Builders

BuildersThere are two types of People in this world — Builders and Janitors.

There are three types of Builders — Constructive, Creative, and Conscientious.

There are three types of Janitors — Lazy, 9-to-5’ers, and Trust Fund Babies.

Those Who Maintain

Lazy is a condition of idleness. For the hard-working men and women, this is a daydream of ours. To kick back and take it easy. Yet, when we do, there is an underlying uneasiness — of wondering, “What’s so great about this?” Imagine a lifetime on the couch with a clicker. No joy there.

9-to-5’ers make it through each of their days, doing what is asked of them — and, no more. They work for a paycheck and have no interest in making the world a better place. They are self-absorbed and, simply, wait for their shift to be over — so, they can pursue a hobby of their choice.

Trust Fund Babies are born on third base — believing they hit a home run. They are full of arrogance and ignorance, which makes them dangerous. They play not to lose and have no clue how to win. Since they have no idea of how to make anything of value, their favorite tactic is to nickel-and-dime everyone else.

The Good News

Before we examine the lives of Builders, let’s offer hope to the Janitors.

We have been created with freewill — the ability to choose our destiny. At any moment, at any time, we can make a choice to have a different life. The world is what we make of it — if it doesn’t fit we can make alterations.

Able and willing are two, very, different concepts — because, even, though we are able to do something does not guarantee we will be willing.

A mind changed against its will — will be of the same opinion still.

As an eternal optimist, I believe in possibilities. I just don’t believe the odds are very good — that Janitors will choose to become Builders.

Those Who Create

Constructive builders have something to show for their hard work at the end of their days. Every tangible blessing we enjoy has been built by the hands of the industrious. Up before dawn to draft their Blueprints, driven through the day to produce Value, and through the evening they review their Accomplishments.

Creative builders operate in the realm of Intellectual Property. Their goal is to build up People. In the intangible realms of mental, emotional, and spiritual, the creative types bring into existence thoughts never before shared with the World. From those Thoughts, flow Decisions, and Actions for the good of humankind.

Conscientious builders oftentimes can be found at the end of a shovel, or broom. Maybe, because of the hand of fate – or, by design – these individuals are diligent in their high calling — to Serve. They are not servants. They do, however, offer themselves in service for the good of all. Whatever their hands find to do, they proudly do it with their might.

One, Or The Other

In today’s society, many individuals seem to be zombies trudging through their days with an attitude of Fifty Shades of Grey. To them, there is no light or dark — their world is, simply, various shades of dullness.

If distressed jeans are any indication to the mood of the wearer, then, we have many distressed individuals, today. Through the 24/7 propaganda machine of the media, these individuals have become convinced they are powerless to make a decision. So, they float back and forth on the spectrum of choice. Which shade of grey will it be, today?

Yet, they have the ability to make a black and white choice – a decision – for a different ending to their life Story. They can shun the grey pale of drudgery, turn their back against the dark forces, and open their minds to the colorful goodness of heaven on earth.

I Can Hear The Whining

Those happy in their ruts (graves with the ends kicked out) will start their chorus of whining — about what they don’t have, what they can’t do, and how they are the victims of the victorious.

On the other hand, I can hear a few – putting their foot in the throttle – who are determined to wind up the RPMs (until their engines whine), catch some gears, and make progress down a road toward their new destinations. I love the sound of Progress. 🙂

DNA, or DME (Doesn’t Make Excuses)

I’m a Builder. My dad was a Builder. His dad was a Builder. And, his dad escaped from a life of luxury on the East Coast to homestead in Fishtail, Montana. Yes, he was a Builder, too.

So — the question becomes, did my son, Ryan, have no choice but to be a Builder? As the owner of Crosswire, Inc. is it simply a matter of DNA? Maybe, although, I’m more of the belief it’s because of his DME. He doesn’t make excuses — because, Builders don’t.

Builders accept responsibility for each of their decisions. They want to earn Respect.

Janitors, on the other hand, want to be Liked. They have no idea how to earn anything, so they manipulate. In the simplest of terms, they truly are wannabes.

The Secret

Unless we are growing, we are dying — the default condition of the physical realm is decay.

How do we escape?

Start with nothing and build something special.

Too simple for the complexity of our modern world?

There is one powerful concept often ignored by the masses, “Keep It Simple Sweetheart.” — affectionately known as the KISS Principle. Try it, you’ll like it.

