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Leaving Family Business to Pursue New Skills... Am I forsaking the right thing to do?

homeoftheCHIEFS

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I am a 19 yo from Kansas City and my family owns a bakery. I do nothing special here as I just ring people up and close up shop, the family business is still in its infancy and I've been working here a lot and attending college for free at the University downtown (thanks scholarships). Lately I've gotten an offer to work with my friend and his big brother who are both car salesman at a well know dealership at the other side of town. I've decided to join them and pursue my desire to learn how to sell at a higher level and with higher stakes. I'd say I can sell fairly solid but then again I'm just a cashier. Anyways, I feel like if I leave the business now, I'll be forsaking my mother for leaving so soon. I know my job isn't really special and she encourages me to pursue my dreams, but I do get an anxious feeling leaving her like this. Makes me a bit sad, but then again I am resolved to make myself valuable and able to help others solve their problems and provide them with what they need. I have to start somewhere and I feel as if I got a good opportunity to work under my friend and his big brother (head of sales) and learn a lot for the future. What is TFF's advice for me?
 
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Strategery

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Welcome to the forum!

I have worked with my family for many years off and on. The guilt of leaving will be strong for a while, especially if they depend on you. Is there a way you can help them part time until they get a replacement?

You say you don’t do anything special and that the business is very new, do you think your mom doesn’t want to give you too much responsibility just yet, and that’s the reason you are just a cashier? Have you asked her to teach you other skills so that you can be more valuable to the business? If your plan is to learn about how to run your own business one day, the bakery is likely the best way to do so. Sales is a wonderful skill to have, but it won’t really teach you business in a holistic way.

Obviously I don’t know you or your situation, but the more family run business folks I talk to the more I see similar issues, almost always the result of poor communication. That’s definitely been the case with mine.
 

homeoftheCHIEFS

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Welcome to the forum!

I have worked with my family for many years off and on. The guilt of leaving will be strong for a while, especially if they depend on you. Is there a way you can help them part time until they get a replacement?

You say you don’t do anything special and that the business is very new, do you think your mom doesn’t want to give you too much responsibility just yet, and that’s the reason you are just a cashier? Have you asked her to teach you other skills so that you can be more valuable to the business? If your plan is to learn about how to run your own business one day, the bakery is likely the best way to do so. Sales is a wonderful skill to have, but it won’t really teach you business in a holistic way.

Obviously I don’t know you or your situation, but the more family run business folks I talk to the more I see similar issues, almost always the result of poor communication. That’s definitely been the case with mine.
Hello and thank you for the response :)
Indeed I have asked my mother what I can do to help beyond being just a cashier. I'm a marketing student and I wanted to apply that towards the family business but my mother told me that we don't have the man power for it just yet to handle the new customers. Our product is fantastic and word of mouth works extremely well for us and I see her point. I know it isn't a matter of responsibility because my mother has a great deal of faith in me and my capabilities but there just doesn't seem to be a way for me to learn anything beyond the same old same old. It does hurt me and I do feel guilty because she trusts and relies on me, but at the end of the day my position is very replaceable and she knows that and is why she encouraged me with a heavy heart.
 

ZCP

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Sell cars. Bring what you learned to help Mom. Help her train and hire a replacement for you.
Try to move up a level in her business. Help her w/ MKT and Sales.
Best of both worlds!!

Life doesn't have to be either / or. It CAN be both.

Ask 'how CAN I?'
 
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homeoftheCHIEFS

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Sell cars. Bring what you learned to help Mom. Help her train and hire a replacement for you.
Try to move up a level in her business. Help her w/ MKT and Sales.
Best of both worlds!!

Life doesn't have to be either / or. It CAN be both.

Ask 'how CAN I?'
Thank you so much my friend :)
This really helps ease my worries as helping others and especially helping my mother. I'm a very family centered person and I want to do the best for them, it's my motivation to go fastlane after all. I do plan to launch my own business eventually but I'll never forget where I came from. I will do both after all and learn to level up.
 

MichelleWood

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Welcome!

Looks like you're experiencing a bit of a conundrum. I'm not sure how far 'the other side of town' is, I'm guessing it's not possible to do car sales, bakery and college? What are you studying at college?

I've heard there's a lot of dough in dough;) Still bakery is hard work, long hours especially in it's infancy. Being a family business if things don't go well you'll probably feel guilty for not being there to help out. So understand you wanting to support your family.

You think you are good at sales, but you can always learn more. The car sales is a fantastic opportunity to 'get in the corridor', to learn that business model inside and out. Ask loads of questions - ask the cleaner, the manager, the receptionist - let this be your university. You have youth/time on your side right now, but don't waste it. You'll be helping your friends out at the car dealership by being a diligent and enthusiastic employee - giving value. If you decide to do this job, it doesn't have to be long term, you may only need 6 months or a year to get the value you need. From there you may go back and rejoin the family business or maybe something else entirely.

Hope this helps, good luck!
 

homeoftheCHIEFS

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Apr 15, 2024
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Welcome!

Looks like you're experiencing a bit of a conundrum. I'm not sure how far 'the other side of town' is, I'm guessing it's not possible to do car sales, bakery and college? What are you studying at college?

I've heard there's a lot of dough in dough;) Still bakery is hard work, long hours especially in it's infancy. Being a family business if things don't go well you'll probably feel guilty for not being there to help out. So understand you wanting to support your family.

You think you are good at sales, but you can always learn more. The car sales is a fantastic opportunity to 'get in the corridor', to learn that business model inside and out. Ask loads of questions - ask the cleaner, the manager, the receptionist - let this be your university. You have youth/time on your side right now, but don't waste it. You'll be helping your friends out at the car dealership by being a diligent and enthusiastic employee - giving value. If you decide to do this job, it doesn't have to be long term, you may only need 6 months or a year to get the value you need. From there you may go back and rejoin the family business or maybe something else entirely.

Hope this helps, good luck!
Hello thank you for the response :)
The other side is about 35 minutes away, not much longer than my commute to college. At college I'm a marketing student so that should help aid me in my fastlane journey. Doing car sales, school, and bakery would be tough and I think I can really only hone in on two. Although if my mother needed me I'd be there :).
About the latter part of the response, indeed I can always learn and I am a very eager and willing learner. It is the plan to be there to be there for the short term-ish (<2years) and learn all I can to help my mother and eventually start my own venture. If anyone has advice on sales, please let me know!! :)
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Go sell cars and learn how to communicate.

You probably always can go back to the bakery, which makes it an awesome safety net.

IMO, you have unprecedented opportunity and the whole question, shouldn't be a question.
 

homeoftheCHIEFS

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Apr 15, 2024
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Go sell cars and learn how to communicate.

You probably always can go back to the bakery, which makes it an awesome safety net.

IMO, you have unprecedented opportunity and the whole question, shouldn't be a question.
Woah MJ! Thanks for sharing :). An unprecedented opportunity is a fantastic way to look at it. I agree and that’s why I see the value in learning and taking the opportunity. The thing I’m left with now is how to help people as best I can :).
 

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