Tag Archives: Accounting

THE PRESIDENT’S LETTER – 2014 Edition – Volume 5, Number 1, January 31, 2015

The year was 1989; it truly seems like yesterday. For certain, back then, it was a much different world in so many ways. Whatever your age today, subtract 25 from it and think back to how old you were at that time. Perhaps you can even find a picture of yourself from “back in the day.” Look into your eyes and try to remember this chapter in your life, how you felt, your thoughts, your dreams, your passions, your fears and insecurities, your innocence. It was at this time I faced a crossroad in my career and after much thought and counsel decided to move forward in a new direction. Pop had always taught me that “fortune favors the bold, not the reckless.” I had thought about this moment for many years. After all, without a dream, how can a dream come true? As so with a fire in my belly and passion in my heart I had crossed the imaginary line into entrepreneurship and never looked back, at least until now, as in 2014 we celebrated the 25th anniversary of C & C’s founding. While it was a special moment for celebration which made me very proud, it was even more so another opportunity to thank God for all my blessings. Our anniversary filled me with thoughts and feelings that I can only begin to comprehend. And so, as I have done for quite some time I wanted to take a time out and share this moment with you together with my travels over the last year. Keeping that in mind, with iPad in hand, I begin my Presidents Letter for 2014 hoping you and your family had a great holiday filled with joy, goodwill, love and blessings.

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Designed and created by Diane and Jim Everse of CarArtWorks in Louisville KY, a picture of our stainless steel sign commemorating our 25th anniversary as hung in our reception area.

Any way you look at it, 25 years is a long time. Today when I reflect back I can’t help but think “Where did the time go?” Along the way, the kids grew up, and oh boy did they! My hair turned a little gray, well maybe more than a little. But something else happened, the dream in my heart came true as slowly but surely over the years we assembled a group of dedicated professionals, a special team with a calling for service to help their fellow man. Whenever I’m having a tough day and adversity is staring me in the face, I thank God for all my blessings and suddenly the storm around me subsides and peace fills the air. In the last 25 years I’ve found that as complicated things could be at times, that first, you can always change your perspective, and second, if you really want to change your world, then change your words and stand back and watch in amazement. This one-two punch of staying positive is critical to anyone’s success yet costs absolutely nothing and is within the grasp of each of us.

From 1989 – (L – R) Nicole, Joe Jr., Jessica with Me in the back

From 1989 – (L – R) Nicole, Joe Jr., Jessica with Me in the back

Twenty-five years ago I do not recall having the patience, the compassion, the maturity or the wisdom to look at life the same way as I do today. Come to think of it, did any of us? Maybe that’s where all the gray hairs came from.  In the book he co-authored, “The 7 Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life” noted psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow, states that “more than any one thing, you must be truthful with yourself; It is never too late to turn and face the real story of how you became who you are in this world in order to rid yourself of any emotional or behavioral patterns, especially unconscious ones, that are undermining your possibilities.” Having the courage look inside and in turn learn and grow is critical in reaching one’s full potential. In our case, slowly but surely, the stumbling blocks from 25 years ago became stepping stones. With a steadfast persistence and determination, combined with faith (believing without seeing) dreams can become reality without even realizing that anything had changed; sometimes you have to look back to see how far you’ve come rather than look too far ahead.

In a strange sense I can’t help but feel that Dr. Ablow’s words of wisdom parallel what Wilfred A. Peterson describes in his book, “The Art of Living”. Peterson writes that “happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you, but on what happens inside of you; it is measured by the spirit in which you meet the problems of life. Happiness is a state of mind.”  Peterson and Ablow aside, Lincoln once said: “We are happy as we make up our mind to be. Happiness doesn’t come from doing what we like to do, but from liking what we have to do. Happiness comes from putting our hearts in our work and doing it with joy and enthusiasm. Happiness grows out of harmonious relationships with others based on attitudes of good will, tolerance, understanding and love. The master secret of happiness is to meet the challenge of each new day with the serene faith that “all things work together for those that love God.” I think Lincoln could have co-authored our Mission Statement as well! Surely he “hit the nail on the head” and his insight helps to explain our resilience even in the most difficult times.

