“The only question with wealth is what you do with it. It can be used for evil purposes or it can be an instrumentality for constructive social living.” John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
John D Rockefeller was an American business tycoon, most famous for the role he played in developing the petroleum industry and founding Standard Oil. If we were to measure his wealth in today’s dollars, Rockefeller still ranks as the richest person in history, and also the first billionaire. The establishment of the Rockefeller Foundation was to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world.
When we make reference to or think of the wealthiest people in the world, I mean the wealthiest of the wealthy, you know those household names – those people that we all call on when we are describing our aspirations or goals of living our best lives, who comes to mind? Perhaps The Rockefeller family, The Walton family, The Du Pont family, The Hearst family, The Goldman family, The Gallo family, or The S.C. Johnson family, and I would say the list goes on and on – but it doesn’t.
A few years ago there was a list published with the top 25 wealthy families in America, and can you believe they had the audacity to cut the list off at a net worth of $10.7 billion!
Wayment, you mean to tell me that Bey and Jay didn’t make the cut?
Absolutely not. While their net worth is at a not so shabby $1.255 billion, the Carters’ are just getting started with their strategy for amassing wealth (I just heard the voice of Robin Leach from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous when I wrote “not so shabby” – smh, I digress). The identification of what they desire their family legacy to represent will determine their ability to climb up the ranks and maintain the opportunity to fraternize with those billion dollar families.
More important than elite buying power, is the story your family name upholds. The names on the list tell the narrative of an individual that had the courage to do something so extraordinarily different for their time, and leveraged opportunities that were granted to them over generations. Their wealth was built from every aspect of this five-part Money Issues series: diversification, leverage, patience, discipline, education, delayed gratification and especially entrepreneurship. The combination of principle and strategy is the key ingredient to building, maintaining, preserving, and transferring wealth.
However, when it comes to establishing a legacy, one comes to a fork in the road. The choice must be made between an individual legacy and a familial legacy. I would argue (and agree with Aristotle) that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And in order to establish a familial legacy, we must consider what we want to be spoken of our name by the generation of our grandchildren’s children.
Keepers, have you ever taken the time to envision what will be representative three or four notches down on your family tree? I don’t believe I will come across anyone that, even in a split moment, when stretching their imagination a century down the road does not desire to see a life of abundant wealth and prosperity. Personally, when I have done this I catch myself smiling; full of immense hope and desire. But, hope and desire is just the gateway to achieving this. I remember doing projects in elementary school where we were instructed to create a family coat of arms. As a sense of pride, the coat of arms was representative of what your family stood for, fought for and achieved; and was passed down from generation to generation.
Perhaps you desire for your family legacy to be built from the foundation of social justice, or advocating for educational equality, or philanthropy endeavors, or even entertainment. Whatever it may be, make the choice today in order to begin to cultivate tomorrow’s story.
What’s your vision for your family legacy and net-net-net worth (in my City Girls voice)?
Sorry, I could not have ended this series without some sort of reference to the #InMyFeelingsChallenge
Photo Source: Pexels