When you looked at the picture you thought it was photoshopped – right? Come on, be honest.
The picture is real. On the corner of Easy Street and Ho Hum Road in Carefree, Arizona, there is a Stop sign.
The epitome of irony in mixed metaphor.
Every one of you who have started a business or been successful in your career knows that there is no such thing as Easy Street.
Every one of you also knows that Ho Hum Road is where businesses die and careers end.
And carefree? Maybe someday but not any time soon – any for many – never.
So when you are at the corner of Easy Street and Ho Hum Road the stop sign is a warning. Heed it. Stop. Ask yourself, where do you really want to be?
If you choose Easy Street, don’t complain about a lack of challenge.
If you choose Ho Hum Road, don’t complain about being bored.
Everyone who thinks they will be satisfied when they get to that corner and travel down Easy Street or Ho Hum Road should be prepared for boredom or lack of challenge.
We all control what happens when we get to the corner of Easy Street and Ho Hum Road. We are never forced into ho-hum or compelled to accept easy.
We can reject both ho hum and easy. Take a path less traveled and seek rewards not available in the world of ho hum or easy.
Those who are successful at whatever they do have more than once stood at the corner of ho hum and easy. Many have thought, how nice it would be to coast for a while. But, once that choice is made, it is very hard to change.
One of the primary reasons I started my own firm at age 54 is that I was not ready to coast. Ho hum is not a part of my vocabulary. For me, ho hum would be like riding into the sunset on a sinking ship.
When I was in my twenties, I made the choice to be a trial lawyer out of passion. Passion that rekindles with every new case and every trial thirty years later.
What happened? Law firms changed. The only way that I could continue to represent the clients I wanted to represent in a way that could lead to success for clients and satisfaction for me was to venture out in a firm that I controlled.
I had to operate in a lean and focused environment. A place where I could display all of my talents and use technology and strategic partnerships to provide the completeness – to improve service in areas that I either did not like or in which I do not excel.
What did I find? Better client service, at a better price, and much more satisfaction for both my clients and me.
Are there times I worry about cash flow or marketing or new technologies? Are there strategic partnerships that do not work? Do I ever worry that clients will no longer need trial lawyers? The answer to every question is absolutely.
But is it any different for you? I doubt it. If that’s the world you live in, how can I adequately represent you if I do not live in a similar world?
The best decision that I have ever made in business was when I was at the corner of Easy Street and Ho Hum Road. A decision to depart from either road and travel on a new path.
I’d make it again – I do – more times that you may think. But don’t we all do that?
I think we do.
That’s why we travel a road that is neither easy nor ho hum.