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Family business question

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Mark Suszko
Family business question
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:43:27 pm

A little off-topic, maybe. I'm working on a script about a guy marrying into an already-existing, successful family business, and I'm looking for insights into the social and inter-personal dynamics of a stranger joining a family business thru marriage, and working in that family business.

I don't need hyper-detailed personal histories, don't name names, but any general insights or anecdotal impressions you may have, things you observed or experienced, or pointers to resources, would be helpful. What level of respect and inclusion did the person get coming in, and how did it evolve over time? Was it a "good fit"? Were there resentments among the family about the new addition to the staff, or did it go well?


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grinner hester
Re: Family business question
on Mar 26, 2018 at 11:23:38 am

I have never hesitated to freelance a family member for 10 bucks an hour. When it comes to partnerships, it's easy here to separate family from it. Unless someone has six figures or a couple of decades of experience to bring, it's 10 bucks an hour for a grip.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Family business question
on Mar 26, 2018 at 12:16:19 pm

I was thinking more along the lines of something more permanent, but, thanks for answering. Hypothetically, of course, if you hired a family member-by-marriage to grip, and they tried to insert themselves into business decision discussions, where to invest the family's business profits, what kind of jobs ot take on, that kind of thing, what kind of responses and emotions would you (hypothetically) feel?


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Bob Cole
Re: Family business question
on Apr 11, 2018 at 1:10:36 pm

Michael Corleone to Carlo (paraphrase): "Admit what you did. Don't be afraid.... C'mon, do you think I'd make my sister a widow?"
CUT TO: Carlo getting strangled in car.

OTOH, there are probably examples of happy in-laws entering the family business. Looking forward to seeing your script - it's got drama baked-in!

Bob C


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Mark Suszko
Re: Family business question
on Apr 11, 2018 at 3:17:44 pm

Probably nobody will ever see my screenplay but my relatives. That's okay. I'm enjoying the creative experience.
In my story, the guy marries into a family business that's very down-to-earth and practical, and it's a bad fit because they lack imagination and are risk-averse, while he's a bit of a dreamer/schemer/entrepreneurial type.

They don't think much of the husband's work history and personality, but the wife vouches for him, so to give the new marriage a stable foundation they give him a low-level, dead-end, make-no-waves spot in the company, out of a grudging courtesy, and figure "that's that".

When he gets a Big Idea, one that's very imaginative but a little risky, they don't want to get involved, it's not the kind of thing they'd ever be interested in pursuing, despite the potential, but he's the kind of guy that finds it easier to ask forgiveness than permission, so he goes ahead and, bending the rules, leverages aspects of his job, and leans hard on the influence of his wife on the family, pressuring them to give him a loan, to try to achieve the Big Idea anyway. So in his actions, he squarely divides the family, his supportive wife taking his side against the rest of the family... and taking on the big risk along with it. If it pays off, all will be well. If it tanks... it will deeply wound the interpersonal relationships in the family, probably permanently.

For the rest... you'll have to wait for the premiere:-)


But I was looking for real-life models of such an interaction for insight, they can't be that uncommon.


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