How The Power of Words Can Set the Course of Your Life

Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  That is the biggest lie ever told.  Words have tremendous power.

Angry business woman pointing her finger and screaming

When I was in the 6th grade, I earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  I was determined to be the Karate Kid.  By the way, do you remember the little guy who was the smallest kid in your class.  That was me.

I had yet to learn anything about physics, however.  I did not know that regardless of unfounded arrogance, the big guy wins 9 times out of 10.  I started running my mouth to a 10th grader stuck in a 7th grader’s body.

What happened next was over in 15 seconds.  The 7th grader tried to throw me into my locker.  I bounced off the locker next to mine right back at him.  He hit me twice, and I laid on the ground looking up at him while everyone in the hall encircled us.  All of this happened because I couldn’t control my tongue.  Words have power – for good or for bad.

My dad had me write the 3rd chapter of the book of James 10 times.  I think I still have some of it memorized.  That chapter details the immense power of tongue.  This chapter calls the tongue a fire – a restless evil full of deadly poison.

You have heard the saying, “You will eat your words.”  That phrase stems from the book of Proverbs – chapter 18.  Verse 20 and 21 say this,

From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.  The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Words have the power of life and death.  The way you use them will have a profound impact on the climate of your life.

5 Suggestions for Using Your Words Wisely

  1. Words can define the culture and tone of your family, business, etc. – Do you affirm the behavior that you want to see more of?  Do you praise your kids?  Does your wife know how beautiful she is to you?  Or do you criticize and tear down?  The words you use will absolutely set the tone of your business or family.  Don’t be the guy who complains all the time and wonders why his company has a negative culture.
  2. Gossip is a cancer – Gossip ruins culture.  It is a sign of cowardice.  It disrespects everyone involved.  Don’t allow it – period.
  3. Beware of joking and teasing – This is a sensitive subject for me as I have wounded many people by what I believed was innocent teasing.  Teasing destroys trust and breaks down communication.  It can strike at the insecurities of a person’s heart.  I grew up pretending like teasing didn’t bother me.  It did.  As a result, I kept everyone at a distance.  This wound impacted my relationship with my friends, my parents, and even my marriage.  It is something I’ve had to work through.  Be very careful with innocent teasing.
  4. Be intentional with your words – Some of us are naturally very thoughtful with our words.  Some of us are not.  I encourage you to understand the truth that King Solomon wrote about in the proverb above.  Words have the power of life and death.  Think about the good you can do with your words.  If you don’t, your words will control you.  And you will reap what you sow.  Use your words to bless and encourage.  Speak the truth in love.
  5. Silence – This is my challenge to you.  Build times of silence into your day.  We are bombarded with so much noise all day long that it is difficult to think.  A friend of mine said this morning, “The person who doesn’t know how to be silent doesn’t know who to speak.”  Those in my life that give life with their words are thoughtful.  They have these times in their day when they are silent.  Try it.

Question: How can you improve the life of someone you love with your words today? How can the power of your words change your company’s culture and effectiveness? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Survey: Please Help Me Choose My Book Cover

I am very excited to announce that I am almost finished with my first ebook.  In the coming weeks, I will make it available here at

Right now, however, you can play a role in helping me choose my book cover.

Below is a simple survey with four choices.  Please take 15 seconds and let me know which one you prefer.  I would be so grateful!

All you need to do is click on the cover you prefer and click the button at the bottom.  Thanks so much!

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Why You – Yes You – Should Blog: These 8 Reasons

I’ve had this conversation with many of the groups that I’ve spoken to.  I have encouraged those I coach to blog.  If you have ever wondered if you should blog, this post is for you.  Note:  A free PDF version of this post is available to download at the end of this post.

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

Some of you have probably heard of Jeffrey Gitomer.  He’s an author and speaker regarding sales.  Almost all of you have heard of Roger Staubach.  He is a Heisman Trophy winner for the Naval Academy. He was a Super Bowl MVP for the Dallas Cowboys.  He also started a multi-billion dollar commercial real estate company – the Staubach Company – which sold to Jones Lang LaSalle for $612 million in 2011.

