Written by: Adora Wong, Published in Cleo
Not all of us can stand going on a holiday with family, much less work with them. But there are some among us who can not only run a business with a sibling, but also do so with great success.
Sisters Race, 38, and Rhonda Wong, 35, founded property technology company Ohmyhome in 2016 and haven’t looked back since.
“Rhonda and I have perfect synergy. We can be very honest with each other as we know our strengths and are not afraid to admit our weaknesses. This honesty enables us to dive deep into the core problems we face at work and confide in each other,” says Race, who is the Chief Product Officer. Rhonda is the Chief Executive Officer of the company.
But that’s not to say that they don’t have disagreements at work-they just know how to not let conflicts get the better of them. They share some tips on how to run a successful business with someone they grew up with.
1. Work out your business compatibility beforehand
Rhonda: “There are some things you can do with your sibling before starting a business together. You can discuss scenarios that challenge your values system, your respective definitions of success, and the commitment the both of you would put into the business both in terms of time and money. It’s also important to talk about what giving up looks like. If you’re already arguing during these discussions, don’t start a business together!”
2. Respect the department head’s authority
Race: “Sure, we fight for our respective ideas and sometimes the other party will say, ‘That’s a good point’ and concede. But other times, there’s no clear conclusion and we leave it to whoever is the head of the department to have the final say.”
3. Don’t take things personally
Rhonda: “It’s important to keep calm during heated discussions and carry out self-reflection after. We don’t like to push the blame to each other and instead find ways to improve on how we can better communicate our opinions. As leaders, we need to set good examples of how we want our office culture to be and no screaming and shouting are tolerated at Ohmyhome. Resolving conflicts is essential to maintaining a non-toxic work environment.”
4. Make sure that the both of you share a common goal
Race: “Having a sibling who has persistence and grit is crucial as it can be tempting to throw in the towel when the going gets tough. Rhonda and I started Ohmyhome with a common goal and this goal has helped us work well together because the goal is above any individual.”