There are many challenges that come along with being in a family business. Tune in to find out what they are and how to overcome them.
Hey, welcome back to another episode. My name is
Sangha and I are Harjeet Sangha, and we are the business brothers. Yeah, you
Got to stay tuned with us because we're, we're perfecting this, this intro for you guys here today. My brother and I, are obviously a business. This podcast is new for us, and I'm super excited because I get to have some great conversations with my brother in front of, in front of you, those of you out there watching, and those of you out there listening truly appreciate you tuning in. So today's episode is really around the challenges that come along with being part of a family business and being part of a family business. Growing up in a family business, I can tell you that it has a lot of benefits, but we're going to save that for another episode today, we're going to talk about the juicy stuff, which is the challenges that come along with a family business. And I think the first thing that I want to illustrate is that you're not alone, right?
If you think that you're part of a family business that may be dysfunctional, that may be super challenging, that may you want to pull out your hair? Hence, you know, both hearts and I had gotten no hair on our heads here. You're not alone. Cause we felt your pain. We know what it's like. And, and you know what, we're going to give you some solutions here as well. So I hope you enjoy this episode so hard. You know, we talked about the challenge. We were going to talk about three particular challenges here today when it comes to having a family business, what are your thoughts on the challenges that come along with family business?
Well, I think there's there's many, right? But if we can kind of narrow down that focus to the ones that we see more commonly, not just in the business that we've shared growing up, but also kind of where we hear other stories and in terms of their challenges. So there's, there's many that come out and there are, they're all unique, each family and each business, but really if we had to kind of narrow it down to the three biggest ones, those are the ones we're going to highlight.
Okay. So let's just jump right into it. And I think the first one that pops up in my mind is, okay, so you got two people in a business, so hard, you and I were brothers, right? And the big thing that stands out for me is conflicting vision and priorities. Because when you're working with a sibling or you're working with a parent, maybe you're working with one of your kin kids, you may have a different vision than they do, and your priorities might be different. And let me just share a simple example, hard you and I, we're both fathers, we're both family men and we're devoted family men. And our vision when it came to business brothers, I think at the beginning, wasn't exactly the same. And we still have a little bit of, you know, your thoughts are a little bit different than ours, but we just had a conversation the other day, right? In terms of, Hey, you know, we're pivoting, we're doing things differently. Where do we both fit in? And what's the ultimate vision and being on the same page is definitely important.
That's the biggest part, right? He said pivot, and you can't be standing still in this environment because that instills a new going backward. So those visions and those values may change, but ultimately you want them to change for the better. Right. And having good communication allows those pivots to happen. Right. As opposed to not saying anything at all. So you're going to have differences of opinions, but as long as there's a, there's an underlying foundation of respect and trust, you'll find your way.
Yeah. I think that's important because I started that off with both of us have fathers and we have kids, my kids are eight and six hard. Do you have a one-year-old or do they want to come in on the way? And even though we're devoted family, man, we're, we're in a little bit of a different position. Right. Whereas my priorities are still my kids, but you're in a different time. You're still there dealing with a baby. That's waking up in the middle of the night. Right. You're starting to figure out how to get time for yourself,
Really, not just on the west coast, 3 hours behind, but also in the perspective of how do you establish a regular routine and routine and a young toddler don't (Inaudible). So it's about finding that balance or harmonization, which you kind of hear more and more about. So yeah, it's exactly that, you know, not every individual in the family business is going to be on the same wavelength, but it's about finding that frequencies that match. Having the opportunity to collectively bring that together. So no matter what's happening in each of your lives, you're still able to vibrate together, going forward in a positive manner.
Yeah. And I think that's, that's the thing because we are humans and my priority is not going to be the same as your priorities, nor is it going to be the same as our mom's priorities. And I think, one of the biggest challenges I see people in any relationship, whether it's a business relationship or personal relationship, is that we always want to, we always want our priorities to fit other people's priorities. And that's not the reality of life. And especially in family businesses, I see this quite often is that people just have conflicting priorities. One person might be ready to retire and maybe they don't want to take risks in the business. And this happens a lot when the first generation is ready to exit or close to exiting. And the second generation is, is wanting to take over and they're excited and they're gung ho, but they can't make the changes because the first generation is still involved in the same. No, hold on. You know what young kids just take it easy. That's a little bit too risky, a harvest. Do you see that?
