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/

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.

Relentless Pursuit

Begin creating something of value and watch what happens. The dark forces of the Universe and people of that disposition will gather their armies in a relentless pursuit to attack YOU — and your creation.

Why?

Because it’s much easier to destroy than to build. Those individuals who won’t build anything special of their own don’t want you to, either.

The War of Art

One of the best explanations for this phenomenon is offered by author Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle.

He describes how the attacks will come from others — as well as from ourselves. Unless we’re afflicted with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, generally, we feel unworthy to create.

Our thoughts, usually, are, “What do I have to offer to others?”

Then, about the time, we discover our passionate purpose and offer gifts of great value — a new creation never before thought, or done — we will hear the naysayers find fault. Our insecurities take control and we shrink back into our comfortable shell — that comfortable rut (grave with the ends kicked out) and routine of everyday drudgery.

Freedom To Be

As long as we allow our lives to be dictated by the whims of society, we will be living just like everyone else. We will fit in with the masses, or be beaten down into servitude — by those with an agenda for our lives and resources.

Or — we can choose to be free – to be – a creative force in the Universe.

The funny thing about freedom is that it is not free. We must decide who, or what, we will serve. There are really, only, two choices: Good, or Evil; Light, or Darkness; Creation, or Destruction.

Once we have discovered the purpose for our existence, the fun begins.

We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing;
— so, let’s have fun learning.

You might ask, “Learn what?”

My response is, “Everything!”

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?!

Stand Guard

Because the attacks on our creations will always come from outside, we must be vigilant to protect the mind, heart, body, and soul.

All we do begins with a thought.

The greatest threat to ourselves and what we choose to create will be the influences we let into our mind. It is impossible to thwart the assault — a thought will penetrate our consciousness. Our response will determine if it has a fertile bed to sprout, mature, and become malignant.

At that moment of consciousness, we can choose to refocus on our purpose — and replace evil with good. The difference is a world of our creation — or, not. We can enjoy Heaven on Earth.

Individual Responsibility

The framers of the United States Declaration of Independence clearly understood the importance of freedom and individual responsibility — to choose and, then, be accountable for the consequences.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

There is no guarantee, or definition, of happiness in that statement.

Each of us — individually — are free to determine what happiness is.

My hope is that YOU will engage with a relentless pursuit — to build something special for YOU and your Family.

Opinionated Feedback

The last step in the Journey to build sterling Character is to welcome and accept Constructive Feedback.

Constructive Feedback is the other side of the coin from Reinforcing Feedback. We all love the feedback that sings our praises of a job well done, that acknowledges a situation handled nicely, or that recognizes the dent we’re making in the world.

So, those are the two kinds of feedback — between two people with knowledge of facts, situations, and measurable observations.

What about the third kind of feedback — which comes out of the blue from a third wheel, loose cannon, if you will — from someone with a badge that reads, Sidewalk Superintendent?

Opinionated Feedback — (OF)

Tiny, little, powerful, two-letter words — aren’t they something? One of my favorite expressions, “If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me.”

of
to indicate a point of reckoning
to indicate origin or derivation
to indicate the cause, motive, or reason
to indicate the component material, parts, or elements
to indicate the whole that includes the part
to indicate belonging or a possessive relationship
to indicate the relationship between a result and function
to indicate something from which a person is delivered
to indicate a particular example belonging to a class
to indicate apposition
to indicate the object of an action
to indicate the application of a verb
to indicate a characteristic or distinctive quality
to indicate the position in time of an action

So — if the last step in the Journey to build sterling Character is to welcome and accept Constructive Feedback, what about the Sainthood effort required to accept Opinionated Feedback?!

And — when I say, “Accept,” I define that as, “Accept it for what it is, glean the kernels of truth, and let the chaff blow away on the winds of fickleness.”

Feedback That Never Was

This story, so far, has been framed around the beneficiary of feedback. But, what about the individual offering the feedback? If you’ve ever been in a role which required formal feedback to be given, you know how difficult it is — To Do.

