5 situations you want to avoid before it becomes too late in your family business

file3441270327326I can’t tell you how many families come to me when the building is already deeply engulfed in flames (metaphorically speaking) and it’s probably too late to stop the fire and/or there’s been such damage done to the family and the business it takes years to recover.

What makes me so sad about the situation is many of these families were in a decent place on a decent course before somebody lit the match that started the place on fire.  Business coaching, and sports coaching for that matter, is all about building skills, muscles and ability so that when the ‘U no’ one hits the fan in the game you are ready to perform at high-level.  Unfortunately so many family businesses resist training and development until the you know what hits the fan.

Here are five situations you could avoid if you begin skill building and development while you’re doing well:

Becoming estranged from a parent or sibling

I’ve seen it too many times.  People aren’t good at handling conflict so they let all the conflict build up and then at some point it goes off like a grenade and they say things that are highly destructive, harmful and hard to repair.  They become estranged from each other and because of pride and hurt they are unable to repair the damage.

Losing capable team members in the family business

Either strong outside professionals or even strong and capable family members can leave a business because they can no longer stand the dysfunction or discord in the family business.  The exit of the employee significantly impacts the business’s ability to be competitive and successful

Developing physical ailments due to stress

Staying in stressful situations and not doing anything about it is one of the worst things you can do for yourself physically and mentally.  Sometimes the prolonged stress can lead to medical issues or substance abuse issues that might have been avoided had the family realized all great teams at all great Olympic athletes use coaching to improve performance, point out blind spots and help people avoid career limiting medical conditions.

Causing marital and family stress

I know this one first-hand.  When you have issues in the family business you don’t resolve, they almost always cause stress in your own marriage and  family.  No spouse or child wants to see their father or mother upset – especially with other family members.  This ongoing stress can have a seriously negative impact on everybody involved.

Wasting precious years in your career

You only have so many years in your professional career to build your identity, become an expert and be paid highly for your knowledge, experience and results.  Nothing breaks my heart more than to see someone spend 15 to 20 years in family business and then finally, with frustration and futility, walk away to start over.  The sooner you teach the family to be open to training and development the sooner you will be a highly professional family business and make the most out of your career.

The families that work on their own development and growth before trouble happens have a much greater chance of long-term success and happiness.  Don’t wait for the you know what to hit the fan.  It could be too late!