I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what matters most in life. This past weekend, my daughter Tori got married in a beautiful wedding ceremony near Park City, Utah. It seems like not too long ago, Mary Catherine and I walked down the aisle. Years have passed, the kids have grown up, and now I’m the father of the bride – twice over, since my oldest daughter Alex married last year. Family gatherings and events have a way of putting things into perspective. To further add to that perspective, I’m writing this article on Sunday night underneath a sky full of stars a few hours south of the wedding venue in the desert town of Moab, Utah. With stars overhead and family in my heart, I thought I’d share some thoughts about the importance of family in your business pursuits.
In my very first column, I shared my reasons for starting a business twenty years ago. At the very top of the list was the desire to spend more time with my family. Not only that, but I also believed that business ownership would better position me to make more money for my family. I was wrong on both accounts. In fact, I had it backwards. As it turns out, my family has been my biggest asset and source of strength.
Emotional support: During challenging times, your family provides a reliable support system unlike any other. Their understanding, encouragement, and reassurance can help you stay resilient and motivated in the face of business obstacles. They offer a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on when you need to vent or seek guidance. My spouse has been my biggest emotional support system, and my adult children often surprise me with their ability to provide support for their old man.
Shared vision: Most families share similar values, beliefs, and long-term goals. Even when families develop differences of opinion about certain beliefs over time, they still have that common upbringing to relate to each other. When your family shares your entrepreneurial journey, they can better understand your aspirations, which fosters greater support and commitment from them.
Practical expertise: Family members often have a wide range of skills and expertise that can be valuable to your business. Whether it’s financial management, marketing, or operations, tapping into their knowledge and experience can save costs and enhance efficiency. My daughter Tori worked in our business during college, and her graphic design skills earned her a spot on the team. My daughter Alex has provided sound business advice and suggested client opportunities. My son’s athletic pursuits have helped me foster business connections that lead to new accounts. My wife is a co-owner of the business.
Trust and loyalty: Family members inherently have a deep-rooted trust and loyalty towards one another. This trust extends to your business, creating a solid foundation built on unwavering support and commitment. With family by your side, you can rely on their unwavering dedication and loyalty, providing stability and confidence as you navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. Money can buy you many things in the business world, but it can’t buy you trust and loyalty. Your family is loyal to you with no strings attached.
Resilience: Just like the marriage vows, families stick together through good times and bad. That doesn’t mean families don’t go through hard times – they do. Most healthy families overcome challenges and bounce back. You can quit a job or close a business, but you can’t fire your family. Overcoming challenges in my family and emerging stronger on the other side has made me a better business leader.
I could probably keep writing about this topic well into the night. Although my iPad battery has plenty of charge left, the desert night here in Moab is starting to cool off, so I better wrap this up.
I pray that my newlywed daughter Tori finds as much strength and support in her marriage as I have found in mine. My marriage has produced three wonderful children, now adults, who have supported and encouraged me, along with their mother, every step of the way. They have talked me out of bad decisions and applauded my good decisions. They have supported me when I’ve made mistakes and understood me during tough times. They have provided a shoulder to cry on when no one else would listen or care. My family has been the greatest asset and source of strength for my business. I couldn’t have come this far without your love and support. Thank you, family. I love you all more than words can express.
[Joe Domaleski, a Fayette County resident for 25 years, is the owner of Country Fried Creative – an award-winning digital marketing agency located in Peachtree City. His company was the Fayette Chamber’s 2021 Small Business of the Year. Joe is a husband, father of three grown children, and proud Army veteran. He has an MBA from Georgia State University and enjoys sharing his perspectives drawing from thirty years of business leadership experience. ]