The Family Business
by Drenda Keesee
Initially, you may need to outsource some of the needs your business has that family members can’t supply, but eventually, you will want to develop some of the key leadership areas of your family enterprise. In a year, who are the key players you will need to help you succeed?
It’s important to have a…
…trustworthy sounding board of people whom you can bounce ideas and strategies off of and get the best development of products, marketing, and distribution. As women, we process through communication. Talk out your answers to get clarity before you act. Don’t act out of emotion or you may find yourself in trouble. Every business is built on wise counsel and sound planning. “Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice” (Proverbs 20:18 NLT).
Your older children can be a great source of ideas for your business. When our children were teenagers, they helped us revamp our business and ministry methods and practices that were quickly becoming outdated. They still help us capture ideas on a new scale today. Gary and I can supply wisdom and past experience, but our children help us see the need to change and grow to stay relevant. We are slowly passing the baton of our knowledge, resources, and encouragement to them to take to a new level, wherever they go or in whatever they do in their future.
Another important role in the family business is the cheerleader. That was primarily my role, but to my joy, I see some of our children operating in this gift of encouragement as adults. I could see the potential in my husband and our business helping people fix their money thing. I served as the encourager, especially when circumstances appeared discouraging. There needs to be someone in your family who is there to cheer everyone along, celebrating victories loud and strong, and rallying everyone around the vision when defeats scream louder. If your idea or business is a good one, perseverance through the hardships that visit every business is crucial. The cheerleader will make sure no one quits short of victory!
The other area that must be addressed is administrative assistance. Creativity and vision need the support of organization, documentation, and compliance with legal and standard business practices. Much of this can be outsourced to payroll and legal companies, but family members can provide some assistance in tasks.
And then there are the implementers who make it happen! Planning must happen, but then you must act on your plan. As the CEO, you can’t be the doer. Develop the prototype or system and then employ those who will implement it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you will become bogged down with micromanaging and labor, and there’s no one thinking, deciding, and overseeing. If this isn’t your strong suit, decide who has the ability to direct the corporation while you create. It’s important to get each area covered with competent leadership. Some of this happens organically at the beginning of the business since we tend to go after our passion, but as the business grows, it becomes more formal by necessity.
Who in your circle of family or friends may be a sounding board, a cheerleader, and administrative help initially and down the road? Can any of your older children start out doing these functions and grow into one of these positions depending on their gifts? What training is required? No preparation is wasted and in all labor there’s profit, so even if your family member pursues other areas down the road, the lessons, exposure, and business learning will put them way ahead of the pack! That’s how you pass the baton at a higher level to them!
In every sound business there must be operations, sales, marketing, accounting, and fulfillment—and a good measure of hope—to continue to grow your business.
I see great corporations and ministries that are operated by adult children who grew up in the mindset and opportunities that surfaced in their parents’ vocation or calling. It doesn’t mean that is where every one of them will end up, but it is a great pattern that in strong families can emerge into a win-win for everyone involved.
Your children learn a lot about people, business, leadership, and enterprises as they observe and contribute to your business. Our five adult children serve in various positions today: Tim is a Pastor/Director, Amy is a Worship/Creative Director, Kirsten is a Writer/Speaker, Tom is a Media Arts Director/Evangelist, and Polly is a Hair/Makeup Artist who also serves us and her husband, who is our Children’s Director and one of our corporation representatives. They all learned and honed their skill set at home in the family business.
This is the New Vintage family business, an apprenticeship in the home that prepares and develops natural God-given talent and passions in each child while instilling vision, character, and leadership training. The intangible rewards have been priceless, but there have been great tangible rewards, too. As a family, we’ve seen the world together, developed stronger bonds between us, and experienced the fruit of laboring collaboratively toward a common vision.
ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!
*Excerpt from “The New Vintage Family” by Drenda Keesee
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.