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Our Family Business is Entrepreneurship

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 by in Life Lessons | 2 comments

Our family business is entrepreneurship?  I couldn’t get this statement out of my head while on my health walk tonight.  The walk took place just outside of Nemo, South Dakota.  The Nances have our own little Griswold Family Vacation happening.  First trip to South Dakota and I have to say, it is really beautiful.  Today’s blog post was a bit of a twisted road in my mind, it started at Mount Rushmore and ended on a perfect country road during a one hour walk.

Soccer with Kids

So we visited Mount Rushmore, standard stuff, it is cool, they used explosives to blow stuff up, and carved four dudes into a mountain, mix in a little government funding, put up a gate, sell tickets, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a tourist attraction.  Blog post popped into my mind, “who would be on the Mount Rushmore of technology?”  Well, with that in mind, the next stop on the Tour de Nance was the Crazy Horse Memorial.  This was completely different, besides the big mountain with a carving on it.  You can’t really walk out to it, it is huge, even less finished than Mount Rushmore, and guess what, basically a family business.

We started our Crazy Horse Memorial visit with the standard tourist informational movie, but this seemed a bit different.  You learn about Korczak Ziolkowski and his family.  They have dedicated their entire lives to building this memorial to the Native American culture.  It is actually a really entertaining 17 minute overview.  I started thinking, what is our family business?

Most of my walk was spent thinking about what would be a good family business, one that could last a long-time and could have my kids involved.  I am walking, thinking, listening to gangsta rap music on this South Dakota country road (stop laughing).  Then it hits me.

My family has always been part of my entrepreneurial journey.  Always.  My two daughters have grown up coming to the WhatCounts office, they have watched me speak, and it is completely normal for them to be surrounded by other entrepreneurs.  Whether Joe Reger of Springbot gets caught in an ice-storm and walks to our house and makes breakfast with them, or they are swimming in Paul Judge‘s pool, stopping Merrick Furst of Flashpoint in Technology Square to sell him girl scout cookies, hanging out with Adam Ghetti of Ionic Security watching a boxing match, or yes even playing a game of soccer with InsightPool CEO Devon Wijesinghe – they are surrounded by entrepreneurship.

Our family business is entrepreneurship.  I was on my walk thinking about all the people who have invested in me, my family and my two little girls – thank you.  Thank you for making them feel welcome in the office, thank you for letting them attend my speeches, thank you for making them feel at home, thank you for playing soccer with them, but most importantly – thank you for making entrepreneurship a normal part of their life – lets hope its their family business!


  1. I loved this post and could relate to it strongly. My 12 year old has been in the Write2Market office all summer as a part of his daily routine, soaking it up and saying some amazing things about business. Entrepreneurs are his everyday too. Your post made me think back to my own childhood also, growing up in my parents’ business and going on regular Friday sales and delivery calls with my dad. It does become a part of the blood, that sense being an active solution. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous snapshot your entrepreneurial home base.

  2. That is a great perspective on what we do. I was struggling with the same issue a few days ago about family business. I grew up in the family moving business, and I knew at the age of 5 I did not want to do that. Now I look at what I can tell my daughter and son, and you have a great answer. Create, innovate, disrupt, grow… all the things that really make our Tech entrepreneurs special.


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