Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Journey



A couple of years ago I was invited to mostly proctor a plenary session at a 2-day conference. Paying freight by weaving a few recruiting and client development best practices to a room that was amped up just short of a Tony Robbins firewalk, then brought down with soft music, reamped with mantras chanted, chakras aligned, laughter, crying, an entire gamut of emotions. Perfectly articulate folks who found their inner middle schooler taking profanity for a test drive. Others who escaped offices for a few days finding an inner peace that would hopefully last them past the following Wednesday.

Gone were the elevator pitches. Apparently, people take the stairs, are afraid of triggering in a boxed space, or interrupting people scrolling their Facebook pages. Several people took turns on the last day delivering their “tagline” or “money” line describing what they do in the form of a verb. Not an attorney, “I help clients navigate the real estate buying process.” “I help companies manage their legal risk.”

At a carb social between sessions, a gentleman introduced himself, gave his tagline and asked what I do, to which I blurted out, “I go on journeys with people.”

By this point, I was around state 32 of a journey with my family to all 50 state capitols, presidential libraries, and national parks that's origin began with noun destinations in mind. Around state 15 somewhere lost in Thelma and Louise country missing the turn in Hanksville, Utah as the Sun was setting, two young daughters and my wife in a car that was getting close to empty thanking the paper map as GPS was lost, or the church in Salida, Colorado opened on Wednesday evening, when apparently every gas station, store, and restaurant owner within 200 miles shuts it down early for Hee-Haw or Lawrence Welk reruns, we found that ears that hear the who, what, why, when, and where will garner instant recall as a book of capitols stamped from each will end up in a bin somewhere.

This summer we finished in Montana, every presidential library, and 48 national parks realizing that the two in the backseat are approaching the age where the Griswold family vacations will soon give way to their own personal journeys and the logistical capabilities of embarking on them.

There is a lot of time to think on some of the roads out West where after hours in a direction, mountains do not seem to get closer. Thinking of the people in the van, friends, family, but also the journeys that I have been lucky enough to travel with attorneys over the years.

By now, I have known some attorneys from a LinkedIn connection or advice-seeking emails when they graduated from law school, through the associate ranks, partnership, starting their own firms or managing firms. Along the way, marrying, kids, parents that have fallen ill and needing to be close to. Vacations, hobbies, triumphs, tragedies. Overcoming self-inflicted obstacles. Taking calls, texts, emails at all hours from some that are paid a $1000/ hour to always have all of the answers, but can’t find an escape from the pain that they feel. Counseling to make amends when they can, listening to their stories and what they want of the next chapter. Helping to navigate an opportunity that helps pay for their kid's college, enables time in the morning or evening to share a meal with family, surrounds them with people that challenge and embrace them.

Please contact me at: Andrew@Wilcox-legal.com, or 850-274-7849 if you want to discuss what is next in your journey.

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