As you probably know, I’m training for an upcoming marathon, and I ran my third 20-mile run this morning. 20 miles is not easy—it’s tough, and it puts a strain on my old bones. It took me a little under three hours to finish, and one thing I noticed during this run was a tremendous number of historic markers in our area.
This got me thinking: What does it take to have a marker built in your name so that people are still thinking about you 150 or 200 years later?
As I read some of these markers and learned about the people they were built for, I saw phrases like “gentleman farmer” and “gentleman soldier,” but nothing more significant than that. This made me think of an exercise I did a few years back with one of my old coaches: Writing your own obituary. What is your legacy and what do you want to be remembered for? Knowing the answer to these questions is important because it becomes part of your “why.” It helps you get out of bed every day and handle the hard things in our business—the prospecting, dealing with constant rejection, etc.
Writing your own obituary does something else important too—it makes you realize that life is finite. We’re all going to die someday, so you might as well be yourself and live your own life. While writing my obituary, I realized that my legacy—or my “why”—was to know that one person lived a better life because I existed.
For example, I take my team to the Bahamas every year for a vacation, and last year before we took this vacation I learned that one of my employees never had a passport. They’d never been outside of the U.S. before, and it was nice to think that if I never existed, they perhaps never would’ve had that passport or the chance to travel outside the country.
This week, think about what you want to be remembered for. What will someone else write in your obituary? You don’t need to get a historical marker for yourself made, but if you think about what you want your legacy to be, it will change the way you do business and the way you think about life.
As always, if you’re curious about joining our team and what we can do for your career, give me a call so we can sit down and grab a cup of coffee. I’d love to talk to you.