Anthony Acampora will moderate the final panel of the Long Island Business Development Resources UNITE event co-hosted by ADDAPT and the U.S. Department of Commerce at the Cradle of Aviation Museum. The panel will discuss Compliance, Controls, Licensing, and Logistics in front of a prestigious group of Long Island Business People. The event will bring together a diverse range of business development and export resources that exist here on Long Island. The overall objective is to transform market potential into tangible market success! Anthony’s expertise, both as a businessman and an accomplished attorney, will keep the panel on its toes and ensure a lively, useful debate takes place.
The panel comprises, Tom Cook, Managing Director, Blue Tiger International, Sidney Simon, Special Agent in Charge from the NY Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Kelly Raia, VP of Trade Compliance, Apex Logistics and Patti Stoff, Managing Director, Long Island Import Export Association (LIIEA).
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 8:15am – 5:00pm (9am start)
Cradle of Aviation Museum – Garden City, NY 11530
On Friday, March 6, Jack Friedman, Of Counsel to the Firm, will be recognized by the UJA-Federation of New York for his work supporting the Rina Shkolnik Kosher Food Pantry of the Jewish Community Center of the Greater Five Towns.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
“Running isn’t a sport for pretty boys….” – Paul Maurer
On these frigid Long Island mornings, I invariably wake up singing Frank Loesser’s 1944 song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” The song in my head isn’t sparked by my beautiful bride of 27 years who wants to leave the warmth of a crackling fire on a snowy night, but by my own internal debate over whether to haul my butt out of bed and run the miles on the training schedule or go back to sleep. I’ve got to be honest here. It’s not a battle that I win every single morning, especially in the winter. But, most mornings, when I’m about to hit snooze and roll over, I remember what Paul Maurer said in The Gift – A Runner’s Story:
“Running isn’t a sport for pretty boys…It’s about the sweat in your hair and the blisters on your feet. It’s the frozen spit on your chin and the nausea in your gut. It’s about throbbing calves and cramps at midnight that are strong enough to wake the dead. It’s about getting out the door and running when the rest of the world is only dreaming about having the passion that you need to live each and every day with. It’s about being on a lonely road and running like a champion even when there’s not a single soul in sight to cheer you on. Running is all about having the desire to train and persevere until every fiber in your legs, mind, and heart is turned to steel. And when you’ve finally forged hard enough, you will have become the best runner you can be. And that’s all that you can ask for.”
Paul is right. Runners are out in all kinds of weather. Marathons are run in torrential downpours, heat waves, and sometimes even snow storms. For ultra-marathons, which are usually between 50 and 100 miles, runners run up and through mountains, in the dark, and with no protection from dangerous wildlife. Runners know that there is very little that they can control.
Sounds a lot like running a business, right?
Business professionals face less than perfect conditions when markets crash and the economy takes a turn for the worse. The best of us, even Long Island lawyers like me, strive to be successful when the business environment is a challenge.
In business, there are few things that we can control. But, in order to be successful in running or in business, you must control the three things that you can control – your attitude, your choices, and your preparation.
The only choice for runners and business owners when the conditions are not ideal is to stay focused on the course, take a long term view, and push through to the finish line. And, why do we do that? Simple.
“This is about doing something difficult and not stopping when it becomes not just difficult, but cold and difficult…or cold and wet and difficult…or cold and wet and dark and difficult.” – Suzy Hamilton (member of the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic teams).
Choosing a Path
“To get to the finish line, you’ll have to try lots of different paths.” – Amby Burfoot, winner 1968 Boston Marathon
Once you have made the commitment to run, you need to decide where you are going to run. That’s a very personal choice, and some may have their reasons for choosing one path over another, but here are my opinions.
Some runners choose the treadmill. For them, the track, the roads, and the trails are too unpredictable. They prefer to run at a steady pace, on a consistent surface, in a controlled environment. For business owners on a treadmill, life is very predictable. Their business is run within the safety of a very narrow bandwidth that stabilizes both risk and reward. Everything operates smoothly and the owners are content – until the treadmill breaks. Businesses that are stuck on the treadmill can never reach their full potential. No one ever got to the Olympics by training exclusively on a treadmill. And, no Olympian is content. Ever.
Other citizen runners train only on a track. They are drawn to a consistent surface but want some fresh air and to control their own pace. They almost never run in the dark or in bad weather, and certainly never in the rain. Although they would never admit it, businessmen that run their operations on an infinite oval loop might actually be worse off than the guys on the treadmill. They have the illusion of freedom, but in reality they have simply traded the never-ending belt for the never-ending track. Their businesses might be a tad more robust because they venture outside of the safety of their home, but not by much.
And then, there are the rest of us. The lunatics who run 10 miles before work at 5 a.m. because we are training for a marathon, an ultra (more than 26.2 miles), an Ironman, a Spartan Race, or a Tough Mudder. We plan our routes, run them at a challenging pace, and change them as the need arises. We run in the rain, and in the snow, and in the cold, and in the heat. We run when we really don’t want to – because it’s hard wired into our DNA. We are constantly trying to improve. And, the entire time, we risk injury, getting turned around on strange roads or trails, and unexpected bathroom emergencies.
