As women working with their families in business, we struggle with many issues. At any given moment we are wearing a different hat: the mom, the wife, the sister, the aunt, the grandmother.  Regardless of which hat we wear, the re-enactment of the family dynamics plays out in the family business whether we like it or not.

Having worked with my husband and two of my sons in our family business for more than 12 years, I became aware that the dynamics of my family played into the family business. Sometimes it was as if I were back home hearing to my son’s argue over a toy, or my husband trying to resolve their conflict.

This brought me back to my role and how my sons and my husband perceived me in the business.  Was I taken seriously?  Were their feelings ambivalent?  Regardless of what they thought or felt, it was important to address my feelings and my relationship with them.  I had to remove my emotional conflict between that of being mom, and that of being the wife. I had to let them know I am a businesswoman. This is easy to say, not necessarily easy to get across.

There was much to learn to keep harmony.  I knew I was more adaptable, but questioned my talents and judgments. I had to learn how to be more assertive and stand up for my beliefs. I had to rid myself of fear and self-doubt.  It was hard and took many years of family business therapy, something I strongly recommend.

My husband, sons and I spent 7 years working with a family therapist and learned how to work together in harmony.  We learned respect, boundaries, to relinquish control and trust.  But, we had to agree to change and fortunately we did.  Our openness to change enabled us to build our family business and achieve our desired success.

Our power is within.  We must acknowledge and project our strengths and not let our anxieties hold us back.  We must not project what others think or doubt our actions and decisions.

Assert yourself, exert your power and relish your success within your family and within your family business.

Till next time…..

Keep on dancin’!