Transforming Loss into Legacy Through the Enduring Power of Love with CEO Amanda Bauer-Frisch

Transforming Loss into Legacy Through the Enduring Power of Love with CEO Amanda Bauer-Frisch

How can we find meaning and purpose after experiencing grief and loss?

Discover insights in this episode of The EmPOWERed Half Hour featuring Amanda Bauer-Frisch, CEO of Enduring Legacy Company. Together with Becca, she shares her profound story of transforming grief into purpose, teaching valuable lessons about resilience, legacy, and the transformative impact of love. Amanda's journey demonstrates that grief doesn't have to define us, but can instead propel significant personal development and a life driven by purpose.

Amanda's Origin Story: Turning Grief into Purpose

Seven years ago, Amanda faced a profound tragedy when her husband passed away unexpectedly. In the midst of her grief, she found solace in crafting wooden banks, inspired by her late husband’s passion for financial literacy. This creative endeavor led to the birth of ‘Small Legacies’, a platform dedicated to honoring his memory and empowering families around the world.

Navigating Grief's Unpredictable Journey

Amanda shares poignant insights into the nonlinear nature of grief. She explains that despite the passage of time, anniversaries continue to serve as potent reminders, encouraging listeners to gracefully accept the ebb and flow of grief with self-compassion. She highlights the significance of preserving cherished memories and embracing grief as a testament to the enduring legacy of love.

Crafting Personal Formulas for Growth

Amanda and Becca explore the concept of personal formulas, emphasizing the importance of introspection and adaptability in overcoming life's challenges. They discuss how cultivating resilience and embracing continuous learning can help individuals leverage their unique strengths to overcome adversity and lead purposeful lives.

Legacy as a Beacon of Hope

In her entrepreneurial pursuits, Amanda channels her passion into creating meaningful legacies that celebrate life's special moments. Her company, Enduring Legacy, is dedicated to commemorating milestones and fostering connections. Amanda's journey exemplifies the courage required to navigate fear and uncertainty, all while being driven by a steadfast commitment to honor the enduring legacy of love.

Key Moments You Won't Want to Miss:

  • Origin Story of Enduring Legacy Company: Explore Amanda's poignant journey of grief and resilience, from the tragic loss of her husband to the founding of Enduring Legacy Company as a tribute to his memory and passion for financial literacy.
  • Embracing Grief's Nonlinear Journey: Explore Amanda's candid reflections on the unpredictable nature of grief, highlighting the importance of self-compassion and allowing oneself to navigate the journey's highs and lows with grace and authenticity.
  • Continuous Learning and Adaptability: Discover Amanda's commitment to continuous learning and adaptability as she shares her personal formula for navigating life's challenges, emphasizing the importance of embracing adversity as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery.
  • Crafting Meaningful Legacies: Gain insights into Amanda's passion for crafting meaningful legacies that honor cherished memories and inspire connection, illustrating the transformative power of love and the enduring impact of small gestures of kindness and remembrance.
  • Courage to Pursue Purpose: Witness Amanda's unwavering courage and determination to pursue her purpose despite the fear and uncertainty that accompany entrepreneurship, highlighting the importance of following one's heart and intuition in the face of adversity.


Empowering Thoughts to Take With You:

  • “Grief is not linear and you cannot predict it all the time.” — Amanda Bauer-Frisch
  • “You do have to have your own personal formula.” — Amanda Bauer-Frisch 
  • “I think we're lucky at times when we get to experience grief because it is a reminder that we love that person and the joy that they brought to our lives.” — Amanda Bauer-Frisch
  • “Life is too short to have a job you don't like — it's time for a new job if you don't like your current one.” — Amanda Bauer-Frisch
  • “Be kind to yourself “ — Amanda Bauer-Frisch
  • “Build your own formula, but learn it because it's repeatable.” — Becca Powers
  • “We're never done learning because we're always evolving.” — Becca Powers
  • “Continuous learning has helped me make meaning out of the chaos and loss and turn that pain into purpose because I'm able to rationalize it in a way that makes sense to me.” — Becca Powers
  • “Radiance almost gave me permission to be who I wanted to be and think of life without so many limitations.” — Becca Powers
  • “You might as well pour your energy into something that you enjoy and that gives you meaning and a sense of purpose.” — Becca Powers


