I’m not suggesting you’ll be going the way of the Dodo any time soon.
But I stumbled on a simple, powerful exercise that’s a major check in to tell you how aligned you are in your life and business.
A eulogy is how people remember us, it’s how we live on in the minds and hearts of others.
Writing your own eulogy allows you to reverse engineer your life by getting clear on what you want to be remembered for.
It’s like a loving slap in the face to get your shit tight and start doing what is really important.
As an entrepreneur you reverse engineer your business all the time. I need to make an extra 3k per month so what do I have to do to make that happen?
Turns out, we spend a lot of time on things that will never show up in our eulogy. Go figure.
I came across the eulogy writing exercise in Barbara Stanny’s book Sacred Success. I liked the concept, but never got round to doing the work.
A month later I was coaching a high end Mastermind for women in business. We were implementing coursework that would take them from 6 figure to 7 figure business.
I was feeling a bit nervous because I wasn’t sitting on a 7 figure business of my own. Here were all these really incredible women deep in the struggle of creating big companies, chasing investor funding and setting up advisory councils and I began to doubt whether my own business aspirations were enough.
At one point everyone did the eulogy writing exercise. I was massively impacted when one of the women shared the results of her experience.
Her eulogy spoke of highly enviable and powerful things, including changing what had been hard for her growing up by helping other women in business succeed, and leaving a legacy that would positively impact the lives of millions of children with the first company she founded. It was impressive!
My personal revelation came when she spoke about how she wanted her kids to remember her.
She wanted her kids to love her and know that she’d set them up for success in life by setting the example of working hard and doing what she loved. She wanted to demonstrate what it was to work hard at what she loved and give them that same passion. She did not plan on showing her love by attending school bake sales and she was quite clear about that.
This had a stunning effect on me. So I sat down and did the exercise.
What I discovered was the thing I want most, is for my daughter to remember how we spend our days together. I want her to recall the fun adventures we go on together from hitting the skatepark, to hiking mountains to exploring the world. I want her to fall in love with nature, freedom and adventure.
Doing this exercise allowed me to align with the fact that I was not the mother who had a million dollar vision for her company, but rather a vision that set priorities around lifestyle and time spent with family.
Do I teach my daughter the value of trying your best every day? Yup! Do I encourage her to go after things she loves? You bet! But family and a healthy lifestyle will always come before business.
This was revolutionary in helping me set my priorities, not just the overarching goals for my business, but how I spend every day. If you know me or have read any of my blogs then you’re familiar with the fact that my self care involves getting outside nearly every day. Bonus points for getting up a mountain and back down.
I needed to create a business that allows me to earn well, while pursuing a lifestyle that is the core foundation of who I am. I needed to reexamine how I was spending my days at work and how I could change that to reflect the life I really wanted to be living.
Endless days in meetings and in front of the computer for the sake of building a successful company is so not my priority.
Being in service, inspiring others and creating impact was part of my eulogy. This is where I excel and find the most joy in the work I do. I needed to take myself off the dollars for hours model and create offerings and experiences with high value for the people I serve, while giving me time-freedom to tend to my quality of life. So I developed a series of Mastermind programs for Heart Centred Entrepreneurs,and another specifically targeted towards Mompreneurs that bring together a community of like minded people and support them in accomplishing goals in their life and business.
A few things pop out that the eulogy didn’t say. It didn’t say I became the wealthiest woman in Canada, it didn’t say I was famous, it didn’t say I built a large company with hundreds of employees.
So now when I make my todo list for the day, I give equal priority to my lifestyle as I do my work. I can’t show up for my clients and my work and be fully present, if I don’t care for myself and my family. That is a clear priority.
Does it help bottom lines? In some ways yes, but in some ways no. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever stand on top of a 7 figure empire, but I’m totally ok with that.
It’s a matter of prioritization: “Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it.” H. L. Hunt
Writing your eulogy is an exercise that helps shape your decisions consciously and unconsciously. You can get laser clear about how you’re spending your time and if it’s really aligned with what is most important to you.
Writing your eulogy doesn’t need to be long winded and wordy (like this blog!) Try writing one or two paragraphs on how you want to be remembered. It’s powerful.
Not a big writer? Use bullet points.
Then compare it to how you’re spending your time to create a better more meaningful list of priorities for your day, business and life.
And then let me know what you found out!