The Downside of, “It’s business”.


 “It’s just business”, “Don’t work with family”, “I don’t like to go into business with friends”. These kinds of phrases filter around quite a bit, and I’m sure that if you haven’t been on the receiving or giving end, you’re aware of their existence.  However, how much merit do these phrases really hold? And should we keep our personal and busines lives separate?

I’ll be the first to admit, working with family is difficult, it’s up there with running a marathon. It’s tedious, challenging and there are points when new levels of pain are reached. I will forever believe that no one can drive you crazier than your family. So, in saying that, what is the point? Why should we work with family?  In real estate, it is a people’s business. We work with people, people who have their own daily stresses and family drama.  However, despite the obvious strains of working with family, I’ve found that nothing makes you more compassionate towards other people. It takes down the barriers placed by a statement like, “It’s just business”. It forces you to view people as human, not a business item. The statement, “it’s just business”, gives us a fail safe for doing wrong by others. More often than none the trust within business of any kind is scarce because we adopt the mentality that if it’s business, we have a free pass to do whatever it takes to make a profit and hell cannot rain down on us. Well, let me tell you, when you’re working with family, at least in our family, hell will well and truly rain down.

It does put a strain on your family, things happen, relationships are tested and sometimes some poor innocent plant might be caught in the crossfire. So, is it worth it? In my opinion, absolutely. I would run a million family feud marathons, because at the end of the day it teaches us to treat people better. You have no choice but to work and learn when to stand up and fight or take a knee.  To treat people better and be able to deal with conflict in our connections; is that not the goal? As a company, engaging with people, is our goal, and from daily experience, there is no better teacher than your family; those who know exactly which buttons to push.

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