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How Practicing Kundalini Yoga Led One Venture Capitalist to Building His Legacy

Should You Write a Legacy Letter? Notes from an Aristocrat


Estate Planning’s Four-letter Word

Why estate planners shy away from expressing the very emotions that cause their clients to hire them in the first place.

Legacy of a Young Entrepreneur

Beauty Endures

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Ancient Wisdom: Seneca’s Thoughts About Developing a High Character



Stuart Rudick Philip Cubeta Ash Kumra

Brian C. Hailes ART DIRECTOR Marko Nedeljkovic DESIGN

Mindfull Investors


Paragon Road Trade Kraft

Mike Bishop Lord Lamington Laura Roser Matthew Roser Linda Smith

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How Practicing Kundalini Yoga Led One Venture Capitalist to Building His Legacy Interview with Stuart Rudick of Mindfull Investors


nvestment manager and founding Partner at Mindfull Investors Venture Fund, Stuart Rudick was investing in disruptive companies before it was trendy.

Rudick said, “Back in the 70s, I started my own practice of kundalini yoga and meditation. It was a mindfulness practice. I began to think that being in the investment world, to me, wasn’t just about making money. It was about making money in a way that is healthy and positive and more mindful. So, why not take mindfulness practice off the mat or the meditation cushion and bring it into our daily wakeful moments?” And that is what Rudick and his companies have been practicing for the last three decades. Back in the early 1980s, Stuart and his companies funded endeavors such as the first paper recycling plant in North America, the first environmental magazine out of Boulder, energy efficiency lighting, and the first environmental venture fund. Although investing in projects that change the world isn’t new for Stuart, what is new is that it is now economical. “Early on there was a cost and there weren’t the economies of scale,” Rudick said. “And now today, the margin is there and it’s what consumers want. They want products that are healthy for the body. They want products that take into consideration the impact to the environment.” Whether it’s large companies like Proctor and Gamble and Nestle or early phase startups, creating products that have a positive impact on the world are the way forward because it’s what consumers are demanding. There are some other very distinct advantages to the current investment environment. More than ever before, the most brilliant minds have access to innovative low cost technologies that simply weren’t available in the past.

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The Double-Whammy Effect

“I’m focused on creating businesses that are going to leave a lasting legacy,” said Rudick. He talks about investors being proud to 1) earn returns and 2) be able to brag about what the companies are doing to improve people’s daily lives. “There’s the double-whammy effect. For people to be able to say, ‘Yeah, I just invested in this water purification company or health care company that enables you to track your vital signs.’” Mindfull Investors is investing in the new breed of entrepreneurs creating disruptive health companies and technologies shaping our future in a way that can be seen and experienced by our own community. I asked Stuart how he defined his legacy. He said a great legacy comes from within. You must first ask yourself the question, “Why am I doing what I am doing?” “So, the legacy for me or what I’m creating,” he said, “is businesses that enhance our lives and working with entrepreneurs that have this vision and passion for building businesses that are going to positively shape our future.” Stuart’s daily practice includes yoga, biking, Qigong and mindful living. If you are interested in learning more about Stuart Rudick or his company, visit 

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Our passion, purpose and opportunity is to provide venture funding to legacy impact companies solving our world’s pressing problems while providing investors top performing returns.

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Investing in... Health Innovation Environment Food & Agriculture

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Should You Write a Legacy Letter? L

egacy letters or ethical wills are mentioned in both Christian and Hebrew bibles as a way of passing values, beliefs, blessings and moral philosophies from one generation to the next.

Significant transition points which may inspire the creation of a legacy letter are:  Single adult who reaches middle age without plans for marriage or to have children. This can be a great time to articulate your values to friends, extended family and express your charitable intentions for the community.  Betrothed couples who want to clarify their personal values and principles with one another.  The birth of a child is an excellent time to express your intentions in raising this special little one and passing along your love and beliefs.  Growing families and changing roles of children can inspire new reasons to compile and bestow values and closely-held memories.  During a separation or divorce when parents would like to enforce their intentions and reassure their children.  Middle age, retirement or significant aging milestones are a time to look back and forward and express both your wisdom gained and hopes for the future.  When life is coming to an end and you’d like to leave a legacy.  Challenging life events, like: the death of a loved one, surgery, a serious illness, divorce, job loss, moving to another city, the marriage or birth of a child or grandchild.

