The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 72: Crafting A Legacy Of Leadership with Amanda Bauer-Frisch

Brian chats with serial entrepreneur and visionary leader Amanda Bauer-Frisch. As the CEO of Small Legacies, Amanda creates a way to give thoughtful, high-quality learning tools that enhance a child’s development. She also oversees several other small, legacy-driven businesses under the Enduring Legacy brand.

On the episode, Amanda opens up about how becoming a young widow and being open to the right, new opportunities shaped her entrepreneurial journey. She also provides a behind-the-scenes look at how she’s purchased several existing brands and shares tips for finding and acquiring businesses.

Episode Highlights

Mission-driven businesses exist for a reason deeper than profit.

Amanda defines a mission-driven business as one that exists for a reason deeper than profit. When she started Small Legacies, she created a hand-made wooden bank to teach her oldest son the basic financial literacy skills of saving, spending, and giving. But she also had a deeper meaning in mind.

“My first husband passed away in 2017 from a genetic heart condition at 30 years old,” she said. “So making this bank for my oldest was like helping to carry on my husband’s legacy and memory.”

Elevate and delegate.

When Amanda started Small Legacies, she built the company’s signature wooden bank boxes in her garage. Eventually, Small Legacies received so many orders that she needed to find a wood toy manufacturer to meet the demand, which in turn made it possible to acquire and take over the operations of another family-owned woodworking business. She wouldn’t have been able to grow if she hadn’t practiced the principle of “delegate and elevate.”

“That’s still a daily part of my journey — trying to figure out where I can shine and what things bring me the most joy but also yield the most results for the business,” Amanda said. “And then how can I find the right people to support me in the business on the things that, frankly, bring me no joy or I’m not good at them.”

Hire and fire based on your values.

For Amanda, one of the hardest parts of running a mission-driven small business is knowing that she is responsible for the well-being of the employees on her payroll. Finding the right teammates that fit her company’s mission, vision, and values is already challenging, but gets even more complex when acquiring employees of another company.

Amanda experienced this challenge firsthand last year when an existing employee of a company she had acquired refused to comply with Enduring Legacy’s policy of being open and accepting to any employee. Although the employee had a lot of knowledge about the newly acquired brand and processes, Amanda decided to end the company’s relationship with him because he wouldn’t be a good fit for the company’s values. Even though the decision required Amanda to cash in her 401(k) to buy new equipment, she knew it was the right thing to do.

“It was an incredibly easy decision,” she said. “It was a difficult day, but at the same time, I went to bed and slept great that night because it was the right thing to do.”

Resources + Links

About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast

Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.

On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.