Reverse ABC’s

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

Most of us are familiar with one of the great speeches of all time, “I have a dream…” by Martin Luther King. As I listened to the speech, I was reminded of another period of time in our great country, the United States of America.

For eight years, January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017, we listened to the oratory of another fellow promise great things. Heck, he even had the masses mesmerized by his magnificent dreams.

One Little Word

We can all dream — and we do.

In fact, dreams without action are known as fantasies.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
If turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side.
If “if’s” and “and’s” were pots and pans,
There’d be no work for tinkers’ hands.

Scottish Proverb

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

One little three-letter word “and” stands between dreams and achievement. Fantasies and oratory are easy — dare I say cheap. What is very hard and of great value is Belief.

Count The Times

Out of curiosity, I downloaded the typewritten speech given by Martin Luther King and used Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to recognize the text. Then, I did a “search” for the word believe. — and to my surprise it only appeared three times — in the negative tense. See for yourself. (CLICK)

  • But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.
  • We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults…
  • …a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.

Only a wish, “…somehow this situation can and will be changed.”

I’m not interested in what someone doesn’t believe. I want to know what they do believe — and that’s missing from a speech to 250,000 people on August 28, 1963. Here in Montana, that’s known as all hat and no cattle.

Anyone can complain about a problem — only a select few can “believe” in a solution. However, those select few offer real hope for the future and inspire change in behaviors. They are the Inspirators. Let’s examine their beliefs.

One More Time

Believe in Splitting Stone

After many blows of the hammer, I wanted to ask, “Why — are we doing this?!”

Yet, I settled for, “When do you think it will split?”

As he always did, my Dad just grinned and answered, “I don’t know. That’s what makes this fun.”

Before beginning anything, Dad always knew the “Why” of producing the intended result. I believe that’s what kept him swinging and believing.

A full measure of belief is necessary to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.

See You At The Top

See You At The Top ~ I Believe

Another hero of mine, Zig Ziglar, came from humble beginnings and influenced many. As a cookware salesman, he learned and taught, “People buy what they want — not what they need.”

As a twenty-something Entrepreneur, the cassette tapes of Zig Ziglar captured my attention and motivated me to serve the public in ways which, before, were unimaginable.

I was inspired to believe that if a pots and pans peddler from Yazoo City, Mississippi, could achieve his dreams — then, I could, too.

You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

V-8 Power

Belief in a V-8

There’s a story about Henry Ford wanting a V-8 engine for his automobiles. He asked his engineers to make one. After several months, they returned to say it couldn’t be done.

Henry explained why it was important for families to travel in safety, with the increased power of more horses under the hood.

Off the engineers went, to try, again. After many more months and with conviction, they reported that the task was impossible. Henry said firmly, “Boys, you don’t understand. You can either build me a V-8 engine, or I will find someone who can.”

They built Henry his V-8.

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.

Believe and Succeed

The strangest secret is, “We become what we think about.” However, only 5% of the population is thinking — the other 95% are conforming. After the conception of a goal, all we have to do is put forth the effort to create.

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. Conceiving an idea (dream) is worthless, unless we act on it — with purpose and faith (belief).

What you believe will be done for you.

The Word

Easy, or Hard?

Which is easier to say?
1.) I believe.
2.) I have a dream.

Which is harder to do?
1.) Believe
2.) Dream

I Believe

  • All we do begins with a thought.
  • Service to others is love made visible.
  • We receive in proportion to the way we give.
  • Things work together for the good of those who LOVE.
  • Fascination and Curiosity can overcome resignation and despair.
  • In starting with nothing (but a dream) and building something special.
  • Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

What do you believe?

Chutes and Ladders

Once upon a time, the game was Chutes and Ladders. Now, as older kids, we cope with Funnels and Pipelines. When we were children, the original game was fun. The twisted version not so much.

In today’s marketplace, we are often the unwitting object of Sales Funnels and Leads Pipelines. To many companies, we’re nothing more than a target to tip into the Sales Funnel, to move through their Lead Pipeline, and to have our hard-earned money siphoned into coffers of the unscrupulous.

I speak passionately about the topic, because yes, I, too, have been tricked when I clicked — on the enticements lurking within the hucksters Landing Pages. So, what’s the answer to these modern-day snake-oil salesmen?

Up, or Down?

The answer — and protection against the scurrilous — is one question, “Am I assisted in my effort to create goodness in my life — or, am I being tempted to accept an easy way out, or through?”

Creation of value requires effort. Just like movement up a ladder — one rung at a time. One step at a time, one brick at a time, one board at a time, one swing of the hammer at a time, and one brush-stroke at a time is how all creative masterpieces take shape. There is no easy path to building a Legacy.