Being truthful with ourselves and happiness aside, the one “common denominator” in 25 years is undoubtedly “tax season”. Is it a “grind?” Sure it is, but it’s also brings out the best of any true professional. You must “rise to the occasion” not falling victim to mediocrity. You must be unselfish, care about others and have pride to do the best of your God given talents and abilities even when you’re not feeling your best and regardless of the weather conditions which affect everyone. You must be a messenger who many times gets shot, but who is often looked to as a voice of reason. Twenty-five years later I can tell you without any reservation what-so-ever that I if I had to do it all over again, I’d choose the same profession in a heartbeat. Still when April 16th arrives nobody here is happier to kick back and enjoy some good old-fashioned rest and relaxation. This year Sue and I got away to Myrtle Beach SC. The warmth of the sun combined with the beauty of the ocean are priceless. It was a great time; again I counted my blessings. Shortly after returning home, we came upon the one-year anniversary of Pop’s passing. While I miss him, there’s no question that his spirit and determination continues on within me.

While each passing year seems to go by faster and faster, this year we were challenged with an even heavier load learning about the ACA (Affordable Care Act), an internal change to a new practice management software package, continued uncertainty about major tax legislation (which eventually passed in late December), etc. Fortunately there are those days sprinkled here and there to catch an Oriole game – it was a great season which produced many fond memories for a lifetime. While our O’s fell short losing to the KC Royals in the AL Championship Series, they could nevertheless hold their heads high with all the adversity they not only faced, but for the most part, overcame. As Buck Showalter often says, “our efforts should never go into a slump”; it seems that applies to everyday life, to business as well as any sports team. Speaking of the O’s, Hall of Famer’s Cal Ripken’s commercial for PNC Bank really caught my attention this summer with a profound statement, “When you play together as a team, as one, work hard and respect one another, great things happen.” With those words, Cal joined Lincoln as another potential co-author of our Mission Statement.

AL Championship Series at Camden Yards(L-R) Joe Jr, Jess, Me, Sue

Before we knew it, the time had arrived in late August for Corvettes at Carlisle. This year we went up Wednesday afternoon (a day early) and it was so much more relaxed. Joe and Emily joined us on Friday night. As we always do, we had a great time with the parade through the streets of Carlisle as the highlight; it’s truly something special to see and even more special to drive in it. It’s not unusual for friends and even clients ask me about the new C7 Corvette Stingray and when I’m getting one. As much as I love cars, and especially Vettes, the best kind of car has been and always will be one that’s paid for! Again, I count my blessings.

From the driver’s seat of my Vette as the staging for the parade comes together

From the driver’s seat of my Vette as the staging for the parade comes together

Returning from Carlisle is typically challenging with the tax extension deadlines for businesses (9/15) followed closely by the individuals (10/15). When I think of it, this is actually the official end of tax season. Around this time, we all begin to focus on getting in our 40 hours for our CPE (Continuing Professional Education) before year end. Throw in the holidays, tax planning and administrative tasks and before you know it it’s time to do it all over again. As I have told the staff on numerous occasions, being busy is a great problem; when the phone stops ringing then you’re in trouble.

As we closed the book on 2013 tax returns October 15th, I was fortunate to be part of a very special reunion. As many of you know, Sue, Sharon Cody and I all worked together many years ago at the firm of Coyne & McClean Chartered (C & M). Founded on July 1, 1977 C & M had a great run until May 31, 1999 at which time it merged into the national firm of Clifton Gunderson. During its 22-years in business C & M grew to a high of approximately 50 professionals and administrative staff. On October 21, 2014 C & M had a reunion at Michael’s Restaurant here in Timonium with 37 attendees spanning 3 decades. Sharon did an outstanding job organizing the event. It was a wonderful night where we all came together to share stories of “back in the day” as well as catch up with where our life’s journeys had taken us. The success stories in the room were simply incredible yet everyone kept their humility along the way. Capped off by a special tribute to founding partner Bill Berndt, we were all reminded that those who paid the price before us and laid the groundwork for others to build on should never be forgotten. Enjoy the pictures posted on our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.982655961759831.1073741841.126814634010639&type=1

