Twins Can Be a Family Business's Superpower

Twins Can Be a Family Business's Superpower Editor-in-Chief Kimberly Eddleston talks with two sets of twins working in their families' consulting firms -- Jenny Dinnen and Katie Rucker of MacKenzie Corporation, and James and Ryan Fratzke of Fratzke -- about the challenges of always being perceived as a duo, the rivalry that can result, and the awesome strength that twins can bring to their family business when they are aligned with each other.

The twins talk frankly about their efforts to forge their own identity during childhood and adolescence, their periods of rivalry, and the abiding satisfaction that "there's always somebody there who has your back," as Jenny points out. 

In the family business realm, they've learned to "check their ego at the door" and celebrate the accomplishments of their twin.  "If the other one gets a big project," says Ryan, "we react by saying, 'That's a Fratzke win!'"

Other takeaways for siblings working together include:

  • Find mentors who will let you stand on their shoulders.
  • Put in the time and effort to know the business.
  • Avoid playing the old tapes from childhood.
  • Leave your interpersonal problems behind when you're at work.

Finally -- some advice for family business owners raising twins who may some day run the business: No matching outfits! And don't assume that they are the same person; let them pursue their own vision. 


Kimberly Eddleston
Kimberly Eddleston
Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship / D'Amore-McKim School of Business / Northeastern University
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Cite this Article
DOI: 10.32617/1071-662b96e806ecb
Eddleston, Kimberly. "Twins Can Be a Family Business's Superpower." 26 Apr. 2024. Web 18 May. 2024 <>.
Eddleston, K. (2024, April 26). Twins can be a family business's superpower. Retrieved May 18, 2024, from