Category: Practical philosophy

If you’re a part of the mortgage industry right now (especially on the settlement services side), you’re aware that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed yet another “simplification” to the HUD-1, somehow incorporating the Truth in Lending statement.  I’m not a title attorney, but even I know that you may want to consult with one or get up to speed quickly if this is the first you’ve heard of the proposal.  Big change (think about the last form change, and now add teeth to it) is coming.  Again. more

Ok.  This one’s a little political.  We’ll go back to marketing next week.

You may have heard recently that the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending states ban texting and even using phones while driving. more

My apologies for the lengthy delay.  I’ve been busy!

One of the things I have been doing is observing the way our industry reacts to the sea change affecting it every day.  The regulatory scheme is different, and getting differenter every day.  (Nice thing about blog postings is that one doesn’t need to use perfect grammar all the time.).  more

Sorry for the extended absence.  Life has been good lately, which tends to mean “busy.”  But I had an unwanted experience recently that went to the heart of what I do, so I thought I’d share. This isn’t the first time I’ve thought to tell such a story.   Consider this a living example, if you will, of why it’s important to review one’s customer service policies and practices from time to time.  more

As I sit here today and sign off on checks directed to my federal, state and local governments, I have to admit I’m not humming “God Bless America” under my breath.  In fact, like many, I’m muttering something I hope my four-year old son doesn’t hear.  But it’s not because I don’t believe I should have to pay taxes. more

Always good to begin a blog with a few disclaimers, no?  Here goes.  I don’t have an MBA.  I’m not an accountant, nor have I ever played one on TV.  And yes, I accept the basic business principle that a successful company maintains a strong margin; that revenue is only useful when it outpaces one’s expenses.  more

It’s amazing for me to think that my little consultancy is almost two years old.  Funny thing is, I didn’t set out to be a consultant.  It just worked out that way.  Today, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. more

Back by popular demand (Six people can’t be wrong!) I’ve got a new list for you this week.  Bear in mind that this is not high-brow reading for top social media GuruChampionEvangilisticExperts.  This is the basics.  But I hear routinely from folks I know that they’re intimidated about getting started, or that they’ve joined LinkedIn or Twitter and are getting nothing from it.  So this one’s for y’all!    more

Just a slight departure this week from the world of social media strategy, key messaging and media relations.  And no, it will not involve my least favorite ex-Cavalier…

I’ve had multiple occasions recently (whether through some cosmic force greater than I can comprehend or perhaps just random happenstance) to be reminded of a career change I made about ten years ago.  As I mention from time to time, I was once an attorney.  I was privileged to work for a great firm managed by ethical, generous and capable people.  I was given adequate responsibility, compensated reasonably, presented regularly with good challenges and treated fairly and with respect.  Should be the end of a happy story, right?

But it wasn’t.  In spite of all the traditional variables required to make a job into a career and a career into a calling lining up in what should have been a rewarding fashion, I found myself trudging through the day, each day.  Each new accomplishment or win felt more like a completed task on a household checklist of chores.  Favorable ruling on motion for summary judgment?  Check.  Settlement well below plaintiff’s demand?  Check.  Garbage out on Tuesday?  Check.

I was most certainly challenged, but didn’t feel rewarded (and I don’t mean in terms of compensation).  And this was as a litigator.  There was definitely excitement.  Slowly, I came to the conclusion that, although I liked some of what I did, I didn’t—and wouldn’t ever—love it.

Jump cut to 2010.  On several occasions, I’ve spoken to old friends or relatives who don’t seem to be feeling it in their vocations or jobs.  One was even given the sage advice “Do what you do well, and you will love it.”

I categorically disagree.  Although there may be some overlap, doing something well and loving it aren’t causally related.  I know plenty of athletic people who hate sports.  Some people do their own taxes, and do them well, but I’m guessing many of them have no desire to prepare the taxes of others professionally.  I know plenty of people who go to work to pay the bills, without ever exercising, or even considering, their passions or interests.

When I was considering my new career, I met many wonderful people in the marketing and public relations field.  I also met some absolute idiots.  Such is the world.  But I would always, always marvel when an experienced professional would engage me in dialogue that, inevitably, came off this way:

Experienced PR Guru:     “So you were a lawyer?”

Inexperienced me:     “I was.”

Experienced PR Guru:     “And you want to get into PR?”

Inexperienced me:     “Absolutely.”

Experienced PR Guru:     (Incredulously) “Why?!!”

Inexperienced me:     “I think it’s something I could really love.”

Experienced PR Guru:     “But….you don’t make any money in this…”

…and so on.

Ten years later, I’ve come to prove them wrong.  There is money in ANYTHING one loves to do and does well, with persistence.  It is ok to take the path less understood by others to find and pursue your passion.  Doing what one loves isn’t just a path to better compensation (in some cases), it’s about something bigger.  It adds to one’s quality of life.  It amounts to an employee (or employer) who is more engaged, more excited, more creative…happier.  That’s contagious.  It leads to innovation.  It leads to happier clients, bosses, peers, and so on.

It’s not about doing what you do well.  It’s about doing what you love.  For me, it couldn’t have worked out better.

I’d be remiss, as a loyal Clevelander, not to derive some lesson from the mangled PR train-wreck that is the LeBronaclypse.  So please bear with me! more