Friday, January 30, 2009

Giving Them the Business

It might be worth considering when founding a business what it will take for the business to succeed enough to live in the family and beyond even your child's lifetime. It's not quite as easy as you might think.

For example, if one is to believe Lake Placid's Bill Hurley — co-owner and manager of the 100-year-old Hurley Bros. fuel supply company — all it takes is loyalty to customers and employees to explain how he got the biz from his father, who got it from his dad, who inherited it from his pop. And we could also say the same for Art Rooney Jr. who has done okay for himself with the Pittsburgh Steelers (likely Super Bowl XLIII champs) franchise that came to him from Sr., who founded it in 1933 with $5000 in winnings from the nag-go-round.

But there is something more than loyalty to consider. Harold Nicholson was loyal to his customer, the Russian Federation. And he was more than loyal to his employee, son Nathaniel. Yet, sadly, it appears that the family biz needs at least a little more than that as Nicholson père was supposed to be working exclusively for the CIA and the feds seem to think Nicholson fils should have known better than to take money for passing info to and from his incarcerated dad.

Thusly, does a family business collapse. And so we are back to square two in the search for dads can best exploit their entrepreneurial natures.

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