What I’ve Learned From Cancer

And why, yet again, I've learned to listen to my wife!

I have had cancer.

Before you get concerned, I have the kind you would want. Tomorrow, a doctor working a robot is going to remove 2% of my right kidney. A couple of days in the hospital, and that’s it. No chemo. No radiation. There is a 99% chance I’ll be cured.

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I’m sharing this with you because I’ve learned some things.

To set the stage, my wife has been bugging encouraging me to get a doctor for years.

Just so happened…

A couple of months ago, it just so happened that I woke up in the middle of the night with a sharp pain in my calf. I’m the deepest sleeper you know. That’s never happened to me. I’d been on a couple long plane rides, and I had the thought that maybe this was  blood clot.

I got up and went to the clinic and was sent to the hospital for an ultrasound. I didn’t have a blood clot. In fact, I still have no clue what that pain was.

Just so happened that a few weeks later I tweaked my back setting up a booth at a show. I’ve had back spasms since I was 14, but this was different. It lasted longer. It hurt a little different.

Then it just so happened that I was doing some yard work and got poison ivy…bad. My back hurt. I was itchy. So I broke down.

What I Learned from My First Homework Assignment in 16 Years

A Letter to My Middle-schooler's Teacher

I got home from work a couple of weeks ago, and my wife informed me as I walked through the door that I had a homework assignment.




Last week, I announced the formation of Massimo University with my friend and partner, Rod Santomassimo. As a way of marking this new venture, I have produced a free video training series on creating digital presence. You can access this free training by Clicking Here. And it is only up for the next 8 days…

My oldest son is in middle school. One of his teachers sent home an assignment called “In a Million Words or Less…” The idea was for us – as parents – to tell the teacher what she needs to know about our son.

The premise of this assignment was heartwarming. She explained that she simply does not get to know every student like she would like – especially the introverted ones. She wants to be able to tailor her teaching to the student (she calls them scholars).

I very much appreciate that!

My wife also shared with me that I was going to get to do this as the “writer” in our marriage. (My wife could be an incredible writer if she wanted to be, by the way.)

So I sat down to write the following letter. Before I share it with you, I want to challenge you to do a couple of things:

  1. Become a student of your child(ren) – I have 3 children and they are completely different. I don’t want to parent them the same. I want to understand them and get on their level. I want to know how best to communicate with them. I want to relate to them on their level.
  2. Understand a little about personalities – Luckily (or providentially), my sister is a Meyers-Briggs consultant with her own business. She’s incredible. And she has taught me a bit about personalities. This has opened up to me a world of possibilities in parenting my kids. As a result of this knowledge, I think I will be able to avoid some mistakes that would have led to some scar tissue on their hearts.
  3. Support their teachers – You don’t have perfect kids. I don’t have perfect kids. Your children’s teachers have a very difficult job. They are overworked and underpaid. They don’t need crazy parents blaming them for everything their children do wrong. That doesn’t help the teachers. It certainly doesn’t help your children.

What Independence Day Means To Me

And for the purpose of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

~ last sentence of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

For most of us in America, the 4th of July is a holiday that consists of joining with family and friends. We grill out, watch fireworks, and enjoy each others company.

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But it started so much differently. 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence. They pledged to each other their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. They knew it was likely a death-warrant they were signing.

They displayed courage. They displayed honor. They displayed the willingness to sacrifice for the sake of what was right. It would affect their futures. It would affect their fortunes. It would affect their families.

The Great #CRE NCAA Debate – UK vs Duke

The gauntlet has been thrown down.  Rod Santomassimo, Duke graduate, has challenged Big Blue Nation.  He and I give our 5 reasons why our team will win the NCAA championship this year.

Now don’t just watch the video below.  We want to hear from you.  We want to know who you think makes the best argument for our teams.

Ask Me a Question From Allen Buchanan

I got my first question from the new voicemail feature last week and I wanted to respond right away.   And even though the question from Allen Buchanan was in jest, I got to share my fool-proof 4 step system to a winning March Madness bracket.

If you would like to be featured in the next video, simply hit the button on the right of the screen and leave me a voicemail using your computer.

My Son Lip-Sync's 'Let it Go'

Inspired by Jimmy Fallon, my son thought that we should have the first annual Barron Family Lip-Sync Competition.  He also wanted to have the competition on his blog – Ben-Barron.com.  Not bad for an 8 year old, eh?

