When my husband Jeff and I first came across Caring Transitions, we knew it was the perfect opportunity for us to leave the corporate world and start our own business. We were drawn to the company's focus on helping the senior community, and saw the need for its services in the Dallas area.
We worked feverishly on building an amazing team to support the growing demand for senior services and our dreams of owning and operating our own company were coming to fruition. In the midst of our dreams, Jeff was diagnosed with cancer and lost his brave battle last year. It was almost serendipitous that my daughter Nicole stepped up to join me as co-owner of Caring Transitions of North Dallas Suburbs.
When stepping up as business partners, Nicole and I learned some valuable lessons in how to make our mother-daughter working relationship successful:
- Delegate tasks according to our complementary personalities
- Use the passion for our business to stay motivated
- Learn how to "shut off work" and enjoy our family time
The head vs. the heart of the business
Despite the big shoes her father left behind to fill, Nicole rose to the occasion and fit the role perfectly. Similar to her father, Nicole is business savvy and has a knack for crunching numbers. She handles the financial side of the business, while my niche lies in human resources, leadership and creating meaningful client interactions. People who know us best say I am more of a "heart-thinker," while Nicole is more of a "head thinker."
Recognizing these strengths and how they work together has allowed Nicole and I to properly delegate tasks and run a smooth operation.
Although many would tell you to be wary of working with family, Nicole and I make it work with our complementary personalities along with our passion for our business. At Caring Transitions, we provide relocation services, estate sales and online auctions, mainly for the senior community. We personally care for each and every one of our clients, living by our location's motto of: "From start to finish, our hearts are in it."
The love and passion we have for our brand is what keeps us going every day, and helps guide us through the rough times. Working together as mother and daughter has strengthened our relationship as well as allowed us to recognize each other's merits and talents. Instead of only seeing each other in a familial light, Nicole and I are now able to see each other shine as successful, intelligent business women, furthering our mutual respect and admiration.
Managing our work-life balance
Although our working relationship has been great, it was often a challenge for us to manage balancing this with our mother-daughter relationship. When Nicole first joined me at Caring Transitions, she had trouble "shutting off work" when we were off-hours. We also noticed our other family members would begin to feel left out when we discussed work around them. It can be challenging at times, but we now make a conscious effort to keep our working and family relationships separate. After all, family always comes first and will be the ones there for you at the end of the day.
Working with family sometimes has its challenges, however, once you find that ideal balance and recognize each other's strengths and weaknesses, there is nothing more rewarding than creating a successful and meaningful business with the ones you love most.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Nicole Fallon.