One day, Jeffrey Gitomer walked into Roger Staubach’s office in Dallas without an appointment.  He just walked in and asked to see Roger.  As you might expect, the gatekeeper was not giving him access.

Then something remarkable happened.  Roger heard Gitomer’s name from his office.  He came racing down the hall and escorted Gitomer back to his office.  Why on earth was Roger Staubach that interested in meeting with Jeffrey Gitomer?  How could Gitomer succeed in just walking in and getting a meeting?

Jeffrey Gitomer wrote (maybe he still does) a syndicated column on sales that appeared in many newspapers at the time.  Staubach was a fan.  When Rodger the Dodger heard Gitomer’s name – he had to meet him.

Blogging can produce the same results for you.  Specifically, you should blog for the following 8 reasons.

8 Reasons Why You Should Blog

  1. Visibility
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How to Deliver Bad News – The Post I Wish I Had Read a Year Ago

If you have never had to deliver bad news, you will.  There are good ways and bad ways to deliver this news.  I have proven over time that I am good at the bad ways.  More than anything, I’m writing this post to myself.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

I fired my first team member.  I asked a friend if he was having an affair.  I told a friend that a decision didn’t go his way.  All of this in the last 18 months.  My default style – and I blame the Marine Corps for this – is very direct.  It is blunt.  I like to tell them the headline right up front.  Then I explain.

This does not tend to go well.  They hear the bad news, and then don’t hear anything else I say.  Looking back, I’m better at blind-siding people than giving them the best opportunity to receive the news well and with grace.

In the most recent case, my pastor was with me.  His comment to me when we were done – “You weren’t awesome.”  Frankly, I want to be awesome at this.  I want the words gentle, sensitive, and empathetic to apply as much as firm, decisive, and fair.  So that got me hunting.  I have researched some best practices and distilled them for you in the list that follows.

9 Next Practices in Delivering Bad News

  • In person – This should be a no-brainer, but if you are conflict-averse, it will be very difficult.  Delivering bad news is very emotional and your non-verbal communication has a huge impact.  Not over the phone.  Definitely not by email.  Do it in person.
  • ASAP – Bad news is not like wine.  It does not get better with age.  We too often stall, delay, or hesitate because it is hard.  Deliver bad news as soon as appropriate.
  • Sandwich – You may have heard of the sandwich method.  I’ve heard this taught numerous different times.  I’ve even coached my wife on how to use it.  But I have failed to use it.  The sandwich method is Positive – Negative – Positive.  In other words, you sandwich the bad news between positive statements or good news.  This is what I should have done in the case where my pastor remarked “not awesome.”
  • Decisive – Being decisive is hugely important when delivering bad news.  The one receiving the news needs to know that the decision has been made – period.  That may sound harsh, but it is not.  The alternative is to allow for wiggle room.  Wiggle room gives false hope, and that is truly harsh.  When it is time to deliver the news, look the person in the eye and give a straight-forward and decisive delivery.
  • Empathy – Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and feel what they are feeling.  I almost completely lack this skill.  Would that CVS had a pill for this.  I would buy it.  This was the advice given me by one of my confidants.  Try to anticipate how the other person will feel.
  • Surprise – Rather, don’t surprise.  I do this to people too often.  I don’t want them to know ahead of time that there could be bad news, so I surprise them.  This is mean.  Give people a head’s up about what’s coming.  It allows them to prepare themselves emotionally.  It can take shock out of their reaction.  Warning them is compassionate.
  • Truthful and Concrete – This is the part that I’m good at.  Don’t beat around the bush.  Tell them why.  Give them the truth.  But give it to them with as much love as possible.  I’ve heard the quote:  “Truth without Love is brutality.  Love without Truth is sentimentality.”  I think it applies here.  Speak the truth in love.
  • Silver Lining – I hesitated putting this one on the list because it could sound like spin.  However, there is almost always a silver lining.  I think it can be positive to point it out.  If not for them to consider when their emotions come back down to earth.
  • Dignity and Respect – Should you do the first 8 on the list, the result should be that the person hearing the bad news will feel treated with dignity and respect.  That is your goal.  A goal that I have repeatedly failed at.

