My greatest legacy will be sharing my formula for success with future generations and stimulating a passion for growing their own businesses.
In 1967, at the age of 20, Mr. Brian Sidorsky embarked on his first venture: the opening of a small furniture store in the city of Calgary in western Canada. He speaks of learning about how to be a successful entrepreneur at “the school of hard knocks” and attributes his early successes to the experience he gained during his teenage years through the local Junior Achievement program. There, he not only learned how to run a business, he also gained in confidence his abilities and self-esteem.
The business he created through Junior Achievement turned into the inspiration for his first business venture and gave him the lessons on buying and selling that he required to be successful as a furniture retailer. That seedling business ultimately grew to become the largest retail furniture and appliance store in the city and he ultimately sold it to a large national furniture chain in 1980. Following that sale, Lansdowne Equity Ventures became a reality. Over the past 30 years, Mr. Sidorsky has become a highly successful owner and operator of shopping centers, residential housing and commercial property developments and a sizeable portfolio of land banks.
The Sidorsky formula for “worth creation”
Mr. Sidorsky has children and grandchildren, none of whom have joined him yet in the family business. He is committed to sharing his business acumen among the youth of the world, however, and one of the starting points is within his own family.
His ambition is to transfer the knowledge and the financial and experiential wealth that he has gained over the past half century to his children and grandchildren. His desire is to maximize their abilities and to help them appreciate the opportunity they have been given to create even greater family worth by succeeding together for many generations to come.
As the family patriarch, he sees his roles as helping to define the purpose of the family and its financial and non-financial wealth, then acting as a guide, alongside his wife Gail, to his children and grandchildren to set them on the right course to be successful.
He wants to leave his “worth creation” formula for success as his family legacy, which includes the opportunity for future generations to maximize their natural tendencies and abilities and successfully reach their potential. His wealth creation formula aligns the family around a core purpose, a set of shared values and behaviors and recognition of the value of the asset that is created through a strong and united family.
Achieving family alignment
In reality, it’s rare to find many families in which everyone is moving in the same direction and at the same pace. The definition of success can be diverse, as can family relationships where not everyone gets along.
Mr. Sidorsky keeps an open mind. “I come from a place where I took the time to understand who I really am; that I’m not just a collection of my grandfather’s thoughts or my father’s experiences and belief systems. I wanted to get far beyond that and I understood that I had the freedom to choose the kind of parent that I wanted to be; to instill a legacy of good values and sense of purpose within my family,” he says.
In this way, he is equally focused on keeping his mind open to give his children and grandchildren the opportunity to see everything that’s on the menu and not to force feed them into taking the path that he might be keen for them to follow.
He starts by asking questions about what success looks like. What does it look like for the collective and for each of them individually in terms of achieving financial wealth, business success, their personal ambitions and contributing to society?
Giving back more
Mr. Sidorsky may be a graduate of the school of hard knocks, but his Junior Achievement experience and his openly declared “self-help” mindset have taken him very far. From furniture retail to mobile homes to commercial real estate, his cumulative knowledge has been applied to a wide breadth of industries. His enduring legacy is being built on this wealth of knowledge and experience and giving back more than what he has received.
For example, he is a former Chancellor for Junior Achievement Worldwide’s University of Success and was involved in creating a curriculum program to teach financial literacy that will make the world a better place for youth across the world. It begins with exposure to critical skill sets, such as collaboration, creativity, self-confidence and resilience to prepare students for university, vocational education, the workforce or their own start-up ventures.
Students shadow skilled mentors such as himself and test their skills through multiple channels and experiences. Many of the students have already launched their own businesses and enjoyed their first taste of entrepreneurship.
As he describes it, “We are teaching the world how to fish with financial literacy programs in 127 countries that reach 10 million students a year.”
He is also helping to fulfill his legacy ambitions by laying the groundwork for the next generation of entrepreneurial success stories that mirror his own.