Itâ€™s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.
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With the recent passing of Steve Jobs, it’s made me, once again, think about my legacy in both my business and in my personal life.
I asked a similar question about making a difference last year here:
Are Internet Marketers Good or Evil? but I think this topic is one to think about on a regular basis.
So here it is …
How do you want to be remembered?
What IMPACT are you making?
What do you want people to say about you when you leave this earth?
What steps are you taking to get to that point of making a difference while you’re here?
Mark Mason of MasonWorld.com says:
Wow — what a question. What do I want people to say about me when I leave Earth? Hmmm.
At the moment, I am sitting in the Cathay Pacific lounge at Taoyuan airport in Taiwan, about to head for Shanghai. I am watching Steve Jobs stories on CNN. After his passing this week, people had a lot to say about him. Most of the stories are about the impact that he had on Apple and technology. He certainly changed lives. It would be pretty cool to be revered and admired like that, but that sort of fame is not what I want for myself.
I just want people to say that I made their lives better.
I hope my family, friends, co-workers, clients and acquaintances look back on the time we spent together and are glad for it. I hope they see me as someone that made things better by loving them, doing the right thing, and having integrity.
Most of all, I hope they smile when they think of me.
Note from Nik: I already smile when I think of you, my good friend.
Connie Ragen Green of Huge Profits Tiny List says:
Thinking about our own mortality can be an uncomfortable topic, but I believe it is one that bears attention and exploration. I typically talk about my work with several charities and non-profits as the means through which I am leaving a legacy on this earth, but I believe it is more about the people who are closest to you in your everyday life.
My family has never understood exactly what I do each day, so I have taken it upon myself to explain it to them. I now have a daughter-in-law who works online full-time, and two teenage grandsons who earn all of their own spending money and savings.
In my mind, this makes more of an impact than anything else. I want the people who are closest to me to know that I made the effort to teach them how to have the time and financial freedom that comes from working online. This gives them the opportunity to share this knowledge with others in an ‘each one teach one’ way. The years I was working 6 or 7 days a week and missing all of their daily activities did not make the kind of impact or build a legacy that I was proud of. Giving the gift of knowledge makes a difference people will remember and treasure forever.
I want people to say that I helped them to become the best they could be and to reach the potential they always knew was possible for them. Life is much too short, so we must make every second count as we deal with others in our path.
Note from Nik: You inspire me, Connie. As you know, I’m teaching my son about the business and he’s working on his blog. I love that he understands that he has options in his life.
Jeanette S. Cates, PhD of Webinars Made Simple says:
I’ve approached this differently from most people, probably because my father died suddenly when I was 16. I swore at that time that I wouldn’t put off life – I would live each day as if it were my last.
My greatest impact has been with my family. I have three wonderful daughters, each of whom I consider a friend. Our family is very close. My daughters’ spouses are exactly the people I would have chosen for my girls (had I had any say in it!) and my six grandkids are being raised very much like their mothers were. My husband and I have been happily married for nearly 42 years. That is my legacy – wife, mother, GrandMom.
My business is an added bonus for me. As a lifelong learner and teacher, my highest calling is to teach and mentor. And I do that daily through my products and member sites, even when I’m not personally with them. I love my clients and students. I love seeing the light come on in their eyes – whether on a webinar or in person. I love seeing them make that first dollar online and watching so many of them go on to making millions (literally!) online.
Let me encourage you NOT to wait to make an impact. Don’t wait to be remembered. Become memorable TODAY.
Note from Nik: You gave me goosebumps with this “Don’t wait to be remembered. Become memorable TODAY.”
Shannon Cherry of The Business Building Live Intensive says:
You know, as my life has evolved and changed over the years, so has how I want to be remembered.
I have always thought I would be remembered as a fiercely loyal friend… but now add to that the word advocate.
You see, once my daughters were diagnosed on the Autism spectrum, I have to be their voice, as they had issues that impeded their communication skills. So now, my business, Be Heard Solutions, has even more meaning… to help people without a voice to be heard.
Note from Nik: Such a beautiful statement, Shannon.
Kelly McCausey of Solo Smarts says:
Can I come at this from a different direction?
What do I not want to be remembered for…
- I don’t want to be remembered as the kind of person who only cares about money. In business most feel like they have to be all about the bottom line, and while I do care about profits, I care more about the individual people I’m dealing with. I’m choosy about making recommendations and not quick to promote the ‘latest greatest’ whatever. I probably miss out on some quick commissions but at least I can look back in pride, not chagrin.
- I don’t want to be remembered as being financially irresponsible. My business is heavily based on affiliates and partnerships. This past year I saw how easy it is to get behind on the books and how difficult it is to get caught back up. To keep it from being a repeating trend, I’ve had to up my game.
- I don’t want to be remembered as being inconsistent. Half the battle in an online business is being consistent. If I can’t set an example in this, I’ve got no business trying to teach it to others.
There is something I do want to be remembered for. I want to be remembered for the company I kept. Good friends, high quality people, admirable marketers and the like. Considering where this is being read, I think I’m headed in the right direction there
Note from Nik: Kel, you know you were my first mentor and I owe you so much for taking ME by the hand and bringing out things in me that I was to afraid to do. I’ll always love and appreciate you for that.
Nicole Dean of .. here! .. says:
Wow guys. I really loved reading each of your responses.
When I asked this question, originally, I thought I new my answer. But now that I’ve read your responses, you’ve got me thinking even more about ways that I can make a greater impact on my family, my customers, my friends, and my world.
I want to be missed when I’m gone. But, I also want to be celebrated as someone who made a difference in people’s lives.
Like Jeanette said, let’s look at today.
How can I achieve these goals?
With my puppies, I hope they always feel safe, warm, and secure and know that I’ll take care of them.
With my family, I want to raise children who are hardworking, kind, loving, and giving – and happy!
With my husband, I hope to be the person he thought I was when he married me, and more. He has always seen me in a totally different light than I see myself. A better, brighter light.
With my parents, grandparents, and extended family, I hope they know without a shadow of a doubt that I love them all.
With my friends, although I’m oftentimes “busy” – I hope they always know I’m here for them if they need me.
And, with my business – I hope the people I touch understand how much they mean to me. That I don’t take this business lightly. And, although I can’t possibly please everyone or personally connect with most of them, I do make every decision in my business asking myself “Am I making people’s lives better?”
As far as a larger impact – I’m working on that one. I want to publicize and give free advertising to more organizations that I support, so I started to set up a page listing my favorite organizations and how you can help. I donate regularly to charities. And… I have a few other ideas in mind, that I’m not yet sure about how to proceed with them – yet.
So, Instead of rambling on myself, let’s hear from YOU.
What are you doing to make the world a better place – and your small corner of it? What steps are you taking to make it happen?
Nicole Dean (and friends)