There Were a Few Awkward Moments for Me with the Boron Letters

Obinna Morton
Jun 6, 2019 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post

I just finished my 20-minutes worth of “learning” through a podcast from a top copywriter. It’s difficult to relate sometimes when they remind you of the girls who would have gotten compliments over you on the playground. Whatever, I’ll figure out how to do these things and weave this into my stories later.

For now, let me get to the second part of this “learning” morning, which is to write a story on the Boron Letters, the awkward/interesting moments.

The Boron Letters are 25 Chapters of advice on life and marketing from Gary Halbert to his son while he’s in jail for a business crime. The Boron Federal Prison Camp, hence the name.

This story will be short and sweet. Three observations — two awkward, one interesting. Let’s start with the interesting.

Courtesy of

The Interesting Origin Story of the Boron Letters

Gary Halbert wrote these letters to his son from jail. Long story short, he didn’t fill the orders from one campaign. Someone complained. One thing led to another and poof, an indictment. Weird how that happens.

So it strangely normalized “crime.” Scary. It’s like when you hear a story and kind of get it, but keep your distance because then you think that you will be a wife with a knife. This isn’t one of those cases, but still…

One day a person is a thriving business person. They overshoot and make the mistake of thinking that they can secure the funds to fill a bunch of orders. They can’t and then people don’t get what they paid to get.

I can’t really say don’t overshoot because sometimes you can and it works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. No advice here, just that overshooting and not delivering can lead to being in jail. Tragic, but interesting.

A Racial Slur

It reminds me of reading Flannery O’Connor “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” in high school. The book uses a lot of slurs. I didn’t care as much because I felt sad for the Grandmother after The Misfit was merciless and took them all out.

I know that the slurs were normal for the time period, but imagine the silent horror that I felt as I’m sitting next to a, I guess, white student, knowing that with something this, we are each kind of being socialized into “roles,” a couple generations later, but still, the acceptance of history’s faults and its impact on the future.

Stuff like this is why I just don’t do equality smiles.

So anyway, Halbert uses the term “plantation **gg**.” Ironically, the person who he’s referring to is white, which doesn’t really matter. He uses it twice in two different letters, and I just think he could have used another term to describe someone who was acting in a sycophantic way. Because maybe the slave was just trying to survive…

So anyway, maybe he could have used a reference with a historical reference point from his heritage. Or not at all.

The Default “He”

There are so many quotes that use only the term “man,” and if it’s motivational, it’s difficult to really hear the words because I kind of assume the words don’t apply to me. Or that the omission of the feminine says just as much as the quote does. Welcome to my thoughts.

This way.

So Gary Halbert uses “he” only. I don’t remember ever seeing a “she” when he talks about a customer or prospect. I don’t think that his base was only men. If it was, then that makes sense. But if not, I did feel ignored reading this information. But again like I said with the #PlaygroundCrew, good information is good information.

Courtesy of

So I take it, accredit it like my name isn’t Kylie Jenner, and then keep things moving.

So that’s it.

I still need to figure out how to wake up at 6am consistently. Today I woke up at around 6:40. But I will be gentle with myself, as a friend and person I follow says.

Otherwise, Gary Halbert is known as one of the best copywriters. The people I’m learning about and from are considered at the top. So I give them their credit because it is due. Still though, I think that my feelings are valid, too.

Let me move onto the next bullet point now.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for reading.

Obinna Morton

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store