Last summer I participated in the Peek Weekend Family Business cohort. My background qualified me for this cohort because my family owns a business that distributes automobile batteries in northern Mexico. It was started by my grandfather, and I grew up with continual exposure to the business. At Peek, I had the chance to participate in intriguing case discussions, and I was able to relate the recurring themes to my family’s business. 

I learned that family businesses across the world typically face similar obstacles, and that even though every situation is unique, there are strategies that are bound to increase the likelihood of success for family businesses. I also learned that expanding in scale is a particularly challenging feat to undertake and that sometimes a transition away from being a family business must take place. These ideas resonated with me and I decided to share what I learned with my family – my comments were well received, and while I’m not actively involved in the family business, I’m sure that I initiated important dialogue.

If you are thinking about applying to the Family Business cohort, I would highly encourage you to speak to your family members about the family business. Specifically, I suggest focusing on how decisions are made, how conflicts are handled, and what the rules are for family members who are not currently involved with the business but wish to be. By going through this process, you would be well prepared to make the most out of Peek’s Family Business cohort.

While at Peek, I instantly connected with other members of the Family Business cohort; I felt like we all had a lingering interest in business that had been instilled in us at an early age, and we were all eager to learn. During case discussions, I was frequently surprised by how much value was added to the conversation every time someone drew on his or her experience. Additionally, even though Peek was only a three-day program, the intensity of the schedule allowed me to forge genuine friendships with individuals whose interests and aspirations align with mine. To this date, I have kept in touch with members from the Peek network, and I’m sure that I will continue to do so in the future.