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.

Begin With YOU

Everything — Begins With YOU

My mission is to guide YOU to personal and business success, according to the vision that YOU establish for us.

I coach intensely passionate individuals, who want personal and business success.

That’s my Storyline; start with nothing and Build Something — Special. And — I know, for a fact, we all have a Story to share.

Success is not going to magically waltz into our lives — and, it is not a destination, at which to arrive. Daily, we must create success — the unique version each of us has determined to be right — for the benefit of ourselves and the rest of the universe.

Steps To Success

Stories can inspire you to take a flying leap of faith to make lifestyle changes — or, take action, the concept of which can be encapsulated in a single word: Commitment.

After you’ve decided to go All In — then, baby steps are required to move from Here to There.

If you set expectations about the entire Journey, you will give up before even beginning. So — the Secret is to take one Step at a time. Focus on that one Step and then another becomes visible — and, you will know exactly how to take that Step. And, the next. And, the next

Go as far as you can See — then, you’ll be able to see farther.

The purpose of this presentation is to shine a light on your Path — and, to offer hope on your Journey.

Three-E Formula

My energy and efforts are focused on your success. If you are ready for a change, I can help — by gently teasing YOU into considering the power of the Three E’s.

Enlighten

Individually, our worldview is limited by our education, experiences, and resources. My role as A Business Coach is to broaden your horizons with Stories that shine a light on the path you have chosen — so, you can act on your new aspirations.

Empower

Beyond the sage talk, I will provide opportunities for you to learn by accomplishment. Teaching is an honorable profession. I will make sure the right tools are in your hands – and, that you have the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to use them properly.

Encourage

The 5-Step Teaching Model can be described as Explanation, Demonstration, Imitation, Correction, and Repetition. With each and every Step to Success, you will be tempted to quit. Until you run me out of your Life, I will continue to ask that you believe in YOU — the I AM.

People Over Process (POP)

Here’s the secret — always, keep People over Process. Think about it. Process is designed for efficiency. People are created for growth. As soon as an individual grows, the process no longer fits the occasion. The rules must change to reflect the new person.

The ABC’s Of Success

Our minds are designed to think and remember by 3 — in fact, the principle is known as the Magic of Three. The simplest way to maintain focus is to use the magic of these three words — Attitude, Boundaries, and Commitment.

Attitude

An intensely passionate desire to Build Something — Special.

Boundaries

Well defined beliefs and able to communicate effectively.

Commitment

Able and Willing to go All In — to do whatever IT takes to Succeed.

Begin With YOU

Whatever the mind can Conceive, it can Believe and Achieve. This is about more than “Positive Thinking” — this is about belief in doing the impossible. If YOU have the Want To, you will be able to Do It.

Each of us determines our, individual, definition of Success. Even though success is much more than the accumulation of material riches, money is important. Those who say otherwise will lie about other things, too.

After 35+ years as a CPA, there are many financial principles and secrets that I want to share with YOU.

If you’re an entrepreneur starting a business, my methods can help YOU be successful from day one. If you’ve been in business for several years and are tired of working for nothing, I can listen, observe, and then guide you to the goals important to YOU — and, your Family.

I believe in the wisdom, “Customers only care about how much you know — after they know how much you care.” The purpose of this presentation is to express a high degree of caring — by, sharing the very best with you.

You’ve discovered A Business Coach — who passionately cares about YOU.

Seeds of Opportunity

When adversity, failure, and heartache are part of my day, the first reaction is not, “Oh, great! What a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow.”

Yet, the definition of opportunity is:

When the situation is right for you to do something you’re interested in doing, you have the opportunity to do it. The word comes from the Latin phrase, ob portum veniens “coming toward a port” which refers to a favorable wind blowing ships into the harbor. Think of an opportunity as something a good wind blew your way.

When problems raise their ugly, fire-breathing, dragon heads, I’d much rather gather up the black balloons, invite some whiners, crawl off into a cave to lick my wounds, and throw a grand ‘Pity Party’ — all for me.

Timeless Principles

Recently, however, I fumbled into an old audiobook download in my Audible library, by Napoleon Hill, of Think and Grow Rich fame. When I use ‘old‘ as an adjective, it’s because the season of his major thoughts and famous books was from the late 1920’s through the late 1930’s.

