It is in understanding and embracing the concept of failure that we achieve true greatness as human beings [Interview] w/ Kenneth J. Burke, CPA & Certified Business Coach

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Kenneth J. Burke

Kenneth J. Burke, CPA & Certified Business Coach

Ken is both a Certified FocalPoint Business Coach and a CPA. For over 25 years he has worked for both national and regional CPA firms advising business owners on managing their finances and taxes, and various business issues. While Ken was working with entrepreneurs and business owners during his time in practice, he noticed clients were very interested in ideas on how to strategically improve their businesses beyond tax and financial matters.

This need for more business and strategic advice became the catalyst for Ken to change his career and become a business coach. Wanting to deliver only the best to his clients, Ken began an extensive due diligence process to find the best business coaching program in the same way he would assist clients in evaluating and buying a business. This due diligence process lead him to FocalPoint Coaching and Brian Tracy. In 2009, Ken “retired” as a partner from his CPA firm and founded his business coaching firm, FocalPoint Coaching of New York.

By combining his experience as a CPA with the FocalPoint Coaching process, he is able to assist business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives in achieving their business objectives faster and more efficiently than otherwise possible. Ken is passionate about business and personal development and consumes as many business books and audio programs as possible considering his busy schedule. He is an active public speaker and has delivered presentations for many business organizations over the years including the Monroe County Bar Association, Estate Planning Council, Financial Planning Association, The Foundation for Accounting Education, and Pathways To Entrepreneurial Excellence. Ken received his undergraduate degree from Niagara University in May 1986.

He is an active member of the Board of Advisors to the College of Business at Niagara University. Prior to serving on Niagara’s advisory board he was the Board Chair of the Upstate New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and served on the Audit Committee for the National Office of the Arthritis Foundation. Ken’s professional affiliations include the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), NYSSCPA (New York State Society of CPAs), and NSA (National Speakers Association). Ken enjoys playing golf in his Thursday night golf league appropriately name “The Hack Masters.” He is married to his wife, Rosella, and they have three children- Michael, Lauren, and Kevin. He lives in Fairport, New York and is active in his children’s sporting events and other activities.

51KQSTYHTHLWhat’s a great book that you’ve read? And lastly, tell us a quote that you love and how it’s helped you reach your goals. Ken was nice enough to read something he wrote many years ago which I have included below:

Credo for Achievement

Adapted from “The Psychology of Achievement” by Brian Tracy:

It is in understanding and embracing the concept of failure that we achieve true greatness as human beings. In the work that’s been done on peak performance, we find several interesting things:

  • It is the natural tendency of the human being to stay within the comfort zone;
  • It is the natural tendency of the human being  to play it safe and not take chances;
  • It is the natural tendency of the human being to become satisfied and complacent with their current level of accomplishment and to try nothing more.

Yet every peak performing human being, every single high-achieving man or woman has been a person who has thrown off the natural tendency to play it safe and to stay within the comfort zone. They have continually tried to exceed their previous levels of accomplishment. They have continually moved forward into the risk zone to try something more, bigger, better, and more important. Every single accomplishment in the history of man has come from men and women who have had the courage to take risks to step out even though they had no guarantee or assurance of success.”

When I heard his quote, I absolutely loved it, and one of my favorite quotes which is very similar to his:

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.

The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild


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Also, have a look at Ken’s Personal Site: