Happy Sunday my friend,
I hope you had a great week.
Last Sunday Rachel and I were fortunate to be in attendance at the Medallion ceremony for the Country Music Hall of Fame, where Fred Foster, Charlie Daniels and Randy Travis were inducted into the Hall. I sort of felt like I had no business being there in the audience with greats like Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys and Charlie Pride. The show opened with Dolly Parton and closed with Garth Brooks. In between was a who’s who of country past and present. To see the best of the best in any craft is an amazing, humbling thing.
As the night went on, the importance of induction into the Hall continued to be emphasized by everyone who took the microphone. And there was an earnest sense of humility and gratitude expressed by the biggest stars that the format has to offer. This made me think a lot about my life’s work.
There is a pattern that generations of entrepreneurs seem to follow as they become successful, where they stop focusing on their company’s success and they begin to think about their legacy. In music, monetary success is the secondary goal, touching people with your work is first. The money follows after that. So when those medallions were placed on those three men’s necks, it was in recognition of the legacy they created while doing their life’s work, not afterwards.
What’s makes a legacy?
Funny thing about the word legacy, I don’t think any of us connect it with its primary definition:
“a gift by will especially of money or other personal property”
No, that’s not what we think about when people say “I’m thinking about my legacy”. We think about our story living on, with meaning and resonance to other people.
These days we hear people say “entrepreneurs are the new rock stars”, and while there is something obnoxious about the comparison, there is also an acknowledgment that the purpose of entrepreneurship is fundamentally changing. More and more people are becoming entrepreneurs not primarily to create a legacy of endowment, but to leave a mark on the world by touching people and making other’s lives better.
In this way, we entrepreneurs can see ourselves as creators and even artists. Bringing new experiences to the world in ways that are good through and through, and make the world a better place. I’ve never been attracted to businesses that crank out cash but are inconsequential at best, destructive at worst and I don’t think I’m alone there. There is more to this thing called entrepreneurship than money.
I am excited about a world in which we promote, encourage and celebrate the entrepreneur for the legacy they created while building an incredible business, not just afterwards as a philanthropist.
To a new meaning of legacy… on the Grind,