Saturday, May 20, 2023

Are You Ready To Take Over The Family Business?

A Trope Question - Come On A Journey With Me

I have a plot question and I’ve wondered if it actually happens in real life. Do parents really expect their children to taking over “the family business”? It’s something I’ve been seeing on screen and in books forever. The earliest example I can think of encountering is While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman and the most reason is Book Lovers, by Emily Henry. I understand the idea of wanting to build something for your family, so support and sustain them. I understand the pride of creating something to pass down to your children. Yet surely a mature adult will understand that their children grow to be their own people, and might have hopes and dreams that differ from theirs. 

Do I understand parents putting pressure on their children? Of course. That’s a different talking. 

I think it’s time to search for the “Family Business” trope.

Okay, Googling “the family business trope” led me to some mafia movies. Not what I was looking for…

Searching “taking over the family business trope” led me to and this link: which I think explains it pretty well. It’s a relatively common trope used in all genres, not just the romantic comedy.

I also found an interesting article in the Harvard Business review about family businesses and how from large to small, families stay in the business, even if some lines of logic think eventually the “family” should be taken out of the business and led by professional management:

From my brief dip into researching the “family business trope”, I’ve learned that it’s something that happens now and has been happening for a long time. How many families pressure children into taking over a business they don’t want? I guess there’s no way of knowing how often that happens in real life. It does happen though. Searching “people who don't want to take over the family business” led me to these top two results: and So, it happens. Often enough that resources exist to help people whose children do not want to take over their business.

I learned something about the real life inspiration for a popular trope. I have resources if this ever becomes a part of one of my stories. Hopefully, this helps someone else out there too. 

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