Letter from the Editor
Many of us have made New Year resolutions: new job, lose weight, go back to school, and the list continues; but, how many of us actually fulfill our goals? Let's resolve to continually engage and improve ourselves.

In this edition of
The Strategist, we feature an article on Tax Tips to help you maximize those hard-earned dollars made in 2003.

Sister Loretta, my junior high school teacher, used to say, "We're born Americans and die A-Rushin'." Meet Peggy Regis, owner of Cornerstone Healing in New York, who shares her business success and ways in which stop rushing and learn relaxation techniques.

Tired of making unfulfilled promises to yourself?
The Four Agreements provides powerful enlightenment on the agreements we need to make with ourselves, in order to live authentically and interact healthilly with others.

Enjoy this year and all the promises it brings!
Kesi

Please email your story ideas and comments to TheStrategist@KSGSC.com.

 

Small Business Corner: Cornerstone Healing
Brooklyn, NY-based Cornerstone Healing, is a successful firm that specializes in acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, and massage therapy.

Peggy Regis, co-owner of Cornerstone Healing, started the practice in December 2002 with partner, Anne Mok, a Chinese-American friend whom she's known and studied with for years. While Regis owns a thriving natural healing business, her original career path had nothing to do with medicine. Originally bound for law school, Regis worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights, during which time she became more interested in healthcare and medicine.

Regis concedes that she's "always been interested in the healing arts." So, she received training in Eastern and Western medicine and describes going back to school as "exciting," but challenging because Regis had to learn "new theories, new language, and new ways of looking at things." For example, Peggy Regis had to translate materials from Mandarin and Cantonese into Latin and English. She successfully completed the four-year training while working full-time for the first year, and part-time for the remainder of school.

Regis is a licensed acupuncture practitioner and certified herbalist in Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC.

A self-described "people person," Regis enjoys helping others and counts children, doctors, athletes, editors, and stay-at-home moms as her clients. She treats fertility challenges, asthma, fibroids, depression, and sleeping disorders. Cornerstone Healing also recently added therapuetic products for purchase.

The practice, whose name comes from the Bible ("Cornerstone" from Regis's sister, Blandine) and "Healing" (from Mok's fiance), is growing by leaps and bounds.

What's next on the horizon? Regis would like to open a clinic in her native Haiti and Sierra Leone to teach traditional therapies.

While she shares that owning a business can be challenging and that when one has her own business, "you do everything," Regis is happy pursuing her passions while evidencing growth. Simply put, Regis says, "I'm blessed,"

For more information about Cornerstone Healing, or if you'd like to utilize their services, please visit the
KSG Strategic Consulting website.

 

Tax Tips from the IRS
Filing taxes is often a laborious and seemingly daunting task, but the process doesn't have to be. Following are some tips from C.J. Mills, Compliance Officer at the Internal Revenue Service, to help you have a stress-free tax filing season.

Beware of Abusive Tax Preparers. Most tax preparers abide by tax laws, but some try to take advantage of clients. Some guidelines are:
never sign a blank tax return, avoid tax preparers who base their fees on a percentage of the amount of the refund, and consider whether the tax preparer will be available to answer questions about your tax return months, or years, after the tax return is filed.

Determine Your Filing Status. There are five filing categories: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, Head of Household, and Widow(er) with dependent children. Generally, one files Single if he/she is unmarried, divorced, or legally separated according to state law. If you're married, you can file separately or jointly; if your spouse died during the year and you haven't remarried, you can still file jointly for the year of death. To qualify for Head of Household, you must be unmarried and have provided more than half the cost of maintaining a house that you, and a qualifying relative. You may also qualify if you are married, but have not lived with your spouse the last six months of the tax year.

Should You Itemize? Itemization is based on the amount you've spent on certain expenses last year. Money paid for medical expenses, mortgage interest, taxes, contributions, and casualty losses can reduce your taxes. If the amount spent on those categories is more than the standard deduction, one can usually benefit by itemizing. When a married couple files separately, both spouses must itemize and cannot claim the standard deduction. Taxpayers who are nonresident aliens, dual-status aliens, and individuals who file returns for periods of less than twelve months are not eligible for standard deduction.

Which Form Do I Use - 1040EZ, 1040A, or 1040? For form 1040EZ, your taxable income is below 50,000, you're single or filing jointly, under age 65, have no dependents, and interest income of $1,500 or less. For form 1040A, your taxable income is below $50,000, capital gains distributions, only tax credits for child tax, education, earned income, adoption and retirement, and no itemized deductions. For form 1040, taxable income of $50,000 or more, itemized deductions, self-employment income, and income from sale of property.

For more information, please visit the
KSG Strategic Consulting website.

   
   
 

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
There are more self-healing and awareness guides than ever available to readers worldwide. The Four Agreements defies all of the run-of-the-mill "guides to living." This book is an extraordinary tool that not details ways in which we should live, per se, but reveals the spiritual impact that not living authentically can have on ourselves and our universe.

Be Impeccable With Your Word: In addition to verbal commitments we make, understanding the unseen impact any word uttered can have on others and yourself is crucial. Don Ruiz shares that our words are our gift of "creative power," and can be exquisite beauty or a harmful weapon. The author cites Adolf Hitler's use of one word launched war and murder. He further asserts that "one fear or doubt planted in our mind can create an endless drama of events." he also states that we seldom use words in the right manner - to encourage positivitism; but, more often, we use words to destroy (through anger, envy, hatred, or revenge).

Don't Take Anything Personally: We take things personally because we, subconsciously or not, agree with what is said to us. We also suffer from "personal importance," a notion that everything is about us. When others insult us directly, they're reacting based on their own agreements, so we need to become immune to others' poisonous words. Conversely, we shouldn't take accolades personally either. When others say "you're so great," it's not really about you - it's about how you've satisfied the other person's notions.

Don't Make Assumptions: We treat assumptions as truthful realities. Making assumptions leads to taking things personally to gossiping about our assumptions, rather than asking for clarification. In relationships, making assumptions can be a huge problem: we assume our mates know what we want and we get upset when they don't deliver and think, "they should have known." Don Ruiz intimates, "when we believe something, we assume we are right about it to the point that we will destroy relationships in order to defend our position."

Always Do Your Best: Actively seek to always do and be your best, recognizing that your best is "never going to be the same from one moment to another." Don Ruiz states that if we do less than our best, we're riddled with guilt or feelings of worthlessness. Conversely, if we overdo and overextend ourselves, we'll be tired and unfulfilled. Committing our best will cause us to be happy and productive. "Action is about living fully," continues Don Ruiz, "Inaction is the way we deny life." We can have brilliant ideas, but if we do not act upon them, we won't reap the rewards of self-fulfillment.

 
 

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Publisher: KSG Strategic Consulting        Vol. 2        No. 1        January 2004

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