Living & Working Bass-Ackwards!

Living & Working Bass – Ackwards!

A book review accents use of FORM acronym & value of the Golden Rule

David Greene of Greene & Greene, Inc., in Atlanta, sent me Steve Beecham’s book, Bass – Ackward Business: ‘ The Power of Helping Without Hustling’, published in 2009 by Home Town Publishing. I didn’t get many pages into it before recalling similar personal and business relationship cultivating (as in ‘promote the growth of’) styles learned and lived over the years.

“My helping without hustling strategy is bass – ackwards when you compare it to everything I’ve been taught about building a business” – “it’s not about you or your sales; it’s about helping others.” Pp. 9 & 14. (Emphasis added. GFA)

Beecham quickly identifies three components to implementing the bass – ackward ‘helping without hustling’ mindset:

1. Get out of the office
2. Focus on relationships
3. Find a way to help people p.24

And through these steps, Steve emphasizes ‘discovering the person and not the business’, earning – by – serving, rather than expecting or demanding, ‘the right to sell’.

No further into the book than that, I reflected on how some of his principles applied – or should apply, to the way I’m ‘doing business’. That thought stirred the memory of cleaning out a vacant office, 30 years ago, and finding a set of AMWAY cassette training tapes. As I listened to them while driving, I learned the FORM acronym, an effective personal networking guide. Letters were for Family, Occupation, Recreation, & Message; or, a reminder to set a date for next Meeting. How’s it work? Simple. Walk up to someone, anyone, – in this case in a group setting, and introduce yourself, with a Smile on your face and a friendly, but not fierce or wimpy, handshake. Then, after exchanging names, strike up a conversation, by asking about Family (may be single, married, whatever). After talking ‘families’ for awhile, segue to Occupation. Might be a student, stay at home parent, or otherwise. By now, both parties should be fairly comfortable conversing, so ask about Recreation – what do you do ‘for fun’? Then, near the end of the conversation, and depending on what seems appropriate, decide on when to next Meet and continue the friendly conversation; or, if fitting, ease into one’s Message. I’ve been using the FORM technique ever since – and it works! *1

Gotta admit, there’re a couple things in Bass – Ackward Business that gave me pause, since I hadn’t run into them before; like this piece non – footnoted advice @ p.39

“Look people in the EYE. Yeah, and by ‘eye’, I mean their left eye. Typically, when you’re talking to someone about serious matters or business affairs, you look into their right eye. Looking into their left eye communicates sincerity – they feel like you care.”

My immediate reaction: “Who sez?” But, until I can ask the author that question while looking him in the right eye, I think I’ll give it a try next time I’m in conversation with a friend or associate! Hmm. Maybe it’s because the left eye is closer to one’s heart…

Then there’s the Ritz –Carlton illustration. After a few superb guest service experiences during a second visit to a hotel in that chain, Steve asked the front desk receptionist what she thought made the Ritz so special. Her response? “We have a card we all carry in our pocket when working that reminds us, ‘We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen’. Now that’s pretty nifty. In fact, it reminds me of a similar experience YOU too can have, by dialing (941) 721-0046. The phone will be answered every time, usually on the second ring, by someone ‘with a Smile on their face’, offering this Greeting after Thanking You for calling, then identifying their firm: “How may I Serve You?” Seriously. Place the call to prove it to yourself; better yet, think how You might implement the Ritz-Carlton & Newby Management’s superb customer service techniques as part of your firm’s resident relations program!*2

As I continued to read Bass – Ackward Business, my thoughts turned, time and again, to this writer’s practical application of the Golden Rule, being ‘Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You!’, to the way we ‘do business’. Frankly, too many firms focus on the antithesis Gold Rule; you know, the one that goes like this: ‘He or she who has the gold, makes the rules!’ Sorry to say, we can probably identify more contemporary businesses that appear to ascribe to that scheme (e.g. Predatory lending and Ponzi schemes are just two of society’s present day poster children for that selfish and greedy mindset) than those practicing the Golden Rule in personal relationships and during business dealings. To underscore this truth, the author cites a fairly well known reminder to ‘Use things and love people, not love things and use people!’ Amen.

OK, so how do you get your copy of this pithy little book (97 pages)? Contact Steve Beecham directly at 11855 Haynes Bridge Road, Alpharetta, GA. 30009 or via or via


Yes, the Countdown Continues…

Last week was a busy one for manuFractured housing and landlease (nee manufactured home) community aficionados. Friday’s GSE mass auction of Katrina manufactured homes was delayed two weeks. So, if you’d like to buy some of these homes for your LLCommunities in the South (word has it they’re possibly not built for northern climates), contact HUD for further information.

HUD assistant secretary for housing & federal housing commissioner David H. Stevens, in a letter dated 11 January 2010, continued to defend his decision regarding how “…it is not in HUD’s or the public’s interest to appoint a non – career Administrator for the manufactured housing program given the current budgetary climate. This is especially true for this program because HUD has capable staff currently fulfilling this important mission.” (Emphasis added. GFA) So, continuing to have HUD’s career employee(s) responsible for administering ‘the best interests of manuFractured housing’, from both regulatory and industry perspectives is in ‘the best interests of whom’? Not the manuFractured housing industry! That’s why YOU, if indeed ‘having skin in the game’ of manuFractured housing, as small business entrepreneur or senior executive, need to be in Savannah, GA., on 1 & 2 February 2010, to hear what HUD’s MHProgram executive, Bill Matchneer has to say & ask your own questions. Phone (703) 558-0678 to register.

Frankly, there’s more to the manuFractured housing saga than we’re being told, or that I’m sharing here. You need to be personally vigilant to learn ‘the rest of the story’! For starters, read a new column appearing in the February issue of the new Allen Letter professional journal, penned by a 30 year veteran of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class. The goal of this new business journalism platform is to record and parse published and often differing views, from MHARR & MHI, attempting to publish full disclosure relative to industry issues – then identify either the ‘right business decision’, or as appropriate, ‘a centrist perspective’. No more should you have to rely on ‘reading this (MHI) here’ and ‘reading that (MHARR) there’. To subscribe, call the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or (317) 346-7156.
21st annual ALLEN REPORT enclosed with January issue of the new Allen Letter professional journal, as a lagniappe (‘freebie’) to subscribers. Or, the ‘Who’s Who Among LLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators in North America!’ is available, from same contact phone numbers listed in previous paragraph, or this website, for $250.00.

End Notes.

1. More information on this subject in George Allen’s Chapbook of Business & Management Wisdom, PMN Publishing, 2008. (317) 347-7156 ($10.00 postpaid)
2. Six R’s of Effective Multifamily Rental Property Resident Relations: Superb Resident Relations = More Resident Referrals = Long term Resident Retention!

George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®, MHM
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156

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