Why and How

The secret to getting things done is to ask, “Who is going to do What by When?”

An even greater mystery to doing the right things is to know, “Why and How!”

There’s a story about a Montana rancher that goes something like this —

Post Turtle

A country doctor is suturing a cut on the hand of a Montana rancher.

Rancher: “At least this hurt comes from building something. Just imagine the pain of a post turtle.”

Doctor: “Oh? What is a post turtle?”

Rancher: “Well, 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!”

How often do we get stuck?

Pedestals, Ivory Towers, and White Horses

Do we ever consider: “Why?” Is it because we allowed someone to place us on a pedestal, in an ivory tower, or on a white horse? It’s one thing to work hard to earn our place in the world — it’s quite another to be placed somewhere. Even more dangerous than the physical geography is the mental fantasy. It can be our mind playing tricks on us — or, the imaginations of another person projected onto us.

From our earliest memories we are indoctrinated with the propaganda that, to be somebody, we must rise above. Movies, novels and childhood stories revolve around the themes of a princess in an ivory tower attracting the knight in shining armor who gallops in on his trusty white steed.

Joy Is In The Doing

What goes up must come down. Down to the reality that the greatest joys in life are found by serving — not swooning. Life is all about attitude — not altitude. Love is defined as giving — not getting. Let’s all get down, to the business and pleasure of accepting others for who they, really, are — not who we want them to be.

While the grandeur of heights is intoxicating, the grounded efforts of servants produce harvests of abundance. Those who are the greatest, purposefully, take the lowest rank. They are recognized as true leaders by their efforts to serve.

They are the ones who know Why they are here; How they got here; What they are doing here; and, Who have absolutely no fear of falling down. When they stumble, it is to learn a new lesson on their way to another opportunity — of service.

We The People

We The People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Request for Waiver of Penalty

Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 3:56 PM

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

Business Tax Division:

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

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

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

Thanks,

Kim

Give Me More Information

Tue, May 1, 2018 at 11:47 AM

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

Kim,

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

Kelly

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

Incredulous

Tue, May 1, 2018 at 6:26 PM

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

Kelly,

Really?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am amused.

Kim

Citizens Advocate Office

Wed, May 2, 2018 at 8:37 AM

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

Dear Ms. Foard:

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Tyler J. Campbell

Hopeful of Progress

Wed, May 2, 2018 at 10:19 AM

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

Tyler,

Thank you for your timely Response.

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

Best,

(Mr.) Kim

A Supervisor’s Comments

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 11:30 AM

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

Hello Mr. Foard,

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

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

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

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Rachael Milne, EA

The Plot Thickens

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 12:23 PM

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

Rachael,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best,

Kim

Finally

Mon, May 7, 2018 at 3:42 PM

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

Hello Mr. Foard,

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

Thank you,

Rachael Milne, EA

I Have Only Just Begun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts and prayers are not solutions. They are excuses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You’re right, “I want action.”

Conduits of Goodness

If you’re ever in need of a conversation starter, just look right into the eyes of another person and ask this question, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?”

One of two things is guaranteed to happen: Immediate animation, as the person begins to share that passion with you. Or, a deer-in-the-headlights look, with a really long, awkward, pause, as the individual painfully looks for a way to escape.

Escape from what — their own life?! All we want is to understand what makes them tick — that which empowers them to take a licking and keep on ticking.

Boundaries

Recently, I was the beneficiary of these questions from a young man:

How do you set boundaries?

How do you keep your boundaries from being a box that you live in and one that keeps you from fulfilling your potential?

His questions, above, came several days after a conversation, which included me asking him the question, “What is the passion at the core of everything you do?” His response, “I do not know.”

Passion At The Core

Do you, know?

Can each of us answer these questions?

Why do I exist?

How can I make a difference in the lives of others?

What is the best way for delivering my value to the world?

For those who know (and, those who don’t) the answer is, “Become wonderful chunks of conduit — for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others.”

Wonderful Chunks Of Conduit

You know — conduit: a hollow tube for the transference and protection of something valuable.

Those without a connection to the source of goodness and void of a desire to share are, simply, an empty tube. In other words, they have no purpose and worthless boundaries. Tap on them and they ring hollow. Squeeze them and they collapse into a wrinkled mess.

Yet, imagine conduit connected to streams of living waters — bubbling, high-pressured, and dynamic at the source. At the destination are beneficiaries eagerly waiting to be served.

Service

Service — now, that’s a novel idea — Bended knee, Caring attitude, Humble heart, Patient spirit, Kind mind, Generous soul, and Helping hands. Yes, please.

So, it’s really quite simple to discover the Passion at the core.

Hint: It comes from the Source above.

As for boundaries, the secret is to say, “Yes, please,” to everything that makes us better conduits — and, “No, thanks,” to everything else.

