What does a 1960’s blender and tax resolution services have in common?

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When I was a kid, in the late 50’s thru the early 70’s, my father sold high end blenders on the fair circuit (L.A. County Fair, New York Worlds Fair).  He was a traveling salesmen aka “a barker”.  Besides being a POW in WWII, he was the best Barker ever.  Way better than Billy Mays (Oxiclean).  As a kid growing up with space walks, sports, school, all sorts of new technologies and of course girls, the blender was just part of my parents’ lives.  It was what they did.  It was not me.  Yes, I worked summers fixing those damn things to earn a little money and help my parents.  Besides I was really good at taking those damn things apart and fixing them.  I worked with my parents at the L.A. County Fair and had the opportunity to see many amazing things from around this great country and from around the world. 

My father introduced me to many of his fair colleagues, whom I found to be very strange.  But what I never appreciated, at the time, was the true significance and importance to my own existence of what my parents had accomplished over 30 years.  My father retired in 1975 and moved to Las Vegas where is took his talents and did other things.  I stayed in California to follow my own divergent path.  Never thought much of the life lessons I took with me on that path, until my father passed away in 2007.  I was sitting with my sister writing the eulogy for my father funeral when I began journey of trying to recall all the different things my father sold and all the places he had visited.  There were the blenders, of course, but there also the chopper and slicer (as seen on TV), the magic bubble wand, the hula hoop just to mention a few.  I was even in a commercial for the magic bubble wand.  When I watch it today, I know why I am an accountant and not an actor. 

As I sat in introspective silence contemplating the life of a man whom I thought had accomplished so little, I had a major epiphany of just how much I had never noticed about this man.  Leave aside for a moment that he was shot down over Germany and almost died and spent 13 months in a POW camp.  Leave aside that he was newly married just before his fateful mission.  Leave aside the fact that my parents worked their way from Michigan to Los Angeles with almost no money in the late 40’s.  My father could sell ice to Eskimos.  Why is it that he was able to do that?  TRUST!!  My father was a man that people trusted and so were willing to shell out their hard-earned dollars on an item that had no intention of buying when they entered the fair grounds.  That is what tax resolution services have in common with me.  I finally realized the lesson my father taught me, that I must gain the trust of my clients.  The forms and paperwork are merely just that, paperwork.  They must trust that I will safely and securely guide them on a journey known as the IRS maze of confusion.

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