I was in conversation with a family who was about to sell their business. They also happen to be very dear friends of mine.
The parents and son couldn’t find agreement on whether to overcome their differences and keep growing this successful venture together, or part ways and sell the business because they couldn’t see eye to eye on certain details. They had lost sight of the beautiful vision they’d set out with.
They had been unable to communicate openly about what they really wanted. One would have a tendency to blow his lid, and the other two didn’t want to deal with it. So they kept passing the buck to one another, avoiding the elephant in the room and dragging out making a decision.
And yet, the love they have for one another is so obvious by how they speak about each other.
I offered to mediate between the parents and the son. My sole focus was to assist them in making a decision together on what to do with the business going forward. A decision that felt good for all.
I was there to help them focus on solutions, not the problems.
I asked them these kinds of questions:
What is important to you about your family business?
What do you want to see going forward for yourself in this business?
Why do you want what you want?
Are you willing to tell a new story about each other so you can get back on track with the excitement you started the business with?
Are you willing to tell yourself a new story about yourself, knowing that each one of you plays a key part in the success of your business?
After 2 hours of conversation with some heated moments (and a pleasant surprise) they finally put their armour down and made peace with the past. They agreed that they want to keep the business in the family, and they understand that each one has to bring their best self to the table in order for that to happen.
The following day, I saw their son and asked him how he felt after the meeting…
“I haven’t felt this happy in five years,” he replied, with a huge smile on his face. We high-fived to that.
The next day, his mother sent me a text to say they had taken the business off the market, and she shared her excitement. My heart filled up with joy.
Two days, they had their first brand strategy meeting with their new team members to decide on the story they’re telling together as a family owned business. I’m excited to see what they come up with.
This is how fast things turn around when we make ONE decision to feel good about what we’re doing.
What decision will you make today to put a spring in your step and move forward?