Curious Questions from Observing the Everyday

 

As a second gen leader at MACKEY, I’m very aware that nepotism is alive and well in our world. It’s a word that makes many uncomfortable (including my mom, Mackey McNeill), and it’s for that very reason that it deserves some attention.

Nepotism gets a bad rap. It conjures images of entitled young adults whining in their expensive suits from the glass walls of high-rise offices (OK, maybe I’ve binged HBO’s Succession too hard this month).

But here’s where perception vs. reality derail: Kieran Culkin’s smug character is not the image of nepotism that I know. His character is given a leadership role because of his last name. It’s clear that he has little training or experience in the family business. But for me (and many, many other second-generation leaders) nepotism comes alongside weekends as a child at mom or dad’s work.

It’s a package deal. Some doors open easier and earlier, but most of us have been training for the role (either intentionally or unintentionally) our whole lives.

Growing up, I often spent weekends or evenings at my mom’s accounting firm stuffing envelopes, making copies, and sifting through the overflowing stacks of paperwork in MACKEY’s file storage room.

My entire life I’ve had a front-row seat to entrepreneurship. I watched my mom grind day-in and day-out to build a better life for us. I saw her hard work and sacrifice. I saw the hard, but I also saw the triumph.

Yes, I’ve been gifted the immense privilege of leading MACKEY, but I’ve also been gifted a deep understanding for the hard work it takes to run a highly functioning and highly successful family business.

In many ways, I’ve studied this business since childhood, receiving a fully-immersed hands-on education from the beginning.

As a result of growing up in the business I’ve not only received a world-class education in small business ownership, but I’ve also come to value and admire the extreme effort that visionary entrepreneurs invest in actualizing their dreams.

I love entrepreneurs. I love small business owners. I’m in total and complete awe of the determination, will, and sheer might that entrepreneurs use to create something out of nothing.

I believe nepotism is what you make it. I see it as a privilege, not a right. And I’m determined to use that privilege to pave the way for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

When we take our prosperity and use it to perpetuate the gifts and talents and dreams of others, that’s what we mean when we say that businesses can be a force for good. That’s what it means to be a B Corp. Lifting others up, being their hype girl (or guy), and saying, I totally, whole-heartedly believe in you and I’m here for you along your journey.

We’re celebrating our B Corp Month 2022 with a new initiative, one I’m ecstatic to share:

For every new client we bring on in 2022 we’ll be donating $500 to Kentucky’s Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs (GSE).

GSE is a nonprofit organization that identifies and enables Kentucky high school students to become our Commonwealth’s next generation of entrepreneurs. Hosted at Northern Kentucky University, participants learn how to cultivate creative thought, effectively communicate ideas, approach problems from different angles, consider customer perspective, and turn failure into opportunity.

It’s an opportunity for young people to begin walking the entrepreneurial path.

We cannot think of a more deserving group and relish in the opportunity to lift up the next generation of small business leaders.

 

This month, in celebration of B Corporations everywhere, I’ll leave you with these curious questions: 

How is your business a force for good?

How can your prosperity perpetuate the gifts and talents and dreams of others?