In Business, Legacy Outweighs Currency

09/30/2016 02:04 pm ET
In Business, Legacy Outweighs Currency
(Stock image)
In Business, Legacy Outweighs Currency

Whenever a new start-up opens shop or a new company begins the founders create reasonable expectations for their business’ success. Normally, these expectations are financial benchmarks that show the company is growing or perhaps the goal is to create a strong business that can be sold for a nice profit.

Companies that are made to make money will normally succeed and some grow to become incredibly profitable. It’s exciting to see your business emerge as a financial success. However, that excitement tends to dwindle as time goes on.

For many entrepreneurs, starting a successful company is an excellent project. But at some point, many entrepreneurs step away from their profitable business and move to something new and completely different. Why abandon the financial success?

The more you get involved in your dream business, the more you learn that there are more important things than making money. Of course, making your company or start-up profitable is necessary and plenty of time should be spent making sure your business can survive in a competitive world. But making money isn’t the heart of entrepreneurial spirit.

The greatest entrepreneurs are going to make a lot of money off their business but to them the money is just a bonus. Entrepreneurs thrive on building and creating, making sure that their company is more fulfilling on a personal level than a financial one.

If you want to start a business for the sake of making more money, there’s a decent chance that you’ll grow bored--and even annoyed--with your business.

Don’t Build A Business For A Paycheck

There are many different reasons to justify becoming an entrepreneur. For many, the flexibility and self-reliance that come with entrepreneurship are attractive. For others, the desire to create a lasting company is important.

For those that are looking for a large paycheck, it could be worth reconsidering what you really want. Any entrepreneurial endeavor is time consuming and it could take months--and in some events over a year--to finally get some sort of financial return on your business.

Starting a company to get a paycheck rarely works out. You’ll likely get bored or frustrated and you’ll end up losing money and time in a passionless project. Before any entrepreneur starts a business, she should consider why she wants to start a business. If you’re in it for the money, then entrepreneurship may be the wrong field.

Why Build A Legacy?

One of the greatest feelings is knowing that you’ve left something better than how you found it. Many modern entrepreneurs understand that collaboration and openness is going to spur innovation. Innovation, of course, it the key to changing the future for the better.

This is the idea behind a number of organizations. One such organization, Fownders, was created by Elite Daily co-founder Gerard Adams. The goal is to encourage a new generation of entrepreneurs by giving them all the resources they need to succeed. Fownders believes that the next generation of entrepreneurs will thrive on collaboration. Because Fownders is based out of Newark, we can expect there to be a number of phenomenal developments coming out of the city in the coming years.

As time goes on, accelerators like Fownders can completely change the culture of entrepreneurship. Instead of fighting each other for market shares, entrepreneurs could begin to work with each other to come up with solutions to global problems.

It’s nearly impossible to talk about entrepreneurial legacy without mentioning Bill Gates. The founder of Microsoft has stepped away from his company and spent his time on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For those that haven’t heard of it, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a non-profit that is tackling problems of inequity around the world.

While Microsoft’s size, strength and influence is going to play a large role in Bill Gates’ legacy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will grow as well. Gates has realized that there’s much more to living than making money, and he’s personally set aside millions of dollars to improve the world. The Foundation has attracted the involvement of other wealthy individuals, notably Warren Buffet.

These individuals are already going to be remembered for years. Instead of settling for their current legacy, they’ve decided that changing the world is the best way for them to use their time.

How To Build A Legacy

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, you’ll have to ask yourself at some point what you want your legacy to be.

There are some good ways to approach this question. The first step anyone should take is managing their expectations. There’s a very slim chance that many people will ever have the power and influence that Bill Gates has, so nobody should expect themselves to create the new Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

When we talk about a legacy – or more specifically a legacy to be proud of – the important thing to realize is that any little bit counts. This means that any positive effect you have on the world counts. But at the same time, anything negative you do will play a role in your legacy. There are countless examples of businessmen who sought profit and ended up playing a large role in causing the Great Recession and housing crisis.

With this in mind, the second step someone should take is figuring out how to make the right impact. As an entrepreneur, you could start a business that shares the same goals as you. You may even start a business that commits to donating money to support other organizations.

Realize that you’ll always make an impact beyond your paycheck. Just be sure that you’re making the impact you want to see, because leaving the right legacy behind is worth more than any amount of money.

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