By bringing into existence that which was formerly unknown, YOU become a creator. Since we’re made in the image of a Higher Power, a small leap of faith brings us to the realization that the Joy is in the building, the creating, and the serving.

Birds Of A Feather

Have you noticed that Eagles do not cavort with Turkeys? Or, that Bluebirds don’t spend much time visiting with the Pigeons? And, that the Meadowlark has no use for the Prairie Hawk?

So, evidently, it is true, “Birds of a feather flock, together.”

If we choose a life of doing, we escape the Thanksgiving table fate of the Turkey.

In fact, we will soar on wings like Eagles.

Let’s build on that premise!

We The People

We The PeopleIf 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. 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 enduring 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 — which is 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://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.

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.”

Steel and Velvet

Steel and VelvetLife is experienced on a tightrope.

Fine lines of distinction separate This from That.

As an example, the short riddle below, comprised of two sentences, is deserving of being solved. It will be our segue into the Thought Du Jour.

Each sentence is accurate.

Together, they become powerful in thought and deed.

Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.

Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.

While appearing contradictory, the Secret is within each of us, at our core. If we know who we are and are generous of spirit, the ‘answer’ becomes obvious:

We refuse to follow a foolish person down rabbit trails — and, we boldly share our beliefs with them.

Men of Steel and Velvet

You might ask, “What does this have to do with men of Steel and Velvet?”

The answer, “They can be firm and soft — at the same time.”

In fact, they are who they are — yet, they generously share of themselves. The perception of these differences become reality when interacting with the individuals who approach them. For example — these men of Steel and Velvet have the patience of a Saint. Some people will recognize the character trait as a virtue — others will perceive the same trait as weakness.

Two Sides of Same Coin

The first group will experience the softness flowing from mutual respect — as stories are shared. The second group will experience the hardness resulting from a rude awakening — as they are jolted from their ill-conceived perception to the harsh reality of a definitive limit. While giving the benefit of the doubt, these men of Steel and Velvet will defend their boundaries — for the benefit of those who seek protection.

Boundaries are simply ‘fine lines of distinction’. One of these fine lines separates forgiveness from flaccidity. Forgiveness is hard (to do) — flaccidity is (by its very definitionsoft. Forgiveness lets us enjoy the present moment — while moving forward into a future of opportunities. Flaccidity is for those who allow themselves to be a doormat for the feet of their enemies — while remaining tethered to the past.

Lambs to the Wolves

Lambs

Is it possible for lambs to move through a pack of wolves? What is the Secret to that?! Answer: “We are to be as wise as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Wisdom is the forerunner to success. In fact, a four letter word is the pun intended to create a new beginning in our lives — Fore.

Yes — that which comes before. Have you ever wondered how generous people got to be that way? They give here, there, and everywhere. What came first? What is at the very beginning of their current efforts?

Answer, “Fore-give” — and, in the vernacular, Forgive.

Forgiveness

One of the best definitions of forgiveness was received in a place far removed from a religious setting. Yet, it dovetails with a belief in a Higher Power and summarizes the distinct black and white choice we will each make in our, individual, lives.

Forgiveness: Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.

Simple enough. Yet, check your thoughts. Where are they? Dwelling on an episode, conversation, mistake, hurt, offense, etc. of the Past? If so, look again at the definition above.

“But”, you might say, “I have tried to forgive and that person does not deserve it, will not accept it, continues to do it, etc.” (the excuses continue on ad infinitum and ad nauseam)

DovesFore-giving is not about anyone else. It is about us and totally within our control.

Does it mean we condone the actions of another? No.

Does it mean we continue to allow another to use and abuse us? Heck, no!

Does it mean we forget, for now, with hopes of revenge, later? Again, the answer is — No.

We, simply — Let go of the notion that there can be a better, or different, yesterday.

Then, we assuage ourselves with, “Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive!”

The Offended

Many will choose to be offended. They will be envious of the peace and tranquility in our lives. The pathologically challenged will remain tethered to their past, while we move forward.

Each new day will bring the tightropes for us to walk boldly and in balance. Through it all, we retain our innocence by being able and willing to, quickly, ask for forgiveness when we are wrong and offering it freely to erase the foibles of others. By doing so we achieve —

The Reward

We ignore the foolish arguments — while sharing our core beliefs.

