If I were to poke my head out of my spacious corner cubicle here at the Dirt Trax world headquarters I’d be greeted by no less than four of my immediate family members.
If I were to make a phone call to our production offices, at least one of a possible four more of my relatives would pick up the phone. Wife, mom and dad, brother, uncles, aunts and cousins… there’s no denying the fact that Dirt Trax Magazine and Dirt Trax Television are family companies.
Of course, there are many great benefits to working with family, especially a family like this one, where, despite typical day-to-day disagreements, we do get along and as cliché as it sounds… are all friends.
Knowing I can trust those around me with not only my business but also any personal circumstances is comforting. Being able to be completely frank and honest with my co-workers without worrying about them hating me is also helpful when the tough things need to be said. After all, its not like I can be fired from being a Lester.
On the other hand, working with family in a business like ours has its challenges. It can often be very hard to separate business from personal time.
Work often gets taken out of the cave and onto the deck during warm Saturday afternoon gatherings. There are lifetimes of history full of frustrations and annoyances that can boil over at the least appropriate time.
Heck, I work right beside my little brother day in and day out and Im not going to lie, from time to time I just want to give him a noogie. Not to mention how stressful it can be when the woman who deposits my paycheck is mad at me because I hinted that the dinner she made last night wasn’t up to my exceedingly high culinary expectations.
So often I hear people comment on family run businesses like ours, saying things like: “I could never work with MY family” and “Working with family never ends well”. So does the good outweigh the bad? You bet your rear differential it does.
I dont like my family because I have to. I like them because they are just like me. We’re like a big family of peas all chilling out in one big pod riding ATVs and having fun. When it comes time for a road trip to Hatfield McCoy for a few days, I actually look forward to it because I know AJ and I, or Dad and I will have a great time together.
If our family was wrought with issues and bad vibes I think working together would be awful. But our family is as close as can be because the family that plays together, stays together and ever since I was a tiny baby, our family has been playing, non-stop.
As a kid I played all summer with my cousins who are now my business partners, under the watchful eye of my aunts and uncles who I now work alongside. My brother and I rode our dirt bikes and ATVs day in and day out with Dad and we came home after every day’s ride to have mom bandage us back up.
I’ve been blessed to have grown up the way I did with a family that liked the same things and wanted to be together, wanted to play together. Now, I’m blessed even more to have co-workers who still enjoy playing together when the day is done.
I sincerely hope that enthusiasm is something you can feel as a reader or viewer of Dirt Trax. It’s why we do what we do and we all hope we’re doing it well.