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Jesse Herriott: Learn How to Run a Business If You Desire to Raise a Family

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Jesse Herriott discusses how a family should function as a business unit.


The Family as A Business Unit

by Jesse Herriott

As a parent, one of the things I quickly learned is that my wife and I are not raising a child, but we are raising an adult. Our joint task is to raise a fully purposed, creative, and self-sufficient woman that can build, nurture, and be herself in the age she’s blessed to be a part of. It’s a bit of a challenge, raising a child in the technological generation. I can quickly tell she’s smarter than both of us already. I didn’t learn to type until I was in the first grade, and my daughter, at three years old, can navigate her way through a touch-screen cell phone and select an app that she wants to be entertained by. So early on, we’re watching for instinctual elements in our daughter’s life that we can help nourish. I believe on a small scale, they are starting to surface and maybe give clues as to what fields she would thrive in during her adult years.

As my wife and I strive every day to build a family unit that’s functional, economically stable, and full of love, we both quickly noticed that our family was our business. It isn’t perfect -as none probably are- but it’s our company nonetheless. The deeper I look into the structure of my family and other family structures, it makes me scratch my head because the more I try to come up with answers for questions that I have, other people bombard me with questions such as: How do you build morale in the family? How do you inspire your spouse to believe in you — or believe in themselves for that matter? How do you push one another academically, socially, politically, and commercially in the face of resistance? And what are the roles for each member of the family (husband, wife, children, etc.)? And it should go without saying that many of the roles in the house are fluid, but there is definitely a distinction between parent-child. Yet that distinction doesn’t limit the child from coming up with suggestions for the family unit/family business that could benefit everybody.

We all know too well the economic struggles that families face at times in conjunction with the internal struggles of parents merging their own passion for a “life’s calling” and being forced to face the realities of paying the bills. That in itself takes a lot of time and effort on its own, but with a nurturing family, it makes the process a bit easier. So I think that everyone should make a personal commitment to constantly be about the business of building their families to the point that things run about as smooth as any company would be expected to. With this in mind, having a business model for your family, and viewing your family as a business enterprise isn’t a bad thing. Because in the end, a strong family unit is going to benefit everybody in your household; and the blueprint from your “company” will be one that your offspring can hopefully use to build their own families.

If you sit back and analyze where you are as a unit — your child’s progress in school, yourself and your spouse’s progress at work, the household budget, etc., you can get a clear gauge as to where you are as a group. You don’t have to take the joy and fun out of being at home, but if anyone desires their family’s home life to be more than a recreational hub for the young and old, you’ve got to put in the work. Your family should be as beautiful internally as it is externally. The flare, pizazz, and vibrancy we put in decorating where we live should equally be placed in how we are living as a family unit. Personally, I’m not “there” yet, and I have no earthly idea where “there” is because my wife and I have been married for five and a half years, and our daughter is only three. But every day, we are working to build a life that helps my entire family move forward — even friends and distant family that only come by to “fill up their tanks” (and their stomachs) so to speak on a periodic basis.

Some of us weren’t given the blueprints of our dreams, but we all have to work with what we were given. You don’t have to build or design your family’s business plan based off of the design scheme of your parents, unless you want the same model “house” they are living in. But I think one of the things we have to recognize is that whether we grade those who raised us with a “pass” or “fail” mark, they had a hand in getting us to where we are. And whether we know it or not, we are producing blueprints that our children will take with them when they go out into the world to build their lives. Your life doesn’t have to be perfect, and neither do you have to be. But you do have to recognize that if we want to change the world, and our communities, we’ve got to begin at home.

Jesse Herriott is a teacher and a priest who writings can be found in the areas of religion/spirituality and family life. He received a B.A. in political science from the Univ. of South Carolina and M.A. in Criminal Justice from Keiser University. He lectures frequently within churches, spiritual centers, and career colleges throughout the state of Georgia. He’s also a frequent contributor to, elephant journal magazine, and a host of other online publications. His radio show “Living on Purpose” is archived on Unity Online Radio at: and his website is His latest spiritual book-Initiations: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times can be found online where books are sold.