These past couple of years have been some of the hardest of my life. I lost my two grandfathers who were some of the greatest influences in my life; I experienced the sad and tragic loss of my little brother; I’ve been impacted by the loss of three beloved clients; and I lost a close business-mentor of mine. Because my world will never be the same without them, I have spent a great deal of time contemplating what it means to leave a legacy. How do you want to be remembered after you’re gone?
This life is so short, y'all! By the time we graduate college, we only have about 23,000 days to make the most of it. We make choices each day about how we’re going to spend our time, our energy, which people we are going to build meaningful relationships with, which situations are worth losing sleep over, where we will live - all while trying to do our very best to be good people and avoid repeating our past mistakes. But do we spend any time thinking about how our legacy can live on without us? Do we consider that the people around us will continue to “need” us after we’re gone?
At some point in my life, I’ve had a relationship with many of you who are reading this now. I made it a point to scroll through my Facebook friends list and ask the question for each and every one of you, “What would I remember about this person after they’re gone and in what ways would I miss them?” Yes, that sounds incredibly morbid. But what I learned through this exercise is that there wasn’t a single person I wouldn’t miss. Seriously. There wasn’t a single name that jumped out at me as not having a talent, a purpose, a life that hasn’t impacted mine in some way. And so I’ll leave you with this - we need you. This world needs what you have to offer. So go about your life today knowing you have an opportunity to leave a lasting impact and your impact can be huge.
Valerie Leonard is a Registered Representative and Investment Adviser Representative with/and offers securities and advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered through Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial or CES Insurance Agency. This communication is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified tax advisor or attorney. Forbes Best-in-State Next-Gen Wealth Advisor: The 2019 ranking of the Forbes’ Best-in-State Next-Gen Wealth Advisors recognizes advisors born in 1980 or later with a minimum of four years of experience. Advisors were rated based on a proprietary algorithm of qualitative and quantitative criteria: assets under management, revenues generated for their firms, client retention, industry experience, credentials, and compliance records. SHOOK Research also employs an opinion-based weighting system that prioritizes its preferred “best practices,” which include business models, activities, processes, and structure. Overall, 6,389 advisors were considered, and 1,495 (23 percent of candidates) were recognized. Click here for the full methodology that Forbes developed in partnership with SHOOK Research. 1This recognition and the due-diligence process conducted are not indicative of the advisor’s future performance. Your experience may vary. You are encouraged to conduct your own research to determine if the advisor is right for you. Portfolio performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. SHOOK does not receive a fee in exchange for rankings.Birmingham Business Journal’s Women to Watch: The Birmingham Business Journal’s 2019 Women to Watch award honorees were nominated and chosen based on their career accomplishments, their potential for future leadership and contributions to their organization and the overall economy and other factors. This award is not specific to financial services and does not imply an endorsement, recommendation, or otherwise reflect the performance of the advisor or any account. 2015 InvestmentNews 40 Under 40: Nominations were solicited from InvestmentNews readers and financial planning industry professionals. Nominees must be 39 or younger and are judged, by the editors of InvestmentNews, on their accomplishments, industry contributions, leadership, and promise (passion, enthusiasm, and ideas). 1,200 advisors were considered. 3.33% of candidates were named to the list. Individuals were selected solely based on the opinions of InvestmentNews' editors and are not indicative of the advisor's future performance. Your experience may vary. For more information, please visit: www.investmentnews.com/section/40-under-40.NAPA Top Women Advisors list: Nominations were made by NAPA Broker-Dealer and RIA partners. Honorees were selected by a panel of judges based on criteria such as, a candidate's percent revenues derived from retirement plans, total plan assets under management/advisement, years of experience working with workplace retirement plans, regulatory compliance record, and credentials. Votes were utilized to break ties, if applicable. List makers were honored in three separate categories: All-Stars, Captains, and Rising Stars. In 2015, 227 advisors were considered 146 were named to the list. List makers were honored in four categories: Captains (30 advisors), All-stars (25), Rising Stars (16), and MVPs (75). As defined by NAPA. All-Stars: Top producers who have their own practices. Captains: All-Stars who happen to be principals, owners, or team captains of their organizations. Rising Stars: Top producers who have less than five years' experience with retirement plans as a financial advisor. MVPs: Outstanding players who are part of a team. The MVP category was removed in 2016. The nominated advisor need not be a NAPA member. This award is not indicative of the wealth manager's future performance. Your experience may vary. For more information, please visit: www.napa-net.org. 2016 UAB Excellence in Business Top 25: The Top 25 award program is designed to identify, recognize, and celebrate the success of alumni business leaders. Each company must have been founded, owned, or managed (most senior leadership team or regional/division leadership team) by a UAB alumnus/alumna. Nominees were asked to complete a confidential survey and were independently verified by Warren Averett. This list recognizes young professionals in Birmingham based on their contributions and impact to their business and role in the community. This recognition isn't specific to financial services and does not imply an endorsement, recommendation, or otherwise reflect the performance of the advisor or any of their accounts. For more information, visit https://www.uab.edu/business/home/inthenews/1257-2016-uab-excellence-in-business-top-25. Birmingham Business Journal's (BBJ) Top 40 Under 40: This list recognizes young professionals in Birmingham and is based solely on the opinions of the editors of the magazine. They considered the candidates contributions to their company, impact to the business world, and their role in the community. This award is not specific to financial services and does not imply an endorsement, recommendation, or otherwise reflect the performance of the advisor or any accounts.