Category Archives: C&C

THE PRESIDENT’S LETTER – 2013 Edition – Volume 4, Number 1, January 20, 2014

It’s Sunday January 19th. In a half an hour, the New England Patriots will face the Denver Broncos in the AFC championship game, the winner heading off to Super Bowl XLVIII. Sue and KC (Kitty Cat) are sitting with me on the sofa as a Life-Time movie (I think they’re all pretty much the same) is on in the background. As a fire burns warmly in our pellet stove close by in the family room, the Vettes are tucked away quietly in hibernation as the chill in the air reminds me that we still have a while until Spring shows its face. With the holidays now behind us, as I have customarily done for several years now, I take a time out and attempt to put things into perspective and share with you my thoughts together with my travels over the last year. Frankly, I find writing therapeutic, much like after exercise, there’s a sense of peace and tranquility that always seems to follow. And so with iPad in hand, I begin my President’s Letter – 2013 Edition – hoping that you and your family had a great holiday filled with joy, goodwill, love and blessings.

As I approach each years President’s Letter, I initially do battle in my mind regarding what, if anything, I will write about, how I can make it better than last year, so on and so forth. Eventually, I realize that all I have to do is first relax, and second to sit in front of a key board, and then, almost magically, my thoughts find their way into sentences, which then make up paragraphs, until finally the letter comes to life. In doing so, I have so much fun intertwining the themes and bringing everything together for others to enjoy; it’s almost like figuring out a puzzle. Upon reflection, all of us have a bond which we may never even think about. Regardless, of our age, gender, race, sex, religion, political affiliation, nationality, etc., we are all traveling through life at an incredibly fast pace trying to make sense of the complicated world in which we all live. As much as technology has helped us progress, in certain aspects it seems at times that the text message or email wins out over the phone call, the hand written note, or sadly, even getting together face-to-face. As a society, are we all taking the easy way out when it comes to human interaction? All too often, it appears that we continue to go in a direction which has no return. In the final analysis, it’s a choice we all make. Let’s choose to walk the extra mile, make the phone call and write the hand written note. While we’re at it, we can also choose to treat others the way we would like to be treated, to always be our best, to show up in person for support of others whenever we can, and, to try to make a difference in the world, even if it’s a small one, whenever possible. Let’s not forget to choose to forgive, rather than get entangled wasting energy simply trying to prove a point winning the battle, while losing the war. Last but not least, let’s choose to win with honor, to dare to be different, to teach others what we have been so blessed to learn and most importantly, to believe that with God anything is possible.

So what about 2013? While January started out quietly, I put the finishing touches on the 2012 Edition https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/the-presidents-letter-2012-edition-volume-3-number-1-january-25-2013/ of my annual President’s Letter. It was coincidently the first year my President’s Letter went out electronically via email as well as being posted to my blog. Doing so enabled us to include “links” which when viewed on a computer or tablet, greatly facilitated electronic transfer to points of reference. And while this helped expedite the process, gone was the opportunity to write a personalized hand written note. Maybe I should be asking, “What do you prefer?” Last years President’s Letter had also been scaled back significantly as a result of writing throughout the year in my blog, “Carlozo’s Corner” http://www.carlozocompany.wordpress.com. Since its inaugural post October 11, 2011, through December 31, 2013, we’ve had 8,789 views, with 5,625 of them being in 2013 alone! It’s been great to share parables, “think outside the box” and utilize the power of social media to communicate to others my thoughts, principles and lessons of life. Together with Carlozo’s Corner, I frequently post inspirational themes and business points of interest on Twitter https://twitter.com/joethecpa and on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/pub/joseph-v-carlozo/28/71/4b6 while with Kelly and Joe Jr’s help, our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/carlozocpa presence has been significantly enhanced. When I look back and assess where we have come from in this arena, it brings a smile (actually a big smile) to my face. All these uses of social media started with simple thoughts which were transformed into the applications themselves. In many ways, it reminds me of the founding and growth of C & C.

Filmed in just 11 days in January 2012, The Joe We Know (TJWK) – Documentary Movie http://www.grandexperiment.org came to life from interviews of 70 former Penn State football players spanning 6 decades. This 57 minute film captures the essence of Coach Joe Paterno and his impact on the lives of these men who played for him. Filming took place (while Coach Paterno was still alive – he died 3 days after filming was wrapped up having never seen the tribute to him by his former players) in 5 cities on the East Coast; State College, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. I was the site host of The Baltimore shoot in addition to being an Associate Producer. It was a moving experience to say the least. Without the series of events leading up to Coach Paterno’s firing, it’s highly unlikely that the players in the film would have ever met one another. In making the film, they came together to stand up, and perhaps more importantly, stand together. On January 26, 2013, together with the Penn State Alumni, Baltimore Chapter led by Debby Rippey (the quintessential self-starter and leader), we brought TJWK to the greater Baltimore vicinity and a packed house in excess of 500 at the Beth El Congregation in Pikesville MD. Included in attendance were 28 former Penn State Football Players which included some more notable, that being Franco Harris, Lenny Moore (my childhood hero who I finally had the chance to meet), Steve Smear and Lydell Mitchell. It was a great night for all involved. Afterwards, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his death, I would write the blog “Dear Coach Paterno” https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/dear-coach-paterno-volume-3-number-2-january-27-2013/. The response was absolutely incredible, with the high mark of 2,179 views in just one day….if nothing else, it taught me when you have conviction, follow it. I would in turn send a copy of the letter to Sue Paterno, Joe’s widow, who graciously acknowledged the receipt thereof in a heartfelt handwritten note, another keepsake to pass down to future generations.

