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Businessweek Archives

The Danger of Holding On Too Long


Many successful entrepreneurs are reluctant to let go of the businesses they started, but in holding on too long, senior-generation family members inadvertently damage the things they love the most: the business, their children, and perhaps even their grandchildren.

There are business, psychological, family, tax, and other rationales for letting go. While there’s an exception to every rule, it can’t be stated too strongly that holding on too long with an unrealistic desire to control the affairs of the business and your children is a dire mistake. It’s simply good stewardship to perpetuate your business and pass opportunity along to your children and key nonfamily managers, gradually releasing the reins of control.

Wayne Rivers

President

Family Business Institute

Raleigh, N.C.


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