The Power of Invitation – Monday Morning Coffee

My great uncle Boyd was a Dentist. I was an invincible and VERY rough and tumble youth. My Grand Parents and Great Uncle lived in 2 side-by-side houses on a beautiful 4 acre property on one of Nashville’s premier streets. The family had owned those properties “forever”, and my Great Aunt and Grand Mother were both born and raised in the older of the 2 houses. I remember stories of surviving the great depression by raising Chickens and “living off the land” with a magnificent garden. I was most amazed by the asparagus growing along the fence row. I loved going to Sunday lunch EVERY Sunday and was amazed by their “clicker” (TV remote control) . . . and that day when I visited, and they showed me their new COLOR TV (The first in the neighborhood. (Yes! I AM “that OLD”)

One day, while playing there, I fell and dislodged a tooth. Luckily, it was a “baby tooth”. In those days, any day that I didn’t bleed or hurt myself wasn’t a good day . . . I just picked myself up and kept playing. On this day, my great Uncle witnessed my fall and approached me. He was a very gentle, soft spoken man, and he simply said: “Barry – I’d like to invite you to my “office” to take a look at that tooth.” Well now . . . an invitation I couldn’t refuse because I had never been in his office. Turns out, (of course) he had a Dentist’s chair in his office. I hopped into that chair and opened WIDE, so he could take a look.

30 seconds later, that tooth left my mouth with ZERO pain.

I could have declined his invitation, but I didn’t even think of that possibility much less the fact that a DENTIST was about to mess with my teeth . . . I’ll never forget that “honor” he bestowed upon me by offering an easy solution to my pain.

This is the power of invitation . . . Every invitation honors the recipient with choice.

That was nearly 50 years ago, and I’ve never told this story to anyone.

Why did this story surface now?

We are all just on the other side of 2 very awkward weeks each “split” by Christmas then New Year Day . . . not optimal conditions for “productivity”, so I had lots of time to think about how to “tackle” all of the fantastic “initiatives” I have planned to implement throughout the year.

My excitement for my decision to shift some focus towards “real estate sales” is palpable. For the past several years, working with Home Buyers and Sellers was a rarity for me because I was of the mind that I would need to focus 100% of my “business time and energy” at Building Pareto Realty and coaching the Vital Few Paretozoans. My mindset shift was a “product” of wanting to keep myself “relevant” in the subtle shifts of the market that only an active Real Estate Sales Professional can sense

There’s one part of this that I dreaded. In “sales”, the conventional wisdom is that we sales people must “Lead Generate” – “CAPTURE Leads – “CONVERT Leads” – “SERVICE Leads” – “CLOSE leads” . . . and we Principal Brokers must “RECRUIT” agents to join our firms in the the same way as our Sales Lead Generation.

This bothered me – Our “Prospects” aren’t wild animals whom we must capture and domesticate.

Instead . . . when we sense that there’s someone in our sphere of influence experiencing some “pain” (my tooth) requiring them to make a significant change (Move to another house or Agent moving to another company) . . . Let’s “INVITE” them for a conversation to learn if we can be of service to help them work through to resolution.

Inviting requires more “emotional investment” than lead generating or recruiting because we’re not likely to extend an invitation to someone we don’t think will be a “good fit” for our “party”.

Give it a try – Invite more and recruit less, and I’m betting your batting average of working with the “right people” will increase precipitously.

You’re hereby invited to connect with me to explore the issues and opportunities around whatever impending change(s) you may be facing that may require a move of residence or Real Estate Firm.

Uncle Boyd, thank you for your wisdom (Even though I didn’t “get it” til 50 years later)

Monday Morning Coffee – Let’s GO!

Wednesday of this week is the first day of 2020!

I’m not sure why, but I sense a universal perspective of “positivity” for this year.

Of course, there will be plenty “issues and opportunities” for all of us to reckon with throughout the year, yet I don’t sense the trepidation that I’ve felt in many years past.

I’m learning more every day about the power of “Happyness” . . . One Happy person has potential to completely transform a group facing dire circumstances from doom and gloom defeatism to wonderment of possibilities.

