BUSINESS LESSONS FROM FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT 3 Things Every House and Business Needs to Succeed JUNE 2021 GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM (817) 769-4044 DIVING DOWN WITH GLG
When you work with a bunch of construction companies, it’s hard to miss the fact that June 8 is Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday. Wright is arguably the most famous American architect of all time. He designed more than 1,000 homes, offices, and museums over 70 years, like the futuristic Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City (or as our tour-bus guide called it – the Googleheim) and four buildings here in Texas: the John Gillin House and Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas, the William Thaxton House in Houston, and the Sterling Kinney House in Amarillo. To be honest, I’m not a huge Wright fan. Don’t shoot me for saying it, but while his houses are great, his furniture is awful! Still, I think business owners can learn a lot from him and other successful architects. There are dozens of parallels between building a sturdy house and building a successful business. Here are just a few things to check off the to-do list if you want your company to hold up and last as long as Wright’s designs. 1. Detailed Blueprints No contractor worth his salt will start building something without a written design plan, and good luck getting a bank to finance it. The same goes for your business! In order to successfully take your company from Point A to Point B (and get investors on board), you need to have a written plan outlining your goals and the steps to achieve them. If you don’t, how will you know you’ve succeeded? I learned this the hard way when I started Gibson Law Group. I had $5 million in cases ready to go but no specific plan for how I would pay back loans to the bank beyond that figure. They wouldn’t lend me money until I corrected that! Having a business plan is particularly important when you’re just starting out, but if you’ve been in business for years and don’t have a business plan, it’s never too late to start. A quick Google search will net you thousands of generic business plan templates you can download and customize. Then, once you have a plan in place, keep it updated! I like to review my business plan every year. It’s satisfying to inspect the progress I’ve made, check off my old goals, and set new ones. Last but not least, your plan needs to be detailed. Frank Lloyd Wright could have sat down and drawn a stick figure house, but it would have collapsed around his shoulders. Architects
go further: They write down dimensions, materials, wiring, plumbing, and more in painstaking detail. Do the same for your business goals for the next 5–10 years. 2. Permits, Licenses, and Approvals In order to put in a foundation, plumbing, and wiring for a house, you need to have all of your permits, licenses, and approvals in order. These hoops can be a pain to jump through, but without them, you may end up with fines or even jail time! If you’re not sure which licenses you need for your industry or even what kind of business you should form (Is an LLC the smartest choice? What about a corporation or a DBA?), check with your lawyer and accountant. You can reach me any time on my cell phone at 214-697-3034. It’s the equivalent of calling the city before you drill! 3. Quality Materials Last, but certainly not least, you need to build your business with the best “materials.” Frank Llloyd Wright wouldn’t cut corners, use cheap finishes, or deal with fly-by- night contractors, and you shouldn’t settle for below-average employees or slow internet service! You may save money by going that route, but you’ll end up feeling frustrated and wasting your time fixing mistakes. (Trust me on this one — I put up with slow internet for far too long!) If you spend on quality the first time around, including quality legal representation, you’ll get great results. And it’s never too late to upgrade.
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The Super Benefits of Yoga
Multiple studies agree: Yoga can significantly decrease the secretion of cortisol, the primary stress hormone. In one study, 64 women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) participated in a 10-week program, performing yoga at least once a week. By the end of the 10 weeks, 52% of participants no longer met the criteria for PTSD at all. As with starting any new hobby or regular exercise, it may help to set clear goals for yourself. By doing yoga regularly, there are several physical improvements you can look forward to, such as:
June 21 is International Yoga Day, which makes it a great time of year to talk about the unique benefits of yoga — the “superfood” of fitness. As a mixture of exercise and mindfulness, yoga is not only challenging but also has myriad health benefits. Many people assume yoga is mainly useful for increasing your flexibility. However, it’s also excellent for further developing your strength, mobility, and balance. These can be key benefits for living a healthier lifestyle, whether you’re an athlete or concerned about aging.
• Improved range of motion or ease of movement
Kaitlyn Hochart, a yoga instructor from San Diego, California, writes on Healthline, “During yoga, your body goes through a full range and variety of motion that can counteract aches and pains associated with tension or poor postural habits.” Yoga can help you become more aware of these habits, “[allowing] you to fix these imbalances and improve overall athleticism.” Many forms of exercise are useful against depression and cardiovascular disease, but in yoga’s case, you don’t have to break a sweat to start benefiting from its stress-relieving properties. “The breathing exercises you practice during yoga can help lower your heart rate and shift your nervous system into a more relaxed state. It also promotes better sleep and increased focus,” Hochart writes.
• A reduction in pain, discomfort, or other symptoms
• An increase in physical strength and endurance
• Less weight fluctuation
• Changes in the way your clothes fit
• Better-quality sleeping habits and increased or stabilized energy levels One of the best qualities of yoga is that you can be of any age or fitness level. So, pull up a YouTube video, find a soft surface, and give it a try!
