5 Keys to Making Sure Your Family Doesn't Resent Your Business

Lender Bagel Family Photo Credit - Carl Lender

Lender Bagel Family
Photo Credit – Carl Lender

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, the desire to care and provide for our families motivates us.  It is the reason that we do what we do.  We build our businesses so we can have a lifestyle of freedom that allows us to invest time and money in the relationships that matter the most…    Namely our families.

The pitfalls on the road to this goal are obvious.

  • Overwork as our business takes our best time and energy
  • Deadline driven projects that keep us away from our families
  • Emails and phone calls from clients that interrupt our family time
  • Pushing family members to work in roles they don’t enjoy
  • Financial challenges
  • And the list goes on and on and on….

The results are destructive.

  • Spouses who complain that we are never home
  • Children that resent the business
  • Missed commitments that erode trust in relationships
  • Unstable finances.

Here are 5 Keys to Making Sure Your Family Doesn’t Resent Your Business


  1. Discuss time boundaries with your family and honor them – Victoria and I came to an agreement about what my work hours would be.  If I needed to work or meet a client outside of that time we agreed to discus it before I made a commitment.  This provided stability for her.
  2. Don’t force family members to do work they don’t enjoy – If a family member works in the business, make sure they are doing something they enjoy.  They may have to “fill a hole” for a short time, but don’t let them stay there.
  3. Take time off when you have the opportunity – Every business has intense seasons that demand a lot from us and our families.  Make sure when things are slower, you take some time to rest and invest in your family.
  4. Be careful about endangering the families finances – There is already enough risk to the family because of having your personal income tied to the business.  Be careful about making financial and legal commitments that put the family at risk.  I made this mistake early on and when our business failed it forced personal bankruptcy for both Victoria and I.
  5. Make sure you love what you do – If you enjoy your work in the business, you will be much happier. This will make life better for your family.  Dissatisfaction has a way of coming home and affecting those closest to us.

Starting and running your own business gives us an incredible opportunity to have the life and family relationships we really desire.  Lead with strength and courage, say “no” to those things that would destroy your family, and reap the benefits of a blessed business AND a blessed family.

What steps do you take to make sure your family doesn’t resent your business?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.


  • Brian

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