I was all over it. I messaged Ari Kaplan right away, asking if he meant that Sunday. Turns out I was a bit too eager for some human contact outside my household. I’d have to wait until noon ET that Monday.
My saving grace during the COVID-19 crisis came four months ago when I saw a note on LinkedIn that a legal innovation trailblazer I’ve long admired was interested in starting a casual daily lunch via Zoom.
More than 80 #VirtualLunch sessions later, Ari’s Monday-Friday gathering is still going strong. Each time I am able to attend, I either meet someone new, learn something new, have a good laugh, or all of this. Mostly it’s all of this.
Take today’s guest. I’ve known and admired Ed Walters, the co-founder of Fastcase, for many years. I’ve read, written and directed the writing of dozens of articles about him, his business partner Phil Rosenthal and their growing legal research company. Yet during Ari’s lunch, I learned more about what motives Ed, some insidery Fastcase development lore, and I got to hear Ed share some sage advice.
If I have to pick a favorite tip from Ed, it is “quiet the self-talk” that voice in your head telling you that whatever you’re aiming for is out of your reach or you’re not good enough. That destructive inner voice is likely enemy No. 1.
This is a common theme in these virtual lunches, whether or not the conversation starts there. Turns out that innovators, entrepreneurs, and regular daily grind folks have experiences or are swimming in self doubt.
It’s enormously uplifting and motivating to be surrounded by so many professionals from literally around the world who are fighting the same demons, can share in one another’s misery, offer solutions, or simply lend an ear.
I often advise professionals, especially during a crisis, to reach out and make a connection. I’m glad I’m following my own advice, at least every lunch hour I can spare.