Peter Kurzina makes a good case. Being both a millennial and the 3rd generation of a family business, I can relate to wanting to be part of the family business.
I grew up watching the business grow and debated its ups and downs at the dinner table for as long as I can remember. As part of a new generation, that kind of intimacy prompts me to want to actively contribute to the company’s success, growth and expansion. It’s only natural to see the company as an extension of the family itself.
However, this intimacy doesn't need to be translated into management and leadership - and it doesn’t even mean you have to work in the family business.
Being an educated, responsible shareholder in the family business is as important as being a capable CEO, because that role, if exercised correctly, will shape not only the future of the company but the harmony and cohesion of the family as well.
A knowledgeable shareholder can understand the industry the company operates in, back the right decisions and strategies and give insightful feedback. This is one of the key elements that will allow continuity over time and generations - perhaps even more than a desire to be the boss just because it's a family business.
Joining a family business isn’t for everyone. It’s a risky decision that needs a lot of careful consideration. You might build a successful dynasty that grows into a Fortune 500 company, with generations of family continuing to lead the business. Or, like the vast majority of family businesses in the U.S., your business might not make it to the second or third generation