This post is the sixth in a series of eight blog posts on the creation of the Successful Business Mindset. You can see the introduction to these eight posts, by clicking here. You can click on each section of the Successful Business Mindset by clicking on the names below. Each one will become live as I complete the blog post.
Each discussion will be broken down into MECHANICS and MINDSET. Mechanics will discuss the practical tasks and areas that you need to be doing well; and Mindset will discuss different approaches to the Mechanics.
This blog post will discuss the LEGACY area of The Successful Business Mindset.
Legacy is understanding that you will ultimately leave your company at some point. If you don’t know what you want to leave behind; when you leave, chances are you will subconsciously start winding down your business completely as you consider retiring. If you do this, you will increase your personal burden and leave yourself no wealth to live your retirement the way you want.
As a business leader, there are five “mechanical” areas of leaving a legacy that need to be considered:
- Plan: What’s your plan to exit your company?
- Death or Disability: What will happen to your family & business if you become disabled or die?
- Selling: What have you done to prepare your company for sale?
- Personal Involvement: How well will your company operate with you gone?
- Mindset: Who are you when you no longer own a business?
Establishing a legacy will leave your family and your company in great shape if something happens to you. More importantly, you will create a company that can function without you. Could you imagine taking a month-long vacation and your company producing a profit without spending a second in your office?
I do an exercise I call “climbing the ladder”. In this exercise, I will go through seven different approaches to legacy based on the seven different energy levels. These energy levels characterize how you are THINKING about legacy. If you don’t know what I mean by Energy Levels, you can refer back to the introductory post on the Successful Business Mindset.
- Level 1: You will not plan for an exit at all, What’s the point. Your company will probably die and so what would you have to exit?
- Level 2: You have planned for an exit and hope to cash out. You have not done much with death or disability planning because you really don’t care what happens to everyone else if you were to die or become disabled.
- Level 3: You have a sense that planning your exit and even insurance is the responsible thing to do. You do as little planning as you need.
- Level 4: You deeply care about your employees, your family and your customers should anything happen to you. You have a solid exit plan and disability insurance and a buy/sell agreement in place to carry on your business if anything should happen to you. You also have a strong sense of how you want your company to continue to serve others once you’re gone.
- Level 5: You want to create a self-sustaining company that can function without you. You not only see this as being beneficial upon exit, you see this as an opportunity for you to focus on growth initiatives while your staff runs the core company.
- Level 6: You are clearly targeting a substantive improvement in your local and global community as a result of your company’s success. Your legacy at this level will be focused on this social result both while you are in the company and after you are gone.
- Level 7: While you are interested in legacy, you don’t see a delineation between when you’re in the company and after you are gone. You find enjoyment and happiness in either situation; and may need help in planning this aspect of your business journey.
Creating a legacy mindset will help you create a vision that everyone in your business can follow… including you.
I’ve listed five areas of the mechanics of Legacy along with seven levels of energy.
- If you DO the right things in your business, but operate at lower energy levels, you will become burned out; and most likely less successful than you could have been.
- If you tend to FEEL good about your company, but fail to DO the right things, your company will flounder and fail.
As you can probably guess, one will lead to the other. What us humans fail to grasp is that energy precedes action. In other words, you will typically be thinking of opportunity (Level 5) before you discover opportunity in your company. Likewise, you will feel like a victim (Level 1) before you act in a way that will close the doors to your company.
I use both lists of mechanics and mindset to help my business owner clients set goals; and then work toward those goals. While it’s usually easy for my clients to see the mechanical goals, it is more difficult to see the mindset goals. Once they understand the energy levels, they are able to move to the level that best suits their company. Once they have both mindset and mechanics figured out, they quickly move forward.
If you’d like to see where you are with your business and create an ACTION PLAN, sign up for my Successful Business Mindset tool below.
As a long-time small business owner, I know how hard it is to create the business of your dreams while struggling with the financial realities of attracting prospects, converting those prospects into high-paying customers, and making money for you and your family. The biggest mistake in my past was not seeking the advice of wise counsel sooner than I did. I don’t want you to make the same mistake. I help my clients see exactly what they need to work on in their business by doing the Business Wheel exercise. If you’d like to try it out, sign up to the right. It’s completely FREE.