It’s been a very long time coming, but I’ve finally sat down, focused, and designed the contextual model around the content and coaching I provide for the “business of being a family in business.” It’s my first draft and I’m honestly surprised it came out so well. I’m just learning about contextual models – and learning from the very best, Neen James.

Long story short… I’ve greatly admired Neen for a few years. I’ve seen her present last year at Heroic Public Speaking and although I couldn’t attend this year, I “played along” online and gave myself the time and space to once again focus on her ideas. Thanks Neen for the inspiration, education, and spark I needed to GET THIS DONE!

This is a rough “first draft,” and I’m no artist. The energy and power of the ideas come through, so I’m happy to share it with you.

What is a Contextual Model?

In a nutshell, a contextual model is a visual representation of the ideas, methods, and processes you have uniquely created within your business or service. This is my own decades-old set of ideas that I work through with clients to help them on their family business journey.

Click to open/enlarge

How to Read the Family Business Model:

The model is divided into four quadrants. These are the four possible states your family business could be in at any given moment.

  • Starting: Your business is on the ground floor, proving out an idea or product, or finding your niche within your chosen industry
  • Stalling: Your business is losing momentum, money or customers
  • Shifting: Your business is going through a transition and adjusting focus and/or your niche
  • Soaring: Your business is growing rapidly and you are outpacing resources you need to stay afloat and profitable (and sane)

Next, you will notice the concepts between each quadrant.

  • Profits & Passion: Your business needs to lean on these to get you through Starting or a Stalling business
  • Process & Progress: Your business needs to focus on these concepts to strengthen during Shifting or Soaring
  • Perception & Purpose: When your business is Starting or Shifting these are the concepts that will keep you moving forward
  • Perseverance & Prosperity: If your business is Stalling or Soaring you will need to dive deep into these concepts to keep afloat

Finally, left in the middle hanging out all on their own are the two most important concepts, Predicament and People. They live in the middle because they are important and relevant during every stage of your business.

How This Model Can Help Your Family Business

Reading each quadrant, does any of the stages jump out as reflecting your business right now? Next, take a look at the four concepts attached to the business stage. Chances are those are the things you may need to take a closer look at, need to work on, learn to overcome. For example:

  • Someone Starting a new business may…
    • have trouble launching because they don’t have cash/cash flow (Profits) to invest in resources or inventory
    • be joining another family member’s business but lack the Passion to really put their heart, time, energy and possibly money into the endeavor
    • not see the Purpose of the product or service or not fully understand the industry
    • worry what their family or friends will think (Perception) for starting “that” kind of business
  • Someone in a Stalling business may…
    • have trouble staying afloat because they don’t have cash/cash flow (Profits) to invest in marketing or have deadbeat clients dragging their own company down
    • have lost their Passion for their business and it reflects in their book of business or sales numbers
    • have the desire to keep motivated and inspired (Preserverance) through tough times
    • have the ability to keep centered, balanced and healthy (Prosperity) during the stress of a faltering business

Predicament and People are at the heart of every business. ALWAYS pay attention to how they affect you.

If you own a family business and want to see how you can use this model to attract positive change into your business and include your family in that process, I would love to be of service to you as a coach.

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