Question: What have you found to be the best way to deliver bad news? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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How to Teach Your Kids the Power of Adding Value

I live on a golf course.  If you push it right off the 7th tee, I get to keep your golf ball.  My family spends a good amount of time playing in the back yard.  I’m very thankful that none of us have been hit yet.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Earlier in the summer, I was in the back yard playing pitch and catch with my boys.  Suddenly, a shiny Titleist Pro V1 came flying into the yard.  My 7 year-old ran to grab it.  Then he took it up to the course and sold it back to the owner.  He provided a small service to this man and added value to his life.  He made $2.  I was one proud dad.  My wife was mortified.

Now imagine a 7 year-old toe-head with a huge smile doing a victory dance.  It was awesome.

That episode got me thinking about how my dad taught me how to work when I was a kid.  I mowed his empty lots.  I dug ditches.  I worked at his carwash.  He gave me jobs instead of money, and I am grateful for that.

I’m sure I will do the same with my boys.  However, I want to teach them how to create tremendous value and be paid for it.  I want them to catch the entrepreneur bug at an early age.  If they can learn self-discipline as well, they should never lack.  Or at least they won’t be a burden to the taxpayer.

So here is what we did to start their first business.


We went to my neighbor who has lived on this street for years.  He has thousands of golf balls that he’s collected over the years.  I took my 7 year old with me and we offered to buy some of his golf balls in bulk.  I was going to play the role of the bank and finance their startup.  They could pay me back from their cashflow.

Somewhat unfortunately, my neighbor is so fond of my son, he just gave him about 150 golf balls.  I really wanted them to learn about cost of goods sold, but my neighbor would not take our money.


These are used golf balls.  Many are in great shape.  Many had head-butted cart paths and trees.  Many were just dirty.  So we grabbed a bucket, dumped all the balls in there, and filled it up with water.  Even my 4 year-old baby girl got in on the action to play with the water hose.

We then cleaned and dried them off.  I had the opportunity to discuss quality control with them and the importance of creating an excellent product.


If you are a golfer, you know there is a big difference between some balls and others.  We then sorted all the balls into three groups.  Group A was the Pro V1 and its equal.  Group B was filled with the NXT type.  Group C were the ones you would hit into a corn field and not go looking for them.


When we had our groups sorted, we packed our product.  Each bag contained 5 golf balls – 0ne from Group A and two from both B and C.

Our thinking was if the A ball could be around $5 out of the box, then we would sell the group of 5 for $5.

Sales Pitch

I then taught my boys the sales pitch.  When a golfer tees off and lands close to our yard, the run and grab a bag of their product.  They then locate the golfers ball for them.  “Sir, we have the best deal in town!  Buy a Pro V-1 for $5 and get four balls for free!”  It is a sight to see.

I want my boys to learn how to create value for others and generate income, and they are getting a taste.  It was a joy to see the light in their eyes when they made their first sale.  I love it when we are throwing in the back yard, and they drop their gloves and run to get their “inventory” to sell to a customer.  I hope that it will start a drive in their bellies.

So here’s to Will and Ben – business owners!

Question: How did you learn to sell? What other ways can you think of to equip the next generation? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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“Social Media Best Practices for CRE Professionals”
by Howard Kline, Esq.

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

I’ve been a fan of Howard’s for about a year now.  CRE practitioners like me are normally weary of attorneys, but Howard is one of the exceptions.  He has a tremendous understanding of our industry, and his clients love him.  Brokers love him, too, and that is a rarity.