About Amanda:

Amanda Bauer-Frisch, a resilient serial entrepreneur and CEO of Enduring Legacy Company embarked on her journey after poignant personal experiences shaped her vision. Transitioning from a career in human resources to full-time parenting in 2020, Amanda channeled her spare time into crafting literacy tools inspired by her late husband’s teachings.

Her first business, Small Legacies, is a children’s gift brand that focuses on thoughtful, practical items that enhance a child’s development and foster peace within parents’ homes. Owning several other small businesses, all under the umbrella of Enduring Legacy Company, Amanda is a visionary entrepreneur dedicated to leaving a lasting impact through heartfelt, purpose-driven ventures that resonate with families worldwide.


Connect with Amanda Bauer-Frisch:


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Welcome to another episode of the emPOWERed Half Hour, I am really excited to bring you today's guest Amanda Bauer Frisch, the CEO of Enduring Legacy Company. I got recommended to Amanda through the PR team and stuff, but I read her bio and started exploring a little about her. 

You guys know that I love to bring on guests with a personal background who had some type of transformation happen that brought them to what they're doing now, whether they're a business tycoon or an athlete or whatever they're doing.

Amanda has a very intriguing backstory that she's going to share with us. So, Amanda, I'd love to welcome you to the emPOWERed Half Hour. 

Currently, you're the CEO of your company, Enduring Legacy Company. Those are big words. I feel like they have a lot of meaning and I do want to know about your background and stuff, but tell me a little bit about Enduring Legacy. 

Where did that come from? It's woven into the backstory, but you can do the whole thing if you want to. 

Turning Grief into an Enduring Legacy

I call it my origin story too because it definitely feels like a transformation. 

Seven years ago this week, I was pregnant with my second child. My husband and I had a one-year-old at home and he was a sheriff's deputy and I was a human resources manager for a large grocery store chain and life was great.

And then we were eating dinner, and my husband Adam had a weird pain in his throat, and just out of extreme precaution, we decided to go to the emergency room. We thought he probably had some kind of pneumonia or bronchitis or something, but he was actually experiencing something much more serious. He was having an aortic dissection. His aortic valve was tearing and he passed away about two hours after we got to the hospital.

Being pregnant was so devastating, and putting the pieces of my life back together over the next couple of weeks and months after that was really difficult. I thankfully had a lot of support from my family and my employer. I did slowly put the pieces of my life back together to the point that I started dating again, about a year after he passed.

I ended up meeting my husband now, Dan, and we got married. He adopted my older two sons and then we had a third together. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was a stay-at-home mom by choice but I don't have the skills to be a stay-at-home mom. I love my kids to death but it wasn't my calling.

I realized I started making these wood banks in our garage and the banks have three compartments for give, save, and spend. I engraved my son's name on top and I made them because my late husband, Adam was so passionate about financial literacy. I felt like if there's one thing I'm going to teach these kids about their late father, it's going to be that principle that he really felt was very important. 

After I made a few for my family, my husband encouraged me to put them on Etsy and they blew up and it really was a labor of love. Like I felt it was a way of channeling my grief, making all of those banks by hand in the beginning.

And they just became so much more popular than I could have ever. When we first started an Etsy page, I was hoping maybe I'd get one sale but it really grew from there, and building a business now and building a product line that honors my late husband, that's where the words enduring legacy came from.

Those principles of financial literacy were so important to him, they're important to a lot of families. So we're trying to honor everyone's family and our banks now are customizable. So if someone wants a religious component on their bank, they can do that or if they want to have different wording, they can do that too.

