I always knew that my initials being the same as James Bond meant something important! Today I want to share what I mean. See, I have been on a (top-secret) mission for the past eighteen months, and it’s changed who I am. I know that sounds hard to believe, and you’re asking yourself, how is that possible? Well, as I said, it’s top-secret, and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to ensure the mission gets accomplished. I’m one week out from completion and, you should know that telling you now could put me in a bunch of danger! Jaws?
As you may know, I’m the Founder and CEO of StarEvents, producing events and festivals my entire adult life. You may not know that I also have many other initiatives, goals, and objectives that I’m constantly trying to achieve. I feel that as I learn more, I can become a better person in many ways.
Learning can be any topic and does not necessarily mean traditional schooling. My favorite skill to learn and improve is my ability to play the drum set. I’ve taken classes from many of the greatest drummers, including Kenny Aronoff, Todd Sucherman, Carmine Appice, and many others. All these lessons put a massive smile on my face and knowledge in my egg-shaped head!
I’ve also studied stocks, bonds, and options and received a master’s certificate. I took courses and received licenses for Life & Health, Property & Casualty, and other insurance products. I learned how to play the steel pan and acoustic guitar. I’ve walked on fire with Tony Robbins and have seen many of the world’s most inspirational speakers and teachers. Learning is a priority and allows growth in my life that I can’t get by sitting on the couch and playing video games. It is easy to find any course, as we live in the digital era, and almost every skill has content online that can add to your knowledge.
On top of thinking of ways to improve my life, I enjoy challenging myself and pushing my self-imposed limits. One lesson that I always share with my kids is a story I heard from Tony Robbins about designing your life. He used an analogy of a wheel, and I will use a pizza… pepperoni (both round). Anyways, imagine your life is represented by 8 or 10 slices of a round pizza, and each piece of the pie represents a section of a great life.
One slice represents a career, and one is family, one maybe hobbies, one spiritual, one friends, etc. Once you have created all your sections, imagine the pizza is a piece of paper, and you have to fill each slice from the center out to reflect how complete that part of your life feels. Now turn your pizza back into a wheel and try to roll it through life. If it’s a bumpy ride, keep filling in the pizza wheel with more skills and knowledge. It might be as simple as learning something new that inspires the change you need and desire.
Anyways, my top-secret mission was educational and is about to make me smile from ear to ear. When Covid destroyed (or continues to try) my twenty-five-year career and my staff’s, I enrolled in a master’s degree program. My mom was a fantastic teacher, and I always wanted to teach because of her joy. Hence, I choose to register at the American College of Education in a master’s program for adult studies focusing on Business. As long as I was in forced isolation and my career was failing, I thought I should do something.
I complete this mission in only seven days (with a 3.9 GPA). I hope you understand my hesitancy in sharing it prematurely, but what if I fail in the last week? Don’t worry. I like pressure and will not let us down. Then I will add this experience to my list of cool stuff I’ve done and start looking for the next thing. More importantly, I’ll take all I’ve learned and apply the lessons to lead my life, family, and the team better.
My skills will enhance my abilities to produce better events, communicate more precisely, and ultimately teach adult learners how to do what I do… ROCK! If I say learning is fun, you may say I’m an egghead, but I feel my mission was successful. Let me know which one you think I am… 007 or Egg Head?
by John E Barry
PS – In the end… I didn’t even get the girl!
PPS – If you choose Egg Head, you’re a pinhead!