Anyone who thinks a 60-year-old can't run a successful family business has been seriously out of touch for the past 30 years. Rupert Murdoch of publishing fame, Howard Rubenstein, public relations guru, and Lillian Vernon, direct-mail specialist, are just a few entrepreneurs who disprove any age-challenged theory associated with family business empires.
But, with few exceptions, by the age of 60 or 70, most people slow down, says Colette Lombard Hoover, a family business consultant with accounting and consulting firm Crowe Chizek and Co. LLP in Oak Brook, Illinois. "They're not thrilled about having to recreate a business they've successfully run for decades [in order to keep up with the times], although it may need to be regenerated," she explains. "If the business is continuing to make money, they see no reason to expend the energy."
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