Friday, November 25, 2016

Be The Media: Stop Complaining About What the Media Doesn’t Cover and Cover it Yourself…

By Madame Margherite

The time people spend on Facebook complaining about why the media doesn’t cover whichever story they're upset didn’t get covered is time that could be spent writing those stories. Many times we’ll see someone say something along the lines of Did you know xyz white kid was killed in Kentucky by a black police officer? Why isn’t anyone covering that story? Where’s the outrage? Well, clearly if you live in Wyoming and you know about such an event that means that someone did cover the story and if you and one other person are outraged by it then, boom, there’s your outrage. What people are really wondering is why the things they are passionate about aren’t widely shared by the rest of the population, and the reason that is the case is not the fault of the media, it’s the fault of the audience. 

There’s this general misconception that the media has some sort of responsibility to cover whatever stories the population wants them to and that there’s some sort of magic that makes stories go viral. That is simply not true. First of all, “The Media” is not a thing, it’s a collection of people who chose to spend their lives writing stories instead of bagging groceries. Some of these writers write stories perceived as nobel ones and some writers write fluff. The general media is not a government funded platform and tax dollars do not at all contribute to the news. At least not unless politicians are bribing news reporters which in any case is highly illegal, would be incredibly obvious, and for the news caster most likely dangerously impossible to deny. In fact, it’s illegal for the government to step in and tell anyone what to or not to write.

If you believe there is an injustice in the stories you are reading and that are available to you then the best thing to do is either pay someone to write about the topics you wish to read about or, even more effectively, write the articles yourself. Journalists are just writers, people who chose journalism as their career, freedom of speech laws mean that they can write about whatever they want. The success of a journalist depends on how often they write stuff that people actively read. If they’re independent then they aren’t being told what to write, their material isn’t regulated and unless they are publishing their work on reputable platform they usually aren’t even fact checked. And writers who aren’t independent, meaning they write for a company, are simply guided or directed to write what their bosses want them to write. 

So, if there’s something we want to read, stories we want covered, it is up to us to make that happen. We, ourselves can seek out stories, document what we witness and publish them ourselves. Whether or not they strike outrage or inspiration in the folks who read these materials is completely dependent on the opinions of the readers and how well the piece was written. And as a new writer you’ll quickly realize that being asked why didn’t you write about this or that, is the equivalent of asking an artist why didn’t you paint a picture of this or that. You could spend you life writing about every thing every stranger requests of you, or you can tell them to write those stories themselves and continue writing about the things that are important to you from your own perspective, to further your own career. Which is not actually as hard as you may think. 

Being a Professional Writer means you get paid for what you write, like me. Being a writer means you write stuff, and that stuff can be whatever your heart desires. An audience is responsible for how they feel and how they react to something they read, but it’s up to the writer of those stories to make people care. It’s up to the writer to deliver information to their audiences. And no one has the right to dictate which information they choose to deliver. If you have an issue you want people to be outraged about it’s up to you to make them care and up to you to deliver it. And if you find that after writing you want to write about fashion instead of police brutality because people pay more for that, then no one will stop you from choosing your words. Either way, here’s how to get the stories you feel need to be circulated out there. 

First, you start with a subject; a topic or a specific event. Then you research the facts, if you wish to be accurate and then you write about it. Start with an introduction explaining what the piece will be about including the points you’re about to make. Audiences feel comfortable reading things in threes so choose three points to highlight. From there you begin composing what’s called the body of your article or essay starting with the first point you mentioned, moving on to the second point you mentioned, and finally the third. When you’ve completed the body of your piece finish it with a conclusion. Within your conclusion state your point of the piece and recount the three vital points you made. Writers do this because readers often read the first and last paragraphs of a lengthy piece before deciding to read the whole thing. 

