The concept of a legacy is different for different people. Many people think of their legacy in a financial sense. How much money will I be able to leave to my children? What could I contribute to a charity I believe in? I believe it’s so much more than that. Your legacy is your life’s work combined with the values that guided your decisions along the way.
Cultivating a legacy to pass down to my seven children is my top priority in life. I have worked hard to provide for them, teach them my values, and give them the tools they need for a bright future. I’m going to share with you what I believe it takes to cultivate a lasting family legacy.
Your Family History. The history of your family name is important. It’s a testament to where you came from, who created you, and the experiences had by the endless generations before you.
I’ve found so much value in researching and understanding my family history. I distilled what I’ve found into my book The Wolves and the Mandolin. This book is a documentation of my family and their journey, as well as my journey through life.
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I think it’s important to pass down your heritage and life story to the next generations so they may carry it with them. Through understanding your history, you can make your life and the lives of your children richer and more meaningful.
Build Your Family Legacy: Whenever you think of a moment, conversation, or memory related to a member of the family (living or gone), just write it down. Share these with your family during mandolin moments.
Your Family Values. I owe so much of who I am to my parents and to the values they instilled in me, both through what they said and, more importantly, what they did. I believe that the lessons you teach your children and the way you live is a large part of the legacy you leave.
Your children learn from your actions. It’s important to decide your values and make an effort to carry them out in everything you do. You can tell your children that your family’s values are integrity, loyalty, and kindness. But, if you navigate your personal and professional life in a way that doesn’t reflect that, your words will be forgotten. You’ll be remembered by your actions.
Your values can affect the future of your financial legacy as well. Many people worry about how their children will spend their inheritance. By instilling your financial values in your kids from a young age, they are more likely to spend the money left for them in a responsible way.
Build Your Family Legacy: Sit down with your spouse and write down your top five family values. Make copies of this list for your children. Make extra copies to put them where you will see them often﹘ on the refrigerator, in your car, and at the office.
Mandolin Moments. These are the moments that you sit back with those you love and enjoy what life has to offer. Whether it is regular family vacations, family dinners, or learning something with your children, mandolin moments give your family priceless memories to carry with them.
The memories and stories that are passed down are a big part of your legacy. They are a combination of your family’s history and values. In these moments, relish life. Show your children how to reap the rewards of hard work.
Build Your Family Legacy: It’s important in these mandolin moment to be 100% present. Whatever you are doing with your friends or family, give the activity your full attention. Silence and put away your devices, and simply enjoy time with your loved ones.
Brandon Vallorani is a practiced entrepreneur and accomplished CEO, author of The Wolves and the Mandolin (ForbesBooks; 2017), and third generation Italian-American.
Founder of a media conglomerate recognized on the Inc. 5000 for five consecutive years, Brandon sold to a colleague in the business, and has more recently shifted focus to his other entrepreneurial endeavors.
Vallorani graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, and began his career in the non-profit sector. He quickly rose through the ranks to become Executive Vice President in a few short years, simultaneously earning his Master of Business Administration from Thomas More College.
He lives in Metro-Atlanta, with his wife with whom he shares seven children, a son-in-law, and a grandson. In his free time, Brandon enjoys playing in casinos around the country, his three dogs, and learning Italian.