We wisely chart our course through danger — while being careful to remain harmless.

We forgive ourselves and others — while receiving an invitation to the future.

We, eventually, learn the inherent principle of Steel and Velvet
Easy is hard and Hard is easy.

Intelligence Test

Intelligence TestDad had an 8th Grade formal education and was one of the most intelligent men I have ever known.

He was from an era of the strong, silent type — and, when teased about being so quiet, he frequently said, “I learn more by listening.”

Today, listening seems to be a lost art form — and, we have several generations of fools.

Well, yes, that is blunt. Lest I be accused of being judgemental, let me rephrase — because, People have the God-given right to be the unique creations they are. Their behavior, though, is open to analysis. In other words, “I will not judge the People — yet, I can evaluate their Behaviors.”

Test For Foolishness

My worldview is based on the Three-E Formula — Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage. Yet, there are the Three Evil E’s  — Ego, Expectations, and Emotions.

To test anyone for foolishness, just tell them a Story — it doesn’t matter the subject. Share with them something about which you are passionate. And — see how often you are interrupted.

I’ll bet good money you will get interrupted 9 times out of 10 — because, People do not have the willpower to keep their Ego, Expectations, and Emotions under control.

Ego

Yes — it is important that we boldly approach our day.
No — it is not right to think the world revolves around us.

The People interrupting our good Stories will always have (in their mind) a better Story than ours — they are a Legend in their own Minds.

Expectations

Talk too slow, and People will try to finish your sentences.
Talk too fast, and People will look for other entertainment.

You see — those People have (in their mind) better things to do than listen to you share a Chapter from your Life. They expect you to fawn over them.

Emotions

Give too much to some People — they think you’re trying to manipulate.
Withhold your commentary and good advice — People will call you God.

Immature individuals are just like Toddlers — they whine, they pout, they cry, they throw things, they yell, and they make the ugliest faces — oh, and, when we laugh at their antics, they EXPLODE.

Test For Intelligence

When I asked Dad why he didn’t talk more, this was his reply, “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.”

My frustration with that quote is — Dad was very wise. In fact, he had accumulated much Knowledge. Every day he applied – what he knew – to gain an Understanding of many things and People. The progression of Knowledge into Understanding resulted in a Wisdom unsurpassed by the educated idiots of our day.

Yes — I include myself in that category of People who wanted to be known by their initials: CPA, CITP, CGMA and all kinds of other Certified somethings.

That was yesterday. Now, I simply want to be measured by the Value that I contribute to the Whole Wide World.

I’ll — happily — let you be the judge of that.

Respect

RESPECTWhat would you do if someone screamed, “You’re a Dumb F#cker!” And, then went on to yell, “I have no respect for you!”

Yes, I know, that paragraph is missing the “?” at the end. Yet, the experience for me was more about the “!” — or, in other words, the exclamation of ignorance and arrogance.

If one is an incident, two is a coincidence, and three is a pattern, then I have a Story to share with YOU.

Three Times In Three Months

The first time was in February — when a Teenager had been asked to keep their stuff gathered into somewhat organized piles. Perfection was not the standard — simply the traditional courtesy of keeping foreign objects out of the travel paths of other inhabitants of the Family abode.

When multiple requests were ignored, I asked that young fellow what he was ‘thinking’ — because, I know for a fact, “All we do begins with a Thought.” Well, he shared what was on his mind — which was to find fault with me, for asking.

The third time was in April — when a Marine sought my participation in helping him start a new business. After 26 years as a Gunnery Sergeant and 6 years as an Air Traffic Controller, this Middle-Age fellow seemed to be an excellent candidate for my Coaching Services.

One problem was he wanted to constantly present his Resume and refused to Listen to some pretty good advice. Then, the cherry-on-top was catching him in a lie — which we had wasted a large amount of Time discussing the solution to what, really, wasn’t a problem, at all.

The second time was in March — when a third-generation Millenial rancher was planning a Family transition without the participation of his Parents. Yes — I participated, briefly, thinking, “Although not the best way to start, at least this might be the first step toward something good for the Family.”

What Begins Twisted, Ends TwistedPost Turtle

Here’s the reality:

1.) Grandpa (with the help of Grandma) built something special.

2.) Dad (with the help of Mom) was expected to maintain what Grandpa built. Maintenance men are commonly known as Janitors.

