SUCCESS
Centuries-old family businesses agree on the key to lasting success

The Antinori family has been in the wine-making business since 1385

Courtesy of Marchesi Antinori
The Antinori family has been in the wine-making business since 1385

The Antinori family has been making wine in Italy for more than 630 years. Today, the firm is run by Albiera Antinori, the first female president in the family’s history, and her two sisters.

The secret to lasting success, says Antinori, is to not get complacent. That’s easier said than done, especially when your company has been going strong for centuries.

“It is always delicate, when things are successful, to be innovative, as new things implicitly have a dose of risk,” the president tells CNBC Make It. “The fundamental idea to keep in mind is that things can always be done better.”

Tradition is only part of the equation. Each generation passes on “an intangible heritage of values that are the basis of business continuity,” says Antinori, “but tradition is not enough. We also need innovative spirit. The balance between tradition and innovation has always been our leitmotif and, probably, the key of our success.”

Albiera Antinori is the first female President of Marchesi Antinori

Courtesy of Marchesi Antinori
Albiera Antinori is the first female President of Marchesi Antinori

Fernet-Branca, a 172-year-old Italian spirits company that has been in the Branca family for six generations, has a similar recipe for success.

The company has been adhering to its motto — “Novare Serbando,” which translates to, “renew, but conserve” — since day one, says sixth-generation heir Edoardo Branca.

In other words, Fernet-Branca continues to adapt and innovate in order to keep up with consumer market trends and needs, says Branca, but it also preserves its process, values and, of course, its recipe.

While both family businesses have thrived for hundreds of years now, you won’t hear them saying they’ve “made it.” That’s a mindset characteristic of many successful entrepreneurs, including ConverseCEO Davide Grasso, Clif Bar founder Gary Erickson and self-made billionaire Richard Branson.

“There’s never been a point in my career in which I’ve felt I’ve ‘made it,'” says Branson. “The way I see it, life is all about striving and growing. I never want to have made it; I want to continue making it!”

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[“Source-cnbc”]

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