No matter how you look at it, Tax Season takes its toll. This past year was no exception. Deadlines, technical issues, weather challenges, sickness, and increased volume all make for hectic days and then weeks that go by so very quickly. I missed seeing Pop on a regular basis. In reviewing my notes I keep on my iPad, “Pop calls me with words of encouragement on 4/14/13 – he puts wind back in my sails – 2 more days and I’ll visit him”. The week following the end of Tax Season Sue and I headed off to Ocean City for a wonderful getaway to wind-down, take a deep breath, relax and put the last 3 months in perspective. Upon returning home, Pop just did not seem the same. Despite his condition, he always had a sparkle that without him even realizing it, put a spring in my step. This time was different. It had now been 5 years since he suffered the stroke which left him paralyzed on his right side. Where did the time go? He was tired and I didn’t want to acknowledge that it was getting close to his time to go be with The Lord. I wished I could take away his pain, his suffering. I wished I could put a smile on his face. There is no course in school, nor any training that prepares you for this time in your life. I knew it was time to let go. Sadly on the morning of May 20, we lost him. The emotions ripped through me like a bolt of lightning. Although I had been unofficially serving as head of our family for quite some time and I knew this day was coming, I was suddenly thrust into a time in my life that I had never given serious thought about. Everything was surreal. With the help of Sue, and her boss Charlie Evans, we planned a dignified service for family and friends at Evans Funeral Chapel in Forest Hill MD http://evansfuneralchapel.com/fh/home/home.cfm?&fh_id=10838.
I would go on to write an obituary, as well as deliver Pop’s eulogy. In doing so, while tears filled my eyes, I came to understand that it was was an important part of the grieving process. In thanking everyone I wrote:

Sometimes in life when there is so much to say, it is best said in a few short words. The outpouring of love and support by so many at such a difficult time as we grieved the loss of Pop, makes simply saying “thank you” insufficient. Whether you personally paid your respects, attended the service, traveled long and far or came from close by, dedicated a Mass, sent a lovely card or email, called to talk, sat quietly in the chapel, sent flowers or a gift which brightened our day, donated to a charity, we felt your presence and it gave us strength. Perhaps you spoke the kindest words, as any friend could say or you were not there at all and just thought of us that day. Whatever you did to console our hearts, meant more to us than you could ever know and we thank you so much, whatever the part; we are eternally grateful. ~~ The Family of Joseph R. Carlozo.

In my attempt to share with others, I would post the blog “REMEMBERING POP” https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/remembering-pop-volume-3-number-3-june-10-2013/ which brought together Pop’s obit I had written as well his eulogy I delivered. It says it all. I think of him everyday. He is and will always be with me. It was hard to let go, very hard. For Christmas, Sue gave me a money clip with his thumb print engraved on the surface; I was speechless – her gift was priceless.

Summertime couldn’t come fast enough. In keeping our annual tradition, Sue and I returned to Corvettes at Carlisle. It was, as usual, simply wonderful to see old friends, as well as meet new ones. Once again we both participated in the Downtown Carlisle Corvette Parade, a picture of which at is on C & C’s Facebook page. As always, we had a great time, and this year we got to see the new C7 (the 7th generation Corvette) live and in person. All I can say is, if you ever dreamed of owning a Corvette, you definitely want to check this one out! While not yet officially released at the time of Corvettes of Carlisle (last weekend of August) GM must have brought at least 15 examples for everyone to drool over. There were coupes, convertibles, red Vettes, blue ones, yellow, white, green, you name it, GM was not shy to show everyone what they had worked so hard on to bring to market. It was a great day not only for Corvette enthusiasts, but all “car nuts” so to speak.

As we turned the corner in September, it was time for the 40th reunion of my football team at Penn State. Sue and I would go up a day early and walk the campus, stopping at the creamery famous for its ice cream. The day was georgous. The campus more beautiful than I ever remember. We didn’t realize what we had “back in-the-day”. Jess and Nicole, along with Joe Jr. and his wife Emily joined us the next day for pre-game activities under the tailgate tent and then the game itself. That weekend 51 former Penn State football players (from 3 graduating classes) came together in celebration. Many of us had not seen each other in 40 years. It was like no time had passed. Recalling games, plays, crazy antics and knocking heads on the field of friendly strife with laughter and an occasional tear or two. The camaraderie that was born going back to 1970 while we were all young kids trying to become men had never left us. Amazingly, the axes to grind and disappointments that once existed were no longer important….we were all teammates. It was a special time, a special moment – it was good, no make that great!

At half-time the 1973 team, the very first team in college football history to go 12-0, was honored. And then, one of our own, John Cappelletti, winner of the 1973 Heisman Trophy, was bestowed the honor of having his number 22 retired, making it the first time in Penn State history where a player’s number was retired. As Penn State’s only Heisman winner, Cap’s honor was befitting. We were all so proud and gathered in celebration at a special ceremony later that evening at The Nittany Lion Inn. http://www.collegian.psu.edu/football/article_8b66c320-18eb-11e3-8299-0019bb30f31a.html

1973 Undefeated Team

Moving on from Penn State, in late October Sue would join me as we attended a 2-day MAP (Management of an Accounting Practice) seminar in Ft. Lauderdale FL. When the seminar wrapped, we headed west onto Interstate 75 – “Alligator Alley” to attend a 2-day McDonald’s Regional Operator Conference in Naples FL. Now I know why everyone loves Naples so much. If you have not been there, you must go. It is simply beautiful beyond description.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, I received an email from my younger (11 years) brother Lou who lives in Chicago; he asked for my help. As the oldest of 3 sons, one of the things I promised Pop before he passed was that I would look after my younger brothers. Even though they were both grown men, he always worried about them… always. Lou wanted to meet with me. Without hesitation, I told him to “come on down”. It was a great weekend that we would spend together. I would take him back to the house we lived in when he was born, and the one after that where we lived when our brother Tony was born as well. I would share with him things that he did not know about when he was a young kid. Lou was only 15 days old when President Kennedy was assassinated. We could no longer ask Mamooch and Pop, and as such, much of our family’s history rested with me to pass on. Lou allowed me to “coach” him and in doing so, something magical happened. We not only got to know one another all over again, but we both grew in the process. After we said good-bye that weekend, I would pen another blog THINKING FOR SUCCESS https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/thinking-for-success-volume-3-number-4-december-9-2013/ which, with his blessing, included an article that Lou wrote http://www.moneyunder30.com/my-thanksgiving-dish-to-you-give-thanks-for-everything-even-the-tough-stuff.

