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Humility Sells

…Even in the Note Business

Have you ever seen someone going about their business, working hard, focused and thankful in the act, being done in such a way where it commanded you to stare or take a second look? People practicing humility can cause this. Humility defined is not proud, doing something out of the goodness of your heart, not for yourself, freedom from pride or arrogance the act of being humble and an absence of vanity. That’s a tall order!

To me, this definition compliments what we as note professionals and those in the “business” do all day long. We are in the service business and when you see a “pro in the flow”, humility is right there making it memorable. The person practicing humility benefits deeply because their sense of purpose is engaged and being carried out through the practice of serving others.

There are different states of humility – the highest being to putting others needs before your own with the least being to serve without recognition or acknowledgment. (While it might be the “least” here in this world, it is highly respected and coveted elsewhere.) People who have and practice humility are easy to approach and speak with. You will even be affected by their presence.

Years ago when I was the night crew manager of a large well known Southern California grocery store, the boss used to come in the middle of the night in his jeans and t-shirt unannounced purely for the pleasure of stocking the shelves and visiting with us, the people on his team. He would not call any attention to himself and instructed us to pay him no mind when he showed up; he was just one of the guys. He would come in on Saturday or Sunday mornings when we were the busiest, put his knee pads on and get on the floor with us stocking the shelves aisle by aisle. No one in corporate ever knew he did this. He enjoyed getting a workout, the comradery of the team and so much enjoyed the satisfaction in the morning of the store looking fantastic, with humility.

I consulted with a multi-millionaire business owner once and observed that she would race to answer the phones when they rang. All of her employees would have to take the second and third calls. She loved talking with people who called, asking them questions and solving problems. When people called in and insisted on talking with the boss, she would say, “This is her speaking, how can I help you?”

Another man I worked with way back when who was very well off used to visit his apartments and pick trash up on the property, adjust window screens, and sweep the parking lots and surrounding areas. He never said a word to anyone, no one ever knew he was the owner of the building, but others followed his example.

In my rehabbing days (again way back when) I once worked with a man who would clean up so thoroughly after working on a property that I would start complaining about wanting to go home after a while. “The place is clean enough” I would say. He says we go home when we have thoroughly cleaned up like we were never here. We argued off and on for weeks and one day, I gave in and I learned the secret to humility.

In my new hometown of Lake Havasu City, AZ I happened to meet the Mayor a few months ago. The other day as I was taking a walk, there he was exercising on the channel and picking up trash as he went. Humility at work…  Yes, even in the note business, people first, then business. Give yourself the gift of humility and re-gift to others. Remember, success demands action! Keep on marketing, it’s going to work! TWITA! (That’s What I’m Talking About!)

Jeff Armstrong of Armstrong Capital has been a note broker and investor specializing in the seller financed note industry since 1991.  He can be reached by email at For more updated and current information on how he can help you with your note business, your note investments or to request a quote on a note you currently have visit

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