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People with Disabilities 

Q  What impact has owning a business had on your family?

A There was definite dichotomy in the responses to this inquiry. Some felt that they initially sacrificed time with loved ones when they began their business. This included having time to think about having a girlfriend or boyfriend. These same owners suggested that they wish they had been able to balance the needs of family and close friends better. But, that they saw this as a necessary sacrifice to achieve the long-term goal of financial stability and self-direction of their lives. Interestingly, these comments are similar to those made by typical business owners without disabilities (Ward, 2004). But, it serves as a cautionary note nonetheless.

Others reported that the supports provided by their families was essential and helped bring them together. Two entrepreneurs said that they own the family businesses. Their shared interests and futures brought the family together in ways that they had never envisioned. These business owners reported being closer, more interested in one another, and happier working towards a common goal. However, this did not mean operations are not without conflict. Disagreements over resources, business direction, and methods all occur, but their common interests always help to resolve these issues.

This group of owners also mentioned that they recreate, travel, and socialize more now that they have money, because they have grown closer together. One owner commented, however; that for some individuals, a family business will not be the answer. To run a family business, it is clear to her that the members have to enjoy each other's company. "A business won’t fix a bad relationship," she said.

 


 

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Page last updated: October 11 2013

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