I am currently working through the estate planning process and came across this article in SUCCESS magazine. In different stages of my life to this point I have always had an outside pressure pushing me to achieve even when I didn’t particularly feel like or know why I was doing what I do, like being able to buy an engagement ring to buying a home , saving for my kids to go to college …. And those pressures that we all face will be behind us at one point. I am now faced with questions, by consultants, like if you are hit by a bus today who will do what in your business, who will get what and basically what happens next. Essentially will what you have worked for all these years survive, continue or end with some purpose or will it become an increased source of pain for those you care about most when you are gone ?

What really stands out to me is asking yourself the question this article asks at least every one to five years and really think about it. You will find that some answers will change as they have with me. The most nagging after all the outside pressures or obligations mentioned earlier are satisfied or past, “what the hell am I doing this (what I do , running a business) for?” What is my purpose now? I found that my true passion or purpose is to create opportunity for the people I interact with, not only my family but my customers and fellow employees. If I do this money will follow and I am functioning with a purpose that drives me. This article also touches on that. If I can be a sounding board to anyone on these topics I would be happy to.

I hope you enjoy the read. Bill D.


Sociologist Anthony Campolo tells about a study in which 50 people over the age of 95 were asked that one question. From their answers emerged three themes:

  • If I had it to do over again, I would reflect more.
  • If I had it to do over again, I would risk more.
  • If I had it to do over again, I would do more things that would live on after I’m dead.

The bad news is we can’t go back in time and make different choices. But the good news is that, every morning, we can choose to do things that live on beyond our lives. As leaders, we have the ability every day to build a legacy that lasts and makes a difference long after we’re gone.

But how do we determine the choices that build a lasting legacy?

It starts by focusing on what’s truly important in life. Many people attempt to be remembered through goals accomplished, records set or awards won. But the principal foundation of a leader’s legacy is the people they develop rather than the things they achieve. Why? Because legacy is continued impact after you’re gone, and only people can do that. Achievements, awards and possessions don’t have that power. As an achiever, you have probably succeeded at accomplishing a lot of things. You might enjoy many of the trappings of success. But you will build your legacy only when you change your focus from pursuing personal success to developing people. Equipping your followers to grow and reach their potential is an investment that yields long-lasting rewards.

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