The family business can generate just as much drama as it can income.
On paper, it can seem like a fantastic notion.
A self-owned company the entire family can pitch in to help with.
It seems like a great idea.
Until it’s not.
Entitlement tends to always find a way to creep in.
Once generations start to pass, who gets what and how can become a real problem.
Case in point…
Redditor Double_Mobile_8057 wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for telling my son he will not be taking over the family business and it is going to my daughter?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I have two kids, my oldest son and my daughter.”
“They are 25 and 21.”
“We have a family business that works on farm equipment, and it is a very good business.”
“Most farmers, if something break, can usually fix it but when they call us they will pay a lot so they don’t have to buy another half million tractor.”
“Anyways I have been telling my kids since they were young that if they want to take over the business they have to get a business degree and work a lot with me to learn everything.”
“Basically they have to put in the work.”
“When they were both teenagers I took them on jobs so they would understand the job.”
“My son made it very clear he didn’t want the job and went to college for sociology.”
“My daughter, on the other hand, threw herself into the business.”
“She is about to graduate as a business and robotics major.”
“She also decided to stay at home during college, and she has been working with me in her free time.”
“The only issue with my daughter is that she has trouble lifting things but that’s what strength training is for.”
“So now the problem is that my son gave me a call, he moved away for a job after graduation and he told me he wants to take over the business.”
“I told him no, and it’s going to his sister.”
“This started a huge argument, and he called me a jerk.”
“He contacted some of my older relatives, and they are mad at me also.”
The OP was left to wonder,
Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.
“NTA. You can pay people to lift things for you.”
“Her business and robotics training is important.” ~ NewtoFL2
“No, tell your family members to mind your own business.”
“It’s not their business, none of their concern, and if they feel that bad for your son, they can give him THEIR business.” ~ Shutupandplayball
“It’s because he’s the male, and she’s the woman.”
“If they were both men, there wouldn’t be such a fuss from the family.”
“Good for you, OP, for seeing past what is in her pants and instead what’s in her mind.”
“Plus, with a background in robotics, I don’t doubt she could create a robotic arm system to do the heavy work for her.”
“It could be on a frame with wheels and move however she needs it to.”
“The son obviously doesn’t realize that behavior has consequences, and there are still people out there who keep their promises.” ~ teamdogemama
“The son kinda sounds like he’s just realized, ‘Hey, this working malarky is hard work! I know, I’ll just drop into the ready-made family business and rake in the profits.'”
“He already said he wasn’t interested in the business. Likely explanation is he wants maximum cash, minimum effort.”
“And if he thinks that – that it’ll be easy cos the business is already set up and running – is another major reason to say no.”
“To think that he wants to take over an established business that he knows nothing about is laughable.”
“And as OP said, splitting it between both kids would be a disaster – the son would essentially be dead weight, taking out resources, putting very little in.” ~ Ich_bin_keine_Banane
“Just F[or] Y[our] I[nformation], depending on the size of the business, it’s likely worth your while to have an accountant or lawyer help you with the succession planning part of it.”
“Sounds like your son may just want money rather than the business, which he may be entitled do based on your will, and that could get messy.”
“Doing an equity freeze and beginning the formal ownership transition sooner rather than later might prevent problems down the road and also get your son some money now rather than turning into an estate fight later.” ~ mrdannyg21
“I would think a lot of farms would have other equipment that isn’t down, so she could always use a loader or something and rigging.”
“I think you made the right decision, and it sounds like you were clear about your expectations, which are realistic and understandable.”
“It’s not like he was blindsided or you’re showing favoritism.”
“You’re looking out for your business and the future of your family.”
“I grew up the only female with four brothers, and I’m the only one that went into a ‘man’s field.'”
“I’m not very big, although strong for my size and a female, but I absolutely can’t lift the same as some of the guys, so I think outside of the box and make it work.” ~ Pleasant_Cheetah7735
“NTA. Your son made it clear he wasn’t interested, and your daughter put in the work and dedication needed to take over the business.”
“Your son doesn’t get to swoop on and usurp her just because the life he thought he wanted isn’t what he imagined.”
“Letting your son have the business would be a huge ah move against your daughter.”
“If the older relatives know the situation and are still mad at you they can go kick rocks. If they don’t know the situation, I would consider filling them in.” ~ thaliagorgon
“As a woman who works with her father at his grain elevator, longer tools (or pipes to make tools longer) are essential.”
“And there’s always a way to think around the problem to achieve what you need.”
“Sometimes you just need to use sideways thinking to see it.”
“I’m sure she’s capable of getting past whatever problems pop up with being smaller and working on gigantic machinery.” ~ rhapsodyknit
“I have to clip steel hog rings almost daily at my job, and a good pair of long-handled Knipex Dykes was a game changer for me.”
“It’s like a hot knife through butter now.”
“Your daughter worked hard and got her degree, took your business seriously, followed all the stipulations you gave them as children, and seems passionate about the work.”
“She deserves to be your successor for those reasons alone.”
“Your son has shown zero interest in your business and wouldn’t give it the care and respect needed to keep it thriving.”
“He isn’t more entitled to it just because he has a penis or happened to be born before his sister.” ~ hellbabe222
“Hi. I’m 5″ tall. I have 2 bars I keep with my tools labeled ‘Jen’s mechanical advantage.'”
“They slip onto the end of regular-sized tools to up the leverage.”
“Also, I use a lot of levers and jacks for moving things.”
“Most things that are too heavy for me are safer with two people anyway.”
“I’m 50 and found that weight training helped me the most.”
Majoring in robotics, she should be able to figure out some great mechanical solutions.” ~ Top-Vermicelli7279
“I work in landscaping and tree service.”
“It took me a few years, but I am just as capable of lifting the 50 ft ladder.”
“Any bags of seed, fertilizer, whatever.”
“I also drag brush, lift logs, chains, mats, and anything else I need to.”
“I am 5’4″ and about 130 lbs.”
“I also learned to fix my trucks and machines myself.”
“I always carry a pipe with me in my toolbox so I can get leverage when I need to with the wrenches and things.”
“If there is something I really can not do, I ask for help.”
“Your daughter will be great.”
“You laid out what your children needed to do if they wanted the business.”
“She did it. Your son did not.”
“I work for a family company; I ended up becoming the significant other to one of the sons.”
“He is taking over the business, and his brother will not. Why?”
“Because he’s put in the work, brings in business, and has shown interest and initiative since he was 10.”
“His brother, on the other hand, calls out sick if a new video game comes out… when you put in work, you get rewarded.”
“When you f*ck around, you find out.”
“It’s the way the world works.” ~ justAlady108
“NTA. Your son walked away from the responsibilities of what your company needs to continue to exist, while your daughter dedicated herself to the company’s continued success.”
“Not only should he not take over the company, but he shouldn’t be involved in it in any way.”
“He has nothing he could contribute to it and would only use its assets.”
“I have worked for too many companies that the parents made successful, only for entitled descendants to suck away the profits without doing any work.” ~ KweeNeeBee
OP came back with a few thoughts…
“I agree with him not being involved at all. I don’t trust him not to undermine his sister or just not cause issues in the first place for the business.”
“It’s already hard work. I don’t want to make it harder for her.”
“Look at you. All solution-based.”
“Good job, Dad.”
“Oh, and NTA.” ~ Luckypennykiller
Well, OP, Reddit is with you.
Your kids made their choices.
The son followed his path.
The daughter followed hers.
And hers led her home to learn and thrive.
Good luck to her, and enjoy your retirement.