What Legacy Will You Leave? by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Have you given thought to your own legacy? When we hear the term, it can conjure up many different ideas, including leaving wealth to your family and having your name remembered. As a businessperson, your legacy can mean other things, as well. Your business, and the difference you make in your community can contribute to your legacy, and can ensure that you leave a lasting mark.
Planning your legacy starts with thought. It is important to consider what legacy you desire to leave. Maybe you want simply to have a reputation as an ethical business person, or maybe you want to ensure that you give back to your community through charitable work and contributions. Once you have thought through how you want to be remembered, it’s time to put a plan in action. This is the step many people miss. They know how they want others to remember them, but they fail to take the steps required to ensure that the vision becomes a reality.
Determine the specific steps you will take to ensure your legacy is one you can be proud of. This may include things like putting away money for family members or buying a life insurance policy with your favorite charity listed as the beneficiary. It may be as simple as setting aside a certain number of hours each week to volunteer for your favorite organization, or ensuring that your business sponsors a charity event in the community each year.
It can be fairly simple to decide how you want to be remembered, but without action, your ideas mean nothing. Planning a legacy can be difficult for many people, because it requires consideration of how life will go on after you have died.
Though planning your legacy can be a little unsettling for some people, once the task is complete, you are likely to gain a sense of peace about the future. With an action plan in place, you can gain peace in the knowledge that you have an idea of how you will be remembered long after you are gone, and know exactly the steps you will take to ensure this memory.