Brian Barczyk is a YouTuber and friend with a terminal diagnosis
Despite that he has decided to move forward with his legacy project, even with 12-18 months to live
I learned 3 key lessons from Brian - Traveling isn’t real purpose - Get aligned with your dying wish - Leverage perspective gracefully
Remember that we all have an expiration date and ask yourself how you’d live if you knew yours
Purpose is literally a reason to live
Donate to Brian’s legacy project - which he’s calling Legacy Aquarium. $2.5m is the total amount needed to make an amazing man’s dream come true! Every little bit helps!
Brian Barczyk is a YouTuber with a deep love for animals and a genuine spirit which is why he’s accumulated 17m+ followers across platforms! Recently Brian received a diagnosis of inoperable late-stage pancreatic cancer and, with chemo, likely has around 12 months to live. He sat down with me for over 2 hours on Tribe of Millionaires to tell his story. Between that and other conversations we’ve had, I extracted 3 life changing lessons that I’m applying and I want each of you to as well!
He sat down with our local chapter in Michigan (I was not present) and for 3 hours they debated one question - should Brian continue with the build of his aquarium or should he cut his losses and enjoy what little life he has left.
Interestingly, every member in the room gave the advice to build the aquarium. Brian is convinced that NOT building the aquarium actually shortens his life span.
The consensus was that true purpose drives life - and Brian wants as much life as he can get.
Chemo, diet modifications, medication and other treatments aside, the real way he plans to extend life is to anchor into what he knows in his soul is his meaning and purpose - sharing his love for animals with the world.
His new aquarium does that and will live on much longer than he will.
Travel and adventure are great. They represent enjoyment of life, but they are not a reason to live.
If given 12 months, a world tour would feel heavy and sad knowing that each day and adventure is the last one of its kind.
I’d much rather spend each day clear of the 80-90% of things that are busy, non-impactful work and would be heavily focused on the 10-20% of things that I love.
Brian continues to create YouTube videos and is pushing forward with this project. They both represent his life’s purpose. I admire that about Brian more than I can express.
LESSON #2 - GET ALIGNED WITH YOUR DYING WISH
Brian’s fighting for time - anything else is futile.
But we’re all fighting for time. Every second that ticks away is one closer to the end of our life. 44 came faster than I ever imagined. Brian has the curse and odd blessing of knowing his likely expiration date.
What if you knew? What if April 16, 2046 was your last day and you knew that, what would you do differently today?
One of the biggest shifts in my life came when I tapped into a future version of me on my last day on earth and all I wanted to see was my wife and kids. Not my net worth statement, or my bank balance, or my number of downloads.
Simultaneously I realized that my vision of that last day is me old and gray, 96 years old in my bed. But what if it’s when I’m 53? Or 61? Or 47?
If my dying wish is to simply to be surrounded by Silvia, Sebastian and Julian that means being a father and husband is first. So why, then, do I cancel on them to keep a meeting with someone else? Why do I think I can ‘get to them’ soon and be the man I want to be on my last day?
It’s because I’m arrogant enough to think I won’t be Brian. That my story ends decades from now.
Today is when I align with myself on my last day. Not tomorrow.
Watching Brian make decisions with his limited time allows me to see him focused on family and legacy - that’s it. His purpose and passion are on full display. He’s who he needs to be on his last day - whenever that will be.
LESSON #3 - LEVERAGE PERSPECTIVE GRACEFULLY
As I’m writing this I’m having a pretty good day. Yesterday though, I didn’t. I’ll admit - I’m feeling the energy of a shifting economy, the stories of loss like Brian’s and others and I felt heavy .. really heavy.
I talked to my accountability partner from my Pod and it helped.
One thing I’ve said and he reminded me of is that Brian WISHES he had the problems I do right now. The concerns or self-doubt I feel. Which is true.
That perspective helped, but I could also feel myself leveraging it in a way that created a level of self-hate. An internal dialogue of ‘how dare you’.
