Author of "The Happiness Gap: How to Achieve Success Without Focusing on Money, Fame, or Accomplishments."
"You're going to write a book one day, I just know it." Words from both his mom and grandma. He didn't know why they thought he would...Dillon had one book that he wrote in 3rd grade about saving a baby sea otter for a school project, but other than that, he didn't show much promise. It's funny what belief can do to someone. It makes you want to live into it; prove it right, in a sense. Dillon worked as a Junior Sports Editor for The Time Herald, a local newspaper in his hometown. He even went into Journalism for a whole 2 semesters in college. Then he found sales.
Dillon was intrigued at how he could help influence someone to make a decision for themselves that they normally wouldn't. Sales gets a bad rap, in his opinion. No one wants to spend money they've worked hard to earn, but we all want to make the best decisions and investments in ourselves in order to grow. That's hard to do when we're on an island. Sometimes it takes an outsider. So he perfected this skill through door to door sales with the Southwestern Advantage internship in college. It was an intriguing mastery, so after college, he decided to take another leap of faith and teach others how to sell the right way in none other than Africa. Dillon helped socially-minded businesses get their sales force off the ground by learning to sell the right way.
He may have taught his students a lot, but the lesson he learned from them was a hundredfold more impactful. It sparked the idea for my first book, The Happiness Gap.
Where did you grow up?
Port Huron, MI
Tell us about your vision, or mission. What’s ahead for you and/or your career?
I love to help others look at concepts, and particularly themselves, differently. I love to try to flip societies standards on their head and give others a fresh perspective on who they are and what they do. I’ve done this through consulting for socially minded businesses in the developing world, as a sales coach for a Fortune 5,000 company in the US, and most recently in my book ‘The Happiness Gap: How to Achieve Success without Focusing on Money, Fame, or Accomplishments’. I enjoy shaking people up a bit and guiding them to know what really matters to them. ‘Success’ is just a byproduct.
We love people who break the boundaries and relentlessly push toward their goals. That said, what drives you? Was there an event, or personal moment that triggered it all?
It’s funny the question is worded this way. My deep desire is a concept of ‘boundlessness’, or true connection. I read a book called ‘A Yogi’s Guide to Joy’ by Sadhguru where he wrote of boundlessness. The feeling came to him through meditation. He didn’t know where he stopped and something else began. He felt truly one with everything. I have this desire not just physically, but intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually as well. Being able to learn from others and embed that into my day to day life means that part of them is permanently with me. Then I can do the same for others. For me it a way to show that we are all connected, constantly learning from and growing with one another.
Breaking boundaries helps me live outside my comfort zone. That’s where I can be uncomfortable and vulnerable enough to be open to learn something new and grow from it. This is why I enjoy writing. It’s a complete vulnerability for myself and it gives others a chance to learn from what I have to say, incorporate it into their lives, and pass their own version of that knowledge on.
Have you been rejected along the way? How did you feel? How did you overcome it?
I chose a life of sales at the age of 16. I started selling knives, then in college I took a summer internship where I sold books door to door for 5 years. The rejection in door to door sales is constant, typically between 80-95% of the time.
That was followed up with living in Africa for 3 years to teach others sales. This rejection was a bit different. It was the rejection of being the one that didn’t fit in with the local culture. Targeted for traffic stops by policeman looking for a bribe from the ‘rich outsider’, attempted muggings and jail sentencing, you name it.
In either case, rejection felt like a personal blow to the ego at first. “You (or your ideas, products, services) are not wanted.” It’s extremely difficult…but it doesn’t kill you. So, there’s obviously something to learn from it. You overcome it through repetition and awareness. Striving to fail and learn, fail and learn. Each time realizing the difference between what you’re feeling subjectively and what the objective truths are. Sometimes people say no to door to door salesman because the product or service isn’t needed, not because of the person themselves. People in different countries grew up with different belief systems that don’t correlate with our own. Part of me feels like I took those jobs on purpose to quicker learn these lessons.
If you could offer a piece of wisdom/advice to someone who is ready to break their own boundaries, what would you tell them?
Enjoy the tough times as much as you can. FEEL them, and let them overtake you if you need to. The bad isn’t always BAD, if that makes sense. It’s actually what makes the good times so good. You only know how good something is once you compare it to its opposite. To speak in Christian terms, God needs the Devil for us to see how great He is…in the same way, we need challenging times in our lives for us to see what we’re capable of and truly feel the highs when we’re in them.
What mantra do you would want the world to remember you by?
Life is a byproduct of your perspective. To not take life so seriously, start by not taking your self so seriously.
What does it mean to you to be fueled by choice?
I feel it means to take pure responsibility. If you take that word and separate it, it really is our ability to respond to situations as they arise in our lives….to choose. You don’t have to respond immediately, and you don’t even have to respond ‘correctly’ (you can make mistakes). But our ability to respond to the multitude of situations that are thrown at us daily is a power we have as human beings.
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