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Just a few short weeks after the C & M reunion, it was time for another birthday – mine. Daughter Jessica always shows incredible enthusiasm when it comes to returning to places we went to when she was a child. So Jess, Nicole, Joe. Jr. and his wife Emily piled into the Tahoe with me and Sue and we were off to 1st stop Gettysburg PA, sight of the historic battle from The Civil War and, speaking of Lincoln, the legendary Gettysburg Address. I vividly remember the very first time I visited Gettysburg; it was 1963 and I was just 9 years old and I was with Pop. Thinking back, 1963 was only 100 years after the battle; it wasn’t that many years before that thousands of soldiers came there to fight brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. The last time we were in Gettysburg with the kids, they were 11 years old; it remains etched in my mind forever. This trip was equally memorable. As we toured the battlefields and The Gettysburg Cyclorama it was so good, no, make that great, to be together. Back in the Tahoe we then headed to our 2nd stop, The Sweetest Place on Earth – Hershey and our traditional ride at Chocolate World and family picture at the end….priceless memories. Speaking of the kids, they are all doing well. Jessica continues to do a great job at Brown Advisory while in the fall Nicole finished up her 2-year fellowship at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in Annapolis and was offered a full-time position; we were all so excited for her. Joe Jr. (in-charge of our IT) and his wife Emily (a RN at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air) are also doing great. It’s hard to believe it’s coming up on 5 years since they moved back from NC. We feel so blessed to have all the kids relatively close by.

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On top of Little Round Top in Gettysburg 2014 – (L – R) Emily, Joe, Jr., Nicole, Sue, Jessica and Me

From 1997 - Last time in Gettysburg (L – R) Jessica, Joe Jr., and Nicole

From 1997 – Last time in Gettysburg (L – R) Jessica, Joe Jr., and Nicole

Inside Chocolate World 2014 (L – R) Nicole, Joe, Jr., Emily, Jessica

Inside Chocolate World 2014 (L – R) Nicole, Joe, Jr., Emily, Jessica

One week after our Gettysburg and Hershey trips, Sue and I were back on the road to Somerset PA for the wedding of a former Penn State teammate’s son. Cold as could be, we were compelled to visit the Flight 93 Memorial (http://www.nps.gov/flni/index.htm) which was only 15 minutes away from where we were staying. It’s hard to put into words the feeling of standing there reading about all those who perished. While it was a sobering reminder of what evil can do, it also gave hope from the courageous effort by those who fought back so gallantly. When we returned home, I penned a blog – Mind, Body and Soul: https://carlozocompany.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/mind-body-soul-volume-4-number-2-december-26-2014/

 With Thanksgiving being so late this year, it was a blink of an eye and Christmas was here. Each year there is always something special to remember. It brings me and Sue so much happiness to see the kids being so excited about giving! This year they “blew me away” with 2 gifts which brought tears to my eyes. The first was a blanket with a wide array of Hershey pictures, some I don’t even remember seeing. The second was a signed picture of my childhood Oriole hero, Jim Gentile. Gentile was on fire in 1961 hitting back-to-back grand slams in a game against the Minnesota Twins. This was the year Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single season home record. While Gentile was neck and neck for most of the year with Maris and Mickey Mantle of the Yankees, he finished with 46 homers and actually tied Maris in RBI with 141, although it took almost 50 years to get the proper credit. But the signed picture was only the beginning, underneath the picture engraved in a plague are the words from a song Pop wrote about “Diamond Jim” – I vividly remember singing the song with him like it was yesterday. It just doesn’t get any better. Again, I counted my blessings. Check out this link – great story:  http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/men-action/201305/mixing-it-mantle-and-maris-story-forgotten-star Here’s the “Diamond Jim” picture and plague from Christmas 2014:

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The Hershey Blanket of Pictures – Christmas 2014

Recognizing that nothing stays the same, 25 years after our founding, I concluded it was time to update our Mission Statement. While I was at it, we added a Vision Statement. At the heart of the change was a soul searching exercise looking for an answer to “Why we do what we do?” So much of our focus had been on “what we do” and “how we do it.” It was now so much clearer than before. At the beginning, like most new businesses, we were simply trying to survive. Now, with 25 years under our belt, it was time to add to the foundation. As excited as ever, with the fire burning strong in my belly and the passion to serve others intense, I am so proud of the team we have assembled, CPAs Tina, Carol and Sharon, accounting staff Joe Jr., Matt and Alicia and our administrative staff, Kelly, Lisa (June) and Sara. They embody the very essence of C & C as spelled out below:

 MISSION STATEMENT

CARLOZO & COMPANY is a CPA Firm of dedicated professionals who have taken their calling and come together to help their fellow man build personal net worth. WE live OUR mission by focusing on minimizing tax liabilities whenever possible and providing sound financial recommendations and management consulting advice. In all aspects of OUR business, CARLOZO & COMPANY’s mandate of excellent service is a rule shared by all of US.

