We work for family businesses.
We grew up in family businesses.
We understand family businesses.
Who better to interview other family businesses?
The Idiot Son - Bonus Episode
It’s a tale as old as time and although it can be fairly given or unfairly given, the consensus is that using the term, the "idiot son", can be quite mean and created. This episode provides an in-depth look at the term, the “idiot son”, with many perspectives shared over the past seasons. Ted & Karen are certain that an atmosphere can be created through dependency with no consequences. Many insightful points are made and broken down including: The status of the “idiot son” The role that older generations play in the development When the tag of “idiot son” is assumed, what happens psychologically What needs to happen to ensure an “idiot son” isn’t created The impact on the business The type of pathway that needs to be forged Ted shares a simple solution for families to overcome this “dilemma” An important lesson shared throughout the episode is that family members and “idiot sons” need to continue to prove themselves and earn respect day in and day out which can be daunting and difficult to manage. At the end of the day, the culture of the family is extremely important where mistakes are okay to be made, lessons are learned and the family members are not given everything.
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Business & Life Lessons from an Anti-Hero ft. Jeffrey Wolf
Ted & Karen are joined by Jeffrey Wolf who’s had an up and down experience with family business throughout his life and he will be the first to tell you that he’s an anti-hero who was able to come back from a challenging time. Coming out of college, Jeff was directionless and eventually joined his father who ran a wholesale operation selling mens’ dress apparel. Ted and Karen gain insight on how Jeff started out in the business and what it was like to see everything from the ground up. Time and time again, Jeff shares how grateful he was and at the same time shares his father wasn’t the type of guy who would put his arm around his shoulder and explain the intricacies of the business which is what Jeff was looking for. Karen sheds light on the perspective of outsiders looking in and Jeff informs that people don’t know exactly what’s going on behind the scenes. Deeper into the conversation, the relationship between Jeff and his father is broken down where Jeff touches on what he wished his dad had done differently. As the landscape and environment was changing, Jeff was hit with the abrupt announcement of his father shutting down the business and Jeff dived deep into the impact it had on him and his family. This led to a rollercoaster of emotions and the outcome was Jeff coming to important realisations. It was through his life experience and how his father groomed him that he was able to come out on the other side and understand what it takes to truly be successful. Connect with Karen & Ted: https://www.thefamilybusinesspodcast.com/
Hard Work Infused with Foresight ft. Cindi from Bigelow Tea
Creating a family business and a legacy is at the heart of this story which is why Bigelow Tea, a 3rd generational company gets better every year. It all started in a kitchen in a New York City brownstone where Ruth Campbell Bigelow was inspired from an early Colonial recipe. Ruth saw a need and was able to capitalise on it. Needless to say, Ruth and her husband David experienced many hardships early on that would have stopped most people. Cindi Bigelow, President and CEO, joins Karen and Ted for a conversation that helps listeners understand the inner workings of a family business over 3 generations. Karen realises and touches on the foresight needed early on while Ted finds out about other family members' involvement from the beginning. Cindi shares how her father (the 2nd generation) helped bring BIgelow Tea to what it is today and shares 3 important tips she learned. Karen is able to get fantastic insight on Cindi’s involvement in the family business at the start and why she was interested in continuing with it. When Cindi first joined after schooling, she quickly learned a lot of important lessons including how different the environment was, what she needed to do in order to succeed and realised that people are going to judge you simply because of your name.
A huge part of Cindi’s success, as she shares, is the fact that she took her time with each position, learning it from the inside out and understanding the fundamentals of the business which is still very important for anyone joining the company. Ted enlightens the listeners about the difficulty to give younger generations more control while Cindi provides fantastic insight on how her father passed the baton down to herself. At the end of the day, a company needs to be run with hundreds of employees depending on leadership so Cindi shares 4 super helpful tips on how to lead. Karen inquires about other Bigelow's working in the business and Ted wants to know if family members can join. Cindi is very clear on the next steps of the business and shares what this will look like for the next generation, her children.
Connect with Karen & Ted: https://www.thefamilybusinesspodcast.com/
Connect with Cindi: https://bigelowtea.com/
5 Generations of Passion & Legacy Built into an Icon ft. Todd from Omaha Steaks
With over 100 years of skill handed down from 1st Generation to 5th Generation, Omaha Steaks, the family business discussed in this episode, has been opportunistic at every corner. Speaking with Todd who is currently the Chairman & CEO, you quickly realise why this family business has been in operation for so long. Getting into the logistics, Ted shares how difficult it can be for family members to stay in their own lane and how tough it can be to keep the business within the family for so long. Although it’s a family business and typically it’s important for family members to continue the legacy, Todd shares that the legacy of the business is the brand and regardless of who manages it, as long as the brand lives on, so does the legacy. Starting out with humble beginnings, the family business has seen many family members stepping up, finding their niche and settling in to ensure the family business would succeed. Todd shares inventions that came to fruition during the company's existence and touches on how it helped the business grow and expand to different markets. Another important aspect of the growth of business came from organic inclusion of people outside of the family which Todd provides in-depth strategy around.
