"Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future." 1
As far as sibling relationships go, they don't get any tighter than those between homeschoolers. You know what makes 'em tick, what stresses 'em out and what they need to succeed. No one has more potential for stronger, more effective sibling relationships than a homeschool graduate.
And what are we going to do with that advantage?
For one thing, we can put our sibling relationships to work in a long term initiative toward financial freedom and preparation for the future – in other words, we can work together, and do it well.
You’ve grown up learning, playing and working with your brothers and sisters – why not make a career out of it?
The unique opportunity we have within our family relationships is one of collaborative planning, cooperative power and coordinated efforts – three areas that are critical to the success of any business or organization.
As Maece was recounting in a recent and very entertaining HSA discussion, homeschooling has provided many of us with entrepreneurial adventures that have shaped our careers or at least given us experiences to draw on.
They often come from humble beginnings, but when you hear the words "family business", don't automatically think "small potatoes". According to the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, “the greatest part of North America's wealth lies with family-owned businesses”. Sixty percent of total U.S. employment, 78% of all new jobs, 50% of Gross Domestic Product and 65% of all wages paid come from family-owned businesses.
If a family business isn’t right for you, you still have fantastic opportunity to capitalize on your family relationships as you establish your career. Open discussions with your siblings about your interests, financial goals and career plans can often surface great ideas on how you can help each other realize your individual goals.
With the sizeable investment you already have in the lives of your siblings, it's definitely worth considering your family's combined strengths, weakness and interests when you evaluate vocational opportunities.
If you and your siblings don’t really have a collaborative plan together as it pertains to work and finances, addressing these issues in a family meeting is a perfect place to start.
As a homeschool graduate, if your relationships can support it, and if your field of interest is conducive to it, you may find working with your family to be a logical “next step” in a lifestyle that combines family relationships with teamwork and the realization of individual potential.
1. Mary Schmich's Chicago Tribune column June 1, 1997.