Why We Do What We Do

I just finished a pretty good book called Start With Why by Simon Sinek.  (It’s a little repetitive and he disses on Apple some, but other than that, it’s pretty good)  It’s the book that spun off from his very popular TED talks appearance of the same title.  If you haven’t seen the video, you should, it’s pretty good. I put the link at the end so you can watch it AFTER you read my post.  🙂

This book got me thinking not just for myself but for my practice, “why do we do what we do?”.  Is it the money?  I don’t think so.  I made more money as a Physical Therapist than I did as an attorney for all but the most recent years.  Is it just a job?  No way.  There are easier ways to make a decent living than fighting the the State most of the time.  Why do I do this?  The reason I do this is that I am a “helper” at heart.  That’s why I loved my job as a Physical Therapist.  I loved to discharge people that had started with much pain, dysfunction or inability to do what they wanted and see them now be able to get back to a life to which they were accustom.  It was a great feeling.  Now, I get to work with families that are typically in the final decades or maybe years or months of their life and they have come to me to make sure what they have worked so hard for their entire life is going to first, be protected and second, go to who they want it to go to.  That is a HUGE responsibility and one that I will never take lightly.

I remember one time a family was able to barely get the patriarch of the family into the office to see me.  Whole family was there and the father (of an Italian family) wanted to make sure his affairs were in order and that the estate would go the way he wanted it to go.  I sat their and let the gravity of what I was doing sink in for some time.  This was probably the most important decision and process this man had ever gone through and he was trusting me to make sure it happened.  Wow.

I have never worked for a firm that I didn’t own.  I have always worked for myself and done things the way I wanted them done.  I do things very different than most attorneys.  We as attorneys have a fiduciary duty to our clients.  That is a very high duty to do for the client what is in their best interest.  For the life of me, I cannot see how forcing a family through probate by doing only a Last Will and Testament for them is in any way in their best interest.  I wish someone would tell me so I would not think such bad thoughts.  I go to great lengths to make sure my clients know all the options, what option is best for them and then to do my best to make sure that happens.  Many times, the option I recommend to people IN THEIR BEST INTEREST is the cheaper option by more than half.  Both of my options are cheaper than the option they will typically get from most other attorneys but out of the options that do good things for them, in the vast majority of the cases, it is the cheaper option.

Why do I do what I do?  To make sure the people that built this country, literally, the roads, the buildings, the economy, get good competent and ethical advice that is in their best interest.  That makes me feel good when I go to sleep each night.  I know that I have done well for people.

Then when  a family is facing long term care expense, I am able to save half in the worst case scenario and with a married couple pretty much all of the estate.  Families come into me thinking they are going to lose everything and walk out knowing they will lose very little.  What better job is there than that?  This, and knowing that their loved one is going to get the care they need and have the money to pay for it.  Seriously, it doesn’t get better than that.  That’s why I do what I do.

I know this, but does my staff?  I think so but I don’t know.  I’m going to go person to person and talk to them and find out, why they work in this firm.  It should be interesting.  I will post the results.

Now, here is the link to the video.  I trust you read this rather than cheated and skip down here.  🙂

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