After that it’s up to you to get it published. If you desire, file with the Library of Congress to get it copy righted, which means only you have the right to copy, reproduce or profit off of it unless otherwise declared in writing. Obviously if you want the material to be free for all people to share it and spread it to everyone you know then you shouldn’t attack people for violating your copy right. Whether you file your piece with the Library of Congress, as long as you are the sole writer of the article than you are the owner no matter what. A copy right is just proof that you are in fact the writer if the issue ever is presented to a court of law. Otherwise, just putting your name on it is fine. 

Getting an article, blog or essay published is easy if you aren’t particular about where it’s shown. Whenever I have a personal article that I really want published by mainstream media I’ll often donate it to whatever company I want highlighting it. Sometimes it works as long as the piece is relevant to what that company publishes and follows their guidelines. When it doesn’t work right away I keep at it until they have an opening or some slot they need to fill and then just like magic they publish the piece. Most places pay a lot of money to writers for content so if the exposure is important to you enough, donating it free of cost is likely to get it published because it saves a company money. 

If you’re not particular about who publishes the piece then publish it yourself. Create a Blogspot or a Wordpress, or simply build a website. Post it to Facebook or any of the many other public social platforms. Write a hundred articles and compile them into a book that you can then submit to Kindle with their self publishing tool. Print out a million copies and spend your days placing them in people’s mailbox. Do whatever you think is going to get your article attention and then hope for the best. But keep in mind that you’ll never be able to control everyone’s reaction to whatever it is you wrote. We are all different, wildly different, and absolutely nothing is something everyone in the world cares about. All you can do is write clearly and honestly and expose it well. You can only do your best in making people care.

If outrageous stories are being circulated or are available but there isn’t a widespread outrage about it, that’s the fault of the audience not the media, not the writer. We as an audience we have the power to share and spread stories that we deem important for the world to see. If a writer is writing about things that we feel are important we have to support them. We have to ensure that these writers are successful by paying for their words and sharing them with everyone we know. Writers of important news have already done their part. They have researched and studied the topic, they have written passionately about it and they have published it making it available to all of us. And if you don’t like a product, don’t buy it. That’s the power as consumers that we have. Stop complaining about why people aren’t doing what you want them to do and do it yourself. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Communicating Information Properly…

By Madame Margherite

Everybody knows how to speak, but most people find it difficult to communicate sometimes. Miscommunications happen via text messages and emails, misunderstandings happen between people who are arguing or debating. People who care about each other get messages crossed and sometimes never get to the truth. All sorts of things go wrong when people don’t communicate properly. Not knowing how to communicate makes it difficult if not impossible to learn and it can damage relationships and opportunities. 

Some key elements of communicating are examining what it is you wish to express, knowing how to speak specifically to an individual, and understanding how they may feel in response to your words. Mastering these things means being able to speak and be heard. By being able to communicate properly you can make the same point presented twenty different ways and be received by everyone in your path, even if they disagree. 

First of all, the platforms on which we communicate need to be looked at. Communicating is a back and forth exchange of information and reactions to that information. If you don’t want to get a bad reaction from people, you have to be aware of the platform you’re using to communicate with them. Before text messaging, if you wanted to speak to someone who is a distance away from you you’d have to call them. If you called them in the middle of the night or in the early morning for an unimportant reason you would receive a very bad reaction from them. 

This reaction is what keeps people from calling each other at unreasonable hours. But with text messaging, irresponsibility has increased tremendously and timing consideration has plummeted. Since we don’t have to experience a person’s reaction when their message notification wakes them up it’s much easier to find the courage to entertain our impulse to communicate. The person on the other end is still reacting with anger and frustration but since texting is difficult to do while sleepy they probably won’t express themselves as quickly or as directly and feelings of discontent may come out in other ways that you might not understand. 

Same goes for emails, if you have a difficult topic to discuss be conscious of the platform you use. Breaking up with someone is a much different conversation in person, over the phone, or via email. Communicating how you feel without giving the other party or parties an opportunity to respond easily can be frustrating, hurtful and perceived as disrespectful. With that type of an attitude towards you, you’ll never be able to get your point across and your efforts would be wasted. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate what it is you’re trying to communicate and get accomplished with your words. 

