Life’s Not Always Fair. Get Over It.


It’s inevitable that inequality will develop in a business family over time. What matters is how you respond.
Life's not Always Fair



Judy Lin Walsh, a Partner at BanyanGlobal, dives into the topic of inequality in the family business in this video Q&A. Walsh breaks down the various ways inequalities can develop and what family members can do about it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Inequality is always there, whether real or imagined, but it doesn’t always have to be destructive. Inequality can be a helpful motivating factor that helps an individual reach their goals.
  • It is important to understand your own goals rather than striving toward someone else’s. You also need to know when it is healthy to benchmark yourself with others and when it can cause you to lose sight of your desires.
  • Inequality can turn destructive when you let it impact your self-worth and self-view.
  • No two situations are the same, hard work and talent aren’t the only factors that create success, luck and outside factors, such as the economy, also can impact a person’s journey to success.
  • Fair does not always mean equal and focusing too much on making things equal can harm more than it can help.

Time Stamps:

[0:09] Is inequality in a family business inevitable over time? [1:03] Is inequality always a bad thing? [2:28] What are the different ways that people can feel inequality? [4:26] The Haves and the Have Nots: Is inequality inevitable between family branches? [5:31] When there is inequality, are there still ways for families to stay close? [6:16] Is fair the same as equal? [8:19] Can parents unintentionally create inequality by trying too hard to make everything “equal”? [10:24] What are your top 3 tips for dealing with inequality?


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