Now, imagine the poor fellow who is sharing his thoughts with a couple of new friends and is, then, accosted for asking a few simple questions.

Remember the Story about me and the two women — the cute one and the other one? We’ve already discussed how I responded to the challenge from the other one, who asked me to be her Accountability Partner (after, I clearly communicated on a public forum that my partner must be a “brave soul.”)

What is it that YOU want from this email? To point out? To challenge? To encourage the why + what do I want thinking?

For the students of communication theory, all of their mental bells, whistles, and alarms have been triggered. “Email?! Doesn’t he know that only 7% of communication can be accomplished with words?” Yep, I knew it going in — but, that’s my modus operandi — going where even the angels fear to tread.

The cute one is a very successful Life Coach, with a variety of programs that she offers for the benefit of those individuals wanting to expand their horizons, improve levels of accomplishment, and grow into better Citizens. My kind of gal — so, since I was invited to her game (Program), I signed up.

When I zinged my serve over the net, the other one caught the ball to examine it for defects. Life Coach patiently waited through the other one’s challenge of my intent and then offered this.

I value feedback from people I know, I am always looking to improve in my life and my work, and I am also a huge proponent of done being better than perfect. The Program is what it is and serves its purpose for most people. It is not meant to be the answer to everyone’s problems, nor is it meant to be a spiritual based program.

Say what?!

So, I went back and read, again — very slowly — my original email to see if I had used the word Feedback, or made any reference to the Trinity. Nope, not even once.

Communication Is What The Listener Does

Although, in my email, I had asked this question, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?

During those 35+ years serving the public as a CPA, I learned to ask this question of every prospective Client. Those who were animated in their response enjoyed working with me. Those with a deer-in-the-headlights response were graciously ushered back to the door from which they came.

So, I fully understand the responses I received from the Life Coach and the other one. One was scared silly because I dared to ask such a question — the Life Coach felt threatened.

For most of my life, I have been overly concerned about everyone’s feelings. Recently, however, the light came on, “Other people’s feelings are beyond my control. Unless, I’m rude, or crude, they have the responsibility to manage their own dang feelings.”

And, it’s true — no one can make us mad, sad, happy, or glad. It’s our individual right and responsibility to create the emotions pleasing to us.

It’s perfectly fine that the Life Coach wants no part in my philosophy, or efforts, to be a Conduit of Goodness.

What Did You Learn?

Because — she did offer this.

You’re kind enough to offer feedback to others, my feedback to you might be to include a bit of framing when you give that feedback so others better understand what your intention and expectation is – especially when they don’t know you well.

As a builder, I know exactly what she’s suggesting. After establishing a solid foundation, framing is the next phase to Build Something — Special. And, with no apologies to the Life Coach, or anyone else, my way of preparing a foundation on bedrock is to ask questions. The one question about “the passion at the core” is the first of ten initial steps to a solid foundation.

In visiting with a long-time loyal friend, on the phone last night, she asked, “So, what did you learn?”

Oh, we laughed! Because — I’ve lost track of the number of verses to this same old song. She gently teased that maybe the time has come for me to learn the lesson. 🙂

Curse of Knowledge

The beauty of Opinionated Feedback is that it comes from an outsider, who is not encumbered by the “Curse of Knowledge.” Reinforcing Feedback and Constructive Feedback happens between two individuals, who know all the “facts.” The outsider is not burdened with any preconceived notions about the Ego, Expectations, or Emotions. They can be honest in offering their opinion.

I did not offer feedback to the Life Coach — I did, however, share my thoughts which were perceived by her to be feedback.

Her feedback to me is spot on correct. I know it, and I’m working on getting better at it. It defined as — stop scaring the living bejeezus out of timid souls, with too much, too soon.

Speed of Belief

I’ve had people suggest that I wear darkened eyeglasses — because my gaze is too intense. It’s true — I’m intensely passionate about my purpose in life. And — I thoroughly enjoy that far-left lane, designated Speed of Belief.

