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business families


family business paradox

In short, owning a
family business makes
it possible to stay together
as a family without much attention to nurturing
family relations or to developing leaders who
tend those relationships.

That's the paradox

– John Ward


So many privately-held Canadian businesses are run by husband and wife teams.  When working with
one's spouse day after day, the separation between t
he family/personal, the ownership and the management areas of a family business becomes very blurred.

To have a successful partnership in life and at work requires more effective communication skills than
those in a typical marriage partnership. It is no surprise that family issues affect the business and
vice versa. Most business families will acknowledge that planning for the business is very important.
However, planning for personal development and taking care of a couple’s personal relationship
also needs nurturing and attention if the business is to thrive. 
out of balance

A common problem is putting work first. Many couples spend so much time working on and caring for the business that they forget to grow together and care for themselves and each other. The business is often compared to the youngest child and the one that never stops needing them.

After taking one couple through a diagnostic exercise, it became clear that the wife, a talented professional managing a significant business and a family of four children, felt very out of balance.

Through our process, she realized it wasn’t family and business she was struggling with. She was out of balance because there was not enough time set aside for herself. So we developed a strategy whereby she blocked off certain days as personal time.  As a result, her productivity at work went up and she lost 30 pounds thanks to her exercise time.

Back to what we do. . . .


© Copyright 2009 Family Business Paradox Inc.