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The Family Business vs My Own Path

Hi, I’m Mike Staver, this is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question:

Dear Mike, I’m graduating from college in about six months. I’m getting a lot of pressure from my family to follow the tradition that has been multiple generations. And that pressure is to join the family business. I’ve already had several exciting offers from other companies that interest me. My family’s company, which I’m proud of, does not interest me.

Do I do what’s expected of my family, or do I disappoint them by going a different direction than generations before me?

Man, that is a heavy question. I’m not going to say follow your heart, because sometimes that’s really bad advice. What I am gonna say though, is I think you would do your family an enormous disservice if you just got in the family business because you were suppose to, not because you loved it, and not because you wanted to.

Do I think they’ll be disappointed? Yeah. Do I think that they’ll wish you did? Yeah. I have a client actually who just opted out of her family business just a few weeks ago and it all worked out. Was the mom disappointed? Yeah. Did she think this was the heir apparent? Yes. But you know what? Ultimately parents and family members who are legit celebrate the accomplishments of their children and want them to pursue the things that are important to them.

So stay true to what you need to do and what you want to do to live the life you were born to live, and be sensitive to the reactions of your family and give them space to get used to it.

I hope that’s helpful, I know that’s a tough situation. I’m Mike Staver, this was Mondays with Mike. Until next time, be courageous.

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