Young or Old, consider this. Great names live longer than the person. Imagine a country being named after you like Israel, Qin Shi Huang, Mussa Bin Bique, Amerigo Vespucci and others. If you are entrepreneurial, you can be like John Davison Rockefeller Sr, Walt Disney, William Henry Gates III, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford and many more. Another place to try your exploits could be in academia. Maybe your name will be identified with a principle like Einstein’s general theory of relativity or Drake equation. You can Leave a mark in music, art, sport, faith and anywhere you can have impact. Here are some ideas to leave a legacy.
1. Start a business, be successful and leave a legacy
If you start a business, and manage it well, the business will have a life of its own. It is like raising a child. The business will carry your name and “DNA”. The business itself can be the legacy but you may be remembered for more than just the profit. In the process of starting the business you can discover new ideas and methods of doing things. That is why we see many books by successful people. These books themselves have so much treasure in them. Start a business and make a difference in many ways.
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”―
Explore Books about successful people and see how much you can learn.
You can use your resources and influence to make an impact that you will be remembered for. You can put your innovation to practice. There is more to starting a business than what most people imagine. Get started and experience the adventure on your own.
2. Establish a non-profit organization
One thing is for sure, an organization can live longer than you. It can also reach places you can’t. Even more, an organization can share a burden. And sometimes the difference you make is profit enough. So if you can address some of the world’s concerns by establishing a nonprofit.
Establishing structures and distributing resources for aid does not necessarily mean you are fishing for donor funds. People like billionaire Strive Masiyiwa invested profitably in business, however there are issues they have decided to solve outside the business enterprise. Consider other successful people like Bill Gates, who committed their resources to confront the world’s concerns. However, forwarding a cause is not a reserve of the wealthy. You can be creative with your fundraising and goal delivery. You may be inspired by Jairos Jiri: The man and his work (Makers of Zimbabwe).
Not all nonprofits are for aid and relief. The areas you can impact are unlimited. Culture and recreation, Education and research Health, Social services, Environment, Development and housing, Law, advocacy and politics, Philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism promotion, International, Religion, Business and professional associations, unions are recognized classes of nonprofit institutions. There is room for you. Start an organization.
3. Develop a place
Another way to leave a legacy is to mark a territory. It could be your home, a resort, a farm or any piece of land you may want to develop. It can also be a community.
Land has enduring memory. If you develop and name a piece of land it will represent an idea even long after you are gone. The good thing about land is that it can accommodate almost anything. Travel the world and observe how each piece of land could tell stories, express art, host events, shelter people and more. Semi Levy Village, Meikles Hotel and Margolis Stephen Margolis Resort are examples of places which now hold a vision of the developer. The most significant landmarks are those recognized by many people.
Which gets us to the second way of associating your name with a place. Your legacy should not be localized to the land you own. It could be how you influence the development of the place and how you touch the lives of the local community. Politicians and faith leaders excel very much at this. We have places like Victoria Falls, named after queen Victoria. Many things are named after Nelson Mandela, with statues in many places. Through their influence on people Samora Machel, Robert Mugabe and other powerful individuals have left memories engraved in landmarks.
4. Get good at your job
As a matter of fact, starting your own thing is not the only way to leave your legacy. The key lies in doing your thing. It doesn’t matter if you are the founder or not, if you do your part well your distinction will put you in the limelight. This is appreciated when we consider Intrapreneurs as distinct from entrepreneurs.
Expertise of architects like Mick Pearce has enabled them to shape towns. They determine the future of places they do not own. Wherever you are, put the best of you. Distinguish yourself and you will be appreciated. Many people who are responsible for discoveries and advancements brought about change while they were putting effort on their jobs. For instance, Engineer Gustave Eiffel left France an icon, not because he owned the country but because he was determined. So make it worth it.
5. Raise children
Kings knew that without an heir, their dominion would not continue. Dynasties wouldn’t have been dynasties if they were not centered on blood ties. Even though each family has it’s challenges, the people who love you add so much meaning to your life. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out and you leave heritage to someone who just doesn’t appreciate its value. But your loved ones may keep you motivated enough to achieve great things. Even the trouble you go through for them may challenge you to be the best of you. After all, love inspires great exploits.
Also consider mentoring other people. They will carry your ideas forward.