|Five Steps to Success: Setting Price|
|Five Steps to Success: Create authentic local products|
|The financial struggles of Phuong Uyen Tran's parents in early age|
|Mr. Thanh Quy Tran and his wife|
My father and mother embody all three of these characteristics. In some ways, they are yin and yang to each other. My father is an extremely logical person. A trained engineer, he can be fierce in his desire for perfection, although he is also a very good listener and teacher. He is a visionary, full of ideas and always eager to experiment. But at the same time, he also desires structure and control.
My mother is equally intelligent and a great salesperson. She is the soft power behind the company and has incredible people skills. She has always respected my father's business ideas, his leadership, and his appetite for risk and change.
She is someone who feels happiest when she can help others, and she is the one who always looks out for the company's employees. When she became sick in the last few years, they demonstrated their devotion to her by literally queuing up by her hospital bed.
|My parents share many traits in common. There is no limit to their ambition, and they are relentless in pursuing their dreams. My father literally never gives up. Everything that they believe is encapsulated in THP's seven core values. The core value closest to my father's heart is the one that states, "Nothing is impossible. There are no limits to what we can accomplish."|
Like all great entrepreneurs, my father is not afraid of failure: In fact, I would say he actively embraces it because he knows it 011 teach him valuable lessons, which will enable him to achieve even greater heights in the future. His drive does not come from a desire to be rich. Neither of my parents is motivated by money or lead a lavish lifestyle. They frequently carry no cash around with them.
|Phuong Uyen Tran's family|
Storms will come as you grow any business, particularly if it is cultivated by family. However, those storms can be navigated successfully by understanding the following principles:
Create and adhere to boundaries. When family members are involved in the business, it is important that boundaries are created both inside and out of the working environment. The potential for broken boundaries and inter-marital, or inter-generational, conflict is practically limitless. When THP was first established, we had no boundaries at all — we literally lived in the factory. My father’s office was also our family’s living room. Logistics have changed over the years, but despite the change in living quarters, it is important to acknowledge boundaries in the work environment. For example, in the workplace, I need to respect my father as my boss, but he also needs to respect my professional opinion even if it differs from his. He talks to me as a valued colleague and supervisor, not as a father talking to a daughter.
Many of our businesses can be traced back to one or two founding individuals. As these ventures grow, however, more family members may get involved to help fulfill the mission and vision of the business. With growth comes inevitable challenges and growing pains as initial processes need to scale and adapt. I’ve learned from personal experience, watching my father and mother grow THP, that family businesses can succeed, but not without struggling at times. One of my father’s favorite sayings speaks to this; “When the boat sets out to sea, it is likely to encounter storms. The challenge is learning to control the boat when that storm comes.”
Embrace effective communication. Communication is critical no matter the situation, but when you have personal and business lives overlapping, emphasis on good communication is extremely important. Transparency and better communication empower every individual involved in the business — especially family members — to exercise better judgment and to take ownership over their part in the process. A shared understanding of expectations allows everyone to be unified in purpose, goals, and tasks. Family-owned businesses only work well when there is good communication between different family members and across the generations.
Listen to one another. An integral part of communication is listening. A family must learn to listen to each other fully and to be generous. This results in giving others the space to express an opinion without butting in or mentally preparing our own retort. Doing this as a family helps free us from our prejudices about who we are and what we are capable of — it gives each individual the space to reveal their best self.
Be a family first. Your familial relationships are the most important. It is vital to do what is necessary to keep them intact and strong. Our family has its own mission statement and a set of core values just like our company does. We regularly re-visit these values, discuss them at family meetings, and then refine them. We all agree to abide by them. We have found them an indispensable checklist. They bound us together at a time when we were fraying at the seams. They have helped keep us close-knit and made our working life far more straightforward.
|About author Phuong Uyen Tran |
Working as a powerful businesswoman, Forbes published author, Phuong Uyen Tran is a model of success in Vietnam. Phuong Uyen Tran is also a special contributor for Vietnam Times. Her writing, including “Competing with Giants” book, and her latest articles are to advise and inspire young people to start-up, overcome challenges and reach out to the world. It is the story of a little girl taking the great responsibilities for a corporation and devoting herself to society.
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Phuong Uyen Tran