3.) Junior was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run. Although he is the Janitor’s son, the rest of the world recognizes him for what he is — a Post Turtle. (click the hyperlink — it’s a good story)

Nothing New Under The Sun

I do believe things today are about like they have always been. In other words, I get it — sometimes misunderstandings happen because of generational differences. The educations and experiences – of each generation – create a different worldview in its participants.

Yet — that to which I’ve been making reference — disrespect is a character flaw. And, the way these Stories end is never pleasant.

Once, there was an old fellow who was on a Mission to give the inhabitants of a County a heads-up. He had an old-fashioned name — Elijah. His successor had another old-fashioned name — Elisha.

In the vernacular, the ship hit the sand when 42 young men decided to have great sport with Elisha. They did not hurl sticks or stones — they simply used words (which, regardless of the schoolyard rhyme, do hurt more than sticks and stones). They received immediate consequences for their disrespect.

Gaslighting Is Pure Craziness

Gaslight

Narcissists are big on gaslighting us in an attempt to disorient and confuse us. They do this by using denial and projection, usually under the pretense of being concerned — in order to make us feel even more perplexed. If they succeed at this, they can then grandstand us by saying, “See, you are crazy and out of control!”

Introduction To A Narcissist

A Narcissist WeaponA narcissist’s weapon of choice is often verbal — by slander, lies, playing the victim (in flipped tales of who was the victim and who was the abuser), gossip, rage, verbal abuse, and intentional infliction of emotional pain.

Think of direct, clear communication (The Truth) — especially when it is about the manipulation itself — as the psychological equivalent to holding up a cross to a vampire. Most manipulators recoil in the face of being “busted,” and the air goes out of the pressure they are trying to create just as easily as it escapes a punctured balloon.

Three Chords and the Truth

Boundaries & RespectRespect is only possible with clearly defined boundaries. The sovereignty of a country is defined by its border. As individuals, we are citizens of one.

Self-respect is everything that goes on within our boundaries. Respect for others occurs at the border and according to mutually acceptable customs.

Profitable interactions occur through doors of opportunity that swing on the hinges of “No, thanks.” and “Yes, please!”

Never Accept DisrespectGrown Adults

Narcissists will capture our attention — they are the swashbucklers cutting a wide swath with their theatrics. They are manipulative and easily angered, especially when they don’t receive the attention they consider their birthright.

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder believe they are superior or special, and often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way. This association enhances their self-esteem, which is typically quite fragile underneath the surface. Individuals with NPD seek excessive admiration and attention in order to know that others think highly of them. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat and may be left feeling humiliated or empty when they experience an “injury” in the form of criticism or rejection.

Pop Goes The Weasel

That young, ignorant, arrogant, and clueless fellow at the beginning of this Story, has chosen to enroll in the School-of-Hard-Knocks — his classes are about to begin.

Similar to the consequences in the story about Elisha, I see bears in the future of this foul-mouthed childish imp. One bear I see approaching is a Market less than bullish — and, another bear even more ferocious is a rate of Interest greater than zero.

You see — I invested hundreds of hours for the benefit of this guy and his Family. Scattered on their little farm, there’s lots of new green paint (John Deere Green)  — which can never possibly be paid for with current management practices.

So, I guided him and his wife to an understanding of Balance Sheets — using the basic Accounting Equation of Assets = Liabilities + Equity. Or, another way to state the same set of facts is Assets – Liabilities = Equity. (which can be Negative)

When the light (Truth) was shown on his misadventures (Too Much Debt), he literally hissed all around the house, as the air from his little balloon (Ego) was punctured.

To this day, I remain amused.

Must Be A 10

Must Be A 1010 Things to Look for in an Executive Business Coach

I’ll share the website of another Coaching Enterprise — because, I want YOU to make the comparison. Y’all know I’m competitive — so, I’m hoping YOU can mark all 10 in my favor.

If not, give me a call.

Highlights from the Article

  1. Good business coaches have a proven record that they will be eager to share with you.
  2. A great business coach has experience both as a business owner and as a business coach.
  3. You’ll want to find a business coach that is relevant and specific — to your chosen area of growth.
  4. Business coaching requires custom strategies. Pass on any coach that treats their business like a coaching mill.
  5. A great business coach will challenge you outside of your comfort zone and make you look at challenges in new ways.
  6. Seek out a business coach that is well-connected, so in turn, you become equally well-connected.
  7. Your business coach should be highly motivated and focused on YOU achieving your goals and aspirations.
  8. Your mentor should love teaching because it means giving back, and it should be obvious in their approach to coaching.
  9. You don’t have to be best friends with your business coach, but you should have a friendly rapport.
  10. The most critical piece — there must be a process to be followed, a regimen. In other words, a committed and disciplined approach to Success.

