Sunday, April 12, 2015

Project: The Trust Fall

Friends and Family!

Everyone who has ever had a cell phone through a major carrier (isn’t that everyone, you’re probably thinking. Haven’t we all traded in our landlines for handhelds?) has heard this cellular campaign rhetoric before. You get to pick a limited amount of friends and family members to make unlimited calls and texts messages.

Of course, if that gets leaked, it is a tell-all to who’s who in your life - a few of your favorite people in life. Maybe they are just your I.C.E contacts? Of course like a Netflix queue, we have the privilege of adjusting those we call our top priority people.

However, sometimes out of those five friends and family (or however few or many we may choose) we decide to take a risk, take the plunge and pursue the vision we have. We decide to open shop.

Whether it is developing an app.

Or breaking ground for a new shopping complex.

We take the trust fall.

But because we are a family we often make a trust fail.

Hive fives do not cut it:

Now, maybe business used to be conducted with a firm handshake – and if only things were that honest and simple. However, imagine if you were in a family, would that handshake translate to a high five? Even so, don’t take for granted the love, birth to the present life-long relationship and subsequent character reference that you have with a family member or friend good enough to go off of.

You need paper trails. You need John Hancocks. You need digital files.
You need to protect both of your interests.

1) Define leadership:

Sure, there’s always someone who will give the shirt off his or her back. And, sure, on the flip side, if the plane has the potential of crashing you have to put your mask on before you can help someone else. So it is all about give and take. Still, one of you has to take the role of leadership more seriously. Otherwise, you will have apathy on some parts or alphas butting heads.

Without a clearly defined leader, you will not have a clearly defined business plan or direction.

2) Family time is family time:

Learn to set business parameters. Home. Work. Play.

Also, there will be times you have to distance yourself from each other. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Don’t let your basketball court squabbles come into your conference room at work.

Don’t let your shredded documents from work become confetti at your kid’s birthday parties.

If your cell phone is used concurrently as your work phone, use discretion.

You do not get ahead by putting in more hours. You get ahead by putting more in your hours.

Also, when it comes to friends and family, it is always been about the quality. The quality of those whom we spend time with and the quality of time we spend with them.

So the hours you are at work with them, use them wisely. Because the hours you are not at work are the hours that made you feel you could trust them enough to have a business.

That made you feel passionate to pursue your vision. That made you excited to start a business that would make you jump out of bed.

That is the kind of family time you need to structure.

3) Mom & Pop & Sons:

A Mom & Pop store. A Father & Sons Establishment.

Either way, it is more than making a name for yourself; it is about making a legacy. You do not have to own an entity that employees thousands, you do not have to own a megaphone or have your face plastered on a billboard.

You have to see a problem, come up with a solution and start to resolve it. You have to make a difference and open the door for those behind you so they can continue to follow through.

You may have started with your family, but it is essential that you maintain your business in such a way that you protect it for your business family.

The trust fall takes at least two people.

Shake on it, hug it out, high five all the day long. Call each other up on the ol’ friends and family plan.

Just make sure you sign on some dotted line, somewhere. Make sure you are honest and up front. Make sure you protect each other. So make sure that you not only have each other’s backs, but you are protecting the backbone of the community. Both now and that of the future.

Going into business with those you love may be hard, and it is not for everyone. However, you do not have to have your trust fail you.

Are you a risk-taker? Did you take the trust fall with your family and loved ones?

Tell us your story!

-The Green Couch

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