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Working with Family: The Formula to Entrepreneurial Success

3 Mins read

 Owning and operating a business with a parent may sound incredibly daunting. However, every parent-child relationship is so vastly different, and it can certainly be a rewarding experience that can help individuals grow both professionally and personally. Much more than the typical professional partnership, one with family members is a bond rooted in trust, mutual respect, and a shared vision for the future.

Having a parent stand by your side while operating a business is truly invaluable, as it provides you with the unique opportunity to learn from their expertise while incorporating that wisdom into a modern customer service strategy. It’s also not exclusive to any specific industry. Whether it be the education and children’s space or running a restaurant, learning from a parent’s past experiences can push your business ahead of the curve and even provide an advantage against the competition. By creating a collaborative environment where ideas are not only discussed, but encouraged and valued, you can set your business apart from the rest.

Families looking for insight on how best to manage a business together can leverage the following lessons:

Trust and Connection: Nurturing a strong sense of trust and connection is paramount when it comes to working with family. It’s important to take this deep-rooted bond and let it serve as a foundation for your journey together in business ownership.

Take advantage of the connection you have and trust your family member’s wealth of knowledge so you can learn from them. The parent may have years of industry and leadership experience, while the child may have insight on consumer trends and what appeals to the younger generation.

Challenge yourself by spending time with one another to understand each other’s roles and responsibilities as it relates to the business. Be sure to get hands-on experience, invest time in each other, and ask questions to get their perspective. Remember, it’s the combination of diverse insights and a shared purpose that propels family businesses forward, making them resilient and dynamic in the face of change.

Integrated Life: Working with your family is so much more than business; it’s an opportunity to strengthen your relationship outside of the office too. It’s essential to recognize that your professional partnership extends beyond the confines of the office—you can be collaborators, confidants, and family, all rolled into one.

For those embarking on a business journey with one of, or even both of, their parents, taking the time to speak openly about how you’d like to blend your professional and personal lives may be instrumental in strengthening your bond and driving your success. Try to embrace the opportunity to celebrate milestones together, engage in meaningful conversations outside of work, and create lasting memories that will sustain you through the challenges of entrepreneurship.

Unique Perspectives with a Shared Vision: When you’re collaborating with someone born in a different generation, it’s essential to leverage your unique perspectives while aligning on a shared vision for success.

Older generations serve as role models and mentors, bringing a wealth of knowledge that is critical to younger entrepreneurs. Your parent has likely faced a number of challenges in their professional career that you can learn from. Ask how they overcame those obstacles and what they took from those experiences. It’ll help with your decision-making and problem-solving as you run your business. Meanwhile, you can provide technological expertise, offer fresh ideas, and challenge preconceived notions about the business world. Contrary to common beliefs, it’s more than okay to embrace your differences and work together toward common goals. In fact, it can create a dynamic environment where creativity thrives and where both voices are valued.

Legacy Building: Owning a business together is about more than just financial success—it’s about building a legacy that can be passed down through generations.

It’s important to think long-term when running a business with a family member and always remember what motivated you both to become entrepreneurs in the first place. Whether it is a passion for the concept or a love of providing services to others, don’t lose sight of your mission. Staying true to your values will translate into sustained success, a clear strategy for the future, and a unique identity. This shared sense of purpose and commitment to leaving a lasting imprint can help drive dedication and can inspire you both to strive for greatness, ultimately making a positive impact on your business and the communities that you serve.

About Macy and Kelly Parke
Macy and Kelly Parke are the owners of the Mathnasium Learning Center locations in North Ogden and South Ogden, Utah. Macy, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Mathematics Teaching at the University of Utah, plans to teach high school math and operate Mathnasium centers post-graduation in 2025. Kelly, Macy’s father, worked 25+ in retail and coached semi-professional women’s soccer before joining Mathnasium with his daughter. Through their love of teaching children, both Macy and Kelly are using math to help our youth not only succeed in school, but in life. Mathnasium Learning Centers is an internationally known franchise with over 1,100 math-tutoring centers worldwide.

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