What Will Your Legacy Be? The Rise of the Conscience Professional
Time is Your Most Valuable Resource
My wife purchased a pocket watch for me for our 10th anniversary a couple of years ago. As a minimalist, there are few items I actually treasure, this is one of them. Not only because it was a gift, but the metaphor it represents.
Time is the one resource we all have equally. I have the same amount of time in a day as Elon Musk. I do not have his intellect, his wealth, or his ingenuity. But when it comes to time, we are on a level playing field.
My pocket watch reminds me of this lesson of time and how it continues to pass. Each day brings a choice. Will I use my precious time on trivial matters or build a legacy?
When I taught college, my intention was always to impress on students that they have unlimited potential if they use their time properly. I would ask you the same question I asked them.
What will be your legacy?
What will you be remembered for? Will your actions ripple through time? Will you have made a positive impact on people's lives?
You might be thinking, doesn't this guy write about professional topics, what does legacy have to do with my profession? Simple, your profession is your legacy.
Let's Dive Deeper
"If we are to become great professionals, we must work on becoming great people first." ~ Wilfred Brown
This article was inspired by a friend, Wilfred Brown, who recently posted a blog, Partisanship, Racism & Other Human Follies, & Why We Should All Play Sports & Debate in School. I highly recommend checking it out. Have you ever read something you thought was specifically for you? Well, his article hit exactly what I needed.
Recently, I had stopped working toward my legacy. My work was not exciting me like it had in the past and I was just going through the motions. Setting up a marketing campaign had become a task that could be accomplished in a week or even a day.
- Stunning photos: check
- Written content: check
- Design web page: check
- Newsletter: check
- Digital graphics: check
- Social media calendar: check
- Distribution channels set: check
- Launch date: check
For small-medium businesses, those are the highlights of a digital marketing campaign. Maybe your job is similar, you have become skilled to the point you can knock out projects quickly and without much critical thought.
The issue is standard projects do not leave a legacy. Going through the motions places us in a machine where we are just passing each day. Don't get me wrong, we need to do simple tasks daily to keep businesses running, yet we can always get better, be innovative, teach others, seek promotions, start a side company, or a thousand other items to push to new levels.
We can even completely change who we are and what we do with our lives.
The Intimidating Pirate
When you look at Bill Gates, do you shudder in fear? Do you think, this is a man that will crush me at any moment? Your answer likely depends on your age.
At one time, Gates was one of the most disliked and feared individual in Silicon Valley and all business. Seriously, if you are younger, you might not realize the amount of vitriol which used to be thrown at Microsoft for his actions.
Movies were made of him as a "Pirate of Sillicon Valley," and in real life, the Federal Government filed a lawsuit against Microsoft. For years, he was a hated person and his legacy was shaping to be one of the wealthiest people of all time who ruthlessly crushed others.
Now, what is his legacy?
Of course, our past never leaves us and we are responsible for our actions. Yet, now when people think of Gates, many view him and his wife as two of the greatest philanthropists of our time.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a premier organization with many goals, including, the eradication of Polio, a movement toward global gender equality, among others worthy causes. Moreover, the company he still advises, Microsoft, is becoming the innovative darling of the tech world. Don't believe me, watch below.