I’m thinking about taking up blogging (consistently) again…is anyone out there or checking this blog?? Just trying to take the temprature of my audience (what is left) and see what interests everyone. Leave me a comment and let me know you are out there.

I recently received an inquiry from a law school classmate that prompted a great discussion topic. The gist of the note was twofold – 1) how did you go from being an aspiring trial law student to an in-house contract lawyer and 2) how do you continue to stay passionate about your work. With permission, I thought the best way to respond was to use those questions as blog entries.

A little bit of history…While at the FSU College of Law, I was a member of the Mock Trial Team and fortunate to serve as president of the team my last year. We entered trial competitions and advocated against other law school students. It was a close nit group, a lot of work, a ton of fun and the best preparation for a career as a trial lawyer one could get while still in law school. After a few competitions, I just knew I was cut out for trial work! When it came time to enter the “real world,” I quickly found out that while many people sue, few actually go to trial. As a baby lawyer who wants to try cases, you either go to a government job handling criminal cases (state attorney/public defender) or carry a seasoned lawyers briefcase, learn the ropes, and pray you get a shot one day. Neither one of those options really appealed to me, so I began looking elsewhere.

I landed my current position right out of law school in a manner that most of the time doesn’t work…I sent in a blind resume to a company and hoped for the best. For a variety of reasons, I wanted to return home, but just knew that the legal market in Daytona Beach, FL would probably not allow that to happen. I can honestly say that many years of hard work, prayer and Divine Intervention landed me with a job I enjoy. While I had offers from traditional firms, many lawyers I spoke with wanted to get out of a firm and go in house, and there were few in house folks who wanted to go back to a firm. I figured I would skip the firm experience and land in a place where many hope to finish. My background synced up perfectly with an open position and 9 years later, here I am!

The boardroom is now my courtroom. Preparation for a successful negotiation is similar to how one would prepare to try a case – know the issues, know the parties and try to masterfully convince others to see a set of facts the was you view them.  While trail law and contract law seem to be polar opposites, there are many similarities – both sides have clients; both sides have different perspectives; both sides want successful outcomes.

Staying passionate about my work is a topic for the next post….that one could take a while.

Striving for The Best!-mwr

Sunday I had the amazing opportunity to attend SuperBowl XLIII. Settling into my seat, I quickly realized I was sitting next to law school classmate whom I’d not seen since graduation day. We talked for a while and he said something to me that many people have said before…”Man, you have a very cool job!” I have been blessed with a great career opportunity and while running around today (trying to think of a blog topic), I thought one or two of you may be interested in a glimpse of what a sports and entertainment lawyer does on a daily basis. I will certainly get back to the “regular” topics of this blog, but let’s see how this goes for a few days during this celebration of motorsports we like to call “SPEEDWEEKS”…


Driving past the Speedway today, you can’t help but notice the sea of color that has descended upon the town – race team haulers, thousands of campers, souvenir trailers and displays from corporate America galore. You can feel the excitement in the air and know that SPEEDWEEKS is upon us! In the office (corporate headquarters for ISC and NASCAR) there are new faces mixed in with the regulars… out of town coworkers have also descended on Daytona Beach. Today was filled with scores of last minute contracts and contract changes, all which need to be ready by Saturday and the Budweiser Shootout event. By 12:30 our team had turned out at least 20 contracts or revisions to contracts.


Lunch consists of a drive through and a visit to the Worlds Center of Racing. I spent some time helping my friends at Daytona “place” the large jumbotron units located outside the track (making sure we conform with the City sign codes). Star at turn 1, then a trip through the new tunnel, the infield and over to turn 4, right next to the amazing Budweiser Clysdales. Then it was off to a development meeting to discuss the projects and back to the office for a conference call, negotiation of a few remaining deals and SPEEDWEEKS sponsorship issues.


Striving for The Best! – mwr


Firstly, you do have a very intriguing job, something to look forward to, unlike my lousy job. You have real responsibility. The only thing I have to worry about is poppy seeds on a bagel. I am in middle management at Einstein Bagels. As you climb seamlessly up the never ending corporate ladder, I struggle to get out of this god forsaken shopping plaza! Before Einstein’s I worked as night shift manager at Big Lots. It was the worst 7 years of my life. And unlike you I came home to screaming children and a depressed nag happy wife. Sometimes I feel like the walls are closing in on me. Sorry for the rant, but how do you do it? Honestly I’m struggling to keep afloat over here, and you are getting to brag about your great job to your old buddy at the Super Bowl!! Are you kidding!! I truly envy you, and your amazing life!! Don’t get me wrong I know you have worked for and deserve everything you have. I just want some answers as to how you go about getting all the great aspects of your life. Keep up the great blogging. Your friend, Charlie.


