When it comes to your business, what does creating a legacy mean to you?
When I was interviewing business leaders and owners for Fix This Next, I made a profound discovery. The ones who had already achieved the first four levels of my Business Hierarchy Of Needs and were in the Legacy level said they are not business owners.
You know what they told me? They are business stewards. They never really “owned” their businesses. Their job was to raise their business to be independent of them. Eureka! What a profound realization.
As a steward of your business, it is your responsibility to bring life to the business. More importantly, it is about that business continuing to prosper without you! To create a legacy, you must create permanence in your business. It must be designed to run on its own.
Legacy is not about money, power or how much fame you have. As a young entrepreneur, that’s sure what I thought it was about. Legacy is all about your business continuing to impact your community, your customers, your culture and the world – without your participation.
Apple runs without Steve Jobs. Mary Kay runs without Mary Kay. Countless companies are living long after the involvement of the business owners ended. And that is exactly what the founders wanted.
We’ve been looking at The Business Hierarchy Of Needs, and Legacy is way up at the top. To achieve the Legacy level, the owner must care more about the corporate legacy than their personal legacy. This should be the objective of your business.
So what is the recipe to leave your legacy? Let’s get into the 5 Vital Needs of the Legacy level.
- Community Continuance – Do your clients support your business? Do they support it in a way that is authentic to your intentions?
- Intentional Leadership Turn – Is there a plan for leadership to transition and stay fresh? Do you have a plan for people to take over leadership of your business when you are ready to move on?
- Heart-Based Promoters – Is the organization promoted by individuals inside and outside of it, without the need for direction? Do they see the greater mission and become curators themselves?
- Quarterly Dynamics – Does your business have a clear vision for the future? Does it dynamically adjust quarterly to make that vision a reality?
- Ongoing Adaptation – Is your business designed to constantly adapt and improve? Does it find ways to get better and beat itself?
Review these 5 Vital Needs within your business and assess where you are in leaving your own legacy.
Legacy isn’t about going public or making billions of dollars. Legacy is about making your mark on the world the
way you intended.
MIKE MICHALOWICZ (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford – a retirement building. With no experience, no contacts and no savings, he systematically bootstrapped a multi-million-dollar business. Then he did it again. And again. Now he is doing it for other entrepreneurs. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group. He is also a former small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; MSNBC’s business makeover expert; a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship; and the author of the cult classic book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. His newest book, The Pumpkin Plan, has already been called “the next E-Myth!” For more information, visit MikeMichalowicz.com.