The 51/49 Rule And Leaving Your Legacy

What do you want to be remembered for?  

It’s a deep, but worthwhile question to answer.

This is a question I recently heard posed to Gary Vaynerchuk.  

Most people would stutter or collect themselves with such a philosophical question.  Not Gary.

He blurted out “51/49.”

51/49 means that in every relationship (business or personal), he wants to give at least 51% of the value.  Why? He wants to have an impact, leave a legacy. Not to mention that there is serious ROI from putting others first.

He doesn’t just say this, he lives it.  He has made a career on giving away his best secrets for free, constantly putting out quality content and responding to fans on email and social media one by one.  

He spends ungodly hours scaling the unscalable because of the 51/49 principle.  That’s dedication.

“Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers.” – Jim Rohn

Gary’s point makes a lot of sense.  How much better would your life be if you decided to go all-in on the value you provide?  I picture myself with closer relationships, making more money and being genuinely more fulfilled.

This seems good in theory but to go out of your way to add value in every situation is a LOT of work.  

Here are a few ways you can do it:

Write a handwritten note – When is the last time you wrote a thank you letter to a customer or someone who has personally helped you?

Put the phone down – There’s no need to be on Instagram while you’re in line getting a sandwich.  Look up and talk to the cashier like a normal person.  If you’re meeting with someone or eating a meal with them, put the phone away.  Give them your undivided attention.

Create content – Find something you love to do or that you’re good at and share that passion with the world.  It’s intimidating at first, but people WANT to hear from their peers.

Follow-up – People say it in sales all the time: Under-promise, over-deliver.  But how often do we really follow-up sooner than we say we will or provide more detail than the bare minimums?  

Make connections – People love a matchmaker.  Who are two people that you know that would get a ton of value from meeting each other?  Connect them. If they find value, they’ll always remember it and it costs you absolutely nothing.

Share your ideas – This is a concept that Gary is very fond of: giving your best ideas away for free. Why?  Because everyone will love you for it and 99% of people will be too lazy to act on it anyway.

The list can go on and on but I think you get the point.  

If I was asked the question, I’d say that I want to be remembered as someone that maximized their full potential and helped others do the same along the way.

So what am I doing today?

I meditated.  I’m writing this article to (hopefully) inspire you and make you think.  I’m going to make a ton of phone calls for my sales job. I’m getting new guests for my podcast.  I’m going to work out. I’m taking my girlfriend out on a date.  

Simple stuff – but if I can get 1% better at all of those things today, I will be moving in the right direction.

Now, let’s reverse this question.

What do YOU want to be remembered for?  If it’s similar to Gary, you have some easy ways to apply the 51/49 principle right now.

It could very likely be something else — making a ton of money, being a great parent, serving the homeless — the list is infinite.

Keep that #1 goal top of mind. Let it guide your decisions.

“Prioritize and execute.” – Jocko WIllink

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