Looking ahead when the older generations had to pass the torch, Todd delves into how it was made possible and Karen poses a great question around Todd’s decision to join the family business and whether or not he regretted it. Fantastic insight is shared throughout the entire episode that can help all family businesses thrive and last for over a century.
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Fueled by Purpose & Optimism with a Laidback Sensibility ft. Alex & Kerry from the Faherty Brand
This episode is all about a family business that’s looking on the brighter side. A family that has been creating high-quality, sustainably-minded, feel-good clothing, accessories and much more with the commitment to change the status quo through the lessening of environmental harm. Faherty Brand, CEO Alex and CIO Kerry (who are also married with two kids) join Ted & Karen for a very insightful episode that dives deep into running a 1st generation family business. It is quite clear from the beginning that the time and effort Alex and Kerry have put in, ensures that both their business and family thrives. The business was first created by Alex and his twin brother Mike which they knew from a young age would happen. From 17 years of age all the way to their 30’s, they were busy preparing and getting ready for the clothing business. The origin story that Alex shares is quite beautiful and helps you realise why their business has been so successful. Ted inquires about mixing business with family and Kerry touches on how it all tends to exist as one. Alex shares insight on the clothing business and what it takes to be successful in this industry especially as a brand that puts their family name on it. As a business, it’s important to walk the walk and talk the talk and Karen inquires about the business’ Instagram feed that firmly shares the company's core values that revolve around speaking up, being environmentally conscious, sustainability and much more. Kerry shares how the world is shifting with Conscious Capitalism and how important it is to speak up with kindness and love. Typical with family businesses, it can be difficult to compartmentalise so Ted dives deep in to understand how Alex & Kerry manage this. Through trial and error, the duo share when it’s okay to talk about family business and how they sustain from being fully enveloped. Kerry and Alex touch on working together as husband and wife and share important tips to make it work. Alex also sheds light on the impact it’s had on his relationship with his mother who is a big part of the family business.
Ted and Karen dive deeper into family business and relationships. Alex provides 3 important reasons why he and his twin are able to succeed together and Karen wonders if it’s difficult to hire outside of the family. Kerry shares her perspective on having her in-laws as business partners and Karen is able to empathise with Kerry’s feelings. Fantastic insight is shared by Kerry & Alex when Ted asks what needs to happen to ensure 2nd & 3rd generational fighting doesn’t take place within the family when the legacy is passed on.
All in all, fantastic guidance is provided in this episode including the importance of being honest, being open and taking pride in all aspects of the business.
Connect with Karen & Ted: https://www.thefamilybusinesspodcast.com/
Connect with Alex & Kerry: https://fahertybrand.com/
Culture Over Everything ft. Mizti Perdue
Double dynasty Mitzi Perdue joins Karen & Ted for a very insightful, value driven conversation around her experience growing up with a family business then later marrying Frank Perdue who was also a part of a family business. Looking at the origin of her own family business, Mitzi goes in-depth on how the business came to life and the mindset of her father who did a fantastic job at believing in people while supporting them to be their best selves. Ted shows fascination with the dynamics of Mitzi’s family business and how it was very forward thinking. Karen dives deeper into the logistics of Mitzi potentially taking over the company and receives great insight on what it was like to be a part of a family business in the mid 1900’s. Key details are shared by Mitzi about how to keep family businesses running successfully, and the rewards of doing so. Mitzi shares how important it is for a culture to be created for employees to be a part of the bigger picture, to be a huge part of the success of the company.
The conversation goes into Mitzi & Frank’s relationship, their marriage and important aspects are shared around helping family businesses thrive. The origin story of Perdue Farms brings the dynamics between a father and son and a few tips are shared by Mitzi as to how a son or child can take over a family business with more ease. Ted inquires about rules around family members working outside of the family business and Mitzi shares 3 reasons why it’s important to do so. Karen also provides great insight as to why it’s important for family members to work outside of the family business first.
Karen gets Mitzi’s perspective of the best part of family business and Ted shares that it is quite possible for a business to tear a family apart as family business can be very emotional. Mitzi shares 4 super important tips on communication amongst family business members and provides life guidance that everyone can take to live a better life. Culture is explored deeply near the end of the episode with values that can greatly help a family business succeed.
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