Please know the kids are all doing great! Jess continues working at Brown Advisory (a spinoff of Alex Brown & Sons) in Downtown Baltimore, while Nicole is a little more than half-way through a 2-year fellowship with the DNR in Annapolis. Joe Jr., who believe it or not, will be with C & C 4 years this coming May continues to learn and grow while his wife Emily made a successful move to the IMC/ICU at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air after spending 3 years at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. While Christmas is always special, this year for some reason, it seemed even more so as we crowded into our living room watching John Candy , a household favorite, in “Uncle Buck”. As much as we tried that night to find “Buck Russell’s Bowling Ball” on the internet, it seems to be a mystery. Any clues? Two days after Christmas, Sue, Jess, Nicole, Joe Jr. and I would make the trip up to State College PA to a sold-out house at The State Theatre to see the World Premier of 365 Days – The Film. http://www.365daysthefilm.com Whether you’re a Penn State fan or not, this movie hits home as what happened at Penn State could happen anywhere. Please see our Facebook page for pictures from both the World (12/27/13) and Baltimore (1/02/14) Premieres of 365 Days – A Year in Happy Valley.

Before closing, I can’t help but reflect back to 25 years ago when 2 guys who I didn’t know knocked at the front door of my home; they were starting a “Quick Lube” business and were referred to me by a gentleman by the name of Elmer Wingate, a former Baltimore Colt and University of MD football standout. It was November 1988 and we met at my dining room table. Keep in mind, although I was at a crossroad in my career, I was not officially in business, but for that moment in time, without even realizing it, the humble beginnings of what would eventually be known as Carlozo & Company, were being formed. There were no clients, no letterhead, no business cards, just a thought in my mind and a dream in my heart. A week or so later, I would have lunch with a dear family friend, Fred Kern, another University of MD football standout, asking him for some career guidance. What was obvious to Fred, was anything but obvious to me when he blurted out, “Joey, why don’t you just go out on your own?” – It was quite frankly like someone had hit me in the head. While Pop had on numerous occasions encouraged me for years to do this, more than anything Fred’s words stayed with me (sometimes we need to hear guidance from someone other than a parent) and in December 1988 what was unofficial, became official – I had hung up my shingle; I had become an entrepreneur. Jess, Nicole and Joe Jr. had just turned 2 years old in August. One of the very first things I did, before we even had any employees, was to write a Mission Statement. It’s purpose quite simply was to serve as a focus for the actions of the group of professionals I sought to assemble. It still, 25 years later remains intact, as relevant as ever and maybe even more so. From December 1988 through May 1989, I had operated the practice as a Sole Proprietor from the basement of my home; again very humble beginnings. On June 2, 1989 we incorporated and Carlozo & Company, P.A. came into existence. The following year we would move to the 3rd floor of the Kelly Building in Timonium sharing space with another CPA. Today we are totally autonomous occupying over 3,000 square feet in the same Kelly Building, but now in Suite 200. When I reflect back to 1989, Ronald Reagan was just finishing up his second term as President, George H. W. Bush (41) following closely in his footsteps. There was no professional football in Baltimore; that’s right no Ravens and in fact the Baltimore Colts had been gone for 5 years. In 1989 there was no Camden Yards; the Orioles still played at Memorial Stadium which was demolished in 2001. The World Trade Center stood tall and proud in New York, and believe it or not, Barack OBama was just 27 years old having recently entered Harvard Law School. It was a different world back then in so many aspects. The automotive world lived and died by what was The Big 3 – today GM, Ford and Chrysler are referred to as The Detroit 3. While the world has clearly changed, so has the accounting profession and along with it, so have we keeping pace with new laws, procedures, technology and systems while remaining true to our founding principles and good, sound fundamentals for success.

No one man or woman builds a business on their own. While the founder may have the vision, spirit and determination, and of course the money to make things possible, chances are good they had help along the way. C & C is no exception. While the nucleus of our firm remains strong and intact, a broad spectrum of employees, professional advisors, mentors, sub contractors and vendors, some of which who have come and gone along the way, helped make important contributions. To all, present and past, I remain most appreciative. The same can be said for clients. We have been and are truly blessed by a solid core of loyal clients who we are honored to provide professional services. Again, I remain truly appreciative. But frankly, the Unsung Hero behind the scenes is my wife Sue. Pop always referred to her as “the glue that holds us all together”. He was spot on. A great Stepmom to my kids (to this day they still call her “Miss Sue”), a caring Daughter-in-law to my parents when they were alive, a wonderful homemaker, a full-time professional (and a darn good one at that) who has her own career, she is one tough cookie! When I was down, and that happens to the best of us, she encouraged me. When self-doubt started to creep in, she would have no part of it. When it seemed like we couldn’t go on, challenged by repeated adversity “chopping our legs out from under us”, she helped me to get back up and in doing so taught me to walk by faith, and not by sight. It’s funny when I think of it now, we not only survived, we thrived. When I needed a friend to talk to who could look right through any rationalization on my part, she was there. That’s my girl; because of her, I came to grow as a man, a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend and a business owner. As I have said many times before, I am the luckiest guy in the world. I am so thankful to God for all my blessings.

While looking back to one’s roots is important in gaining perspective, as I look ahead I do so with the same spirit and determination and fire that I had in my belly back in 1989. As I write you, quietly behind the scenes, we are totally revamping our internal software systems so that we can service you, our clients, on a more timely and comprehensive basis. Our staff is working hard, very hard. My pledge to you is that we will not rest on our laurels. Quite simply, I will not accept mediocrity from any member of our team; that’s just not the way we do things here. In light of the ATRA (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) we must be proactive as the new law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama amounted to the largest single tax increase since 1941. While our challenges run a broad spectrum, in the final analysis, it is my job to lead us to the next generation. I enthusiastically accept that role with open arms, a smile on my face and the intestinal fortitude of a Roman Gladiator!