Here’s the comparative difference:

Up
Ladder
Lift
Hard
Outward
Light

Generous
Expansive

Valuable
Build

Focus

Down
Funnel
Vortex
Easy
Inward
Dark

Selfish
Limited

Cheap
Destroy

Fantasy

You get the idea. Everything on the left (Up) will be evident if YOU are making a creative choice. Everything on the right (Down) will be the feeling you experience if a predetermined outcome is planned for your resources.

I encourage each of us to customize a comparative list of our own — to be used in testing the propaganda messages broadcast 24/7 into our senses. We have a choice to readily accept the goodness and ruthlessly reject the trash.

“Love – Hate” Relationship

We hate to be Sold — yet, We love to Buy.

What is “Sales” anyway? Not the visibly corrupted process we experience at the auto Dealership nor the subtly disguised version implicit in Funnels and Pipelines . What’s your definition? What do you want the experience to be?

I believe, “The purpose of the Sales effort is to match YOU with something you want at a price you need.” That effort requires listening, understanding, and a professional CARE credential.

Value and Light

Mother Nature will not tolerate a vacuum. As a result, the Slick Willies of the world will not leave on their own. To remove them, they must be pushed out by their antithesis. In other words, light is required to extinguish darkness. The same is true of value, which brings to submission the worthless.

How are the two qualities of value and light similar?

  • People are attracted to them.
  • They encourage creative efforts.
  • Must be created — or help YOU create.
  • What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)
  • Any amount calms emotions — of fear and despair.

Build It

There is truth to the expression, “Build it and they will come.” The things we enjoy in our advanced technology universe have never existed, before. Until someone had a thought, “I wonder what might happen if …”

And, that’s all it took for an adventure up the ladder into another realm.

I wish you well on the adventures of your choice.

Benevolent Leader

In serving the public for 35+ years as a CPA, I’ve worked with many leaders. Some were wanna-bees; some were dictators; some were regular bosses; very few were benevolent.

The launch of WordPress 5.0 has opened my eyes to understand more about Matt Mullenweg — creator of WordPress and founder of Automattic.

WordPress, “We don’t make software for free, we make it for freedom.”

Automattic, “We are passionate about making the web a better place.”

More Than Meets The Eye

In the realm of Technology and especially in the niche of Design, there is an acronym WYSIWYG — What You See Is What You Get. Matt Mullenweg has taken that to a new level of YEGWYDS — You Even Get What You Don’t See.

Until today, as I’ve done the Google Searches to discover more about this fellow, I had no idea as to his scope, depth, and influence.

What I can do, though, is share my personal experience with a benevolent leader. This story begins in July 2018, when I experienced frustration to the point of having Capital One stop the processing on a credit card purchase.

In my opinion, a company Process was dysfunctional — and, to add insult to injury, I felt that same company was disrespectful to People. As you know, I’m a big believer in POPPeople Over Process.

Well, come to find out, I was preaching to the choir.

Congratulations (In an Email)

Matt,

Congratulations on the very successful launch of WordPress 5.0 — and a tremendous Presentation at WordCamp US 2018.

As you remember, I was frustrated with Automattic because of Jetpack, until out of the blue YOU called. I’m still in awe that a Leader cares so much about those in his Realm to listen and understand.

There was outreach by one of your Employees to work with me to resolve the Jetpack error messages that I was receiving from the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Silly me — I rejected the offer. My belief and faith in Jetpack and its People had been shaken.

Although, from that moment forward, I noticed a shift in tone. Earlier, my “issue” was not so much a Plugin that didn’t work (for me), it was the disrespect from a representative that turned me off. (HISTORY)

Today, with Jetpack installed, absolutely “no loading issues” — only Success. (CLICK)

Then, more recently was my frustration with Gutenberg and responses I received from Automattic happiness engineers. That was immediately resolved by Gary Pendergast. (HISTORY)

As a Builder, I share the history to document a foundation for my belief that you are Building Something Special. The histories, above, are proof that my experience is much more than a one-off, luck-of-the-draw, random series of events. These are demonstrative facets of purpose, design, and implementation inspired and encouraged by YOU.

Last week, while interviewed in a Podcast, you made a comment about being “a benevolent leader.” We both know it is impossible to “manage by committee.” In the history of all great scientists and artists, there was only one of them. Only when they put beaker to flame, or brush to canvas, did the discoveries and masterpieces appear. That’s the magic of one person with belief in creating Value.

Yesterday, I thought your response to Mr. Blonde Goatee was Sherlock Holmes brilliant, “My dear Watson it’s quite elementary. The interpretation of WE is found in the context of its use.”

Great leaders inspire others to follow. You do that.

Quite often at the completion of a Post composed and published with Gutenberg, I find myself exclaiming, “Wow — I did that!”

That my friend is the sign of a truly great Leader — when those in your sphere of influence say, “We did that ourselves!”

When we say that, it’s because of your Vision and Values.

Thank you for being that kind of Leader.

Best,

Kim

Character Matters

When was the last time you had the CEO of a multi-billion dollar Company call you up to listen to your concerns? I can answer that for me, “Never.” Until one July day, out of the blue, I get a call from Matt Mullenweg.