Certainly. I think when you do look at the complexities behind that, certainly the hardship that the first generation went through, they kind of also want that next generation to kind of feel that same level, not the hardship itself or at least a commitment to what it takes to be successful, but you're also seeing a lot of technological change and advance it. So things that we used to do no longer fit in, or they're so archaic that they actually don't even allow for, for efficiency. So those are some of the other visions and priorities I would say, are really challenging what the family business is. There are newer and better and more efficient ways to do things. So sometimes we just have to let go of how we did them in the past, just to understand and trust the process that there there are opportunities to do them better.
Yeah. It's really interesting too because although you and I, talk quite often, we're in communication with each other. We've talked about our priorities, but I don't know if we've really outlined them to each other. It's to say, Hey, look, this is the number one priority for me. Number two, number three, number four. And this is your priority, but I think it's important to have those conversations with the people in your business and openly talk about them. I think sometimes we shy away from those conversations because they're uncomfortable. And I think that comes into the next challenge of family businesses is how do you have effective communication? Because it's easy to communicate with a family member, just like a family member. But if it's about business, then that might cause some complications. Because as an older brother hearts, I can say certain things to you, but as a business partner, I'm not going to say them in the same way. It has to be different.
Yeah. You were different for sure. You're going to have the hat that you wear in your family setting. There's a different hat that you would wear in the business setting. And certainly for our family businesses and the other family businesses that I've seen, for example, you just don't see some of the children call their parents, mom or dad, and in a family business setting, you actually see them call their parents by their name, just so that the layer of the family within the business, you're trying to separate the two together. And certainly, there are emotions that can carry over from the family side, into the business side, whether that's joyous or resentment or, or whatever the feelings may be. But it's very important to understand that you have great communication on both sides, right? There's, there's no such thing as successful marriage without great communication. The same thing on the business side, it need to be able to communicate in an effective.
Yeah, it's really interesting because we, both are from obviously an Indian background and it's really, I don't know if I'd ever been able to call my dad when he was around lucky like that was his nickname or my mom bell beer. That just seems odd to talk about like that. I think it's just our ethnic background, but I think it's, it's important to notice that how you communicate at work does have an influence in terms of the working relationship and being able to talk about work differently than talking about business. I think I see a lot of challenges too. And I've heard from many people that when families are also in business, it's easy to talk about business all the time. Right. And then the whole family communication becomes about business and they can't pull themselves away. And I think hearts, you and I, we spent less, almost six weeks together, 5, 5, 4 or five weeks for sure. And our families were together, which is probably what the, one of the best summers I've ever had. And we ended up talking a lot about our business and I sometimes I'm sure our wives were like, okay, let's talk about something else. Our kids were probably like, okay, let's do something else. So it's, it's I think from that perspective, it's easy to get consumed and have your communication revolve around the business as well.
For sure. I think that in any event, whatever you do in your life, whether it's running a family business or, you know, having a very busy and growing career that passion usually does drive its energy into your household. But ultimately to, to kind of separate the two, it does take effective communication to say, okay, now business hours are done and it has other texts of conversation. But I think it's important to know too, that you are not your business, right? You're still the same individual and person you are that family person, whether your business is thriving or start doing so well. It's important to know that when you come home that you are not your business, your relationship is not the business, because if that's all you have at the end of the day, then that's, that's a very limited platform of, of who you are as an individual,
Which is really interesting because we, we come from the agricultural sector, right? We grew up on an orchard and the average person, I would say, because a lot of the work that we do is actually working with people in their identities, as well as the average person actually identifies themselves by their career or the job title or their business. And that is prominent for most people out there. And then you add on a whole different layer because you're trying to come home and say, okay, I'm not business owner. I'm a father when I come home or a husband. But if you're coming home where other people in your family are part of your business, well, it's hard to shed that because they're coming home with that same approach to, and growing up on an orchard. Well, guess what you live on the orchard, guess what?
When you open your doors, you're out there in your business, right? And you're, you're constantly looking at what's happening or their fruit is fruit growing effectively. So there's a, there's a difficulty I would say. And I think that's the next challenge is drawing the line between family and business and hearts. I don't, I, I don't know what your suggestions are. Kind of open it up to you first, but it's not easy. And part of me even thinks maybe there is no line, maybe it's an imaginary line. Maybe there is no line between family and business.
