Developing Trust in a Remote Environment

Man on computer during virtual business meeting.

{4 minutes to read}  Technology is remarkable, some of it new, some of it old, and if we leverage it effectively during the COVID years, we have a win-win! 

Recently, one of my referral sources posed the question: 

Can we grow our network and develop trusting (advisory) relationships with new people in a remote environment? 

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Did You Pivot to Avoid Business Disruption?

Plan A Plan B Street Signs

{3 minutes to read}  As the summer breeze began to stiffen and schools reopened, I anticipated drastic and ongoing changes to business generally. Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, I’d been concerned about the future of the retail fashion and commercial real estate industries, just a couple of my practice areas. Some businesses would have been disrupted by new technology anyway, as noted by Richard Kestenbaum in a recent Forbes article regarding Apple’s recent U.S. patent filings relevant to the retail eyewear business. Other businesses, such as the travel industry, seemed indefinitely stalled on account of the global pandemic.

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COVID-19: The Black Swan Risk to Business

Stock Photo of Black Swan

{3 minutes to read} I was anticipating increased M&A activity in Q3 since the Covid-19 lockdown began, but as spring turned to summer and we remained On-Pause, I realized that more industries than I originally thought would be significantly, if not permanently, disrupted as a result of the pandemic.

The way businesses confront new and different problems is undergoing a revolution due to the “black swan” event A/K/A the Coronavirus.

So, what should management/companies be thinking about as they recalibrate their assessment of profit and risk?

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To Be an Effective Communicator, it’s Okay to Be Silent

Young woman with her eyes closed

{3 minutes to read}  When the COVID-19 lockdown began, I very quickly noticed the surge, and felt bombarded by, too many choices for online entertainment. Suddenly countless guided meditations, yoga classes, friends having Zoom cocktail hours, and virtual dance parties were available simply by clicking a link. But, in order to process entering into a “new normal,” my instinct sent me to a quieter, more introspective place.

For all things communication-related, I reflect on the words of my guru, Debra Forman, a certified executive coach and the founder of Pinstripe Coaching who, in her video blog entitled After It Rains, video 43: It’s OK to be Silent, reminds us:

“When you feel comfortable with your own silence, you will act as if you speak volumes.”

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Communication is a Key Component for Success

{3 minutes to read} An attorney’s communication style is a key component for success in getting and keeping clients, and persuading others.

Here’s some good advice I’ve received along the way that I’d like to share with you.

According to my guru, Debra Forman, a certified executive coach and the founder of Pinstripe Coaching, in her video blog entitled “After It Rains, Episode 36: You’re Not a Puppet”:

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The Age of Uncertainty

Close-up of business card with heart on it held be a person in a suit seen partially in the background

{4 minutes to read}  How can we regain some control in The Age of Uncertainty?

  1. Increase kindness through our words, actions, and by the omission of certain actions.

As my clients began adjusting to working from home, I made sure to tell them that my job is to lighten their loads and solve their problems to the best of my ability. This goal has always been (and continues to be) true, but The Age of Uncertainty provides a good opportunity to verbalize it.

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Your Biggest Obstacle is Fear

Never Let Your Fear Decide your Future sign

{4 minutes to read} In October 2019, my life changed in several significant ways. Among other things, my stepmother was diagnosed with Stage 3 pancreatic cancer. This was devastating news to me, my family and many others because she is full of love, light, and grace. She faced her cancer diagnosis with her signature strength, dignity and bravery.

I reacted to her diagnosis with a renewed sense of gratitude for my life and my own good health. I also recognized the imminent need to overcome my fear, resistance to change and resistance to facing death. I previously wrote about my resistance to change in Embracing the Change of Season. As autumn turned to winter, I aligned myself with a newfound appreciation of seasonal changes, and the energetic shifts associated with each passing season.

As 2020 drew nigh, I summoned all my inner strength in pursuit of confronting my fears, so I could move through them in a constructive, compassionate and supportive manner. People tend to get blocked when “living in the past.” My wise yoga teacher instructed the class to be careful of people and objects that we cling to. To move forward with grace, I’m learning to respect and integrate darkness and sadness as part of life.

Embracing Fear is the Biggest Obstacle

In order to conquer my fears, I’ve learned to face the unknown head on, and to appreciate and be grateful for countless unwanted changes. Although the unknown is very frightening to me, I freely acknowledge that new and different opportunities blossom out of change. In my experience, surrendering to the unknown most often shifts energy into all kinds of unanticipated, yet positive directions.