So as our banks became more popular, we found a wood toy manufacturer that was able to do the woodworking for us and we had this wood shop then, that was used to being just dedicated to making these wood banks. Then we found another wood company in Wisconsin and the husband and wife were ready to retire.

That company is called Navy Paddles and we make beautiful awards and military recognition gifts. We took over the operation of that woodworking company last year, which was definitely not in the plan when we initially started but we grew the business to a place that made sense when the time came.

There's so much in the opening of what you've shared that I think we'll have a lot to talk about and a lot that the listeners are going to relate to as well as me personally. The timing of these things is sometimes not so much coincidence, but a little bit more synchronicity.

So this is my first podcast recording in several weeks and that is because my brother unexpectedly died at 43 and passed away three weeks ago, it'd be four weeks on Wednesday. I'm seeing what my sister-in-law is going through, she's raising their four-year-olds who just turned five this past weekend and it's hard to have the unexpected passing of your husband while you're raising kids. 

My mom and dad have passed as well. During the intro, I mentioned that legacy is really big to me and this is why legacy is, and that's why I opened with a question, like, where does enduring legacy come from? I figured there was a meaningful story behind it and I think the first thing I want to say is, that I applaud your strength to keep going and turn the grief into something positive because fast forward to today, you’re an owner of multiple businesses, you're remarried, he adopted your children. 

So there's been this beautiful unfolding to something that was really tragic, but also you took something very tragic and chose to lean into the legacy. So what I like to ask is that so many of us deal with grief, it's not as commonly talked about because we acknowledge passing, but grief is not linear, it's not two weeks later or two years later, it's over and so I think I'd like to just start there. 

What would you say to a listener who still might be struggling with grief and wanting to do something positive with it? turn it into legacy. What if you were to have them turn inward or whatever your feedback is, what would you say to a listener who might be grieving right now?

Embracing the Nonlinear Path of Grief

The biggest lesson I have learned about grief is that it is not linear and you cannot predict it all the time. As I mentioned, this week is the 7th anniversary, and that date is always very hard for me. I think giving myself a lot of grace that I can, even seven years later, still be eagerly, easily triggered, and sometimes feel like I'm back in those early days of grief, it doesn't last as long anymore.

It's not as intense these days, but it still hits you unexpectedly and I think you just have to acknowledge that it is part of life and part of grief because I think if you expect that it's just going to go away, you're going to set yourself to be disappointed.

That's really good feedback and also, what I'm witnessing for myself as well. 

How did you turn that into a positive? the legacy. I absolutely love even what you named your company and I think that, for me too as I think about my brother's legacy is where I really want to go. He has three kids, and his wife is still talking about, how do we bring his legacy forward.

And of course, we already have some ideas, but I think that helps us grieve more positively when talking about the legacy. So also, if you don't mind sharing, what is your take on bringing the legacy as part of your healing journey?

Finding Healing, Resilience, and Growth through Legacy

I think when you can remember a few, as much as you can, obviously, but those couple of special things that made the person you're grieving extra special to you, that can keep their memory alive.

Those are the things that you're going to want to share with, your, their, his children, or the things I want to share about my late husband with my boys. And, so I think that's a really positive way, like you said, to grieve and to remember those couple of special things that made them unique and celebrated it.

I don't think it's an accident that we ended up speaking this week. You've taken this situation again that was unexpected and sudden passing is definitely very hard to deal with and you've turned it into this really positive thing, not only for your children, but other people have taken on it.

You're producing a product that people love. You've turned into multiple companies. What would you say, I think we probably have covered some challenges you've had to overcome, but is there anything specific, like another challenge or aspect of this that you'd like to share with the listeners?

Throughout this business-building process, my new husband Dan, and I, also lost a significant amount of weight. We each lost about 125 pounds. And one thing that we definitely learned through this process is, once you're able to get a hold of one area of your life and you've got like this area figured out, your job, for instance, then if you try to figure out one more thing, tip, it's not, it's more manageable if you figure it out bit by bit.

