Episode 24: Interview with August Turak on Personal Transformation, Business Success & Living with Trappist Monks
The Happy Self® Podcast with Tracy Fox
Tracy interviews August Turak an award-winning author, speaker, consultant and contributor for Forbes.com and the BBC. He is also the founder of the spiritual and educational nonprofit the Self Knowledge Symposium Foundation (SKSF). A super successful entrepreneur and corporate executive, Turak attributes much of his success to living and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey since 1996. As a frequent monastic guest, he learned firsthand from the monks as they grew an incredibly successful portfolio of businesses. When he is not praying and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey, he works with his nonprofit and lives on a seventy-five-acre farm near Raleigh, North Carolina.
#075: Why Serving Through Selflessness is the Key to Success, with August Turak
Boardroom Bound with Alexander Lowry
When your team succeeds, you succeed. This is the mindset we need to bring more into the boardroom to achieve a greater amount of success. To be a servant leader is to put others before yourself and serve your peers while accomplishing your bottom line. An expert on this leadership style joins the show today to pass on to us the wisdom and life lessons his mentors imparted to him and also to share some success stories he’s seen from servant leadership. In today’s episode, August Turak provides key insights from his extensive career in governance. He helps us better understand the idea of servant leadership as it relates to the boardroom and also gives us advice for how to implement this style of leading and thinking in our everyday lives. Join us as we discuss all of these topics and more on this episode of Boardroom Bound. Click here to listen now! Subscribe & Review in iTunesAre you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode. I’m adding bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes! Liked this episode? I would be really grateful if you'd take 30 seconds to leave an honest review in iTunes. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Plus, I love to give shoutouts on the show to everyone who submits a review. Just click here to review, tap “Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Let's Get Social! I absolutely love connecting with listeners on social media. I'm most active on LinkedIn. (And yes, I do personally post and respond to my accounts!) This is a great way to hear my latest thinking, get the inside track on new products, and occasionally see a picture of my adorable toddler. Tools of the TradeThere are tools and resources out there to help you short-circuit the boardroom search process. The trick is knowing the right ones to use. My commitment to you is that I will always go first. I continually explore what's needed. I experiment with what works and what doesn't. The tools and resources I recommend come with a discount for my audience. If you're trying to quickly build your board resume and want some expert help, consider JobStars USA. JobStars provides Resume Writing Services and Career Coaching for entry through executive-level professionals across virtually every industry. They’re versatile but very good (and very experienced). They offer a 30-day period of unlimited edits with whatever package you choose. They want to ensure you're happy with the final version. SAVE 10% OFF ANY ORDER WITH COUPON CODE: Boardroom10Resources Mentioned in This EpisodeAugust Turak's Bestsellers
August Turak (Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks, and Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim, and the Meaning of Life), joins Sam for an in-depth discussion of principles and strategies for success.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
August Turak From Trappist Monks to Trusting Experts (ep#05-09/20)
August Turak is a successful entrepreneur, award winning author, speaker and founder of the educational nonprofit Self Knowledge Symposium Foundation. Since 1996 he has worked alongside monks of Mepkin Abbey. He authored Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s quest for Meaning and Authenticity and his latest book Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim, and the Purpose of Life” offers a new way of thinking for our survival and soul. Our topic “Do you trust the experts?” His articles on service and selflessness have appeared in Forbes and the BBC. www.AugustTurak.com For updates follow @erskineradio on Twitter
EP#135 AUGUST TURAK Monks Pilgrims and The purpose of Life
The Quiet Warrior Show
