When we think about legacies, what’s the first thing that springs to mind? Many people think it means the passing on of something tangible (be it wealth, investments, property, heirlooms, etc.) after one’s death, and this is true. A legacy can be so much more than that. Very few understand that you can actually live your legacy. By definition, legacies tend to have morbid overtones; but to me, a legacy is something that has a positive influence. Whether it’s helping other people achieve their goals, encouraging them to find their purpose in life or imparting your personal pearls of wisdom, I believe that we should be around to see such positive results. Hence, a living legacy.

A living legacy is something you can begin today, right now. But more than your savings, your estate or any material possessions, a living legacy involves communicating your values, beliefs and experiences to your loved ones. It requires you to live a purposeful life and structure your actions in a way that will ensure their positive results continue years into the future, and the memory of your impact continues well beyond your own lifetime.

One of my favourite examples of a well-crafted living legacy is Bill Gates. He is one of the most successful men in business, and he’s also created his own living legacy by building the Gates Foundation, an organisation that, to date, has donated $41 billion in grant payments to support the global fight to stop hunger, poverty and disease among developing countries. Not only has he done amazing things for humanity, he has been able to enjoy the positivity that has come from it.

In my experience, investing in property has been a successful way to create my own living legacy. I invested time and money into myself from an early age, which enabled me to work my way towards being in a position to invest in property and start my own company. From there, my investments generated the funds necessary to provide a deposit for further equities, which I was able to leverage into property. My living legacy is enabling me to live the lifestyle I desire while helping other people achieve their goals.

So, don’t wait until you’re no longer here in order to see your legacy be enjoyed by others. Start creating your living legacy as soon as possible. Think about what is most important to you, what you value most in this world and who you want to help with your life’s work. For some people, their best living legacy would be using their knowledge of business to mentor young entrepreneurs. For others, they might create a living legacy by donating money to charities or volunteering time to help those less fortunate. The creation of your living legacy is entirely up to you. But whichever way you decide to do it, creating a living legacy lets you see the fruits of your labour while you’re still very much alive. What could be better than that?