One to Five

Five by Five

Let’s start in the middle.

What is the most powerful three letter word in the English language?

YES ran a close second. Yet, it can also be the most dangerous word — if not accompanied by NO.

So, again – standing on its own – what is the most powerful three letter word?

ASK

See how powerful it is? If we need, or want, to know something, we simply ask. By asking, now, you know my opinion.

While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, please, let me share the reason for my belief.

The three letters of ASK are actually an acronym for Ask, Seek, and Knock. If we Ask, we will receive answers. If we Seek, we will find opportunity. If we Knock, doors will swing wide open.

Now, let’s count down, from three, to one.

DO is the most powerful two letter word. In fact, knowing and doing are two entirely different concepts. We can ask to know, which empowers us to act for the benefit of others. Yet, until we do, our knowledge is worthless.

I is the most powerful one letter word. It is the only Individual over which we have absolute control. Beyond our fingertips, any semblance of control ends. For the narcissists among us, this isn’t all about you — there’s the rest of the story.

WORK is the most powerful four letter word. Taking personal responsibility for ourselves is the greatest gift we can offer. Because, only, then, can we share the excess bounty from our efforts with those less fortunate.

SERVE is the most powerful five letter word. Want to be happy? Simply, focus on taking care of the wants and needs of one other person. Want to be, really, happy? Passionately, help enough other people get what they want and we can have everything in life we want.

It Is What It Is —But, It will become what you make It.

I
DO
ASK
WORK
SERVE

From top to bottom, life really is that simple.

By bending a knee in service to all, we will receive everything our heart desires.

www.kimfoardcpa.com

Boldly Humble

Boldly Humble

In the Land of Narcissists, who is the greatest?

Who earns the respect of those within their sphere of influence?

Is it the pompous, arrogant, ignorant fool who, if they knew half as much as they pretend, would know twice as much as they really do? Or, is it the quiet, listening, thoughtful individual who learns new and better ways to serve?

Of all the many sparkling facets of greatness, there is only one foundational base within which the gem is anchored: Humility.

Humility precedes honor.

Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Beginning with the end in mind, distinguishing characteristics of honor are principled uprightness of character and code of integrity, which results in reputation, distinction, privilege, and special recognition.

What is required for each of us to get honor?

Quite simply, we must be willing to give ourselves in service.

There is only one way to do that: by bending a knee in humility. Humility is necessary before we can admit, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” Following that proclamation, is the simple request, “Please, teach me what I need to know.”

At that moment, the Universe goes out of its way to instruct. When the Student is ready, the Teacher will appear. The more we learn, the more we realize there is so much more to learn. As we learn, we begin to teach. In time, the Student becomes the Teacher.

Yet, the great Masters continue to humble themselves at the feet of even greater Teachers, who humbly accept the guidance of Infinite Wisdom. In other words, there is always more to learn.

One of the Natural Laws is that we harvest what we plant. Humble souls work hard to have something of value to share with others and are guaranteed to receive an abundance. As a farmer bends a knee to plant, so too can we humbly prepare our fields for rain.

How do we humbly prepare?

All we need to do is to boldly ASK.

Ask for what we need and want. We will be given.
Seek for what is important to discover. We will find what is right.
Knock on the doors of opportunity with courtesy. They will open to abundance.

Humility precedes honor.

www.kimfoard.com

Three To Be

Three To BeFor every ending, there is a new beginning.

Leading the way into a bigger word is a little one: Be.

See it?

Be-ginning!

Shakespeare asked the questions, “To be; or, not to be?”

There, really, isn’t a question of our existence. The answer is in the exploration of what it is, “To Be.”

Sterling Character

Yes, the adjective is subjective. Nobody wakes in the morning to believe their character is bad. Yet, do we wake to the Wooden Creed? “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

Again, some might want to argue that “best” is subjective. It is, if we compare ourselves to others; It is not, if we judge ourselves to a higher standard. Through all of civilization, there have been Codes of Conduct. The best of them are simply a map to guide us in The Journey to the highest quality of life.

Passionate Commitment

Knowing something and doing it are two, entirely, different concepts. In fact, choosing one and forgoing the many is the purest definition of commitment. Contempt for failure and death is another measure of being, all in; Or, all out, if we consider the example of the skydiver.

At the moment of jumping from a perfectly good airplane, the skydiver is committed to reaching the ground. They have two choices: Dead, or Alive. In other words, if they have a passion for life, their entire focus is on a successful landing.

Dynamic Communication

Before babies can say a single word, they are effective communicators. By facial expression, tone of voice and body language, they command attention. They know what they want and how to ASK for it. Why are so many adults dysfunctional? They stopped learning. Literally, the answer is that simple.

We are either growing; or, we are dying. Entropy is the natural physical condition. There is a higher realm, which requires pushing beyond the resistance of what “Is”, to what can “Be.” All we do begins with a thought. We learn by doing. The fun is in the doing. Let’s have fun learning!

In the course of a lifetime, people will come and people will go. There are chance encounters, whereby strangers become friends. There are diabolical missions of deceit, whereby wolves appear to be sheep. In between, are all the other opportunities for new relationships.

There is a season for all things. Remember, though, there is only one YOU. You are a unique creation, no better than any other; yet, just as good as all the others.

As others seek a relationship, begin with the end in mind: Sterling Character, Passionate Commitment, and Dynamic Communication.

Three To Be: Free.

www.kimfoard.com

Build Something

Build SomethingThis is more than another B.S. musing. A bright financial future is waiting, if you will accept this encouragement to Build Something Special (B.S.S.).

Let’s begin with that extra “S”: the Special one. Yes; that is YOU. You are one-of-a-kind, broke-the-mold, and a special creation with a unique set of gifts. You are of great value and have much to offer others. The world is anxiously waiting for you to Build Something Special for our mutual benefit.