August Turak is a successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, media contributor, and award winning author who attributes much of his success to living and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey since 1996. Turak’s first book, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity, was published by Columbia Business School Publishing in 2013. The book chronicles Turak’s 20-year odyssey as a frequent monastic guest at the Trappist monastery of Mepkin Abbey; the monks he came to know and love; the rugged lifestyle of prayer and work he share with them, and the amazing secret to 1000 years of Trappist business success: a secret that Turak calls service and selflessness. In parallel, the book describes how Turak and his partners used these Trappist business techniques to build and eventually sell two highly successful software businesses using only $2000 in seed capital and an unwavering commitment to the Trappist business model. Finally, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks demonstrates that the new economic model that Pope Francis seems to be seeking – in light of his frequent critiques of capitalism – already exists within the Judeao-Christian Tradition. Trappist monks have been successfully running businesses for 1000 years. The Trappist model doesn’t reject capitalism. Instead it transcends the flaws and limitations of capitalism. The Trappists are not wildly successful in business despite their commitment to only the highest moral and ethical principles; they are successful because they are. What every good Trappist knows is that the more we forget our selfish motivations the more successful we become. By chronicling how he was able to build two highly successful companies in a secular marketplace using this model, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks emphatically demonstrates that the Trappist model is not all “motherhood and fluff,” nor is it only suitable for cloistered monks. For example, in 2017, Avera Health, a large, Catholic, Midwest hospital chain bought 1500 copies ofBusiness Secrets of the Trappist Monks. They worked exclusively with Turak’s nonprofit SKSF to build a Resource Guide and Videos using the book and subsequently created a companywide, year-long program in organizational meaning and purpose and reported outstanding results. August Turak grew up in the cable TV business. He was a founding employee of both MTV: Music Television, and what is now the A&E Network in the 1980s. He is still in touch with Tom Freston, the former CEO of Viacom, and received a blurb for the back of his business book. Later, Turak moved to North Carolina and started the software companies that were eventually sold to BMC Software for 150 million dollars. Though his head did well in business, Turak’s religious heart was always spiritually searching for a higher meaning and purpose to life. In 1996 all these issues came to head when a freakish sky diving accident triggered a severe “Dark Night of the Soul.” Looking for solace from deep depression, Turak turned to the monks of Mepkin Abbey: A Trappist monastery just outside Charleston, SC. He has been a frequent monastic guest ever since. Turak often spends weeks and even months at a time getting up at 3:00 AM to live, pray, and work alongside the monks. It was by living so closely with the monks that Turak was able to experience the monastic stories and lessons that he used to write Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks. In 2004, almost on a whim, August Turak entered the John Templeton Foundation’s Power of Purposeessay contest. Although he had never written anything for publication before, his essay, Brother John, bested thousands of other entries and won the $100,000 grand prize. Brother John is the story of how a magical encounter with a Trappist monk finally taught Turak the purpose of life and the secret to happiness. Brother John was later reprinted in the anthologies The Best Christian Writing and The Best Catholic Writing. The Templeton Prize dramatically changed Turak’s life. Brother John was published in two anthologies, The Best Christian Writing and The Best Catholic Writing, and this, in turn, launched him on a second career. Turak became a leadership contributor for Forbes.com, an on-air radio contributor for the BBC, and Columbia Business School published his book, Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks. But the common fourteen-year-old thread that runs through all this subsequent work is the spirit of service and selflessness: a monastic thread that leads right back to a spool called Brother John. But, despite Turak’s intense gratitude, over the years, Brother John gradually became a Zen koan for him: a frustrating stone in his shoe that led directly to this book… Brother John was written in 2004, and it is increasingly hard to find, yet we still receive a small, but steady, stream of correspondence from people who have stumbled upon the essay. Almost without exception, they write about howBrother John helped them through the death of a child, an episode of severe depression, or a particularly painful divorce. Being periodically reminded of the healing power of Brother John has been a double-edged blessing. Turak is, of course, profoundly moved and humbled by these letters. They always take him back to 1996: the year when the events you are about to read