Happy Valentine’s Day to My Beautiful Wife! What 14 Years of Marriage Has Taught Me About Business FEBRUARY 2020 GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM (817) 769-4044 DIVING DOWN WITH GLG
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
About 15 years ago, I walked into a legendary Lakewood-area bar, that happened to be a client of mine, and met the woman who would change my life. At the time, a good friend of mine (who’s a judge now!) worked there, and she’d told me jokingly that one of her coworkers, an Australian here on visa, needed to get married to an American so she could keep living in the U.S. I shrugged it off until we strolled into the bar and I caught sight of this stunning, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aussie running around flirting with all the guys. Being me, I couldn’t help myself, so I walked right up to her and said, “Hey, are you the hot Aussie I need to marry to keep in the country?” To my utter amazement, that didn’t exactly sweep her off her feet. Instead, her reaction was basically, “Who is this arrogant #%&@*$ and why is he talking to me?” Still, I must have done something right because Michelle and I have now been married for over 14 years! Since both her birthday on the 13 and Valentine’s Day on the 14 are right around the corner, my lovely bride, Michelle, has been on my mind a lot lately (back-to-back gift-giving occasions!). Mulling over how great our life is together while sitting in my office recently opened my eyes to some important parallels between a successful marriage and a successful business partnership. If all of my clients put the lessons Michelle and I have learned into practice, I have a hunch I’d see far fewer lawsuits and many more peaceful resolutions. If you have a business partner, whether recent or longstanding, I’d advise taking the three lessons below to heart. You might just save yourself a messy “divorce” in court.
You wouldn’t believe how many business partnerships I’ve seen fall apart because of a lack of communication. Somehow, it has become a regular thing for two people who share an idea to meet once, chat about their concept over dinner, form a partnership, and then never talk again until one of them decides it’s time for a lawsuit. Recently, I had a case where the partners were so stubborn and dug in that they refused to even sit down in the same room. It wasn’t until they had a (very expensive) hearing in open court that they finally heard, truly heard, each other’s side of the story. After the hearing, my client, with genuine sincerity, acknowledged to me for the first time the opposition might have a point. In a marriage, couples sometimes scream and holler, but they kiss and make up, too. What gets them from fighting to forgiving is communication … and occasional gift giving. RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER’S STRENGTHS In a partnership, each person brings strengths to the table. Identifying and leaning into those strengths will not only make each party happier, but it will also make the partnership more successful! This might seem obvious — if your business partner is good with numbers, for example, it might make more sense for them to handle the books than meet face-to-face with your clients — but the tricky thing is that those strengths can change over time. Keep an eye and ear out for shifts. RESPECT EACH OTHER’S OPINIONS In a business partnership or a marriage, never forget the person you’ve chosen is the one YOU’VE chosen. You picked each other, so you
need to listen to each other and respect each other’s opinions. You don’t have to jump every time your partner says jump, but the sooner you recognize you’re in this together, the sooner things will start working. Michelle isn’t my first wife, and to be honest, I think my first marriage failed in part because I didn’t take these three lessons to heart. I was young and pigheaded, and that spurred a divorce (if you’re in this same situation with your business partnership, call me now— it isn’t too late). Looking back, I can see my attitude toward marriage in my 20s versus my 50s is as different as night and day. Now, each day I feel incredibly lucky to have Michelle in my life. She has my back, looks out for me, and takes care of me even when I don’t take care of myself. More impressive still, she puts up with me! I can be a real pain, and I can’t imagine how hard I must be to live with and to love. Michelle, you are my partner in every sense of the word, and you’ve made me the luckiest man alive. Happy Valentine’s Day and happy birthday!
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Chi Chi the Rescue Dog A QUADRUPLE AMPUTEE WHO INSPIRES THE WORLD
American Humane Hero Dog Award in 2018. You can follow the adventures of this brave, loving canine at Facebook.com/ ChiChiRescueDog.
perseverance and her will to live, Elizabeth and her family took on the challenge. There were struggles as Chi Chi learned to trust people again, but with time, Chi Chi found peace and joy with her new family. “She exemplifies resilience and forgiveness and willingly shares her love and compassion in abundance,” Howell has said. “Her sweet- tempered and gentle spirit opens people’s hearts and her perceptive spirit senses where her love is needed.” Chi Chi’s vet has called her a “miracle dog,” referring both to the fact that she survived losing all her legs and to the joy she brings to the world. Today, Chi Chi is a registered therapy dog, offering strength, love, and support to those who need it most. She visits VA hospitals, assisted living facilities, and children with disabilities.
In our darkest moments, it can be hard to believe joy can be found again. But one amazing dog proves that no matter what happens, through love and patience, we can make the world a better place. Chi Chi is a golden retriever who was found in a dumpster by an animal rescue group in South Korea. Badly injured and left in a garbage bag with her legs bound together, the only way to save Chi Chi’s life was to amputate all four of her legs. As she recovered, the call went out to find a family who could care for a dog with serious medical needs. As a quadruple amputee, just getting Chi Chi’s prosthetics on so she could go outside in the morning would be time- consuming. Fortunately, Elizabeth Howell from Arizona saw a video about Chi Chi’s plight online. “She stole my heart,” Howell said, taken by how Chi Chi was still wagging her tail despite her injuries. After seeing Chi Chi’s
To celebrate her journey of survival, courage, and love, Chi Chi was honored with the
Solving the Unsolvable THE BEST CONSEQUENCE EVER FOR ARRIVING LATE TO CLASS
Neyman published the first of the two proofs soon after. Then, a year later when Dantzig was struggling to decide on his doctoral thesis topic, his professor just shrugged and told him to wrap the two problems in a binder. Neyman said he would accept them as his thesis. Dantzig’s story has been retold in various versions over the years often as an illustration of what a person is capable of when they think positively. After all, Dantzig may not have solved these proofs if he believed they were “unsolvable!” However, even though some versions might lean more toward urban legend, it’s still an impressive story of the best consequence a student ever received for arriving to class and turning in homework late.