Well, Denver’s General Manager John Elway’s bet on Peyton Manning paid off big time as The Broncos handed the Patriots a bitter defeat. While Elway was 38 when he won his first Super Bowl, Manning will be 37 for Super XLVIII – maybe there’s something to be said for age, wisdom and maturity. In the meantime, the 49ers late game heroics attempting to get back to the Super Bowl again this year fell short, but boy was it close. While clearly disappointed, the 49ers, and their fans, can hold their heads high – they gave it their best! Oblivious to all, KC is asleep on the a chair; Sue and I are not far behind. Turns out I was wrong; I actually thought I didn’t have much to write about this year. It looks like I need to go back and review my blog THINKING FOR SUCCESS. If someone had told me back in 1989 that we’d be where we are today, I would have looked at them in disbelief; perhaps Law Student Obama may have said the same thing if someone had told him that he’d not only be President of The United States in 25 years, but that he’s be into his 2nd term as well. Yes, as proven time and time again, with God anything is possible. I witnessed Him as He worked through family, friends and people I didn’t even know in helping me build C & C from a thought in my mind, to where we are today; I am humbled and so very grateful for all our blessings. While we will continue to build on our social media presence, we will choose to stay focused on our founding principles and fundamentals that got us to where we are today. And while Pop is now with The Lord, his influence on me remains as strong as ever like a beacon of light for a ship out at sea. Keeping that in mind, thank you again for your loyalty, trust and confidence in us as your CPAs. Without you, there is no C & C. In closing, please know that as you travel through life, even as its pace intensifies and the world seems more comlex than ever, you are not alone; we are all together. Choose all the very best that life has in store. Also know I wish you and your families, good times, good news and goodwill for the New Year!!! I truly hope that we share many, many more years together in a mutually beneficial working relationship. May God bless you and your families. Have a great day!!!!

Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)

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THINKING FOR SUCCESS, Volume 3, Number 4, December 9, 2013

In the capacity of my career I am fortunate to be in a position to help others as they face various forms of adversity, challenges, difficult decisions, etc. While the facts and circumstances differ from situation to situation, finding a solution invariably follows a similar pattern in analyzing the problem, considering alternatives for action and in the final analysis, making a decision. Invariably, how one thinks to a large extent determines the final outcome. Sometimes, as crazy as it might seem, the eventual decision is unfortunately many times “chosen by default“, i.e., by not making a decision a decision is actually made. Let’s take a step back and see if we can better understand why this happens, even at times to the best us, and, perhaps more importantly, what we can do about it.

Choosing by default (CBD) ususally occurs without even realizing a decision has been made. Having counseled and coached numerous clients and staff over 35+ years, so much, in my opinion, starts from either lack of self-confidence and self-esteem, fear of making the wrong decision, incessant worry, etc. These arbitrary self assessments/mind sets are for the most part hogwash causing distortion and vacillation. Sadly, they are symptoms of an all too often ailment which goes undetected and misdiagnosed — I call it Shit-in-the-Head Disease” (SITHD). People who suffer from SITHD may appear quite normal on the surface, but in a quiet moment all alone they suffer, albeit unnecessarily. Surprisingly, those who suffer are many times quite talented and remarkably intelligent.

Let’s take a closer look at a real life example (names changed to protect the innocent) of how SITHD can rather routinely be the root cause of CBD. My friend Robert works for a well-respected firm, has a good job, receives competitive pay, yet hates his job. The fit (employee and company) is not the best and the time has come to move on; Robert is capable of much more. While Robert knows this, self-doubt has already stepped in, even though he is not only good at what he does, smart, hard-working, enthusiastic, but also truly well-liked by his fellow employees and superiors. He is nevertheless frozen, unable to make a decision regarding his future. He is “certain” he will fail even though the facts indicate otherwise. You might now be saying, WOW, this can’t be Joe, but yes Kemosahbee, it is. But the best part is, by not making a decision, Robert has in effect made a decision, he has CBD. Robert’s story is not unique. William, a very capable and successful business owner with an abundance of skill and ability, is unable to come to grips with the future direction of his company. He knows the answer, yet will do anything to avoid change and potential confrontation. He has, like many of his fellow business owners, CBD, and in doing so has become an ostrich with his head in the sand.

If you can identify with CBD and suffer from SITHD, take heart, there is hope. Remarkably, just like when Dorothy in The Wizzard of OZ discovered that she could have returned to Kansas at anytime by simply clicking her ruby slippers together, you too can rid yourself SITHD and thus put an end to CBD. First and foremost, you must acknowledge, and repeat over and over, that no one, and I mean no one, can control how you think except you. Keeping that in mind, let’s look at the following 15 Maxims to Successful Thinking:

MAXIM #1 – Many times in life the truth is irrelevant. DISCUSSION – The sooner you can recognize and accept this phenomenon, the sooner your response to adversity and unfair treatment will be much more controlled and appropriate regardless of the situation.

MAXIM #2 – The only thing we can do is our best: Do not prophesize negative outcomes. DISCUSSION – In other words, watch what you say as it has a surprising way of coming to fruition. If you’re going to say something, keep it positive.

MAXIM #3 – If you can’t be number 1, be number 2. When number 1 slips and falls –and they will — be ready to get in the game. DISCUSSION – Whether it be in sports, in the classroom, in business or life in general, if you find yourself number 2, make the most of it. After all, you are next in line to be number 1. While things may not be happening according to our self-imposed timetable, stay the course, think positive and do your best. Leave the timing to God.

MAXIM #4 – Count your blessings and build on them. DISCUSSION – You don’t have to wait for the Thanksgiving holiday to come around, or to be in church to count your blessings and give thanks. Give thanks everyday and in doing so, something magical happens.

MAXIM #5 – Nothing changes if nothing changes. DISCUSSION – This maxim is amazingly simply, yet so profound. We need to change a behavior in order to attain different results.

MAXIM #6 – Take a time out: We control what we think, what we say and what we do. No one else does. DISCUSSION – Sometimes in order to put things in proper perspective you just have to apply the brakes and take a deep breath.

MAXIM #7 – While many times our circumstances are beyond our control, you can always change your perspective. DISCUSSION – Life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we respond. Keeping the right perspective is crucial to our success.