Howard is also the host of CRE Radio which I’ve been listening to for about a year.  I would highly recommend following his podcast/radio show.  He has industry leading experts on to share their wisdom and experience.  He is also contagiously engaging, and he has that radio voice.  Think Albert Brooks – the voice of Nemo’s dad (if you have kids, you’ll get that reference).

I had the privilege of being his guest on this episode along with my friends Barbi Reuter, Michael Lagazo, and Sarah Malcolm.  These three are social media rockstars, and we had a ton of fun chatting about social media best practices over some virtual cups of coffee.

Give it a listen!

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Do the 3 P’s of CRE Apply to You?

Last week, I  had the privilege of being in Portland, OR for a commercial real estate conferencence.  I had never been before and discovered it to be a beautiful and unbelievably clean city.  I was blown away.

Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Courtesy of iStockPhoto

Our Pacific Northwest franchisees put on a great training conference.  I got to speak on how to improve efficiencies with technology.  I also got to lead a couple of break out sessions on measuring outcomes and accountability.  It was a blast.

Curt Arthur, our managing director and franchise owner in Salem, OR said something there that I had to write about.

He mentioned in his opening remarks the 3 P’s.  These are the three things that typical commercial real estate brokerages do with a new listing.  He was not complimenting our industry of commercial real estate.

3 P’s of Typical Commercial Real Estate

  1. Put up a sign.
  2. Put it online.
  3. Pray that someone will bring an offer.

These are not bad things.  A sign is a great way to broadcast to locals that property is available.  Most property searches start online, so you have to make sure your listings are there.  And I am a huge believer in prayer so don’t get the wrong idea here.  For those of you who would substitute the word ‘hope’ for ‘prayer’ – hope is not a strategy.

This is called Passive Marketing.  The definition of passive marketing is to flood the market with information on all fronts, and then wait for the phone to ring.  That is simply not good enough.

But this is the norm.  Too often, a seller signs a listing contract and doesn’t hear from the broker for 6 months when it’s time to extend the contract.

The other side of the coin from Passive Marketing is Proactive Marketing.  Proactive Marketing is taking the initiative to ensure everyone who could be a buyer knows the property is available.  That takes work.  That takes a system.

So here are some questions for you to consider as you start your week.  I encourage you to ponder and share your answers in the comments section below.

  1. Is hope your strategy?
  2. Will you be described this week as proactive?
  3. In what ways will you proactively market your listings, products, or services?
  4. What are the most effective ways you proactively ensure that every qualified buyer knows about your listing, product, or service?

Question: Will the 3 P’s describe you this week? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Book of the Month: Decisive – How to Make Better Choices



Every day is filled with choices.  Many are small and inconsequential.  Some are life changing.  This month’s book suggestion was written to improve our decision-making ability.

Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath

Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath

As I was reading this book, I thought back on some of the key decisions in my life.  At age 10, I chose to place my faith in Jesus to save me.  At age 18, I asked the most beautiful angel-voiced blonde on our first date.  Later that year, I decided to attend Murray State University (go Racers!).  Four years later, I decided to enlist in the Marine Corps.  One year later, I proposed to that beauty I mentioned before.

All of these decisions worked out for me.  So many others did not.  I am not going to share that list with you.

So whether you are deciding where to eat tonight, or when and if to propose to your girl (congrats little bro!), you go through the following steps.

  1. You have a choice.
  2. You consider your options.
  3. You make your choice.
  4. You live with/suffer the consequences.

The Heath brothers do a masterful job at describing what they call the four villains to decision-making.  They coincide with the four steps above.

  1. Narrow framing – you don’t consider near enough options – often stopping as soon as you have two.
  2. Confirmation bias – you gather self-serving information to support your natural bias.
  3. Short-term emotion – you allow the heat of the moment to overly influence the decision you make.
  4. Overconfidence – your optimism for the future allows you to be caught off-guard when things go south.

