All of my commentary to this point has concerned matters involving broker-dealers, registered investment advisers and their associates. It is what I do. I help them spend more time building out their businesses by addressing their legal and compliance issues with clear, detailed advice.
Today, though, I would like to write about how I do what I do.
Some time ago, I attended a leadership class at The Wharton School. Fine program. (As an aside, some of the best leadership training can be found in Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s book, Extreme Ownership.) At one point during the class, I had to talk about an image that resonated with me.
I chose Curly.
I am fond of a scene from the 1991 film City Slickers. Here, Curly, the grizzled cowboy (Jack Palance, in an Oscar-winning performance) tells Mitch, the radio ad salesman with the midlife crisis (Billy Crystal), the key to life:
Curly: “You spend about 50 weeks a year getting knots in your rope and then, and then, you think that two weeks up here will untie them for ya. None of you get it.”
(stopping and looking at Mitch) “Do you know what the secret of life is?”
Mitch: “No. What?”
Curly (holding up one finger): “This.”
Mitch: “Your finger?”
Curly: “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean s—.”
Mitch: “That’s great, but . . . what’s the one thing?”
Curly (now pointing at Mitch): “That is what you gotta figure out.”
I chose this scene because Curly was right. And not just because he can do a lot of pushups (more on this to come). If you figure out what is your one thing – your finger, if you will – then everything else will fall into place. For me, this is balance. The balance between managing my practice, being a good husband, father, friend, etc. and taking care of my spirit, mind and body. The Practus law firm plays a large role in this. A virtual law firm is not virtually a law firm. In posts to come, I will offer a few thoughts on how I achieve balance. I hope that you will find them useful.
At worst, you can read about what not to do!
Thank you for reading this article. Please know that I wrote it for informational purposes only (some may consider it ADVERTISING MATERIAL) and did not intend for it to be legal advice or to form an attorney-client relationship with you – especially in jurisdictions where I am not licensed to practice law. I encourage you to seek your own counsel to help you with your specific situation. To that end, I invite you to contact me if you would like to discuss my services.
Ryan Smith is a partner at Practus, LLP and enables broker-dealers, registered investment advisers and their associates to spend more time growing their business by helping them with the legal and compliance needs.