Although, in keeping with the principle of, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” I’ll mention that the concepts presented by Napoleon Hill are timeless. Read through his biography and notice how many times he, in the eyes of the bystander ‘failed.’ Yet, he — like Thomas Edison — simply, believed he had found one more way that doesn’t work and had discovered a stepping stone to future success.

All of the great Thinkers share this one noble premise, “Success is a State of Mind.”

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Two Very Different Worldviews

I know you’ve heard the story about the two boys on Christmas morning. One boy is taken to the barn by his Dad and surprised with a pony. The young fellow is upset — because, he wanted a motorcycle. The other boy, when the stable door is opened, is greeted by a large pile of sh!t. Excitedly, he jumps right in and announces to his Dad, “Somewhere in this large pile of manure must be a big horse!”

Or, in the words of Napoleon Hill,

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

Odds are good our young entrepreneur didn’t find a horse in the dung heap. Yet, his Dad probably commended him for his attitude and effort. And, then, introduced him to a steed beyond the boy’s imagination.

All We Do Begins With A Thought

When we’re confronted by a Problem, can we immediately turn our minds from thinking, “Oh, darn!” — to believing there is a hidden Opportunity?

If we’re struggling a little, we can listen to this encouragement.

Regardless of what you think about Garth Brooks — or, his lifestyle choices — there is undeniably a resonance with the lyrics of that song for each of us.

There have been times in each of our lives when we thought we knew best. Other times, when we asked, “Why me Lord?” And, many times when we endured the laughter of the judgemental enjoying the pain of our mistakes.

One Man’s Mistake Is Another Man’s Harvest

Were they, really, mistakes, or seeds of opportunity?

Think about it. If you’re a gardener, you know seeds are necessary to grow anything. To have a harvest, seeds must be planted and nurtured. It’s a small leap of faith to see that we are given seeds — for our personal growth. What we do with them is our choice.

Speaking of gifts, here’s another thought. If flesh and blood, imperfect specimens of earthly Fathers have an aching desire to give the best to their children, it’s pretty easy to imagine a Higher Power having our best interests at heart.

The Man In The Arena

Speaking of heart, here are the words of a hero, Teddy Roosevelt.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Cold and timid souls will delight when we stumble. They will envy our success — and, the galactically stupid of them will, literally, swear at us, as we offer to help them in their journey.

At the very best, 50% of the world will love us — and, the other 50% not so much. If we boldly share our beliefs and courageously defend them, guaranteed, we will make enemies of those with different beliefs. Because — birds of a feather do flock together.

It is not the end of the world when we face adversity, failure, and heartache. It is, simply, the end of one, very long, bad day.

Framing Is What Builders Do

Because success is a state (or, frame) of mind, all we need to do is ‘re-state‘ — or ‘re-frame‘ — the situation from a Problem to an Opportunity.

And, “No,” this Story is not about defining Success by how much Money can be accumulated in a bank account. Remember, you are a unique creation — and, quite capable of defining Success in your way and on your terms.

Later in the life of Napoleon Hill, he had this to say,

Only by working harmoniously in co-operation with other individuals or groups of individuals and thus creating value and benefit for them will one create sustainable achievement for oneself.

We do that by planting the seeds of opportunity harvested from adversity, failure, and heartache. Then, we tend them with the greatest gift (love), which is a chosen, purposeful effort — often done in the face of fear — to nurture our own growth and the growth of others.

We The People

We The People

If you wonder why you feel tired, it’s because you are. Day after day we fight enemies near and far. The greatest threat to our peace and freedom is our own government.

I’ve heard the expression, “We get the government we deserve.”

That is simply wrong. After paying 40% on our earnings, each year, in Federal and Montana income taxes, for the ‘greater good’ of Society, I don’t deserve to be used and abused — and, neither do you. We are guilty in one aspect, only, “We get what we allow.”

As hard-working people of Montana, we take great pride in pushing through (the snow drifts), gritting our teeth to take the next step forward (against 60 mph winds), and otherwise thriving on whatever comes our way (in people and events).

So, we might be guilty of allowing dysfunction at the highest levels of government — yet, the intent was pure.

We thought, “Surely, elected officials — sworn to uphold the law as Public Servants — will bring along their Cowboy Ethics and do the right things.”

We tend to give the benefit of doubt — until there is doubt to the benefit.

