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Making Family Business Work w/ Leilani Orr

In this podcast episode, Bryan has an enjoyable conversation with his wife Leilani about navigating family relationships while building a business. They discuss the challenges and benefits of mixing family and work, setting boundaries, and maintaining perspective.

Bryan starts by admitting he felt intimidated to have Leilani on the podcast before, joking about her “big muscles and dominating presence.” Leilani jokes back, saying Bryan seems less intimidated now that they’ve been together so long. They then dive into the topic of starting their family business, Kalos, back in 2005.

Leilani remembers feeling excited but also some “pain” around Bryan turning down a big raise to go out on his own instead. She was impressed he felt so confident to leave the security of a paycheck, which made her believe Kalos would succeed. However, as a young couple they were already not making much money, so the pay cut hurt.

Other topics they discuss:

  • Holding morning meetings with employees in their small home when Kalos was just starting out
  • The awkwardness Leilani felt sometimes hearing family members complain about each other or the business
  • How they’ve generally had good boundaries between family issues and personal relationships
  • Funny stories about occasionally discussing business at improper times around non-family friends
  • Taking on jobs outside Bryan's wheelhouse (like painting) in the early days out of necessity
  • The importance of being willing to do work others may see as “below them” to make a small business succeed
  • How Bryan easily gets bored doing repetitive tasks, and prefers to delegate
  • Leilani's appreciation that Bryan respects her contributions to the family and doesn't compete with her for time
  • The need for humility and perspective when running a family business

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