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The first step in sustaining a long-term family enterprise is having a founder who builds a good business. As the entrepreneurial leadership of the founding generation gives way to the next generation, the business enters a transition to a new era where there are several related family owners who often need to create a path to reconsider what business they are in. They need to change the business and create new opportunities. The transition requires members of the second and third generation to start their own businesses. Their leadership is more important than the founder's.

Entrepreneurs want to pass on a lot of their wealth to their children. They would like to become a family business. They want their business and investments to add value. The mindset that led to their success can undermine how open they are to change. The next- generation dilemma is how to preserve the founder's legacy and build a thriving family enterprise.