What follows is a real honest-to-goodness story about a recent experience with the Montana Department of Revenue. As you’ll see, it is simply another example of that from which I’ve protected my Clients, for 35+ years as a CPA. At the end of that Crusade, my health was poor, because I was burned-out, by the silliness of these kinds of games — which becomes the catalyst for this event in the first place.

Montana Department of Revenue sent me a Bill for $50. Yes, I was tempted to just pay their Usury Fee — much as in the corrupt end-of-days Roman Empire — yet, more than the money, it was and is the Principle of the thing.

(Note: If you prefer, you can read the actual Email thread from PDF copies located in this Google Drive Folder ~ MT Governor)

Request for Waiver of Penalty

Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 3:56 PM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: MT Business Tax <DORobjections@mt.gov>

Business Tax Division:

The purpose of this email is to file a Request for Informal Review.

Please, see the attached PDF of Form APLS101F — along with the Notice dated March 16, 2018.

If any questions, I can be reached at the Mobile phone number, below.

Thanks,

Kim

Give Me More Information

Tue, May 1, 2018 at 11:47 AM

Flaherty Settle, Kelly <KFlahertySettle@mt.gov>
To: “kimfoard@gmail.com” <kimfoard@gmail.com>

Kim,

Can you give me more information regarding the serious health issues you experienced. *

Kelly

* Notice that she chose to use a Period, rather than a Question Mark. She wasn’t asking — she was demanding an explanation.

Incredulous

Tue, May 1, 2018 at 6:26 PM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: KFlahertySettle@mt.gov, serve@mt.gov

Kelly,

Really?!

Why are you willing to harass a good Citizen of this great State of Montana over $50?

Evidently, in the weekly Staff Meetings, your Supervisor — or, Department Head — has not reminded everyone that you are Public Servants.

YOU work for me — I do not work for your amusement.

This episode is worthy to share with our Governor, Steve Bullock. For resources of the Montana Taxpayers to be wasted in this way is very sad.

Since the Governor will probably want to know, please, share with me – via an Email response – what Value is provided to anyone by this (your) request of me.

Here’s my answer about the serious Health Issue, “After 35+ years as a CPA serving the Entrepreneurs and real Creators of Value (Farmers, Ranchers, Oil Producers, etc.), I grew tired — literally, worn out and burned out — of these types of silly and petty games played by bureaucrats of all stripes. From October 26, 2015, through January 11, 2018, I was holding on for dear life. Each day was a struggle to find the will to live. Now, after that period of rest and healing, I’m back in the game — with the new venture of SageTalk, LLC.”

Click the two hyperlinks, in the Signature Block below, to get a new perspective on your JOB. By focusing on the Three-E Formula, I intend to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage everyone in my sphere of influence. That includes YOU.

Over the course of 50 Years of producing Value – and, hundreds of thousands of dollars paid in Real Estate and Income Taxes to provide for the salaries of “public servants” — I find it odd that you’re challenging the truthfulness of my original Statements.

You go ahead and waste more Time and Money to make a decision about the waiver of a $50 Late Filing Penalty on my final Form CLT-4S, Corporate Tax Return for an accounting practice that no longer exists because of Serious Health Issues.

I am amused.

Kim

Citizens Advocate Office

Wed, May 2, 2018 at 8:37 AM

Citizens Advocate <citizensadvocate@mt.gov>
To: “kimfoard@gmail.com” <kimfoard@gmail.com>
Cc: Serve Montana <serve@mt.gov>, “Bullock, Governor” <governor@mt.gov>

Dear Ms. Foard:

Thank you for contacting Governor Bullock’s Office about the issues you are having with the Montana Department of Revenue.

I have sent your email to the Director of Montana Department of Revenue for their review and they will be in contact soon. I’ll also make sure that Governor Bullock and his appropriate policy staff are able to review your comments.

Thanks again for contacting the Governor’s Office, let me know if you have any additional questions or information regarding this issue.

Sincerely,

Tyler J. Campbell

Hopeful of Progress

Wed, May 2, 2018 at 10:19 AM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: citizensadvocate@mt.gov
Cc: ServeMontana <serve@mt.gov>, governor@mt.gov

Tyler,

Thank you for your timely Response.

I am available to share my Thoughts with any and all Stakeholders of our great State of Montana.

Best,

(Mr.) Kim

A Supervisor’s Comments

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Milne, Rachael <RMilne@mt.gov>
To: “kimfoard@gmail.com” <kimfoard@gmail.com>

Hello Mr. Foard,

The Governor’s office forwarded me your email regarding the late file penalty assessed on your 2015 S corporation return. I am Kelly’s supervisor.