The conclusion I reached, and I can’t quite explain in words how Brian’s influence helped this, is that I’m allowed to feel shitty. I’m allowed to live in the ‘suck’ and not have to drag myself out of it with perspective.
It’s a tool to be leveraged for sure, to remember there’s always someone worse off, but when I felt myself denying my feelings because I shouldn’t be allowed to feel what I do when Brian’s going through what he’s going through is unhealthy.
I hope you all decide to donate to Brian’s legacy wish. Listen to the episode if you need to get more connected with this amazing man.
#1: Pareto’s Principle
80% of our results are from 20% of our actions. We all spend 80% of our time, however, getting 20% of our results instead. For me, Brian’s story is the most sobering reminder ever to analyze how I spend my time, and I’d encourage you to do the same. What are the 20% activities that get you the results you want? How do you further align with them?
#2: My Job Was an 80% Task
I made $400,000 a year in my corporate career and at the end, it was clear through analysis that it was only getting me 20% of my results. If money is the measure, then the numbers don’t hold up - I was paid well! But if living purposefully, waking up happy, traveling the world with family, having experiences while we’re young and healthy are the results I’m going for, then the job was low leverage. As I side-hustled my way through iterations of entrepreneurship until I took it on full time, the results I craved actually came from my 20% activities - connecting others and facilitating conversations. I hope everyone reads that last sentence twice who feels stuck in a job or business currently. When I hosted a meetup, webinar, podcast, sent an email introducing people to each other - it provided me with the results I say I wanted. What’s your job? An 80 or a 20?
#3: A 2 Step Decision Making Process
If I went to Brian and said ‘hey, you wanna go out and get a beer this weekend?’. He’d say no. Sounds silly to even suggest it right? But I know that I say yes to the most seemingly innocent things because, well, I’m invincible! It sounds good. Sure!
Brian can’t afford ‘sure’. He can’t live in ‘sure’. ‘Sure’ is ridiculous. No one reading this would fault Brian for saying NO to most everything.
I’m working on eliminating ‘sure’ and filtering EVERYTHING through two channels. Is it a HELL YES? OMG YES? FUCK YES? If it is, game on! If it’s not, it goes to the second decision channel - NO.
Tribe of Millionaires Podcast Episode
✯ Here’s the episode with Brian. Make it a hell yes. Listen to parts of it. On your drive. At the gym. Combine it with another activity. But I’d encourage you to hear the voice and wisdom of a man who was gracious enough to provide his perspective after getting the worst news he could.
Lessons From Living Abroad ✯ Kute Blackson was on the podcast and talked about the concept of ‘surrender’. We recently decided to move back to the US in August and not extend our stay. One year was always the commitment. Both boys want to go home after a year and we want to honor their move to a new country, new school, new language. My oldest has been particularly vocal about not staying. He’s resisted truly learning Spanish. We’ve given him reasons why staying is good, even had a Spanish tutor for him. He resisted more with us forcing the action. We took away the tutor, decided to leave him alone on his resistance to staying but have NOT told him flights are booked for August. Yesterday, he told me it’s starting to feel like home here! Surrender is a lesson no matter where you sit!
Stuff I Find Funny ✯ Debated if I should put anything funny in this newsletter given the topic, but we all need to laugh. Don’t think I’ve shared this one but OMG it’s hilarious (to me at least!)
I’d love to work more closely with you in our incredible Emerge Supercharged community! See the pricing offer below…
This community is packed full of content and structure to get you CLARITY, build CONFIDENCE and show you how to leverage COMMUNITY. Our content library, structure, concierge level of service and proximity provided to multi-millionaire entrepreneurs has been valued at over $26,000 .. and we retail the first year of the program at $7,500! But you can join our next launch and get into our 8 week accelerator with full access to the community for just $1,500 (or two payments of $799). That’s more than 90% off to join us and accelerate your life!