The MAC (Volume 1, Number 12, December 28, 2011) was only one part of my awakening. In a strange way, an improved physical condition helped me immensely in what I had to do back at C & C (Carlozo & Company). My after tax season reflection made me realize I was like the shoemaker with holes in his shoes. In that regard, helping others was paramount – helping myself and running C & C in a business-like manner played second fiddle. Although our practice had continued to grow, profitability did not budge, and even to a surprising degree diminished. About the same time I had decided to make a change in my personal conditioning, Sharon Cody, of our staff, had arranged a lunch meeting for me and herself with Bill Berndt. The 3 of us had worked together at Coyne & McClean, albeit 24 years ago. Bill was the CPA who gave this then 25-year old accountant the opportunity to enter the world of public accounting having hired me out of private industry. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, my life would change in a way I could never imagine and I would go on to help others as I would watch, listen and learn from Bill; he was the consummate mentor. After our lunch, I asked Bill if he would be willing to work with me in a consulting capacity; I referred to his role as that of a “business coach”. I think Bill was somewhat surprised at my suggestion. Now semi-retired, we hadn’t seen each other for a little over 10 years; I’m sure the thought of helping a former protégé was the last thing on his mind in coming to the lunch meeting. In many ways, I felt like the “Prodigal Son” returning home as the following week we began semi-monthly meetings which, just like my personal training at The MAC, forced me to stretch, push forward and have the courage of my convictions to run C & C in way I knew how to do, but failed to focus on. The meetings are quite frankly intense, go by incredibly fast and are loads of fun. Because Bill has been there and done that, his feedback and insight are like “giving cold air induction to a high performance gasoline engine” – it simply runs better, faster and stronger. While we still have goals and “things to do” we have made so much progress in a relatively short time. The meetings have been spiritual as well, awakening all the lessons learned along the way and giving new meaning the goals I had set out some 23 years ago when I founded C & C from the basement of my home in Lutherville.
(Left to Right – Sharon Cody, Bill Berndt, Me)
If you have somehow separated from your roots, for whatever reason, don’t be afraid to return home and swallow your pride. So many of us would not be where we are today had it not been for others before us who made sacrifices so that we could have better opportunities. Bill was so gracious in accepting his role as “Business Coach”. If it wasn’t for him and the opportunity he gave me, C & C might have simply remained a thought in my mind. Now reunited, we were back together, on the same team, like no time had passed.
Have a Great Day!!!! May God Bless You!!!
Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)