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In the words of Barry K. Baines, M.D., Author of Ethical Wills, Putting Your Values On Paper: “When my father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1990, I asked him to write a letter about the things he valued. About a month before he died, my dad gave me two handwritten pages in which he spoke about the importance of being honest, getting a good education, helping people in need, and remaining loyal to the family. That letter — his ethical will — meant more to me than any material possession he could have bequeathed.” It may be time to consider taking a few moments to write down how you feel. Just a page or two can make all the difference in the world. 

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was just perusing my Facebook profile and I am tagged in some awfully embarrassing photos of me drunk at a party wearing a pink feather boa and a paper Burger King crown. It was supposed to be ironic, but now, it just seems undignified. It certainly doesn’t project the image of the serious investment banker my clients respect and trust with great sums of money. How does one cultivate a refined character in the oft-undignified arena of social media? -- Embarrassed and Kicking Myself

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DEAR EMBARRASSED AND KICKING, Drunken frivolity is no new invention in our modern day, but its vast exposure resembles the toxicity of the Black Death. Commerce and our perception of delegation strictly runs on the ignorance of what occurs in the private lives of those with whom we do business. Regrettably, the quick flash of a camera and the advent of “social media” shakes the confidence of our fragile reputationbased system. If you are to possess an air of regality in such trying times, I advise you divorce

Regrettably, the quick flash of a camera and the advent of ‘social media’ shakes the confidence of our fragile reputation-based system.

these unbecoming markers. Your eyes cannot stay open always and your ears are nearly never on long enough to safeguard your reputations. I will borrow the words of Alexander Pope: “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” And too few of us forgive the ghastly sight of a pink feather boa enough to call our lot “angelic”! Now for actionable measures, it is always good practice to condition ourselves to certain stimuli. As an example, think of Pavlov’s dogs who salivated at the ring of his bell. In your case, for when you see a camera or a cell phone in the motions, you ought to snap out of whatever happy

stupor you had got into. A foolish picture taken is not the end; it can be removed or altered, but a picture exposed because we are too sheepish to confront the taker can assure a dead career!

Of course I would suggest you select your relations and social gatherings with prudence, but life does not always offer the luxury of a prejudiced (and selective) personal society. Therefore, if prevention is not a remedy, leveraging your control may be your only saving grace – so to speak.  Sincerely yours, Lord Lamington

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Estate Planning’s Four-Letter Word


ve worked with many estate planners throughout the years— both to organize my own affairs and for business. And I’ve noticed an interesting phenomena. It seems the financial services community hides behind elaborate jargon in favor of addressing the emotional reasons their clients are sitting in front of them. They’ll talk about non-revocable trusts, captive insurance companies, family offices, foundations, executors, nominees, and on and on. Each structure has it’s pros and cons and attorneys will talk in circles about tax implications, asset protection, ease of distribution and control, and so on. And I get it, the U.S. tax code is so long no one could possibly be an expert about every minute detail. It’s easy to be sued in the U.S. (the average business owner is sued every 7 years). There’s a lot of paranoia surrounding estate planning, as there should be. You never know what land mines you’ll run into if your structures are not set up correctly. There is, however, a glaring element missing from most estate plans. That element is love. Most people see an estate planner for one major reason: they want their assets to be passed on to their heirs or to benefit a cause they care about. They sit down with an attorney because they are compelled to organize their affairs for the best possible outcome for those they care about. It’s not about saving taxes and making sure your vintage car collection doesn’t end up in probate. That’s just means to an end. In the end, it’s about ensuring your children have the opportunity to build an aboveaverage life. It’s about helping fund the cure for cancer or give scholarships to students in need at the college you once attended. It’s about meaning. Although you can distribute your assets in accordance with your values, with traditional estate planning most of your values are lost. What ends up happening is your attorney writes up a document with a long list of stipulations and your daughter, for example, ends up with a trust in her name that doesn’t allow her to access the money until she’s eighteen and only for educational purposes (or whatever terms you decide on). It’s a cold, black and white distillation of your vision for your daughter’s future. One she may not fully understand or appreciate.

