In the 1960s, we lived behind the hardware store my parents owned in Queens, NY. My dad was a very sweet man who extended lots of credit, and beneath the counter a cigar box overflowed with the penciled chits he wrote for neighbors and tradesmen while my mom frowned behind the register.
With time, those bits of paper did us in.
But I grew up, studied business, bought my first suit, and headed into Manhattan and a Big 8 Accounting Firm, where I worked to make companies bigger and stronger and better.
When I started Rudish Health Solutions (RHS) three years ago, I planned to have some fun, do some good, make some money. The one thing I didn’t plan to do was to create a family business.
But that’s exactly what has happened.
My wife dusted off her MBA and now runs the back office while I work out front with clients. Our son’s the logistical wizard and gatekeeper who orders and organizes my days. In a recent hiring coup, our eldest daughter, senior manager of healthcare consulting at Deloitte, has joined us as Vice President of Strategy & Innovation.
The family connections at RHS may have started with us, but they certainly don’t stop there. Several of our people are also related to each other, and more importantly, by creating common bonds through our works and days together, our RHS family extends beyond kinship to include every person working here.
For most of human history, all business was family business. Whether farmer or farrier, craftsman or king, the basic economic unit was the extended family, and people worked from home together, doing the work of their ancestors mostly, which was great or not so great depending on whether home was hovel, hut or high manor house.
Then, for a few hundred years, a series of technological revolutions moved work away from family, and now the current tech revolution has begun to move it back.
Our company is a totally virtual business, with physically distributed employees and principals working across the country, and sometimes around the world. But wherever we are, as a family-style business we essentially spend our days working from home, together. A new/old way of working that improves the quality of my days, a way I might recommend to you as well.
For further inspiration, here’s a recent story about families working together: With Adult Children as Partners, Taking an Entrepreneurial Leap