You Need A Legacy Roadmap (How Else Will You Get To Your Desired Destination?)

Legacy Roadmap
I believe you and I are meant to leave a legacy. There has to be some kind of metaphorical archaeological discovery where evidence of us will be found. It’s not about birthing the next generation nor about creating massive physical landmarks. Instead, I see a legacy as the message that you were meant to share with others that somehow lasts beyond your lifetime.
Your legacy is your message.
Imagine working for 40-years. Commuting on a commuter rail comprised of office employees for 52-weeks give or take. Feeling a subtle sense of Sunday anxiety leading up to every workweek during those 40-years. Then retirement comes. You feel like you’ve spent years working on an organization’s legacy yet barely any time thinking about your own.
What if at the end of your working years you never asked yourself the important questions that could have clarified and helped you give shape your individual legacy? Here’s a question: when was the last time you asked yourself: what is the legacy I am building?
No one wants to end up at the end of his journey empty-handed. You’ve poured hours and time into building someone else’s dreams. You’ve helped companies make enough money to have a couple of statues in key parks but when it’s all won’t you too want something to show for yourself. So really, what is your legacy? What are you currently working on? I hear this referred to as purpose however I see purpose as being useful when you are alive. I’m more interested in the: what is all of this leading up to bit. What’s the end goal? What dreams would you want to have fulfilled? What goals must you push through to leave behind that thing for which you desperately seek to be remembered for?
So where is all of this coming from? I am pivoting from helping marketers pitch themselves into corporate jobs to emboldening people to proactively plan out and add structure to how they intend to leave their legacy. Why? Well, it’s what I perceive to be my legacy. My legacy involves others. I want to help you see, treat, love, and belief in yourself so much that you would never see your wants and needs as unimportant nor superfluous. You matter. Your career has mattered. I’ve helped my clients in that space for decades. Now, I want to be sure that you understand how deeply YOU matter. Isn’t that what we all want? To know our lives contributed to something meaningful and worthwhile?
My toolkit comprises of a few tools. My personal Swiss Army knife is my curiosity. We are asked so many questions every day yet how many times are you asked the most important questions that have YOUR future in mind? How many questions have helped you connect your life’s dots? As you think about just the questions you were asked today which ones made you feel powerful vs. powerless?
The second tool I bring to the table is courage. It takes courage to ask deep questions. You risk a relationship when you ask hard questions. However, if your intention is clean then I believe that asking deep questions is essential and can deepen the closest relationship we all need which is our relationship to ourselves. Lastly, being creative has helped me see in others their expansive potential. In a world where being literal is seen as factual, I rather be creative and open to more possibilities by connecting more dots than ever imagined realistic or practical.
It’s through this trifecta of superpowers that I want to help you define your everyday activities based on the eventual legacy that you wish to leave. Your legacy shouldn’t be left to chance. Your message shouldn’t be buried in a pile on your desk filled with other people’s demands. Your worth isn’t simply a calculation of your employer’s KPIs. Your legacy-building process is also NOT something you should wait until you are retired to tackle or think through. And this is NOT something that we can unload onto our children. They too will have their own ambitions and meddling in this way is a cycle that has hurt more of us than helped.
Instead, this is what I offer: imagine if you had a legacy so clearly planned out that you knew what you needed to do this morning so that you could be certain that your time was well spent and purposely spent?
What if you knew that this week while you were working 40-hours to push through a January campaign for your employer that you would also be investing time into your own legacy-building efforts. You may even smirk at the virtual office knowing that you had your back too!
How cool would it be to have a plan as detailed and vetted as your company’s five-year plan showing you the milestones you need to accomplish in 2021, 5-years plus, and 10-years from today to accomplish your goals?
The goals that would eventually give breathe to your dreams. The dreams you’d want to be remembered for as part of your legacy. All of this is possible however average working professionals are not prioritizing themselves in this way. I get it. You are being dragged by others looking to build their dreams. However, who is fighting for your goals? dreams? legacy? Meanwhile, I’ve seen a lot of energy come January 1st. However, without an accountability partner, I see that effort dwindle come March 1st. Personally, I know a thing or two about sprinting. Your legacy is not a sprint to the finish line. It’s about endurance and being held accountable is key. Finally, imagine having a step-by-step literal let’s connect the dots system to build your legacy by way of plotting your goals and achieving your dreams en route to your clearly defined legacy? What if what was in your head were on paper? What if you could see where you were going and never lose sight of your ideal future? For that, you need a system.
So what’s next from here. Here’s is the most important message that is on my heart looking to enter your heart. I surmise you’re asking yourself this: Who has time to talk legacy? In your 40s, you may have heard more rejections and amassed your share of disappointments. However, what I think is at play is a shift. A shift from seeing more time in front of you than there is behind you to the opposite. We now see less time in front of us. Then of course 2020 definitely has slapped us all into rethinking what matters and how urgently we need to tackle those important things.
So while you may feel as if there’s little time and room to think about your legacy. I am here to say that now is exactly when you must ask yourself the important questions to uncover exactly what you want to leave as your legacy. Why? You matter. Your goals matter. Your dreams are relying on you to give them breath. And I believe that it is through your legacy that you will feel on purpose. We are all seeking meaning and in my opinion, meaning is seeking us too. Let me be your guide so that you can both find one another at a clearly mapped meeting point in 2021. Schedule time with me to discuss your goals, dreams, and desired legacy roadmap.
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Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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