This question was sent in by Jessica Rivers over at Business Beware Show. I thought it was a good question and my sisters and I had to respond to it because it’s a question that often comes up with us. Here’s what we had to say:
“My sister and I want to go into business together since both of us lost our jobs last year. What should we expect going into it and what’s your advice to siblings working together?”
“Ah, great question Jessica! If I had a quarter for every time I was asked this…Don’t do it! Totally kidding, it’s actually one of the coolest things you can do when you get the chance to work with family. It’s not easy by any means but the pros far outweigh the cons. Luckily for me I was already involved in the family business before I started working with my sisters, so I had some time to get use to it before Rachel and Leah did. When the 3 of us went in together for the first time it was easy for us to jump in but we definitely saw that we had to make some ground rules of who was doing what. Each of us have so much to bring to the table but at the same time we each have a specific trait that makes the puzzle fit together. We had to bring out what we do best and concentrate on it to make the business work.
Personalities are going to clash at some point. Think back on when you were growing up, you always had some disagreement even if it was something miniscule. Don’t fight over the small things, leave drama outside the work place and instead of fighting, push each other to be the best. My sisters and I have a GREAT dynamic with each other but we still hash things out, which sometimes actually turns into a brilliant idea. My favorite thing is the fact that your family is going to be brutally honest with you when a co-worker might not be so play that to your advantage. My advice is make sure you’re ready to work side by side with each other everyday and that you define roles for each other. Otherwise, have a blast!” -Ashley
“Make sure each of you love what you are about to jump into business and do on a daily basis! If one likes it and the other doesn’t then it’s bound to cause some tension down the road. Like Ashley said, make sure that your dynamic is one that is strong and that can be tested during the bad days. Running a business is not easy on it’s own and sometimes when you throw family personalities together it can be even tougher. But we can speak from experience and say that it is by far one of the best things we have ever done.” -Rachel
“Expect anything! Anything can happen when starting your own business, especially when it comes to a family business. Be patient with each other and try to listen more than you talk. Always be honest and up front about your thoughts and feelings… we can’t all read each others’ minds.
Siblings have a special bond with one another, a bond that cannot be broken, stay strong as a pair and you will make it through anything!” -Leah