Remember, when we were first learning to drive, how we had to keep staring at all the gauges to make sure our speed was right, the engine had oil pressure, and the coolant was staying cool. Now, we seldom think about it — we glance, every now and then.

Same song, second verse — I’m operating at the Speed of Belief — not by sight, but — by feel. Because of the Curse of Knowledge, I assume (yes, I know, makes an ass out of u and me) everyone else is comfortable with their hair blown back. (As a side-bar, that’s why I wear my hair in a crew-cut.)

What We Learn, Together

Coach John Wooden — in Pyramid of Success — has this encouragement, “What a leader learns after you’ve learned it all counts most of all.

As a believer in the ASK Principle — Ask, Seek, and Knock — I hope you will help me: Ask, so love can be given; Seek, so wisdom can be found; and, Knock, so doors of opportunity swing wide open.

I’ve noticed that my friends are reluctant to give Feedback of any kind. Yet, my enemies, are eager to bury me in Opinionated Feedback — and, I appreciate it very much.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome. Please, schedule a time for us to visit in a phone conversation, or a Zoom Meeting, by making an Appointment. (CLICK)

All In

If you have the passion for building something special (Attitude) and you have done the challenging work to define who YOU are (Boundaries), then, the final step to success is YOU must go All In (Commitment).

Success

Success is not going to magically waltz into our lives. 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 world.

The reason people join cults and gangs is that they want someone else to provide the answers to Life. In other words, they want to shirk the responsibility of making their own choices — and, of being held accountable for their own decisions and actions.

All I can say is, “Good luck with that.” I’ve seen how those stories end — and, it’s never pretty. There is a better way. We get our Attitude right and we get our Boundaries right. Then, we go All In — by sacrificing all of the other options, for a single choice — with Commitment.

Got Me Thinking

When I challenged my son, Ryan, recently as to “why” he was letting customers use him as a banker and “why” he was not asking for a deposit on larger projects, he pushed back with, “Well, you’ve always said people want to pay for results.”

As much as I love hearing my own words quoted back to me, I had to grin — because a complete response was going to require some time for thought.

Rest of the Story

Yep — it’s true — people do want to pay for Results, rather than pay by the Hour. However, there’s more to the psychology and ethical business practices than letting the customer determine the degree of our success.

People only do business with those they know, like, and trust. Ryan is a lot like his Grandpa Jim Foard — in so much both of them ooze charisma. Men and women were naturally attracted to my Dad — and, I’ve watched Ryan bask in the glory of his aficionados.

So, for those two men, the Know and Like elements are a given. Trust is a matter of character. I do not have a single memory of my Dad ever saying one thing and doing another.

If Ryan is uncertain about being trustworthy, then I can understand his reluctance in asking for money, before the work is completed. However, if he builds a reputation of being true to his word, then, in the minds of his customers there will be no concern if the project will get done. It will, only, be a matter of when — and, they will know the ETA of that will be ASAP.

In time, Ryan will learn that the very best way to test the commitment of a customer — to the engagement — is to ask them for money. The good customers will already have a check written — and the bad ones will whine.

Old English

Generally, I steer away from the old King’s English, but because of childhood exposure to the Good Book, my memories of that are recorded in KJV. So, when I did the Google Search for “double-minded man” an authorized version was discovered.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

What caught my eye is that the word “is” is italicized — as in absolutely no doubt about it.

New World

Now, I know that I can attract narcissists like moths to a flame. By definition, they are chameleons. Love bombing their victims, today — and, kicking them to the curb, tomorrow. I’m curious, though, have you, too, experienced a plethora of bad actors, lately? For me, in a single month, there was the Pet Dragon gal — and the Trust Fund Baby geezer.

Along with the multitude of other Zombies, the modus operandi of these two was identical — refuse to make up their mind and then explode, when I ask, “Why do you say one thing and do another?”

Mother Nature and Vacuums

Mother Nature hates a vacuum. No, it’s not that she has anything against a clean Earth. She refuses to allow nothing to exist. In any field, we have a choice, plant good seeds — or, weeds will grow.

Our minds are fertile beds waiting for us to tend them. Plant productive thoughts — and, success is guaranteed. Leave our minds unattended — and, vile imaginings will appear.

The choice is ours. Either go All In — or, the world will go All Out to destroy our potential. In other words, we either draft a Blueprint for our lives — or, others will have a game plan for us and our resources.

This is more important than any other “game” we will ever play. This is not a hand of cards in a Poker game — that even if we lose, it is only money. This is the real deal — the future of our Life.

Choose A Master

Each of us will serve someone, or something — either by choice, or hand of fate. If we go All In, we will achieve one, or the other, of these results: 1) a goal will be accomplished, or 2) a lesson will be learned.

Either way, we will be growing, learning, and loving the adventure of discovering who we are — and the value of our contribution to the world.

Trust Fund Babies

I must confess my sin. For more than thirty-five years, as a CPA very good at what I do, I assisted in building little empires.

Having grown up poor, the intent was pure. I wanted those, for whom I served, to have the best that money can buy. What I discovered was that my Grandpa Foard was right, “Too much money will make people go crazy.”

There is never enough money. The more stuff people accumulate — the more unhappy they become. Which then fuels the fire for them chasing after even more of what is making them miserable.

Temper Tantrums

During those 35+ years of doing a great job for the Trust Fund Babies, I noticed something — those were the, only, individuals in the ranks of the thousands of clients I served, who would throw a fit. You know, a good ol’ two-year-old temper tantrum — the aisle blocking, head turning, hushed murmuring, and clerk cringing — type of hissy-fit.

Why did they do it? Because they are spoiled. Clueless to the bone, they are chock full of arrogance and ignorance. If they knew half as much about what they think they know, they’d know twice as much as they really do.

They were born on third base, thinking they hit a triple — and, then, they will lie through their teeth as they try to convince you it was a Home Run.

The Reality

The grandparents, of the Trust Fund Babies, worked hard to build something — special. Then, generally, Mom and Dad were expected to maintain what Grandma and Grandpa built. Unknown to little Junior, as he struggles to deal with what has shown up on his silver platter, he is the Janitor’s son. And, by the time we move to the fourth generation of this Family, everything has reset.

The wealth that Mom and Dad inherited from Grandma and Grandpa was slowly chiseled down in size — because they were playing not to lose, rather than working hard to build something special, of their own. Junior has no idea how the Empire was built (because Grandpa is gone and Dad has neglected to teach) — and, Junior has even less knowledge of how anything operates. If something breaks it remains broken.

So, at the end of the third generation, the Ranch (or, the main-street Business) is on the Auction Block. If by some stroke of luck the remaining wealth passes to the fourth generation, it will soon be squandered. At that moment, a Universal Principle kicks in.

If you want to eat, you must work.

What appeared to be a life of luxury to the poor kids of the world, became an affliction and a limitation for the Trust Fund Babies.

History Repeats

Fifty years ago, as a twelve-year-old kid, I thought it harsh that the mistakes of parents carried over to the children and grandchildren. Why must they suffer for the bad choices their elders made?

I believe it’s because of another one of those darn ol’ Universal Principles. For example, Gravity — it’s real, it’s unseen, and it’s hard to explain. However, it works the same way every time. We can take comfort in that Universal Principle and depend on its consistency. Or, for those who doubt the effectiveness — and, take a flying leap off a tall building — they will learn the hard way.

Personal Note

After those 35+ years of holding the hands and wiping the snotty noses of way too many Juniors, I burned out. After two years, of what I call, “My trip through the desert,” one day, my son, Ryan, had questions. In fact, I remember the day, well — January 11, 2018.

He came to the closed bedroom door, knocked lightly, and said that he had a question. So, I went with him to his office area, stood behind him, as he pulled up a QuickBooks screen and wiggled his mouse over the real estate where his Question resided. I answered that question and went back to the bedroom.

