As you know, I’ve been offering complimentary consultations over the past few weeks to any daughter who signs up. Since I’ve heard that many of you feel a bit isolated at times and question whether your experience is unique, I decided to use this particular Ask Amy column to share with you some of what I’ve been learning from other daughters.
What are daughters talking about in your conversations with them?
This is what I’m hearing:
Some of you are really struggling to define your roles. For a few of you, siblings – particularly brothers – are the problem. Others say that their parents act as if they’re just not sure what to do with them. In each situation, we’ve talked about what they could do to build a case for the roles they want to play.
Returning to the business after years in another career has been a big topic as well. When you’ve had a highly visible professional role but have now returned to your family business, the learning curve can be steep. So we’ve focused on how to build relationships with employees who know a lot more than these daughters do. And I’ve encouraged the daughters not to feel embarrassed about their questions.
A few daughters have mentioned that they are uncomfortable speaking up in meetings because they don’t want to come on too strong. Others are uncomfortable because they feel they have nothing to say. Either way, getting clear about how to behave in meetings is important.
I had the privilege of speaking with two sisters who took over when their father died and they said their big issue was that they were nervous about selling to male customers… and just about all of their customers are men. So we strategized a bit about what to do and what not to do (I did not advise flirting).
One daughter called to tell me that after she listened to a few of my podcasts, she decided to leave her family business. Which led me to wonder… are there others of you feeling this way?
Thanks to all of you who signed up and if you haven’t yet, I hope you will take advantage of this special opportunity too.