Personal Legend Project: Frank Basile

Frank Basile, Philanthropist

Frank Basile, Heartland Film Festival, Interim President

I first met Frank and his wife Katrina in 2010 when Frank was in need of some portraits for a column he writes.  A friendly and unassuming couple, I was unaware of the significant impact they had on the local arts scene.  Not only has their generosity landed their names on various theaters around town, but Frank uses his “retirement” running not-for-profits on an interim basis and serving on multiple boards.

Be sure to check out the Heartland Film Festival this fall, October 20-30, in various locations around Indianapolis

Frank Basile, Philanthropist

The following set of six questions will be answered by each of the subjects.

1)  Some people call it a “true calling” or their “life’s work.”  In the book The Alchemist, author Paulo Coelho calls it your Personal Legend. What do you consider to be your true calling, or Personal Legend?

Doing something that serves a mission that I believe in – whether working at the Gene B. Glick Company as I did for 33 years, serving on a board of a not-for-profit organization, doing volunteer work or, as I am doing now, serving as interim president of the Heartland Film Festival.  Four years ago, I served as interim president and CEO of the Center for the Performing Arts and also loved that challenge and felt fulfilled by accomplishing the job. 

2)  When did you first realize that this was your calling?

In the early 1980s when I joined the board of the Indianapolis Art League.  

Frank Basile, Philanthropist

3)  People often become completely engrossed, losing track of time or outside concerns while performing tasks related to their calling.  This might be referred to as being “in the zone” or “flow.”  When do you experience this most often?

When I am facing a difficult challenge while working at something I love and enjoy.  This happens often when I take over the top job for a not-for-profit on an emergency basis because there is generally a tough situation to deal with.  

4)  What is the greatest challenge or obstacle you’ve faced in pursuit of your life’s work?

Obstacles over which I have little or no control frustrate me and cause the greatest challenge.  

Frank Basile, Philanthropist

5)  What has pursuing your Personal Legend taught you?

To help others discover their Personal Legend, something that also falls into the category of one aspect of my calling.  My personal mission has always been to help others reach their potential by using their God-given talents to the greatest extent possible in pursuing their dreams, whatever they are.  In the 1980s and 1990s I did this primarily through my motivational speaking and writing of columns and books and in the 2000s through my philanthropy and organizational work through not-for-profits.  

6)  What piece of advice can you offer to others seeking their true calling?

Do personal introspection to determine what turns them on, what makes them excited to get up in the morning and start the day and then go do that.  As Will Rogers said, “To be successful in life or work, you need to know what you’re doing, love what you’re doing and believe in what you’re doing.” 

Frank Basile, Philanthropist

Are you following your Personal Legend?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

Subscribe to the blog, or add us to your RSS feed to follow along as we post a new set of images each day for the next 30 days.   For background on this project, check out our first post in the series.

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