MAXIM #8 – Walk by faith and not by sight. DISCUSSION – Faith is a higher level of belief. No obstacle is too great for faith. The opposite of faith is F-E-A-R. Fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real. With men it may be impossible, but with God all things are possible.

MAXIM #9 – Our circumstances must never change our attitude, but our attitude can change our circumstances. DISCUSSION – Regardless of what is happening around and/or to us, our efforts should never go into a slump.

MAXIM #10 – What is the answer if you don’t ask? NO, of course. DISCUSSION – Take those training wheels off and GO FOR IT!!!!! What do you have to lose?

MAXIM #11 – Fortune favors the bold–not the reckless. DISCUSSION – Dare to dream and believe in yourself having the courage of your convictions in moving forward.

MAXIM #12 – The competetion maybe bigger and stronger, the adversity you face may appear overwhelming, but always remember, David beat Goliath. DISCUSSION – Yes, he did and with just 5 small stones. Enough said.

MAXIM #13– It takes an adult to say I’m wrong”, “I’m sorry” and “I want to learn from my mistakes.” DISCUSSION – Just because one is an adult, it does not mean we are infallible. Be an adult and most importantly, be gracious and sincere in owning up to our mistakes of any kind.

MAXIM #14, – Focus on forgiveness of others – “As we forgive those who trespass against us”. DISCUSSION – Too many times in life we get consumed by anger, disrespect, slights, etc. Don’t give away your joy. Not only should we forgive others for their indiscretions, but we should take the higher road and pray for them. In doing so, the negative thoughts will remarkably dissipate.

MAXIM #15 – Be careful, very careful of letting your ego make your decisions and affect your thinking. DISCUSSION – There is a difference, a profound difference, between having a strong ego and having a big ego. In either case, always remember the acronym E.G.O., which stands for Edging God Out.

Take the 15 Maxims for Successful Thinking listed above and intertwine them into THE 11th COMMANDMENT – Thou shalt not piss, whine, moan or complain. DISCUSSION – More so than any one maxim, honoring this commandment will make the biggest difference in recovering from SITHD.

Does practicing the maxims discussed above together with The 11th commandment work, and perhaps even more importantly, do they cure SITHD as well as CBD? They do. Click here for real-life example and in this case the name has not been changed because he wanted me to share his story with you.

As our world has changed over the years and continues to do so at an incredibly fast pace, it is more important than ever that we hold true to principles, fundamentals, maxims and commandments that will stand the test of time. In doing so, we are honoring God. Adversity, challenges, and difficult decisions, will be here until the end of time. Whether you suffer from some form of SITHD or find yourself CBD, you can change your thinking and in doing so change your world. Bad habits are hard to break and SITHD is nothing more than a bad habit. Knowing that the law of learning is quite simply repetition (this is how we memorized our ABCs and multiplication tables) we can begin to change our thinking in a positive manner. Commit to memory The 15 Maxims of Successful Thinking together with The 11th Commandment and in doing so prepare yourself for a new world that you never knew existed. Just like Dorothy, all you have to do is click those ruby slippers; Thinking for Success is within your grasp and best of all, its’ entirely up to you!!!

Have a great day!!! May God Bless you!!!!

Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)

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THE PRESIDENT’s LETTER – 2012 Edition – Volume 3, Number 1, January 25, 2013

Its December 22nd – Sue is inside TARGET getting some last minute shopping done before we break for the holidays; I’m right outside in the car listening to Christmas music with what seems like 1,000 thoughts racing through my mind. Amidst the overcast sky there’s a chill in the air and the wind is blowing briskly as I watch parents with their young children walking in and out of the store. As I see happiness on their faces I can’t help but think of the horrific killing of 20 six and seven year old children at Sandy Hook Elementary School just the week prior. In so many ways what happen is worse than 9/11. I think of their families, the children who survived and the 6 teachers who died trying to save them and their classmates. I think of the brave parent Robbie Parker who lost his 6-year old daughter Emilee and with tears in his eyes offered not only his condolences to the shooters family, but his love and support to them as well. This tragedy is pure heartbreak and when taken into perspective makes whatever struggles we face personally and/or in business seem minuscule by comparison.  Like any adversity we face in our lives, our faith strengthens our resolve to move forward. Why does it take something so awful to shake our society and bring people together? Suddenly there are no democrats or republicans. Neither are there conservatives or liberals. You can’t distinguish between Protestants, Catholics, Jews or any other religion for that matter. Looking around and you can’t find whites, blacks, Latinos or Asians. Suddenly, we are all one even it is for a brief moment in time. We realize how fragile life is and bond with others regardless of their ages, race, religion, politics, gender, and however else society separates us. In the wake of Newtown, we are all parents with heartbreak. It’s times like this that we must all return to the basics giving thanks to God for all of our blessings. And with iPad in hand and a tear or two in my eyes, I begin my Presidents Letter for 2012 hoping that whatever holiday you celebrate, that you and your family had a great one filled with happiness, laughter and love.

It seems like it was just a blink of the eye and there we were starting Tax Season 2012. While each Tax Season is in and of itself unique, the inescapable common denominators are hard work combined with long hours sprinkled in with laughter, camaraderie and a “race to the finish line”. In the final analysis we prevailed, but clearly it was a hard fought battle which challenged us to the limit. In my blog – Carlozo’s Corner Volume 2, Number 2, May 21, 2012 – THE-LUCKIEST-GUY-IN-THE-WORLD-TAX-SEASON-2012-EPILOGUE – I would go on to write about it. https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/the-luckiest-guy-in-the-world-tax-season-2012-epilogue-volume-2-number-2-may-21-2012/.