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However, more restrictions have come up. In Miller v. California (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court found that the First Amendment’s freedom of speech doesn’t apply to obscenity.
How does the court define obscenity? There are three things they’ll take into account:
1. Will the average person (applying contemporary “community standards”) find the work appealing to the overly sexual interests?
2. Does the work depict or describe, in an offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions as defined by state law?
deletes a post, these actions don’t count as violations of free speech. Could that change?
3. Does the work, when taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value?
According to legal experts, the big question now is how to treat large social media platforms. Clay Calvert, professor of law at the Levin College of Law, asks, “Should we treat them differently and regulate them more closely? Have we reached that stage where we need antitrust litigation, perhaps, and say they have such powerful platforms, they’re like near-monopolies that we should do some trust-busting and break them up?”
Certain types of hate speech are legal, so long as they don’t incite violence and cannot be categorized as obscenity as described above. But what about more ordinary political opinions? Can those be legally censored?
The First Amendment’s Boundary
Corporate censorship and censorship by private entities are legal because the First Amendment only applies to government censorship. That’s why when Twitter bans an account or Facebook
Would it be a good idea for the First Amendment to apply to private entities? We’ll leave that to the future debates that are sure to come.
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TAKE A BREAK
ARE GROCERY SUBSCRIPTION BOXES WORTH IT?
June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, so let’s explore one popular way to get more fresh produce into our lives: subscription-based delivery services like Full Circle and Imperfect Food. Are these services actually worth it? Do they save money and provide what they promise? Here’s what the research turned up. Can they save you time? The Verdict: Yes, without a doubt. Subscription-based grocery delivery services appeal to consumers because they save time. With somebody else doing your grocery shopping, you don’t have to think about when you’re making a trip to the grocery store this week. Someone else is doing it for you! Plus, some services even offer meal kits if you can’t decide what to make. There’s no argument here — these services definitely save you time. Can they save you money? The Verdict: Sometimes, since it depends on your existing shopping habits. If you find yourself making impulsive purchases while strolling down the aisles at the grocery store, then a set (but customizable) weekly list of delivered groceries might be a great way to stick to your budget. Unfortunately, not many grocery subscription-box delivery services offer nonfood items like toilet paper or cleaning products, so you may still have to make a trip to the store every once in a while. Is the food quality great? The Verdict: Yes, but it depends on your area. You have a higher chance of getting better grocery items if you buy from an organic grocery box service, like Imperfect Foods or Farm Fresh to You, since these companies work closely with your local farms. Keep in mind that some services, like Imperfect Foods, are designed to deliver fresh foods that are a little “imperfect” in size, shape, or color to help prevent food waste — but, as a benefit, it’s more affordable! However, we’ve found some services, like Full Circle, will prepackage their boxes from warehouses that may not be local to you, so do a little research before picking one. All in all, we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that these boxes aren’t such a bad idea. Consider looking into it if you’re tired of the weekly grocery store time crunch!
GRILLED CHICKEN SHAWARMA
Inspired by FeastingAtHome.com
A spice-filled marinade and time do all the work in this recipe that features Middle Eastern flavors.
• 2 tsp allspice • 8 garlic cloves, minced • 6 tbsp olive oil • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
• 2 tbsp ground coriander • 2 tsp kosher salt • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper • 2 tsp turmeric • 1 tsp ground ginger • 1 tsp ground black pepper
1. To create marinade, whisk all spices with the garlic and olive oil in a medium bowl. 2. Add chicken to the bowl, coat well with marinade, cover, and let sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes — or up to 48 hours. Strain off excess marinade before cooking. 3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill thighs for 10–12 minutes
on each side, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 F. 4. Serve with rice, vegetables, or pita bread with tzatziki.
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GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM 15400 KNOLL TRAIL, STE. 205 DALLAS, TX 75248 (817) 769-4044
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Business Success Lessons From Frank Lloyd Wright
The Super Benefits of Yoga
Grilled Chicken Shawarma Are Grocery Subscription Boxes Worth It?
Legally Speaking, What Is Censorship?
Legally Speaking, What Is Censorship? A Brief Dive Into the First Amendment
The Freedom to Speak — Without Obscenity or Inciting Violence
The First Amendment has been the centerpiece of a contentious debate about what can legally be posted (and deleted) on social media like Twitter and Facebook. But before we can define “censorship,” we need to know what is defined as “free speech.” What exactly does the First Amendment say about free speech? What are the boundaries for what people can and cannot do?
The First Amendment covers the freedom of speech, press, and religion. It’s arguably one of the most fundamental amendments to American democracy, but its interpretations can vary significantly. This is how the full First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Why is it that the Ku Klux Klan and Westboro Baptist Church have gotten into legal trouble for expressing their opinions? Their groups often promote acts of violence against another group, which violates the “peaceably” qualifier to the people’s right to assemble.
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