Changing Perspectives for the New Year
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Changing Perspectives for the New Year

Changing Perspectives for the New Year

As we go into this holiday season, many may find themselves thinking, “I just might have had all the family I can handle.” The holidays are wonderful and provide togetherness and memories. But if you work with family, it is very easy to get "over-familied" and with that, a growing sentiment of needing space. The ambient stress, frustration, resentment, and acrimony with spouses, parents, siblings, cousins, in-laws, or children can drain your enthusiasm and consume your patience, blocking your ability to apply your skills and talents towards the productivity of your multi-unit franchisee business. You may find yourself looking at going back to work like another opportunity to stick your hand in the garbage disposal. If this sounds familiar, it is time for you to consider new perspectives that will relieve relationship pressure and potentially reinvigorate your passion for the business and those you work with daily.

"To set the foundation for a new perspective allow me to ask how your feelings of pressure, frustration, stress, resentment, etc. are working for you?”

Caution, do not allow yourself to think you are the victim of the circumstances. Remember, our mind is our only true possession. Within the double hierarchy and standard of both family and business, your mind (opinions, conclusions, and feelings) may be the only thing you truly control. When told to be quiet, your lips may have to shut due to a dumb, insensitive. or resentful comment, but your mind can continue to shout at the top of your lungs; therefore, own your feelings.

To confirm the value of a trying out a new perspective, consider reflecting on the past year and ask yourself, “How did I feel most of the time?” If the answer is in the proximity of “Crap!,” you may want to consider a new approach. Exercise your exclusive right to control your mind, which will lead you to feel good, happy, enthusiastic, and in charge of your feelings.

It has been said that conclusions leading to resentment, stress, anger, and bitterness are like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. However, a basic characteristic of human nature is a tendency to develop limiting, debilitating, even self-destructive conclusions. IQ alone does not drive success in the business, you must also possess EQ, (emotional quotient) which is defined as the ability to understand and manage emotions.

Internally, we all tend to reject responsibility for our thoughts, conclusions, and perspectives and default to a woe-is-me, I'm-a-victim, comfort zone. This human nature tendency often disguises the fact that we have control of our minds. Unfortunately, even though we have control over our thoughts does not make it any easier to adopt a new perspective for the New Year. Considering this challenge that we all face daily, here is a suggestion on seizing a happy, enthusiastic, “more than an overcomer” perspective for the New Year.

Perform an emotional self-examination.

Ask, “What are my feelings about my family and the business?” Get up close and personal with those feelings by naming them. Call them out: “hurt, anger, jealousy, envy, hopelessness, rebellion,” etc. Don't let these emotional virus's hide in your psyche and eat away at your joy, happiness, and productiveness! Call them out to a line up. Make them stand in the light of objective evaluation.

Understand feelings can influence reality.

For you to objectively evaluate your feelings, it’s important to realize feelings are not unreliable. Your perspective of what has or is occurring may not be reality. With this knowledge, ask the question, “Were the circumstances and conclusions leading to my feelings true or were my feelings a function of my interpretation.” And, “Are my feelings an old tape that is being replayed because I have not been aware that circumstances have changed?” If you conclude your feelings do not reflect reality, adopt a New Year perspective of “I can handle this; I am living the dream; I am looking for opportunity!” Fundamentally divorce your old feelings and marry new ones that reflect reality, reflect your responsibility for what is under your control, your emotional wellbeing.

Identify what is, and what is not, working for you.

If it is difficult to acknowledge feelings can create a misinterpretation of reality, ask yourself, “Are these feelings helping me or hurting me?” Are your circumstances or your reaction to those circumstances the real handicap? Fact is, you have no control over others and you have a formidable challenge controlling your reaction to them. So stop dwelling on their impropriety and jettison any of those victim feelings that are an impediment to either your relationships or business performance. It may feel as if this is too simple a path to get out of an emotional hole. Remember, it takes two purposeful, determined, self-serving combatants to have a bad relationship. If either party chooses to make a troubled relationship better, it will be better. Also recognize, what you are thinking about will drive your actions, more commonly referred to as self-fulfilling prophesy.

Creating New Year perspectives is not an easy undertaking. If it were, life would be filled with movers, shakers, and great day makers. Achieving a positive, productive family business New Year perspective is similar to sticking to a New Year’s resolution; it takes commitment and self-discipline. Working your mind to remove just one negative perspective will be more productive to you and your family than any time you spend sweating the small stuff.

Loyd H. Rawls, Chairman of The Rawls Group, has specialized in succession planning for closely-held, entrepreneurial owned businesses since 1973. Well respected in his field, Mr. Rawls is a highly requested speaker and has published numerous articles and publications on this subject such as “Seeking Succession: How to Continue the Family Business Legacy” and “The Succession Bridge: Key Manager Succession Alternatives for Family Owned Businesses.” For more information visit

Published: December 6th, 2017

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