In late January I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my college football coach, Joe Paterno. We had just finished the filming of THE JOE WE KNOW (TJWK) www.grandexperiment.org ; http://vimeo.com/37728569  which was meant to be a belated birthday surprise to him. Unfortunately, he never had the chance to see it as he died 3 days after filming wrapped. In just 12 days over 70 former players in 5 different cities (New York, Pittsburgh, State College, Philadelphia and Baltimore) were interviewed (40 minutes) with the end result a one-hour documentary film. During this time I would go on to meet players from six different decades, Subsequently, I wrote THE JOE I KNEW in my blog – Carlozo’s Corner Volume 2, Number 1, February 6, 2012. https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/the-joe-i-knew-volume-2-number-1-february-6-2012/. Amidst all of the media frenzy up until that point, and all that followed with the eventual issuing of The Freeh Report in July, I would not be surprised by judgments and/or opinions, nor would I be offended. First and foremost, the children here will never be forgotten. Still, as much as I read (and I have read a great deal on this matter) questions remained as there was no due process (a right each of us are entitled to) for Coach Paterno that I could see; in the final analysis the story as reported strongly indicated a rush to judgment. Keep in mind there was only a short period of time (approximately 2 1/2 months) from his firing as Penn State’s head coach until his death. Then it all came together when reading PATERNO by Joe Posnanski, a Christmas gift from son Joe and his wife Emily. While there was a myriad of politics beneath the surface, and for the most part unknown by the general public, it was nevertheless real. Still, I remained convinced that Coach Paterno wanted the truth to come out. Eventually, I strongly believe that the facts will support there was no cover up but rather a desire by the media to sensationalize a story. At his memorial, his son Jay led the gathering in a reading of Joe’s favorite prayer (The Lord’s Prayer) from way back in the day until his final game in October 30, 2011. It was recited after every game.  In Jay Paterno’s words, “He loved it – not so much for religious reasons but for the words. Look. The Lord’s Prayer uses the words “us” and “we” and “our”. It does not use the word “I” or “me” or “mine”. Paterno understood – It was a team prayer.”  At that point, it all came rushing back to me as 24 years ago I penned our Firm’s MISSION STATEMENT. On many occasions since then, I have been on record that the word “WE” is used seven times and you will not find the use of the words “I” “me” or “my”. Clearly, this didn’t happen by pure coincidence and without realizing it, I really didn’t think of these building blocks on my own – the principles and foundation of TEAM had been instilled many years prior without any notice or fanfare – it was a part of the Penn State football culture.

During our post tax season getaway to Myrtle Beach, Sue and I would drive north 3 1/2 hours to attend our daughter Nicole’s Graduation from Duke University’s Master Program in Environmental Management. We were so proud of Nicole and so happy to learn that in a short 3 months later she would relocate in Annapolis working through the MD Department of Natural Resources. Nicole had taken all of her God given talents and abilities and used them to her fullest extent. On reflecting on Nicole’s accomplishments, I would go on to write about it in my Blog Carlozo’s CornerGOOD ENOUGH. Volume 2, Number 3, July 5, 2013. https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/good-enough-volume-2-number-3-july-5-2012/

After returning home from Myrtle Beach, I would first volunteer time to give back joining up with a handful of former Penn State football players – you can read about it here:

http://rainn.org/news-room/12-year-old-raises-more-than-10000-for-RAINN#.UODZJ5aX6SU.twitter. From Washington DC, Sue and I would begin to get ready for our son Joe’s wedding to Emily just outside of Downingtown PA. It was a great day; afterwards, I would write about it in my Blog – Carlozo’s Corner Volume 2, Number 5, September 4, 2012 – A REFLECTION BACK, A LOOK AHEAD – AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/a-rflection-back-a-look-ahead-and-they-lived-happily-ever-after-volume-2-no-5-september-4-2012/

Sadly, as much as we had hoped and prayed for a miracle, Pop would not be able to attend as he remained bedridden; in April it will be 5 years. As we had entered tax season, he was hospitalized and released under hospice care, yet somehow 4 weeks later he miraculously began eating again. While it admittedly gets harder to visit him and see his pain, his refusal to quit borders on the unbelievable and his strength finds its way to my heart and soul. He will always be with me.

Corvettes at Carlisle  http://www.carsatcarlisle.com/events/corvettes/ was much quieter this year Sue and I were on our own as Joe and Emily were away on their honeymoon and Jessica was not able to make it. Still, there’s nothing quite like getting to the fairgrounds around 7:00 A.M. and feeling the peacefulness of the moment as the Vettes from all generations slowly start to find their way in. The weather was outstanding and the parade in downtown Carlisle was simply awesome. If you have never been to Corvettes at Carlisle I again encourage you to plan a day to just walk around and have fun. As the 2013 – 60th anniversary Vette was introduced, the word was mum on the C7 (the 7th generation Corvette) which was introduced at the North American International Auto Show (commonly referred to as The Detroit Auto Show) on January 13, 2013. All I can say is this car is awesome!!!!! http://www.chevrolet.com/new-2014-corvette. The timing couldn’t be better as word has it that the federal government is about to sell its shareholdings of GM stock within the next 12 to 15 months – YEAH!!! http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/12/19/gm-stock-treasury-buyback/1779191/. Speaking of The Detroit Auto Show, Sue and I had joined a group of Vette enthusiasts in January 2004 when the C6 was introduced as a 2005 model. It was a memorable event and helped us to better understand how special an upscale car show could be. If you ever have the chance to go – do it!!!!

As we turned the corner in fall, all of us were faced with a hard fought presidential election. Regardless of your political affiliation, the discord in Washington combined with the budget deficits are disconcerting to say the least. Reflecting on the right to vote, I penned a blog Carlozo’s Corner Volume 2, Number 6, September 10, 2012 – EVERY DAY IS ELECTION DAY https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/every-day-is-election-day-volume-2-no-6-september-10-2012. Just before the election, a bunch of us in the office joined in walking in The Race For The Cure. It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Hunt Valley in which we joined together as a TEAM on a different field. http://www.carlozo.com/Our-Company/In-the-Community/

When the kids were growing up, annual trips to Hershey were always on the agenda. We have so many fond memories of Hershey Park, Chocolate World and spending the nights in “The Sweetest Place on Earth”. To celebrate my 60th (can you believe it) birthday this year, Sue suggested that just the 2 of us spend the weekend at The Hershey Lodge. It was a great idea and I should have realized that she had a something up her sleeve when the next Saturday morning, Jess, Nicole and Joe and his new wife Emily surprised me at Chocolate World. It just doesn’t get any better as we would spend the rest of the day together as a family. While we were all older, it really didn’t matter; it was a memory that would last forever.

