The Most Fulfilling Way to Enjoy Your Success Is to Create a Lasting Legacy
Do good and you will be remembered fondly.
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Andrew Carnegie, the robber baron turned philanthropist, famously said, "A man who dies thus rich, dies disgraced." While you may or may not agree with his statement, one thing nearly all entrepreneurs have inside them is a desire to make an impact.
We live in an era when, more than ever, we can positively influence the lives of people all around the world. With the internet reaching the far corners of the earth, the time is now to leave your footprint on this planet. It's time to create your legacy.
According to Dictionary.com, legacy is defined as anything that is handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. I feel this definition is lacking greatly. To me, a legacy is benefiting the world around a deep and meaningful cause. It could be cleaning up the planet, saving endangered animals or feeding starving children. It could also be sharing your life or business lessons with others.
Whatever your legacy means to you, here are three ways you can leave a positive mark on the world.
Related: 3 Ways That Your Actions Today Will Shape Your Company's Legacy
Build your thought leadership platform.
As a successful entrepreneur, you've learned many valuable lessons. You've had a number of successes and plenty of failures that others can learn from. Why not start a personal brand to share what you have learned and educate future generations.
Utilizing the internet, you can reach millions of people with your thought leadership. Creating short videos, hosting a podcast or writing a book are all effective forms of capturing your biggest lessons and passing them forward.
Today it's never been easier to create a website, record content and quickly get it out to the masses. Using advertising tools like Facebook, Youtube and Google, you can place those messages in front of millions of people all around the world.
Building your thought leadership platform can be one of the most rewarding things you can do and it doesn't have to take a lot of time. CEOs like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Arianna Huffington regularly use their platforms to share their thought leadership with millions of people and you can too.
Related: 5 Steps to Building Your Personal Brand From Scratch
Create a think tank.
A think tank is a group of people who are paid to do nothing but read, discuss, think and write, usually to address a matter of vital importance to humanity.
A think tank is like a college without students. The professors don't teach but research, argue, and publish findings on some of the most important issues in the world. Think tanks are in the business of "selling" their ideas to the public, the media and policymakers. Think tanks are commonly quoted my media sources and their research is vital in helping policymakers make decisions.
Some of the most prevalent think tanks are common names such as the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation or the Earth Institute which focuses on addressing important global issues such as sustainable development and the needs of the world's poor.
Interested in creating a think tank? Here are some ideas for how to get started.
Related: How to Design Innovative Hubs for Big Ideas
Start a charity
What are you passionate about? Relieving poverty, or advancing the arts, culture, or sciences? One of the better-known quotes by Sir Richard Branson is "Do good, have fun, and the money will come." It can make both business and philanthropic sense to start a nonprofit around a cause you are passionate about.
A charity is an organization that is developed exclusively for public benefits and not for profit. There is an endless variety of causes you can be involved in. Here is a list of some of the top-rated charities.
Would you like to start a charity? Here is more information on how to to get started.
There isn't a more meaningful and important component to our lives as entrepreneurs than creating our legacy. While you may have had tremendous success in your business or organization, ultimately it is the dent you leave in the universe that will ultimately define your existence here on this planet.
I will leave you with a quote from David Viscott who said, "The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away." Now is the time to find your greatest gift and give it away.