Episode 78: The purpose driven life with Alan Farmer, COO
Chief Operating Officer of Larry’s Barber College, Larry’s Barber Maximus, and host of Clipper Talk TV, Adam Farmer is living his purpose driven life and transforming lives.
Connecting purpose with opportunity
Owner, Larry Roberts, Jr, and Adam have known each other for over a decade. But it wasn’t until the death of George Floyd that the two businessmen would labor together in purpose. “Everything shifted,” Adam explains. He wasn’t looking for a job. “But I was looking for something to do where I could actually help someone.”
It didn’t take long for Adam to realize; he had found what he was looking for with his longtime friend. “When I understood the impact, he was having on young black and brown men and women through the barber college, I felt compelled to go ahead and help him.”
More ministry than business, Larry’s Barber College gives Chicago kids an opportunity to learn a profitable skill. “The trade of barbering is really an art and a science,” says Adam. “Once they become a licensed professional, they can take care of their families and be able to make legitimate money for themselves.”
Adam says Roberts has a heart for wanting to help people who need a second chance. “One of the things that attracted me to him was the work he was doing inside the correctional facilities. We have a Larry’s Barber College Program inside of the Cook County Department of Corrections.” Co-laboring in purpose, Larry’s Barber College is helping inmates become licensed so that when they are released, they have opportunities and hope for a future.
Adam is sharing the work through his Clipper Talk TV podcast. “I wanted to amplify those stories. I was looking for people whom Larry had influenced their life and now they’re out. They’re barbers now and they are taking care of their families.”
Purpose driven life
Adam and Roberts have managed to find a way to balance business and ministry. “Most people think about capitalism in terms of greedy rich folk.” Businesses become great companies but lose sight of the original mission. “We wanted to start off with an anchor.” Solving a problem in the world that is big enough, people are invested in helping you solve it. Is it something that God cares about?
“That puts a different spin on it,” Adam explains. “I can’t just be thinking about making a bunch of money.” That’s when greed comes in and seduces us. “This is really about servant leadership. Leadership is important. But are you the type of leader who can serve people first?”
If you work with youth and want to connect, please visit our SOYOT page. Let’s work together to inspire the next generation. Until next time, be informed, be empowered, and be accountable.