If your spouse or another close family member plays an integral role in running your law firm with you—whether as a fellow attorney, a business manager or in another important role—you’re obviously walking a bit of a tightrope. On one hand, mixing business and family can prove highly successful and synergistic; on the other, it can devolve into a personal and professional nightmare. Let’s look at some ways to improve your chances of success.
Start with Honesty
Truth be told, family-business relationships aren’t a great fit for everyone. You don’t want your marriage or sibling relationship crumbling as a result of building your business, nor do you want your business to fail because you can’t respect each other’s boundaries. Thus, before getting too deeply involved, try spending time in meaningful conversation and honest self-reflection about your priorities.
In an article in Fast Company, leadership coach Lolly Daskal recommends asking yourselves four important questions:
Daskal believes you should be able to answer “Yes” to all four of these questions before agreeing to work together.
Tips for Working Together Successfully
If you’ve decided to work on your law firm together, take proactive steps to preserve both your personal and professional relationships. The following tips should help:
To reduce this risk, try working different shifts, taking separate days off once in a while, or even commuting separately. Make sure you each have room to breathe.
In addition, consider delegating responsibilities for the firm according to each other’s strengths. Once the authority structure is clear, respect it.
Running a law firm with a close relative or spouse comes with unique challenges, but by addressing those challenges honestly and realistically, you can make it work to your advantage. For more advice and assistance in growing your law firm, give us a call at (888) 375-2573.