It is customary for the department’s auditors to follow-up with taxpayers regarding their requests for waiver of penalty based on medical reasons. Kelly followed up with you to ensure that you met the reasonable cause guidelines outlined in the Administrative Rules of Montana (http://www.mtrules.org/gateway/ruleno.asp?RN=42%2E2%2E512)

Additionally – Montana law states that a pass-through entity is assessed a late file penalty when the owner(s) are not compliant with their filing and payment requirements. Since your business was an S corporation and you were the sole shareholder, we reviewed your income tax account to verify that you were up-to-date with your filing and payment. Unfortunately, we could not find your 2015 individual income tax return. If you can provide us with a copy with your Montana individual income tax return as well as provide us with more information regarding your request for waiver of penalty, we’d be happy to review it.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Rachael Milne, EA

The Plot Thickens

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 12:23 PM

Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>
To: RMilne@mt.gov, Citizens Advocate <citizensadvocate@mt.gov>, Steve Bullock <governor@mt.gov>

Rachael,

This just gets better and better, doesn’t it?

Now, we’re wasting another person’s time — yours.

And, it seems the Montana Department of Revenue has lost my 2015 Form 2, Individual Income Tax Return. A PDF copy is attached to this email.

Is it because the great State of Montana owes me a Refund of $1,017?

Did you even read the Narrative of my Serious Health Issue described in my email of May 1, 2018, below?

What part of “Close to Death” don’t you understand?

I suggest You, Citizens Advocate, and the Governor quit while you’re ahead — because this is already a “Great Story” to be shared with the Taxpayers of the World: https://www.kimfoard.com/blog-sagetalk/

After 35+ years of enduring Bureaucrats, I’ve had enough.

My purpose is to Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage “We The People” to take back our Lives.

Either do the right thing and resolve this $50 issue (after all you are a ‘public servant’) and join with me in this effort — or, continue to be part of the Problem.

The Best,

Kim

Finally

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 3:42 PM

Milne, Rachael <RMilne@mt.gov>
To: Kim Foard <kimfoard@gmail.com>, Citizens Advocate <citizensadvocate@mt.gov>, “Bullock, Governor”
<governor@mt.gov>

Hello Mr. Foard,

Thank you for your quick reply. We will process your return promptly and respond to you regarding your waiver request via mail to ensure we protect your confidentiality.

Thank you,

Rachael Milne, EA

I Have Only Just Begun

For the last 50 years, America has been at War. I’m 62 years old and remember a Time when we were proud to be an American.

Yes, the battles abroad have seen many casualties. Yet, our entire Country has not been affected by them as much as the Culture War — at Home.

From the Hippie free-lovers of the 60’s, to the Wall Street sharks of the 70’s, to the Go-Go dancers of the 80’s, to the Self-absorbed of the 90’s, to the Irreverent of the 00’s, to the Disrespectful of today, good people have been used and abused by those determined to tear our Society apart.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

Well, the Time has come when Good Men have had a belly full of the “No Rules – No Problems” crowd. Universal Principles (think Gravity) are for our benefit — and, the recognition and observance of them keep us Safe.

Good Men everywhere are Standing Up and are Committed to meeting the Enemy — with the appropriate Force — to bring back the High Standards of principled Life.

I’ve begun my new Crusade to give an answer for the Hope within me. So far, the results have been spectacular — from those Individuals in disbelief that I no longer will “Go Along To Get Along.” And, from the encouragement of those silently cheering the Warrior in me — I am determined to provide a Refuge for all of those in need.

Part of the Solution — Or, Part of the Problem?

Since I have heard nothing from our Governor, Steve Bullock, I intend to follow up regarding his silence. Was he not informed of this matter? Does he not care? Or, maybe, the comforts of the Governor’s Mansion have clouded his judgment?

Whatever the excuse, I intend to find out why he thinks our Constitution has limits.

Here are his proud pronouncements in USA Today – May 30, 2018:

Americans calling for protection of the Second Amendment want their families to be safe. I know because I’m a gun owner who believes in the Constitution, yet also recognizes its limits.

Thoughts and prayers are not solutions. They are excuses.

