Cutting Back

Repairing The Damage

The head of the insurance agency who dealt with the ire of his cousins took the initiative in repairing the relationship. "I made sure we visited during the holidays and asked them over for dinner frequently," he says. Today, four years later, the cousins are still with the firm--and the entrepreneur realizes he could have handled the situation differently.

"We should have brought my cousins into the process earlier and gotten their input before we made any decisions," says one owner. "If they had felt they were part of the solution--not just part of the problem--they might have had a better reaction."

Hilburt-Davis recommends you and the relative come to a joint decision on how (and how much) of the situation you want to explain to the extended family. Don't be surprised, though, if immediate family members take sides and reflect the emotions of their "injured" kin.

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This article was originally published in the February 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Cutting Back.

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