• Michael Wolsh

Bracket Busted? In life and business, you can't just say "better luck next year"



Two days into March Madness and my bracket is where it belongs, the recycling bin. Just like most years. What was different this year is my nine year old son made a bracket. He must have learned about it from a school friend and asked if I would help him put it together.


With my kids I try, though often unsuccessfully, to remember what it was like to think the way a child thinks so I can relate to them, reach them. Watching my son fill out a bracket and truly think he could win against more than 15 million others on ESPN, I realized I had forgotten that feeling completely.


I tried to tell him there will be massive and unexpected upsets that even the experts could never predict. Games would come down to a point and sometimes pure luck would ultimately determine the outcome. I wasn't trying to dissuade him, but wanted to manage his expectations. Sometimes when I'm advising my kids I watch as they listen, but I know they won't learn it until they experience it for themselves.


So after two days he learned, one high seed dropping, then another, then another. Best laid plans on paper succumbing to the realities of life. Still, it's been fun and we got to have a new experience that I'm sure we'll do again next year.


So why is this my first blog post on my law firm's website? Because after years and years of practice, I've seen some of my own and my clients' best laid plans end up looking like busted brackets. I primarily counsel small businesses and individuals wanting to look out for their families. No matter how much vision, trust, and hope goes into starting a business or a family, the challenges of life will knock you off course.


Like a bracket, knowing you'll face adversity shouldn't stop you from taking a chance and having the experience. Unlike a bracket, in life and business you have to persevere past all the unknown adversity you'll face along the way. When you get sued, a partner dies, there's a pandemic, or any other of the countless unexpected events ultimately happen, you can't simply say, better luck next year.


I don't ever want to stand in the way of a client's vision, trust, and hope, my goal is give the best advice to protect clients so that when adversity hits, they'll withstand it and have a chance to persevere.