And then it's like the snowball effect in your life that you're just always leveling up and we have found that to be true. It's once we got a hold of our professional lives and then, we were able to manage our eating habits better. It was just bit by bit. It wasn't all at once.

I like that advice too, bit by bit, I'm big on empowering, helping people to empower their lives and I often say you're the CEO of your life, but I like looking at life through those different lenses, profession, and purpose or health and wellness and relationships. But I do feel that taking on everything at one time often doesn't lead to success. It's often when you can focus, like you said, on your career. You also learn your internal formula of how you've overcome challenges, and what worked, and then you can apply those lessons to the other categories. 

Did you find yourself using what you learned in business and then applying that to your health and weight loss journey?

Building your Personal Formula

There is a lot of crossover in the categories and what you said, like your personal formula. I have found that to be true in almost every aspect of my life. Cause I love to read and listen to what other experts have to say and there are always good nuggets of information, but you always have to interpret it through the lens of how is it going to best suit me and I think in the past I would have just taken what those experts said and tried to apply it word for word to my life. 

I've realized that you do have to have your own personal formula.

So listeners, build your own formula but learn it because it's repeatable. I think, even going back, my brother's passing is super raw. It's not even four weeks yet and knowing that I've been through this differently before, I've lost my mom and my dad separately and there's been some significant loss. 

I do know my personal formula and I'm able to bring that strength or I'm able to recall that and bring it into me now and it's giving me support in times where I have knee-buckling grief. So, not this whole episode needs to be about grief, but life is filled with trials and triumphs.

And I love that you've talked about this. There are two themes in our conversation so far that I really enjoy, and one of them is personal formula. I feel finding out how you level up in categories or not even level up at how you grow and experience things, and then once you have that as a strength, reapplying it to other areas of your life.

And then also, this theme of legacy and turning something painful into something purposeful. So now that you're coming up on the seven-year anniversary of this tragic event, and you have turned it into a positive purpose, how do you feel now?

Normalizing Death and Grief

It's definitely still hard. I still look back sometimes and can't believe how far I have come since my late husband died. Some days it feels like it's only been seven years and sometimes it feels like it's only been seven years, are you kidding me? So it's still difficult, but we don't talk enough about how every human is going to be impacted by grief at some point in their life, and I think we're lucky at times when we get to experience grief because it is a reminder that we love that person and the joy that they brought to our lives.

We're all going to pass away someday, and I think we need to normalize death and grief a little bit more in our culture because it's just that we shy away from it.

Thank you for being open to talk about it cause I just went instinctively as far as where to go with the conversations. I feel like it's a conversation that needs to be more talked about and normalized because here we are two strangers who've never met except on paper, yet here's this significant connection that we have, that absolutely I'm sure many listeners have too. So thank you for having the courage to speak about it as well.

So from where you sit now, whether it's if you're wearing all the hats and you're just giving the high-level view of where you are in your life now, or if you want to pick a business hat on, or the grieving hat on, but wherever you want to take this question. What's a lesson that's up for you right now that you can share with the listeners, or an aha?

The Power of Continuous Learning

One major lesson I have learned throughout this process, I continue to learn again and again on how important continuous learning is. I don't know if it was the time I grew up in the nineties and graduated college in the early two thousands. I don't know if it was just the culture or if it was me personally, but I just had this idea that once I graduated college, I was done. I learned everything I needed to learn and I was good to go, and now I see how flawed that was and how continuing to learn in a lot of aspects or every aspect of your life is so powerful. 

I feel that we're never done, we're never done learning because we're always evolving. I think that aha or lesson that you shared is just very valuable. So listeners out there, continuous learning is so good for you

I'm always so big. I'm like go, learn. Here's a book that I love, and here's this that I love, but I think that exploration also helps you find more of what you're made of.

As I think about your answer about continuous learning, especially on top of the conversation that we're having, I think that for me, and I'm interested in your take on this, continuous learning has helped me make meaning out of the chaos and loss. It also helped me turn that pain into purpose because I'm able to rationalize it in a way that makes sense to me.

