as a Family &

Family Business

You can thrive in the company of family.

Start learning how. Read a sample chapter.

Family Business book

When you work with family, business is personal.
How can you keep differences from being divisive?

Real-life Examples

Through real-life examples, In the Company of Family reveals the Principles of Boundaries, which help families in business navigate challenges such as these:

family business sibling conflict

Sibling relationships are severed when they disagree about ownership. How can they overcome irreconcilable differences?

family business respect

A successor feels disrespected when his father treats him like a child in front of employees. How can he get his father to treat him with more respect?

family business promotion criteria

A talented family member does not meet the company’s criteria for promotion. Should a capable family member be passed over or should the rules be bent?

family business honor

A CEO is diagnosed with dementia. How can the family honor his dignity without compromising the business?

family business executives

A father feels guilty that non-family executives are better suited to run the business than his children. Which is more important, family or skill?

family business substance abuse

A family member's substance abuse tarnishes the law firm’s image. Is it right to fire her?

Boundaries are meant to let in the good and keep out the bad.

The Principles of Boundaries help us discern our boundaries.

  • Consequences
  • Responsible For versus Responsible To
  • Hurt versus Harm 
  • True Guilt versus False Guilt 
  • Fair, Firm, and Friendly 
  • Visible versus Invisible 
  • Flexible 
  • Affect versus Infect 
  • Consequences
  • Responsible For versus Responsible To
  • Hurt versus Harm 
  • True Guilt versus False Guilt 
  • Fair, Firm, and Friendly 
  • Visible versus Invisible 
  • Flexible 
  • Affect versus Infect 

Praise for In the Company of Family

James grubman, phd

- Family wealth consultant and author of Strangers in Paradise: How Families Adapt to Wealth Across Generations -

In the Company of Family addresses an important element in the complex lives of families in business. It highlights the overlapping roles and boundaries that can easily trip up those who work with family members. Through well-chosen anecdotes and an approachable style, Melissa Mitchell-Blitch shows us where boundary problems naturally occur and how to resolve them with grace, clarity, and respect. If you work with the ones you love, this will be a valuable resource.

Many within the worlds of family enterprise and intergenerational legacies acknowledge the importance of boundaries. Few really understand the roots of boundaries or the art of nurturing healthy boundaries. Melissa Mitchell-Blitch shares in a concise, easily understood way, how to build, repair and maintain boundaries. This book is sure to be shared widely and frequently as families and family enterprises work, serve and share together.

John "john a" warnick

- Founder of the Purposeful Planning Institute -

Dean fowler phd

-President of Dean Fowler Consulting, LLC and author of Love, Power and Money -

Family and business dynamics are complex for families in business. Through the careful use of case studies, Melissa Mitchell-Blitch, explores the power forces of family relationships. Her approach is practical, with questions for families to discuss, a thorough assessment for families to complete, and most importantly, specific actions that families may take together so that both their family and business thrive. Read this book and transform your family.

What Clients Say

Learning the beauty of setting and appreciating boundaries ignited a metamorphosis of growth and maturation in me. The knowledge empowered me to think and feel differently, to have a healthy “yes” and a healthy “no.” It positively affected my relationship with self and others and helped me be a peacemaker, creating harmony. Setting boundaries will help you be the best version of yourself.


Boundaries can easily be blurred when working in a family business. Melissa provides a simple framework around boundaries that has changed my outlook and actions. I used to think boundaries were selfish, but now I know they are critical in creating thriving relationships and a balanced, happy life. I only wish I'd discovered these tools earlier. I highly recommend Melissa's body of work!


Melissa has demonstrated a unique talent in guiding us through the principles of boundaries in our personal and business lives on our family farm. I continue to learn each time I engage in boundary management. I encourage you to let Melissa help you learn how to live a FULL life by applying boundary skills.

— DON S.


Really well written book for families in business together

This is a really well written book focused on a clear set of principles related to families who are in business together. The book is built around the concept of identifying, clarifying, building and maintaining appropriate boundaries. It describes a very important set of concepts that are important for families in business to understand and apply. It also provides very good examples and strategies for improving the family's ability to work together effectively. I found it clear, easy to follow, and well organized. As a family wealth advisor, I can see myself sharing copies with families I serve and going back to it and using it as a reference in my own work. I definitely recommend it!

Rick Joyner - President at Tolleson Wealth Management

This book isn't just for family enterprises

I loved this book! While it's geared toward families who are in business together, I find the discussion about boundaries and how to incorporate them into better communication and interpersonal behavioral skills applies to everyone. The reflective questions that Melissa Mitchell-Blitch includes at the end of each chapter are helpful tools for reflecting and reinforcing the teachings in a manner that allows each reader to thoughtfully absorb them and apply them to our own lives.

Sandi Bragar - Partner at Aspiriant

Useful tool for families

A family with a family business faces many issues that are far from financial. This clear and useful book is a great read for families that have a family business and are struggling with family issues that spill over into the business. The author presents clear concepts like boundaries, roles and communication, offers some case studies and thoughts on how to address this issue and then offers activities and reflections that can be applied to your own family. With many books appearing on this topic, I find this a clear, useful, practical guide that can be used by a family as their first introduction to these issues.

Dennis T. Jaffe - Research Associate at Wise Counsel Research

An important topic for those who work with family members

This book brings a fresh look at the whole concept of BOUNDARIES for people who work with family members. It goes well beyond simply introducing the idea, and gets into great detail on the hows and whys around improving family relationships for those who need to make important decisions together with family members.

Mitchell-Blitch adds a lot of real world examples from families she has worked with, which brings the subject to life and allows readers to truly get the points she is making. It also serves as a kind of "work book" that different family members can read and share learnings together around.

Steve Legler - Family Legacy Coach & Advisor, TSI Heritage

Good Reads review

Very well-written with meaningful examples to accompany each principle/chapter. Really easy to understand and incorporate with the self-assessments throughout and at the end.

Ellen Watson - Owner of East Coast Valuation Consulting

Essential Guide For Navigating Relationships Within Your Family Business

Melissa provides great insights and practical strategies for navigating complex family relationships within family businesses. I bought the book to share with my planning clients but this book opened my eyes to the dynamics within my business as I begin the succession process within my own family. The challenge of healthy boundaries is essential to our personal mental health, but it is magnified when you mix business and family. This book can make a difference in you life!

Mike Sikora - Owner, Bighorn Wealth Management

Good Reads Review

Enjoyed reading Melissa Blitch-Mitchell’s book, In the Company of Family. She does a great job of conveying her understanding of boundaries in the context of a systematic and non-threatening approach to helping families and their businesses thrive. Her writing is clear and accessible, with many fresh and helpful metaphors.

Paul Edelman - Family Business Consultant, Edelman and Associates

Great Resource for Family Business Owners and Those That Want To Improve Relationships

As one that grew up in a family owned business and has spent most of my career working small and midsize company leadership, I appreciated the way Melissa wrote this book. She took real life case studies which most that have been in family businesses can relate to and clearly articulated solutions to address them. As I read the book, I gained insight into how I can better help my clients and I was surprised at how many of the scenarios were applicable to helping parents improve their relationships with their children. I highly recommend the book and am planning to purchase additional copies to give to Clients and Centers of Influence.

Chuck Cooper - Managing Member at Whitewater Consulting LLC

Helpful story filled book

When family and business meet odd results happen. Mitchell-Blitch offers practical advice chalked full of stories and examples, how to's and case study for implementing tools that work. Clearly influenced by the book Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud, and offer really useful ideas. Highly recommend this book.

Todd DeKruyter - Managing Chair of C12 Group Indiana
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