Friends:

I know that the economy has been hard and that there are a lot of people out there trying to save money and cut corners, but I am concerned that the wrong corners are being cut.  The internet makes it too easy. 

Imagine this if you will:  a husband and wife have two young kids, a home, a comfortable living, and a nice, steadily-building, retirement plan.  They want to make sure that their assets are protected and their kids are provided for.  You know what they need… they need an estate plan.  But they want to save money and cut some corners, so they put the plan together themselves.

Imagine this:  two life-long friends decide that they want to go into business together.  They each have considerable assets of their own and they now have created a unique product which isn’t on the market, a logo they think will be an eye-catcher, and a tag line that rolls off the tongue.  They need a lot of things:  some form of business entity, some kind of intellectual property protection, maybe even some kind of agreement between them to identify their roles.  But they want to save money and cut some corners, so they do it all themselves. 

The internet makes this so easy!  But no one is there to watch and make sure the do-it-yourselfers do it right.  How hard have the people in my examples worked to achieve what they have?  How valuable is their family; how valuable are their assets; how valuable is the concept for the new business?  Enough to run the risk that the documents are done incorrectly? 

I started a new work-our program about a month ago; this after three months of procrastinating.  I knew it would be hard.  I knew my life would have to change.  And I dreaded it.  It is so much easier to sit on the couch in the evening, read another chapter, or eat that extra scoop of ice cream.  But I finally made the commitment.  And it is as bad as I expected it to be.  I sweat more, I am more sore, and I have less “free-time” than I ever have before.  But I just cannot stop.  I have already worked too hard to throw it all away.

Oh there are temptations out there.  My favorite food in the world is a bacon cheeseburger (I know, not kosher) and sometimes that is all that I crave.  Eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in one sitting while watching “The Biggest Loser” used to be my pastime.  Now I am sickened by the thought.  I know how hard I have worked these past 24 days.  I know how much sweat has poured our of my pores, how excited I was to see the pounds dropping off, how amazed I was at my six-pack abs (ok, so I am not quite there yet). 

So when I see temptation, I see that Egg McMuffin for breakfast or Hershey’s Bar for a snack, I think about the hard work I have put in and am committed to putting in.  Why would I “half-ass” my commitment to myself?  Why would I introduce those poisons into my body, which would undo all of my hard work, which would jeopardize all that I have achieved so far and plan to achieve?

So why would you trust your assets, your family, your business to a cursor?  Point and click?  These people have come so far and now they are potentially sabotaging all that they have achieved by “half-assing” it.  They are sitting down with their pint of ice cream and thinking that they will be able to recover tomorrow.  They have worked so hard.  Why cut the corner now? 

And it isn’t just in my field.  It is the same with insurance, investments, home-buying… why would you work so hard to achieve success, only to entrust your success to a mouse and words on a screen that haven’t analyzed your special circumstances?

Well, I apologize for ranting a bit.  Believe me, I have seen my share of do-it-yourselfers who regret it.  It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow; but there may be a time when the documents they created are tested.  Will they do what they think they will do?  Will they provide the protection they think will be provided?  A pint of ice cream has some immediate appeal and satisfaction, but is it worth it?  How much harder will I have to work to overcome it?

 Of course, I say all that and I will be in Las Vegas this weekend, the City of Sin and Gluttony.  Resolve, thy will be tested…

Have a great week. 

Rob

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