Before you speak, evaluate what it is you’re trying to get done. Ask yourself what you’re feeling, and why you want to talk about it. Ask yourself what it is you want to happen after you say what you need to say, and then ask yourself how you think you can best accomplish that task. If you want someone to correct a mistake they’ve made, ordering them to do so may not be as effective as telling them what you believe they did wrong and how it made you feel. Telling someone how you feel as a result of their actions is more likely to strike empathy in them as well as give them an idea as to how to rectify the problem, and if not, at that point they will be much more open to hearing suggestions as to what they can do to please you then if you shouted at them. You’re much more likely to get your way by calmly and thoughtfully expressing how you feel and what you want. 

As people, we are naturally defensive and emotional. We don’t like to be wrong so we don’t like to be confronted. For the most part, we also don’t like to be responsible for hurting or upsetting somebody so our natural defense is to prove that we’re justified and not wrong. Stopping that reaction before it starts is more often than not as easy as saying I feel this way because of this, instead of phrasing it as You did this thing and so I feel this way. Removing blame and just stating facts puts you in a much stronger position than allowing your emotions to speak. 

It’s also important to recognize what a person is responsive to on an individual and personal level. Expressing systemic racism and police brutality to a sherif is a different conversation than expressing it to a civil rights activist. You have to know your audience before you present a point. If you speak to everyone in the same tone, by the same words, with the same attitude you’ll be dismissed by half the population. But if you comprehend who you’re speaking to and gauge how they might react, you can alter the conversation so that it is received in your favor. That doesn’t mean you can convince everyone of everything, but it does mean you can get your point across. 

The language you use is critical in making sure someone understands you. Consider a conversation between you and an adult verses you and a child. Asking an adult to set the dinner table is much different than asking a small child to do it isn’t it? An adult you can simply ask please set the table, while a child you’ll have to tell them how many plates, forks and glasses to get and you’ll probably have to show them how to fold the napkins. The same concept applies to everyone. We’re all very unique, we have different levels of education, experience, and emotional responsiveness. Knowing the level your audience is at will enable you to choose your words properly. 

Now you won’t always get the reactions you’re looking for, but understanding the reactions you receive can make a conversation transition more smoothly. When we don’t get the responses we desire it’s very easy for a calm discussion to turn into a heated argument. That really only happens because we lack understanding of each other. That is why it is so important to absorb a person’s response and the information they’re giving you, and truly try and understand where it’s coming from. If you respond to what someone is saying to you by deflecting or defending then you won't get far but if you absorb it and ask yourself or them what it means, you’ll be able to move forward. 

For instance you might tell someone that you love them and get a negative response. That kind of thing might be very confusing for you but if you take a step back and try to see things from their perspective your choices may become a lot easier. Having a deep conversation before someone is ready to or bringing something up too often puts pressure on people and causes them anxiety. Again, ask yourself why you said it. If you tell a person you love them because you think they need to hear it, your choice is probably correct and you'll get a good response. But if you’re telling that same person you love them because you want to hear it in return you’re most likely setting yourself up for disappointment. 

A statement like I love you is heavy because it comes with a lot of responsibility. If you’re saying it to a person for you’re own sake then what you’re really saying is Be careful with me but if you’re saying it for their sake then you’re really saying I’ll be careful with you. That’s a huge difference. Nobody wants to be lured into a conversation and we can sense what others are feeling and trying to do, so understanding how a person’s going to feel about your choices makes for better decision making. So try to be considerate of how the other person is going to feel about your words. 

Also, ask yourself if what you’re about to say is necessary. If you know a person is going to respond awkwardly to something and it’s not something that needs to be said, is it really important enough to you to say it at the expense of someone else? If the answer is yes, then of course find a way to say it but if the answer is no, perhaps keep it to yourself. 