As governor, I hear directly from the people I serve. They want action. They recognize that like most policy issues, there is no single proposal or prescription that will solve the issue of gun safety. But they are tired of the enormity and complexity of the challenge being the excuse for inaction.

As individuals and as a nation, we can no longer be paralyzed. We have to act.

Well, big fellow, I’m going to find out what YOU intend to DO about the miscreants you’ve allowed into My Government.

There is an expression known as a fact in the Private Sector, “The work will always match the people — and, the People will always match the Work.” In my experience, only two out of ten State employees are doing the work — of solving problems. The other eight are part of the problem. After ridding our Government of the unproductive, this proverb will ring true, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.”

While it is sad to lose even one life because of a nut with a gun, what do you say about all of the lives you are allowing to be ruined in Montana — from the action and inaction of Government Employees?

If, only, I could line up the People ruined by Bureaucrats and call the Media to take photos, your little soapbox rant about guns would pale into insignificance.

Unless you choose to resign, YOU are responsible for wasting vast amounts of Time and Money over a $50 Usury Fee. Those state Employees work for YOU.

What improvements have been made in the last two months to prevent your minions from harming another single Montana Citizen?

You’re right, “I want action.”

Better Business Plan

Blueprint For Success

A seasoned carpenter shared this secret to success: “You must begin — and, begin again.”

For the dreamers among us, the question is: “Where do I begin?”

The purpose of this article is to provide the parameters for a quick analysis of an idea to determine its possibility, and probability, of actionable success. As with any legitimate construction project, we build it on paper, first.

This is our blueprint.

Considerations

Owner Compensation
The concept of beginning here is novel for a Business Plan. Yet, this number will keep our attitude right and provide the Retained Earnings for business expansion. Success principle — Begin with the End in Mind.

Debt Service
Unless adequate funds are available for startup, the early years will include a Banker for a partner. The goal is to buy them out quickly to retain their share of profits, which are paid by our business as Interest.

Taxes
Self-employment, Federal income, and State income taxes must be paid timely. Because of severe penalties (plus interest) for non-compliance, governmental entities are terrible sources of financing.

Overhead
This is the delivery system for providing value to the marketplace. It is everything from the storefront brick-and-mortar (or online presence) to all indirect expenses. It is the price we pay to have a Company.

Direct Costs
Each project and customer will want, and need, something different. The flexibility to “Wow!” them requires additional expenditures. For construction projects, this includes Materials.

Productive Units
All of the above is accomplished by understanding the finite number of units available for distribution. For service enterprises, this will be a reservoir of Hours; for a products company, this will be the capacity of the Shop; and, for an inventory business, this will be the Goods.

Guidance

Formulas:

Net Income = (Owner + Banker) / (100% – Tax Rate)
Value to Customers = Net Income + Overhead
Sales Price = Value to Customers + Direct Costs

Example Variables:

Owner Compensation: $80,000 ~ [For the Family, after taxes]
Debt Service: $40,000 ~ [Loans of $200,000, with 5 Year maturity]
Tax Rate: 40% ~ [S/E 15.3%, FD 20%, ST 4.7%]
Overhead: $144,000 ~ [Ads, Insurance, Rent, Utilities, Etc.]

Solution:

(Owner $80,000 + Banker $40,000) / (100% – 40% Tax Rate)
Is same as: $120,000 / .60 = $200,000 Net Income
$200,000 Net Income + $144,000 Overhead = $344,000 Value

For those providing Services to the marketplace, the final step is to divide Productive Units into the Customer Value. Full-time employment is 2,000 hours per year. Entrepreneurs will work much more than that — with only a percentage actually billable to Customers.

If our Startup Enterprise team can be 86% productive (after allowance for duties of internal and external management) each Employee has an annual reservoir of 1,720 billable hours.

$344,000 Value to Customers / 1,720 Hours = $200 per Hour: Price for Value

Those providing Products, or Inventory, for sale to customers, will factor in the Direct Costs. In fact, they will consider the number of meals (if a restaurant), or suits (if a boutique), as their Productive Units and establish their Pricing, accordingly.

Purpose

Now, step apart from the crowd and consider the most important variable of all:

“What is my passion – the one unique thing about me – for which the world waits?”

The rest of the story from our successful builder, quoted at the beginning of this article, “Find something you love to do and do a lot of it.”

If we are able and willing to tap into that passion and grasp the foundational principles of a Blueprint, we are simply minutes away from A Better Business Plan — and, a new beginning!