We do a lot of extension work for Long Island and Stamford small business owners around here, and no — despite the current government “shutdown” (during which 87% of federal employees are still on the job) — we can’t get out of filing those extensions by the 15th.

(Yes Long Island and Stamford , taxes are still due. No, apparently, refunds won’t be coming until the shutdown ends, and even then … who knows?)

So, with the extension deadline on Tuesday the 15th, we’re a little busy this week, at the ol’ Long Island and Stamford accountant office!

But on to this week’s Note.

I got great response to my true story of an entrepreneur in last week’s, so I’ve continued in that vein … but instead of a profile of an unknown entrepreneur, this time I’ve focused on a vignette from a VERY well-known one. Read on.

Michael Kessler On: The Kindness of a Well-Known Stranger
“You have to have your heart in the business and the business in your heart.” -Thomas J Watson

Warren Buffett is known to be a generous man. Just over five years ago, of course, he made the biggest single contribution to philanthropy ever made — including an enormous bequest to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (erstwhile rivals on the Forbes rich list).

But it’s also common knowledge that Buffet is generous in other aspects of life as well.

And speaking of Forbes, I read a story in it about Buffett and an MBA student from Kazakhstan. This student attended a function at which Buffet was present but left his camera in the Berkshire Hathaway boardroom. The student wanted some pictures of himself with Buffet — and so, true to his form, Buffet offered to give the student a ride back himself to the office to pick up the camera.

During the drive, Buffet offered some advice to the young man. Do what you love, he told him. He also revealed to the student that his personal goal was not to live like a king, and that he liked living a fairly simple life, eating simple meals and driving a regular car.

It was then that Buffet offered this nugget of wisdom: “Be a nice person … It’s so simple that it’s almost too obvious to notice. Look around at people you like. Isn’t it a logical assumption that if you like traits in other people, then other people would like you if you developed those same traits?”

So I ask you, if this advice was the first thing which rolled off of Warren Buffett’s lips when speaking to a fresh-faced MBA student, what would YOU say to just such a student?

And, of course, if this advice represented part of the essence of why Buffett is so successful (well, that and preternatural market prescience), how can you integrate his advice into your business life?

I would ask that you forward this article to a Long Island and Stamford business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance–or simply send them our way. These particular articles relate to business strategy because, as you know, I’m a Profitability Consultant who also specializes in tax preparation and planning for Long Island and Stamford families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Michael Kessler
(516) 449-2852
(203) 658-5092