Conversations, even simple ones, can make a person feel like you’re taking something from them, they can be draining. And that’s because many times we are. If you ask a person a question, you’re requesting that they give you information. Asking a person a question means that they have to stop, think about what you’re saying and finally make a decision about how they’re going to respond. However if you make a statement, you're giving a person information. They then have the choice to ignore you, or, acknowledge you and respond. You’re giving them as opposed to taking from them. 

If you ask a person something like, are you going to finish your dinner? they may feel the need to respond with a question, or an explanation. They might feel like they are being rushed, or wonder why you asked, perhaps you want the food on their plate. But if you make a statement such as, If you’re done with your dinner, I’m going to put what’s left in the in the fridge then you’ve just given them the information they need to make a decision as to how to respond.

If you see someone is flustered and you keep asking them questions, and they snap at you in response, even if you were trying to help, you instead make the confusion worse. So it’s necessary to understand their reaction and best to take responsibility for it. Simply telling people what you want, how you feel and what you’re willing to offer will completely change a conversation, offering a positive response. Being conscious of giving people opportunities and choices verses forcing them to respond to you is going to make them much more comfortable and receptive to communicating with you properly. 

Allowing a person to grow in a conversation always proves valuable. Some people respond best to simple, straight forward, concise direction while other’s need to know the whys and hows behind a message. So when you communicate with a person be open to their response. If you said something to offend someone, or if you’re misunderstood, apologize. Take responsibility for your half of the conversation. Understand that people might be taken off guard when you confront them with something. Even if they react poorly, if you remain calm and understanding of the fact that your words will strike emotion in them then you will maintain the upper hand. 

When you speak to a person, speak to who they are and never at them. Be clear about what you want to say and why you want to say it. Communicate with purpose and understanding. And recognize that none of us are the same, but that we are all people experiencing valid emotions. Once you have a handle on all this, you’ll be able to communicate in a healthy, effective manner with anyone and you’ll be a happier, stronger person for it. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Letter to The Secretaries of State and Governors of Faithless Elector States to Vote Against Donald Trump...

By Madame Margherite

Below is an editable letter that you may copy and paste into a separate document to edit and personalize as you please in an effort to persuade the Secretaries of State and Governors of our nation to use their power and influence to encourage the Electoral College to vote against Donald Trump overriding the current results of the 2016 Presidential election. Following the letter is a list of all the Faithless Elector States along with the contact information of the Secretary of State and Governors ruling over them. The letter is in the form of a business letter and is pretty self explanatory. If you have any questions feel free to email me at


(Insert today’s FULL date here)

(Insert the name of the person the letter is written to here)
(Insert the title of the person the letter is written to here)
(Insert the name of the establishment here)
(Insert the Street Address of the person the letter is written to here)
(Insert the City, State and Zip Code of the person the letter is written to here)

Dear (Insert title and name of recipient here)

My name is (Insert your name here), I’m a (Insert demographic, age, gender, race etc, here) residing in (Insert neighborhood or community here) as a (Insert profession here).

I am writing you today on behalf of the (insert community you are representing here) to petition you to use your power and position to influence the Electoral College to vote in the interest of the American people. By that I mean the overall rejection of Donald Trump by the American people, as proved by the popular vote. 

The founding fathers gave the Electoral College the power to review the competence and validity of the president elect and to ensure that the conclusion is in fact a proper representation of what is in the best interest of all Americans, rather than allowing the decision to fall into the hands of uneducated, and misinformed common folk based on sensationalized media and selective distribution of information. 

The results of the election proved that the majority of the American people who turned out to vote, voted against Donald Trump casting 59,937,338 ballots in his favor, 60,274,974 for Hillary Clinton, 4,102,585 for Gary Johnson, and 1,228,862 for Jill Stein bringing the grand total of votes against Donald Trump to 65,606,421; that’s a defeat of over 6 million votes. Clearly, these numbers represent a more accurate account of the values that the majority of Americans place importance in. 