A few minutes, later, another tap on the door and another question. Same song, second verse: I went with him to his office area, stood behind him, as he pulled up a QuickBooks screen and wiggled his mouse over the real estate where his Question resided. I answered that question and went back to the bedroom.

A few minutes later, another tap on the door and another question. Well, by now, I’m thinking, “OK – Ryan has lots of questions. I might as well just stand there with him and answer them all.”

Sure enough, seven hours later, after a review of the mistakes on the two prior years of Tax Returns and detailed Depreciation Schedules prepared by the best CPA Ryan could find, the tumblers of the lock on my mind turned and I realized, “I’m the best — CPA in the Country.”

I’ve heard people talk about being Born Again — and, always, wondered what that was all about. Now, I know. I wasn’t “back” — as Arnold might say. I felt like a brand new person. Later, as I searched for something of which to compare the feeling, the best I can do is, “I feel like I’m in the fourth grade, again!”

Once — and, For All Time

So, why did I recently agree to one more Consulting engagement to provide services for the benefit of a Trust Fund Baby? Answer — Old habits, similar to bad beliefs, die hard.

This particular specimen of a Trust Fund Baby is 75 years old and is still as clueless as he was at age 25 — when Grandpa’s money was used to buy him a Ranch. He was put on the Ranch and offered an opportunity on a silver platter. Now – that I think about it – Junior is just like a Post Turtle.

When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top. That’s a post turtle. You know he didn’t get there by himself; he doesn’t belong there; he can’t get anything done while he’s up there; and, without help to get down, he’s stranded!

Junior could not articulate the specific Objectives he wanted me to resolve, he had no idea how to Measure our progress, and he offered little feedback about the Value he was receiving. What begins twisted, ends twisted.

After two months of a six-month commitment to provide services, I had grown tired of being a valet for his ego. I suggested that my “work” was done and he had no further responsibility to honor our Agreement. Junior insisted that I stay — he needed to use me, some more.

However, after four months of enduring his silliness, “Oh, Wow! — did he pop a cork when I asked him, “Why?”

Why do you want to withhold information and keep me in the dark?

The sniveling little pup did a Trump on me, too, while yelling into the phone (so loudly he was cutting out and I asked him to repeat his foul language), “You’re fired!”

What a blessing!

I think I’ve passed — in flying colors — the final exam in the high-level coursework of Trust Fund Babies.

Oh, by the way, this Consulting engagement was to assist in the transition of Junior off the Ranch. Because of the two clowns for Realtors he had chosen, I finally asked, “After their neglect of an important issue (to the tune of $150,000), why do you continue to believe their nonsense?”

Lesson Learned

Around the 25-year mark, in the 35+ years of my crusade to save the world as a CPA, I noticed something. I felt dirty. As I served the Trust Fund Babies, there was no appreciation or recognition of the Value my efforts produced for them. They were paying me and I was doing things for the money. There’s a name for those kinds of people — Hookers.

Confession without repentance is counterfeit spirituality. As you are my witness, I fully and completely give up the old way to enjoy my rebirth.

Die Broke

The scholars among us will take great offense at the concept of not leaving children and grandchildren a monetary inheritance. They will even pretend to have God on their side of the argument and quote an old Proverb.

Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly.

Well, here’s the Real Deal — I don’t see a single reference to Money in the line, before the comma, about good people. Do you?

I know – for a fact – that my Grandchildren will receive an inheritance from me. No, it will not be because my Lindsey and Ryan were anxious for me to tip over — so they might win the Lottery of wealth untold.

The inheritance that my Children will pass on to my Grandchildren will be everything they have learned from me. I have diligently provided opportunities for Lindsey and Ryan to learn everything they need, to be successful in this life — and, beyond.

Real Deal

When I hear someone use the word try in a sentence, I cringe. Because I know, for a fact, they are more interested in the talk than they are living the walk.

Accordingly, it’s another humor Kim moment. In support of the above statement, take a pen into your hand. Now, try to drop it. See my point? You’re either going to hang onto it — or, you’re going to drop it.

