They say, “family business will ruin your family.” What is your opinion on this?
I think it depends on how you run the family business. Because early on, we were farmers and hunters. A lot of businesses before were family businesses and they had more time as a family. And we could see families now, there’s divorced, left and right, and that’s because the husband and the wife are working different jobs. And sometimes, there’s affairs going on and they grow separately, their separate ways.
And you know, I think working in a family business is a blessing. We see people doing farming. The father is a farmer. The mother takes care of the house or grows some of the crops and the kids also help. I think it’s a privilege and a blessing to work in a family business, but you have to do it right.
Just like any other company, you have to do things right. If you do things wrong, then the company will crumble and fall down and be torn apart. And I think that as a family, you have more chances of getting up. Rather than if you’re starting a company with friends, there’s more chances of you not getting up, not having the grit to rebuild the business, especially if it’s a startup company.
So I think that having a family business is actually really good, but that assumes that your family dynamic is also good. Of course, you’re not going to decide to start a business with your family if your family dynamics are screwed up. So that is the implicit understanding there.
How do you do business with people who are unbelievers?
I do business with them. I don’t make them partners. I don’t do joint ventures with them because I wouldn’t do that with unbelievers. It’s hard to be yoked with them. You know, the Bible, that’s what it says, do not be yoked with unbelievers. And what that means is if you’re partners with them, meaning you’re 50-50 with them, or a hundred percent effort from you and a hundred percent effort from them, together, you’re walking hand in hand, going hand in hand, and I think that is not good.
So I don’t have any joint ventures or partnerships with unbelievers. In fact, in most of my businesses, I don’t have any partners. Yeah. I don’t have any partners or I’m always the majority owner. I don’t have a business where I’m a minority stake, unless I’m a silent partner. I don’t like being a minority. So I’d rather be silent than a minority. You do business usually to avoid headaches. And you do business with other people also, it has to be clear to you who’s the industrial partner, who’s the funder, vice versa.
If you’re the industrial partner, then the funders have to be clear who’s in charge. There has to be only one head. If there are many heads, that’s not going to work. A person with many heads, that’s a monster, right? So you cannot have many heads leading a single company or organization.