For the 2nd time, I am three years into a million dollar business venture of my own creation and I am beginning to see a pattern. I am committed to living beyond patterns and conditioning, so now that the pattern has been noticed, I am committed to doing something different.
What did Einstein say? “Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.”
So here I am.
Exactly where I was just a couple of years ago in so many respects.
And yet so far away.
The difference this time is that I seem to be willing to let go in the right places, even though it’s really hard.
I kept my law firm operating too long because I couldn’t let go. I told myself it was because I had to take care of all the people who worked for me. I was doing it for them.
A part of me was. But, another part of me simply couldn’t let go. Of them. Of the clients. Of the reputation. Of the identity.
By the time I did, it was too late.
And I’m still dealing with the fall out from it.
I won’t do the same thing again. And, yet, here I am. Making the conscious decision to break free of conditioning and patterned responses is difficult.
I’ve done what I do and built something that’s making a huge difference. But, it’s time for its next evolution.
And I’m committed to allowing that evolution to happen in a way that’s best for the organization as a whole. The work is too important.
I won’t make the same mistake. Maybe a different one, but not the same one.
So, I’m letting go. But instead of letting go into the hands of someone who has never run a million dollar company before and doesn’t have a proven track record (which is what I did last time), I’ve decided to create a whole new paradigm of business operation.
This will either be the greatest experiment in letting go ever and I’ll go on to write a 4-Hour Work Week-like book about it and make it to the NYT bestseller list or I’ll be just be another schmo who runs businesses into the ground.
That’s my fear of course.
One failure is acceptable and even seen as a positive in some circles.
But, two? That begins to look like a pattern.
That’s what my mind tells me at least.
Of course, lots of people tell me that my law firm was a huge success, not a failure. And then I tell myself that too as reinforcement. Because it was – if I had wanted to be a lawyer. I’d be rolling in the dough now. A pillar of my community. Living the American Dream.
It sounds great and I know I SHOULD have wanted it. It just wasn’t my path.
So I sold it and had what I have now discovered is an all too common post-sale experience. Within 6 months, the guy I sold it to stopped paying me, stopped paying the bills and was not servicing the clients as I would have.
Since I’ve started talking about this, I’ve begun to hear from other business owners that this is a quite common situation. A company is sold to the wrong person or people and in anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, the company is out of business. Each one left with a varying degree of debt and/or liability.
I don’t want that to happen again.
The work I have created is transformational. I know how much it’s impacting lawyers and the clients they serve on a deep level.
I can’t make the same mistake again.
So, I’m doing something different. Very different.
Yesterday, I announced to my Personal Family Lawyers that now that the company is three years old and has a solid foundation – solid recurring revenue, systems that are proven to work not just by me, but now by additional law firms implementing the systems as well, documented financials and projections – it’s time to evolve to the next level.
I consider all different possibilities and ultimately thanks to the purpose work I’m doing with Tim Kelley, I have determined that the most purposeful thing I can do is let go with purpose.
Letting go with purpose for me means looking at what would be most purposeful for me individually, the company as a whole and ultimately the world. Discovering that option, becoming aware of it, then trusting and letting go.
It’s scary as shit.
So yesterday, I sent the PFLs a letter letting them know that I am going to model the new paradigm of collaborative operations within the PFL program.
Over the next few weeks, I will be inviting Personal Family Lawyers who meet certain criteria to be on the Senior Counsel of the organization. They will pay a membership fee to participate (so they have skin in the game) and receive my personal coaching on their business (people pay $3,000/mo. for this) in exchange for their membership on the Counsel.
Those are the last decisions I will make alone and the group can choose to change them as part of the collaborative process, which takes into account the perspectives of all stakeholders.
This group will be trained in the Collaborative Operating System model and we will document that as best as possible to share with other organizations in the future in case this works.
Within some period of time (once the training is complete), I intend that the Senior Counsel (of which I will be a member) redesign every aspect of the program so that the work thrives if the community wants it to thrive.
That means, the Counsel will make all decisions, including the extent of my continued involvement, how much I’ll be paid if I do continue to be involved, how much I’ll be paid if I don’t continue to be involved, what I do on behalf of the organization, etc.
This is a grand experiment. I will chronicle it here, even when it’s scary. Especially when it’s scary.
A model of the new paradigm.
How can I talk to you about how it should be, if I’m not blazing the trail?
Please let me know that this is impactful for you. Hearing that will give me the fuel I need to keep going down this path (as if I could stop it now?!?) – I’m really scared and the fact that it inspires you, inspires me to keep going.