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Five things Peter can’t live without

Five things Peter can’t live without

1. My wife and kids – of course.


The woman who agreed to spend her life at my side improves me in every way. She inspires me to be a better person and a better professional. I want to commission a marble sculpture of her and place it in the front yard, in the spot most Italians reserve for the Medici lions.


2. My MacGyver work desk.


I have a 7-ft Herman Miller Renew Sit/Stand Desk. I sit or stand depending on my mood and the task at hand. The right side of the desk supports two dedicated monitors and one shared monitor. On the left side are two more monitors, as well as a TR5000-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill, which converts that whole section into a walking desk. Yes, I work with five monitors. No, I don’t think I have a problem.

3. Our wireless audio system.


I’ve always jerry-rigged (in this business you avoid spelling it jury-rigged) multi-room systems so I can listen to the same great audio everywhere. In school I would connect my computer to various speakers and sound systems using endless RCA cables stapled to baseboards and running up walls. It was effective but not very pretty. In the Counter offices, our Sonos system delivers far better audio quality, and it’s staple-free – a fact deeply appreciated by my interior designer wife.


4. Inspirational audio and video recordings.

Taking on the CRA and building a law firm the right way is hard. At times, a little over-the-top inspiration is helpful. I started listening to this kind of thing as a pre-teen. My father owned a single Tony Robbins tape, and we would listen to it together in the car, in his home office, everywhere. I’d lie on the floor taking in every word, mimicking every inflection. Today, admittedly, I can’t invest much time in that kind of thing. But I still listen to audio talks, and they definitely help push me (and the people around me) to win, to get better results – to grow the best client-centered tax law firm on the planet. On a regular basis I force…I encourage my colleagues to watch (or at least listen to) videos like this. And yes, I’ll probably brainwash my children, too, because in the end we all turn into our parents.

5. Reading on my Kindle.

I love the fact that I can buy any book and read it anytime, in any setting, highlighting key passages – and carrying my entire library with me everywhere I go. Although I hate borrowing books, I do like sharing digital reading material with friends and colleagues. I recently forced everyone in the firm to read David Allen’s Getting Things Done and Seth Godin’s What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and It’s Always Your Turn). And I honestly don't mind that a basketball-loving colleague now calls me “the Phil Jackson of modern legal practice.”