Donald Trump is not only a poor representation of the American people and the core values this country is built upon, but he is also a clear danger to our society and to the reputation we have spent over two centuries fiercely building with the rest of the world. He is an obvious threat to the Constitutional Republic in which it is our duty to uphold, protect and abide by.  

Our political system, and the system which we use to elect a president was designed the way it is for this very reason. So that we can protect the fabric of our nation and the liberty we so proudly boast that we stand by. The essence of democracy relies upon the decision that you are faced to make between now and December 19th. 

Electing Donald Trump sends a message to the world that this is a country that has little regard for people of color, foreigners, women, homosexuals, disabled, and non Christians. The repercussions of sending that message would be devastating. It would cripple our appearance of being the land of the free, and embolden our enemies to rise up against us. 

We have spent enough time, money, resources and most importantly, lives of men and women serving our country on war and conflict. It is imperative that we avoid further invitations for violence, both from within our borders and across them. Not to mention, allowing such a blatant misrepresentation of our people to become president would be a direct insult to the troops and veterans who have bravely served our nation in years passed; to dishonor them in such a way would be a disgrace. One that the entire world will see. 

Right now, as I am writing this letter, a day after the election, we are already witnessing the results of his hateful rhetoric through the dark, violent actions of the previously oppressed bigots who have been lurking in the shadows waiting for validation and permission to enact terrorism upon the American people. Support which Donald Trump has publicly vocalized and vowed to grant and protect as the leader of our nation. This is absolutely unacceptable. 

Republicans can either embrace this unconstitutional behavior and become a racist representation of the party, or they can reject him and recoup the dignified integrity on which we have always prided ourselves. The American people vow to support you in the face of any repercussions that may fall upon the Electoral College in the event of breaking any pledge previously made to this demagogue. His racism, sexism, homophobia, and isolationist attitude towards Muslims is an embarrassment to everything great about our nation. Our founding fathers would be mortified and ashamed to see this country fall into hands of such an undeserving, inexperienced, bigot. 

However, the response from the American people alive today, will undoubtedly be absolutely catastrophic. When families and young people fear for their safety, rights, lives and well being, they will inevitably revolt. Violence will no doubt be met with violence. The efforts Donald Trump promises to put into expanding our military forces will in turn be spent fighting the very people they were created to protect. 

The underprivileged population of our country already feels as though we are still suffering systemically from slavery and racist policies previously active in the United States. Of our 238 years of existence, it has only been 57 years since we have vacated the Jim Crow Era. Blacks, Latinos and Homosexuals make up over one third of our population; forcing those people into a position of defense is a frightening notion. With nothing left to loose I imagine they will rise up and fight with every ounce of their fortitude. 

Take into account why this measure of an official vote by the Electoral College is in place. We ask simply, that you consider your role and responsibility in this matter, and treat it with great seriousness and extreme importance. The political climate of the entire country hangs in the balance here. 

It is our duty, and the duty of our government to ensure that America is a safe and comfortable home for all its citizens. A place to exercise civil liberties, G*d given rights, and fundamental freedoms. Electing Donald Trump as our president will ensure the exact opposite of honoring that responsibility. 

We the people, plead with you not to allow such a travesty to happen. Please consider the future of our nation and the survival of our Republicanism, and influence the Electoral College to do the right thing come December 19th and rule in the favor us. You have the whole world watching; this is an opportunity to prove your loyalty to your people; we pray you don't let us down. 

Thank you in advance for keeping America great. 