        WE believe in OUR mission….WE are different…..WE ARE …CARLOZO & COMPANY.

 VISION STATEMENT

CARLOZO & COMPANY is committed to partnering with OUR clients’ view of “the big picture” by supporting their understanding of financial and tax environments and the corresponding impacts on decision-making. WE are dedicated to helping OUR business clients’ management motivate their work forces to achieve full potential through an emphasis on effective policy, procedure and human relations. WE are more than “number crunchers”.

CARLOZO & COMPANY is built on a solid foundation of fundamentals. WE value discipline together with the genuine care and concern for the personal well-being of OUR clients and associates. WE believe in a team approach to problem solving, goal achievement, and effective communication.

CARLOZO & COMPANY seeks mutually beneficial relationships with OUR clients and associates. WE faithfully practice respect for the individual as a premise for all OUR policies and actions. WE are a bona fide 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.

TEAM picture just before Christmas 2014 (L – R) back row – Sara, Sharon, Alicia, Me and the plant, Matt, Carol; middle row – Tina - front row – Kelly, Lisa (June), Joe, Jr.

TEAM picture just before Christmas 2014
(L – R) back row – Sara, Sharon, Alicia, Me and the plant, Matt, Carol; middle row – Tina – front row – Kelly, Lisa (June), Joe, Jr.

The year will be 2039; if history is a window to the future, it will be a much different world. We need to add 25 years to our present age. Some of us will still be around, while others will have gone to be with The Lord. If our foundation is as strong as I believe it is, if we religiously stay committed to and live our Mission and Vision Statements, if we take good care of our clients not resting on our laurels, if we boldly move forward and dare to dream, if we continue to “play together as a team, as one, work hard and respect one another,” and if we truly value our independence, God willing we will celebrate our 50th anniversary and “great things will happen.” New professionals seeking a unique work environment will join our ranks dedicating themselves to our Mission and Vision. Twenty-five years ago it was difficult to imagine where we are today; as we celebrate our 25th anniversary I can much better envision a look ahead as our evolution continues to unfold…with God, anything is possible. My dreams have evolved as well; I want to walk through the front door of our office 25 years from now and shake hands with each and every member of our team and thank them for their service and dedication. Whatever the future may hold, one thing is for sure, is that we would not be here today, or tomorrow for that matter, if it wasn’t for you our clients. We are most thankful; it is our honor to be of service to you. Keeping that in mind, as we push full speed ahead into 2015, I wish you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous 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)

 That’s me a “little” older, a “little” grayer and a lot wiser in January 2012 from The Baltimore Shoot of “The Joe We Know” http://www.grandexperiment.org/baltimore-md/


That’s me a “little” older, a “little” grayer and a lot wiser in January 2012 from The Baltimore Shoot of “The Joe We Know”

http://www.grandexperiment.org/baltimore-md/

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MIND, BODY & SOUL – Volume 4, Number 2, December 26, 2014

It was the second Friday in November; my daughter Nicole had come to visit me in the office. Although she lives in Annapolis, she still gets her hair cut in Timonium. Smart as a whip, on the quiet side, she has like all of my children made me so proud. While I have tried so hard to give her and her siblings words of wisdom to stand the test of time, I often wondered if anyone was listening – I was wrong, dead wrong as she proceeded to give me a belated birthday present (delayed by shipping). In any event, Nicole went through everything I had ever written (which included a long list of blogs and President’s Letters as well as gifts Sue and I had given her upon graduation from High School) and proceeded to take out the key phrases. These phrases were then printed on individual cards (size of a business card) with the company “WJOE” (the symbolic radio station that’s on the air live 24/7 from greater downtown Timonium) – “broadcasting positive thoughts of faith, hope and love”. As I held Nicole and thanked her tears came to my eyes. An hour later, with the thoughts still fresh in my mind, Sue and I headed off to Somerset PA (not far from the Flight 93 National Memorial) to attend a wedding the next day of the son of one of my former Penn State team mates.

