How I Created The Perfect Business & Family Recipe For Success
Post written by Peter G. James Sinclair.
I can never wipe the image from my mind of my 2, 5, and 8-year-old children walking the streets with their mother and I, with a handful of pink advertising cards, for our brand new business venture. With their little hands they deposited these cards into mailboxes in our local community.
The air was filled with laughter and excitement as we ventured out as a family into the unknown business world to see what wonderful things would come.
Retrenchment Leads To A Decision
I had recently been retrenched for being too good at what I was doing for the organisation I had been working for (yes that does sound weird, but jealous management sometimes don’t make sensible decisions), and on that day I declared to my family that I would never again work full time for another man. And that was the day I looked around my house and saw what I had – a mop, a vacuum cleaner and some cleaning fluids – and I decided to start our own cleaning business.
So every one of us, as a family, were involved from the start, and within a week of operation, after we as a family walked the streets distributing those pink advertising cards, we were up and running and profitable in our own business. That business sustained us as a family for the next three years before I sold it on to a friend.
And in one sense that action has guided me throughout the years; to include my family in my business ventures – with differing levels of commitment – and strike up a balance that has included both business and family.
Balancing Business & Family
I wanted to include my family in my business activities as much as practically possible, so that they could receive a well-rounded education and an opportunity to develop life skills that would carry them on and into adulthood.
I did this in a number of ways throughout the years…
When I travelled the world to strike up book deals with publishing houses, for my self-published books, my travelling companion was my 14-year-old daughter.
When I decided to start a web design company I approached my 14-year-old son to be involved in it, and it wasn’t long before my eldest daughter became one of my star salesmen.
When I hired a business coach, and met with him on a weekly basis, I invited both of my teenage children to participate in the twelve-month program.
Since that time I have assisted those same children to launch their own businesses.
Has It Been Easy?
At times it has been extremely tough, particularly when we’ve had to make difficult business decisions. But I have never shielded my children from these struggles. They have been in the thick of it. They have watched their father and mother face troubles and yet overcome them. They have seen them handle difficult clients, insurmountable challenges and yet rise above them – sometimes gracefully and yet at other times not so well.
They have seen the successes. They have observed the mistakes. They have sensed the joy, and they have felt the pain.
We as a family thrive on open and unashamed communication one with another. That is our greatest strength.
And my two eldest children, now in their twenties are travelling on their own entrepreneurial journeys – strong, assured and capable.
Sure they will make their own mistakes – but I know that by training them up in the ‘real’ business world, they are now best equipped to build a wonderful life for both them and their families on and into the future.
So at this point in my life I was the eagle – removing the feathers from the nest so that my children could do one thing.
And what is that?
The very thing that our journey together, in business as family, has prepared them to do – and the one thing that they were born to do – soar!
photo source: chdf.org.au