Being an entrepreneur means more than just owning a business in the present moment— it means solidifying your legacy as one that transcends time. A business can solidify your legacy since it’s a mark you leave behind on the world; it impacts other people, things, and places. Even the smallest of businesses and business owners can leave a mark.
But the ability of a business to exist even after shareholders die, retire, dissolve a business or merge with another company is a true legacy. You should be prioritizing your vision now for your company and considering the type of business you ultimately want it to be. This is important in solidifying the legacy of your dreams.
Ultimately, your legacy as a company and as a business owner is defined by what you do now: how you make employees feel, what you provide customers and how you lead within the organization. But keep in mind that simply building a business is different than building a legacy.
Five Stages of Legacy Building
There are five stages of legacy building that will define the significance of your leadership as a business owner:
- Identity and values
- Guiding foundational principles
- Courage and risk-taking
- Genuine care to advance others
- Responsibility and accountability
Keeping those key factors in mind will help any business owner leave a lasting tribute. Even if you are years into your business, it is never too late to start considering how your business is going to make an impact and what it stands for.
When you are making decisions that may impact the future, take another moment to consider the effect they may have — what message will this send, and will it be positive?
The Case of Carl Chuzy
The case of Carl Chuzy might shed a little light on how forming a company and following some of those principles can give an entrepreneur a legacy — and help those who come after find success even if the founder is no longer with a company.
Chuzy was the founder of Carl Chuzy Co., a colorful real estate company that offered service in Wichita with an eccentric touch. Chuzy was known for his eager listening and his cream-colored Lincoln Town Car, which his staff kept outside his office for some time after his death.
Chuzy had an established clientele, and his employees were in no hurry to change the company’s name and potentially alienate customers after his death. Keeping the name has enabled them to maintain a successful business even in Chuzy’s absence.
Moreover, it has made Chuzy a remembered and celebrated figure in his city. “Carl wanted to keep the name Carl Chuzy Co. in the public eye,” his lawyer, Richard Foote, told BizJournals.com. By following the principals above, Chuzy left a legacy for his company to embody even after he was gone.
Establishing a business can solidify your legacy within the industry, as well as have a larger impact on the world and the people your organization touches.
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