Brandon Dawson, Natalie Dawson, Josh Dawson, and Chris Workman standing together in front of State Farm stadium

4 Quick, Easy Tips To Avoid Drama In Your Family Business

December 24, 2021

Don’t let the “family” in your family business ruin your business

I’m so lucky to get to work with three members of my family in our business. It means that we get to do cool things together, like travel, go to baseball games, and enjoy meals together — probably a lot of things we wouldn’t get to do together otherwise, because one of us would be traveling or it would be impossible to align our schedules. 

We also get the shared experience of working together on the same thing. Before our family members started working with us at Cardone Ventures, they were excited and supportive, but they didn’t really “get’ it in the same way that they do now. And that’s great. I feel like I have even more people that I really trust who I can lean on to get shit done.

But let’s be clear: Families aren’t without drama. After all, they are families. So, with that in mind, I wanted to share with you 4 quick and easy tips that will help you avoid the drama, feel the love, and 10X the business. 

Be clear about who is in charge. Always. 

This is all about roles and responsibilities. And being very clear about them. 

When personal relationships start to seep into the workplace in an unhealthy way, that’s when people start making choices they wouldn’t otherwise make, and that usually means that a client ends up being underserved, or that family member is being treated in a way that shows favoritism — you can’t do that!

Think about what an uncomfortable and unprofessional environment you’re allowing into your organization. So if you’re an executive in the organization, there are sometimes going to be decisions that we make that the people in our family do not like, but at the end of the day, you have to do what’s right by your clients and your team. 

If that makes your family members (or you) too uncomfortable, then a family business arrangement might not be best for you. 

Don’t try to be in charge if you’re not in charge. Ever. 

Remember what I said about perceptions of favoritism? Well, here’s another great example of that. Sometimes family members who have other family members in positions of power have a tendency to feel that they somehow also possess that power because of their personal relationships within the organization. 

Guess what? They don’t. Like, not even a little bit. 

Don’t put personal agendas in front of the family or the business

Often, when there’s high emotion in a business situation, there’s low intelligence. In other words, you’re letting your emotions guide you and get the best of you. 

This is not going to lead to the outcomes that you want, so you need to be very honest with yourself — and very honest with your family members — when you see personal agendas distracting from you reaching your collective goals. 

What Brandon likes to say is that the art of growing and scaling a business, especially with family, means the only emotion you’re injecting into the business is the emotion of celebration.  

Don’t let communication be an assumption

There are always going to be issues in a business, whether they’re operational, cultural, or financial. In a different sort of way, there’s an increased potential for personal issues when it comes to a family business. 

This makes communication that much more important. You should never be making the assumption that someone “got the message” or that they’re thinking something they might not be. 

You might even think that you and your family member have some sort of special telepathy and therefore you don’t need to over communicate. Guess what? You’re wrong. And you do need to communicate as much as possible in order to avoid confusion and misdirection. 

Where you have confusion, you have failure. Never make assumptions.

Want to learn more quick, easy tips about growing and scaling your business? You need to download my Alignment Guide and you need to download it NOW! 

Get clear on your shared mission, finally define your 10-year picture, and establish your organization’s values. Download the Alignment Guide now!

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