The Law of Perpetual Motion

Busy seems to beget busy. And sometimes that “busy” maybe just doing things when time is seemingly available to fill the time. Then, when doing those things, real work happens. For example, a few weeks ago, I attempted to arrange a client meeting in Miami. Nothing happened, the scheduling just didn’t come together and it seemed that the meeting would never happen. So, I decided to make a road trip to handle some family matters in Jacksonville and I hit the highway. I was about halfway there when I got an email from the prospective client asking “When can you come in for a meeting?” Another example was when, several years ago, I had several memorable experiences in a row involving shopping trips I made to Bass Pro Outdoor World. I stopped at Outdoor World on the way back from a monthly lunch meeting I was regularly attending in Miami. So, early to mid-afternoon, I’d take a few minutes from my “work time” to shop. On one of these occasions, my cell phone rang and it was a client who wanted to hire us for a new case. Wonderful – ring the bell, great news. The next month, same meeting, a stop at Outdoor World, another call – another case. I started wondering if I should go there every day! I don’t know for sure, but sometimes it seems that, when you least expect it, and are busy, things happen. I wonder what would have happened if I had not be busy doing something else – would these other events happen?

I don’t know if my perception is accurate, but it sure seems like not much happens when David and I are sitting around the office, wondering when our next case will come in. We have countless examples of “the law of perpetual motion” in our business lives, from the time, early in our owning Magnus, we had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do for many days and decided to take a nap (we operated Magnus from our home for our first couple of years in business). Lo and behold, someone who had been in the audience of one of my speeches called and left a voice mail about a new case while we were snoozing. (The reader may disagree that napping is a form of perpetual motion, but I still like my story.) David and I usually take a 2 week vacation at the end of the year because it is a time when people are more focused on the holidays than hiring a trial consultant. This past holiday season, when we were busy with non work activities, including hosting an out of town friend we hadn’t seen in many years, we booked more new business than during the couple of months preceding our vacation. As I write this, it is 1 week before David and I will depart for our 30th anniversary celebration trip to Greece. We planned our trip to take place in July, a typically slow month for us at work, and I can hardly wait to see if the law of perpetual motion kicks in when we are moving around the globe.

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