There’s no “try” to it.

Here’s another example — the word maybe. Those people, who refuse to make a decision, end up high-centering on the fork-in-the-road. Look at the word closer: ma-Y-be. See the fork-in-the-road? The people who are fond of maybe are reluctant to choose — left, or right, at Oak Street.

To encourage us to, always, make a decision, look at ma-Y-be, again.

Ma = Cry Baby
Be = A Creator
Y = Choose to Be

Just one more — how many times have you been promised something, someday? And, someday never came. Builders know this as the secret to accomplishment, “You must begin — and, begin again.” Because — they live by this creed.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

Begin it, now.

If we put all of this silliness together, we have, “Someday, maybe I’ll try.

There Is A Better Way

Much more than an audition for the opening night of the Broadway playbill, Life — this is the Real Deal.

So real, in fact, I want to share insight from my children. To be precise, they are young adults, who are taking Relationship Strategies to increasingly higher levels for the benefit of all.

Lindsey and Ryan are priceless gifts. Yet, at times, they will also purchase tangible expressions of reminders for me. On a Father’s Day, Ryan presented “Easy 88“, a bronze of a cowboy making a great ride on a bull. On another day, a beautiful bouquet of flowers arrived from Lindsey, in acknowledgment of birthday “Fifty-Five“.

Also, she has given me Words — inspiring words:

Family ~ Forever, For Always and No Matter What

Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes to us at midnight all clean and perfect and puts itself in our hands. And hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

In regards to ‘Lessons Learned’ from yesterday, the most important one can be expressed by a single word:

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

The purest definition of a ‘Rut’ — a grave, with the ends kicked out.

When we replay the past in our minds, over and over, a rut forms — a pattern of thinking. Really, those familiar grooves are the equivalent of a broken record — ’round and ’round the same track, while expecting new music. Does insanity come to mind?!

Music

A common theme in my Family is music — always has been, always will be.

It is the best way to convey messages for us to remember.

Better Get To Livin’ (Video)
Artist: Dolly Parton

People always comin’ up to me and askin’
“Dolly, what’s your secret?
With all you do, your attitude
Just seems to be so good
How do you keep it?”
Well I’m not the Dalai Lama, but I’ll try
To offer up a few words of advice

Chorus:

You better get to livin’, givin’
Don’t forget to throw in a little forgivin’
And lovin’ on the way
You better get to knowin’, showin’
A little bit more concerned about where you’re goin’
Just a word unto the wise
You better get to livin’

A girlfriend came to my house
Started cryin’ on my shoulder Sunday evening
She was spinnin’ such a sad tale
I could not believe the yarn that she was weavin’
So negative the words she had to say
I said if I had a violin I’d play

I said you’d better get to livin’, givin’
Be willing and forgivin’
Cause all healing has to start with you
You better stop whining, pining
Get your dreams in line
And then just shine, design, refine
Until they come true
And you better get to livin’

Your life’s a wreck, your house is mess
And your wardrobe way outdated
All your plans just keep on falling through
Overweight and under paid, under appreciated
I’m no guru, but I’ll tell you
This I know is true

You better get to livin’, givin’
A little more thought about bein’
A little more willin’ to make a better way
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Keep your chin up
Just hang tough
And if it gets too rough
Fall on your knees and pray
And do that every day
Then you’ll get to livin’

The day we’re born we start to die
Don’t waste one minute of this life
Get to livin’
Share your dreams and share your laughter
Make some points for the great hereafter

Better start carin’
Better start sharin’
Better start tryin’
Better start smiling
And you better get to livin’

When we do it right, the livin’ that Dolly encourages is more like playing, than working. Although, as with all things in Life, there is a fine line. On the one hand, we must acknowledge this is serious business. Because, at the end of our Play, all of the props go back in the box. On the other hand, we learn the most when we are playing and having fun.

The Point

And, that, my friend, is the point — We are to learn, grow, care, share, and love.

