If You Want to be Happy…
I recently heard an older, wiser man share the following…
“If you want happiness for an hour… take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day…go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year…inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime…help another man succeed.”
One Goal… Men Becoming Legacy Builders
We have one goal as a ministry…men becoming Legacy Builders, that is, men who are connected to God, serving, and leading others to do the same.
One of the strategies we are using to achieve this goal is being “catalysts”, that is, inviting and equipping others to join us in this outreach to men.
Please be in prayer for opportunities to share our ministry with the leadership and men of local churches.
Finally, as we move from launching to growing this ministry, we wanted to share a special communication concerning how we chose the name “Legacy Builders”.
It was actually a fairly thorough process involving research and input from leaders in both business and ministry.
Below is an article titled “Why the name Legacy Builders?” We greatly appreciate your partnership as we are seeing some of the dreams and prayers with this new outreach becoming reality.
Why the name “Legacy Builders”?
In case you have wondered, “Why the name Legacy Builders?”, we wanted to offer this special one-time communication. Several years ago Michelle and I had the privilege of remodeling a house we purchased, a “fixer-upper”. We were presented with what seemed like an overwhelming number of choices for baseboard designs. We had no deep convictions about baseboards, and still don’t. Most of the options seemed fine, but finding reasons for narrowing it down to just one was eluding us.
Finally, we asked ourselves two questions. First, how long did we live in our homes growing up, twenty plus years? Second, could either of us describe the baseboards? The point is we needed baseboards and they indeed mattered, but not as much as we initially thought.
Certainly the name for a new venture matters, but how much and why? Here are a few thoughts that gave us perspective in this process. If you were starting from scratch and had two choices to name a home improvement store, would you choose “Builders Square”, or “Lowe’s”? One of them is much more descriptive and gives you a much better idea of what the store is about just by looking at the name. The only problem is, Builders Square has closed all of its stores while Lowe’s now has 1,754 stores in three different countries, and is growing, being ranked 56th on the Fortune 500 list in 2013.
Similarly, how many people know what the name “Nike” means? I am not talking about shoes. Before Nike existed as a multinational corporation, the name Nike had been in existence for centuries. “Nike” is the name of the Greek goddess of victory. I doubt many people even know this, much less buy their shoes because of an affinity for Greek gods and goddesses. The name “Nike” obviously was not a problem for the company, and their growth and success has had much less to do with the name, and much more to do with providing quality products and services that have added value to people’s lives for over 40 years.
The same could be said for companies such as Reebok, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard, less than descriptive names, yet decades of success. Similarly, in the non-profit world, Susan G. Komen is simply a person’s name. But it is the work that her sister and many others did in her honor to fight breast cancer, that has allowed “Komen” to be listed by Forbes as the 30th largest charity in the U.S. in 2013.
What if an organization had both, a descriptive name along with quality services that added value to people’s lives? Perhaps that is one of the reasons “The Home Depot” leads Lowe’s as the largest home improvement retailer in the U.S. with 2,248 stores in the same three countries, ranking ahead of Lowe’s at 34th on the Fortune 500 list.
In addition to doing our own research on choosing a name we also consulted with other ministry and business leaders. One of the criteria we established is that the name needed to be a “mini vision statement” and say something about what we hope to accomplish or produce. For example, Domino’s Pizza is the largest pizza chain in the world and the name speaks directly to their product, pizza. As good as their recipes surely are, and as great as their equipment must be, it arguably makes more sense to have the name “Domino’s Pizza” versus “Domino’s Great Pizza Recipes” or “Domino’s Great Pizza Ovens”.
For theses reasons, we wanted a name that spoke to our “product” (if you will) and not the process for producing that product. Thus, we considered names such as “The Path to Freedom” or “Next Steps to Freedom” but ultimately did not choose these because they were more about our “process” versus our “product”. “Legacy Builders” speaks directly to what we hope to produce, men who are serving, leading and living their lives in a way that builds a legacy of hope, for them and others.
We also needed the name to be short and conversational, i.e. no longer than one or two words. There is a reason that “Campus Crusade for Christ International”, our former ministry (whom we still love and respect) is now “Cru”. We also needed the name to be conversational and comfortable for our target audience, men, many of whom are in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and older. Given our target audience, adult men, we also wanted something masculine and positive. Thus, “Builders” is both masculine and positive, invoking images of construction and being constructive, versus destructive.
Instead of competing with the pre-established imagery that comes with a name like “Legacy Builders” we decided to work with it. Are we a home builder? Yes, in a different way. We free men to build their homes from the inside out. Men learn to tear down “walls”, repair and restore damaged relationships, and ultimately lay a foundation of hope that will be their legacy.
Finally, we wrestled a good deal with the word “Legacy”. It was one of the first words if not the first word to get on the table for discussion. It expresses exactly what we want to accomplish in the lives of the men we are reaching. We want men to live authentically, serve and lead others in a way that is building a legacy now that will outlive them and bless others. The challenge was that the word “legacy” is so widely used and associated with many end-of-life issues.
We chose to manage this “end of life” association by focusing on “building” a legacy versus “leaving” a legacy. Rather than “leave” a legacy, something that happens passively at the end of a man’s life, we chose to focus on “building” a legacy, something a man must be active about now.
We also concluded that while the word “legacy” was used in many ways by various companies and organizations, “legacy” in terms of how a man lives his life, is arguably more central if not at the center of the original intent and use of the word. This may help explain why the vast majority of the people we asked to vote on a name still chose “Legacy Builders” as their first choice.
So what’s the point? Are we shooting to make the Fortune 500 list or become big? I have no energy around becoming big, or not becoming big. I find myself much more energized and fulfilled when I simply find a way to impact another person and add value to their life. After 16 years of ministry, I am appreciating more and more the privilege I have had to be part of something that was literally life changing for someone else. When I look back I remember the “at-risk” kids I worked with who are now police officers (on the right side of the law), married with their own children, helping serve others, even in ministry. I can think of few things more fulfilling than this, helping another person succeed.
Similarly, working with adult men for several years has allowed me to hear men share how a speaker’s story was “healing” for them, or how a weekend event was life-changing, giving them the freedom to share things they never shared before … and being accepted and actually more respected in the process.
So in conclusion, does the name make the organization or does the organization make the name? Both, but the latter much more than the former. That is, a good name is a great start, but only a great organization can build a great name. This is our heart moving forward as we launch “Legacy Builders”.