about actually took place. It was not an innocent religious “retreat” that initially sent August Turak to Mepkin Abbey and Brother John. A freakish sky-diving accident had triggered a personal crisis, or “Dark Night of the Soul.” Turak arrived at Mepkin Abbey hip deep in a desperate battle against depression, panic, and incipient despair. As a result, it has been especially gratifying for Turak to discover that his essay seems to convey a bit of that same healing power that he received from Brother John and the monks of Mepkin: a healing power that saved his life. Yet there is also a downside to this blessing. Why? Because these letters always left Turak wondering how much more good Brother John could accomplish if it were more widely available. He seemed to be the proud owner of a marvelous candle snugly nestled under the proverbial bushel basket. All this came to a head when a business executive drove 400 miles to thank August for writing Brother John. For several years, Turak had been toying with the idea of turning Brother John into an illustrated book. A busy executive willing to drive 400 miles proved decisive: something bigger was insisting that Turak act on his idea. Through grace or luck, he found an amazing artist, collaborator, and friend in Glenn Harrington. Glenn is an award-winning artist who has done illustrations and cover art for all the major publishers. He was also commissioned to paint many of the portraits that now grace the World Golf Hall of Fame. Glenn took immediately to the essay and to the project. On his own initiative, he travelled to Mepkin Abbey to meet Brother John and to immerse himself in the Trappist way of life. Glenn is a deeply religious man, and his art not only captures the spirit of Brother John but also conveys the serenity and mystical power that make Mepkin Abbey a spiritual nexus, a place where heaven and earth meet. At the John Templeton Foundation’s Power of Purpose awards ceremony in New York City, Turak was asked what he intended to do with the $100,000 grand prize. He replied that he intended to give it to charity. After donating to Mepkin Abbey and several other favorite charities, Turak used the remainder to fund the Self Knowledge Symposium Foundation (SKSF). The SKSF is a not-for-profit corporation we created. Our mission is to bring Brother John’s transformative message of meaning and purpose to a Western culture increasingly bereft of meaning and purpose. Over the intervening years, Turak continues to fund the SKSF, and any remuneration he receives from his writing, speaking engagements, consulting, or personal coaching, is donated back to the SKSF to underwrite our ongoing efforts. In our latest effort to make a difference, we are turning August Turak’s Templeton Prize winning essay into an illustrated book: Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim, and the Purpose of Life. It will be released on October 21st. It is available now for pre-release orders on Amazon. The book will contain 22 original oil paintings of Mepkin Abbey by the award-winning artist, Glenn Harrington. The rights to Turak’s essay, and therefore to this book, have been transferred to the SKSF. All royalties will be reinvested into future efforts like this one. At the most critical moment of Turak’s life, Brother John offered to share his umbrella. Turak’s life is now dedicated to sharing, to the best of his ability, this magical umbrella with you and all our fellow men.
Summary: Have you ever had the thought “There must be more to life than this?!”In this podcast we explore what it means to life a life of meaning and purpose and what it takes to become the ‘best human being we can possibly be’.Augie (who’s been likened to “Socrates on steroids!”) also talks about his own relentless passion for truth and journey of transformation. He argues that the purpose of life is not ‘relative’ but the same for every single human being.We also explore Zen masters, spiritual experiences, enlightenment, leadership, entrepreneurship, “happy accidents” and how ‘attention’ is the key to performance and ‘flow’ – to name but a few!Augie ends the interview with his ‘signature line’ – “It is in your own self-interest to forget yourself.”About August: AUGUST TURAK is an award-winning author, speaker, consultant and contributor for Forbes.com and the BBC. He is also the founder of the spiritual and educational non-profit the Self Knowledge Symposium Foundation (SKSF).A super successful entrepreneur and corporate executive, Turak attributes much of his success to living and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey since 1996. As a frequent monastic guest, he learned first-hand from the monks as they grew an incredibly successful portfolio of businesses.When he is not praying and working alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey, he works with his non-profit and lives on a seventy-five-acre farm near Raleigh, North Carolina.https://augustturak.com/
WHY YOU ALREADY KNOW YOUR LIFE PURPOSE & HOW TO LIVE IT!!! August Turak