There’s a story about a southern farmer who goes out into his field early one morning to catch his mule for the day’s work ahead. To his dismay that mule was nowhere in sight. As the farmer headed back to the house, he passed an old, abandoned, hand-dug well. Sure enough. At the bottom of that well was Clyde.

Since the farmer was poor, he had no money to hire the necessary equipment to lift that much weight, from that far down. He was rich in friends, though. So he asked his neighbors to bring their shovels. As sad as it was to lose Clyde, the right thing to do was to fill in that deathtrap.

From the mounds of dirt excavated when the well was originally dug, the farmers began the serious business of burying Clyde and making sure nothing else was ever harmed by the long ignored danger of a pit.

Making the best of a bad situation, they shoveled quickly. As they were finishing up their work and upon hearing something, they paused to look up. To their amazement, they watched Clyde jump out of the well.

You see, while they were shoveling dirt down the hole onto Clyde’s back, he simply shook it off and stepped up.

The gifts from Ryan and Lindsey are much more than plaques and bronzes, They are the evidence of their success in ‘shaking it off and stepping up‘. Through no fault of theirs, they have experienced The Pit and the Bad Hands of cards dealt to them.

With courage, poise, determination, and grace, they have chosen to shake it off and step up — time and time, again. Consequently, the bull and bouquet speak volumes about their character.

A Chosen Effort

From the mouths of babes and the examples of our young people, we learn to — Preserve a childlike sweetness and innocence, while growing out of our childishness.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

One thing I have, always, understood — Family and Work are the two legs carrying me across the stages of life.

I believe purpose in life is discovered by acknowledging a power greater than ourselves. As a result, accomplishment is possible by being a conduit for timeless and priceless gifts.

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

Let’s get to livin’!

In The Game

There is only one way to, really, learn anything — and, that is: hands-on.

It is impossible for the mind to forget what the hands have learned.

Why, then, do we believe someone else has the answers to our questions? And, why do we defer our good judgment to others?

We Are Unique

No one else has our combination of Heredity and Environment. Only we, individually, can encourage our growth.

To do that, it is imperative we get — and, stay — in the game.

Do you know the difference between an Amateur and a Professional? Well, the Amateur practices until they can do something right — the Professional practices until it is impossible for them to do anything wrong.

In fact, the Professional, always, practices. Why?

Amateur vs. Professional

1.) Talk is cheap. Knowing something and doing it are two, entirely, different approaches. Those who can: practice — those who can’t: preach. Those who spin their stories of yesterday will be left in the dust of those who are getting it done, today. What got us here will not take us to where we need to go. The principle is, “A little less talk and a lot more action.” Amateurs will tell you how to do something — Professionals will show you.

2.) No pain — No gain. Easy is hard — Hard is easy. Shortcuts are the surest way to oblivion. There is an order to the Universe. It is obvious when we acknowledge that every worthwhile endeavor begins with a rock-solid foundation. The beginning of every construction project is ugly — it starts with an excavation, a hole in the ground. It requires a whole lot of digging and pounding. Amateurs want the glory of a finish — Professionals seek to serve from beginning to end.

3.) Pink elephants are absurd. Any single negative in an equation forces a negative result. When told, “Don’t think about pink elephants,” what do we do? Bad habits die hard. They don’t go of their own volition — a stake must be driven through the heart of the beast. That stake is sustained, positive, decisive, and committed actions toward the new desire. Mastery of the self is an artistic expression. Amateurs are tethered to the past — Professionals use that vine to swing into the future.

Those who claim to know it all — and, therefore, take it upon themselves to think that they know what is best for us — are dangerous. Arrogance and ignorance are a volatile combination. Regardless of what someone might know up to this present moment, there is always the opportunity to learn more. If… they stay in the game.

The Game

The game always changes. It is the only constant in life. Those on the sidelines are stuck — frozen in that moment of time — when they chose to stop there. Those on the court continue to learn, to get better, to improve, to innovate, and to grow as individuals and teammates. They do common things in uncommon ways — they take the scientific to an art form.

All, because of their love for the game — of Life!