At BFF we asked our co-founder, Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien, to record some personal thoughts about how to manage a young family and an expanding business at the same time. Here’s a summary of the video:
When your children were young, what was your approach to balancing the family and the business?
I took the time to learn to do parenting in a decent way during the growing-up years of my children, which establish a solid base… I made it a point to drive home from the office so I could have dinner with them at 5:30 pm.
Wasn’t that difficult to achieve?
I wasn’t ready for dinner at 5:30 pm. I was not ready to sit down, I wanted to have a drink, I wanted to relax, I wanted to take my time. But I went back so we could have dinner together, then I would return to the office.
Looking back, what are your thoughts on the efforts you made?
The time to give to children so that they have values is in the early years. Parenting is the most important of our responsibilities but one for which we have received the least amount of training, other than maybe the example of our parents.
What is your advice to others?
I say to everybody: take a little bit of time to think about the family foundation. Spend the time on the family side and you will never regret that.
How will this affect the family business?
If you are like me, you probably would like to get your children to share in the ownership of the business that you have built. You have got to start getting them to think about that dimension and one day, when they get those shares, they will become owners….If you don’t train them, all they want is ‘Give me more dividends, I will not look at the responsibilities that I have to be an owner, I just want the privileges that come with it’. And that is not a long-lasting good foundation.
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