Whenever I see our group at work do things together as a team, it always brings a smile to my face. This December Tina and Kelly had had come up with the idea of decorating and donating a Christmas tree for the benefit of the Kennedy Krieger Institute Festival of Trees. Using a McDonald’s theme, local Owner/Operators Tom and Jean Hayden were so kind and generous to donate a vast array of decorations. Besides working together, the sale of our tree raised over $300 for Kennedy Kreiger. http://www.carlozo.com/Our-Company/In-the-Community/

As many of you know, I very much enjoy writing. I find it relaxing and very much therapeutic. It is my small attempt to inspire others and make a difference in the complicated world in which we all live. During 2012 I continued the tradition started in 2011 and in addition to the Blogs mentioned above, I continued on writing on a variety of topics:

IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR WORLD – Volume 2, Number 4, July 23, 2012 https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/if-you-want-to-change-your-world-volume-2-number-4-july-23-2012/

GO AHEAD – MAKE MY DAY – Volume 2, Number 7, October 5, 2012 https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/go-ahead-make-my-day-volume-2-number-7-october-5-2012/

WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR – volume 2, Number 8, November 23, 2012 https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/what-do-you-see-when-you-look-in-the-mirror-volume-2-number-8-november-23-2012/

In signing off, please take this time to remember the victims and their families of Newtown. Let’s all work together in making the world in which we live a better place for everyone. If we can as human beings stop bickering, maybe we can set an example for those in Washington who represent us. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to bring us together as a nation; we are all children of God. Life is so fast-paced, make time to smell the roses and share our time unselfishly with others. Along the way be kind to everyone you meet and remember that it doesn’t take a whole lot to make someone’s day www.justbenice.com. You can change your world if you are ready to change your words and change your thoughts. “Bad thinking” is nothing more than a “bad habit” – reverse the process. “The Law of Learning” is simply “repetition” so get into the “good habit” of practicing “The Most Important Voice You Hear is Your Own” making certain that you are broadcasting positive thoughts of faith, hope and love. If you are not listening to the right radio station make a slight adjustment and tune into WJOE broadcasting live 24/7 from greater downtown Timonium. I’ll be there cheering you on. Keeping that in mind, I wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2013!!!

Have a GREAT day!!!! May God Bless you and your families!!!!

Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF MAC – Volume 1, Number 12, December 28, 2011

Just prior to Kelly’s (our Office Manager) return, my wife Sue and I took our traditional after tax season get away deciding to again head back to that little gem on the Eastern Shore, Ocean City, MD. Staring out at the ocean, walking on the boardwalk, talking to one another, taking time to reflect resulted in a new vision not only for Carlozo & Company (C & C), but for me as well. I knew I must face the truth head on – there was no getting around it. Even though many years removed, as a former trained athlete, I all too well knew the discipline required to get my body in “playing shape”. While “game days” were the very best, memories of practice and pushing my body in condition were quite frankly, not pleasant. Now some 37 years later, it would take a serious commitment, but it was more than just exercising, I would need to “take time for myself” as well as “take time away from the office”. Never before, in the history of C & C, had I even considered such an undertaking. As unbelievable as it might seem, even though I owned my own business, I had often thought to myself, how can I do that? Regardless, the time had come for action, and so in late May around lunchtime, I quietly wandered over to The Maryland Athletic Club (The MAC) which was only a few blocks from our office in Timonium, signed myself up and hired a personal trainer (PT). I had no idea what to expect, how my body would react, how the work at the office would get done, but it was time to “damn the torpedoes” and “move full speed ahead”.

As I showed up for my first training session, I purposely arrived early. Like a kid in a candy store, I stared up and down at the basketball court finding myself mesmerized. I decided “what the heck” and went out and started bouncing the ball around taking shots from around the key – I was having a ball. How could I do this when I had work to do around the office? How could I make this commitment? What I had I gotten myself into? Surely, I thought, the other members were going to laugh at me not being able to do what once came easily. Maybe it was last minute jitters, but before I knew it, the time had arrived to start personal training. Then, in walked all 5′ 5″ of Erin Olsen. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she was full of spirit and enthusiasm and a burning desire to help me accomplish my goals – personal training was her calling and she was good at it, very good. She would push me until my muscles hurt (actually burn) challenge me to get better, and not put up with any rationalization on my part. She was on a mission — and it was exactly what I needed. I had finally realized, and came to accept, that I either couldn’t or wouldn’t do it on my own and that was O.K. About a month into my training one of the newly hired PT’s, Erick Baier, began “shadowing” with us. While Erin and Erick are both excellent PT’s, what impressed me most is what fine young adults they are – The MAC should be proud, very proud. When I sat back and thought about it, the cost of the membership dues and personal training wasn’t an expense at all – it was an investment in myself. As the weeks went by and the extra pounds slowly began to peel away, as my muscles got firmer and my conditioning improved, I began to realize that The MAC was really just a little city in and of itself. I met other members, without even trying. I came to know the other PTs and it was always great to see them. It was beyond my wildest dreams and then some.

(Left to Right – Erin Olsen, a tired me, Erick Baier)

The “MAC Experience” doesn’t show up in an advertisement, in a sales brochure, a fitness club review or even in a GOOGLE search for that matter. I was having a great time, and yes, miraculously the work got done back at the office. While I still have a long way to go, I understand that it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish, so I will keep plugging, and plugging and plugging. As a side note, when I glance around The MAC and see all the members working so hard to get/stay in shape and then consider all the health and obesity problems in our society (Marylanders today have a combined obesity and overweight rate of 64.1%, diabetes rate of 9.1% and hypertension rate of 28.2%) it’s a shame that health club dues/personal training fees fall outside the realm of a tax deductible IRS expense. Yet, buying a hybrid and/or electric car can result in substantial tax credits and who can forget the economic stimulus called “cash for clunkers”. Enough said.

