Three Insights on Building your Legacy

Articles

Date: 05/05/2018

By Jay Stark

JoeAnne and Bob Hardy find satisfaction and purpose in giving back to the community.

My experiences both as a Philanthropic Consultant and a Financial Advisor have provided me with a unique perspective in understanding and appreciating the giving philosophy and drivers of many Saskatchewan families as they seek to contribute to their community and create a lasting legacy.

One of life’s biggest ironies is how we often reflect on our own personal legacy at the end of our life, after it’s been built and there is little we can do to enhance it. That’s when we may realize our best intentions didn’t match our actions, or we didn’t set any goals or direction in the first place.

With that in mind, I had a conversation with entrepreneur and philanthropist JoeAnne Hardy, President of Saskatoon-based WBM Technologies. JoeAnne grew up in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and cites her upbringing and parents’ lifestyle as being key to her belief that we all need a purpose to our lives. Here are three insights I took away:

1. Have a PurPose to your day.

“It may not be a big grand plan that you have about changing the world but if you get up everyday with a purpose then the sum total of all of those days is a meaningful life!” says JoeAnne. Her parents instilled in her a work ethic that is common amongst many people in Saskatchewan. Giving back was just a natural extension of that community mindset. “My entire life I’ve watched them build community by serving and giving. It’s what keeps them young.”

2. Size doesn't matter.

“I believe in the grandness of the accumulation of a bunch of small things too,” says JoeAnne. When it comes to giving, she believes when you can help, you should. This is a wonderful reminder that every act, no matter how big or small, can have a ripple effect.  Receiving kindness can inspire people to pay it forward and this is something JoeAnne is very mindful of. “Anger has a ripple effect too!”

3. giving is a win-win strategy.

“As you do these things, you get satisfaction and joy from doing them together. For us, it’s better than joining a curling league, as it brings us together.” Just as she observed in her parents, giving is also keeping JoeAnne and her husband, Bob, young. They often discuss people they want to help and serve. A real variety of needs, situations and circumstances influence who they help directly and who they support anonymously. They find it very fulfilling and at times feel like they are receiving more benefits than the people they are helping.

From our discussion it is clear that JoeAnne is on track to build a meaningful legacy. Her values are demonstrated through her impact on her community and those she cares about most. As I experienced in our interaction, she clearly cares about people, both those she knows and those she doesn’t. When you spend time with JoeAnne you leave feeling truly energized. That in itself is a legacy we can all aspire to.

 

First published in the May 5, 2018 edition of The Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

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