Highlights from my Life

  1. Beginning in December 1981 through October 2015 this was my Mission Statement, “We Are Committed To Excellence In Providing Accounting and Financial Services To Our Friends Who Pursue Success.” For those 34 years, hundreds of Clients can attest to the fact that we built little empires, together.
  2. Now, the Mission Statement is, “My mission is to guide YOU to personal and business success, according to the vision that YOU establish for us.”
  3. I’m a Builder — so, if YOU want to Build Something Special, I can help with the foundation, deck, framing, trusses, roofing, windows, doors, sheetrock, tape, texture, and trim (figuratively speaking).
  4. There’s only one of YOU — so, by default, your learning will be according to your style and timing. Since communication is what the listener does, I will actively listen to understand what YOU want and need of me.
  5. If two people agree on everything all of the time, one of them is unnecessary. We will challenge each other and experience mutually rewarding individual growth.
  6. Thirty-five plus years of Building Dynamic Relationships by using the Three-E Formula of Enlighten, Empower, and Encourage provides plenty of opportunities for YOU to make connections with my Friends.
  7. YOU are the reason for my existence. I’m simply a chunk of conduit for the goodness from above, to flow through me, for the benefit of YOU.
  8. Coach John Wooden was a Teacher before he was a Coach. Later in life — after many National Championships — he simply wanted to be known as a Teacher. I tell that Story — because that’s the one I want to be told about me.
  9. Guaranteed there will be rapport — because only friends do business with each other. I have discovered, over a period of 35+ years in serving the public, that half of the world will love us — the other half, not so much.
  10. That ‘other half’ (in Number 9, above) usually left the friendship because they grew tired of the consistent disciplined determination for us to grow and move forward toward our goals.

That’s my Story — and, I’m sticking to it.

Now, the Choice is yours — stay stuck in a rut (which by definition is: a grave with the ends kicked out) or move forward into a world of your dreams.

Remember, I’m a Builder.

We can do this, together.

80/20 Crutch

80/20 CrutchExcuse to Hobble

When you hear someone quote the 80/20 Rule, brace yourself. Because — you’re about to hear an excuse for their inattention to detail.

Sometimes I’m a Slow Study when it comes to catching on to someone’s shenanigans. Maybe, it’s because I look for the best in a person and want to believe what they say.

Recently, it took two months to realize a Coach was a Hoax. Everything he said sounded, really, good. Eventually, though, his actions spoke louder than his words. So, I had a choice to make: continue to overlook the lies, deceit, and lack of attention to detail (including me and his other Scholars) — or, do the right thing.

All — or, Nothing

My dad (James Burnett Foard) was named after a fellow (Jim Burnett), who lived by this creed, “I am bound to live up to the light I have. I must stand with anyone who stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

Evidently, my Grandfather knew what he was doing — because my Dad lived by the same creed and fulfilled its intent 100%. There was no 80/20 with my Dad — or, anything he set his hand to. With him, it was All — or, Nothing.

Can You Imagine?

Think of the most important decision you’ve ever made. Maybe, it was the decision to get married. Maybe, it was that mutual decision to have children. Maybe, it was a flying leap of faith to start your own business.

Can you imagine applying the 80/20 Rule to those events?!

I don’t know of any individual who believes they can be partly married. How about a little bit pregnant? Or, an Employer providing a paycheck to someone who is no longer an Employee — but, is now, an Independent Contractor?

Those scenarios are laughable – aren’t they?

Oh, I’m having way too much fun with this. Imagine the skydiver who at 10,000 feet wants to apply the 80/20 Rule to their situation. Nope, doesn’t work. They are either in a perfectly good airplane or out of it hurtling toward the earth.

In Summary

For those lacking the moral fortitude to apply the concept of Commitment to their lives, they will forever live in mediocrity.

As for you and me, we’re going to give our all.

80/20 Rule

80/20 RuleRecently, I was teasing a colleague about the lack of a Waiting Room when he connects with Scholars using Zoom.

