Family, Business and Balance
Family, Business and Balance
When it comes to family business or business started and created by family members, I can relate and will be glad to share with you what I have learned over the years.
You see, I have a little bit of experience when it comes to family-run businesses, my father and I started one in 2011 and spent years working together to build a boutique business that I hope will grow to create a legacy for him and will contribute to the foundation I am currently working to create, the Blacklock Foundation.
A-Leg-Up, LLC was established in 2011 to sell an invention my father patented to help provide a stable platform for your foot. He created it to aid himself in getting his socks and shoes on. To use, you slip the device in between your mattress and box springs, or a couch cushion on a couch, then place your foot on it providing a stable platform bringing your foot closer to you.
We found that it was great for ladies to put their foot on to aid in their pedicure routines. The device is also designed as a long handle shoe horn that provides assistance for sliding the heel into shoes. The A-Leg-Up can be viewed at www-a-leg-up.com.
After the creation of the LLC, my dad and I brought the A-Leg-Up out onto the market and had found thirteen distributors before we even had a design for our packaging. It was sometimes a struggle working with him, working on going from concept to market. I remember him wanting to deviate from our initial design after spending months refining it. In the end, there were gives and takes. Not sure if I would have given as much to a partner that wasn’t a relative…
As for the business, it grew to some success, but unfortunately, my father passed away in 2013 at a time when I was growing my real estate career, and within a year we had to stop selling the product. Since then, we have rebranded and built a new mold last year that we will use to reintroduce the product back out on the market. We are expected to launch later this year or early next; we’ll see what the future holds…
Changing subjects, I’d like to talk about balance. On a personal note and something I’d like to share to anyone reading this article, if you’ve read this far, I’d like to tell you what I’ve come to know about family, business and balance. There is NO BALANCE. The best advice that I could give anybody when it comes to having too many plates spinning… stay focused on the one in front of you. Give your utmost and undivided attention to be in the moment for that plate, that person.
You and the object of your attention will be thankful.
David Blackford, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer has lived and worked around the world. He has a background in marketing and sales, international relations, and project management involving database design and development. His father, knowing his capabilities, enlisted his help to take care of the technical issues. Together they formed A-Leg-Up LLC.