The older I get, the more important it is to me to not only make an impact in the world but that my business can continue to make an impact on our customers’ lives, on our student’s lives, and that the community and the culture live on long after I'm gone. My goal now is to leave a legacy. Leaving behind a legacy will become the driving force for you in your business, too.
What does legacy mean to you?
Think about long after you’re gone what will people say? How will your business still make an impact? How can the vision still be upheld? Turn your pebble into a ripple, into a tsunami.
When my father passed away, it became very apparent to me that you can continue to do good once you are gone and that comes through the reminder of how you showed up.
When we're thinking about creating our business legacy, the first thing that we absolutely have to do is plan for the future. If we are so stuck in reactive mode and just muddling through and putting out fires all the time, and we're not actually planning for the future, we cannot create a legacy. Take a pause and discover what you want the future to look like. This includes revisiting your vision, your business, and your why.
Next, we have to create a succession plan. What is it that you want to happen when it's time to pass the torch? Is there a person to pass the torch to in mind? What will the plan be when the time comes for the next person to take over your business? Then, document it in writing! Things happen unexpectedly sometimes and you want to set up your business with your wishes of what’s to happen next.
Now, most importantly, it’s time to set up the business to run on its own, without you. I already can hear some people say I want to be actively involved in my business while I'm still part of the business. I want to teach classes. I want to have a say in all the competition dances. You can still be an active part of your business. BUT you also need to create the systems, the team, and the support to run if you are not there
Set yourself up for success through systems, through mentoring others, and through leadership. It does not mean you have to 100% remove yourself from the business to create a legacy or to be ready to pass off the torch. You don’t want to pass a burden onto anyone, so set them up for success.
If you have someone in mind that you would love to be your successor, you need to speak with them early about it and see if they actually want the gig. I can't tell you how many times I've had conversations like “I want this for my daughter so she could take it over and have a thing” and they haven’t even talked to their daughter to see if she wants the business. All of the leadership needs to be on the same page.