Many of you are just like us: a family business. Maybe your kids aren’t in the business yet, but you hope that one day they will be.

When I joined BCI, I did it because I needed a job. It wasn’t because I was necessarily passionate about what I was getting ready to do, but I was passionate about the paycheck I was going to receive. You see, being a part of BCI wasn’t my life plan. I grew up hearing about the ups and downs of the company. I was hired on many occasions as a kid to stuff boxes in our garage.  I joined the company to earn some much-needed money and cash flow for grad school. But then it happened. The one moment that changed my whole view of the company and the trajectory of what I wanted to do with my life.

I had been a part of the business for a few years and we started working with a dealership that was in a pretty desperate situation. They were getting ready to shut their doors after season, but they happened to be in the right place at the right time. Our team was able to do a week visit with them and during that visit, their dealership was changed to its core. The owner had hope. The employees were going to continue to have jobs after season. The community had a business that they needed. That was the “aha moment” for me. I wanted to be in the business of providing hope to small business owners. I wanted to be the person who helped them understand that they weren’t alone in their struggles. That’s what I wanted to do, but I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if it weren’t for seeing the change in that dealer.

If you want your kids to be excited about the business and interested in joining it, you have to share the positive things that are happening.

You read that right, you can’t sit around the dinner table every night and talk about how your employees are driving you crazy, your customers cause problems for you all day long, and how cash is tight. While all of those things may be true, and each of those things needs to be addressed, would you join your business if that is all you heard?

The truth is, there are other reasons that you started your business. Share those with your kids. There are wins every day in every department, it’s important to share those as well. Or maybe a customer came in and you were able to help them and have them leave with a smile on their face and a solution to their problem, share that. Not only will this instill that there are positives with your kids, it will be a reminder to you, why you do what you do.

I don’t want to sugar coat it; it’s still going to be hard. I recently got back from eight weeks on the road. My kids had a hard time, but every chance I had, I reminded them that the reason I was gone was because I was helping people. They probably won’t have an “aha moment” from that, but what I try to do is set them up to see the good so that maybe one day they will want to be part of this business with me.

Sara Hey

About Sara Hey

Sara Hey is the Vice President of Operations and Development for Bob Clements International. She has spoken at conferences across the country educating dealers on the internal aspects of their business. She graduated from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois, and has been a contributing writer for BCI for 3 years.