In college, arriving late to class might earn you a stern look from your professor, and turning in homework late normally results in a docked grade. For one student, however, these actions resulted in veneration from the academic community and a story that has become legend. George Dantzig, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, arrived late for a graduate statistics class one day in 1939. He saw that his professor, Jerzy Neyman, had written two problems on the board, and guessing they were the homework assignment, he wrote them down to solve later. A few days later, Dantzig delivered his answers to Professor Neyman. He apologized for turning them in late, remarking that they seemed more difficult than usual. When Neyman told him to just throw the answers on his desk, Dantzig reluctantly did so, fearing his homework would be lost forever in the sea of papers already there. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Six weeks later, Neyman went to Dantzig’s house and excitedly asked him to read the introduction he had written on one of Dantzig’s papers. Of course, Dantzig had no idea what he was talking about. Over the course of the conversation, however, he found out that the two difficult problems he had thought were homework were actually examples of famous unsolved statistical proofs — and Dantzig had solved them!
TAKE A BREAK
FROM ZERO TO 300 Meet the Women Who Pioneered Motor Sports
While Danica Patrick and Courtney Force are well known as modern faces in motor sports, they’re far from the first women to cross the finish line. Since the early 1900s, women have been a constant fixture of automotive racing, including the following three who each left their marks on the sport.
SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY Shirley Muldowney is professionally known in the drag racing community as “The First Lady of Drag Racing.” In 1973, she was the first woman to earn a Top Fuel license from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and, despite backlash from competitors, went on to win the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series an unprecedented
three times. Twentieth Century Fox documented her trials and accomplishments in the 1983 biopic
“Heart Like a Wheel.”Muldowney famously loathed her own characterization but still lauded the film as required viewing for anyone interested in the sport of drag racing. JANET GUTHRIE Janet Guthrie had her sights set on the stars from day one. A skilled aerospace engineer, she began her racing career in 1963. After taking home two class wins in the famed 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, Guthrie became a well-known figure among racing gurus. In 1976, she became the first woman to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series when she finished 15th in the Coca-Cola 600, then called theWorld 600. To date, Guthrie’s storied career has landed her in the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the Automotive Hall of Fame. DOROTHY LEVITT Dorothy Levitt is known for her driving skills on both land and water, setting the first water speed record and an early women’s world land speed record. Her motor racing career started slow in 1904 due to illness and various car troubles, but Levitt eventually went on to garner a reputation for her speed and earn the nickname “The Fastest Girl on Earth.”When she wasn’t racing, she spent her time writing. In her book “The Woman and the Car,” Levitt recommended that women carry a small mirror with them for driving in traffic, effectively inventing the rearview mirror five years before it went into production. If you want to learn more about these women and others in motor racing, pick up Todd McCarthy’s book “Fast Women: The Legendary Ladies of Racing.”
EASY SHRIMP SCAMPI
Make date night simple with this easy shrimp scampi recipe.
1/2 tsp oregano
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
8 oz cooked linguine
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup parsley
1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 2. Add shrimp and oregano, stirring frequently until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from skillet. 3. Add wine and lemon juice to skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. 4. Stir in remaining butter and olive oil and cook until butter is melted. 5. Add cooked shrimp to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. 6. In a serving bowl, top cooked linguine with shrimp mixture. Garnish with parsley and serve. Inspired by The Blond Cook
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
What 14 Years of Marriage Has Taught Me About Business
3 Cheers for Chi Chi! The World’s Hardest Homework Assignment
Easy Shrimp Scampi Fearless Women Who Pioneered Motor Sports
A Slippery Crime
STEALING MISS HELEN ‘OCEAN’S 3’ ATTEMPT A HIGH-STAKES HEIST
The Animal Welfare Act, which was adopted in 1966, is the only federal law that regulates the treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. Interestingly, it only applies to warm-blooded animals, so if Miss Helen had needed further protection, she would be left out in the cold.
The aquarium staff was grateful to have Miss Helen back unharmed, despite her ordeal. “She’s a tough little horn shark, I’ll tell you that,” affirmed Jamie Shank, the assistant husbandry director at the aquarium. NO MINOR CRIME While many animal lovers might disagree, animals are considered personal property, so stealing them is a crime of theft, not kidnapping. The penalties for stealing animals vary depending on each state’s laws, and some states have specific laws regarding animal theft. In Texas, larceny law designates the theft of property valued between $1,500–$20,000 as a felony. In the case of Miss Helen, who’s valued by the aquarium at $2,000, the thieves committed a felony. Also, transporting certain animals requires special permits, which led to additional charges against the three thieves.
On a hot summer day in late July 2018, three people entered Miss Helen’s home, forcibly removed her, put her in a stroller, and ran toward their getaway vehicle. This might sound like a typical kidnapping story, but Miss Helen is no ordinary person. She is a 16-inch horn shark living at the San Antonio Aquarium. Fortunately, their fishy behavior didn’t go unnoticed, and someone alerted the aquarium staff. One perpetrator drove away with Miss Helen in tow, but the other two were stopped by aquarium staff, later confessing to their involvement. Thanks to some observant witnesses and aquarium surveillance, police were able to identify the third thief and obtain a warrant to search his house. As it turned out, he had an extensive aquarium in his home and possibly hoped to add Miss Helen to his collection. After being identified, Miss Helen was returned home safely.
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