Our businesses can be sold. Our buildings can be repurposed. Our legacy, on the other hand, is not left to chance. It is crafted in our everyday decisions and actions, and it is seen in the impact we leave on people for a lifetime. Once we understand our sense of meaning and purpose, it is our intentionality that drives us thereon.
Appreciate the views from the valley
How legacy is expressed may differ from one entrepreneur to another, but its significance does not vary. We are all motivated by the desire to be remembered and to shape a story that changes people.
“The number one fundamental in business is: Tell your story.” – Richard DeVos, Amway co-founder and Orlando Magic owner
Your business is the collection of your personal endeavors and the relationships you have built along the way. Put simply, it is life. And according to Richard DeVos, life is defined by four stages. No one is immune to any stage; however, understanding what stage you exist in is the key to structuring a philosophy worthy of a legacy.
“I love the visioning processes of challenging our mindsets and challenging the status quo, imagining what you could be, thinking about tomorrow and losing your fixation on yesterday.” – Joseph Duda, former CEO of A. Duda and Sons
Be the person you want others to be
How we are remembered often has a lot to do with our accomplishments and even more to do with our character.
Character is the person in the mirror at the end of each day. Reputation is the management of what other people think of you. If you are pursuing the entrepreneurial spirit and moving toward a vision, you are going to have critics. Reputation tries to please the critics, while character focuses on moving forward.
You will learn something from every person you meet. That begs the question, what are people learning from you? Are they seeing good qualities and values they want to embody? Or are they seeing what they do not want to become? You attract success when you start becoming the person you want everyone else to be. Do not try to change those around you. Start working on yourself and take personal accountability.
You are going to make an impact on people in this life. You get to choose if it is a positive or negative one. That in itself will leave a legacy of its own.