Teaching Business Success with Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Introduction (teaching business success at Barr Business School)

In this interview, Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA discusses teaching business success with Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr. Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr is the Founder and Chief Mentor at the Barr Business School.


Alan Olsen

Hi, this is Alan Olsen and welcome to American Dreams. My guest today is Dr. Frumi Barr. Welcome to today’s show.

Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Thank you so much. I love the title of your podcast, American Dreams. Don’t we all want to live the American dream?

Alan Olsen

Well, it’s, it’s something that is a colloquialism that’s been around for a while. But that essentially, you know, we started this to reach out to individuals who were trying to look at their purpose in life. And we decided that the best way to do that is to interview those people who have been out there implementing their purpose in their own communities, and to learn from their successes. So with that said, can you give the listener your background and what brought you to where you are today?

Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Wow, that’s a big one. So I started off as a physical therapist a long way from where I am today. And I was lucky to self diagnose Hodgkin’s when I was 24 years old. And I say lucky, because that taught me very early in life, that you can have many chapters in life, and that you have to live life to the fullest, because you never know when you could just be extinguished. So that’s been my philosophy. And as a result, I’ve had a fabulous journey.

I’ve been the CEO and founder of several companies, a clock manufacturing company that sold to catalog houses, both in Canada and the US, I was the managing partner of an architectural firm. And then I moved to the States and I had two infomercial companies that grew wildly. And so all of that was a degree in physical therapy. So I went back to school, and I got an MBA and a PhD with a focus in business. And so I’ve had a really wonderful journey. It was very hard to grow businesses, it was like having your hair on fire all the time.

So I became a student of growth. And that’s what led me to where I am today, because I would call myself a growth expert. I work with companies who are starting funding and growing businesses. And what I like to say is that very often, startups are flying by the seat of their pants, and they need an adult in the room. And they need some discipline, and some best practices. So that’s how I got where I am. So I’m living the dream.

Alan Olsen

Oh, my goodness. And in the year, not only living the green dream, but you’re also, you know, sharing your your life experiences with with your community there that she developed. So you’re told when a person comes to you, doctor for me, and they give me the 32nd, elevator pitch of what you do to help people within your community.

Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Okay, well, recently, I worked with a team. So it’s 45 seconds, I worked with a team. That was that were all former CEOs. So I started off with an assessment to figure out if they trusted each other, if they could have healthy conflict, if they could commit to each other, if they were, could hold each other accountable. And lastly, if they were getting the results they wanted, this is Patrick Lencioni. His work it’s called the Five cohesive behaviors of the team. What I discovered was, they were great, it goes green, yellow, red, they were green on everything except accountability.

That’s where I came in. I taught them the disciplines to grow safely, which means daily stand ups, it means weekly strategy meetings, monthly review of priorities for 12 week years in which you analyze your priorities all the time. So you know, lots of companies have business plans, but how are they going to implement the plan? That is where they really create the results they need. And that’s where I come in, as the adults in the room that holds them accountable, to actually execute on their business plan.

Alan Olsen

I love it. And then you you’re currently running the Barr Business School? Yes. This is your dream business.

Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

You know, it is my dream business. Because well, it started during COVID. I had a client call me his name is Ned, one of my favorite clients. He has a benefits company. And with the lock down, he was really scared because he said, How am I going to go into companies and shake their hands and create benefits programs with the if I can’t leave the house. So he said, what I need from you is to teach me how to grow safely because he had three businesses. So teach me with my benefits company, so that I can wash rinse and repeat with the other two companies. And I thought, Okay, why not?

So I created a series of lessons for him. And it was so much fun. And at the end of the year, his business grew 37.5% without ever stepping out of his office. And he led his team into the success. So I thought, okay, you know what, I created those courses for the old me, the me with hair on fire, who had no idea how to grow? Why don’t I share that with the world, because you know, 90 to 95% of businesses fail. And they fail, because they don’t have the practical knowledge about cash management, data management, how to hire people how to build a healthy culture.

So I decided to publish my courses. And I started off in one of the very common platforms, and realize that was just a grain of sand on a beach. How would anybody find my courses. So I was very fortunate to meet Sam Cooke, who at the time had a platform based in Ukraine. Remember that Ukraine. So we built our school there, I was the only one in his workshop to complete the course, there were 80 of us. And I caught the attention of a marketing fellow from Mexico. And he offered to work with me to create my school. So we created the school.

And then the war started in Ukraine, and the investors pulled out. And so what do you do when you’re a startup? And you meet this great big hurdle? You carry on? Right? So the only thing you could do? We started again, we built our platform on a US based platform. And we started again, and the school is running. Well, we also realized was how do we attract people to a school because the first thing people ask is, How many students do you have? Well, on day one, you might have 12.

So we did a couple of wonderful promotions, we did a St. St. Patrick’s Day Challenge, where we challenged people to take a free course, finish the course get a certificate, and then ask for another free course, we got 125 students that way, then we did it again, courtesy of the Easter Bunny, because that’s fun. And that’s an emotional, come on, come and come and get a course. So we got to 250 students. Now, we have a wonderful educational partnership with the cyber glow, cybersecurity, global alliance.

And we’re actually we’ve put together a special program, our Social Impact Program, to give free courses to vets. I’m very proud of that. So this is for vets, both in the US and Canada.

Alan Olsen

I love the dream. I love this. This is really, you know, as your as you’re setting out to teach entrepreneurs about accountability, and the knowledge that they need to succeed when when they come to you. Because entrepreneurs are really, you know, a tough group, either you from the standpoint, problem solving, they’re all independent. But when they come to you, is there a is there a learning ladder, the type of topics that you teach that progressively brings them up? How they should scale companies?

Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Absolutely. So we have nine courses. The first one is one of my favorites. It’s called the path from failure to success. Because you know, many entrepreneurs start things, whether it’s the lemonade stand when they’re done, or whatever, some of them succeed, some of them don’t. But failures are stepping stones to success. And a failure should never deter an entrepreneur. Because what did you learn from it? And how, what is your next venture? How do you fix some of those, whether it was an ego thing, whether it was running out of cash? How do you fix those things?

So that’s the first course the second one is entrepreneurship and leadership. And one of the most significant lessons in that course, is how do you control your mind? Because it’s scary to be an entrepreneur, there’s always challenges. And so how the state of your mind and it can be a very tough neighborhood. So how you control that’s critical. The next course is all about people and culture. How to Hire how to share your why your purpose, you you mentioned purpose.

At the beginning of this podcast, I worked with Simon Sinek for a few years, couple years, Simon wrote the foreword to my own book, which is a sea of secret weapon how to accelerate success. And it’s all about 40 CEOs that I, I spoke to around the world who shared their challenges. And the book is about how to use your wife or your purpose as the engine to overcome all the challenges that you will definitely run into. The next course is about strategy, about knowing your values, knowing your purpose, sharing your purpose, and in a powerful message.

So you attract the people who believe what you believe. And then there’s execution. That’s what I was talking about in the beginning, how you actually execute on your plan, cash management, data management, time and energy management. And the last course, is communication skills. Because one of the biggest issues in any company is how people communicate with each other. It comes up every time.

Alan Olsen

I love it. Yeah. When you when you look at the diversity of your your students that have come to the courses, who who would you describe as your ideal student,

Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Ned, the first one who was eager to learn. And you know what, there was one person who rolled through all the courses during the St. Patrick’s Day Challenge, his name was Kevin. And he was he’s is the CEO of big IT company. And he was so excited to get a certificate. He just rolled from one class to the next. Now, you would think that a leader of a company could say I know everything. But that’s the key to always be learning to always know there’s some best practice or something that that someone could could give you that would help.

And I believe very strongly in mentorship, you, one of the biggest mistakes startups make is they have their life savings. And they think, Oh, I’m smart, I can do this, my company will be at revenue in six months, doesn’t matter what anybody else’s company did or didn’t do. I’m better. You know what, it’s just not true. Doesn’t matter how smart you are. My school took two years to get off the ground. And I know what to do. There were things that were not in my control, like the war in Ukraine.

So whatever it is, it’s better to start with a mentor who can help navigate those peaks and valleys, because everybody needs someone to talk to, and a fresh perspective. And too often, entrepreneurs just don’t do that. And they should.

Alan Olsen

Thank you tell us about some of the notable milestones and achievements set the bar Business School has reached.

Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Okay, well, let’s see, apart from over 200 students, we have one really credible educational partnership. Two more on the go. We also just became certified as a woman owned small business, which allows us now to go to big companies, we know that mental wellness is really at a critical time now. And that companies in order to retain their valuable employees want to offer educational programs. So we have a couple of those that are in the pipeline. We have a series called always be learning. So we have 17 episodes of all kinds of topics. And we also started something really fun.

It’s called navigating the jungle of business. It’s an internal podcast. So it’s navigating the sales jungle or navigating the jungle of your mind, which is all about variety junkies, entrepreneurs who have a little bit of ADHD, which is perfectly fine. It works for them. And so we have that as well. Another really special thing about our school is I started writing book summaries 20 years ago, I was at a leadership conference in San Diego. And I heard a speaker talk about the importance of staying in touch with your network. How can you do that?

Well, newsletters often fizzle after about six months because people just get tired of the content. But I had already created about 20 books summaries, very comprehensive book summaries. So now I have 150 of them. And they are in the school to enhance the learning. And that’s a big differentiator, because that took 20 years of work. That didn’t happen overnight. And it’s not the six page book summaries. It’s an i My desire width that is for people to really need what an author has to say to whet their appetite so they’ll actually buy the book.

But a lot of people don’t buy books, or the CEOs that I’ve dealt with over time, when I’ve asked them, you know how many leadership books if you read one, we could do better than that. So in the beginning 20 years ago, before we had Kindles before, you know, we had audible. They used to print my summaries, take them on airplanes, and learn something. I’m very proud of that.

Alan Olsen

Doctor for me, if a person wants to follow up with more information about the Barr business school, how would they go about that?

Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

Write an email to Hello@barrbusinessschool.com Or go to our website, www.barrbusinessschool.com. And if you’re a vet, please do come and get a free course. We’re here for you.

Alan Olsen

It’s been a pleasure having you with us on today’s show of American Dreams.

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    Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr

    Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr is the Founder and Chief Mentor at the Barr Business School.

    After founding and leading 5 fast growing companies, she gained invaluable practical experience that they don’t teach you in Business School. She founded the Barr Business School to coach business owners and entrepreneurs in key leadership skills necessary to negotiate hurdles and “Play to Win!” She is passionate about equipping leaders with focused, practical methods and approaches to solving the toughest challenges they are likely to encounter. She has guided leaders to grow and scale their companies by taking them from making plans, to execution, to creating sustainable and profitable companies.

    Dr. Frumi covers that vital gap between the theory you learn in Business School and the real-life challenges you will face in leading your dream company. She is the author of A CEO’s Secret Weapon: How to Accelerate Success which has a foreword by Simon Sinek.

    Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Alan Olsen

    Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

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