Airstream teaches another lesson in law firm economics

Years ago, when I was a new associate in a small law firm, I suggested that the firm spend money for something, the exact nature of which I don’t recall at this time. I do remember, however, that the managing partner was not the least bit concerned. His exact response was that I could not spend enough money to worry him; he was more focused on bringing new business to the firm and if my expenditure had a chance of doing that, then he was o.k. with spending the money. There didn’t have to be a guarantee of success given by me. One new client would more than outweigh any amount I could spend, he said.

I was reminded of this lesson today when my wife and I were talking about how much money we’ve already spent on refurbishing our vintage Airstream. We have yet to go on a trip and we’ve spent a considerable amount of unbudgeted money.  As we added the items, and placed a dollar value next to each, I remembered my managing partner saying that I couldn’t spend enough to off-set the benefit of bringing in one new client.

In this case, there is no new client. However, there is a marital relationship to consider. My wife is insistent on experimenting with this form of travel and being a member in good standing of the Vintage Airstream club.

The benefit (equivalent to increased revenue from a new client) is a better marital relationship. After all, if she is happy, my life is better. And, if it’s only a matter of a “few” more dollars, then how can you measure (or complain) about the cost?

And, if all goes well, and we like this new (for us) way of travel, I can coach and consult out of a trailer, especially with internet access now guaranteed by a phone card — as we travel around the country, coaching by phone, consulting in person and offering seminars, and forget about all the hassles with airport security!  <g>


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