Entrepreneurs Face “Field of Dreams”

Entrepreneurs Face “Field of Dreams”

Family Business Forum News
by Jim Klaes

Rieva Lesonsky, Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, spoke to members of the UTEP Family Business Forum about her own personal experiences growing up amid two family businesses during a luncheon address at the El Paso Club on Friday, March 10.

Ms. Lesonsky, who was appointed to the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council in 1994, has been associated with all types of business–family and otherwise–during the course of more than a dozen years with Entrepreneur.She also is a frequent guest on national television shows, such as “Oprah,” speaking about a variety of topics such as women in business and family business.

Lesonsky told how growing up in the world of family business differs from the real world.”I never heard of working 9 to 5 until I was almost out of high school,” she related.”I thought all dads worked on Saturdays.”Her father and one grandfather owned a men’s clothing store, while her other grandfather owned a liquor store with her uncle.Both businesses, however, failed. More…

Kick the Stove

Kick the StoveUMass

My father tells the WW 2 story of a bunkmate who would each morning wake up and kick the stove in the middle of the barracks, then curse and hop around in pain. When asked why he partook in this unproductive ritual, he would explain that his father always kicked the stove–a family tradition. His father’s motive is lost in time.

In wondering why it is so difficult to teach Old Dogs New Tricks, this stove-kicking behavior indicates that old tricks are taking up too much brain-space. Though we think of instinctual behavioras characteristic of lower creatures, human-kind seems stuck in, and often content with, an unsatisfying status quo in the name of tradition and culture.

Family business is often thought to have a competitive advantage because of the inside track inshared visions andbeliefs. But are those values developed consciously and deliberately, or are they inherited assumptions and misconceptions that might be outdated in the present day marketplace, or not serve the needs of current family members, both as employees and humans who ought to be striving to “Be All That They Can Be?” More…