Living a Life with Purpose: Life Advice from a 5 time Entrepreneur

Today I’m sharing life advice from a serial entrepreneur who has seen and done it all. In today’s interview with Dr. Frumi Barr we’re going to cover:

  • How to live your life with purpose and intention
  • How to define the things that are important to you
  • How to live life to the fullest and find the joy in your life
  • How to have more meaningful conversations that go beyond, “so what do you do for a living?”

 

Enter Dr. Frumi Barr. She is an entrepreneur who has had 5 successful businesses prior to following her passion for guiding the success of CEOs and their teams as an executive and business coach. She lives her “WHY” (purpose or cause) daily: creating a safe environment for leaders and their teams to talk about the tough issues that matter most to build profitable and sustainable organizations.

I wanted to share some of her ideas with you as I think it will have a massive impact in how you think about life and interact with others. Below is our Q&A together.

Question #1: Frumi, you talked about a really cool concept called “museum days.” Can you describe what that means and how we should think about living life?

Imagine if every moment of your life was cataloged.  Everything you did, everything you said, all the ways in which you spent your time.  And towards the end of your life a museum was built to honor you.  Only the museum would show your life exactly how you lived it.

If 80% of your time was spent at a job you didn’t like, or on activities that didn’t bring you joy, then 80% of your museum would be dedicated towards showing you doing those things.  There would be videos and kiosks, and displays, all showing you unhappily spending your time. 

If you loved hanging out with your family, or friends, or pursuing your hobbies, but for whatever reason you only spent 2% of your time on those loves, then no matter how much you wished it to be different, only 2% of your museum would be dedicated towards that.  Maybe just a few pictures near an exit door. 

Now imagine if heaven, or the afterlife, or whatever fits your personal beliefs, actually consists of us being the tour guide for our own museum- for all of eternity.

Ask yourself what you would like to see on the walls of your Museum. Travel? Family? What’s important to YOU?

Katrina’s two cents: I could totally relate to what Frumi is talking about. Earlier in my career, I had a job that I despised. I was making a pretty good salary, but I was so unhappy. I realized that I was spending so much time working on something that I didn’t even enjoy! I was working crazy hours, traveling a lot and the fact that I despised my job affected other aspects of my life as well.

One day I realized I just had enough, I put in my two weeks, made a massive career change and moved to San Francisco. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Don’t waste time on things you don’t enjoy. 

Question #2: How do we figure out what is important to us? I have so many things that I think are important, how can I prioritize that and make it real?

Let me share the Big Five for Life. The Big Five concept is a great start for figuring out how to fill your museum with happy memories.

The Big Five is named after the Big Five animal people hope to see in Africa. My mentor, author John P. Strelecky, coined the phrase.

One of mine is creating outstanding relationships. A number of years ago I realized that although family and relationships were a core value I wasn’t living my value in a meaningful way. I decided to choose an activity that would improve my relationship with my parents. I found it annoying to talk to them every Sunday because they didn’t seem to remember the things I told them and it was painful to remind them.

I decided to create a “cheat sheet” that outlined the friends I spoke about and the organizations I belonged to. Next, I bought my mother a computer and taught her how to connect by email. As a result, when she passed away unexpectedly 6 years later I felt that there was nothing left unsaid and we had an amazing relationship because of this pretty simple activity.

 Katrina’s two cents: I love how Frumi made her values actionable. She realized that family was important to her, so she made an investment and purchased a computer for her mother. Identify the values that are important to you, and figure out how you can invest your time, energy or money into them to live those values.

For example, relationships and friendships are very important to me. I dedicate a few hours each weekend to call my closest friends and check in on them. I also call my Grandmother once a week. It’s scheduled in my calendar and has become a habit. It brings me so much joy to hear her voice and I know the feeling is mutual. 

What are the values that are important to you and how can you make that actionable?

 

Question #3: How do you suggest we define our own personal “Big Five?”

The “Big Five” are the five things that you want to do see or experience can be short term ones or long term. For example, another of mine is “Travel to distant places.” I am always thinking of my next trip. I would consider that a long-term project as it never ends. A shorter term one might be to write a book or a play. There would be a beginning and an end and then that project might be replaced when done with a new one. 

You may be lucky to know exactly what your “why” or purpose for existing is. It’s a journey of discovery. But if you don’t, what’s stopping you to live every day with intention and purpose?

Katrina’s two cents: Living with intention and purpose is so important to lead a fulfilling life. If you’re interested in exploring this topic further, you may be interested in this post I wrote for RMRS: 6 Tips to Living a Fulfilling Life.

Question #4: How can we make conversations at social events deeper or more meaningful?

Imagine you walk into a business function or a social function.

Here’s how a typical introduction goes. 

Hi, I’m Frumi, and you are?  Nice to meet you (NAME). 

Now what is the question that usually follows that? 

“What do you do?” 

I find this fascinating, because  I’ve learned that 80-90% of people do not have a heart connection with the job they do.  They may be very good at it, well rewarded for it, but they don’t have a heart connection to it.

So how odd that after I meet someone who is a complete stranger that talk about what 80-90% of us don’t want to talk about.

I feel compelled to ask you even though I don’t really care. You feel compelled to talk about it, even though it’s probably the last thing you want to talk about.  Isn’t that odd? 

There is a better way, a way that will connect you with your “Who’s”, the people who can help you achieve your Big Five.

The next time you walk into a business function try this:  

“Hi, my name is Frumi, and you are?”  Nice to meet you (NAME).  (NAME) you seem like a really smart person, I’m working on my Big Five for Life and I was wondering if you could help me.

By relating to people in this way you will begin to deepen your relationships right from the start!

Katrina’s two cents: How great are these scripts? By relating to the person you’re speaking to and making them feel important, you’ll be remembered. Everyone else is going to be asking the common questions of “what do you do” or “where are you from,” but these scripts are going to start a much more meaningful connection. By the way, don’t be afraid to ask for help. People love to help other people and sometimes the only thing you have to do to get what you want in life is to ask for it!

Dr. Frumi Barr Bio

Dr. Frumi Barr is an entrepreneur who has had 5 successful businesses prior to following her passion for guiding the success of CEOs and their teams as an executive and business coach through her firm Scaling4Growth. She lives her “WHY” (purpose or cause) daily: creating a safe environment for leaders and their teams to talk about the tough issues that matter most to build profitable and sustainable organizations.

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