of you working Moms out there, you know how difficult it can be balancing career and home life. As a serial entrepreneur, I know all too well the demands of making your dreams a reality while raising a family. Even now as my son is older, the job description has shifted. My son and I now run a travel accessories company together, The Travel Org, which comes with a whole new set of challenges and balances- like when to wear the “Mom” hat and when to be a business partner.
- Separate Your Work and Personal Life:
When working with family, things can easily get personal. You have a disagreement outside of work and the emotions carry over. This can be especially true in the mother- son relationship where typically, as a Mom, you are used to having the final say. It’s important to make decisions that are best for the business despite whatever else might be going on in your personal relationship.
It’s always nice to be right but it’s more important to make the right choice for your business. You have to pick your battles and know when to take a stand and when to let the other person have their say. Older is not always wiser. Sometimes my son brings up a point that I might have overlooked, like the importance of a place for electronics to millennial travelers. But other times, my gut tells me my longterm business knowledge of key market trends is on point, so I speak up. It’s a give and take.
- Create a Budget & Timeline Together:
In any business, it’s vital to create a budget and timeline. Having goals helps you to identify when you reach small milestones and keeps both parties accountable when you don’t. Money is often the biggest factor in dissent in any relationship. If both parties are aware of how the business is being run, you minimize the risk.
- Find a Third Party Mentor.
When working with family, it’s especially important to have a neutral advisor who is not a family member weigh in when things get complex. This can be a family friend or someone you both know and trust, or it can be a completely new party that you hire together for their consulting expertise. A third party can always see things looking from the outside in that you might overlook in the day to day operations.
- Be Willing to Walk Away
At the end of the day, some businesses succeed and some don’t. You have to be willing to walk away either way and maintain the relationship. Family first.