For me, that memory will be priceless, forever. At the time, I knew something special was happening. Only, today, do I understand a little more about the honor bestowed on me — by a man with humility — a Benevolent Leader.

According to Matt, “This release is named in homage to the pioneering Cuban jazz musician Bebo Valdés.” — WordPress 5.0 “Bebo

Since the phrase “Benevolent Leader” is a mouthful — and probably beyond acceptance in everyday use by Matt — he will affectionately be known to me as “Bene.”

Pure Genius

The definition of genius by Albert Einstein is more apt today than then.

Genius is making complex ideas simple.

Genius - Complex To Simple

Technology is adding complexity to our existence exponentially at warp speed. However, recent encounters with the architects of some of that brilliance have reminded me of another Einstein gem.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

And, that my friends, brings us to the opportunity du jour. When technicians want to hide behind their dysfunctional “code” and make excuses, the time has come to examine that stinkin’ thinkin’.

Yes, or No

Genius Explain It Simply

The “problem” (opportunity in disguise) that we face are those individuals who believe there are three choices to any situation:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe

However, the Universe and computer Code doesn’t work that way. It simply obeys the progression of an event through two channels: (Choices) Yes, or No — (Numerals) 0, or 1

There is absolutely no wiggle room of:

  • Try
  • Maybe
  • Someday

Does the Serenity Prayer come to mind?

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Yes, life is really that simple:

  • Fix
  • Not

The absolute beauty of this inherent Universal Principle is we have a guarantee to move forward through life — without the fear of going in circles, round-and-round the Mulberry Bush.

Genius

Genius comes from the Latin word of the same name, meaning “guardian deity or spirit which watches over each person from birth” or “innate ability.”

Genius - A Creative Wizardry

We are all — each and every one of us — a genius. We are unique to the Universe, one-of-a-kind, broke-the-mold, temporary as a snowflake, beautiful in design, a creation engineered to be able to deliver that “wizardry” of creative value to everyone in our sphere of influence.

Action requires that we are able and willing. So, the only question remaining, “Will we — make the complex simple?”

Pure Genius

I believe we will — if we apply “pure” genius, which is Love.

“What’s love got to do with it?!”

Everything — because, it’s hard to always clearly state our intent and, then, commit our actions to a life of Yes, or No. So much easier is the way of Try, Maybe, and Someday.

Love, the greatest gift, is a chosen, purposeful effort — often done in the face of fear — to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.

Every moment of every day, we must decide whether an action will benefit:

  • Me
  • You

For the narcissists among us, their choice is easy — they always choose ME. For the rest of us, we struggle to believe — it is more blessed to give than to receive.

More times than not, though, we remember Karma is 100% accurate in delivering what is earned — and we do the right thing. We think, plan, and do — while considering what is best for YOU.

I wish you well in your wizardry — and I am available to enlighten, empower, and encourage. It’s the pure genius of our thoughts, planning, and actions which will provide the way for all to enjoy heaven on earth.

Genius Has Its Limits

Technology

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (NOVEMBER 27, 2018)
Mr. Kim Foard
SageTalk, LLC
406.855.8384
kimfoard@gmail.com

TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE

An Event for Dreamers and Doers

Billings, Montana: Kim Foard, CPA attended the 2018 QuickBooks Connect conference in San Jose, CA, November 5 – 7, 2018. More than 5,000 accounting professionals, small business owners, self-employed, and developers came together to learn, be inspired, and connect with each other. This is the fifth year Intuit, the provider of QuickBooks software, has hosted the event.

Benefits of attending include: learning about leading-edge technology, being inspired by thought leaders, expanding a meaningful network of peers, and understanding trends affecting the success of those brave and hardy souls known as the Entrepreneur.
For More: https://quickbooksconnect.com/

Technology enlightens, empowers, and encourages the Entrepreneur to achieve results unimaginable even a decade ago. Cloud computing platforms enhance efforts to implement the 5-Step Success Model:
1) Establish a fair Price
2) Ask for Acceptance
3) Plan the Work
4) Deliver on Promises
5) Enjoy the Celebration.
For More: https://kimfoard.com/purpose/build-something/

About SageTalk, LLC: Far beyond the traditional accounting processes, Kim Foard, CPA leverages 35+ years of education and experience to focus on the Entrepreneur and their desire to build a dynamic future. Specifically, he works with those passionate about their legacy, summarized as, “Start With Nothing (but a Dream) and Build Something Special.”
For More: https://kimfoard.com/

Lucky

Recently, someone frustrated with their life blurted, “You’re so lucky!”

I almost responded with, “Those who work the hardest are the luckiest.”

Instead, I simply replied with, “Yes, but if you only knew my story, you might think differently.” I went on to mention, “You’ve heard the proverbial theory of gathering people around a table to share their problems. After looking around the table, everyone grabs back their own.”

