It's All in the Family

You know what’s worse than working for your father? Working for your father-in-law. That’s it; that’s the only thing that’s worse. In both situations, my advice is to shoot yourself. It’s certainly faster and cleaner then letting them grind you down a little bit each day, crushing your soul by degrees.

No matter what you may believe and secretly pray for, they are never going to retire and lightning is never going to strike them dead. They will outlive you, if only to spite you. And if you try to bump them off, fate will intercede to botch the job, and that will be one more thing that they’ll ride you about until you’re ready for the special jacket with the arms that go all the way ‘round.

Do you work with your spouse? If so, you might as well divorce them now, because it’s going to happen sooner or later. Why wait? Who can take that kind of pain over the long haul? You deserve better, and so do they.

How about brothers? Brothers are the worst. You promise to be impartial, you agree that you are equals, but someone’s always just a little more equal, aren’t they? A nicer office, a little more money, a little more power... It’s like The Godfather!

You know why being in business with family doesn’t work? Because they’re exclusionary terms.


You cannot conduct business with family members; there’s just too much baggage involved. And a bad day at work gets personal faster than the speed of light if a family member is involved. At least any other employee gets the benefit of the doubt. And every employee in the building knows when you’re fighting, no matter how well you think you hide it.

The opposite is too often true, as well: We keep a relative on the payroll long after we would have fired anyone else. How is that good for your organization? It certainly murders morale. Especially if the relative in question has people under them that would be better in their job than they are. Aren’t you supposed to hire only the best possible candidate for each position? Then why did you go into business with these losers?

Business is business. Family is family. Learn something from all of the gangster movies: there’s a reason why they all kill each other. Keep your family and your business as far apart as possible. You’ll live longer, and you’ll certainly die happier.

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