Jeff Bezos, Gary Vee, and Elon Musk may not seem like they are all on the same level of rich or famous. Maybe there are slight differences but we all want to have businesses that reach some level of rich and famous. That’s why sometimes we become dissatisfied with the slow pace of things and start to wish we could rush through the process and skip to the famous part.
Thinking about how these men have become so influential can keep anyone up at night.
Yet, we hardly consider the role that legacy has played in making many of the world’s most influential businesses. On the one hand, understanding legacy could discourage you or it could inspire you to place more value on what you are building now even if it doesn’t kick off into a global business in your lifetime.
Family is Enough Reason to Build a Sustainable Business
Generally, we all understand that if you want to break generational poverty and failure, hustling, prayer and fasting, working hard, and multiple streams of income are not enough!
Many families will never produce a rich, famous, or influential person in this generation or even the next.
A lot of families had to make sacrifices, some had ill-gotten wealth laundered across generations that you can’t even recognize the crimes anymore.
Whether by hook or crook, one thing you owe your children is legacy. Whatever choices you can make today to give them the confidence to take risks you couldn’t take, please make them.
Some time back, I started following Gary Vee closely on LinkedIn. If you are in digital marketing as a writer or business owner, you may have come across his work. He effortlessly creates content, is always on the go, while maintaining his easy-going demeanour and sharing the most practical lessons about building a business.
How Legacy Grows Into Fame and Riches
Now, when you look at Gary, all you might see is a rich, easygoing, smart guy who has a lot of time to create content to motivate people. He’s more known for his work as a digital marketer than for the family business that gave him a great launch pad. What you won’t see is that Gary Vee’s family already owned a wine business which he helped to expand.
Granted that he co-founded the restaurant-reservation app, Resy, which was acquired by American Express in 2019. He is also a co-founder of winery Empathy Wines, which was acquired by Constellation Brands in 2020. He even recently started delving into NFTs a lot with his VeeFriends series and you might get a glimpse of how having legacy money can allow you the freedom to explore new horizons.
After graduating from college in 1998, Vaynerchuk took charge of his father’s liquor store, Shopper’s Discount Liquors. He renamed the store Wine Library, launched sales online, and in 2006 started Wine Library TV, a daily webcast on YouTube covering wine. He grew the business from $3 million a year to $60 million a year. In August 2011, Vaynerchuk stepped away from the wine business to build VaynerMedia, a digital ad agency.
Another popular name who had a legacy on his side is Jeff Bezos. We all know that he started Amazon in a garage. What we do not know is that he received approx. $300,000 from his parents. Prior to using the garage, he had tried to set up his company at an Indian reservation near San Francisco in order to avoid paying taxes. Bezos also had a grandpa who owned a huge ranch which Bezos reportedly helped to expand through his investment and business management skills.
A third legacy is Elon Musk. He is probably one of the richest Twitter influencers. He is often criticized as one of the most outspoken CEOs. He spends a lot of his time tweeting and sharing the most controversial thoughts. And of cause, we have seen how powerful he is in the recent Twitter acquisition deal, and other times he had impacted crypto markets or international politics.
Here’s the thing, Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa but he gained Canadian Citizenship through his mum. That’s another way heritage can help. His mother is Maye Musk, a model and dietitian born in Saskatchewan, Canada, but raised in South Africa. His father is Errol Musk, a South African electromechanical engineer, pilot, sailor, consultant, and property developer who was a half-owner of a Zambian emerald mine near Lake Tanganyika.
Grow Steadily and Build a Brand into Your Legacy
When we talk about the need for people to hustle and make it in life, a lot of motivational speakers default to citing these folks as examples.
Understandably, there might be other legacy kids out there who didn’t maximize the opportunity that comes with their heritage but listen, legacy matters.
Even our own Tony Elumelu from Nigeria has started to mentor his daughter to take over his empire. The famous Otedola, father to DJ Cuppy already came from wealth and the legacy of a father who was former Lagos State governor.
If you have not come from wealth and you are staying out of debt, putting some savings aside, planning your future and managing to own a few assets, I think you are doing admirably well.
A lot of those inspiring us today, have come from old money and even found ways to own huge chunks of the current global economy which will most certainly pass down to their family and relatives.
We all need to understand the importance of compounded wealth. The phenomenon where children try to make it in life, saddled with the weight of black tax, barely making their rent, and raising several siblings needs to be prevented by all means. If you cannot be great in your own generation, at least lay the foundation for some or all of your children to be wealthy in their own lifetime.
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