She replied with, “I’m so envious of you. You’ve been in love, got married, had children, and enjoyed success in business. My mother has used you as an example of who I should be.”

That individual was consumed with the drama of their existence and was not interested in my Story. So, I’ll share it with you.

Believing Is Seeing

Yes, that’s a word play on the old expression, “Seeing is believing.” However, our eyes can deceive us — or, maybe, better stated, “We can believe in what isn’t there if deception, or preconception, is involved.”

Magic has taken deception to an art form. “Smoke and Mirrors” is a common phrase to describe the sleight of hand. Even in the realm of professionals, we have lawyers doing the same thing in a courtroom.

Societal propaganda has taken preconception to the realm of fantasy. According to the 24/7 bombardment, the rich and famous are the ideal. The agenda to be a celebrity has trampled on the concept of freedom to choose.

On the other hand, “Believing Is Seeing” encapsulates the worldview of making the best of every situation. Even though there may be no evidence of goodness, every opportunity has seeds necessary for our new learning.

Research

Speaking of evidence, research has documented the skills of lucky people. Richard Wiseman, the Professor of Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, in the United Kingdom, discovered four main principles:

  • maximizing chance opportunities
  • listening to your intuition
  • expecting good fortune
  • turning bad luck to good

Strategies employed to increase – by 80% – the happiness and luck of ordinary people are:

  • meditation to enhance intuition
  • relaxation
  • visualizing good fortune
  • talking to at least one new person every week

As the good professor explains, “That’s why lucky people appear to have an uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and enjoy more than their fair share of lucky breaks.”

Third Grade

I needed eyeglasses in the third grade to see the chalkboard at the front of the classroom and got them as a sophomore in high school. Texas was funny that way — they wanted me to see the highway when I was taking Driver’s Education.

The reason I can remember the third grade is that was the first time I brought home anything other than A’s on my report cards. I’m pretty sure those two B’s would only have been deserving of a reprimand from my mother. That C, however, was cause for a “Come to Jesus” session, with her.

It was so bad, I, to this day, vividly, remember going into our small bathroom at Big Timber, kneeling down, and asking God for His help. I was going to need it — I couldn’t see the chalkboard, and I didn’t know what to do.

I remember praying for wisdom. Solomon was a hero of mine. I figured if it worked for him, it might work for me. Sure enough — all A’s from that point forward.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to listen and discovered the benefit of having a “friend” in a very High Place.

Moving All Over Creation

Those six years of grade school at Big Timber, Montana, was the longest period of time at any one school. Dad worked on ranches owned by Trust Fund Babies. As a result, after he had been used and abused, when he was no longer part of their grand plan, we were asked to leave.

Within a month of starting first grade at Lavina, we were on the move to a ranch at Big Timber, MT. We were there for six years. Then, we began an adventure in the foreign country of East Texas. It was a four-year stint of horizon broadening.

My junior year of high school provided the opportunity to be the new kid on three different playgrounds: Long View, TX; New Underwood, SD; and, Lavina, MT. Since I graduated from high school at Lavina, I can proudly proclaim that I started and finished school there.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to be the new kid on a playground and still have friends scattered coast-to-coast.

Cowboy Dreams

All of those years of good grades resulted in a full-ride four-year scholarship to any university in Montana. I turned that down to pursue my dream of being a cowboy.

Fifteen months later, I knew I didn’t have the same love of horses and cows as my dad. Although, those years of living the notion, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” came in handy. This poor kid had a new dream of going to college.

In the course of managing my fledgling business as a twenty-something entrepreneur, the counsel of an older client friend cut short my whining. He exclaimed, “Kim, your problem is not that you were born poor. Your problem is that you were born with ambition. Many are born poor and stay that way. You want something else.”

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to never, ever look a gift horse in the mouth and to appreciate the investment to earn an education.

The CPA Exam

Having started work for a CPA firm in the middle of my junior year of college, I thought, “How hard can it be to pass that silly CPA exam? I’m educated and experienced — that ought to be enough.” Wrong!

After two years and four attempts, the victory was mine. So, naturally, I believed those Partners of the CPA firm, for whom I still worked, that they would honor their promise to consider me as a partner. Wrong!

For four years, I had made them lots of money and opened a satellite office. So, in their mind and stated opinion, “Let’s keep the relationship as it is and you can keep on doing what you’ve always done.” Wrong!

My dream had been and was even more vividly clear — I was going to be my own Boss and serve the agricultural community in a better way than they ever imagined.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to be a good employee (and a better employer) and the importance of believing in Dreams. 

Husband and Father

For twenty-four years, the Community viewed us as the perfect couple — and then eventually the perfect family. Having “found” a Higher Power in the third-grade, those vows, “Til death do us part” meant something to me.

Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” whether love was ever a reciprocal emotion. I had conceived, believed, and achieved a Family unit, so as for my worldview — yes, love was offered to wife and children.

