Sometimes fragments and germs of ideas are bounced around in several different ways before they truly come together. When they do finally come together, it can be downright magical. It all started with the simple notion that I am a writer and I love genealogy. Once those two things became known, a cousin suggested I write about the history of the family business on my Mom’s side of the family. That idea has been kicking around for a while, I am far from ready to go there for a whole host of reasons, but it was something important, an idea. By the way, if you are reading this L., I haven’t completely given up on that idea.
Fast forward a couple of years and all of a sudden my parents and siblings are aware of my blog. Not only are they aware of my writing, they actually think I am a good writer. No bias there, right? Here’s the thing: I think the biggest praise was from my Dad. He is not the type to give praise for just anything, whether or not you are his child. The fact that he is even aware of my writing is huge. But I digress.
So, as my Mom is boosting my ego by telling me my entire nuclear family is at least somewhat impressed by my writing, she completes the idea. She thinks I should write the history of our family business, the history of Russell Canoe Livery. I like to think of it as The Story of Us. The thing is that Russell Canoe Livery is such a family oriented business, and I hope it always will be, that it will be impossible to write about the livery without writing extensively about the history of my Dad’s family, as well as our own. The entire idea gets at the very heart of our family, the reason I decided to study business in the first place, and even who I am as a person. I want to make this clear: I can’t imagine my family not owning the canoe livery. I can’t imagine growing up not working for my parents. It will always be very near and dear to my heart.
Aside from all of that, it is a compelling story. It is a story of entrepreneurship. It is the story of a mother and son working together to keep a business running under less than ideal circumstances. It is the story of two baby-boomers raising a family of three kids. It is also the story of the love between grandparents and grandkids. It is also the story of an extremely small town that likes to keep to itself. It is also the story of friendly competition and a changing society.
I have to do this. If nothing else I have to do this for my nephew and any future nieces and nephews. They all deserve to know the story.
Oh, and not to get political, but: Yes, my family did build this. We did it DESPITE government actions.
- Rules Can Keep Your Family Business and Family Together (josephdwelch.com)
- By Hiring Mom and Dad, Young Entrepreneurs Shake Up ‘Family Business’ (voanews.com)
- Family business succession – tips for making it work (simplybusiness.co.uk)
- Friends and family business borrowing up (simplybusiness.co.uk)