Family legacy isn't built overnight. It's built by intention with deliberate steps to ensure success. I wanted to share five ways to begin focusing on family success and legacy.
By definition, what is legacy?
Definition #1: a thing handed down by a predecessor
Definition #2: an amount of money or property left to someone in a will
So in a nutshell it's things by definition. However, my extended definition is that legacy is leaving a lifestyle. It's not just a materialistic one. It's something that focuses on physical, spiritual, and life values. Everyone has a legacy and will leave one behind. How do we ensure that it's successful?
Set Family Goals: Here are some questions to consider when it comes to leaving a legacy
What do we value as a family?
What are our goals for this year as a family?
How will we reach those goals?
What do we need to improve on as a family?
How can our communication with one another improve?
- Establish Family Meetings: Family meetings are essential to family growth. When you look at successful families, they don't move as individuals. They move as one unit. My father and mother helped us to begin flowing as one unit when we had our very first family meeting when we were in our early pre-teens. A family meeting isn't just getting around the dinner table and talking about their day. Remember that legacy is based in intention. Click here to read an article I wrote here talking further about family meetings.
- Have open conversations about money and everyone's current financial status: Having great credit is amazing but a high net worth is the next step. How do you increase your net worth? Ownership. No one should be left in the dark when it comes to the financial health of a family. Financial literacy is key to a healthy financial legacy. No one should be negligent of financial growth principles. When I was very young my brother and I had our own financial investment accounts and we had stock purchased in our name. We both had 529 college saving plans established well before we even thought about college. Education is the key to family legacy. The more you know, the more you will grow. If you have younger children, you can start them out with the basics of savings and how to invest their money. I'll be doing some videos soon on how to teach your children the basics of telling their money where to go. At this current time for them, they should understand financial stewardship. Teach them what money is and what it's used for. When I was little, I would go to the supermarket with my mother and she would pull money out of her envelopes (she used the envelope saving system) and use it to buy groceries. That was how I learned about the B-Word: "budget". I saw her set aside money for bills and I watched her write out checks. She showed me how she filled out checks and what went on each line.
- Keep everyone connected, no matter how far apart everyone goes: As a family, we stay connected. Our immediate family is now three generations and will in two decades be four generations. No matter what, we stay connected. Through group texts and family meetings (via phone or video calls), we stay connected. We grow as one unit. We remain as one unit. It's easy to start making excuses for why you can't meet, why you can't do meetings, and more. However, excuses don't build legacy. If family means anything to you, make time to meet. If it can't be in person, there is technology.
- Make time for family love and encouragement: As a family the principle of love should be apart of your legacy. This means taking time to embrace one another and lift each other up. As a family, we are a Christian family so we include prayer time, reflection, and discussions so that we aren't just prospering financially but also spiritually. Money means nothing without purpose and values. We aren't doing all that we do for our own selfish gain. We discuss how we can help others, impact our communities, and get involved in ministry efforts. Our family does activities where we openly affirm one another and thank each other for an action that they did. (Example: I want to thank you for running out and picking up milk for the house. That was very sweet of you and I love how you made sure the house was covered.) You would be surprised how far a little "thank you" goes. It will go miles. Many times we are so used to being together that we take each other for granted.
Here are three resources for you to invest in to help grow your family legacy:
(Our Family Favorite) Book - Family Wealth by James E. Hughes Jr.
(For Parents of Young Children) - Boundaries for Kids by Dr.Henry Cloud
(How I first learned about financial stewardship) - Money Matters for Kids by Larry Burkett
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