Kyle Eaton has been an entrepreneur since 2016, building a social media and PR agency with worldwide reach and influence. His latest undertaking, though, came as a bit of a surprise when his father, an electrician and HVAC man by trade, started a company of his own.
How It Started
In the fall of 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, Kyle got a phone call from his father saying that he had quit his job. Puzzled at first, what came next was actually comforting, Kyle recalls, “My dad has been an electrician and worked in HVAC servicing since I was 5 years old. For as long as I can remember, he has dreamed of starting his own company, and he finally did it. I’ve never been prouder of him.”
A Family Effort
At first, Kyle’s involvement was minimal at best. His dad would call for random advice or opinions. Eventually though, there was a conversation to be had about Kyle’s involvement in the company, and what he could bring to the table with experience and lessons learned from running a successful business of his own.
“I don’t know the first thing about air conditioners or repairing them,” Kyle said. “But I do know what it takes to run a business, and I know what speed bumps to avoid and which growing pains are worth toughing out. Being able to handle logistical sides of the business, IT, marketing, and tech needs alleviates a lot of stress from my parents.”
Business, Not As Usual
I asked Kyle how running a business alongside his parents as well as his younger sister felt, to which he said, “It’s different for sure. I’ve done business with several close friends in the past, but this is the first time I’ve worked with family on such a large scale. I’m proud that we can build something successful together in such a short amount of time.” And successful, it is. The small startup has already eclipsed 6 figures in just over half a year of operating. “It’s a great thing to be a part of, when you know the people winning with you are some of the people you love most in the world.”
Advice On Working With Family
“It’s probably not going to come as a surprise to say be patient with one another, and slow to anger,” Kyle says while smiling. “It’s very rewarding to be able to work with family, but it can also test your patience and abilities under pressure when you’re working with people that know you best and are comfortable with having unfiltered conversations with you. My advice to anybody working with family members is simple. Keep in mind the long term rewards and remember that business problems can always be solved. Customers come and go. Don’t allow work, or money, to damage relationships. Stay calm, be respectful to each other, then learn and move on.”