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I recently interviewed philanthropic advisor training expert and the Sallie B. and William B. Wallace Chair in Philanthropy at The American College, Philip Cubeta. “There is a movement discussing what people are trying to accomplish with their life and money that’s definitely a trend in wealth planning circles—higher levels of it,” Mr. Cubeta said. People are craving meaning. Mr. Cubeta, however, went on to say that most financial advisors or estate planners simply are not specialized in handling both the philosophical and financial components of creating a holistic estate plan. “Very few people who went into wealth planning have an anthropology / philosophy background,” he said. Cubeta brought up the word LOVE and how that is the core of estate planning and philanthropy. Yet, he said, “It’s just really awkward using a word like that on business time.... So, you retreat into all this jargon about passing on your for capitals.”

Laura A. Roser is the founder and CEO of Paragon Road, the #1 authority in meaning legacy planning. For more information about meaning legacy planning services, visit

How Do You Address The Emotional Components of Your Estate Plan? To properly address the emotional and philosophical components of your estate plan, you must first consider your legacy vision. For some, simply adding a well-written legacy letter that explains your principles, viewpoints and feelings is enough. For others, something more elaborate makes sense. Such as creating a family mission statement and constitution, writing a memoir about your life, or designing a family brain trust. These “soft” components are the heart and soul of your legacy. Your hard assets, the ones most estate planners deal with, are the physical shell. Both are important, but, certainly, your hard assets are much easier to plop into a trust and pass on to the right person. The softer assets are rarely talked about because most financial and estate planners simply don’t specialize in it. So, the next time you visit an estate planner, realize you are only half done. If your love, kindness, and passion isn’t recorded somewhere, what you’ll end up with is a technically sound, tax-advantaged structure devoid of the care that motivated its creation. 

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ENDURING There are families of enduring greatness. They have achieved excellence in times past, yet continue to pursue what made them great. They have stories to tell. They embody high character, are celebrated throughout history and loved by all who know them.

What’s your legacy? LEGACY ARTS Febuary 2016 3

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by Matthew Roser f you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.”- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac How often do we catch ourselves or others quoting the immortal words of Shakespeare, Aristotle, or even the Bible? And among these, the many other scientists, philosophers, artists, and thinkers who have forever changed our world? The testament of their power is in the centuries and even millennia that they have survived and flourished. Power and resources are little without direction and focus, as is evidenced in our daily society. The masses hunger for celebrity, yet the same name will be forgotten within the next season. Only an enduring mark will outlast this lust; only a thing of genuine beauty – above entertainment and cheap laughs – will build the moral character of the generations to come. After all, why should we hum a Taylor Swift tune when we have heard Mozart? The truth about legacy lies in two distinctions: one is catchy while the other is immortal. The former will cross our mind every so often once its popularity has run its course. But the latter will burn through us and shape our future like an ancient river that once carved deep valleys. Yet leaving our perennial signature is more nuanced than mere superb work. It is breathing life into our endeavors so that we are born into these labors. Our heritage should reflect our own image – but in a mirror that pierces past the sharpness of our eyes and meager grimaces, to reveal the scaffolding of our very humanity. It is this humanity – this very basic building block that we hear in the strings and keys of Mozart. It is this humanity we read in the words of Christ and Plato’s simple longing to understand. No. Productivity is not nearly enough. If we want to be remembered, we will have to enrich the world with something more selfless and authentic. Emerson remarks on this simple truth through his poem The Rhodora:

And whether one or a million years pass, the rhodora shall always remain beautiful. Can the same be said for your legacy? Beauty endures. 

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Legacy of a Youn

How Ash Kumra is Taking Sta


erial entrepreneur, author and speaker, Ash Kumra began his legacy with one simple question: “How can I help push people to become better versions of themselves?”

For Ash, a “better version” means helping others reach their dreams. Ash was recognized twice by the White House as an entrepreneur making an impact. He also co-founded, a global community guiding users to create their “dream life” with scientifically proven visualization tools, dreamboards® and personal development content. He’s been featured in hundreds of articles including Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post, American Express and Entrepreneur Magazine.

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Now Ash is launching a new company called Trade Kraft—a video network focused on empowering Millennials to achieve their dreams and life goals. “Being authentic is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur,” said Ash. “If you do something you’re passionate about, you’re going to give a better output. If you give a better output, you’re going to give a better value to the customer. If you give a better value to the customer, you actually help the economy of the world. If you do something that’s trend based, you’re

ng Entrepreneur

artup Culture to a Whole New Level not always thinking about what’s in it for the customer. You’re just thinking about what’s in it for the business. What’s in it for the bottom line.” And that kind of bottomline thinking is exactly what Ash wants to help business people avoid. Ash has two basic tips to get you into an inspired mindset that will produce the best, most creative results: 1. Ash never begins work unless he’s in an inspired mindset. So that could mean he starts the day at 8:00 AM or 12:00 PM. He believes if you are not inspired, you cannot give 100% of your effort and the results will be sub par.

