Have you ever played that game where you open up a book to a random page, having faith that whatever’s on that page was meant for you to read at exactly that moment?
It’s one of the many reasons I love keeping a library of physical books…being surrounded by so much wisdom that’s literally at my fingertips comforts me; it reminds me that I don’t always have to have everything figured out, because I have shelves full of sages to guide me.
Recently I played this open book game with Where to Begin by Cleo Wade, and was struck by this:
Without reading the previous two pages, I knew she must have been referring to Harriet Tubman, who bravely freed hundreds of slaves between 1849 and 1859. Like most of us, I remembered learning about Tubman’s remarkable story in school and celebrating her over the years since. But I’d never thought about the generational effects of her bravery until I read these words…and it got me thinking about the impact we all could potentially have on the lives, and legacies, of others.
What if the flavor and design of the wedding cake you create for your clients becomes a tradition they pass down for generations, along with the story of how you married all of the seemingly conflicting elements the bride and groom each told you they wanted into one delicious, beautiful cake that their guests talked about for years after?
What if the tax strategy you implement for your client allows them to send their kids to college—and be the first (of many not yet even born) in their family to be able to do so?
What if I teach my client one little sales shift that results in year-over-year doubling or tripling of her income, giving her the self-confidence to know, without a doubt, that she will be okay and secure, no matter what happens in the economy or in her personal life?
Our work is so much more impactful than we give ourselves credit for—probably because we’re just not thinking about the generational effects our efforts can have. But when you do start thinking about yourself, your business, and your customers and clients in terms of legacy, your idea of what’s possible expands exponentially.
One of my favorite “books” is Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Day Planner, and when I opened it this week to begin planning for March, I saw that the 10th is Harriet Tubman Day…which, admittedly, I wasn’t aware was a thing. The same day, I received a text from Danielle LaPorte’s team announcing that they were retiring the Day Planners…which was a HUGE bummer because I’ve been buying them as a Christmas gift for myself for almost 10 years! To say they’ve had a big impact on my life is an understatement.
That door was closing for her, but I couldn’t help wondering…was it creating an opening for me? Or, at the very least, opening my mind to the possibility of doing something I hadn’t expected and have no idea how to do?
Is it part of my legacy to create this type of book that could complement what I teach, add more value, and touch even more lives? I don’t yet know. I’ve already passed down my love of planning to my daughter…could this be an opportunity to show her how to step up when she feels inspired to try something new, knowing that she doesn’t have to have it all figured out to explore what’s possible? And if she is so empowered, what will that do for all the lives she’ll touch through her work, and for my future grandchildren?
Our work is powerful. I feel so much inspiring energy in the air lately—remarkably different than a year ago, or even at the beginning of this year. Pay attention to the doors that are closing around you, and what opportunities may be opening for you to deepen your impact on customers’ and clients’ legacies…as well as your own.