Do you like the idea of creating something lasting and meaningful—something that will outlive you and serve as a reminder of what you accomplished?
If so, you’re not alone. In fact, many people long to leave a legacy of some kind behind when they die. They want to be remembered, and by more than just their closest friends and family members.
A legacy can be whatever you want it to be. For some people, a legacy is a physical object—a building or a piece of art that bears their name.
For others, a legacy is more about making an impact than it is about leaving physical objects to represent them. The legacy you create is a personal thing—something only you can decide—and as a real estate investor you have the opportunity to create yours as well, maybe even sooner than most.
Perhaps you already know what you want your legacy to be. But, if you don’t, keep reading to learn how to figure it out.
What Is Your Life About?
First, ask the big question: what is the meaning of your life? It can be a hard question to answer, but it’s an important one if you want to create a meaningful legacy.
It might help to phrase it in a different way. What are you passionate about? What are the issues and concerns that matter the most to you?
Make a list of some of the things that you care about and then think about why they matter to you. You might care about raising money for medical research because you lost a loved one to a particular disease or condition, for example.
The goal here is to combine passion and purpose. What is important, and why is it important? These questions can help you narrow down your legacy to a particular area.
It’s important at this point to consider what will live on after you’re gone. Does it matter to you to have your name attached to your legacy, or is it enough to know that you’ve made a difference?
How Can You Make a Difference?
Identifying a passion with purpose is the first step, but it’s what comes next that will truly determine your legacy. Consider the area or areas that you have identified, and ask this:
How can I make a difference?
For a legacy to represent you, it must make the kind of changes that you want to see made. It must be impactful. Its meaning to you is important, but it’s what the legacy you leave can do for others that will make it truly remarkable.
For example, a person who cares deeply about education might like to leave a legacy that would help people learn. Donating money to build a new library might be one way to achieve that goal, while another might be funding a scholarship for needy students.
Alternatively, a person whose passionate purpose is to conserve natural resources might want to create or contribute to a wildlife preserve… or to plant trees… or to support sustainable farming.
You may need to do some research to determine the right direction for your legacy. Choose the area where you feel you can make the greatest possible impact, and then pursue it.
How Can You Make Your Legacy a Reality?
Finally, you need to consider the necessary steps to make your legacy a reality. In some cases, the answer may be a very short one. If your desire is to send underprivileged kids to school, for example, you can simply create a scholarship fund and donate a percentage of each real estate deal to charity.
In some cases, though, creating the legacy you want may require a lot of legwork. People who build big charitable foundations need to do all kinds of things to get them started, including setting up an organizational structure, building a website, and raising money.
A good way to start is to make as comprehensive a list as possible of what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. Think of the steps that you will need to follow to make it happen, and then break each part of it down into achievable tasks.
Once you know exactly what you want, put together a plan, and assemble the manpower and resources needed to make it happen. Stay focused, communicate your vision clearly, and before you know it your legacy will be here.