--(Insert printed name here)
(Skip a line)
(Skip a line)
(Skip a line)
(Skip a line)
(Insert Signature in space above)     (Insert Today’s Full Date here)

(Insert your mailing address in the footer)


SOS Michelle Reagan
Office of the Secretary of State
Elections Division
1700 W Washington St Fl 7
Phoenix AZ 85007-2808

Gov: Doug Ducey (R)
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Phoenix: 602.542.4331
Tucson: 520.628.6580

Secretary of State: Mark Martin
State Capitol
500 Woodlane Street, Suite 256
Little Rock, AR 72201
Contact the Elections Division by visiting Room 026 at the State Capitol or by calling 501-682-5070 or toll free at 1-800-482-1127 or by e-mail at

Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners ............................................................................. 800-411-6996

Gov: Asa Hutchinson
Governor Asa Hutchinson
State Capitol Room 250
500 Woodlane Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 682-2345

Office of the Secretary of the State
State of Connecticut
30 Trinity Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Telephone: (860) 509-6200
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
Secretary of the State, Denise W. Merrill (860) 509-6200 
Deputy Secretary of the State, James F. Spallone (860) 509-6212

Gov: Dannel P. Malloy
210 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106
Phone:(860) 566-4840

SOS Jeffrey W. Bullock, Phone: 302-739-4111, Secretary of State's Office - Dover
401 Federal Street 
Dover, DE  19901
(302) 739-4111

Gov: Jack Markell
150 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Dover, DE 19901
Phone:(302) 744-4101

(302) 744-4101
(302) 577-3210
Washington, D.C.
(202) 624-7724

SOS Lawerence Denney, 
Idaho Secretary of State's Office 
Attn: 'Division' (i.e. Business Entities, UCCs, Elections, etc.) 
PO Box 83720 
Boise ID 83720-0080

700 West Jefferson Street Room E205
State Capitol building, second floor, east wing:
Secretary of State
Elections (Elections, Campaign Disclosures, & Lobbyists)
Legislative & Executive Affairs

Elections (Elections, Campaign Disclosures, & Lobbyists)
(208) 334-2852
FAX (208) 334-2282

Executive Offices
(208) 334-2300
FAX (208) 334-2282

Gov: Butch Otter (R)
700 W Jefferson St #228, Boise, ID 83720
Phone:(208) 334-2100

SOS Jesse White
213 State Capitol
Springfield, IL 62756
217-785-3000 (outside Illinois)
800-252-8980 (toll free in Illinois)

Gov: Bruce Rauner (R)
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
TTY: 888-261-3336

Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121

SOS: Connie Lawson, state house 200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Gov: Mike Pence (R)
200 W Washington St #206, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone:(317) 232-4567

SOS Paul D. Pate
First Floor, Lucas Building
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319 | (515) 281-5204

Gov: Terry Branstad (R)
Iowa State Capitol, 1007 E Grand Ave #101, Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone:(515) 281-5211

SOS: Kris W. Kobach
© Kansas Secretary of State 
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor 
120 SW 10th Avenue 
Topeka, KS 66612-1594 
Gov: Sam Brownback (R)
300 SW 10th Ave Ste 212S, Topeka, KS 66612
Phone:(785) 296-3232

SOS: Alison Lundergan Grimes
Office of the Kentucky Secretary of State
700 Capital Ave., Ste. 152, Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-3490

Gov: Matt Bevin (R)
Located in: Kentucky State Capitol Building
Address: Kentucky State Capitol Building, 700 Capital Avenue Bay # 100, Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone:(502) 564-2611

SOS: Tom Schedler
Our physical address is:
3851 Essen Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Our mailing address is:
Louisiana State Archives
Louisiana Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

Gov: John Bel Edwards (D)
Mailing Address:
Office of the Governor
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Front Desk:
(225)342-7015 or (866)366-1121

SOS: Steve Simon
Get Directions
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55155

Gov: Mark Dayton
Office of the Governor and Lt Governor 
116 Veterans Service Building 
20 W 12th Street 
St. Paul, MN 55155 
Telephone: 651-201-3400 
Toll Free: 800-657-3717 
Minnesota Relay: 800-627-3529 
Fax: 651-797-1850

SOS: Jason Kander
600 West Main Street 
Jefferson City, MO 65101 
Main Office: (573) 751-4936 

