What Does 50 Years Mean?

About 20 years ago, like my brother and sisters, I had graduated from college and was beginning my full-time career in our family's business. I remember there was a point when my father came to us with a newspaper clipping of an article entitled "The generations of family businesses". The article talked about business dynamics and how family businesses evolve through the different generations of the family. The article gave statistics of successful companies and how the company survival rate decreased through the passing of generations. My father passed on the article for us to read and simply said "Don't become a statistic."

Now, as I have come to learn, there are many different things that attribute to the success/failure of a business. There are many moving parts, some that we have control of and others that we do not. But, as my brother, sisters, and I quickly learned, the aspects that we do control involve taking full responsibility for the business. I believe so much of that responsibility depends on relationships between our co-workers, our family members and our customers. Hard work is not alone at the root of success; it is accompanied by teamwork, support, respect, and love.

Now, I reflect on what my grandfather did 50 years ago. He took an idea that he was passionate about. He took a big financial risk and with the support of his family made this idea a reality. He created a business that supported not only his family, but his children's families, his grandchildren's families and now, many other families. That's pretty cool and it is something that I am proud to be a part of.

- Joanne Talluto Brown

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