Inspire Nation Show with Michael Sandler
If you’ve ever wanted to know the purpose of life and why you’re here, then do we have the Brother John show for you! Today I’ll be talking with August Turak, award winning author, speaker, contributor for Forbes.com, and the BBC, founder of the Self Knowledge Symposium Foundation, author of "Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks", and one of the most beautiful, meaningful books I’ve ever read, "Brother John". And that’s just what I want to talk with him about today, about a monk, a pilgrim, and the purpose of life! Key Points Discussed: What are happy accidents? What happened to August after jumping out of an airplane? What was his dark night of the soul? How did August end up working for MTV before they even launched? How did he go from being a CEO to cleaning monastery toilets? What did he learn when he first went to a Trappist Monastery? What does he mean that work is a form or prayer? What does it mean that everything is sacred? Who is Brother John and what is his magical umbrella? What can we learn from Brother John? What is the true purpose of our life? Why are we so scared to see what the purpose is of our individual lives? How do we dive into our purpose? What is the truth of the meaning of life? What’s the importance of self-commitment, and to what??? What are the biggest lies? What are we so afraid of? What does it mean to act on faith? What is grace? What’s the importance of living a meaningful life? What does it mean “Trappist monks don’t just make success happen, they let success happen” What can we learn about business success from Trappist monks??? What can we learn from near death experiences about the meaning of life??? Additional Resources: www.AugustTurak.com ……. For free meditations, weekly tips, stories, and similar shows visit: www.InspireNationShow.com To support the show and get even more great tools, tips, and behind-the-scenes access, visit: www.Patreon.com/InspireNation And to follow Inspire Nation (and the lives of Michael and Jessica) on Instagram, go to www.instagram.com/inspirenationlive
Being an Entrepreneur Isn't Enough—And Other Lessons Serial Entrepreneur August Turak Learned From His Father
Talking Business Now
August Turak, serial entreprener and award-winning author who attributes much of his success to his 20-year stint as a frequent guest of the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey, joins host Kelly Scanlon on this episode of Talking Business Now. In our May 24, 2019 interview with Turak, he talked about the 1996 skydiving accident that triggered the emotional crisis that sent him to the Abbey in search of spiritual solace; his Christmas Eve exchange with a monk named Brother John that led him to write his Templeton prize-winning essay, Brother John: A Monk, a Pilgrim and the Purpose of Life;and his book Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity, in which he describes how to apply the lessons he learned from the monks to achieve business success.In this episode, Turak returns to Talking Business Now to discuss the life and leadership lessons he learned from his father, which he published as a tribute in Forbes.com—on what would have been his father’s 100th birthday. Among them:■ Be Your Best■ Be Bold■ The Value of Struggle... and several others.Turak was a founding employee of MTV and the A&E Network. Later, he founded software companies that eventually sold to BMC Software for $150 million. He currently runs a not-for-profit called the Self-Knowledge Symposium Foundation.Connect with August Turak:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aturakTwitter: https://twitter.com/AugustTurakLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/augustturak/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brother John is the true story of a meaningful encounter between a man going through a mid-life crisis, and an umbrella-wielding Trappist monk. This magical encounter on Christmas Eve eventually leads the author, and us all, to the redemptive power of an authentically purposeful life. Uplifting, deeply moving, Brother John is dramatically brought to life by over twenty full color paintings by Glenn Harrington, a multiple award-winning artist. Brother John's moving story takes place at Christmastime, and its inspirational message and rich illustrations are sure to bring the reader back again and again throughout the year.AUGUST TURAK is a successful entrepreneur and award-winning author who attributes much of his success to his 20-year stint as a frequent monastic guest of the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey. As a monastic guest, he lives and works alongside the monks sometimes for months at a time.In 1996 Turak was the CEO of his own company when a skydiving accident triggered the emotional crisis or “Dark Night of the Soul” that sent him to Mepkin Abbey in search of the spiritual solace that he so desperately needed and that the monks so graciously provided.