Dee Poon: 5 Tips On How To Survive A Family Business

Wealth

October 2, 2018 | BY Dee Poon

While working with family can be both a blessing and a curse, Dee Poon shares a guide on how to pave the way to success

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Don't enter the family business out of obligation

If you choose to join your family business, make sure to carve out the right niche for yourself so that you can thrive—you won't make it if you try to be someone you aren't, or if you try to do work that is not suited to you. For as much as it might seem as though you were made for this, or that this is your destiny, it might not be. Be yourself—it’s the only way for you to succeed, and you’re the only person who can know and create the conditions for success.          

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Dee Poon: 5 Tips On How To Survive A Family Business
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Work will get personal

I take my work very personally, which is why it brings me both great pleasure and occasionally great pain. The family dynamics of it can either make it better or worse, but anyone who is engaged and passionate will feel pressure and emotions. So, remember: work is always personal, family business or not. Everyone who goes to work and commits themselves to spending time on an endeavor is trying to get something done. You’re not the only one who has a stake in the game.

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Don't take things to heart

Being in a family business, there will be people who have different expectations or views of you that have no relation to who you are or how you work. And there will be people who talk about you, or look at you different… And there is always going to be, well—STUFF. And so rage, meditate or do whatever it is you need to do. And then shake it off. 

See also: Dee Poon's 5 Must-Read Books

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Dee Poon: 5 Tips On How To Survive A Family Business
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Be prepared to work hard

You will have to prove yourself and possibly doubly so, especially if you have been given a position that you aren’t obviously qualified for, or if your co-workers or superiors have known you since birth. On the flip side, if people blindly listen to you because you are a part of “the family”, this is also a kiss of death. Respect is earned, not passed down. Always bring your A-game; work hard, prove your value, and a virtuous cycle will emerge.

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Find your tribe

Finding a group of similarly-minded people makes a world of difference, especially in an organisation where your relatives are in positions of authority and/or have a long history. The place can feel like theirs, but you need to find a way to make it yours. Friends make work fun, and work should be fun. Make sure to find your people—people who tell you the truth, are in your corner and will help you succeed.

See also: Dee Poon On Building A Greener Future

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