Live and Lead for Impact with Kirsten E. Ross

Ep 307 Gary Barnes

Gary Barnes is a High-Performance Business and Sales Strategist, National and International Speaker (over 1000 talks). A #1 International Amazon Best-Selling Author and been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS & TEDX.

In 1988 Gary was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and told he would be in a wheelchair or dead within 10 years.

He has flown a World War II P-51 fighter, flown on a trapeze, driven in a Destruction Derby and climbed 14,000 foot mountains. He’s a drummer & Police Academy Graduate.

Gary starts by talking about his adventures and how he actually dislikes the nervous energy beforehand, and much prefers the feeling after completing something, saying it’s a feeling of satisfaction. He also talks about the brainwaves of fear and excitement being the same, and with his police training he has been trained to run towards gun fire.

Gary tells an amazing story about going to see Zig Ziglar at one of his last appearances in Denver and how two ladies behind him were ragging on him after the show. This helped Gary realize that if Zig Ziglar couldn’t capture and entire audience, there was no hope for him, so his mindset switched to if he could help one person, that’s enough for him.

Later, Gary talks about getting on stage and when people ask him how it went he tells them to ask someone in the attendance because he doesn’t know what he said because he was in the moment. You’re looking for a relationship with audience and your conversation to be the same both on and off stage.

Kirsten asks Gary about training speakers and the impact he’s making. Gary explains that it was happy accident after the success of his financial planning firm. People began to ask him how he grew his business to such a high level and began trading his knowledge for hamburgers! He talks about how he blends life into his business coaching. Gary also talks about his style of coaching which is to ask a lot of questions and tailor it to the client, rather than telling them to do it his way.

Gary goes into detail about some of the issues he has with writing given his condition which doesn’t allow him to type quickly, where his brain moves much quicker. So instead he uses a software called Dragon which allows him to speak and it transcribes for him, so he was able to speak his book.

‘Make a difference’ is part of Gary’s mission statement, as well as to empower. He explains he isn’t looking to connect his power to you but to help you connect the power which is already within you. He goes on to talk about how when doing his chaplaincy he had to deal with his mortality through writing his own epitaph, which helped him have the mindset like Steven Covey said, ‘start with the end in mind’.

Later, Kirsten asks Gary what challenges he’s going through right now. Gary explains his challenge is with a word he adopted a few years ago which is expansion and the expansion of opportunity. She recommends breaking everything down into manageable chunks, having some patience and not comparing yourself to anything.

Gary shares his final words of wisdom, which came to him in a dream, which is ‘are you a spectator or are you a participant?’ There will be times when you’re a spectator and that’s ok, but it’s important to think about your engagement and whether your participating to the fullest extent.

For more on Gary, you can visit or check out his

Facebook page and his fan page He’s also on Twitter so you can find him at @GaryBarnesMax, and on LinkedIn at

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Direct download: EP_307_Gary_Barnes.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 2:30am EDT