No one did. Not a one. There was one word that literally every in-house and big firm lawyer said to me . . . bold. To a one, they didn’t say crazy, they said bold. – Meghan Freed
At last year’s “Creative Minds Forum” at the Bushnell, Jonah Lehrer said that “working doesn’t always look like working.” Our best ideas happen when we step back.
Small groups of creative, smart, and motivated people do great things. If I was going to start a law firm, I was going to do it with a great partner. The best person I could think of was Meghan Freed.
Meghan and I went to law school together but neither of us can recall ever taking classes or speaking with each other. After law school, both Meghan and my wife Allison worked together at Shipman and Goodwin in Hartford. Hartford is small. The Hartford bar is tiny. We saw each other from time to time at various events and wound up becoming friends.
Meghan is a big person. She does big things. She is very smart. Meghan is both well-respected and well-liked.
In late January, Meghan was working for an insurance company. I’d never spoken with Meghan about anything remotely close to founding a law firm. There were a million reasons that I thought broaching this topic with Meghan was a crazy idea, namely, I didn’t think she’d be interested.
One late January night in the Bahamas, I went to a “happy hour” with the elderly. We were staying at a time share that had a club house. I had a gin and tonic (or two).
After happy hour my wife was putting our daughter to bed. I was sitting on the couch. Thinking about the future. Being the father of a young child, it wasn’t the time in my life to do something crazy. It was a moment to act boldly. To try to find a partner that would not only share my vision but compliment it.
I decided to send Meghan a message. The following exchange occurred:
“Any interest in meeting to discuss founding an awesome law firm?”
To which Meghan promptly replied “Seriously!?!”
I shot back: “Yes!”
That initial exchange was the beginning of several months of dialogue.
Jonah Lehrer was right. The best idea that I’ve had all year didn’t come to me while wearing a suit. I decided to act boldly while wearing sandals and shorts. It came while reading a book about a college dropout who went on to change the world.
For the first time, I began to understand what Jobs was talking about when he ended is Stanford commencement speech with “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”
Sending that message to Meghan was not a crazy idea, it was a foolish idea. It was a bold idea.