During Memorial Day weekend, I took my family on a casual drive to go to Six Flags - - a rarity for our workaholic lifestyle. As we traveled on the beltway and got off on an exit heading towards Indian Head highway, we were greeted by an intriguing parade of motorcyclists. Wow, I had never seen quite a congregation like that before. I asked my husband a bunch of questions about the motorcyclists and he was able to answer all of them!
Observation: My Husband is Smart!
My husband is so smart. I can always count on my husband to answer the litany of questions that spout out of my mouth as unexpectedly as life itself. The consummate professional, my husband Laurence can adeptly inform me about curiosities that I want to know about just as easily as he defends and explains the lobbying industry to passersby.
I first discovered my husband’s keen intellect immediately when I first met him, in the fall of 1995. I was just beginning my first year of law school; my husband was in his second. I told my friend, a third year law student, that I needed class notes to understand my law school subjects better. My friend told my husband, who was barely my acquaintance at the time, “Give her your notes.”
Like a sweet puppy dog, my husband complied. Of course, this leads to a beautiful story about romance, but in this case, it also mimics perfectly the way he handles his knowledge - - by giving it away, without strings attached.
Smart Husband Founds a Lobbying Firm
I learned from these early days how devastatingly, wickedly, extraordinarily smart my husband really is. Smart enough that, despite serious financial issues during his first year of law school, he earned top grades and took his own, detailed notes. Smart enough that, despite being the eldest of six in a welfare household and getting in trouble with the law as a youth, he effortlessly whizzed through high school and college, working steadily while earning top grades.
After being married to the most intellectually stimulating man I know for almost 14 years, I can tell you from direct firsthand experience that my husband is smart. Laurence founded a lobbying firm on his own, barely a year out of law school, back in 1998. He has trailblazed his own path through careful, meticulous, groundbreaking, hands-on, ground-up lobbying efforts.
In doing so, Laurence has successfully managed to steer clear of widespread assumptions that lobbyists launch careers solely through hand-kissing Capitol Hill staff positions. By contrast, Laurence has valiantly forged his own respected relationships and networked connections with an intellectual vengeance and unapologetic stamina.
Laurence Socci, Bulldog & Savant
Clients have hailed Laurence’s lobbying work, proclaiming him to be a “bull dog” of lobbying and a “savant” of the innerworkings of the complex and complicated Congress despite being dismissed by the media as a “small fry firm.” Laurence has inadvertently become the champion of Lobby Day grassroots advocacy, effortlessly guiding his clients and their members across the jack-in-the-box, alligator-trapped minefield of federal agency and Capitol Hill staff meetings.
Through it all, Laurence has remained humble to his economically deficient roots, yet forceful and knowledgeable like the savvy executive that he is.
Professional Success Deceives
If you’ve gotten this far, you’d think I was writing an executive summary on Laurence Socci. Regretfully, I am not. I am here to tell you how unfair life is, despite the mirage appearance of success. Despite receiving top honors throughout his entire academic career, despite working tirelessly for almost 14 years as a federal lobbyist, my husband can’t seem to catch a break, professionally.
For whatever reason, prospective clients are dazzled, if not blinded, by the faux diamonds that they think a federal lobbyist will produce, and they anxiously hear my husband’s dedicated pitch on the services he will provide. And just like that, the prospective clients pull the rug underneath my husband’s feet, leaving him standing alone, like a fool, leaving him to scratch his head at the equation that never adds up: in-depth knowledge of Congress and the passage of legislative bills = easy way to convince clients to understand the value of a federal lobbyist.
The problem is that prospective clients do not want to pay my husband for the millions that he is worth. Yes, you read that correctly. Laurence Socci, with his wealth of education, innate knowledge, uncanny ability to synthesize the law, and years of dedicated experience on Capitol Hill is worth millions, but no one will hire him for his lobbying expertise, for reasons that go beyond my level of comprehension.
Faith Gives Peace of Mind
Because I do not understand this travesty and this situation affects me and my family personally, I turn to the only solid thing in my life that produces the answers I need to hear: my faith. Every time that Laurence receives a rejection, or even worse, is ignored by prospective clients, I ask God to give me the peace of mind knowing that those Nos are a necessary part of God’s plan.
It is hard watching someone you love face rejection over and over and over again, with no good reason. It is tough watching my husband work to the bone and struggle with a profession that is tainted by lies and politics. It is heartbreaking seeing my husband depressed, telling me that he has been spinning his wheels because his marketing efforts are going nowhere.
All I can do at this point is pray for God’s peace, not just for my husband, but for myself. I need to be strong. I want to be strong. We are going through this nonsense together. I keep reminding myself that God is ultimately in control of our lives, our destinies, and apparently, our careers.
My husband is flailing right now, but that does not mean that the role he plays in his profession will be stagnant for long. My faith tells me that the ideal client is right around the corner. I just know it.
If you have a loved one who is going through a professional slump, how do you handle it? What kind of support do you give to your loved one? What role does your faith play in your support?