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A key business question: How's the family?
 

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When I meet a successful businessperson, I look to see if their success extends beyond business. Are they raising their kids? Are they happy? Do they lead an honorable life?

This was some of the advice given to me by Jay Goltz, a seasoned entrepreneur who founded The Goltz Group, which comprises Artists' Frame Service, Jayson Home & Garden, and Chicago Art Source. He is also the author of a book called "The Street Smart Entrepreneur." You can check out Jay's blog here.

I recently met Jay at an Inc.-sponsored small business summit in Aspen. I've read about his success before and was anxious to pick his brain for some entrepreneurial insights. I think he sensed that I am a glutton for entrepreneurial advice and was very willing to chat about his successes—and his mistakes.

One thing he is very proud of is his family. Jay has three kids and a great wife and he puts their success and the time he spends with them into the formula for his own success. We were talking about all the business titans covered in today's media and were wondering what their families are like.

Many times a "successful" business owner will work and travel so much, his kids will grow up without him or his influence. Work is not a place to escape to and declare, "I am doing it for my family!" That statement is a bunch of bull. I have often seen this with my own eyes. A business leader will be in all the magazines and newspapers and look like he is superman—but behind the scenes his kids are nowhere close to being well-functioning. If you really want to do something for your family, spend some time with them.

Jay encouraged me to calculate "time spent with the family" in my formula for success. And I want to pass that excellent advice along to anyone who will listen.

Last updated: Aug 19, 2008




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