Summer Vacation Says Family Fun, With A Few Lessons Thrown In    

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Welcome back to The Sunstone Way. 

I hope you had a good Memorial Day. It was a good way to spend some family time as we prepare for summer.  

Speaking of summer and family, it’s time to plan the family summer vacation. Can you say road trip? 

Movie Memories 

Back in 1983, a movie came out that purported to be the definition of the American road trip. You might remember it – “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” 

It was the movie that launched an entire series of vacations and made Chevy Chase an even bigger star than he had been on “Saturday Night Live.” The comedy is more than a bit over the top, but it continues to find fans. 

And believe it or not, there’s a pretty good moral to the story, too. 

Family Ties 

If you haven’t seen “Vacation” or any of its sequels, all are based on a single premise – father Clark Griswold wants to give his family a great vacation and spend time with them. He is devoted to his family and is determined to have a bonding experience with them. 

Family road trips like the one depicted here – Chicago to Walley World (an amusement park, not Walmart) in Southern California – achieved the status of tradition during a certain period of the 20th Century. We felt like pioneers as we packed the whole family into a single vehicle and set off across the country. There was a specific destination (Walley World), but who knew what adventures we would have along the way (the second largest ball of string in the world)? 

I speak from experience here. I rode in the back of the family van for not one, not two but three lengthy family adventures. As a teenager, it was torture. But looking back now, I realize those trips created memories I will never give up. It was all about family. 

Perseverance Personified 

Most of the humor in “Vacation” revolves around the various misadventures the family experiences, almost always thanks to the single-mindedness of dad Clark. He is going to get his family to Walley World no matter what – even if that means walking across the desert. 

In “Vacation,” Clark’s big mistake is trying to do it all himself. 

Dreaming big is an important part of entrepreneurism, and here at Sunstone we encourage that kind of vision. But we also believe that it takes partnership and support to get where you are going. I have said it before, and I’m happy to have the chance to say it again: 

If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together. 

Guiding Principles 

Although Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold has more than his fair share of personal issues, I have to admit to having a soft spot for the guy. He’s generous to a fault — $500 to a distant cousin when $500 was real money – he’s always ready to apologize and everything he does, good or bad, is ultimately for what he thinks is good for his family. 

In the business world, success requires a delicate balance between dreaming big and understanding the “real world.” If you can’t dream, you can’t make big changes. But if you refuse to recognize the realities you deal with, failure can be around the next corner. 

It’s great when you have someone to help with that balancing act. That’s why here at Sunstone we emphasize partnerships. Because that’s The Sunstone Way. 

And remember, always be a Sunstone! 

John Keisler 

CEO & Managing Partner 

Sunstone Management, Inc. 

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©Sunstone Management, Inc. 2024 

More About Sunstone Management 
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the latest Pitchbook rankings, Sunstone Management was #15 in the third quarter of 2023 nationally, and #18 in the fourth quarter.1 

  1. Rankings from Pitchbook Venture Monitor, Q3 and Q4. 

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