Out of this wonderment emerges the most powerful emotion (IMHO) . . . HOPE!

When there’s hope, average, downtrodden, common folks orchestrate amazing accomplishments.

Once on the other side of the drama, we often wonder how we got “HERE” from “THERE”?

It’s as if we develop amnesia about the herculean feat we just did.

Pure passion unleashes unbridled willingness for taking responsibility for doing whatever it takes to succeed.

Ineffable indeed!

This is the kinda year that I believe many of us will experience in 2020.

I can’t wait to witness YOUR accomplishments in 2020.

This time next year, you’re gonna be wondering how you got ALL this DONE . . . and then you’ll marvel that it seemed as if all the right were showing up in and the right places just when we needed them . . . and the real “lesson” for this year is one of “Letting GO” of our need to “control” things we don’t have the power to control . . . loosen our grip on our preconceived agendas and be open to outcomes which turn out to be WAY better than the written “GOALS”!

You might be wondering if I’ve lost some marbles because I’m the quintessential “Roles and Goals, Time blocking, metrics measuring fiend”.

As I age, the more aware I am of the power of synchronicity – and that the more I let go, the less I’ve gotta “work” to “make things happen.

Oh yeah! I’m still focusing with roles and goals and budgets and metrics . . . all the while being prepared to be surprised by the possibilities that show up when I let go!

All that’s enough to drive ya crazy, right?

This year will be a year of growth for me as we “Scale Pareto Realty” through “Invitation” knowing the right “Vital Few” agents will show up.”

On the Real Estate Sales side of things, I have a renewed love for working with repeat and referral clients in my home city of Nashville, TN.

And finally . . . One of my most anticipated “events” of 2020 is the World Happiness Festival – Nashville Agora March 16-22 during which we will integrate 7 consecutive Open Space meetings.

I wish you a FUN New Year Celebration!

Let’s GO!

The Calm Before the Storm

12/26/2019 and all’s quiet here in Pareto Realty HQ

Should we be worried?

Where’s the buzz?

Will this holiday lull slow or break that great momentum we had heading for a STRONG finish for 2019?



Relax and enjoy the peace and quiet while we’ve got it.

If you feel the need (like I), to occupy your attention with internal brainstorming and strategizing . . . to Prepare for: “On you mark – Get set – Let’s GO!”

You get to decide what happens on January 2nd, and NO one can restrain you when that starting pistol barks.

You will have spooled your quad turbo-chargers and will launch with such force that witnesses will cringe and get out of your way.

It’s this kind of self-talk that pulls us out of our comfortable cocoons and invites us to spread our wings and SOAR.

Show us what you can do in 2020!

Focused fury!


The impermanence of Flow

My Father’s fascination with Professional Basketball

I’ll never forget Dad’s excitement when he witnessed Michael Jordan lead his team seemingly effortlessly and without duress or mishap through so many games . . . Dad’s excitement was REAL because this (state of flow) is SUCH a rare happening. I think I remember that he mentions this in one of his books – maybe “Wave Rider”.

This was 30ish years ago, and it literally reshaped my perception of High Performance.

I wanted (craved) to learn about this thing called “flow”.

  • How can we experience FLOW more often because it’s so inherently rare and fleeting? (enigmatic)
  • Unpredictable . . . Like Spirit and inspired creativity, it just happens.
  • We don’t just know what it looks like . . . We also recognize its energy and the pure exhilaration we feel when we witness it.
  • What conditions need to be present to invite FLOW?
  • Can we teach flow?
  • Is it possible for people, teams, organizations to live in a sustained state of FLOW?

I think not . . . We cannot “bottle” Flow and gift it to all of our friends and family for Christmas.

Flow is a little bit of lots of things – Like MASTERY and Intuition and authenticity and persistence and consistency and pain and uncertainty and Extreme HIGHS and devastating LOWS . . . It’s a result of doing ALL of the things whatever they may be.

Many years of discovery (and being lost) have instructed me that Flow is not goal or a destination, it’s something that happens when we’re living in alignment with who we are instead of striving to achieve success.

For sure, it’s the journey that teaches us every step of the way.