Ed. Note – I mistakenly deleted this post, so I am reposting it and the main comment for you to read and enjoy. -mwr

The search for significance is a lifelong journey. No matter what your background, socio economic status, political leaning or any other factor, every person, on some level searches for significance in their life.  Countless books, sermons, speeches and other materials have been prepared on this subject alone. My favorite definition is “the quality of being significant or having a meaning.” We all want to live a life that is more than a meaningless existence. The exact answer is a very personal one and will be different for every person, but I believe you must fulfill the following 3 areas to personally accomplish your lifelong exploration for significance:


Spiritual Significance – Every person has a “God shaped hole” in their being. There are countless religions and beliefs looking to a higher power and answers to this life. There are even “unbeliefs,” but in and of themselves they are acknowledging the presence of something or someone. The search for significance begins and ends with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. All the other factors revolve around this critical threshold.

Emotional Significance – Being tied to others on an emotional level will complete your search. I thought my life was complete before my girls….and then they arrived. Your marriage, your parental bond (both with your parents or figures and with your own children), and those very special friendship bonds reserved for only the closest friends are some of the areas where we develop emotional significance.

Physical Significance – Humans crave touch. As babies we are immediately cradled and held. As kids, a hug and kiss from a parent means the world. As teenagers, a high 5 from your coach, hug from your parents or even holding the hand of your “first love” are important. As adults, touch usually means comfort, welcome and safety. Physical significance is also achieved via accomplishments such as contests, sports, accolades, raising your family, education and professional development.


The success of your life will ultimately be determined by how your resolve these three important areas. My daily walk is consumed by becoming a WORLDSHAKER. For me that means i) being the best husband, father, son, brother and person I can be; ii) working with others (especially teenagers) to help them realize their full potential; iii) making a professional impact through opportunity, drive, training and skill; iv) leaving an indelible positive mark on this earth; and v) doing something that is bigger than me!


Striving for The Best! –mwr


Ed. Note – This may be my most difficult post to date. It literally took weeks to develop these seemingly simple thoughts. I hope it will begin a string of comments below for our readers to exchange thoughts and ideas.

I don’t post specific personal stories much (though maybe I should more often), but I just finished a very cool trip and wanted to share! Amanda and I went on a mini jaunt, sans the kids. We had the chance to see Carrie Underwood the other night and the concert was fantastic. We have seen her several times now and she is an incredible performer! What a journey that woman has taken from the Checotah, Oklahoma (I’ve been through there) to the 2005 American Idol stage to worldwide entertainer in 2008. Her star seems brighter than ever and from my perspective she is truly remarkable. The journey she has taken should inspire all of us that anything is possible!

From the 34th Floor of the Marquis

From the 34th Floor of the Marquis


The next morning we headed for NYC.  One of our favorite places to visit, it’s amazing. People watching is off the charts and the sheer size is almost overwhelming. We did all kinds of great things – saw GREASE on Broadway, shopped till we dropped, ate great food (Bagels, Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity3, Pizza, Italian cuisine), played in the snow, and really just enjoyed being together. One day it was 70 and the next it was snowing in the City! We are so blessed to have celebrated 6 years of marriage in this fashion.

Me and my girl!

Me and my girl!

In a society where marriages are constantly under attack, it is critical to strengthen your marital bond by spending quality time with your spouse. Date nights with just you two on a regular basis and get away trips are the perfect way to do that! NYC was great – I can’t wait until next year!



My next post will reflect on a chance NYC encounter with a very famous celeb and my interesting connection to Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise.


Striving for The Best! -mwr

Inexperience is a simple way to describe not having experience, YET. Everyone faces the quandary of having minimal experience in various situations. It occurs when you start a new job or begin a career. This position doesn’t just happen to young people. In fact, older people are sometimes the worst at dealing with the inexperience that accompanies a situational change. No matter the circumstance, inexperience can be a valuable position, if properly utilized.


Highly effective individuals consciously use their inexperience as a benefit and not a hindrance. The first few years of your career or few months of new employment are periods when you can ask questions and get away with not “knowing the ropes.” Don’t take this to the extreme, but you will generally learn more and receive help from others if you simply take the time to ask intelligent questions. Use this time to evaluate yourself and the organization you have joined. It will prove critical to your future success as a professional and with that particular establishment.


