I will never forget when I was considering leaving my corporate job to come join the farm. When I did, my sister-in-law desperately asked me to resist joining in farm talk at family gatherings. I simply laughed at her request. After all, I am very social and love hanging out with my sister-in-law.
Sadly, it only took about a year of being part of the family business to realize I had done exactly what she asked me not to do. I was so engrossed in what was going on with the farm it was as if I had nothing else to talk about. I became more comfortable discussing business than anything else.
At the holidays I would be at the table with the guys talking shop. Once I had gone to the dark side it has been difficult to come back, so maybe this is as much a reminder for me as it is for you. Let's keep business chatter for the business. Family time is for family.
I am making an early New Year's resolution and going to try to follow these tips to avoid business talk over turkey and gravy. First, I am going to make an effort to not talk about the business at all. Every time I start to slip I am going to try to redirect the conversation back to another topic. If someone asks me about my business, I will try to keep it short and redirect it back to them.
Second, I am going to focus on the family members off the farm. Ask them deeper questions about their families and really make an effort to listen better about what is going on in their lives. This sounds like something one should not have to make effort on, but when you live and breathe your business, as you know, it can be difficult.
Lastly, I am going to try to relax and have a great time with the family. Although being a business owner can be overwhelming and it is difficult to turn off your thoughts, one day of relaxation and laughter is highly needed.
In January, someone should call me on the carpet to see how I did!