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*Hustle Sold Separately That’s not just a catchy slogan to inspire you to reach for the stars. And this isn’t a speech to remind you it’ll all be worth it when you’re working 16 hours a day. This is a short story about Dreaming and...

Three stories in which something went wrong, but something bigger went right It’s never fun being sick with the flu, but if you’re down for the count anyway, binge-watching episodes of “Mad Men,” isn’t a bad way to pass the time. (Not that we’re, ahem,...

When business couples talk about their “communication problems,” often what they’re really referring to is what happens when they have a disagreement. They haven’t practiced the skills of fighting fair or learned how to “disagree agreeably,” as the saying goes. It’s been a long time...

Every year, millions of tourists visit the legendary corner of Hollywood & Vine. They expect to see a tree-lined street filled with beautiful shops and movie stars. They are almost always disappointed. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is still in the intersection, but not...

During the mid-1930s, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello introduced their famous vaudeville comedy sketch “Who’s on First?” about a fictitious baseball team. As they try to communicate with each other about the various players, the conversation becomes more and more confusing. Toward the end...

Years ago there was a popular game show called What’s My Line?, in which blindfolded celebrity panelists played “20 Questions” to determine a mystery guest’s occupation. For some Copreneurs, there’s a similar guessing game going on. “Whose job is that?” How did that decision...

Legendary investor Warren Buffett is known for placing pearls of wisdom in his annual letter to shareholders. These often reflect his practical, down-to-earth attitude. We’ve adapted some of his advice for Copreneurs. Keep calm in the face of volatility – Big rewards are often...

Adding another dish to our buffet of Buffetts, we’re sharing some pearls of wisdom for Copreneurs from singer-songwriter/philosopher-entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett – aka Mr. Margaritaville. Just do it – as Jimmy said: “Indecision may or may not be my problem.” It’s tempting to mull over...

When it comes to business couples and communication, a little structure goes a long way. Running a business can be stressful and if you’re going to make it a success, you’ve got to stay in sync. But with everything you’ve got going on, it...

When our kids were young, they loved to read all kinds of books. In one phase, they just couldn’t get enough of the Berenstain Bears, a series (written by Copreneurs Stan and Jan Berenstain) featuring a grizzly bear family learning life lessons in everyday...

Be honest – how many times has something like this happened to you? Your company is working on a big project and your team members have defined roles. One of your employees runs into a roadblock with an assignment and comes to you for...

If you’ve spent any time around the family business arena, you’ve come across the number: 70% of family companies don’t make it to a second generation, either because the business fails or for other reasons a decision is made to sell to a third...

Stories differ on whether it was Mark Twain or Andrew Carnegie who said: “Put all your eggs in one basket – and then watch that basket!” That was a tongue-in-cheek twist on the old saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket...

Many leaders, when they think about succession, have a narrow definition in mind. For example, one owner might be lasered in on who will own shares in the future and whether to sell or transfer them. Another may be preoccupied with who will be...

No one knows exactly when people started making New Year’s resolutions, but whenever that was, the habit of breaking them probably started a few weeks later. Failed resolutions are such a common occurrence that a lot of leadership coaches aren’t in favor of making...

Early in our business lives, we adopted the mantra “Think – Plan – Do.” It has long been a reminder to us to dream big, plan ahead and execute well. In that order. But sometimes, we find ourselves thinking up good ideas, and then...

At the end of every year, we take some time to work on our long-range plans. We get away from the office to review the year, including our successes and disappointments. We share goals for ourselves, our family, our business and as a couple....

We’ve just taken down the Holiday decorations and packed them safely away for another year. The last to be wrapped in tissue is always our Golden Retriever-slash-Angel tree topper in memory of Max, a sweet girl who was part of our family for almost...

If you’re a senior leader in a family enterprise, you’re probably bombarded on a regular basis with pleas to begin succession planning: Your attorney is concerned about avoiding income and estate taxes, and disputes over control. Your CPA says you need an updated valuation...

When it comes to succession, it’s usually a senior leader who initiates and spearheads the transition process.  In a previous article, we explored how important it is for that leader to have a strong and focused rationale for succession.  But successors’ rationale matters, too. ...

Here’s a question to ask the managers in your family business:   “What kind of employees do we want to have in our workforce?  Employees who think for themselves?  Or workers who mechanically do only what we tell them to do, exactly when and how...

When you were younger, did you ever participate in a spelling bee? I recently reconnected with some childhood friends and it reminded me of something I hadn’t thought of in a long time – the day I lost the 5th grade spelling bee. I...

At a recent meeting, a business family I’ve been working with expressed how frustrated they were with the lack of apparent progress toward their succession goals. As the conversation began, the group appeared to be divided, with half insisting, “it’s not all that bad,”...

If your family business has communication problems, you're not alone. There are an estimated 24 million family businesses in America, ranging from your corner gas station to corporate giants like Walmart and Hallmark. Regardless of size, however, many family businesses rank communication among the...

It has been suggested that many family business problems stem from the inherent conflict between the distinct, yet overlapping parts of the family business system. Each part of the family business system – business, family and ownership – has a distinct set of needs,...

When You Come to a Fork in the Road… Take It – Yogi Berra Each of us makes hundreds of decisions every day – from what to wear to when to eat to whether to drive to work or take the train. Many of...

Running a successful family business requires broad experience and a diversity of talents – talents that not even the most capable families can guarantee generation after generation. In addition, qualified on family executives can help a family business grow by contributing fresh ideas and...

In Greek mythology, there’s only one figure whose character matures over time: Telemachus, son of Odysseus and Penelope, immortalized in Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey. The poem mainly centers on Odysseus and his long journey home after the fall of Troy. During his absence,...