Your business partner, who also happens to be your sister just told you she’s pregnant.
Your father who is the president of your family’s business was just diagnosed with a serious chronic illness.
Your son, who had traditionally been interested in working with the family business has now expressed other interests and intentions.
Your daughter just recently had a child and is needing some unexpected support.
Any of these scenarios are common challenges and unexpected changes in life that not only impact personal lives, but the businesses built on familial relationships. These interruptions cause breaks in continuity and challenge our ability to adapt.
These interruptions can be good, such as the birth of a new child, or bad, such as the loss of a loved one. Similar interruptions can occur in business outside of your family – changes in suppliers, partnerships, market demands, etc. They can be challenging, such as those interruptions that occur when starting a new business in a foreign land, and they can be beneficial, such as embracing new technology to stay ahead of the competition.
In any light, Interrupted Entrepreneurship is just that: moments or actions that cause a change in your business. It’s how those IEs are handled that is the key to businesses surviving through-out the generations. Interruptions will occur – that is not only to be expected but welcomed.
How we choose to deal with Interrupted Entrepreneurship is one of the key qualities that defines our professional, as well as our personal, lives. In the end, family businesses ultimately have one question in mind: are we going to engage with these interruptions in entrepreneurship as setbacks or as opportunities?
As a fourth-generation family firm that recently experienced the loss of its patriarch and entrepreneurial force, our family felt a major jolt with my father’s sudden passing. Along with deep grief, the experience led me to undergo a time of self-reflection and introspection during which I further came to admire my father at every corner, from his leadership, to the far-sightedness he had, to envisioning a structure that could survive him. Yet, that seismic change, the interruption that his passing brought about, marked a symbolic fork in the road for our family—one that we strive to handle well as the business he left to us continues to evolve.
Interruptions are as predictable as the sunrise and sunset. The content of them is what is unpredictable. However, of this you can be sure – in each interruption is the ability to respond in a way that results in growth and opportunity. Learn more at https://ramezbaassiri.com/about-the-book/.