In early 2013, I took a HUGE risk when I voided all our client contracts in the middle of the night and switched our customers over to a low flat fee. I now refer to that moment as my "Jerry Maguire moment". My conscience finally caught up with me that night. I knew we could provide the same great results for a lot less money. The creation of our Research Database allowed us to do just that. To be even more honest, I began building the Research Database as a tool I intended to lease out to many of our 1,100 hundred plus competitors. It was going give me a green light to a better life and well earned, early retirement. However, just before the Research Database was completed, somewhat of a coincidence took place. Someone (a competitor I imagine who gives big campaign funds) had a former Commissioner at the Cook County Board of Review launch an investigation on us. This occurred almost instantly after we announced being the FIRST in the industry to get rid of our percentage. Go figure. We were investigated for the "illegal practice of law". Months later we were cleared with no wrong doing ever found, obviously or you wouldn't be reading this. However, the event was stressful. It aged me I am certain. It stressed both me and my mother. You can mess with me, but you cannot mess with my mother.. In the instant we were cleared, I said to myself "SCREW THE COMPETITION". I decided our Research Database would be best put to use with the customers we already had and I was certain they would help get us more being thrilled our new low flat fee and even better results. Yes, the Research Database does research better than anyone could every do by hand. We ran with our flat fee and kept praying all the way. I still pray all the time. It was not an easy change. We took an immediate and overnight revenue loss of 80% when I got rid of our percentage for reductions and refunds. I could not have done it without my mother. Those of you who know her, knew she was a in the office just as much as I was. Sadly she had a severe stroke in February of 2017, I noticed she was pretty down and sad after my sister left with her only grand daughter a couple months earlier. Mom went from being a full time nurse to a full time grandma, as soon as my sister gave her a grand child. She raised helped my sister raise her the first 14 years of her life. I decided to stay at moms for a few week and I was there the night our lives changed forever. I blame myself too, I worked the office until 10:30 PM that night, sat in my car checking messages on my cell phone because we were so busy I can't look at my cell phone during work hours. I walked into her house about 10:45 to find her on the floor, confused, struggling to speak and trying to stand. The stroke took out all of her right side and 75% of her speech. I wish I could of came home sooner, like a regular guy who gets to punch out at 5. There is a miracle drug that can only be administered within 3 hours of a stroke that pretty much reverses the stroke and gets the person right back to normal. Unfortunately, you cannot give the drug if you are NOT 100% certain its been less than 3 hours or administering the drug can cause even more damage or death. We had to take a pass on the miracle drug because none of us were sure what time her stroke actually occurred. Two years later, I've noticed that I no longer blame myself as often as I use to. In fact, I have honestly become a little more thankful and grateful for everything I have, even if it's not much. By some miracle, mom is a much nicer woman than she was before her stroke. She use to be a smoker, snappy and moody all the time. She was funny though, even before the stroke but she is even funnier now. The event has made my whole family, including my mother, stronger and tighter. Finding a loved one on the floor is something I pray none of you ever have to endure. A few years ago I created this video to honor my mother and the plenty of sacrifices she made for me. My mom took a lot of risks as a single mother, raising not one but two kids completely on here own. From the day my sister was born, three years after me, she never relied on a man again. My mother taught me and my sister many of life's most valuable lessons. I know that"Life without risk, isn't life at all". Taking care of my mom now is not easy, but it is a great pleasure and a GREAT HONOR. It also comes with a great internal satisfaction that I cannot completely describe. My sister and I actually share her one month at a time these days between Chicago and Ohio. In closing, I want you to know that I had no idea how soft my mothers hair is, until I had to help her brush it after her stroke. When I am brushing her hair, I can't hep but recall how she use to brush mine and get me ready for school. I now get to return the favor, I help her get dressed and ready for the day and it feels good inside. I would like to thank you all for "taking a risk on me" and for seeing my family through some of the darkest of our days. Call your mother, tell her you love her. Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. Take care of each other. It is never too late to right some wrongs. Below is mom's video, I hope you enjoy it. We are a family business that will NEVER stop caring about our customers.
UPDATE: Sadly Yaya (mom) mom passed away right after a beautiful Florida vacation. The very next days she started suffering from dizziness, it took the doctors 10 days to figure out it was small cell lung cancer. We were not surprised she smoked from age 13 right up to her stroke. She stopped after the stroke and became a much nicer person. It was nice of God to let us have that last vacation with her. Like i said above, tomorrow is promised to no one. Call your mother tell her you love her.
Farlap & Associates
3447 W. Foster Avenue Suite B
Chicago, IL USA 773-409-4405