Don’t Mix Family And Business

I don’t know where the idea of not mixing family and business came from but it needs to die. And to be honest, it makes no sense! I really don’t like making things a race/culture thing but I have noticed that in the black community specifically, this concept is the norm. If a family member comes to you to partner in a business venture, you have to reject it because you know “you can’t do business with family”.

As a history enthusiast, and I use that phrase loosely lol, I noticed that if we go as far back as the “biblical days”, family and business have always been one and the same. Think about it. Back then, agriculture was not only necessary for the family to survive (farming is how families got food to eat) but it was how they made money (sold food for profit). That sounds like one hell of a family business to me.

If you don’t want to go that far back, let us take a look around us to see how many FAMILIES are doing business together.

Exhibit A – Ford Motor Company

Ford was founded by Henry Ford in 1903 and is the second-largest auto manufacturer in the United States and fifth-largest in the world. His family still owns a 40% stake in the company and is actively involved in the business. His great-grandson William Clay Ford Jr. serves as executive chairman, his great-great-granddaughter Elena Ford is the chief customer experience officer, and his great-grandson Edsel B. Ford II serves on the board of directors.

Exhibit B – Aldi

Aldi was founded by brothers Theo and Karl Albrecht in 1946. It grew into a global supermarket chain that acquired Trader Joe’s in 1979. Yea, I bet you didn’t know that. When Theo died in 2010, his sons Theo Jr. and Berthold inherited the family business and the family still owns 100% of the business today.

Exhibit C – Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A was founded by S. Truett Cathy in 1946 and is the third-largest fast-food chain in the United States. The company has remained in the family’s control and as of today, S. Truett’s sons Dan and Donald Cathy serve as the CEO and executive vice president of Chick-fil-A.

Exhibit D – Walmart

Walmart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and when he died in 1992, he left 50% of the company’s equity to his wife and children. His family manages these shares and many of his family members have worked at the company or served on the board of directors. As of today, Sam’s son and grandson Jim and Steuart Walton serve on the board of directors.

Doesn’t that just inspire you to build your own family dynasty? Like, reading about major corporations like these that are still fruitful because they kept it all in the family motivates me to keep being great. Like, they were really out here building generational wealth and that is my life goal. I would love to put my family in a position to be that powerful. When I look at my peers of other ethnicities and cultures, I see that they, in fact, keep it all in the family. It’s always family business.

Now I will confess that I have not started any business ventures with family but I have received support from family members in my business ventures and I have supported the family in their ventures. Maybe one day I can hire my family to work with me in the great things that I have cooked up — like my 360 photo booth business. I need some people to operate these booths at events since I can’t be everywhere at once so why not hire my own family — if they want to of course.

Moving forward, instead of rejecting the idea of doing business with family, let us try to get to the root of that. Is it because there is a lack of trust? If so, why is that? Are we projecting our insecurities on other family members so doing business together wouldn’t work? Whatever it is, let us work through that so we can get to the real goal — generational wealth. I mean, c’mon now, you literally can’t build generational wealth without family. What are your thoughts?

Until Next Time,


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