To counter these “villains,” the Heath brothers put forth a very clever and easy to remember acronym – W.R.A.P.

  • W – Widen your options.  Refuse to limit yourself to a “whether or not” choice.
  • R – Reality test your assumptions.  Someone somewhere has faced your situation.  Find them.  See what they did.
  • A – Attain distance.  Sleep on it.  Clarity is often found on the other side of a pillow.  Don’t let yourself make a decision when you are emotionally charged.  If you are older than 12, you can think of at least 3 times immediately when you did not head this advice.
  • P – Prepare to be wrong.  This is just good business.  If you are a golf fan, notice how the elite golfer stays away from the big trouble spots.  They have good misses that do not cripple them.  Force yourself to prepare for the worst-case scenario.

The Heath brothers spend the rest of the book sharing story after story demonstrating the power of this process.  In fact, their premise for the book is that it is the process of making a decision that has the most impact on the quality of the decision.

This book is incredibly clever and entertaining.  It had me page-turning.  I was so intrigued that I’ve shared this process of decision-making with my coaching clients, my family, and many of my friends.  I believe it is powerful.  I believe that this book can have a powerful impact on your future.  Do yourself a favor and decide to read this book.

Question:  What one decision of the past year do you regret not applying this process to?  Your comments are welcome below!

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April’s Top Posts from theBarronBlog

In case you missed them, here are the top posts from April on the topics of Next Practices in Life, Business, and Commercial Real Estate.

I do want to invite you to subscribe to this blog just to the right of what you are reading now.  This will make it so easy for you to get my new posts without having to remember to check my site.  And I will never violate your privacy!


April’s Top Posts:


Make the dang call! via

Make the dang call! via

The Anatomy of a Cold Call – While I don’t believe in scripts, I do believe in crafting your opening statement before you call.  Most salespeople have the most problems with how they start the call.  ”Uh, hi.  My name is Bo Barron and I’m with ABC Co.  Uh….how’s it going?”  Terrible!    Read more…





The first face to face!

The 5 Steps of the Initial Meeting – With some experience and some great coaching, I learned a better way.  Remember, if you are following my system, this initial meeting should be short.  Actually, you told the prospect that it would be short.  If you connect and the prospect starts asking questions – great.  You may be there 2 hours.  However, you told them short.  Prepare for short as you are making an impression as someone with integrity…or not.  Read more…




It is go time!  What do you do?

It is go time! What do you do?

The Winning Presentation – You have now landed a meeting to make a listing presentation (or whatever presentation applies to you).  You have worked through the entire prospecting process to get to this point.  Your put in the work becoming a market specialist.  Building a database.  Sending letters.  Making cold calls.  Conducting the needs analysis.  It has all led to this moment.  You sit in front of the prospect.  The business is there for the taking.  You have the privilege of potentially improving the life of the person in front of you.  What do you do?  Read more…


Bo Barron Speaking

Bo Barron Speaking

Why Do We Fall? [Video] –This week I had the privilege of traveling to Salisbury, MD to visit SVN Miller Commercial.  This group is the Sperry Van Ness 2012 Firm of the Year.  They are a study in how to build a team with incredible culture.  They like each other.  They have tradition.  They have camaraderie.  They absolutely dominate their market.

I had the pleasure of training their entire company primarily on prospecting.  At the end of our afternoon together, Brent Miller played this video.  I was so moved that I wanted to share it with you.

  Read more…




Clarity Series – Prospecting – Summary & Conclusion – When I was 15, my dad hired me to clean out a concrete drainage ditch.  That ditch ran behind the houses of a street he had developed.  We agreed on a price and I started digging.  I soon discovered that I could hire my friends at a rate higher than minimum wage.  I made all the income when I did the work.  I made half that amount when they did the work.  Read more…

Thank you so much for reading.  Towards the end of May, I will be introducing another Clarity Series on Presence.  As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Question:  What is the single most important activity that drives your business?  I challenge you to articulate and explain your answer in the comments below.


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