Gov: Jay Nixon (D)
201 W Capitol Ave # 216, Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone:(573) 751-3222

New Hampshire
SOS: William M. Gardner, State House, 107 N Main St #112, Concord, NH 03301
Phone:(603) 271-3246

Gov: Maggie Hassan (D)
State House, 107 N Main St # 208, Concord, NH 03301
Phone:(603) 271-2121

New Jersey
SOS & Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno

Gov. Chris Christie
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

New York
SOS: Rossana Rosado 
Department of State, Albany Location:
One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12231-0001 GPS USERS: Use Zip Code 12210 to locate the Albany Office.
Department of State, New York City Location:
123 William Street, New York, NY 10038-3804

Gov: Andrew M. Cuomo
Contact us by mail:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
North Dakota
Secretary of State
Al Jaeger
State of North Dakota
600 E Boulevard Avenue Dept 108
Bismarck ND 58505-0500
Telephone: 701-328-2900
Toll Free: 800-352-0867
TTY: 800-366-6888
Fax: 701-328-2992

Gov: Governor Jack Dalrymple
Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley
Office of Governor
State of North Dakota
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0100 
701.328.2200: phone
701.328.2205: fax

Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
SOS: Pedro A. Cortes

South Dakota
605) 773-3537 Fax: (605) 773-6580
Secretary of State
Capitol Building
500 East Capitol Avenue Ste 204
Pierre, SD 57501-5070

Campaign Finance 605.773.3537 605.773.6580
Election Information 605.773.3537 605.773.6580
Help America Vote Act (HAVA) 605.773.3537 605.773.6580

Gov: Dennis Daugaard (R)
Mailing Address:
Office of the Governor
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, S.D. 57501
Phone Number:605.773.3212
Fax Number:605.773.4711

SOS: Tre Hargett
Tre Hargett
State Capitol
Nashville , 37243-1102
(615) 741-2819

312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
7th Floor, Snodgrass Tower
Nashville , TN 37243-1102
Coordinator of Elections
(615) 741-7956

Gov: Bill Haslam (R)
600 Charlotte Ave #1, Nashville, TN 37243
Phone:(615) 741-2001

SOS: Carlos H. Cascos 
Texas Secretary of State
Executive Division 
P.O. Box 12697
Austin, Texas 78711-2697

Elections Physical: 
James E. Rudder Bldg.
1019 Brazos St.
Austin, Texas 78701
Elections Division
Secretary of State 
P.O. Box 12060
Austin, Texas 78711-2060

Gov: Greg Abbot
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Delivery Address
Office of the Governor
State Insurance Building
1100 San Jacinto
Austin, Texas 78701

Governor's Office
350 State Capitol Building, Suite E220
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114
Phone: (801) 538-1000

West Virginia
SOS: Natalie E. Tennant
Secretary of State
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305-0770
416 Adams Street, Suite 413
Fairmont, WV 26554
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Business and Licensing (304) 558-8000
Toll-Free (866) 767-8683
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The Honorable Earl Ray Tomblin
State Capitol
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305
Website: Office of the Governor
Phone: (304) 558-2000
Fax:(304) 342-7025

Everything You Can Do Yourself, You Should Do Yourself…

By Madame Margherite

We live in a world where services for anything you can think of are readily available… for a price. And while some services are best left to experts or perhaps simply easy and unimportant enough to have someone else do, it’s ideal to do everything you can do yourself. Doing things yourself not only saves a ton of money in most cases, but by doing things yourself you’re gaining experience, you’re learning, and your positing yourself in a strong place of decision making. Every time you do something yourself you gain a skill, even when you don’t do it perfectly. And with every skill you gain you become more valuable. 

