It was two days after I was asked to present on legacy to the Arizona Suns Charities 88 annual review event that I sat in the car with my dad. I’ve presented on legacy to non-profits and small business groups over the past three years and held a strong belief in what legacy meant to me. I believed that a person’s legacy is the greatest measure of how they affected the world; but, my view of legacy was about to be questioned.
If you know me, you know I’m all about building a legacy. Not for self respect or for ego. No, I’m for building a legacy that gives others opportunities greater than I had.
I reflect regularly on what I want to leave behind for others. My greatest hero, my dad, taught me that whenever you meet someone – in passing, close friends, family, the waitress, everyone – you should leave a little bit of the goodness of your soul behind with them. I realize as I get older that the little bit of soul you leave behind is part of your legacy – a part that builds your legacy and the the legacy of the person you touched. I also realize that you can leave behind the goodness part of your soul or part of your baggage and that the choice of what you leave behind is yours to make.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way being in partnerships (some will sound rudimentary; but, how often do we as entrepreneurs forget the simple things) and how to tell when not to enter into a partnership or when the partnership has turned toxic. Hopefully, you can glean some nuggets of value from my past experiences (this list is in no particular order).
I have had the great blessing to work with a number of nonprofits since starting Xpleo in 2006. Some have flourished and grown immensely, always keeping in their hearts their mission, the community they serve and the donors, sponsors and supporters (their “base”) that are the lifeblood of their organizations. These are what I like to call high grateful index organizations (or high grateful index nonprofits). To give you a quick visual reference, I created the “Grateful Index” at the bottom of this post (please finish reading before scrolling to the bottom).
I heard someone in passing the other day talking about someone else’s “rookie mistake.” The more I thought on this concept, the more I realized a rookie mistake is pretty close to an oxymoron. To be a rookie, a person doesn’t know any better as to what will work in a situation and what will not. To make a mistake implies that a person has faced a situation previously and failed. Rookies don’t make rookie mistakes, they make “rookie learning experiences.” The fear of “rookie mistakes” is the reason so many people never leave the bench to take their first at bat.
As I was going through some of the business blogs I follow yesterday, playing catch up on my New Year’s reading, I took note of one that spoke heavily about the turning of a new page heading into 2017. What I’ve come to realize over the past year or so is that the page is going to turn automatically, with or without you, and without your permission. A page turns everyday; so, there is no special page for the new year. The realization we all need to confront is that it is not important that the page turns; however, what is important is what you wrote on the page before it turned.