Dear Blake,

I’m 24 and not where I want to be in life. I have goals and dreams I would like to accomplish. However, my family is super family-oriented. I work for my dad in a family business. He always talks business with me.

I do not want to go into the family business. I have my reasons, one being his side of the family works there and we don’t get along. They’ve never accepted my mom so, therefore, they don’t accept me. The other reason is I’m not interested in the business.

My problem is, this is the best I’ve ever gotten along with my dad. I’m worried he will want nothing to do with me if I quit. On the other hand, my mom has always been supportive. I worry that if I moved away, we wouldn’t be so close. I just feel like if I go after my goals and dreams, it will ruin my relationship with my family. What do you think?

Signed, Mario

From New York City, New York

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

Dear Mario,

It would be a lot easier for me to give you suggestions, if I knew what your family business is. So, if you’re forced to participate in it anyway, you must figure out ways to destroy it, causing everyone involved to be penniless and unemployed. Here are my ideas. If your family owned business is a restaurant, secretly put some large rat traps near the tables. Customers that see them will immediately turn around and walk out. The only people that won’t be scared, will be the local health inspectors. Or, if it’s a roofing business, drill enough little holes in the roof before you cover it with shingles. In time after enough leaks, the ceiling will collapse, and your family will probably get sued into bankruptcy. Or this possibility. If it’s a car dealership, offer a sale to the customers “buy one and get one free”, and if they sell high-end luxury or sports cars, that’s even better. And this last idea. If your family business just happens to be the Mafia, there’s still a way out. All you have to do, is go to the nearest U.S Attorney’s office and squeal on everyone. And at that point, your parents and siblings can’t expect you to be involved in the family business… while you’re under the Federal Witness Protection Program. I hope this helps.