I accept that change cannot be avoided. Mother Nature is going to do her thing whether I like it or not, and there is little I can do to control, alter or manipulate the changes I’m facing during this difficult time. What I can do, and choose to do, is avoid extra suffering — and I do this by leaning into all the changes. I’m less inclined to live in a state of anticipatory fear. I’m too busy moving forward.

In the more mundane professional realm, often the worst that can happen is failure when we try new things. But, failure is a social construct, merely a perception, an attitude or an outlook. Successful people often consider failed attempts as nothing more significant than a lesson learned. There is less stigma and value judgement associated with the “cycle of failure” to a serial entrepreneur.

We can manage “fear of failure” by designating it as just another experience along life’s journey. This diminishes the power of fear, enabling us to move past setbacks more quickly and efficiently. Understanding this is a useful tool to harness when stepping outside of one’s comfort zone.

When we take life in a different direction (shifting our time and attention), and when we are aligned with and open to the energy of the present season, we allow new doors to open, and inevitably create new opportunities for growth and development.

As Nike says — Just do it!

Aimee B. Davis Law P.C. is committed to advising its clients and resolving issues relating to the legal and business matters that are important to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (917) 617-2243 or email aimee@aimeebdavis.com.

Aimee B. Davis

Aimee B. Davis
Aimee B. Davis Law P.C.
122 Ashland Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
www.aimeebdavis.com
aimee@aimeebdavis.com

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Questions About the Confidentiality of Customer Lists

Cyber security, Data protection, information safety and encryption. internet technology and business concept.  Virtual screen with padlock icons.

{3 minutes to read} In order to maintain my license and remain an attorney in good standing in the State of New York, I’m required to attend 24 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every two years. After 25 years practicing law, it’s become increasingly challenging (and this past year, a scramble) to find interesting and reasonably priced classes for me to certify to this requirement.

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What Does an Attorney Actually Do When She Conducts “Due Diligence?”

Due Diligence overlaid on a desk with business persons working.

{3 minutes to read}  I believe conducting proper due diligence adds value to any M&A transaction. But picture yourself a young, sleep-deprived associate, staring at a conference room table full of documents to review. Do you know why you’re reading them? Do you know what you are looking for?

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Detours and Deviations From a Normal Closing

Overhead image of a table with hands shaking across it

{3 minutes to read}  In my July 2019 blog, I discussed some unusual aspects about my year-end deal. I was happy to report that despite the oddities, I successfully protected my client’s interests by including a solid indemnity provision from the seller.

As discussed, it was necessary for me to significantly rewrite that purchase agreement. In addition to adding an appropriate indemnity covenant of seller, the parties had agreed to treat the accounts receivable (A/R) and cash on hand as if this was an asset sale (it was a stock sale), and these assets were being retained by seller. This highly unusual structure needed to be reflected in the draft purchase agreement.  

The challenge was that my client was unable to provide me with an estimated amount that she would deliver to seller at closing. I was hopeful that as year-end approached and A/R was collected, it would become easier for her to estimate this amount. Given the nature of this business and the close relationship between the parties, they both seemed to understand why an estimate could not be made, and seller trusted buyer to make the payment as and when the A/R was actually collected on a post-closing basis. When my redraft was sent to seller, it contained no clear commitment as to the amount and when (in relation to the closing date) the money owed to seller would be paid. Aside from a few inconsequential tweaks, all of my revisions were acceptable to seller’s counsel. 

But That’s Not the End of the Story

As drafted, the purchase agreement contemplated that the closing would be deemed effective simply by releasing the nominal purchase price payable to seller and the various closing documents being held in escrow by each party’s respective counsel.

When seller’s counsel realized that the fully executed purchase agreement did not include an estimated payment of the A/R and cash on hand to be paid at closing (with the balance to be delivered at a reasonable later date), he unsuccessfully tried on at least three occasions to unilaterally amend the purchase agreement by imposing additional conditions under which the closing documents could be released by me to my client, the buyer. The drama continued into the first week of 2019, but ultimately, at the direction of his client, seller’s counsel authorized me in writing to release the closing documents and deemed the transaction closed. Proving that even deals that deviate from the norm can end amicably when the parties are motivated to close.

My client was very pleased that I remained within her budget, held my ground with seller’s counsel, and maintained the integrity of the unusual transaction structure agreed to by the parties.

Aimee B. Davis Law P.C. is committed to advising its clients and resolving issues relating to the legal and business matters that are important to them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (917) 617-2243 or email aimee@aimeebdavis.com.

Aimee B. Davis

Aimee B. Davis
Aimee B. Davis Law P.C.
122 Ashland Place
Brooklyn, NY 11201
www.aimeebdavis.com
aimee@aimeebdavis.com

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