The CEO called and asked me to meet him in his corner office. I sat in the chair across from his desk and looked out the window behind him which had a magnificent view of the entire city. His office was on the very top floor of a skyscraper and his Ferrari was parked down below.
We talked about the CEO’s book and he explained that he had worked hard to create a business as an entrepreneur but now it was time to give back. He cried. He told his life story and he remembered several painful moments during his childhood that he wanted to process and overcome. He had waited a lifetime to decide to give back and share his words of wisdom.
This is the way it goes when I write books with high achievers. Often they are at the top of their game because they have worked hard for their success.
Whether it’s a female or male entrepreneur I’m the one to coach them through the psychological and emotional process of writing a book. Eventually I coach them to think about legacy because the book is much more than just words on a page. A book is a legacy. A legacy means that you will transform lives for generations long after you’re gone.
A legacy is a 500 year plan not just a 10 year plan.
Get focused on it today. Write it down. Be intentional about legacy versus getting trapped in daily details. When a woman entrepreneur or a business expert comes to me to write a book we have an initial kick-off call which I call a discovery meeting. During this call I ask questions about what legacy she wants to leave to the world – as well as what her current and 10 year business goals are. People that focus on helping others and mentoring others through their life experiences and stories are remarkable.
Throughout the book process we always remember the reader could be a 20 year old with no parents, or mentor in life or business. I keep the author I’m working with laser focused on the goal:
Building their business and changing lives in the process. Legacy!
I have a company policy that everyone must give big in some way to the world.
Recently my staff hosted a party for children with cancer and other life-threatening ailments at my home, and every one on my team attended and participated. It’s because they love to give back – authentically.
Each one worked closely with the little girls, helping them.
But someone else at the event was overheard complaining –
“There aren’t even any spoons!” She said. “See! We shouldn’t have had it here!”
She went on to complain about the state of things while the children smiled and laughed joyfully. The woman stormed off, caught up in the task and details that didn’t matter, unable to live up to her legacy.
When I think of her, I’ll always think of the missed moment. She missed her moment to shine, to give unselfishly. It was a brief moment but a powerful one. I decided, that day, to remove the spoons from my house as a reminder to focus on legacy. We will no longer have a spoon. I swear we will eat soup and ice cream with a fork. Instead of what’s wrong, I’ll see what’s right. Instead of being a bitter, nagging task master, I’ll focus on creating a peaceful and joyful surrounding for every human I encounter. And when things don’t go my way in business, I’ll maintain my peace.
Business and life should intersect in a way that brings out the best in others.
Be un offendable.
Be a giver.
Make a business plan that includes giving back.
What are you working for? Will you be remembered as the stressed out business woman or the calm, peaceful, successful giver who changed lives?
Build a legacy.
And if you’re so inspired, please stand with me to boycott spoons – in memory of a funny, yet inspiring moment when someone else taught us – don’t get caught in the weeds.