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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Featured Biz Question

Hi, I'm in a family business that has been a struggle the last few years. We hired a "Promotion" sales company, and it has helped with the financial problems. But the hours have been long the last 3 1/2 months, 65-70 hours a week for me. Also, my father is Intent on selling, while my mother is fighting to keep it going. He is making things very difficult, and to top it off, mom has had an apparent 'small' heart-attack with in the last few weeks we just found out about.

So my work load has increased, while I try to keep her from doing anything, keeping my father from his daily rampages, and making mom take 2-3 days off a week. The last 2 or 3 days, I have been noticing that little things my wife does, are annoying the he!! out of me. Dirty dishes, clothes on the floor, buying plugs for the backyard, when I told her not to bother because of the drought. I know it's not easy for her either, taking care of my 3 and 1/2 year old son, my 1 year old daughter, and her 80+ year old grandparents who live here.

Getting very annoyed with everybody at work too. I have started working out again, and WHEN I get the chance to go, it helps, but when I don't go, it seems to make every little thing even worse. Anybody have any suggestions? Just walking away to do 'my' thing is difficult; also, I don't feel like anyone can get things done, (and usually they can't, due to my father 'finding' more important things for them to do) and don't want to leave mom at work alone.

Answer from our Guest Expert Terri Levine of Comprehensive Coaching U, Inc.

Dear Annoyed in Family Business:

I clearly hear that the family business has not been effortless and joyful for you lately.  

Let's first look at what is working about the business. You mentioned that hiring the promotion/sales company has worked and that it helped the finances. Before we go to what isn't going right, I'm going to ask you to write down all the things (no matter how small) that are working. Do this now.

On the flip side, I hear all of what you're saying about things you feel aren't working. I'd like you to shift to thinking about them as things that aren't quite right yet. For example, the hours, the contrast between your Dad's and Mom's goals for the business, your Mom's health, your workload, etc. Make a big list of everything (again, no matter how small) that isn't quite right yet and include how you're feeling about them.

It sounds like you've gotten locked off and are only noticing everything that's not going right; in business, at home, with relationships and about the world. Whenever we get to the place of being locked off, we know this because our energy goes to more and more things that are "broken".  

You are caught right now in some "shoulds" about what is best for your family. I want for you to get clear on what you REALLY want ... go ahead.  

Think big, forget the how. Create a vision of your ideal life. What would you be doing?  With whom? Where, when, how, what work would you be doing? How would you be feeling?

As you get a clearer picture, you'll see you have many of these answers already. You may want to engage a professional coach to help you get more clarity and to help you get more locked on OT your vision and reworking your goals to eliminate your frustrations and problems.

For now, your "assignment" is to notice all the times you look at what isn't working and to shift your energy right away to what is working. No matter how small. It starts with you shifting your feelings.  

Terri Levine, Owner of Comprehensive Coaching U, Inc.

Author of Work Yourself Happy


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About the Expert

Terri Levine
Owner of Comprehensive Coaching U, Inc.
Fed up with her high-paying, corporate job, Terri took control of her life and became a biz coach (and published author). She loves helping others to "work happy" in her new biz. more