The Difference between Entrepreneurship and Family Business

Nowadays, setting up a separate business in addition to working in fixed employment positions has become the need of many. And the reasoning behind this new-age trend is not hard to fathom. The ever-increasing rates of market inflation comprise one causative factor. The virulent problem of a scarcity of resources gives rise to another. All of these issues fan the flames of a cut-throat variety of capitalistic competition; which further fuels the requirement for attaining more money.

It is against this backdrop that many aspiring entrepreneurs decide to launch their startups. While some are genuinely interested in selling a particular product or service, others are more monetarily-inclined. This latter category of individuals is only keen on getting by on their monthly expenses.

A Note on the Typical Growth Dynamics of Business Enterprises

All businesses first begin their commercial journey as startups. Their owners, who are also some of the first employees, work hard to consolidate their company’s market footing. With the passage of the management mantle to a newer generation of kin, the entrepreneurial framework morphs into a family ownership. This evolutionary shift, which in the case of successful organizations only takes a few decades, also usually transforms company culture.

The case of the Rockefeller family and the Standard Oil Company is a good case in point. If you’re a Texan resident, you can access in-depth archival information pertaining to the Rockefellers with a Spectrum internet customer service number connection.

The business, now fully in control of its own means, becomes somewhat complacent. And the zealous (almost adolescent) fervor of its managers is replaced by a calculated deliberation.

Its owners, now equipped with considerable portions of funds, begin to exhibit monopolizing aspirations. Since they are also part of the same biological family, they start harboring mutual resentments. Each brother (or sister) starts eyeing the company share of the other, in the hope of increasing his/her singular influence. Parents can be equal participants in this factional game as well.

For many family businesses, it is not uncommon for sibling stakeholders to file extensive lawsuits against each other. In some historical instances, a few have even been accused of murdering their flesh & blood relations.

With all of this said, however, there are certain advantages that owning a family business has over pursuing a startup project. The vice versa case also holds true.

The Advantages & Rigors that Entrepreneurship Holds

Having the entrepreneurial label affixed to oneself, and launching a startup, is exciting. At least at the outset. Because with each passing day & month, the daily rigors of the business make their renewed appearance. And the tireless business owner, once in possession of great vitality, begins to lose some of it.

At this transitioning ‘rags to riches’ stage in the company’s life-cycle, the entrepreneur is forced to persevere. The option to quit, of course, always beckons constantly. As such, he/she cannot count on anybody else for much support. In either the emotional, psychological or physical sense. Because resorting to external advice would demonstrate a weakened position. One which the proverbial ‘wolves’ of the business world are quick to spot, and meticulously exploit.

Faced with these obstacles, only a few of the more staunchly-focused business owners manage to remain afloat (and fighting).

But like everything else in life, this phase also inevitably passes. It gets replaced by moments of great satisfaction and happiness.

The most striking form of contentment attained, however, comes from the realization of being responsible for one’s own success. This sense of self-sufficiency, in the face of all odds, is priceless. It engenders the drive to chase further success and build on what has already been accomplished.

Experience, Lessons Learned, and Material Takeaways

The seasoned entrepreneur, after gradually gaining recognition on the world-stage, also walks away with valuable experience. This enables him/her to engage in new startup ventures. At the same time, he/she is enabled to give practical input in many humanitarian initiatives. And helping others, whether through detailed mentorship sessions or elaborate donations, is cathartic. It provides the balm needed to close some open wounds acquired during the entire business-launch process.

When considered in summation, the entrepreneurial journey is normally long and draining. It inflicts a heavy toll on the personal lives of its primary executors. But in the end, it literally pays in more than just a bagful of cash and other capital assets.

And How Being in a Family Business Compares

Some of the perils endemic to working in a family-based commercial setup have already been highlighted above. But to extend our discussion here, they need to be detailed further.

As a director, joint-owner, manager or ground resource in a family enterprise, a worker has to continuously contend against some pressures. These include laboring under the gaze of familial oversight and compromising on one’s creativity. In such settings, oftentimes the most innovative ideas that occur to a certain family member get struck down by the others in the clan.

The same thoughts, had they been proclaimed by a stranger, are more readily welcomed. Because in this latter case the claimant is not considered a threat. Or as a manipulative aspirant looking for deeper company board entrenchment.

Although such measures can seem to make sense from a purely official (business) perspective, they can significantly belittle family bonds. And once an atmosphere of psychological hostility is created, it can easily lead to the severing of blood ties.

This situation, of course, does not bode well for anyone. Losing one’s family, after all, is akin to becoming deprived of one of the great treasures of life.

The family-business apparatus, as such, provides insulation from a want of funds and other material commodities to its adherents. A self-starting entrepreneur does not possess these significant advantages.

But at the same time, it has a tendency to threaten their very souls (as it progresses onwards).

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