The wedding ceremony and reception were beautiful. Weddings are a time when we pause to reflect back to a time when we first met our spouse and relive the moment all over vicariously through the couple taking their vows. So young, so beautiful, so very much in love full of hope and dreams. Perhaps it was the moment, I’m not really sure, put as the Pastor spoke, his words found roots inside of me. As he talked about  marriage of the young couple, he reminded us all of the world we live into today that is so focused on the development of the mind and the body. With regard to the mind, as students, we are all trying to get “good grades”, make the “Dean’s List” and get our various degrees with honors. It never ends, as we advance in our careers, the emphasis turns to being good at what we do and maximizing our earnings. Sound familiar? The mind aside, we can’t escape society’s influence on our appearance, starting with being in good shape, looking as best, wearing attractive clothing, etc. At this point I began to wonder where the Pastor was going and then he “hit it out of the park” like Babe Ruth pointing to the centerfield fence blasting a home run in the 1926 World Series for little Johnny Sylvester who seriously ill and hospitalized. Mind and body aside the Pastor said, what are we doing as a society to develop “the soul” of our children? He then shared his observation that many parents don’t even know what to do when asked this question. There is no “preset plan” with targets, milestones and accolades. At this point I thought back of my own life, the triumphs, the accomplishments, the disappointments, the dreams, and what I had learned along the way towards becoming a man. What had I taught my own children, not only through my example, through my words, my deeds, and through my silence when in hindsight I should have stood up and spoken? I thought back to just the day before when Nicole had given me a gift that would leave any parent speechless.

Webster’s defines “the soul” as the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever. It is a person’s deeply felt moral and emotional nature and still further is the ability of a person to feel kindness and sympathy for others, to appreciate beauty and art, etc. To me, a person’s heart and soul go hand-in-hand. While our soul can in a certain sense define who we are, perhaps even more importantly, explain why we do what we do. Whether it be when we teach our children about the joy of giving, caring for those less fortunate, praying for and forgiving those who have done us wrong or simply honoring God in our thoughts, deeds and actions, we have as parents, without notice or fanfare, taken steps to develop our children’s soul.

Whatever you do today, always know your children are watching, listening and taking everything in we say, do and do not do; thank you so much Coli for reminding me of this with your heartfelt gift. But even if you don’t have children, you can still have a positive impact on those around you, whether it be friends, co-workers, those you do business with or even with members of your own family. Funny thing is, in casting out positive thoughts of faith, hope and love, you can’t help but getting a little worn off on you, no matter where you are and what you do. The way I see it, being “the best you can be” not only develops our mind and body, it can take us on a spiritual journey to places we can only dream of nurturing our soul along the way. Keeping that in mind, in closing the book on 2014, I wish you and your family a happy, health and prosperous New Year!

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

Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)

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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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WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR? – Volume 2, Number 8, November 23, 2012

It seems like yesterday, but it was actually 1993. Sue, the kids and I were watching the Walt Disney movie Cool Runnings, a story based on the first Jamaican Bobsled Team. One of the actors, John Candy, was a household favorite with his lovable roles in Harry Crumb“, “Uncle BuckandTrains, Planes & Automobiles to name a few. The next year we would sadly lose John Candy as he would die in his sleep from a heart attack at the all too early age of 43. Candy, a big man (by any standard) standing at 6′ 3″ and weighing close to 330 lbs. at the time of his death, apparently smoked a pack of cigarettes each day. Years of practice (read a bad habit) readied him to respond with spontaneous humor with references to his size. Behind the self-deprecating jokes, Candy harbored considerable pain. “I’m the one who has to look in the mirror,” he told PEOPLE in 1981, “and after a while it begins to eat at you.” Those who watched Candy go from diet to diet, trainer to trainer, hot dog to hoagie, bore sad witness to a constant struggle between his good intentions and his self-destructive desires. “I know what I have to do if I want to lose weight and stay healthy: eat a proper diet and exercise,” Candy said. “All I’ve got to do is apply it.” (1)

Keeping John Candy in mind, regardless of which movie we watched as a family, it always seems that we would walk away with one or two lines that we still to this day repeat time and time again. Cool Runnings was no exception. In this particular scene, Yul Brenner (played by actor Malik Yoba) attempting to “shake-up” his younger counterpart Junior Bevil (played by actor Rawle D. Lewis) grabs and holds him up to a mirror. “Look into the mirror and tell me what you see” Brenner barks out. Junior Bevil responds, “I see Junior; I see a young boy who’s afraid”. Yul Brenner responds – “You see Junior? Well, let me tell you what I see. I see passion! I see pride! I see power! I see a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody!!!” Brenner’s intense and passionate delivery declaring how he saw Bevil is forever entrenched in my mind.

