Running Family Like A Successful Business


If your family were run like a business, would your business be failing? Or would it be thriving?

Is it a smooth operating system, or barely staying afloat?

Most don’t want to think of their family as ‘failing’. And in terms of family v.s business, it’s not as cut and dry. There is no profit and loss sheet to see if things are a ‘success’.

My husband (Chris) and I were business owners before being parents. We were business partners before even being married. In a business, you have goals, numbers, core values and a mission statement that drives your decision making.   Success is more than just being open for business and turning a profit.

A successful business runs smoothly, has good communication, leadership and clear direction. 

2 years ago, Chris came to me about having a Mission Statement for our family and wanting to set Core Values. I found him annoying and told him he was nuts. He didn’t do all the reading on parenting I had done. Followed all the mommy accounts and child psychology suggestions on raising children.

But he was right, as parents, we were flying by the seam of our pants.

We were like many parents, trapped between the smooth-running household we aspired to have and the exhausting, earsplitting one we lived in. We were running in 100 different directions, not sure where we were trying to get to.  We failed to see it wasn’t just how we individually talked and interacted with each child, but how we ALL functioned TOGETHER.

Upon further review, more and more families across the country are taking this approach. Taking notes from top running companies and applying these concepts to their family units.

So what are top running companies doing?

What helps them not just be in business and exist but to THRIVE!

  1. Core Values. This helps us when faced with decisions.
  2. A mission statement. Typically formed out of your core values.
  3. Weekly meetings. A time to all come together. To shut off distractions for 20-30 minutes and communicate. Where are people’s feelings? What is coming up that week? Expectations of who, what, where.
  4. Clear roles. Are arguments erupting because someone didn’t do the dishes? Who was suppose to feed the dog? Is someone in the home wearing too many hats?
  5. Do you have the ability to pay for someone else to do a task that seems to be “costing” the family unit. Maybe its time. Maybe it is stress.  Can someone else come clean the toilets and all the corners of the house regularly enough to allow you the time to be with the kids? Would it benefit you to have someone come once a week to play with the kids so you can have a date night? To preserve that relationship.

The first 2 are the heart and sole of your family ‘business’. All the other bullet points underneath are driven by those first two. If a core value is quality time together as a family, outsourcing may be that much more important.

If communication is a core value, just imagine how valuable those weekly meetings could be?!

For my family, weekends spent together are a core value. It doesn’t mean we can’t EVER have time apart, or a night with friends. For us, it means as the kids get older, travel sports will not fit that core value. We don’t want to spend weekends apart running kids in different directions. Because we have that in place, when the time comes to put either kid in an activity that would take us down that road, we have an easier time making that decision. The answer is “no”.

Talk with your kids about your core values.

Depending on their age, have them contribute. Let them know why you chose those things.

The other thing to keep in mind when tackling your family like a business is things will change. It is called growth. Companies do change, learn and grow. You have the power to go back to the drawing board and adjust.  Just make sure you do it as a unit. Consult with those that are also high up in the company with you (your partner or other prominent care giver). Once changes are decided on, you have a meeting and have open communication with others in the organization (your kids).

Do you have core values for your family already? What are they? What practices make your family a  “successful business?”

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Jennifer Rhoades
Jen Rhoades is a 33 year old Sylvania resident and has worked in Fitness and Nutrition since 2008. Through her own experiences with disordered eating, extreme dieting for Figure Competitions, and now needing to balance life as a busy gym owner and mother, she has become driven to demonstrate the importance of training smart and eating to fit your lifestyle and goals. There is no “one size fits all”. After the birth of her 2 daughters, Madison and Mia, she saw the need for more specialized attention to moms pre/postnatal in terms of support both in the gym and outside of the gym. Jen holds a Certification in Personal Training, Nutrition and Habit Coaching, is a Certified Pre/Postnatal Coach as well as a Post Natal Training Specialist. Fun Fact: Jen went to College for Sign Language Interpretation, as she comes from a Deaf family. You can follow her on social media at @jlift0923.


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