Bringing Business Talk Home to the Family
People say you shouldn’t bring work home, that you will end up dragging the stress and frustration of your work day into the evening and forcing it onto your family. This, however, refers specifically to the negative aspects of work. For small business owners, discussing certain intricacies of work life with family can be both therapeutic and beneficial to the whole family.
Any business owner, whether of a startup or a more established company, can better themselves by talking over their issues with people who have their best interests in mind. Unless you have access to a team of consultants to ask day-to-day questions to, learning how to talk to your family about your company is important. You can ask for suggestions on how to deal with an employee problem or which paintings make the reception area most aesthetically pleasing. Tell them some of your big picture concerns and reflect on your progress over the years. You may even be surprised and produce a solution to one of your biggest problems just by listening to a new perspective. Involving your family into your company in this sense may even spark an interest in them and promote the development of a family business.
While they are young, children are very impressionable. By listening to a business owner talk about their daily struggles at work, children will be exposed to a real entrepreneurial mindset, this will help them understand and appreciate the nuances of running a company and promote a healthy work ethic. It will also help them have a better grasp of concepts that the education system fails to provide them with, the most obvious of which is money and finances. Particularly for millennials, money has become a very touchy and offensive subject. Entrepreneur says, “(It is) Good for kids to know where the money comes from and understand what it takes to support a family.” That is wisdom that you as a small business owner can impart onto your children.
Speaking from personal experience, your child will grow to appreciate the effort that you put into their understanding of how your company runs. My own father is the owner of a small business that I was able to witness develop over the years. He would come home from a day of battling with clients and coworkers and impart onto us all his thoughts for the day. What he could have done better, what spent too much effort on, what he should have spent more effort on… Evenings spent listening to my father think out loud and jumping in with a suggestion every now and then allowed me to see myself in his shoes, running my own business. Talking to him about his financial troubles and triumphs gave me a healthy, professional attitude towards concepts such as loans and lines of credit while learning to understand the importance of money.
When you leave work drained from your day of managing your company, go home and tell your kids and spouse about your day. For the sake of you, your family and your business.