There is nothing like being in business with one's actual family. I say actual family to distinguish it from the second kind of family business where long-time associations come to feel like a family. I have experienced both over the 34 years I have been in business.
For me, there is joy in both kinds of family businesses and doubly so when they are combined. There are also unique problems. A close relationship of any kind, let alone a group of interrelated relationships sharpened by emotional involvement, brings complications into the business.
In any group of people there are opportunities and challenges. In any group of people working together it is the same - but it is intensified. Like getting older, it is not for the fainthearted. And, like getting older, it beats all the alternatives.
I think the fundamental basis any family
has to have are some very basic tenets.
Without these an actual family will struggle;
a business family won't make it.
All of our Loxley-Barnard Family Publications could exist today only in my mind. But, The Shopper Magazines, Main Street - The Business To Business Magazine and Doctor To Doctor Magazine make up 12 publications that my actual and business families made happen. They are the "offspring" of all of us put together. It tells me that whatever else we are doing, we are a fine tuned unit, proud of what we do together. No one of us can take any credit without knowing it has been, is and always will be a group effort.
As we all begin a new year with all its hopefulness and opportunity and I begin my 35th year, let me tell my husband, my daughter, my 'daughter of the heart' (for 29 years) my son and step-son, my brother-in-law, my daughter-in-law and granddaughters, my grandsons and all our other team members who feel like close cousins, thank you, thank you, thank you. I must thank one more person, my sister, who has listened to me talk business for all these years and has given excellent council and caring that I could not have done without.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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