A bossy family member wants to invest and I am desperate. Am I asking for trouble?

Dear Aunty B,

I have run out of cash even though my business will make a small profit this year.

I have had an offer to invest in the business from a family member who is quite bossy, interfering and controlling. In normal life, I would avoid this person except for the fact that we are related so I see them at family functions.

I am loathe to take his money but my only other choice is to cut costs, which will really set us back as we are already very lean. If I do take his money, how do I make sure he keeps his mouth shut and lets me run the business?

He is the type of person who thinks he knows everything when actually he doesn’t understand my industry at all. He also thinks I am still about 10 years old with pigtails.

Desperately short,

Hobart

 

Dear Desperately short,

Look, hats off out there to all you smart entrepreneurs with family members in your business. It must be so satisfying to see the kids on the floor and dad or mum in the corner office. But if it’s working, you guys are the exception? If you can, avoid family business like the plague.

Why? Business is hard. When you come home at night, when you go to family functions, family is your refuge. It’s the place you replenish the batteries. It’s your source of emotional sustenance, enabling you to recover and head back into the office. Imagine importing a whole lot of emotional baggage that intermingles family and business into your life when you don’t have to.

Also, why would you let someone who you know still sees you as an ineffective child instead of a business woman join you in the business?

So often in business you make decisions and then on reflection look back and wonder what you were thinking.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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