Added to the mix of responsibilities during this season of life was the role of “Good Son” providing a retirement for parents, who because of fate and hate (of savings) found themselves without the support of the Cult.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned to give without expecting anything in return and developed empathy for those abused by narcissists.

Comfortable Rut

Contrary to the Country song, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Hard work and “good luck” found me comfortable in a rut — which, by the way, the definition is: a grave with the ends kicked out.

I’ve always believed we travel through life on the two legs of Family and Work. Family gives purpose to our Work — Work provides opportunities for our Family.

After the divorce, one leg was crippled — so, I hopped… and hopped, for thirteen years, until my birthday, October 26, 2015. I was sixty years old and burned out — sick to death of Tax Returns and third-generation Juniors.

For 35+ years, I had helped Grandpa build his little empire, which he turned over to Dad (my generation) to maintain (work of a janitor), which then showed up on a silver platter for little third-generation Junior to waste.

Junior was born on third-base and will lie to convince you that he hit a home run. Arrogance and ignorance are a volatile mixture — when thrown in the face of education and experience.

Seeds of Opportunity: I learned what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and giving IT all away provides a path to true freedom.

One Lucky Guy

So, she’s absolutely right — I am one lucky guy. My journey is not much different than your own, or hers. The only possible difference is I have chosen to make the best of whatever the situation.

Although trained in probabilities as a CPA, my mind is open to the possibilities of good fortune — Seeds of Opportunity.

Legacy

In the vernacular of today, legacy has come to be equated with money and the bequest of little empires to heirs. What might surprise you is that the word originally was used to denote an envoy or ambassador.

For those tying their hopes and dreams to material possessions, good luck with that. We’re physical, temporal beings stuck to a spinning orb in the vastness of the universe and history bears record that empires come and go.

So, what is a legacy — and how do we create one?

The answer to the what and how comes immediately after the why.

Passion At The Core

Why do you do what you do?

Short, silly question — yet, an important one. To make it personal for each of us, maybe, this is better phraseology, “What is the passion at the core of everything I do?”

Wrap your arms around the answer and, then, we’re ready to begin creating a legacy.

Two x Seven

Builders know about a board size of 2″ x 6″ and the secret to our success in building a legacy is found in the 2 x 7. Two sentences of seven words, each.

All We Do Begins With A Thought.

Start With Nothing and Build Something Special.

LEGACY

Each letter is one step forward to building something special.

Largess has a reference to the same secondary definition as legacy, “gift, something acquired without compensation.” However, the primary descriptor of largess, “liberality in bestowing gifts; extremely liberal and generous of spirit.”

Education is the key which opens many doors, for ourselves and others. We don’t know what we don’t know — until we open our minds to the vastness of the universe. We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing. So, let’s have fun learning.

Goodness minus an “o” and the “ness” at the end directs our attention to the Source. We are simply the conduits to deliver those heavenly gifts to those in our sphere of influence. And, nobody else can deliver with our individual and unique style.

Action is the prerequisite for results leading to success. Similar to faith without works is stagnation, thoughts without actions are daydreams. A universal principle: people in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by an outside force.

Compassion flows from the Light side of the two forces influencing our thoughts and actions. Darkness is extinguished by a single flicker of Light. For those without hope, a kind word can bring cheer and a loving embrace will end their tears.

Youthfulness is a choice. We are encouraged to be childlike – not childish. The irresponsible are burdens to society. However, we seek to see the world through innocent eyes. We choose to believe in the magic of Fascination and Curiosity.

Changing Lives

Legacy is much more than the genealogy of lineage or the accumulation of stuff. Far beyond the constraints of a single Family, we enjoy the vast opportunity to change lives for the better around the whole wide world.

We do that by making sure we have much to give. And, we do that by building a Legacy. By implementing the LEGACY steps, we will grow and expand our knowledge and resources.

Rather than waiting for someone to tip over someday, we can immediately go to work in focusing on the why, what, and how to serve others. That’s where we experience the real joys — highs and lows — of life.

Beginning & End

As we have discovered, legacy is not something we get — it is the manifestation of what we give. It begins with a thought and ends at the construct of something very specialLOVE.

Love, the greatest gift, is a chosen, purposeful effort — often done in the face of fear — to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.

I wish you well in your creations — and I am available to enlighten, empower, and encourage. I will always be your envoy or ambassador, representing the One who provides for us to enjoy heaven on earth.

Legacy Coach: Kim Foard, CPA

Grab Another Plate

Having just returned from the QuickBooks Connect technology conference in San Jose, CA, I am more mindful of possibilities.

As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), I was trained in probabilities — however, life is best encountered and enjoyed in the realm of possibilities.

At any conference, many times we learn as much outside the formal sessions as we do sitting in them. A presenter’s opinion is relevant to a specific topic — yet, the surprises usually come at the lunch table.

