Often I hear entrepreneurs talk about leaving a legacy through companies they’ve built, community philanthropy and time with their families. I’ve struggled to deeply understand this because it seems fraught with an egotistical desire to be remembered forever. News flash, time moves on legacies are lost forever.
History is riddled with those who’ve made an impact in human history, and their stories remain trapped within the pages of books, lost to time. In our modern age, I think of the entrepreneurial icon Steve Jobs. He always wanted to “make a dent in the universe,” and he did. Yet, I wonder for how long will his name live on? How long will the stories of Steve’s success and impact resonate with listeners? I suspect in a few lifetimes his name won’t carry the same meaning.
Perhaps rather than chasing legacy, we might aim to exceed our capabilities, to grow and stretch our own evolution. Within so many entrepreneurs I meet, I find this inner fire to prove they are more capable than their current manifestations. The best entrepreneurs are driving forward with growing, learning and tackling more than what seems humanly possible. I’d argue this offers more fulfillment than creating a legacy, for in the effort to exceed our own potential we teach the World to strive for more. We ask the human race to witness our growth and take up their own torch, thus moving the human race forward. That’s a lesson that can get passed down perpetually from generation to generation.