If you had wanted for years to get yourself in shape, but always seem to have an excuse, then this MAC for is for you. Don’t wait 37 years. Don’t wait 37 months. Don’t wait 37 weeks. Don’t wait 37 days. Don’t wait 37 hours. Don’t even wait 37 minutes!!! Make up your mind to take action now and don’t feel bad if you cannot alone summons up the discipline to do it on your own; if I can do it, you can too. I can attest to the results and how much better you will feel, and yes, the work will get done.

 Have a Great Day!!!! May God Bless You!!!

 

Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)

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WHY I BECAME AN ACCOUNTANT – Volume 1, Number 11, December 27, 2011

From time-to-time people ask me why I became an accountant. For the most part, I think there is a general assumption that it has something to do with liking to work with and/or being good with numbers. While this is true, it only begins to “scratch the surface” given that more than anything I believe it’s a calling — it’s not what you might think. Most times my job relates to helping others with accounting, tax and business analysis issues, but frequently that help transcends from one human being reaching out to another at a time of need. Every morning when I rise I look forward to coming to work with a spirit and enthusiasm which I can only describe as “a fire in my belly”. I see clients in good times at their very best, and I see them in bad circumstances when they would rather not be seen. I see their successes and cheer them on, and I see their failures as I try to be there to help pick them up when they fall. Once you become a practicing CPA, you quickly realize that offering consolation and showing compassion are traits they don’t teach you in earning your accounting degree and/or passing the CPA exam — it’s strictly on-the-job training. In my travels I have witnessed clients become prosperous from their hard work while taking on measured risk, and on the flip side watched helplessly as they have fallen on hard times. Whether a client experiences good fortune or misfortune, I watch carefully as they both measure the character of the man as they react to whatever life throws their way. Whenever possible, you constantly encourage a change in perspective to help them turn things around….after all, we shouldn’t let our circumstances dictate our thoughts and attitudes. Many times I have been there through family issues, medical crisis, life and death events, marriage and divorce, graduations, and the transferring of the torch from one generation to the next. On occasion, we serve the role of the “Red Cross” as we take out the dead bodies from a partnership dissolution. In many-ways the role becomes selfless – we are there for our clients, even though we have our own challenges, issues and life “outside the office”. Consequently, a practicing CPA must always be careful to guard against “burning out”. Just being smart or analytical may get you a new client and an engagement, but you won’t get you very far. You have to sincerely care about others (from your heart) and demonstrate that care day-in day-out with service makes your client realize even though you’ve earned their trust and confidence, you refuse to rest on your laurels. Sometimes you’re a father, a priest/minister/rabbi, a friend, a coach, a psychologist, or a mentor. Regardless of the role you assume, more often than you’d like, you have to tell others things they don’t want to hear. You are the messenger who sometimes gets shot; who many times preaches to the choir, but who most always is looked to as a voice of reason. One day you’re involved in marketing, the next day, research, all along while trying to profitably run your own business making certain that you’ll be there next week when the phone rings. Despite having to fill so many different roles, you cannot forget who you are as a person; if you lose your humanity you fail your clients, your team and yourself. Too much is made about whether your client owes tax or gets a refund when the focus should instead be on the “effective” tax rate paid. It’s a fascinatingly profession and although it has changed dramatically over the last 34 years when I began practicing, if I had to do it all over again, I’d do it in a heartbeat. While doctors, lawyers and even funeral directors have graced the television airwaves, the image frozen in our minds of the accountant with a visor burning the midnight oil stays with us and just maybe it’s for the best; if it helps others, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I became an accountant to help others pursue their goals and in doing so I honored God by making the most of the talents and skills which were gifted to me.

Hopefully you have already found your calling. If you have, to a large extent, whatever you do for a living won’t seem like work at all. Your heart and soul will overshadow any long hours and/or effort required. If you enter the CPA profession, even “Tax Season” will become “all in a day’s work”. If you have not been so fortunate, take heart and summon the strength from within to follow your passion and dare to dream, but do so with open eyes; human nature has proven many times over, that we have a strange way of following ourselves around. In other words, the same problems and frustrations tend to go hand-in-hand with the same common denominator – ourselves. The key, as I see it, is being truthful with yourself. If you can do that with a peaceful heart, you will find your way. While it’s great to do what we like, it’s even better to like what we do.

 

Have a Great day!!!! May God Bless You!!!

 

Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)

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WELCOME TO CARLOZO’S CORNER – A Blog by Joseph V. Carlozo


Here is some information about my company:

CARLOZO & COMPANY is a Baltimore-based CPA firm whose primary goal is to build the personal net worth of its clientele. WE tenaciously pursue our mission by constantly striving to minimize tax liabilities, in conjunction with providing constructive financial recommendations and management consulting advice. In all aspects involving product and service, CARLOZO & COMPANY’s mandate is simply superior excellence must be a rule, rather than an exception.

CARLOZO & COMPANY is enthusiastically committed to increasing our corporate clients’ profit, and equally dedicated to helping management motivate their work force to its full potential through an emphasis on effective policy, procedure and human relations. WE are more than “number crunchers”, and take great pride in creatively approaching “the big picture” for all of our clients.

The foundation of CARLOZO & COMPANY is built on solid fundamentals, discipline and the genuine care and concern for the personal well-being of clients and associates alike. WE believe in a coordinated team approach to problem solving and goal attainment, and continuously emphasize meaningful, two-way communication in the pursuit of all tasks.

CARLOZO & COMPANY seeks mutually beneficial relationships with our clients, as well as our associates, and faithfully practices respect for the individual as a premise for all our policies and actions. WE are a bonafide people-oriented firm which encourages all members of our team to “reach beyond their grasp” and “be the best they can be”, for the benefit of our clients, our firm, and each individuals’ personal and professional development.

WE believe in our mission … WE are different … WE are CARLOZO & COMPANY.

Our office is located on:

20 East Timonium Road

KellyBuilding,Suite 200

Timonium, MD 21093

410-561-5028


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