Regardless of their running preference, I believe that most successful business owners fall into the last category. We chose our own path. Some may have started on their own treadmill or the track, but in business, as in life, it can be vitally important to take risks and forge ahead on your own (sometimes crazy) path.
On Wednesday, February 11th, SilvermanAcampora attorneys joined over one thousand men and women from across Long Island to attend the 14th Annual Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Crest Hollow Country Club. This movement was launched by the American Heart Association in an effort to raise awareness for this silent killer. Cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death in women, and this event served as an educational platform to spread the word on risk factors and prevention, particularly as they pertain to women.
On March 27, 2015, SilvermanAcampora partner Robert J. Ansell will be lecturing to a national audience at the National Business Institute‘s program entitled “Piercing the Corporate Veil: Start to Finish.” Rob will be presenting at two portions of the seminar, focusing respectively on the nationwide trends in the courts regarding piercing the corporate veil and advanced methods and strategies to be utilized in veil piercing cases.
Rob will be joined by a distinguished faculty from across the country with substantial experience in the areas of corporate litigation and piercing the corporate veil. The lecturers will discuss how to establish the alter ego, expose the misuse of financials, provide evidence, and uncover top mistakes that lead to personal exposure and veil piercing.
For more information about the program or to register, please click here.
The Perfect Moment For Planting Trees
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
I was recently at a dinner with a long time acquaintance, a prominent banker, who told me that he wanted to start running. The funny thing is, even though this fellow had ridden a stationary bike for over 2,900 miles in 2014, the thought of running, even a little bit, was daunting. He was hoping for some magical alignment of the heavens to signal that he was “ready” to start running. So, like a good Long Island lawyer, I pressed him.
What exactly was he waiting for? Maybe after I lose a few pounds, he said. Running is a great way to lose weight, I said. Maybe after I bike a few more miles, he said. What does biking have to do with running? A long silence. It just wasn’t the “right time.”
My friend was waiting for the “perfect moment.” As long as we are waiting for the exact right moment to begin something/anything, we don’t actually have to do it. So, while we’re waiting for the time to be right to start running, we tell ourselves that it’s practically the same as if we were actually running except without all of the pesky sweating, early mornings, and traffic dodging.
Um – that’s not running. Thinking about running, isn’t running. Waiting to run, isn’t running. Running is running. And that only happens when you actually start running.
Waiting for the “perfect moment” to start running is harmless. It means that you may or may not run at some point in the future.
Waiting for the “perfect moment” to take action in your business is fatal. We all know that business problems don’t solve themselves and that they usually compound. Waiting for the “perfect moment” means, at best, lost time and lost revenue. At worst, your business can be jeopardized. There is never a good time to make some of the business decisions much less a “perfect moment.” While you’re waiting for the perfect moment to draft an employee handbook or refinance your operation so that it can expand (or maybe just simply survive), time is passing and the impactful moment is slipping away.
Remember – The clouds only part, and the beam of bright white light only shines down on you after the perfect moment has already passed.
“The greatest danger to most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” – Michelangelo, painter, sculptor, and likely runner.
When I began running, I could barely make it down the block. I set my goal at 5 miles because it was a “respectable” distance that was far enough out of my then fitness level to be a real challenge. So, imagine my surprise when I achieved that goal within a few short months. Mission accomplished. Five miles logged. I’m a runner.
Around the same time, one of my partners, Ed Flint, was diagnosed with ALS. I knew that ALS would eventually steal Ed’s mobility so I decided that something big was in order. I registered for the Hamptons Half Marathon and dedicated the race and my training to Ed. A half marathon is 13.2 miles. It was much farther than I had ever run. Target in sight, I took to my Long Island neighborhood roads with my training plan. I finished the race, gave Ed the medal and the tee shirt, and promptly told him that I would run the NYC Marathon in his honor.
When you set your goals for your business, you need to realistically evaluate its fitness level as well as your level of commitment to the goal. If you company averages $2 million in annual sales, with all things being equal, a $5 million goal for 2015 is probably just a dream. It’s likely that you currently don’t have the capital, infrastructure, or systems in place for such a dramatic increase in business. So, what about increasing sales to $3 million? That’s a 50% increase. It’s significant, but with the right plan, attainable. Besides, even if you miss that goal by 50%, you would have increased your sales to $2.5 million.
A key to achieving your running and business goals is to write them down and to broadcast them to the world. Nothing motivates a runner more than having told all of her friends that she’s going to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Nothing motivates business owners more than telling their people that 2015 is a growth year and setting a difficult but achievable goal. Both rally commitment and drive accountability. A goal that you simply carry around quietly is nothing more than wishful thinking that is unlikely to be achieved.
Once the goal is set, runners and business owners both need a plan with milestones along the way. Each step in the plan must build on the others before it so that there is a sufficient basis for the next step. As we will see in the coming weeks, skipping steps is a bad idea and usually results in a serious setback and the loss of time and momentum.
I didn’t go out and try to run a half-marathon the day after I decided to do it. I started at the beginning and slowly got stronger. I pushed myself every day. In your running and in your business, set your goal, announce your commitment, push yourself, and keep moving forward.
Ed passed away on February 2, 2014 – one year ago today. I got injured before the race and didn’t run NYC this year. I’ve confirmed my guaranteed entry for 2015. I’ve announced my goal and published my commitment. I will train again and finish the race – for Ed.