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Knowing When To Double Down

Aug 29, 2017 | Operating Your Company

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away, And know when to run.” – Kenny Rogers

As a dedicated business owner, I’m seated nearly all day, either in: a car, behind a desk – at home or at the office – or at meetings. Now that I think of it, the most time I spend standing is in court or at a coffee machine. I equate the sitting with the grind of working and running my firm and it’s something I just accept.

There are times when owners and operators must acknowledge the signs, stand up and take a step back for themselves. I saw that sign last Monday during the total solar eclipse. When a once-in-a-lifetime event or even a first-in-a-lifetime event comes up, it’s a chance to step away. It’s an excuse break with the grind and do something for yourself. Something different.

It puts things in perspective and I remember clearly thinking on the days leading up to last Monday: “E-discovery can wait – let’s go for a drive and experience this.”

So that’s what I did – I packed up the family, threw them in the car and headed to South Carolina, where we met up with friends who live near the path of totality. We parked ourselves in front of a BBQ place and watched the show.

We set aside three days for an event that ultimately took just an hour.

I’m one of those guys who’s continually fascinated by science, astrology, astronomy and practically anything sci-fi. Making the voyage to the path of totality was completely worthwhile, because when you see things in alignment that are out of your control, it enables you to refocus and find your center. To witness an event so wholly unconnected to the mundane details and routines of ordinary lives gives you some perspective, and that perspective can illuminate paths you never knew were there before.

I remembered a lesson I’ve learned, forgotten and relearned several times over my career: You need days like this to disconnect a bit from your ordinary world and have an extraordinary experience. It doesn’t need to be a major event either – sometimes, something as simple as going for some ice cream with my girls could satisfy the demand. The non-critical work will be waiting for you when you return. Critical work will be waiting for you when you return.

That’s the time to double-down on the things you think you don’t have time for.

Sure enough, the discovery was waiting for me and I was able to crank it out. Once that was done, my positive mood remained and I was a far more engaging communicator to my staff and clients, who suddenly became responsive and months-in-the-making transactions were finally closing. This powered the firm through the shortened week.

You need to seek or acknowledge these experiences before they pass you by because the potential for positivity is abundant.

There’s no guarantee I’ll be here in seven years to experience the next total solar eclipse. In case I am fortunate enough to witness it, Brinen & Associates will be the path of totality. I’m planning for it now and might even make it a mandatory day off for staff. I’m actually looking forward to how much we’ll accomplish in that week in the year 2024.

Contact us to discuss your business needs or leave a comment and share how your personal inspiration fuels your business productivity.


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I formerly worked as a satellite employee from my home state of New Jersey. I ended my employment with my former employer in 2016. In 2018, I was sued by my former employer for $1.1 million in Illinois State Court. I was referred to Brinen & Associates, LLC by a friend who is a client of the firm. Brinen & Associates, LLC came highly recommended. I contacted Joshua Brinen and then had a consultation at his office with his colleague Mark White. Together, Messrs. Brinen and White explained my options...

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