Most people aren’t very quick to do things themselves. We often delight in the luxury of having someone else do things for us. The barista makes our coffee, the post officer delivers our mail, real estate agents find us our homes, and lawyers write our contracts. The services available to us are endless and they are great. But what if instead of spending so much time earning money to pay people to do things for us we spent that time doing things for ourselves and keeping the change? Well, one common reason people opt out of doing things themselves is because they don't know how to do some of those things themselves and figure it’s just better to pay someone else. But if we pick apart some of these things, it becomes clear to see just how much easier, beneficial and efficient doing things independently can be verses hiring others. 

Not knowing how to do something is a very valid challenge but so is cost. When people think of do it yourself type tasks things like installing cabinets and planting a garden come to mind as good examples. Paying a landscaper may cost you an hourly fee plus supplies, and no matter how clear you are about what you want, you’ll still have to deal with a little bit of settling. You’re also reliant on your landscaper to maintain your garden, and you’ll never really know if you’re getting ripped off or not. But if you spend some time researching what plants might grow well in your garden, and how to make them grow properly you can pick your own plants and take care of them yourself. You’ll also have the opportunity to better choose where your money is going because now you can get your supplies from a store of your choosing and wait for sales cutting the expense of a landscaper right out. Now you can spend that money on things maybe you can’t do, or don’t want to invest in learning how to do like trimming your bushes into lawn animals. 

Now gardening might not be your top priority, and it may not be the most important thing that needs doing so having someone else do it and make decisions regarding may not be such a big deal and could be worth the expense. But what about the important things like purchasing a house? The general population would resort to hiring a real estate agent to find and sell them a house for a fee of tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even if you buy a $200,000 house you’re still paying $20,000 to a real estate agent on top of all the interest you’ll be paying to the bank by the time your mortgage is paid. 

However, you don’t need a real estate agent to secure a loan for a house and you don’t need an agent to sell you one. All the resources available to an agent are available to the public, and an agent will only show you the houses that they have available to show, the ones that they are representing rather than what’s available in the market. That means that you can investigate the market yourself and contact owners directly giving you more options and saving everyone a fortune by simply cutting out the Real Estate agent. 

What you gain by doing this is experience and an understanding of how real estate works. Sure you’ll have to learn the legalities yourself and you’ll have to spend hours researching but think of it like this. If you’re saving $20,000, at least, that’s twenty thousand dollars worth of hours you’re not working at your job. That’s twenty thousand dollars worth of hours your spending on setting up your home, making an independent decision, and gaining the skills needed to buy and as a result sell houses. You can now take that information and apply to be a real estate agent yourself if you so choose. In any case, you’re stronger and richer for making this kind of a choice. 

This applies even more accurately to services offered by attorneys. Suppose you want to start a business. You could go to a lawyer, tell them what you're trying to do, answer a few questions and pay some money and poof, you’re a business owner. But ask yourself if that’s how you want to start your business. The scenario I just described would cost a person upwards of $1,000 if they got a cheap lawyer and filed for a basic corporation. Now think about how many hours you’d have to work at a job to earn that $1,000 to have a stranger make a decision for you about the company you’ll be running based on some answers you provided. 

Can’t you spend that time looking up the different types of corporations, the pros and cons of each and find the one that most appropriately applies to the business you want to start up? From there can’t you find the proper forms and file them yourself? The answer is yes; yes you absolutely can. If you hire a lawyer you’re still paying the filing fees and taxes but if you do it yourself you are only paying the filing fees and applicable taxes. In most states filing for an LLC, the most common type of business, only costs about $100 and it’s easy. Yet you have the power of knowing you made the decision yourself based on what you learned and information you provided, putting you in a much stronger position. 

When you do things yourself you will make mistakes, experience trial and error, and perhaps even become frustrated. But you’ll save the time you would have spent making money to pay for the service and you’ll earn an education in whatever it is you’re doing that no specialist could or would give you in return for the fee you’d pay them. In my opinion that always makes you more valuable than someone who simply writes checks. Your choices are to save money, gain knowledge and make decisions independently or work hard to spend money on someone else making decisions for you. Once you start doing things yourself, you’ll probably never stop.