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Keeping God and Balance in the Family Business

By Jim Berlucchi | Image by Getty Images/SDI Productions

Keeping God and Balance in the Family Business

Work and marriage, work and marriage – go together like a horse and carriage.

Remember that old tune? OK, maybe it was LOVE and marriage, but here’s the point: Business and family need not be opposed. Just keep one first. Without the family, there’s no business. But without the business, there’s still family. Better to lose the business than lose the family. After all, what does it profit a family to gain the whole world but lose its soul?

First, gauge your strength. Many families find that doing business together is a big plus. They see more of each other and share a common cause. They face common challenges and enjoy common benefits. If their family values are strong, they get stronger.

On the other hand … the family that works together suffers quirks together. Business is filled with problems. And those problems affect relationships. If their family values are weak, they’ll get weaker – week by week.

Second, pay heed to balance. It’s natural to have work spill over into family life. But all work and no play make the family a dull clan. Do you have family meals together? Is the conversation wide-ranging? Do you recreate together? Do siblings and parents pretty much like each other? If “yes,” you’re probably in good shape. If “no,” you might be out of balance. Business may be bumping family into second place and unfavorable status.

Third, boss beware. The boss (whoever that is) typically cares and worries most about the business. His or her thought life and time can easily get out of kilter. Be vigilant about excessive business focus.

Last, pray. You know the adage about families that pray together. It works for businesses too. I’ve consulted with several businesses whose members pray together. Prayer is the bottom line that can’t hurt the other bottom line.