The rules are as follows: whoever has the most comments, likes, etc. wins.  I thought I would give his sight a boost by inviting all of you to check it out.  I’ll be posting my daughter’s video in a few days.  Be sure you check out Ben’s blog.  He can’t type yet so he is big on video.

Results of the 2014 Reader Survey

Two weeks ago, I launched my first ever reader’s survey.  My goal was to better understand my readers so that I can provide better value in my content.  You have responded, and I am grateful.  Hundreds of you took the time to take the survey.

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I am going to share with you the results by profiling my average reader.  If you don’t fit this profile, don’t worry.  You are welcome.  Frankly, I don’t fit this profile.  So let’s take a look at my average reader, and then I will draw some conclusions.

My reader is male (77%) between the ages of 45-64 (58%).  He has a bachelor’s degree or higher (78%).  He is most likely a CRE broker or business owner (69%), and he lives in the United States (95%).

He makes over $100,000 a year (63%) or even $200,000+ a year (27%).  He is predominantly Christian (80%) attending church at least once a week (59%).  His faith is very important to him (69%).  He does not have a blog (77%) and reads 1-2 books a month.  As an aside, my wife says that you need to pick it up a bit.  She read 144 books in 2013 – incredible!

It is no surprise that I just described the Commercial Real Estate industry.  It is dominated by 50+ year old white men who tend to be behind the curve when it comes to technology.  CRE needs more women.  CRE needs more diversity.   CRE needs more tech.


  • Main topics of interests in order:  Productivity (62%), Prospecting (56%), Personal Development (53%), Life Lessons (52%), and Creating Presence (50%).  I am very glad to hear that these are the top ones.  Most of the content I have planned for this year fall into these categories.
  • More content – The number one comment I received regarding improving my blog was to give more content.  For the first part of 2013, I was posting 3 times a week.  It burnt me out and I ended up taking the summer off.  That was a big mistake.  My goal for 2014 is one post a week.  However, based on the feedback I received, I will throw in the 2nd weekly post on occasion.
  • Videos– I had a surprising amount of requests for videos.  I’m not sure what to do with this.  Video isn’t easy for me to do.  I don’t really own the equipment.  I have a brother that can do it all, but he’s a cruise ship performer (tough gig!).  I would love to create video content, however.  If you have any suggestions on how I might look into this, please let me know in the comments.
  • Readability – Readability was the comment I received the most when I asked what you liked best about the blog.  I’m very pleased with this response as I try very hard to create content that is very readable.  
    My absolute favorite response to the question of what do you like best about my blog was:  “your my son whats not to like.” My mom is a grammar queen so thanks Dad! I love you.
  • Can’t please everyone – I don’t often get accused of trying to please everyone.  Frankly, I think it is futile, counter-productive, and impossible.  This is true with this blog as well.  Some people are asking for more pictures and links.  Some are asking me to take the clutter out.  Some want me to eliminate the talk about my faith.  Some want me to use more scripture.  Some love the variety of topics while others want me to focus on just one thing.  I can’t please everyone so some things I will just be going with my gut.

I’m so very grateful to those who participated in the survey.  It was so very helpful to me.  It has given me the data I was craving so I can create better content for you.

Question: Do you have any other suggestions? If so, I’m all ears! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please Take My 2014 Reader Survey

One of my goals for the year is to take this blog to the next level.  I want it to be more valuable and beneficial to my readers.  To accomplish this, I would love to know more about YOU.  To that end, I have created my 2014 Reader Survey.

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Would you please take a few moments to fill out this survey?  By doing so, you will ultimately be helping yourself.  Why, you ask?  Because you will be helping me make my content even more relevant to you.

I covet your input – it is important to me.  The survey is very easy to take.  It should take you 5 minutes or less.  The survey results are completely anonymous.  There is no way for me to know which of you said what.

Take the Survey Now!

Thanks so much!

2014 is here!  Do you want to make this your best year ever?  Setting goals is one thing, but building habits into your life is what will actually get you to the place you want to go.  Michael Hyatt has produced 3 free videos that are incredibly helpful in helping you make 2014 your best year ever.  I challenge you to watch these videos and maximize 2014!

The first video is below.  You can find all 3 at bestyearever.me.

Happy New Year my friends!