You’ve heard the expression: Preparation plus Opportunity equals Success.

This is even more powerful: Preparation is guaranteed to produce Opportunities resulting in Success.

There is absolutely no need to wait around for an opportunity. The encouragement to Build Something Special is really an exhortation for us to focus on what is within our, individual, control. Answer the Why, How, and What of YOU and the world is your oyster.

Why do you exist?

How can you make a difference in the lives of others?

What is the medium for delivering the very best YOU to the world?

By thinking about the Value inherent in YOU, a choice manifests for you to become a Master Craftsman and Build Something Special.

Lift your dominant hand up and forward. Carefully, look at the thumb and fingers. Those five digits are the number of steps necessary to Build Something Special. There is a matched set of tools on your other hand. That, my friends, is the extent to which we are in control. Plenty to keep us busy, though. Let’s begin!

Step 1 ~ Establish a Fair Price

A fair price is one which is good for You and your Customer. The question begging to be answered is, “Price of what?!” Glad you asked, because the question provides the opportunity for YOU to answer it. The secret to finding your way out of this Riddle is to answer the Why, How, and What questions, above.

Define your passion in life and the Why will be obvious. Inventory your abilities and the How becomes evident. Then, you will know, exactly, What you need to do to Build Something Special. You will fully understand whether you will be offering a Service, or a Product, to the marketplace.

You have the responsibility to establish a Fair Price for your offering. As long as the Customer perceives Value greater than Price, they will believe the price is fair. Naturally, the Customer’s perception can be enhanced by offering Value many times greater than Price, which is also mutually beneficial in achieving a Fair Price for You.

In the simplest of definitions, a Fair Price for You is one, which: enables You to provide for your Family.

(For a complete narrative and solution of The Magic Formula for fair pricing, see the detailed examples in the articles Price We Pay and 5 Minute Business Plan.)

Step 2 ~ Ask for Acceptance

Unless the Customer wants what is being offered, the price is irrelevant. We, all, want what we don’t have. The secret to acceptance, then, is to provide options which satisfy what the Customer wants. The only way to know that is to carefully listen. Yes; listen with care to discover what is of Value to the Customer.

By beginning with the end in mind, we can negotiate mutually acceptable terms and expectations. Simply: Who is going to do What by When.

Step 3 ~ Plan the Work

An old Proverb best communicates this powerful principle: Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. In other words, every successful venture requires planning and bountiful harvests are necessary for nurturing our families.

The purpose of Blueprints is to Build Something Special on paper, first. By doing so, we consider the required resources of Time and Money. The best use of resources is to proceed from Start to Finish, without interruption.

Step 4 ~ Deliver on Promises

This is the time for action. We have a quality offering; the Customer has a want in need of fulfillment; terms have been agreed upon; and, resources allocated. Preparation has generated Opportunity. Get-er-done is our mantra as we push forward to Success.

Step 5 ~ Enjoy the Celebration

As with any party, Ribbons and Bows showcase the gifts. You have exceeded the Customer’s expectations. They are all kinds of excited. It is appropriate to celebrate with them. Do a Walk-around. Let them express their Appreciation for spectacular Results. Listen for the Opportunity to provide even more to them in the Future. Accept their willingness to Pay in full for Value beyond Price.

Experienced builders know the secret to success is to Begin and Begin Again. Five digits at the end of a strong arm. Five steps to Build Something Special. The sweetest surprise: a passion for the Why of your existence; an understanding of How to touch lives; and, the What of your gifts.

Preparation has created Opportunity and Success.

You did it once.

You can do it again!

Build Something Special

www.kimfoardcpa.com

ASK

ASK Ask, Seek, Knock

Courage is a three letter word — ASK.

In fact, the acronym comes with built-in promises.

Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and, to those who knock, the door will be opened.

Within the last week, I have been reminded of how powerful one, little, word can be. As a parent, words are inadequate to describe the appreciation for two young adults, who are boldly making the world a better place. More than words, these two young people are living the principles — and, that takes courage.

Two children with different approaches. Yet, they are using the same Universal tool to receive goodness into their lives, discover new paths of growth, and have doors of opportunity swing wide open. All because they show up each day and do their part, to ASK.

One has been enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks (pardon the pun) for the last two years. The education and experience ranges from building log homes, pouring concrete foundations, driving beet truck, guiding dudes on hunting trips into — and, back out of — the wilderness, creating barbwire works of art, managing a crew of rednecks, tending bar in a cowboy saloon, busting broncs and spurring hair off of bulls.

Upon deciding to begin work on his graduate degree in finance, he went to where new wealth is being extracted and asked to be part of the action. By the time he made it back home, a Company wanted to know more — about him. After one five minute interview and a week’s worth of passing tests, this young man is across the threshold into a new adventure.

His older sister, while more conventional in approach, is just as non-traditional in her own way. A high school math teacher once described this marvelous combination of logic and emotion, straight-line thinker, and creative genius, with this statement, “She does everything asked of her and some things just for herself.”

Directly out of high school, she marched into college. At the beginning of her junior year, she doubled down by starting a full-time job, and adding another facet to her degree program. Towards the end of four years, a few credits were standing between her and graduation. With a faculty open to negotiation, the delivery of a little extra work earned the equivalent of a five year degree in four.

For the last two years, the education has continued with a Master Certification in customer service — and, the experience has broadened to managing technicians into productive roles, for the benefit of all. Wanting to be closer, geographically, to a Special Someone, she is carefully considering a variety of new opportunities.

A dad’s response to their effort — to ASK — “Wow!”

www.kimfoard.com