Some 19 years after first seeing Cool Runnings I had the delightful pleasure to meet George (not his real name) at one of my personal training sessions at The MAC (Maryland Athletic Club). Afterwards I learned that George had over the last year or so had lost approximately 200 pounds. WOW I thought, that’s simply incredible!!! Still, when I first met him, what impressed me most was his smile, his enthusiasm and genuinely good nature; I knew immediately George was a good person with a wonderful heart. George was the kind of person you just wanted to be around. While George looked great, he still didn’t see it that way. He still wore clothes which were too big for him and spoke in terms of what he perceived as his weaknesses and shortcomings; quite simply it appeared to me that he lacked self-confidence. Apparently when George looked in the mirror, he still saw “the old overweight George”.

OK Kimasabbie, by now you must certainly be wondering where I’m going with this blog. Well it’s your turn; you knew this question was coming,    What do you see when you look in the mirror?” Do you see confidence, enthusiasm and kindness or do you see the little boy Junior who’s afraid? Is your thinking “up-to-date” with your present situation or are you like George, living in the past? When you look in the mirror, are you like John Candy hating what you see and harboring pain? While you might feel your situation is hopeless, I’m here to tell you it’s not; it simply doesn’t have to be that way. In life there are both “good habits” as well as “bad habits”. A habit is nothing more than a behavior that repeatedly occurs, usually on a subconscious level; make the law of habit work for you in a positive way. Looking in the mirror doesn’t have to apply solely to physical attributes, it can also relate to our thinking, our internal moral compass or even our attitudes and how we relate to others. Remember from previous blogs, as related in Volume 1, Number 1, October 18, 2011 – NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES and Volume 2, Number 4, July 23, 2012 – IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR WORLD, then change your words. Last, but not least, recall from BEFORE YOU CAN LEAD, YOU MUST LEARN TO FOLLOW, Volume 1, Number 6, November 3, 2011 where Dr. Keith Ablow, noted psychiatrist stated in the book he co-authored, The 7 Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life, “more than any one thing, you must be truthful with yourself; It is never too late to turn and face the real story of how you became who you are in this world, in order to rid yourself of any emotional or behavioral patterns, especially unconscious ones, that are undermining your possibilities.”

I just heard that George finally ditched the old clothes and is fitting into regular size clothes you can buy off the rack. Apparently he summoned the strength from within to face the truth and breakthrough his self imposed distorted image of self. We were all so happy. Gone is the Junior Bevil mentality of being the little boy who’s afraid. Left behind is his “living in the past” bad habit. I’m sure John Candy is looking down and smiling knowing that George showed incredible strength and intestinal fortitude even if he could not. Looking in the mirror will never be the same.

With God, while all things are possible, we must still give it our best efforts. We must think positively avoiding John Candy opportunities to put ourselves down using humor as a disguise. We must be willing to let go of bad habits and replace them with good habits. We must live in the present and be disciplined enough to put our goals into action. We must be kind to ourselves recognizing that true change occurs from within. Are you worth being noticed? Are you smart enough or strong enough to attain your goals? You better believe you are!!!! As I have said many times before and bears being repeated….The most important voice you hear is your own….make certain you are broadcasting positive thoughts of faith, hope and love.  Be kind to yourself – change the channel (preferably to WJOE) and commit to being your best. Do this and your good intentions will win out over any weaknesses and/or self-destructive desires. I know you can do this, George knows it too and so does the spirit of John Candy. Now get out there and clean up your mirror, smile and see the wonderful creation of God that we all know and love…you!!!!!