His reply, “Well, I’m a believer in the 80/20 Rule — focus on the 80% that matters and get to the other 20% someday.”

Since I have teased him quite a bit in the past, I heard, “Kim, I’m getting tired of your nit-picking. But – to humor you, I’ll be polite and quote the 80/20 Rule.”

There was something about his tone that immediately had me agreeing with him.

Yet, you – who know me well – know there’s more to this Story.

With A Little Thinking

In the shower, the next morning, it dawned on me (pardon the pun) that the 80/20 Rule does not work with People. Because — we never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

And — if a Person chooses to walk with us through this Journey of Life, then, they deserve 100% of the best we have to offer. In my opinion, it’s ALL — or, NOTHING. To know I’m only worth 80% of someone’s attention and effort is hard on the psyche and soul.

People Over Process (POP)

Where does the 80/20 Rule apply – and, work just fine? Answer: Process. Yes, we People are more effective and efficient with the structure of Process. Every system from minute to massive has processes. And – that’s a good thing.

Yet – People change and grow on a daily basis.

So – Does the same old Process still work (well) if the People have changed?

Yes, it’s a Rhetorical Question. The answer is: NO.

The net result and continued productivity probably is about 80% – if, we’re lucky, on a good day. Yet, management is relatively happy — because, they have the wheels turning and tend to ignore any opportunity for improvement. The 80/20 Rule has been applied and acts as a governor (used on machinery) to keep everything and everybody between the ditches.

You know, I just can’t help myself. The definition of a ‘governor‘ is quite fitting in the scenario, above, “a device for maintaining uniform speed regardless of changes of load, as by regulating the supply of fuel or working fluid.”

Really?

Do we, really, want to be regulated and held back from our true potential? I can only speak for myself — and, again, the answer is a resounding, “No! Heck, No! What part of NO don’t you understand!”

In Summary

A picture is, always, worth at least a 1,000 Words.

No 80/20 Rule In Relationships

 

Gentle Strength

Gentle StrengthDo you want to be heard?

~ Speak softly.

Do you want to be strong?

~ Offer gentleness.

Do you want to influence?

~ Be authentic.

Imagine a mountain stream of flowing, rushing, bubbling, fresh water. In that stream is a large boulder.

Observe it and these three truths become obvious — It is silent » It is solid » and, It deftly parts the water.

The same is true of the human condition — Whoever is the most certain wins.

Competitive greatness is not an evil premise. If everyone improves through the effort of each individual to grow into a better person, there is a cumulative mutual benefit.

There Will Be Pain — To Achieve Gain

With pain comes the opportunity for offense. When hurt, how do we react? Do our emotions run wild, resulting in a primitive reaction of — Freeze, Flight, or Fight? Or, do we use that first moment, when we’re frozen in disbelief, to purposefully choose our response?

Can we speak softly to simply state our beliefs?

Can we wrap gentleness around a definitive position?

Can we be authentic and true to the passion at our core?

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

There is a caveat to softly, gently, and authentically communicating our beliefs to others. It produces mutual benefit, only, when we are analogous to streams of living waters. An inlet and an outlet are required for living water. What about those individuals who are more analogous to a swamp?

The answer is inherent in a riddle:

Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools,
or you will become as foolish as they are.

Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools,
or they will become wise in their own estimation.

What?! Yes

Don’t follow their illogical rabbit trails through the briars.

Do state positions of belief — softly, gently, and authentically.

What is the surest way to discover if someone is a fool? If the individual listens, they are wise. If they are quick to interrupt and be disrespectful of any position contrary to their own, they are a fool.

Hard is easy — Easy is hard

Regardless of the condition of others, we can only change ourselves into better individuals. It is so very easy to be shrill, brash, and wishy-washy. It is so very hard to communicate with our Butler’s voice, in our Servant apron, and from our True heart — while grounded in gentle strength.

Feedback Three-Step

Circles of Life

Feedback Three-StepBaby’s first step is cause for celebration. Even for us older kids, first steps can be special times of celebration and acknowledgment.

They are, always, the beginning of a journey to discovery. Sometimes we follow the first step with a second. Other times that first step forward is followed by two steps backward.

Regardless of the pattern, we are dancing.

