During this time of the year, especially in the family business, our thoughts are not only focused on our businesses but also our families and what they mean to us. It is a time of turkey and dressing, a time of pumpkin pie and whipped cream, a time to give thanks for all the wonderful things we enjoy: good food and good times with our families.

Especially for the family business, Thanksgiving can represent a link to the creation of capitalism, initiative and entrepreneurship that is part of the unique fabric of America. Many of us may not recall the story of the First Thanksgiving well enough to consider how it has impacted our country to this day.  You can read Governor William Bradford’s account from his writings of that time nominally called “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” Bloomberg news has the story in easy to read form here: (The Pilgrim’s Progress).

Governor Bradford describes how during the first three years, the Pilgrims tried a collective economic and farming system which resulted in major problems. The very first year over half the people died from starvation or ended up leaving and returning to England.  After the third year he decided he had to change to a different model, one where each person or family had their own growing area and what they produced, they could keep. The results were astounding as reported by Bradford. There was more than enough food to go around; in fact there was so much food that they decided to have a “day of thanksgiving” to thank God for their good fortune.

If we can point to anything in our history as a country that so exemplifies us as a nation and our individual characters it is this event. It is the bedrock of our culture of free market capitalism and entrepreneurship. All of us can trace our economic lives to this seminal event.

During this special time of the year, we at Family Business Centers wish our family of clients and potential clients a Happy and prosperous Thanksgiving.