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Jan 30, 2019

Cheers To Business | Karen Simmons and Cadie Gaut | Ep20 | Family Business

On this episode, Karen and Cadie talk about something they know a lot about; starting, working, and thriving in a family business. Karen and Cadie share their personal family business ups, downs, tidbits, wisdom nuggets, warnings, and all the pros and cons. Plus, they give us their secrets for making it work not only in the business but also not to take that office tension home with your spouse, kids, or siblings.

The Lessons:

  • Navigating a smooth family business model needs the same things that any good relationship needs: mutual respect, accountability, kindness, trust, and open communication.
  • Don't bring office experiences and tensions into the personal aspects and important moments of life with members of your family business.
  • Cultivate a"team leader mentality" not a "boss mentality."
  • You are in a business marriage with anyone you go into business with, family member or not.
  • If you don't learn to work as a team in a family business you are more likely to end up in a business divorce.
  • Do not micromanage based on the hierarchy of a family structure. Run a family business by understanding the skill sets of each member and let them do what they do best.

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Quotables and Tweetables

When you leave the office, you have to leave it at the office. I think that's the hardest thing I've seen for people that are working together as a family, whether it's husband and wife or mother daughter or whatever. - Karen Simmons

When a family business doesn't work out, you can be business divorced. - Karen Simmons

It's not a secret, that you and I have a much better business relationship than we have a personal relationship. - Cadie Gaut

I don't think that if we have a conflict in the business, I don't think that that carries over into our personal lives. - Cadie Gaut

You want to be able to leave an office on Friday, disagreeing as equally as possible, but yet have family Christmas on the next day or to a birthday party, and it will not affect the situation. - Karen Simmons

I am making such a conscious effort to notice not only how I speak to everyone around me, but even my staff, asking them to do something rather than just telling them. - Cadie Gaut

I am separating myself from that boss mentality to a team leader mentality, and not just with my business partner, but with staff, friends, family, my husband, my children. - Cadie Gaut

A family business mentality is like when the coach's son is on the football team or baseball team. - Cadie Gaut

When you only see somebody in their personal life, you don't know how they are in their business life and vice versa. - Karen Simmons

Everybody out there thinking about bartering services back and forth - don't do it. - Karen Simmons & Cadie Gaut

If you support someone, family or friend then you should be willing to pay for their services if you're going to support them. - Karen Simmons

Don't take a discount from a client. You pay what anybody else would pay, it's all fair, nobody has any hard feelings, and it just works better that way. Do not trade out. - Karen Simmons

I think that's the basics of a good family relationship, is leaving that person alone to do what they know how to do, but having respect for that, but it has to be mutual. - Karen Simmons

I don't care if it's your husband, your wife, your sibling, your niece, your uncle, your grandpa, if each one or one of them thinks they have to be a part of every little thing and they don't trust the other people to do their job or the other person can't do the job, it's a bad business relationship. - Karen Simmons

My experiences with people that are married and in business and the ones that are successful leave each other alone to do their part that they know the best. - Karen Simmons

In a family business, it's imperative that you tell each other what's going on, stay in your lane, and you make decisions affecting the whole company together, but staying on the target of your talent. - Karen Simmons

Whether you're in business by yourself, or with a team, or especially with family you're going to have to have a date night at some point. You cannot live and breathe and eat "the work" 24/7. It will strangle you. - Karen Simmons

Success can tear people apart, and I've seen that happen. - Karen Simmons

You can be so different in personalities, both of them (business owners) want to be visionaries, but nobody wants to be the executioner. - Karen Simmons

You know going into business with the people that you trust the most is not take them for granted. - Karen Simmons

It sounds like everything that you're saying as far as what you need to have with your business partner, trust, respect, listening skills; it almost seems like skills that you need for a healthy marriage. - Cadie Gaut


Domke Market

Domke Market - Facebook Page

Learn more about Karen Simmons & Cadie Gaut

Karen C. Simmons, P.C.

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About Cheers To Business
Cheers To Business is a seriously casual business and entrepreneur podcast that discusses starting, running, refining and growing your company, or excelling at your current job with two or your soon-to-be friends - over a glass of wine. Please subscribe, review and rate Cheers To Business on iTunes, YouTube, SoundCloud & Overcast. You can contact and stay connected with us by LIKING our Cheers To Business Facebook page. Thanks for listening and as always, CHEERS to you!