The perspective of living to create a state of on-going flow is fraught with disappointment.

Seth Godin punctuates everything above written nicely in today’s blog post.

Is optimal the point?

As soon as competitive people start to measure something, there’s pressure to make it better. And once better reaches the maximum level, it’s optimal.

But perhaps that’s not really the goal.

What about resilient?

Or perhaps we could value delightful, stressless or reliable instead.

Optimal is ultimately sterile. It leaves no room for much of anything else, including joy.

Let go and LET’S GO!

A time for Joyful Happiness

Christmas Eve Eve, and here I am in the office doing what I do pretty much every “working day.”

As I was rolling down the driveway this morning, so was my (ONLY) neighbor Randy in his mule.

I like Randy, and we seldom cross paths close enough to talk, so when we do, we seize the moment and catch up. Mostly, we talk about family and things that happen in the Hollow . . . Today we talked about Joy and Happiness. Randy lost his sister a few months ago, and this was our first encounter since her departure.

The first thing he said to me with tears in his eyes was: “I guess you heard I lost my sister?”

I said: “Of course! Betty (another neighbor) called me that morning and Vicki (Randy’s wife) stopped by to let me know.”

We’re all family in the Waller “Owen Hollow!

With a glimmer of a warm smile, Randy asked about my daughters Jessica and Allison. He didn’t say so, but I know he was fishing for the news that Jessica and Allison would be “Home for Christmas” . . . Randy doesn’t know them well, and he loves them and they love him.

These are the embers of joy during this season . . . and as we nurture these joy embers with breath, we see them come to life with magnificent dancing flames . . . of happiness which bring with them fond memories of good times with good people who may or may not be here now.

The embers of joy are always within us prepared to receive whatever whisper of breath might whistle a happy tune.

Through the years, I’ve learned that finding joy in others results in contagious Happiness.

Speaking of happiness . . . There’s an AMAZING event happening here in Nashville March 16-22

A couple months ago, I learned about the World Happiness Festival and the more I learned about this, the more I just KNOW that THIS is precisely the right time for this right here in Nashville, TN.

So . . . I have committed to Host the World Happiness Festival 2020 – Nashville Agora

There’s LOTS of “work to be done” as we design an “Open Space Meeting” way of experiencing this World Enhancing Event “Nashville Style”. Each of the 7 days, we will Open Space around the main event theme of the day . . . 7 days . . . 7 Open Space Meetings – Participants can come to any or ALL meetings . . . and the world will be happier and healthier.

First – I hope you’ll show up by joining the Facebook group HERE. . .

Will you be “Present” and take responsibility for your passion for World Happiness?

We are now at “Phase 2” of preparing our Nashville Agora, and we need EVERYONE to participate.

2 “Things to do NOW”

Thing 1 – Find the perfect venue for 50-100 People with the possibility of more (scale-able) . . . The ideal place is one that has one very large space and several (5-7) potential “Break-out spaces”. 7 full days March 16-22 with good Internet connection. Think Churches, Vacant Commercial Spaces, Schools, Community centers, ANY “Event Venue” not currently booked – Outside spaces (Pavilion) would be awesome.

Thing 2 – Find some local “right” Strategic Partner Sponsors. (The World Happiness Festival IS a 501(c)(3) organization) . . . This is a GLOBAL initiative, and I am certain would be a tremendous visibility boost for any business or cause. The sponsorship funds will defray any costs related to the event (Venue & Food) with any excess to the charity. Think Banks, Corporate HQs, Community Organizations, Chambers of Commerce, Local Government Officials (Mayor – Governor)
This World Happiness festival “Scaled” VERY quickly in the past 3 years primarily due to “Collaborators” (People of Influence) getting the word out amongst their peers/colleagues.

THIS is EXACTLY the right time for THIS in NASHVILLE.

We welcome your full participation through connecting with your “Right People” and inviting them to engage in whatever way they are moved to participate.

Please connect with me directly through Facebook or email

PS – 2020 is going to be a fantastic year to buy and/or sell a house – If you’re contemplating a move, NOW is a GREAT time to get the process started . . . Let’s GO!