Airstream Demonstrates Need for Strategic Plan

We now have the Airstream, a vintage 1969 Overlander. 

My wife’s due diligence enabled us to buy a very good unit at a fair price, a price far less than a new unit would cost. She now has found an RV Show on the DIY (“do it yourself”) Network. And they have devoted a number of shows to restoring/refurbishing a 1970 Overlander. Can’t get any closer to our unit than that. The host of the show is doing an incredibly great job – I recommend watching it just for the joy of seeing a creative person demonstrate how one can implement a vision of beauty that others can’t even imagine.

Watching the host re-make this Airstream provides me with many ideas and an excitement of the possibilities with our unit. Of course, as I may have said in an earlier post, my wife and I come to this project with slightly different perspectives. I like new; and she likes vintage. When we bought a parcel of land years ago to build a house for ourselves, she wanted “modern” and I wanted “ranch.” the architect laughed. We got “modern.”

This reminds me of the time my brother-in-law bought an odd-shaped piece of land (I found out later that it was called a “flag” lot, sort of a triangle shape boxed into a dead-end corner in the hills of Brentwood, CA) that no one wanted and built a beautiful home. Of course, it helped that he was in the construction business and could draw on the talents of many people he knew. But, the point is that he had the vision for the future house.

A vintage Airstream that is refurbished and revitalized for comfort and safety, or a house that is designed with a specific use in mind (to fit a certain lifestyle or a specific plot of land, not just to be another domicile) … each of these will be done more successfully through the advantage of strategic planning. As the Cheshire Cat observed to Alice long ago, if you don’t care where you are headed, any strategy will take you “there.” But, is it the right direction for what you want to accomplish?

Lawyers are notoriously adverse to planning. They are motivated by practicing law, not thinking about how to practice it effectively, efficiently and profitably. Yet, a firm that does not decide what kind of practice it wants will wind up with one reflecting whatever walks in the door. It is doubtful that serendipity and whim are the bet paths to success. Set professional and personal objectives and stick to them. Create a profile of the clients and work you want and focus on them.

For my wife and me, a strategic plan, even a basic, simple one, would have been nice. It would have saved much discussion and angst on the part of both of us had we been able to see more clearly what we wanted, accepted a joint vision and then moved forward on the same path at the same time. In our case, we’re working at this “off the cuff” and as we go.

My truck will be modified with a brake controller in a few days. Yes, I’m getting “on board” with this. We then will take the next step of taking the Airstream for a safety check, weight inspection and final step in the registration process. Once we get the safety issues handled, though,  we’ll need to create a strategic plan for what refurbishing we do next. If we don’t, we’ll find ourselves in a state of conflict and stress. Does this sound like your law firm at times?

Postscript. My wife is already planning trips for us and the grandchildren. At first, local trips so we can get the grandchildren delivered to us by their parents; there are only so many of them we can put in the car and none can be in the trailer while we drive even though they can all sleep with us in the trailer.  And, she has just told me to plan on some longer distance cycling events … we can drive there, stay in the Airstream, I can ride and then we can drive home. Oh yes, of course, she’s already found Airstream rallies around the country … So, if you happen to see an Airstream driving by on the highway, looking a little lost, take a look to see if it isn’t some California dude, following his wife’s strategic plan, seeking the right place to pull over and park. No, it won’t be Desi and Lucy Arnaz, nor Robin Williams; it just might be me.


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