There are some important insights for a therapist from my adventures in family business. I think family business consulting represents one example of how therapists might react to changes and frustrations in their own practices by moving into a wider world, and finding new arenas to apply their learning. Call it “brand extension” --finding new niches to extend useful skills. Getting to know people in other professions has helped me to see that therapists have their own insular world which they need to transcend. I have learned to become a translator, taking what I know and making it understandable to other professions. I remember in my first talk to a group of non-therapist family business owners and advisors, how I made assumptions and talked about issues that did not fit with the concerns of my audience. I needed to learn to collaborate
with people from these allied professions, and to begin by hearing their problems, and then offering insights that come from my family perspective. And most importantly I have found that defining myself as a family business consultant is blazing a new trail, defining new boundaries, looking yet again at age-old conundrums like who is the client, what is my work, and how will I make a difference. But the rewards are real, and the work is important.

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