A Family Business is a unique combination of two different worlds, namely a family and a company. There is a natural tension between these two worlds. Families are supposed to take care of family members while a company is supposed to take care of business. Just like the individual and the family moves through their lifecycle, so companies also go through lifecycles. This chapter discusses the details, challenges, and best practices that come with the five phases in the growth of children toward participating in the family business. All these stages of life bring their own specific challenges.
Understanding and respecting the interconnectedness between family life cycle and company life cycle creates the platform for future. This chapter introduces John and Annie. The story of how these young entrepreneurs create and expand their business into complexity parallels the story of their growing family.