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

Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)

(1) People Magazine March 21, 1994 Vol. 41 No. 10 Exit Laughing By Karen S. Schneider

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GO AHEAD – MAKE MY DAY – Volume 2, Number 7, October 5, 2012

I know what you’re thinking — “Dirty Harry” no doubt!!! Harry Callahan, the fictional City of San Francisco Homicide Division Inspector made famous by legendary actor Clint Eastwood. It was actually during the 4th film in the series, “Sudden Impact” (1983). It all started when innocently enough when Callahan goes into a diner to get a cup of coffee. While inside, the diner is robbed. Callahan runs outside after the robbers and kills two of them in a shoot out. The third robber grabs a fleeing waitress and holds a gun to her head threatening to shoot her. Instead of backing off, Callahan points his .44 Magnum revolver at the robbers head, clenches his teeth and in a Clint Eastwood tough-guy low voice blurts out, “Go ahead – make my day”. But it didn’t stop there, two years later, when speaking out against taxes at the 1985 American Business Conference, President Ronald Reagan stated “I have my veto pen drawn and ready for any tax increase that Congress might even think of sending up. And I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers. Go ahead—make my day.” Although Clint Eastwood and President Reagan brought notoriety to the phrase “go ahead, make my day” it was actually written by Charles B. Pierce, an independent filmmaker who is credited with “story by” in the film “Sudden Impact”. He gives credit of the actual origins of the phrase to his father Mack, who used to tell him as a child, “Just let me come home one more day, without you mowing that lawn, son just go ahead…..make my day”. So clearly, anyway you look at it, “Go ahead – make my day” was used as a threat, but does it have to be? Keeping that in mind, let me share with you a true story which just happened to me.

We had just finished up the September 15 tax filing deadline for partnerships and corporations. The previous three weeks were physically and mentally exhausting. It’s times like these that you must summon strength from within, that you practice walking by faith, and not by sight. Still, when our minds are tired it’s easy to get down (yes it happens to the best of us) and lose that spring in your step, sparkle in your eyes and passion within your heart. And so as I entered the office on this morning and came through our reception area I was  quite frankly whipped, and  consequently, not my best self. As I do all mornings when I come in, I make my traditional turn to my right and say “Good Morning” to my son Joe. It’s always great to see him. I never in a million years thought we would be working together. But on this morning, Joe was helping a rather tall, distinguished-looking gentleman with his iPad set-up. Much to my surprise, it was my mentor and Business Coach, Bill Berndt (See Blog – THE BUSINESS COACH – Volume 1, Number 13, December 29, 2011) who I had not seen in a while. I had been meaning to call Bill, but the hectic pace of meeting the September 15 deadline had left very little extra time. Still, seeing Bill and Joe together on this particular morning had an impact on me, a profound impact. You see, on this morning, without any notice or fanfare, they had no idea they had “made my day” but they did. Their enthusiasm, smiles and genuine happiness to see me put the wind back in my sails. Afterwards, Bill came down to my office and we had a chance to talk for a few minutes. He had been in my shoes before; he understood the pressures, the challenges and the responsibly of running a CPA Firm. As we went to say good-bye, I told him how much it meant to see him. He seemed genuinely touched, and thanked me. His unplanned visit on a morning when I was down, gave me new meaning to “make my day”. And so, as I do when passing moments in time make a distinct impression, I jotted down my thoughts and planted the seed – a new blog had been born. The time had come to give new meaning the phrase made famous by Dirty Harry – “Go ahead – make my day” would never be the same to me again.

Mother Theresa is quoted as saying “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” The same can be said of unplanned visits or calls to friends, as well as other random acts of kindness; today, cherish your friendships and “Make Someone’s Day”. Don’t be afraid to call a friend or family member and let them know how much you appreciate them. Go ahead and take time from your busy day at work to call your spouse or significant other and “Make Their Day”. Tell the special people in your life why you think they are special. Listen attentively to what they have to say without interruption. When was the last time you sent a handwritten note or card to someone? Go ahead and just take the time to be happy and helpful. Visit others on a surprise basis just to say “Hi”; Much like Bill and Joe, your presence will leave footprints on their day while touching their hearts. Best of all, without even realizing it, your heart will be warmed in quite an unexpected way. Now go ahead Callahan…you would never back off so “Go ahead – Make my day” and enjoy every minute of it. Go ahead and make a difference in the world and in the lives of others. Go ahead and be the best you can be. Go ahead and put a smile on someone else’s face but in doing so don’t be surprised when it wears off on you. A little bit of kindness goes a long way. Just like “The Universal Law” states, “Whatever you cast off in life, comes back in return”. In closing I wish you the best and while you’re at it…Have a great day!! May God Bless You!!

Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)

PS. Shortly after writing this blog, Sue and I received the following email from our daughter Jessica. Needless to say she “made our day” and brought tears to our eyes by touching our hearts:

Dad & Miss Sue,

Before the day gets too crazy I have been thinking about something lately I have wanted to say. Thank you guys! Watching the Orioles this season has been such a joy, and I know my love for the O’s stems from all the games you used to take us to and all those summers days we used to watch and listen to the games together. Tromley’s miniature golf course! One of my all-time favorite radio memories (1). Watching the O’s now reminds me of the good times we had and our shared love of a great game, team and baseball city. Here’s to hoping we win tomorrow and get to host the Yankee’s in Baltimore. What a playoff series that would be. This kid’s heart would be over the moon.

Love Jess

(1) Mike Tromley, a former Oriole’s pitcher from 2000-2001 gave up 3 consecutive home runs in one inning while we listened to the game in our car in route to one of our many miniature golf outings. Consequently, we renamed the course “Tromley’s”. It was unbelievable memory we all never forgot.

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EVERY DAY IS ELECTION DAY – Volume 2, No. 6 – September 10, 2012

Whether we like it or not, politics is a very real part of the world in which we live. Every four years we have the opportunity to exercise our right to vote in the Presidential Election. Just this past week, the Democratic National Convention was held in Charlotte NC while the week before the Republican Party held their convention in Tampa FL. I enjoy watching the conventions as they are filled with passioniate pleas from a host of characters who validate the event as being labeled “the theater of the unexpected”. Each party does their best to motivate their base and rally the troops while at the same time influencing undecided and/or independent voters to support their nominated candidate. I always look forward to exercising my right to vote, and encourage everyone to do the same. Still, 4 years is a long time to wait to vote for a candidate who may, or may not, fulfill promises made during their campaign. While we can not control what either party does once in office, we have an opportunity each and every day to vote in a different way; I call it our “Personal Election” on how we conduct ourselves publicly and privately. You see, when you sit down and think about it, EVERY DAY IS ELECTION DAY.

Let’s start our “Personal Election” by declaring what kind of person we “choose” to be. Hopefully, you want to become a better person. In order to become a better person, then, be the better person every opportunity you have. Elect to overlook pettiness. Learn to praise others with a gracious heart and give them recognition for their efforts as well as their rightful share of the credit. Empathize trying your best to see a situation from the other person’s perspective listening respectively. Do the right thing – always – even if it hurts. Remember,  success with honor is a virtue. Do something for another in need and do it on an anonymous basis. True charity doesn’t care about your political affiliation or cause. Forgive others for their offenses and indiscretions and in doing so free yourself of excess baggage that goes along with harboring resentment. Treat other people the way you would like to be treated – The Golden Rule is an “Essential Election” as the late George Mason discovered and passed onto his children with the simple message….Just Be Nice – www.justbenice.com.

Consider adding to your “Personal Election” a “Declaration to Win”. In order to win, think like a winner, act like a winner – don’t belly-ache, whine, moan and complain. Be an adult, change your perspective instead of trying to change others and/or your situation. Doing things we particularly don’t want to do is an opportunity to build character. Perhaps most importantly though, elect to maintain a positive mental attitude (PMA) in the pursuit of all tasks and don’t ever, ever let your circumstances take away your spirit.

In rounding out your “Personal Election”, decide to make a difference in our world. In order to make a difference, be willing to be different, be a leader. Being different doesn’t necessarily mean being difficult. It does mean being our best self reaching beyond our grasp being the best we can be, using all of our God given talents in the process. Being different means standing up when others may choose to remain silent. It means caring about our fellow man, not because of a government policy, social pressure or a law, but because we elect to do so.

While politicians and our government can and will influence our society and standard of living, our “Personal Election” potentially has a much more profound effect on our world. We don’t have to wait every 4 years to make our “Personal Election”, we can do it ever day. Become a better person, declare to win and decide to make a difference our world. Be thankful to God for all your blessings and help others who are less fortunate and/or need a friend whenever you can. Forgive others and be forgiven and in doing so “Just Be Nice”. If enough of us elect to do these things with a steadfast discipline (not a dirty word) party politics may still continue on, but we will be at peace with ourselves having won the most important election of all without a political organization, campaign funds or having released one single advertisement. Yes, EVERY DAY IS AN ELECTION now get our there and vote knowing that with God, all things are possible.

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

Joseph V. Carlozo (Joe)

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