Boldly Humble

Humility is necessary before we can learn and earn honor.

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

Stand Right

Which attributes of character are most important to you?

Stand for what is Right, even if you stand AloneAs a thought experiment, ask a dozen individuals this question: “Which attributes of character are most important to you?”

The people you ask can be your close friends, your worst enemies, or random transients on the street. The odds are very good that nearly every one of them will include with their answer: “Honesty.”

Why, then, do we struggle so much to be honest with ourselves, and others?

One of the greatest statesmen of all times was known by his moniker, “Honest Abe.”

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

Abraham Lincoln
American 16th US President (1861-65)

How many times are we tempted to cheat (just a little) to win?

How many times are we tempted to take (just a little) advantage to succeed?

How many times are we tempted to go along to get along (with wrong) to fit in?

That word choice by Abe: bound. Sure feels constraining, limiting, and subservient. Doesn’t it?

Yet, Abraham Lincoln knew true winners set their mind in thought and engage their hands in action to be honest to whom they are at the core: “I am bound to be true.”

Achievers know they are wonderfully made, unique, and one-of-a-kind, with much to offer the whole wide world. They believe, “I am bound to live by the light that I have.”

Yes, I know, easier said than done.

In fact, knowing something and doing it are two, entirely, different things. One is fairly easy; the other is extremely difficult. Actions speak so much louder than words, though. Hard is easy; easy is hard.

What is Right? And, then by antithetical definition, what is Wrong?

One absolute truth is that Right and Wrong cannot be legislated. Every group, clan, civilization, and country sets forth a Code of Ethics. Yet, individuals make choices from their heart and soul.

Please, invest the time to discover the answer to this question, for yourself:
“What is my deepest innermost value?”

Once we identify our (individual) value, we can be true to ourselves and live by our light.

We must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with them while they are right, and part with them when they go wrong.

www.kimfoard.com

Initials

Awards, certifications, and degrees are, simply, mile-markers on our journey of growth and provide enhanced opportunities to begin relationships.

CPA CITP

Society has adopted as truth this funny notion that there are no differences from one person to another.

Then, it diligently goes about labeling each to differentiate the homogeneous mixture.

Recent attendance at a Scaling New Heights conference was a gentle reminder of this Universal Principle: regardless of how alike a group of people may be, the individual differences are worthy of consideration.

In fact, the uniqueness of the individuals is what creates synergy for the group. In other words, the sum of the whole is greater than its parts. Yet, the value of the group is dependent upon the integrity of the individual members.

As attendees of the Conference, we were provided an assortment of materials and a name Badge. Since the Conference was conducted in cooperation with Intuit®, the maker of QuickBooks, one early announcement was the availability of lapel Pins to note our levels of achievement.

Caught up in the pompousness of the moment, I went by the Intuit® booth and claimed my awards. In observing others with the Pins affixed to their Badges, I did the same — for about an hour.

Then, I was struck with the absurdity: we were all the same, as ProAdvisor attendees.

The real distinction was in the passion at the core of who we are, as individuals.

Our value to one another and the Customers we serve is not in the awards, certifications, or degrees accumulated in appendages to our name. Value is the reality of a perception. Reputation is what others think about us. Character is who we really are.

A couple of years ago, my character was tested by a potential new Customer. By being too eager to please, I gave the best of me to the son-in-law, who asked for help. Although purporting to have authority to purchase, son-in-law was subordinate to Father-In-Law.

Once that was understood, I took the game from my office to their place of business. Oh, the fun of beginning again with the one who controlled funding authority. All was going relatively well, until I decided to take a short-cut.

Rather than build Trust and provide the opportunity for Respect to be earned and given, I thought my credentials were pretty dang impressive and decided to share them.

Since we were standing right there next to a computer, what better way to close the deal than to have this potential new Customer see Testimonials from old Clients? As the CFO son-in-law (under my direction) wiggled the mouse and tickled the keyboard to navigate onto a Site of Distinction, CEO Father-In-Law grew increasingly amused.