2. He tries to begin the day with a “win” for himself. For example, he works out or expresses gratitude or calls a friend who makes him feel loved. When he follows the above protocol, things seem to flow for him. When he doesn’t, he experiences a lack of productivity. “When you’re inspired and win the day, you’re fearless,” he says. For Ash, creating a great legacy is about getting in that inspired mindset and pushing your passions forward toward a unifying vision.  To learn more about Trade Kraft and Ash Kumra, visit


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Ancient Wisdom: Seneca’s Thoughts About Developing a High Character by Laura A. Roser


ear and take to heart this useful and wholesome motto: ‘Cherish some man of high character, and keep him ever before your eyes, living as if he were watching you, and ordering all your actions as if he beheld them.’... We can get rid of most sins, if we have a witness who stands near us when we are likely to go wrong. The soul should have someone whom it can respect, — one by whose authority it may make even its inner shrine more hallowed. Happy is the man who can make others better, not merely when he is in their company, but even when he is in their thoughts! And happy also is he who can so revere a man as to calm and regulate himself by calling him to mind! One who can so revere another, will soon be himself worthy of reverence. Choose therefore a Cato; or, if Cato seems too severe a model, choose some Laelius, a gentler spirit. Choose a master whose life, conversation, and soul-expressing face have satisfied you; picture him always to yourself as your protector or your pattern. For we must indeed have someone according to whom we may regulate our characters; you can never straighten that which is crooked unless you use a ruler.” – Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, Letters from a Stoic, Letter 11

“You can never straighten that which is crooked unless you use a ruler.” I have a friend who has created several successful businesses. His advice is always, “find something that’s working and model it!” This technique not only works with business, but also character development. Becoming a person of depth doesn’t happen by accident. It’s a process. And one of the best ways to reach the highest levels of growth is to surround yourself with examples of excellence. It is said you become a composite of the 5 people you interact with most. But, I would go further and say you become a composite of everything you expose yourself to: the television you watch, the books you read, the people you work with, the games you play, the food you eat, the pictures you view. It all culminates to create you. This is why it is exceptionally important to surround yourself with excellence. There are many areas of excellence—health, wealth creation, lifestyle, and so on. But I want to focus this article

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on excellence of character. Some widely accepted elements of a good character are: integrity, empathy, loyalty, conviction and courage. Still, it’s difficult to build or even define a good character if you don’t have a model to base it on. Kids in street gangs value courage, for example, but the ruler they measure by is very different from what courage means to a group of fire fighters. To reach the highest levels of your potential, it is essential to emulate examples of great men and women. And, through studying and learning from these greats, you define what “great” means to you. Some people base their decisions on a code set forth by religion, while others base it on teachings from their parents, and others from mentors or teachers. Whatever you base your character development on, don’t let it be by accident—just a meandering happenstance. Actively seek out that which is meaningful to you and helps you to grow into the kind of man or woman you respect. This isn’t about being productive or wealthy or praised, this is about the evolution of your soul. 

Character Development Questions to Ask Yourself These questions will provide some direction to determine which books, teachers and sources you should investigate in your quest to develop character.  How do I want others to think of me?  How do I want to treat others?  What values are most important to me?  What does spirituality mean to me? Is it important? How do I connect with spirit?  What character flaws do I struggle with?  What kinds of relationships do I want?  What kinds of choices make me respect myself?  What makes me feel bad about myself?  What legacy do I want to leave behind? Once you have answered these questions, now go to work on finding the paragons of the qualities you admire. The quest to find these teachers is just as important as the destination.

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Profile for Paragon Road

Legacy Arts | Issue 1 | February 2016  

"Legacy Arts" focuses on the topic of how to create a meaningful legacy and pass on non-financial assets, such as wisdom, beliefs, values an...

Legacy Arts | Issue 1 | February 2016  

"Legacy Arts" focuses on the topic of how to create a meaningful legacy and pass on non-financial assets, such as wisdom, beliefs, values an...


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