Those who love to dance know about the Two-Step. If we are to dance our way into the hearts, minds, and souls of those about whom we care deeply, maybe, it’s time we learn the Three-Step. It is much more than leading with our good foot – and, then, dragging the other behind. In fact, it has nothing to do with our feet and everything to do with our heads.

Communication Is What The Listener Does

While there are many mediums available for communication, the most popular is — Words. Some of us use many, while other individuals use few. We, all, use them, constantly, to express our thoughts and ideas to others. Our messages are composed of two elements: Content and Context.

Guaranteed — the words I choose and the intent behind them will be heard and understood differently by each person, who receives them. They will be filtered through the education and experience of that person. And, they will mean something different to that individual, depending on the day and their mood.

Since Certified Public Accountants are trained in probabilities, let’s look at the odds of being heard and understood. Setting aside that which is beyond our control (the context within which our message will be received), let’s take a look at the content.

A researcher named Mehrabian was interested in how listeners get their information. The results: 55% from the visual component, 38% from the auditory component, and 7% from the language. Our words account for only 7% of comprehension. Have you ever wondered why emails are misunderstood?!Feedback Model

Regardless of how elegantly we Transmit, the logic and emotion of the Receiver are beyond our control. With the first two steps of this communication dance, we have made noise and they have heard the sound. Communication is yet to be accomplished.

The third, and most important, step is Feedback. The communication circuit is complete, only, when the Receiver is courageous enough to Transmit back what they have heard and understood.

Lights Come On With Closed Circuits

In our daily life, we take for granted closed circuits. We flip the switch and the lights come on. Thus, we have reinforced a truth — Electricity will only flow in a completed circuit. Why then do we insist on wandering around in the dark while refusing to complete our communication circuits? We complete them by giving Feedback.

Circles of LifeWhile there might be legitimate reasons for our inertia, the encouragement is for us to consider the circle of life, itself. Just like the electrical circuit, we are of limited value unless, and until, we complete the circuit.

If we consider the possibility that we are simply wonderful chunks of conduit for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others, then, it’s logical to envision the lights coming on for ourselves and the rest of the world. We, literally, become lighthouses to guide others through the storms of life. Bright lights make absolutely no noise.

The Sound of Circles

Since all of the words above only contribute 7% to this premise, let’s add the 38% auditory component. By clicking on the “Circles” hyperlink below, we can enjoy sensory delights.

Circles

By Sawyer Brown

There’s one around my finger
One around my coffee cup
One around the hands of time
And that big orange ball a comin’ up
There’s one around my eight to five
Four beneath me when I drive
An extra one for overtime, circles
There’ll be one in the hugs around my legs
And one around my waist
And one around the table holdin’ hands and sayin’ grace

I thank God for circles
For you, for me, for family and friends
I thank God for circles
May they go round-and-round and never have to end

There’s one around the block
There’s always one around the bend
Any to and from you go
And back again
Some are green and some are golden
Summer turns to winter cold
And into spring the seasons roll, circles
There’ll be one around the candles
One around the birthday cakes
One around the table holdin’ hands and sayin’ grace

I thank God for circles
For you, for me, for family and friends
I thank God for circles
May they go round-and-round and never have to end

There’s one around the world
That goes around so we can see it all
One around the halo
When we’re called

I thank God for circles
For you, for me, for family and friends
I thank God for circles
May they go round-and-round and never have to end
I thank God for family and circles
May we find and have so many more of them

The researcher, Mehrabian wrote about a substantial limitation to his study, “These findings, regarding the relative contribution of the tonal component of a verbal message, can be safely extended, only, to communication situations in which no additional information about the communicator-addressee relationship is available.”

In summary, Listeners derive information from visual, tonal, and other verbal cues. Yet, their understanding is dependent upon a number of other factors, including how well they know the communicator.

Communication Is What The Listener Does

This communicator believes Feedback is a necessary dimension of effective personal growth. It provides for real-time modifications of behavior, and related events, to achieve mutually desired benefits for the participants, which might otherwise be unobtainable, or delayed.

To achieve 100% effectiveness, let’s add the 55% visual component to our circuit of communication. Picture a knight standing at the ready to be of service in your kingdom. He waits for the Feedback that will enhance his efforts to be of greater value to you. If a courageous leader, you will empower him to serve in more effective ways, by offering the Feedback necessary to achieve even greater victories in this our journey, the circle of life!