In fact, we have complete freedom to manage our boundaries. Boundaries are, simply, the outside diameter dimensions of our conduit. Individually, we have the right and responsibility to expand them for the benefit of those in our sphere of influence.

In the physical realm of steel conduit, expansion requires cutting, grinding, torching, bending, and welding new pieces into what already exists, to make the core larger. In the emotional, mental, and spiritual realms, the process will feel about the same.

Living Streams

If we have a passion for what flows through us, we are constantly pushing at the boundaries of the Why, How, and What of our existence. In fact, we will be busily learning and growing to become, better, “Conduits — for the goodness from above to flow through us for the benefit of others.”

(Originally Published ~ January 28, 2012)

Inspirators

We are well past the Point of No Return and headed into uncharted territory. Literally, all of the graphs and maps of the past are of little value as we navigate into this new frontier of uncertainty and opportunity.

Beyond the time for leaders — this is a time for Inspirators.

Inspirators provide a breath of fresh air while inspiring the next bold Step, forward, to Success.

Each Day We Have A Choice

1.) Give in and give up to Resignation and Despair — or,

2.) Set a course of discovery with Fascination and Curiosity.

Break Down To Build Up

I ~ Ideas, beliefs, and thoughts are the very fuel for the engine of the Inspirator. Not just any old idea will do, either. An Inspirator will collect, process, and file the stories of others until they find one concept that can change the lives of many. They give the rest of their life to make a difference in the lives of many.

N ~ Novel approaches to old problems and new opportunities are the Trademarks of the Inspirator. They refuse to be bound by the insanity of doing the same old things to achieve the same old results. Inspirators break molds to create, heretofore, unknown beauty.

S ~ Singular focus on a target results in a laser-like power to melt away the distractions and objections standing between mediocrity and greatness. Although they are dogged in determination, Inspirators are flexible in philosophy. They adhere to the proven — right up to the moment of innovation.

P ~ Passion is at the core of every breath an Inspirator takes. They inhale the chaos contaminating their world and exhale solutions. First, they listen — then, they generously share in word and deed what is necessary to make a difference. Much more than a desire “To do and die,” theirs is a passion to “Live and guide.”

I ~ Inherent faith, hope, and love of a Power greater than themselves is the catalyst for every successful launch of new endeavors by the Inspirator. They accept the physician’s creed of primum non nocere, (first, to do no harm) as a reminder of physical limitations. Inspirators understand the Latin phrase is “a hallowed expression of hope, intention, humility, and recognition that human acts with good intentions may have unwanted consequences.”

R ~ Radiate one small speck of light and darkness is destroyed. Inspirators understand the premise — from the inside, out. They are conduits of goodness for the benefit of all. They purposefully manage their wake to ensure that the ripples from their actions lift others to the beaches of new opportunities.

A ~ A, B, C’s — always maintain an aura of excitement for the Inspirator. Those simple letters are a reminder of the importance of a strong foundation of Education. They are also the trinity for the Experience of building dynamic relationships. Attitude, Boundaries, and Commitment are the cornerstones of life — because, life is all about the people.

T ~ Teaching, coaching, and mentoring are the ways Inspirators transform the “Why” of their existence into the “How” of guiding others to “What” their students want and need. Theirs is not a one-way street of pompous dictation. Inspirators learn, grow and develop from the feedback, insight and creative challenges of other viewpoints.

O ~ Open to constructive criticism is the greatest attribute of an Inspirator. It will be one of the last character traits accepted and practiced. It is the difference between good and great. Inspirators find optimism is easy — acceptance of negatives is hard. No one enjoys receiving honest suggestions for improvement. Inspirators, eventually, accept the importance of understanding the real impact they have on others.

R ~ Releasing the past, letting go of hurts, and offering forgiveness brings the Inspirator to the present belief, “Right here, right now, it’s great to be alive.” They are enlightened, empowered, and encouraged to manage everything within their control for the express purpose of building bright futures for everyone within their sphere of influence.

S ~ Serving is a present tense — action — verb. It is what Inspirators do. While freely giving of their life in service, Inspirators are not doormats to be used and abused. They know and will defend to their last breath the Universal Principle — giving is the secret to receiving.

Fun Is In The Doing

Those claiming to be “leaders” are a dime-a-dozen. In fact, leadership has become nothing more than a synonym for narcissism. Listen to those touting themselves as leaders and you will hear a chorus of accolades about their own greatness. Pedestals are dangerous — for those on them and for those below.

In fact, life is not about the empires — empires come and go. Life is about the doing — and, the fun is in the doing. Actions speak louder than words and bright lights make, absolutely, no noise.

The difference between leaders and Inspirators is the difference between words and Deeds. Please, tune out the static shrill of self-professing leaders and follow the example of an Inspirator — to become one.

Your life and the lives of many will be positively changed to make a difference in this Universe — and, beyond!

(Originally published on April 9, 2011)