For our physical nourishment, yes, the provisions were spectacular. Even better were the conversations, which offered food for thought — to stimulate mind, heart, and soul.

Grab Another Plate - Feast

Two Sets of Seven

Two sentences of seven words each are the Alpha and Omega of Success.

  • All We Do Begins With A Thought
  • Start With Nothing and Build Something Special

The in-between journey is a multi-faceted Story, requiring a step-by-step and brick-by-brick endeavor. Many are the whiners and few are the shiners. Because, it is easier to complain about what is wrong, rather than create the opportunities leading to a life of our dreams — Heaven on Earth.

Every single one of us will experience the spectrum of life — ups and downs, highs and lows, triumphs and defeats. We all wake up to the same world each morning. The difference is in what we do with the 24 hours.

The secret to pushing through all events and past the naysayers we encounter each day are these two acronyms — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

Challenges

Moving along through the buffet line of life, we have two choices — take what is offered, or move on past. Moment by moment we make decisions, which determine what accumulates on our plates.

If we forgo an item of opportunity, we might never see it again. However, if we choose unwisely, we have burdened our plate with something unsavory.

Those people who complain about a plate of scarcity let opportunities slip by. Those people who complain about a plate of undesirables chose those brussels sprouts — which, now, take up space and crowd out the desserts.

In the vernacular, we might classify the above actions, or lack of action, as “mistakes” (mis-takes). We simply mistook an item unfit for consumption, or we didn’t take an opportunity available to us.

Grab Another Plate - Colors

Beyond the things that we do to ourselves are these four challenges, which confront us all — and the plates in our hands.

  • Theft
  • Betrayal
  • Benevolence
  • Fate

We can have the most beautifully constructed mobile feast and, then, someone decides they will take what is ours. Let them have it — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

We can carefully select the choicest of morsels, with the intent of sharing them and, then, someone stabs us in the back. Let them have it — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

We can prepare and look forward to enjoying the goodness on our plate to, then, discover a poor unfortunate soul. Let them have it — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

We can diligently harvest the banquet table to, then, be surprised when our plate bends, or breaks. Let the hand of Fate have it — ATM GAP.

At That Moment — Grab Another Plate

Banquet of Life

The richest individual is not the one with the greatest wealth — it is the person most happy with what they have.

Yes, we all enjoy the proverbial Thanksgiving feast of abundance. Yet, there are times when the horn of plenty is less than full. It, really, doesn’t matter — if we focus on what is.

In the darkest of hours, there is always a glimmer of hope — and in the most trying of times, there are seeds of opportunity.

Success is a State of Mind.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

Napoleon Hill

So, my friends, when misfortune has overtaken you, or you have become burdened by your choices, please, remember ATM GAP.

At Those Moments — bridge the gap of disappointment, take a leap of faith, and — Grab Another Plate.

Leverage or Lifestyle

Notorious for bragging about their lifestyle are the Montana ranchers — while they use the leverage of debt as a crutch to hobble down to oblivion.

There is a better way.

Million or Penny a Day?

What would you rather have — a million dollars, today, or a penny doubled for a month?

A Penny Doubled

Your answer will be an academic letter grade of your comprehension of the magical concept of “compounding” — either a grade of A (passing) or F (failing). The good news, today, is you’ve discovered this presentation — and can save (literally) yourself millions of dollars in Interest (expense).

You can enjoy fancy trips with your Family — rather than financing those vacations for your neighborhood Banker.

I hope you said, “Give me that penny doubled for thirty-one days.” Because that answer is worth an additional amount of $9,737,418.24.

“How can that be?!” you ask.

“Compounding,” I reply.

Now, that you know the most important aspect of this financial principle, “What will you do?”

Good Debt & Bad Debt

Okay, this is a little like Good Cop — Bad Cop. Insomuch that we can only really appreciate the good after experiencing the bad. Odds are good that everyone has done “it” in our Twenty’s — enjoyed using a Credit Card until the Bill came.

Then, we stared at that Total wondering, “How the heck can all those little amounts add up to such a big one?!” In the world of Finance, that big Total is known as the Principal.

Now, the fun begins (for the Bankers) — because for every dollar of Principal, from the beginning of that original thought, “I just can’t live without…” and a swipe of the plastic, Interest is calculated. The challenge then becomes, “How fast can we pay that Debt back?”

If the swipe of that Credit Card was to purchase something which made YOU more productive, that is Good Debt. If, however, you simply caved into fleshly desires and temptations, then, you have experienced Bad Debt.

And — all Debt is worse than Income Taxes. Interest accrues from the moment of indebtedness until payment is made. Year after year Bankers are like predators circling a carcass — they will demand their Interest be paid in good years and bad. We only pay Income Taxes in the good years.

History Lessons

Those who refuse to learn from History are forced to repeat it. That, my friends, is another Universal Principle — we will keep getting opportunities to learn until we understand the lesson inherent in the experience.