Your inexperience will also present the opportunity to look at a situation from a fresh perspective and offer insightful direction, change or even an appreciation for what is already in place. (Penelope has a great blog about the first 90 days of a new job). I spoke to a friend of mine today who just took a new job, in a new city. As soon as he stepped foot in the building, he knew there were problems. (Here’s another great blog about the interview vs. actual job difference.) However, the existing people who have been invested for years have been looking the other way. Tough decisions had to be made, so… (more…)

Had a good (and funny) conversation with a few friends the other night about “how to find a man.” I’ll describe them as a few young, single and looking young ladies.  I’m no expert on this subject (my wife would probably be better suited to discuss), but I tried to give them some advice from ”the man’s perspective.” The best thing I could tell anyone about tying the knot is two fold 1) find the right person (see the video below) and 2) don’t get married until you are absolutely ready. #2 may cause a strain on your current relationship, but I think it is critical that you do what you want/need to do before you make this lifetime commitment. Sometimes doing those things will even help you find your mate. Once you’re married, it’s no longer just up to you – to maintain a successful marriage every decision becomes a joint decision.  I needed to do things like live in DC and work on Capitol Hill, finish my undergrad and law degree, travel, and establish my career. The time it took me to get to the altar may have been  too long for my bride (just ask her, she will tell you all about it), but it was critical for me.


The following video is from New Spring Church. It was aimed at the guys, but I understand from Tony Morgan’s blog that the women in attendance like it the most. LL and EN, this entire post (and video) is just for you!

How to Find A Wife (Ladies, this is for you too)


Striving for the Best!-mwr

Alright, I have been blogging furiously for the past month and the stats show a few of you actually read the posts. Al even added me back to his blogroll. Jon (my own brother) couldn’t care less. Moving forward, I want to know what you are interested in reading or discussing. WordPress added a poll tool, so if you are having election withdrawls or just want to be heard (I want to hear you) chime and make your voice known……

Striving for the Best!-mwr

“Real convictions are not controlled or changed by circumstances.”

What a declaration! I took note of this statement my pastor made Sunday. It was one of those moments when it seems the words echo in the room over and over. I’ve reflected on this simple, but powerful statement often the last few days and perceive that this world is in its current predicament because people have abandoned basic standards.


In a climate of shady business deals, ridiculous personal actions, declining morality, and an overall deterioration of principled living, people have allowed circumstances to alter convictions once held sacred. You will ultimately be known by your integrity. When personal “convictions” are weak, they will be compromised when convenient. I submit if one is willing to alter convictions, they were never truly convictions. Rather they were just good ideas.  So many people talk about character and integrity, but these traits are not true until you have endured difficult circumstances and remain unchanged.


Think about it today. Do you know your convictions? Are you willing to keep them in every circumstance? I pray for the grace and fortitude to always stay true to my convictions.


Striving for the Best! -mwr

On of my favorite bloggers, Penelope Trunk, posted an interesting blog about the future. Penelope predicts the changes she foresees when Gen Y (1982-2001) takes the reigns of middle management. Rearden Translation of her first point basically says “Gen Y will work longer hours and not parent as much.”


Being squarely situated within Gen X (1965-81), today I am fulfilling her Gen X stereotype – leaving work early to be with the kids. Mackenzie has two major events in her  world today and I’m going. First, we have the pre-school “Teddy Bear Parade.” Not sure what to expect, but I’ll be there to take it all in.


Second, we are going to the movies. My wife went to Fandango WEEKS, not days, WEEKS ago to get advance tickets to see High School Musical 3 on the first day out. You would have to understand my 3 year old, but she literally knows every word and every song from the previous HSM movies. Heck, even I know the words and songs now, since they continually play in the back of our grocery getter. Mackenzie has been jabbering about this movie for months. No way would I miss the expression on her little face and sparkle in her eyes when Troy, Gabriella and the whole gang show up on the big screen.


In addition to parenting our children, my wife and I (along with other great people I know – Al, Jon, and leaders at CRAVE) spent countless hours “parenting” kids whose parents are too busy being middle management.  I have blogged on this subject a lot, but its time to invest in the lives of your children, regardless of your generation. Children are the legacy we leave. No matter how successful you are, your children will define you. I have a picture in my office I have had since college that says “PRIORITIES – 100 years from now, it will not matter the size of my house, the type of car I drove, or the balance in my bank account, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” I pray that my life is not defined by my career, but rather by my commitment to investing in my children and future generations.

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