Thinking that I had thoroughly impressed him, his lesson in humility haunts me to this day, “So, how much did you have to pay those people to say that?”

In defense of my honor, I assured him that those were actual Clients and they paid a Price for Value. My whining didn’t impress Father-In-Law in the least. He was a proud man, who could make his own judgment to my worth. He didn’t need my help.

So close to being a mutually beneficial relationship and I messed it up by wanting to brag.

If only I had remembered:

Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth—
a stranger, not your own lips.

The collection of Business Cards accompanying me home from the Conference was the perfect reminder of how hard we work to achieve distinction in the eyes of the governing bodies. Yet, all that really matters in life and business is the effort we make, individually, to serve those in our sphere of influence.

Initials behind our names are, simply, mile-markers on our journey of growth. The danger is in believing they are an announcement of greatness. They are not.

The dictionary definition of Initial: Of, relating to, or occurring at the beginning; first.

That’s all Initials are, the opportunity to begin a relationship with another person.

www.kimfoard.com

Build Something — Special

Discovery of the 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.

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 encouragement 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 very best way to deliver your value 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 for 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 to fair pricing, see the detailed examples in the articles Price We Pay and A Better 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’s 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 for YOU: Discovery of the 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

kimfoard.com

 

Different Levels

The secret to success is beyond the labels of levels; it is discovered by enlightening, empowering and encouraging the desires of People to grow and build!

Different LevelsArriving home from school, the little girl was deep in thought. The frustration with the day was written all over her face.

As she found a listening ear, the story began to unfold. One of her 4th Grade classmates had an opposing view on an important subject. By explaining the two beliefs, the little girl seemed to find the answer to her dilemma.

With acceptance in her voice, she understood and announced, “People are just on different levels!”

All natural growth occurs through levels of maturation. Whether children into adults, seedlings into plants, or entrepreneurs into companies, there is a logical order: from the bottom, up; and, from the inside, out.

This hierarchy of levels begins with a foundation. All that follows is supported from that beginning.

After thirty years in business and within a span of seven days, I was reminded of the “Levels”.

Two stories, two story-tellers, two very different views, about one CPA:

Level 1:

“A bit of constructive criticism for future successful customer interaction: Don’t assume that your potential clients know exactly what your product is.

You are good at forwarding prepared documents. Might I suggest a single page with bullet points of the steps and actions that your products entail. I wouldn’t purchase a floor machine unless I knew what the pad pressure delivered to the scrubbing pads is, as the wrong machine may deliver undesired results or reduce productivity.

I would want to see a specifications sheet, just as I asked many time from you of your products.”

Level 2:

“I am a young man who has decided to come back to my hometown to manage and run our family ranch. I worked as a counselor for the last 4 years and was very content with my life and career.

As life happens, due to circumstances, I was brought back to my childhood roots and knew that my family needed me. I was not key on the idea at first but then I was introduced to our family’s accountant and he helped me look at the country life in a whole different way.

Since I have known Kim the last four years he has helped me and my family rebuild our financial status. We have purchased more efficient machinery, doubled our commercial Angus line of beef, and in the works is a pivot sprinkler system.

I remember when I met Kim he told me “You Dream it I will help bring your dream to reality”. He has been so helpful in every aspect a person could imagine, very knowledgeable, very dependable and you can access him anytime.

Kim has helped me grow into a business orientated person. He has the tools if you have the ambition and drive. Thanks Kim..”

How can two views about one person be so different?!

Answer: The young man at Level 1 has a Product based view; the young entrepreneur at Level 2 has a Service based view.

The mentality of some people is so limited that they are Product bound; unless they can understand the “tangible”, any inherent benefit is limited. Other people think at higher levels; they acknowledge and want the perceived value from the “intangible” of quality Service.