For an entire generation, we have been sold a Bill of Goods known widely as Quantitative Easing. That’s a fancy term for Free Money. And, oh how the Bankers have pushed that money at People. Maybe, even you. Did you take it? Because if you did, YOU need (and want) a Plan to get rid of that Debt.

Leverage or Lifestyle

“Why?!” you plaintively ask.

“Because I have vivid memories of a 19% interest rate in 1985,” is my reply.

The interest rate on Home mortgages for us twenty-somethings was 15%.

What’s the difference between 5% and 15%?

You’ll find it hard to believe — but, here’s the reality. And, I can explain it a couple different ways. First we’ll start with the Monthly payment on a modest house of $250,000 in today’s Billings, Montana, real estate market. Then, we’ll take a look at what Rates do to Prices.

The only two resources available to human kind are Time and Money. As we consider the investment of these resources, we also need to know Rate of return — Risk, or Reward. Before this current generation of “creative economics” and “funny money,” historically, interest Rates are a measurement of Risk. Does the phrase Credit Score come to mind?

Knowing the Principal, Term Certain, and Interest Rate we are ready to examine some Examples of a typical young couple in love — with their first house.

Examples

$250,000 at 5% for 20 years — Monthly Payment is $1,649.89. (CLICK)

$250,000 at 15% for 20 years — Monthly Payment is $3,291.97. (CLICK)

But, you exclaim, “We can only afford $1,649.89 per month!”

Okay, let’s see what that does to the Price of houses on the Market.

$125,296.40 at 15% for 20 years — Monthly Payment is $1,649.89. (CLICK)

So, if you have invested blood, sweat, and tears into Home ownership, then, be happy to live in your current home for many years, be ready to have a negative equity position for many years, or have a Plan to become debt free.

This societal notion of “free money” does not work — being “debt free” is a goal worthy of your Time and Money.

Bankers

I hope you noticed the total amount of Interest paid over the life of the loan for that $250,000 home, for a period of 20 years (please, review the last page of the Amortization Schedules).

$250,000 at 5% for 20 years — Interest paid by you is $145,973.60. (CLICK)

$250,000 at 15% for 20 years — Interest paid by you is $540,172.80. (CLICK)

Yes, that’s right — and we older kids did it — pay for that beautiful Home three times: once for Principal and twice for Interest.

Now, we made this better with 15-years of payments. $379,814.60 (CLICK)

Or, much worse (by advice of Bankers) with 30-years. $887,999.60 (CLICK)

So, it is possible to help ourselves and take fancy trips with our Families, to the tune of $160,358.20*, by paying $207.00** more per month.
[*$540,072.80 – 379,814.60 and **$3,498.97 – 3,291.97]

Or, if you are bound and determined to let a Banker do your thinking, you will pay an additional $347,826.80*, by “saving” $130.86 per month.
[*$887,999.60 – 540,172.80 and **$3,291.97 – 3,161.11]

I beg of you, please, “Do your own thinking!”

Help Yourself

When interest rates are 15%, the average Citizen cannot afford $250,000 houses. The price will come down to something in the neighborhood of $85,000 to $125,000.

Because this is another Universal Principle — there is an inverse relationship between Interest Rates and the Price of what Debt purchases.

The magical thing about numbers is they are proportional — 1/3 of $250,000 is $83,333.33 and a monthly payment of $1,097.32 [$3,291.97 / 3]. (CLICK)

Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of debt, use these examples to make decisions, today, to help yourself in Building Your Dynamic Future.

Will interest rates go all the way back up to 15%?

I don’t know, for sure — but having lived through Mortgage rates of 15% and having paid Business loan rates of 19%, I’ll offer this, “They did it before — and it is possible for them (Bankers) to do it, again.”

In the “olden days” there were two purchase options to prevent people from becoming indebted: Savings and Layaway. Yes, it is possible to stay in vogue with societal trends by saving for the purchase of a consumable — or by placing the item out of sight and out of mind, with the Merchant, while making monthly payments (of Principal only) to acquire it.

Leverage

Debt is (AKA) also known as leverage.

Leverage or Lifestyle - Pry

The reason “why” is that debt will let us “pry” our way into deals bigger than what we are capable of doing on our own — from the Cash in our own back pocket.

Again, if we are using Good Debt for a good reason — to become more productive in life and business — then, we will create new wealth.

Remember, though, a debt must be paid back with after-tax dollars. For those in a 40% Income Tax Bracket, this means they pay back debt with 60 cent dollars.

In other words to pay back $1,000 of debt, they need to earn Wages or Profit of $1,666.67 [solution: $1,000 / .60] and they will pay $666.67 in Taxes [solution: $1,666.67 x .40] to, then, have $1,000 to pay back the Banker plus the market rate of interest (Prime + Banker Profit).

Debt is (via Bankers) a cruel taskmaster — you will be a slave to a Banker.

Lifestyle

Remember my story about the Montana ranchers?