And then I'm like, I'm a do-gooder and I want to turn it into a positive, and that continuous learning approach has really helped me do that. So I'm curious about your take on that also.

I agree with you and I think what I hear you saying, some professionals would refer to a growth mindset. I think you're absolutely right. It is a really powerful force in your personal life if you're able to, and it doesn't have to be big, it doesn't have to be like taking college courses, just trying to expand your horizons. You can continually read a book, or listen to a podcast.

I want to ask you next now that you're into the legacy side of things and building these businesses, plural, why are you passionate about it?

The Passion Behind Every Swing of the Hammer

The passion I felt in those early days in my garage, making each bank by hand, I know it sounds corny, but sharing my passion and my late husband's passion in every swing of the hammer and when people are looking for a unique gift or an award or some, high-quality item that they want to have in their home or at their office, we want to be able to help with that because we understand the passion behind why you want to give that product or award. 

So there are so many things that if we don't remember and commemorate the special moments in our life, then it can be easy to get down and not think about the positive things.

There's a lot there too that I really enjoyed. The first thing that came to mind is, how have your kids taken to seeing you do something with such passion, purpose, and joy?

They don't know any other and they don't remember when I had a normal job. So they don't know it any other way. They all say as of right now, they want to work with me when they grow up, which I would love. I'm realistic that maybe they won't end up, but I think they enjoy it. I think they like being involved and having little jobs that help with the cause.

So the book that I'm writing or I'm done writing it in for copy edit right now is called A Return to Radiance. I had a really unique upbringing too, my parents were full-time musicians when I was first born and then transitioned into weekend musicians when they got jobs and stuff.

But I was always around people that enjoyed what they did and growing up in that environment, that's what I call it — Radiance. It just almost permitted me to be who I wanted to be and think of life without so many limitations. So I do think that your kids if that's the only experience they have, it's going to give them permission on the other side to be who they are.

That's really cool that you've included them in the process.

I will say life is too short to have a job you don't like, and I understand there are a lot of things that go into why people stay in jobs but it's time for a new job if you don't like your current one.

You got to enjoy what you're doing and life is too short. We both experienced the short side of it, you might as well pour your energy into something that you enjoy and that gives you meaning and a sense of purpose

What is something empowering you can share with the listeners for where you are today?

The Courage to Pursue

Where I am today is we are trying to build our business in the local business, community in our area, and our state. And we're trying to do that through connections like the Rotary Club and other service groups that we can be a part of. We're just trying to be involved and that's the next step in our growth, just telling people that we are here and we exist. 

We started in grief and then we ended in a much more positive space of what you've turned everything around and turned it into. 

I read a quote recently and I'll share it. I don't know who said it but being an entrepreneur or any of your listeners who are maybe interested in doing their own thing or putting themselves out there in any way can feel really scary. There's a lot of fear associated with the whole process, but the quote that I read was that courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important. 

I have felt that a lot in my journey because there have definitely been a lot of times when I've been afraid or maybe afraid isn't the right word, anxiety, and you're just not sure what the right next move is going to be, but I have this driving force in my gut of something bigger. That kind of keeps me going and I really liked that quote.

I love that it ended by saying you have this driving force in your gut. I feel that too. Sometimes, it's just on and I know I need to follow it because it's scary. After all, I don't always know where it's going to go, but typically, it just opens up a door that's so much better than where I am today.

So I love that you ended it there, Amanda, like from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being on the show. I'm like tearing up right now cause I didn't know that's where we were going to go. And obviously, it's a very tender space for me, but it takes a lot of vulnerability. And as you said, it's not talked about enough.

So I just really appreciate you holding that space so that we could get in and talk about grief, especially with your seventh anniversary coming up, my brothers will be on Wednesday for four weeks. And I think this episode is really going to help a lot of people. So thank you for being a guest on the empowered half hour and doing all the wonderful things that you're doing and contributing to the world.

Be kind to yourself as you go forward in the next few weeks.


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