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Key Idea: Enroll The Next Generation In The School of Hard Knocks

In the US, 80% to 90% of businesses are considered to be family owned. Only 30% will survive to the 2nd generation, 12% to the 3rd and just 3% to the 4th. The reason it is so important that family-owned companies succeed is that they create 78% of all jobs in this country.

Key Question:


Require your children to learn the business from the bottom up and to be excellent at everything they do.

Marcel, Gabriel and Patricia have worked in and around the business all of their lives. They have swept the floors and have been taught to respect their heritage.

Q:  Why is it so important that the older generation be tough on the younger generation?

A:  Because we have all seen the indulged children of wealthy people. The children never seem to develop that "back of steel" their parents or grandparents earned by making it through hard times.

Q:  What are the advantages of bringing your children into your business on the bottom rung of the ladder and having them work their way up?

A: There are several. First, they REALLY learn the business. There’s no way you can do that if you start "at the top." Secondly, by doing every job in the business, they are better and more compassionate managers, fully aware of the challenges faced by each employee. Thirdly, they will find ways of improving the business at each level of operations as they fully participate in it. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, all the other employees will know that the next generation is qualified to lead, that they have survived the internship and are well positioned to be caretakers of the organization.

To learn more about family-owned businesses, visit 

Think about it

Are your children involved in your business? At what level? Are you preparing them adequately for their future roles?

Clip from: Navarro Discount Pharmacies

Miami: In this city, a destination for new Spanish-speaking Americans, finding somebody who understands you, knows and feels your pain, is a seismic relief. With a profound empathy, this family's business is committed to service and to solving very big problems for their customers.

With an abiding willingness-to-serve, this family's business is one of the most profitable per square foot of any retail store in the USA. When we taped this story there were 12 locations generating $160 million in annual sales and jobs for nearly 600.

So many new medicines are announced every day, it is almost impossible for anyone to keep up. But, those new Americans with a limited command of English, and our elders who are taking multiple medicines, have special challenges.

This family has always been committed to serving their customers. Eighteen-hour days, seven-days-a-week -- whatever it took to get the job done and keep their customers in good health -- these people have done it.
In the process, they have created a first-class business.

Opened in the United States in 1961, the two sons became pharmacists; and today, with 600+ employees, they have become the most productive pharmacy per square foot in the USA and they are a force for good that is helping to reshape Miami as a world-class community.

A classic family business, three generations of compassionate people are involved at every level of the operations.

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Navarro Discount Pharmacies

Jose Navarro, CEO

5959 NW 37th Ave
Miami, FL 33142

Visit our web site:

Office: 305-633-3000

Business Classification:
Retail, Pharmacy

Year Founded: 1961

Enroll The Next Generation In The School of Hard Knocks

GABRIEL: This piece was for Valentine's, and you see the focus of it. I think that one quarter of it is devoted to fragrances.

HATTIE: Of course.

GABRIEL: It's direct mail by ZIP code. We're going to half a million homes every week. These days, if you look at the competition out there, all the chains, the mass market, they're out every single week. So to be competitive, you do, too.

HATTIE: Patricia, how old are you?


HATTIE: You're 24, and you're on your own (in this department). Are you doing as many dollars per square foot in this little corner as he's doing with his vitamins, for example?


HATTIE: Are you sure?

LUIS: No, she's doing more.

PATRICIA: Well, our fragrances are a higher priced items. And our fragrance department has really taken off. It's done even better over the last couple of years. But, you know, I think it's due to the variety that we have. We pretty much have any fragrance that you're looking for from any department store, we have it. From Estee Lauder to Calvin Klein to anything. And we've always tried to maintain that. It's a very important part.

HATTIE: All right. Do you have any research that shows you that Hispanic women use more fragrance, have more choices, buy it more often than the general market?

PATRICIA: Well, the Hispanic woman concentrates very much on cosmetics and fragrances. You'll never see a Hispanic woman step outside of the house without makeup on.

LUIS: The Latin woman is the number one consumer of makeup.

HATTIE: So what do you think? You think she's got the merchant soul, she's going to make it?

LUIS: I think she does have it. I think she's come a long way from when she started. And I think she really enjoys what she's doing. And does--she's the type of person that puts her heart into her work. So I think she has a great potential. I think she has a great future.

HATTIE: Is it in you?

LUIS: I mean, we have a great future with her.

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