You may have heard the saying that “family and business don’t mix” and sometimes that’s true while other times, family members can actually run successful businesses together. If you’re an entrepreneur, one of the most important challenges you’ll navigate is balancing your family relationships with your business. Here are a few guidelines to help you out.

Set boundaries

Learning to say “no”, both at work as well as with family, is an essential skill to develop as an entrepreneur. Committing to too many things, or making promises that aren’t beneficial for you, will make you feel burnt out and overwhelmed. Remember that family and loved ones who truly care about you will respect your boundaries, while setting boundaries at work will ensure you have enough time to re-charge and be the best leader you can be.

Have clear priorities

The success and growth of your business should be your number 1 priority whenever you’re making any decisions that might affect it. If, for example, giving away free products to family or hiring a family member who isn’t really qualified for a position can impact your business badly, remember what your priority is as a business owner. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do nice things for those you care about, but that shouldn’t be done at the expense of your own business.

Communicate clearly

Clear and honest communication is a key part of making sure that everything runs smoothly in business, especially when family is involved. If you’re working with one or more family members, it can sometimes be hard to be honest with them. However, it’s better to resolve any issues you may have with them quickly, and the way to do this is through clear and professional communication. If you have any other partners, employees or clients, it’s also important to keep communication with them open, so that they can feel comfortable giving you feedback, and not feel excluded just because they aren’t your family.

Remember the bigger picture

If you’re feeling conflicted when it comes to a decision between business and family, it helps to take a look at the bigger picture. Think about whether or not the decision is what’s best in the long run, and whether it aligns with the goals you’ve set for yourself. This will help you know what to prioritise, and do what will help you grow in the long run.

Business is business

Whether it’s big or small, any deal, sale or other action you take for your business should be professional. Blurring the lines between your business and your personal relationships is an invitation for confusion, which is why keeping things clear is the best way to go. It may feel awkward to interact with family in a professional way at first, but it’s in the best interests of everyone involved. It’s possible to have a happy family life, as well as run a successful business. As long as you follow these 5 rules and maintain healthy boundaries, you can’t go wrong! For more tips and advice on running your business, check out our Entrepreneurship section.

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