When I was figuring out my life post-startup failure, my business mentor, Damon D’Amore, challenged me to answer some difficult questions.
He is an expert in advising powerful female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and guiding them to establish their legacy. One of the most impactful questions I remember answering was, “What do you want to be known for? When you are old and dying, what do you wish people would say about you?”
This question was a huge guiding principle for me in figuring out my next move as a female executive. I was debating if I wanted to pivot into non-profit. Every time I passed by a homeless person my heart would break and I knew that I needed to contribute significantly to the homeless in my lifetime.
But when I’m old and dying, are people going to say I transformed welfare and how we take care of our people in need? The reality is, in my core, that is not my legacy. It is an impact I want to make, but not what I’m known for in my lifetime.
Why was I thinking about my legacy? I was only 32 years old!
Well, this was a pivotal time in my career. I’ve had a successful run in leadership positions – I led an analytics department of 18 staff members, I launched my own company, I was on national broadcast television listed as the Founder and CEO.
I also drained my life savings in the business and needed to rebuild. This moment was the beginning of phase two of three or four phases I anticipated throughout my life. I didn’t want to wait until I was 50 years old to get started working on my legacy. A legacy doesn’t happen overnight.
I thought about this question long and hard and I realized:
I want to contribute to women breaking the glass ceiling.
I want to be known as someone who had an impact on gender equality in the workplace.
I want to show the world that women are as strong in executive positions as men!
That was a breakthrough for me. I needed to focus my future moves leading women to the top of their industries.
Of course, I also needed to have an income to live. So here I am, re-entering the workforce and simultaneously starting this executive blog.
I want to share my experiences as a female leader and as an entrepreneur. I want women to feel inspired that they can close the gender gap too! I want to have a tangible impact on the world.
This is my legacy.