• teamjaglaw

If you're not confused, then you’re not paying attention


Here we are again, trying to get used to writing a new year on our checks and in our communications. This usually takes most of us a few weeks to get right, but it’s here – welcome to 2019 and all the new and exciting opportunities that are awaiting you! This is also the time of year when some, like myself, set aside the needed time to reflect on the past year, and set our sights on our priorities for the coming year. Likewise, many of our clients are doing the same. With the holiday festivities and vacations in our rear view, we can focus on accomplishing new goals, starting new chapters and reaching for new and exciting opportunities. However, for some, the idea of change is scary. After all, it’s not natural to purposely step outside of our comfort zone. As one client recently shared with me, “Well, our board had our meeting, and it just feels safer to continue doing what we’ve been doing.” The client was referring to not overextending themselves, limiting their exposure (financially) and playing it safe. But the question they really should ask themselves is, how has this strategy served you in the past? I can't recall the last time I heard or read a story of a partner, or a firm, accomplishing or experiencing big success by playing it safe! Unfortunately, being conservative is the fastest path to limiting success. And for others, they're very good at the "identifying priorities" step. They do it year after year. Yet, year after year, they continue to fall short because they have a difficult time clarifying the necessary steps to reach them. You may enjoy reading more about this in our earlier blog: https://www.jaglaw.com/single-post/2018/11/02/Are-you-a-pathological-second-guesser

I’m reminded of the true event that happened to a man named Larry Walters. Larry made

national news when he decided to do something a little different. On the weekends, Larry enjoyed sitting on his back deck in his favorite lounger, visiting with friends over a cool drink. Sounds pretty good right? But over time, this had lost some of its appeal, so Larry decided that he needed to mix it up and try something new, something different and exciting. Larry lived just south of the LA airport, and he had decided that he would like to have a better view of his suburban neighborhood. So after a quick visit to the local army surplus store, and a purchase of a helium tank, he devised a plan with the help of some neighbors, to fill 45 army weather balloons with helium and attach them to his favorite lounger. With a cooler full of his favorite beverage and a BB gun in his hand, he gave the signal to his neighbors to cut the ropes which had kept him in his backyard. He had calculated that he would float to about 1,000 feet, and he could then control his altitude by shooting a balloon now and then, so he could safely enjoy the view, while enjoying his cooler of cold drinks. But the problem was that once his neighbor cut the static line, Larry didn’t soar to 1,000 feet. He quickly zoomed as high as 15,000 feet and in the direct path of commercial airliners. One approaching pilot of a DC-10 notified the control tower that he just passed a man sitting in his lawn chair at 11,000 feet. His flight lasted 45 minutes, and he did manage to shoot out a few balloons until he landed in some power lines in Newport Beach, CA, causing a power shortage for a few hours.

When they finally got Larry safely down, not only was he surrounded by police, airport security and emergency personnel, but there was a large contingency of TV reporters.

“Were you scared?” asked one reporter.

“No, not really,” said Larry.

“Are you going to do it again?” Asked another reporter.

“No.” said Larry.

“What in the world made you do it in the first place?” Another reporter asked.

Larry Walters thought about it for a moment and said, “Well, you can’t just sit there.

Believe it or not, this is a true story based on true events. And believe it or not, there are many partners and some in law firm leadership choosing to “just sit there."

But what does Larry Walters have to do with 2019, reflecting on the past year and creating a vision board for the coming year? It doesn’t really, but it does raise the question – What should you do differently in 2019, that perhaps you should have done differently a few years ago? Can you afford to allow yourself, or your firm, to just sit there?

At JAGLAW, we are experienced in assisting our clients in identifying their priorities and eliminating the confusion so they can see their objectives in high definition. We have been helping our clients and individual attorneys and those in law firm leadership see their objectives more clearly for nearly 30 years and we have advised numerous clients in successful transactions.

If you've decided that 2019 is your year to reach for success, and whether it is attracting a practice group to join your firm or opening a new office in a new market, we walk side by side with our clients, even when the goals are so big it requires they step outside of their comfort zone.

I meet a lot of people in my profession, yet I can tell you that I would enjoy sitting down with Larry Walters, and perhaps even enjoying a cold drink of whatever beverage he had in his cooler that day, and learning a little more about his story.

If you have big plans for 2019, and you’re tired of sitting around, or you’re ready for the next chapter in your career and life, contact us at teamjag@jaglaw.com to speak confidentially with one of our senior consultants.


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