The Power of Your Family Business Story
Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. It has been used to keep families together, pass on traditions, and bind communities. It’s only recently families have begun to grasp its ability to preserve family businesses.
Each and every family has stories of success, failure, hardships, recovery, lessons that are learned and forgotten. We all know that family history and legacies are important to keeping the family and the family business alive.
What’s your story? Are you keeping your family business story alive? Have you taken some time to think about your story? Do you record family milestones? Those who are aware have asked me, where do I start? Follow these 3 easy steps and your story will be kept alive generation to generation.
Share Stories You Know With Your Family — Conduct interviews among a few of family members. Start with a simple questions like: “Why did you choose to get involved with the family business?” As your interview continues, ask more probing questions like, “What do you regret not doing?” and/or “What personal values are most dear to you?” Think about your own family and ask questions about what you would want to know.
Be Sure To Record The Interviews — Use a digital voice recorder or software such as GarageBand. You can also write them down in a word processor. There is nothing that compares to hearing a story from a family member who has lived through the experience. Emotions are effective when recorded. If you want future generations to pay attention to your stories, this can be the best format.
Take The Next Step — Choose someone in your family to be the “legacy keeper.” This person can supplement the stories. Research memorabilia, pictures, old home videos, of milestones from the early days of the company that will show the richness of your story.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take action, while your family is healthy, vibrant and full of rich stories to share. Record your stories now and you will reap the benefits for many years to come.
My wife and partner, Rosann, has already shared her story by writing her memoir, It’s Never Too Late Too Dance. Her story encompasses her life and her business successes enabling our legacy to be passed on forever.
Go to amazon.com if you are interested in reading our story. It is available digitally and in hard/soft cover.