Gravity, for example, is a very powerful and valuable intangible. It is a real force to the extent of its Cause-and-Effect results. We have a choice to recognize its value by living within the reality of its influence. Depending on the height of the object on which they stand, those who choose to ignore this intangible presence might only get to do so once.

Individually, we are unique. As individuals, we will always perceive the world differently. The secret to success is beyond the labels of levels. It is discovered by enlightening, empowering, and encouraging the desires of People to grow and build.

We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing. As we, individually, choose our next step on the journey to a higher level, let’s have fun learning!

www.kimfoard.com

Little Things

When standing nose-to-nose with the Monster, we have two choices: 1.) Forfeit our dreams and the prize — 2.) Chisel the beast down to size.

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

All for the want of a horseshoe nail.

All of us encounter big challenges throughout our lives. Some are of our own making — others, from the hand of fate. When we are standing nose-to-nose with the Monster, there are two choices. We can either forfeit our dreams and the prize — or, chisel the beast down to size.

Mile by mile, it’s a trial,
Yard by yard, it’s hard,
Inch by inch, it’s a cinch.

Little things make a big difference:

1.) In the entire universe, there is only one YOU. The fingerprint of your touch is unique in the lives of those, within the sphere of your influence.

2.) While respectful of the very tangible Role Power by those in authority, you hold in your hands the greater intangible Relationship Power to enlighten, empower, and encourage.

3.) The person most mature in any relationship will lead the way by being proactive, patient, and kind. You have the ability to break down dissenters — by, loving them to pieces.

4.) All good things in life must be built. By doing your planning and preparing to succeed — in being a good steward of Time and Money — the sanctuary of a home nurtures innovation.

5.) Construction is an ugly business. From the bits and pieces of a beginning, masterful creations are the result of your passionate brick-by-brick effort, to deliver value to the world.

6.) By asking, seeking, and knocking — you will hear ideas, find truth, and walk through open doors. Each person has something to share.  Care abundantly, Listen intently, — then, Do good.

7.) Focus only on changing ‘Things’ within your control. ‘People’ change, only, when they make the decision to behave differently. Forget about pleasing others. Work on yourself.

Big things and big people have their reward in the daily headlines. They are so proud of their largess. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Salvation of the realm will be done by the little people — who humbly tighten the nails to save the shoe, save the horse, save the rider, save the day, and preserve the kingdom for the benefit of everyone.

www.kimfoard.com

Maverick Concepts

By changing the rules of the traditional game, we can stand out, stand up, and stand for something special in the minds of those we serve.

Maverick Concepts


Embracing the reality that no one else can fully understand our individual Business experiences, these thoughts fit well in the category:

“Easier said than done.”


1.)  Value is a perception. Given that your Business is the BEST, each Stakeholder defines that differently. Regardless of what we believe, offer, and do, the value is subjective to the understanding of the Customer. When we understand “fully” what they need and want, a menu of options can be presented for their consideration. The first step to understanding is to Care; the second step is to Listen. Then, our Customers are interested in our ideas.

2.)  People buy what they want, not what they need. Many times, they don’t know what they want. If we can broaden their horizons, they might want what we have. They just don’t know it, yet! Beyond the things they need, waits opportunity; Customers want solutions to problems. The bigger their problem: the greater the opportunity, for them and us. Rather than sell into a need, mutual benefit grows from letting them buy what they want.

3.)  Commodities are subject to price manipulations; Uniqueness isn’t. One business appears to be just like the next. Until… we have “something” no one else can deliver. At that moment, the messenger becomes Priceless. Example: Plumbing supplies can be purchased by the Consumer at the “lowest” cost; their Value is dependent upon a Plumber knowing what to do with them. By knowing how to “fix the leaks,” we move from the problems of the Past through the Present Value into the opportunities of the Future.

By changing the rules of the traditional game, we can stand out, stand up, and stand for something special in the minds of those we serve.

At that moment, there are no competitors. We stand alone!

www.kimfoard.com