Family Opinion: Ally or Adversary?

When starting up a business, family members and close confidants may get a seat at the table and have a vote in your decision. Some may find counsel from a wide array of individuals to be helpful.  Others find an open forum leads to opinions that may be classified as unsubstantiated or naïve. Before you decide to embark on this journey, it is wise to determine who the players are. It is up to you to set the proper foundation so that unwelcome comments don’t create unnecessary distracts.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking advice, especially if you are untested in your abilities to dissect business opportunities. Just make sure that the chosen few that have a vote have access to all of the information that you do. Often, it is best that key individuals are present during all discussions. This will provide the best opportunity for everyone to give an informed opinion.

I believe family members mean well. For the most part, risk aversion is the standard mentality.  Protecting what you have is always the easiest avenue as no business venture is immune to failure. Taking a safe route often leads to inaction and passing up on an opportunity that you firmly believe is sound. A dream will stay a dream… Make sure you are strong willed so that haphazard opinions about where you are headed aren’t replacing yours.

Listening to advice from your family also shows them you confide and believe strongly in what they have to say. They would happy to be invited to sit with you and discuss your future as a business owner. There is bound to be conflict as some family members tend to feel like they know better than you. If they have firsthand experience, you should hear them out. If they act like they are wiser simply because they are older, listen, but proceed with caution. More gray hairs doesn’t automatically create rational thoughts.

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