Family Business

The family business. Sometimes people get to decide that we are taking over the family business and other times it is decided for us. Either way, the family business is the way so many people end up doing what they do.

I personally did not end up in the family business whether it was my father as a mechanic or my mom who was a computer programmer for most of my life.

But I did end up in the business of doing family. Where the bottom line is more than profit margins, but we measure growth in other ways. Some growth is highly tangible, like my son getting taller, adding more words to his vocabulary, and his stability as he walks. Other growth isn’t as tangible.

Other other is more ‘guesstimated’. It is not exact a science. It is not as direct and easily broken down as my son’s growth. The growth of my ability to learn how to do plumbing working projects on my house is not a measured growth item. It is a checkbox all the same. I check that box as I know I can replace a bathroom sink.

The family growth is just as important to me as the business growth, and I might even argue more important. There is not as many measurements in the family growth department. Obviously, you have the business/factory model of the American establishment of education. But where is the family growth spreadsheet to show how much I have developed as a unit of a family?

Where is my quarterly review as a father and husband?

Not to say I should not be growing and developing in these areas for my own personal benefit. But if having regular reviews and development plans are essential to the way my brain works. Where are the family metrics to show a family who is developing and growing and becoming more than an analogue unit of “Yes, this family continues to be together” or “No, this family is no long considered a together unit.” Where are the gray areas where there is room to grow as people within this structure?

How are you developing your family? How are you measuring yourself within the context of your family? How are you growing as an owner in the business of your family? What are you measuring to know your growth and development is more than ‘felt’?

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Hitting The Mark

Where is your destination? What are your goals? How do you measure progress? How do you get there?

I recently experienced a situation where I thought I was spinning my wheels barely making any progress on what I was doing. I was trying to improve the quality of product but I felt like I was ultimately failing.

Turns out, I was not only doing a good job but out performing the widely accepted metrics of the industry.

I had no metrics of my own. I was just firing my work off into the ether and it felt like everything I was doing was barely more than a success.

Where is your destination? What are your goals? How do you measure progress? How do you get there?

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Measuring Up

When I was young, a mentor of mine took me out for a trip to Burger King. Nothing special there. Your usual run-of-the-mill, “flame broiled”, “have it your way” sort of place. However, we had a very unusual conversation. The conversation was about measuring up. It was about comparisons and expectations. Comparisons people make of me. Comparisons where other people would measure me and decide to deny or accept me based on how they thought I measured up to their sticks. 

I am beginning to realize I do this now. I measure other people. I say they should measure to metric 1, 2, and 3. Not because I have the golden ruler; simply, because I have developed what I think successful people do in my mind and I want everyone to succeed and therefore they need my metrics. 

I try to maintain a broad understanding of what it takes to be successful. However, that does not change the reality of me measuring people on a very imperfect ruler. My spacing is uneven, the stick curves, and it often fluctuates between Imperial Units and International Units

Who am I to be developing any sort of measuring stick for success?

I can clearly communicate expectations and direction for someone. I can develop a clear idea of who I want to be and what I want to do to succeed. However, it is not my job to develop a measuring stick to use to for others to in-errantly obey. It is my job to communicate to others a clear expectation for given situations (i.e. do not touch the stove, it is hot and will burn you most of the time.) It is my job to otherwise help others succeed in the areas they want to succeed in. 

Where are you developing measuring sticks? Where should you encouraging, not measuring?