Unless you are familiar with Tony Hsieh and his business approach, the connection between shoes and asset management might not seem obvious. Indeed, even if you do know a thing or two about the late former CEO of Zappos, you still might fail to see the connection. After all, what does your life’s work have to do with your footwear? Unless you have blown your savings into collector kicks, the truth is not much; however, if you are talking about the common ground between running a successful shoe enterprise and a successful estate and elder law firm, then the similarities are plenty.
Tony, who passed away tragically in late November founded the internationally-recognized online shoe retailer Zappos and in so doing left a legacy that can be counted not only in dollar signs, but in the much richer currency of human happiness. This is because Zappos is an outlier in the world of online retail. The company runs on ten core values which all, in some form or other, exist to ensure customers, as well as employees, vendors, shareholders and the community all leave any interaction with Zappos feeling happy. These values are the following:
- Deliver WOW Through Customer Service
- Embrace and Drive Change
- Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
- Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
- Pursue Growth and Learning
- Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
- Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
- Do More with Less
- Be Passionate and Determined
- Be Humble
Notably, nothing about shoes appears and there is not a single mention of profits. This is because, as the title of Tony’s book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose would indicate, happiness is profit, as well as so much more.
The lesson to be learned from Zappos applies at least as much to estate and elder law as to online retail. After all, an estate plan is only successful if one, it provides peace of mind to the person for whom it is prepared and two, eases the burden upon their family when they pass. These outcomes, peace and ease, are cousins of happiness and the cornerstone of a successful practice. When they are lost from sight, so too is an estate and elder law firm’s raison d’être.
Here at Miller Estate and Elder Law we take this to heart. Your happiness, as well as that of everyone involved in our operation, is fundamental. This is because when you leave our office, you do not leave with anything—not even a new pair of shoes—if you do not leave happy. Sure, we might secure your assets for future generations, ensure you have access to the care you need in old age, and help you in making the most of your life’s work (among many other services), but none of that is worth a great deal if you do not feel good doing it. Money and security mean little without well-being, after all.
In sharing this reflection, our goal has been to offer some insight into our practice. If you are reading this and happen to be a current or former client, hopefully all that has been said rings true. Whether this be the case or not, it would mean a lot if you could drop us a review on Google and AVVO. Reviews, both positive and negative, help us do a better job of helping you but more than that, they help other folks out there find services that are invested not only in raking in profits, but in nurturing happiness and building connection. Thank you!