Yeah. And I think you don't have to kind of expand on that thought yet. You're so immersed in your business that your lens can actually see some of the peripheries of that vision, that you would get the advantage that you would get by taking a step back or going 30,000 feet above. So to kind of use our family perspective, into this conversation is that you may think, you know, your business intimately, but you're missing some details that you would get if you actually just took a step back or took a different approach to it. So certainly when it consumes it all levels, you know, as you mentioned, you kind of walk out the door and you're into your, there needs to be a clear separation. Otherwise, there's just, no, there's no ability to kind of reboot or energy or recalibrate. If you're constantly in your business mind, you're going to lose your family or you're going to lose other aspects that bring you joy in your life. So there, there needs to be a harmonization that doesn't mean that you ignore one or the other. They, they, they deserve great attention and equal attention to it, but it takes the skill and the patience to be able to look back and actually kind of separate yourself out from the business, from a perspective, just to see if you are missing any details.
Yeah. I think that's where having commitments and accountability are important because if you have, if there's a couple that's in business and that couple's on vacation, for example, and one, one person, let's just say the husband is still looking at his phone or doing work emails. Well, it pulls the other spouse into it naturally. So I think the family as a whole has to make a commitment to say, okay, well, we're having dinner when we're having Thanksgiving dinner, or when we're on vacation, we are just a normal family. We don't have to deal with business. In fact that we're going to kibosh that and hold people accountable who are going over the light and actually still working on their business. I think that's important. I find this, I find, I hear this quite often is people talking and saying this one term, we are a business family.
And I find that very interesting. And a lot of times I have to redirect their focus and say, you're not necessarily a business family. You are a family who happens to be operating a family business who is in business. And that's a different perspective because when you meld a business when you say business family, you are melding business and family together, and that's, that's a tricky road. I would say it's even dangerous because what ends up happening is you put your business. And this is natural ahead of a lot of the family things or a lot of the family aspects or challenges or resources and focus for example. And it's very easy for the average person, forget about the family business. It's easy for a regular or normal entrepreneur career person to get drawn and sucked into the business or career. Now you, if you say you're a business family, that's just a that's just opening the gates there.
So, you know, we we've talked about the challenges. Maybe there's a line, maybe there's not a line. So let's talk about some solutions when it comes to conflicting priorities or effective communication or, or drawing the line between family and business. Here's my recommendation hearts. And you can jump in as well as, and I'm not saying this selfishly, we work with family businesses, but there's always, there's always a benefit to having a third person's opinion, leadership, guidance, mentorship, whatever it is, someone else that doesn't live, eat and breathe. What you are living in, breathing, so they can give you a different perspective. And, and so you can perceive things differently. So having an expert, maybe an advisor, maybe a mentor, maybe it's someone else in family business, maybe it's family friends that are in business as well, that can give you some guidance to deal with certain things. But I think trying to do it alone is always challenging because we are all, most of us see things from our own perspective. As long as we continue to see things from our own perspectives, it's hard to change things.
Yeah. I agree with all those points and certainly another, another simple one is just writing down your visions and your goals, and maybe trying to put in measurements in place of when you achieve. I think that takes away from a lot of families is that they, they have this idea or a vision of where they want to be, and they may be there, there may be gaps to get there, but really having a clear mindset and articulated goals certainly help them kind of keep along the side of, of where are we in that process. And I think more importantly, what happens when you reach that end goal? Are you looking to exit the business or are you looking to maybe transition the business? Where does the conversation go from there? So I think a lot of, of, of being in the day-to-day business, we tend to forget about the goals and some of the projections that we have in place and certainly the measurements that go behind them. But really what is the ultimate goal of owning a business? Cause if it's just the, to have the day-to-day income from it, you'll get consumed.
Yeah. Great point. I think writing it down, having a clear, because it's easy to have thoughts in our heads, which we all do. It's easy to say things and misinterpret things because we have so much information that our brain is bombarded by. But when you write things down, if everybody in the family business writes things down, then you have a clear, concise way of communicating and everybody can be in somewhat of an agreement. So great point there. So I think we're, we're close to closing it off here. I just want to thank you for joining us with this episode. Hopefully, you got value from it. For those of you. We have a listening out there. We have one favorite ask of yours. If you could please go to your favorite podcast platform and subscribe. That would be great. If you're listening to this on another platform and you want to listen to the next episode, you could simply go to business brothers, podcast.com, and subscribe there yourselves. And I personally want to thank you for joining us on this journey. So I'll stay tuned and hopefully, you can join us next time they focus and stay tuned, take care.