Nobody decides which family they are born into, but it turns out, that as we do grow, we are likely to start considering what we will invariably leave behind for the generations that come after us. These generations may be blood-relatives, or a wider denotation of what family means to us. To some, it could be individuals they have directly god-fathered or god-mothered, and to others, it could stretch as far as the society that may or may not be impacted by the decisions we have taken in our lifetime. Whether it is leaving behind a better planet for far-removed communities of the future, or setting up structures that will directly benefit descendants within our nuclear families, we all do, at some point in our lives, contend with the notion of 'legacy.'
I was born into a family business: my father set up a private clinic with a small out-patient department in Accra-Ghana, which gradually grew into a secondary-level medical practice, complete with in-patient care, state-of-the art diagnostics, ambulatory services and others. Each member of my nuclear family has directly worked in the family business in various capacities, and fifty years on, the picture has undoubtedly changed. I stepped out of working full-time in the family business and now remain as an active shareholder, but what can I say: you can take the girl out of the business, but you can't take the business out of the girl. The principles and standards my father stood by in his personal and professional life have stuck with me, and even though he passed away twenty years ago, the very essence of himself which, I believe, is largely typified by his dream project and business, somehow carried itself through within my DNA.
Although I have gone on to other pursuits, my desire to see my father's legacy be sustained has never waned. Whether I like it or not, my life is ever so intertwined with the happenings and goings-on of the family business and no matter how far I move away from it, there will always be people who associate me with it. By caring, at the least, I believe I honor my father's memory, and this is important to me because I loved the man. In building my own legacy, there are footprints, not only of my father, but people who have inspired me along the way: inspired me to dream, and ultimately to achieve. In life, not only may we end up inadvertently building upon the legacy of others, directly or indirectly, but we may carve out new paths that our successors will tread upon. The journey is not easy, either way, but I believe that there is something deep inside of all of us to connect and leave a mark on this earth that others will be touched by. My journey in early 2018 to become a Certified Practitioner in the Business Model You® methodology has helped me, personally, to flesh out the various ways I can chart my course in life and leave my legacy: I want to pay this forward. As Shakespeare puts it:
'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.'
What part will you play in life's story?