Who remembers the game 52 Pickup? Depending on the rules, it’s the game that became ‘Solitaire’ – one of the earliest ubiquitous pieces of gaming software that was built into our mainstream user systems.
Random fact: Did you know that the first piece of demonstrated computer gamification, a variation of tic-tac-toe was in 1950, created for the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) by Josef Kates, the Canadian engineer who also invented the computerized traffic signalling system as the world knows it?
Yes, people not crashing into one another in fast moving vehicles, aided by computer, is also a Canadian invention.
No accident he also invented a game.
See my point? It’s never just a snoozefest.
So 52 Pickup. You know, where someone asks you if you want to play, you say “Hell yeah!” – and they proceed to toss an entire deck of cards into the air and say “Ok. Pick ‘em up!”
Well, I am both the “thrower” and the “picker upper.”
Taking a mess and organizing it – that’s my superpower! It’s literally in my DNA.
I realized early on in my life that I knew how to do things differently, and better, than many people.
This does NOT mean I was instantly imbued with the powers to be unafraid to shake things up and instigate change.
Instead I went off and studied biology. As you do when you want to be a patent lawyer.
I could bore you with the rest, but in the interest of the anti-snoozefest, let’s skip to when I started working as a trademark lawyer, with a trademark lawyer.
A very brilliant, if OLD SCHOOL trademark lawyer.
Picture the scene:
Walls upon walls lined with boxes of files, a room full of secretaries diligently typing away, an antiquated, manual billing and tracking system, and the ever-present Dictaphone.
Having been in the game a long time, he also had a book of clients that would knock your socks off, and he had them for a reason, so he became a trusted mentor.
Every story takes a sticky turn and out of it comes personal growth. (I’ve tried to find that personal growth without the sticky turn and it has proved elusive, I’m on it!)
My mentor was not invincible. And health failed him. Of which came a leave of absence for him, leaving me at the helm, as the only other lawyer his clients knew and trusted.
I was ill-prepared. And didn’t ask for this.
But I knew I had it.
It was simply a matter of picking up those metaphorical 52 cards.
But there would be no dictaphones in my future.
Of that I was sure.
So I changed his system completely.
There HAS to Be an Easier Way! And there always is. It’s called evolution.
I did what I guess some people would refer to as bringing his business into the modern world.
Updating filing systems.
Creating templates that can cut time on customization
Oh, and I turned his antiquated billing system upside down – and in a good way!
Billing increased and efficiencies were prioritized. I breathed easy.
And that should’ve been my “A-HA!” moment!
But it was 17 years ago. I didn’t know how to A-HA this into something spectacular. I do now.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
By going through that process of “re-stacking the wood” so to speak – at that firm, I realized that I could, THEORETICALLY, do this same thing for everyone.
Stick a pin in that. I didn’t do a whole lot with that giant realization at the time.
Life Moves Fast, Doesn’t It?
Before I knew it, 10 years with the Intellectual Property division of a big Bay Street law firm had passed.
The time came for more.
That couldn’t be it.
9-5 couldn’t be it for me.
And if by that you think I mean 9 am to 5 pm, ha! (obviously I haven’t as yet impressed on you the super-ness of my powers.)
I mean 9am -9pm, then thinking about work till 5am.
Because, who doesn’t if they are deeply passionate? And I am told only the brave venture out on their own. So I must be brave, because I left and grew my own bricks and mortar boutique trademark law firm, Mason PC.
The true training grounds in which I flexed my unfettered legal superpowers.
And it is, as advertised, possible to remove glass ceilings.
I streamlined my OWN processes over the years.
It’s funny, this drive I have to rearrange and reorganize everything as often as it needs. It’s not a perfectionist thing. I mean, I’m not Swiss, and I’m certainly no Marie Kondo.
It’s not like I can tell if there is a glitch in the Matrix.
I just find the errors, though. They jump out at me.
I find – and fix – mistakes or inefficiencies.
Trust me. I can pick apart the work of German engineers. And it’s only 0.125% of the time I’m wrong. Ask my partner. 😂 (Hopefully this little nugget won’t make me single again *fingers crossed*)
And that is my why.
If you know an easier way, how can you NOT tell people about it?
That’s why after decades of carefully chosen words, verging on silence, I’m finally chatty as heck.
Because I have plenty to say now.
The age of my brain has arrived.
Thank you for staying with me. I deeply value your time.
If you’d like to skip ahead and read the end of this story, go right ahead
If not, if you value a little tension-build, and suspense, as is expected of all origin stories, hang tight.