Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Second Acts

Contrary to what F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, second acts in American life are more the norm than the exception.

Of course, he was 44 when he died. Second acts often are projected onto people. Can you imagine Elvis in Branson, or Marilyn Monroe as a sage grandmother in a rom-com? We lock them in their time even though each lived to 42 and 36 respectfully.

The reality hits you when you go to a 80’s flashback band concert and see more gray hair and finger snapping. It’s not pretty for the most part. Inevitably, there is always one that dances the full Elaine and tries to get the others to join. We are all just a little sore and unhip for that nonsense.

Owning a search and consulting firm, I am in the second act business. The “rising action” as referred to in the theater. Listening to attorneys talk about what worked in act one, what they never want to do again, people that they never want to work with again, and what options resolve to await them in the second act.

A couple of years ago, I took part in the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship. Prior to the program, I knew him as an owner of a Pontiac dealership growing up in South Florida, that then owned JM Enterprises, and had a yacht named the Gallant Lady moored at Bahia Mar.

After WWII, Jim Moran opened a gas station in Chicago with a $360 loan, began selling Hudson’s and became financially successful eventually selling Fords and Pontiacs before being diagnosed with terminal cancer in his 40’s. Deciding to relocate to Florida, beating cancer, he got a call from a friend to learn if he may have an interest in an upstart car company called Toyota.

Test-driving one down the interstate, he threw it into reverse trying to break it every way he could, deemed that it was well built and reasonably priced. He would go on to launch Southeast Toyota where 20% of all of the Toyotas in the US would be sold through. A 15 billion dollar company as a second act.

He was always a car man. Tough to wake up in your 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s as a lawyer and decide to become as qualified in anything else. Besides, those bill rates aren't just based on the hour, but rather the years of experience that lead to that hour. Perhaps the way that you are doing it needs examination. The how, why, and for whom. A call from a friend that points you reluctantly in a different direction.

How many people do you know that have never gotten out of act one for fear of what comes next?

What must be dealt with and treated in the first act to move on to your second act?

What do you need to try and break before you are sold on a new direction?

Are you ready to determine and plan your second act? Then act, don’t project.

If you want to have a confidential discussion about your goals and what a second act would look like to you please contact me at: Andrew Wilcox, Andrew@Wilcox-legal.com, 850-274-7849