Developmental psychologist Erik Erikson wrote, “I am what survives of me.”
For the last three years, I’ve casually talked about my work with family businesses as my passion project, the stuff that excites me most. Then last Sunday my father-in-law went to the emergency room and spent the week in ICU, passing earlier this week. As a retired pastor, there have been literally hundreds of people sharing about what a great man he was and how he had touched so many lives, leaving a legacy of spiritual love.
This series of events has caused me to think seriously about the possibility that this passion project of mine could be my significant life’s work allowing me to touch peoples’ lives by helping them grow their family businesses and sustain their family legacies.
Success Magazine writer Chelsea Greenwood suggests, “Legacies don’t happen overnight – and they don’t happen by accident. They’re deliberately crafted over years of hard work and dedication.” She goes on to recommend that readers understand, choose, focus and live our legacies.
Perhaps the strategy is to do what you love and do it every day. Then the cumulative result of those activities grows into a body of work that becomes something significant. I clearly understand this daily commitment now as I see what my father-in-law did for sixty-plus years of his life, loving and caring and supporting others every single day, and how powerful his legacy is now that he’s gone.
So that’s my plan. To do a little something every day to study and support family businesses in hopes it becomes what survives of me. And because none of us knows how much time we have on this earth to make our marks, I’m starting now.
– Jane Olvera Quebe, President