5 Life Lessons I Learned From Johnnie Barr – A Tribute

Johnnie BarrYesterday, I received the shocking and sad news that my former business coach Johnnie Barr had passed away unexpectedly from surgery complications.  I am still in shock trying wrestle with the all of the questions.  Johnnie meant a lot to me and my family.  He stood by me and my family when my construction business failed 5 years ago.  I always knew I could call him and he would listen to me and encourage me… even after I was no longer able to pay him.
Johnnie was the one who showed me the positive impact that a business coach could have on someone’s life.  He is the one who inspired me to help and coach small business owners today.
Today, as I grieve, I also reflect on what I learned from Johnnie.  Here are some of the lessons I learned from Johnnie.  I share them as a tribute to him and as a way of passing on his legacy.

5 Life Lessons I learned from Johnnie Barr

  1. Relationships Matter – I am not sure if I have met anyone else who made more meaningful connections than Johnnie.  He really cared about people and it showed.  Whether it was at a business meeting or  a phone call, he always had time for people and really sought to listen.
  2. Enjoy Life – Johnnie enjoyed every day.  He had an energetic smile that was infectious.  He loved to laugh and have fun.  He could make the most mundane budget discussions enjoyable.
  3. Believe in People – Johnnie was a very optimistic man.  But more than that, he believed in people.  He believed in people that didn’t believe in themselves.  He gave hope and encouragement to those struggling and helped them get up and move forward.
  4. Keep Moving Forward – Difficult things happen…  Difficult things happened to me.  Johnnie always encouraged me to not give up and keep moving forward.  He helped me learn from the past, but not get stuck in it.
  5. Think Critically – Johnnie was very good at analyzing things.  He asked a lot of questions, sought out the facts, and used critical thinking to to determine best steps.  From him I learned to not rush into something without giving thought to my steps.

IMG_3100There are many other things I learned from Johnnie, such as how to calculate “revenue per man hour”, but these are the life lessons that mean the most to me.  I am thankful that I had the opportunity to share life with him and learn from his wisdom.
My heart is heavy this morning, but I am going to choose to apply what I learned from Johnnie.  I will connect with people, enjoy life and keep moving forward.  I also choose to pass on what I have learned to someone else.  Johnnie shared generously of his wisdom, and I desire to live the same way.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family this today.  You can find all the funeral arrangements at Coffman Funeral Home.

If you knew Johnnie, what have you learned from him?  

If not, who has made a significant impact on your life?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

3 replies
  1. Victoria Mininger
    Victoria Mininger says:

    I think you put it so well Brian. Johnnie was a great coach, but even past that, a good friend. When he listened it was as if you were the only other person in the room and he had all the time in the world. He never rushed a conversation and always asked more questions that any person I knew. But the questions were ones that told you he really cared about what was happening in your life. I will miss that about him.

  2. Melinda Zobrist
    Melinda Zobrist says:

    There are people that come and go in our lives. Some come and go seemingly unnoticed while making a silent impact. Some come and go with an unmistakeable impact. Johnnie Barr was both. His silent caring and support always was in action beneath his jovial and outgoing personality. Always helping, supporting and encouraging, Johnnie had an amazing way of finding a connection with everyone he helped. And he touched those same lives to create a change, even so slight, that directed everyone for the better. Always looking for the good and great, always striving for better and best. That’s what I learned from Johnnie. The physical world will mourn the loss of this amazing man, and will feel its impact for years to come. We will miss you, Johnnie Barr.

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