For 35+ years, I’ve teased them about their lifestyle.

“I’m sure glad you didn’t waltz in here with your crowbar,” I’ll say.

Puzzled, perplexed, and border-line offended they respond with, “What do you mean?!”

“Well,” I’ll continue, “When you encounter a big rock at the bottom of a posthole, you go to the toolshed and get the crowbar. You leverage the rock out of the hole and, then, put the crowbar back where it belongs — away in the toolshed.”

“Why, then, do you believe living in constant fear of having all your stuff repossessed is good for you?”

I have yet to receive a positive answer to that question. I’ve listened to them swear a blue streak of profanity — at me and the world. But, there have been very few Debtors change their beliefs and actions.

Sad, because I’ve watched good people lose farms, ranches, and mainstreet businesses — simply because they refused to hear and use Common Sense.

If you want a new, debt-free, lifestyle, contact me and we’ll take the steps forward to building a bright dynamic future for YOU — and your Family.

Fix Thoughts

How important is it for us to find a way to fix Thoughts?

There is a battle raging for our souls and it is life-altering to acknowledge that our thoughts are the only thing within our control.

We cannot change the political climate, celebrity morals, Mother Nature, Father Time — or, even, your neighbor’s yapping dog.

Yet, we can be the Captain of Destiny — as we create a future of our choice.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

Reverse Genius

Genius is taking the complex and making it simple — which, then, means Stupidity is taking the simple and making it complex.

There are moments, as we stare in disbelief at the absurd, when we ask, “What the flaming heck were they thinking?!”

The problem is just that, “They probably weren’t thinking.” And, that, my friends, is why we find ourselves in the Danger Zone. The majority of civilization in any society, at any time, are not thinking. They are, simply, going with the flow — of what propagandists want them to say and do.

On the other hand, the real geniuses have always been considered crazy — for going where angels fear to tread. Because they push against what the majority consider normal (generally, the lowest common denominator), the innovators of the world happily bear the ridicule of the masses.

Fix Your Thoughts

Now, you’re thinking, “Did he slip a cog. What’s up with this notion of happily bear ridicule?!”

Happy are the people who understand this secret.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

WTF Thoughts - Anyway

If goodness is out of vogue, happy people don’t care. What they do CARE about is truth, honor, righteousness, purity, love, and admiration for the 100% accuracy of Karma delivering what is earned.

By thinking about excellence and praiseworthy topics, happy people create their own destiny. With words, it is impossible to capture this principle, which is more magical than logical.

YOU must experience it through your actions.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

Paradoxical Commandments

Some things are better explained by the experts. In keeping with the concept Less Is More, I’ll direct you to Dr. Kent M. Keith.

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Love Your Enemies

Yes, when reminded to do this, I tend to balk, too. However, recently, I read the Rest of the Story to realize, “We’re not alone in our daily effort to fix — what is broken.”

When someone with the Power to heal the deformed is condemned by the local yokels, then, we find ourselves in extraordinarily great company.

He looked around at them one by one and then said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At this, His enemies were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him.

Short version of the story is they killed Him.

But before they did, our Hero had this to say, “To you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”

WTF Thoughts - Think Differently

That is the way to fix Thoughts.

Do we change the character of our enemies, the haters, the vulgar, or the abusers? Simple answer: No.

Why, then, are we encouraged to Do It?

Because it is tonic for our Thoughts.

Into The Unknown

We don’t know what we don’t know. Or, in other words, how do we navigate a course never before traveled? Simple answer: Faith.

In leaving the shores of the old behind, we embrace the horizons of new beginnings. We sail forth by changing the way we think.

Whatever the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve.

Will we make “mistakes” that will be harshly judged by the naysayers as a representation of our foolishness? Of course! That is the exciting element of this great adventure into the unknown — we will grow, while the rest of the world stagnates in their comfortable rut (grave with the ends kicked out).

What is LOVE, anyway?

This definition works for me.

The greatest gift is a chosen, purposeful effort — often done in the face of fear — to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.

Love can also be measured by seven attributes.

LOVE
Is patient,
Is kind,
Rejoices with the truth,
Always protects,
Always trusts,
Always hopes,
Always perseveres.

As you might have noticed, Love is a verb — framed as a gift and delivered by action. Which means we must grow in stature, resources, and wisdom to have something to offer others.

The more we learn, the more we know;
The more we know, the more we sow;
The more we sow, the more we grow.

Isn’t life grand?!

Opportunity To Create

Designed for greatness, engineered for success, and motivated by goodness as Captains of Destiny, we are courageously heading into uncharted waters to serve the multitudes.

Simply, we have been offered the opportunity, by a Creator, to create.

I know you’ve had the experience of a HUG.

On occasion, you have served another person — who, with their eyes, expressed a newfound Hope, Understanding, and Gratitude (HUG) of life, once again.

YOU did that for them.

That is the way to fix Thoughts!