It’s human nature to wonder where we come from: the people, places and events that shape us. That’s the reason many families or organizations pass on stories about the challenges and triumphs faced by their ancestors or predecessors. These narratives can be the most significant legacy a parent or business leader passes down to the next generation.
Our research shows that those who choose to preserve these legacies attribute their decision to a mixture of five key motivations:
Crafting a narrative that honors your family legacy or the history of your business demands a lot of time, energy, and organization. To start with, you will need to articulate your goals for the project, draft a list of the questions you will ask the people you need to interview, schedule times to talk with each person, transcribe those conversations, and collect and catalog documents. Above all, you’ll need to organize all that research and sit down and write.
Life and all its responsibilities can get in the way of all these tasks. An acquaintance of ours began interviewing aging family members and sorting through mounds of photos, documents, and letters. It was slow going, and she felt overwhelmed by all the information Throwing up her hands, she decided to put the project on hold, for “When I have more time.”
“It isn’t unusual for high net worth clients to want to leave their children and grandchildren something more lasting. One way they do this is with a Letter of Wishes, as part of estate planning. In addition to a will they can offer some final words and stories for their heirs. Often these are narratives that emphasize family unity and how character, discipline, and values make them who they are. The assets they leave behind are secondary.”
“Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.”
“To hear her words…this is worth more than anything. This is priceless.” Speaking to Henry Louis Gates in Finding Your Roots, he was visibly moved by a rare first-person oral history of life under slavery, in the words of his own great great aunt, a formerly enslaved woman.
Every project we undertake shares some key stages, although we will customize these for each client to ensure we deliver precisely the kind of engaging and memorable narrative you seek.