Years ago, I was chatting with some other business attorneys at a conference. Attorneys are a very competitive bunch. The group was measuring each other up, bragging about the value of recent deals. Big numbers were being tossed out - millions of dollars. Eyes came around to me. I said "Everything."
At that moment, what came to mind was the owner of a pawn shop in south county. I had just helped him sell his store so he could retire. I have been fortunate in my career to speak, consult, and teach nationwide, even develop a billion dollar financial product. I have represented some substantial, even locally news worthy transactions, ranging from venture capital to IPOs, sales of legendary brands, even the NCAA Final Four. But the pawn shop owner's sale represented what I enjoyed and cared about the most. The dollar amount was not what made it important. What mattered was that business was everything to its owner. And that business owner deserved that I treat him with that same importance as everything else I touched.
This story is why I have returned to practice in my own way - to assist business owners and entrepreneurs through the transitions: start-up, growth, succession, and beyond. I understand why it is so important, because I live this as an entrepreneur myself. Between law and innovation, I've bet it all!