‘If you’re going to live, leave a Legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased’ – Maya Angelou

When I was young, I didn’t know what ‘legacy’ meant. Life was too exciting – I thought the summer would go on forever. I didn’t know what I was good at or what I wanted to do when I grew up. Our teachers said a good career was to be a banker, an insurance broker, a nurse, or go to University.

I remember commuting to London from Gillingham every day to work as a secretary in a bank – my very first job. I was glad of it as I could earn money which paid for my driving lessons, clubbing, holidays and housekeeping – and I was thirsty to learn. I knew my place in the pecking order of things and my life was pretty much okay.

One morning on my way into Cannon Street, I had a lightbulb moment… Is this it?. I got back on the train and went home to Gillingham and my old art teacher picked me up – she gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams.

So I set up my own small design agency, one of only a handful of design outfits run by a woman with more than 5 staff. We were an Award winning team, with a reputation I could only have dreamed of. Then one day in 2008 I lost my business. The lot. Even my home was in jeopardy. The worst day of my life for sure. But I’m a survivor and started up again in a totally different sector and first to market. It was hard… very hard – we were the young pretenders. I retrained and am proud of my achievements for myself and for my family and for children.

I’ve trekked around the world raising funds for Charity. I’ve set myself personal running challenges. I’ve mentored more young people than I care to remember. I’ve raised awareness of my Christian Faith in the workplace. I’ve championed women in business. I’ve inspired the underdog to be the best and to thrive. I’ve encouraged countless people to start their own businesses because they can.

Ask yourself this, what will you be known for when you leave this earth?

My legacy isn’t so grand or globally, historically recognised as in the company of Sister Theresa, Nelson Mandela or Florence Nightingale… but, I have lived an extraordinary life. I’ve always been able to make lemonade, even in my darkest moments. I’m not done yet, but my mum set me up to survive in the face of adversity. I’ve made it in a man’s world. I’ve made a difference to other peoples lives and have been a friend to many. Most of all I tell my kids I love them every day.

If you are ready to leave your legacy, let me help you get started.

Anita Brightley-Hodges
Founder, Saphora Private