This weekend, I took a road trip to Henderson, Nev. where I was interviewed by Joe Theismann, the Super Bowl champ, about my role as an advocate for father’s rights. I love road trips, they give me a chance to spend several hours listening to motivational speakers and spiritual guides who make their way into my professional speaking presentations.

On this trip I listened to about three hours of Zig Ziglar, who was a major driving force in the mass publication of the personal development field. He was a very good Christian and a much sought after sales trainer. His down home humor, combined with an encyclopedic knowledge of human motivators made him a leader in the world of public speakers.

He was one of those guys who labored for years, decades really, to become an overnight sensation. He trudged a rough road for a long time, but he believed in himself and when he couldn’t keep going, his wife believed for him.

It’s not easy to change careers, and to get known for something. It’s not easy to continue plugging away at what sometimes seems like a fruitless task, but time and time again, the parables I hear, the stories I read, and the lessons I’ve learned are that when we persevere longer than we think we can, we will have breakthroughs, and doors and paths will open up for us in unforeseen ways.

I’ve seen it happen for others so I know that there is a great truth in this.

Every good business book will tell you there’s loads of room at the top, that there is no traffic jam on the extra mile, and I’ve had two experiences in the last month that truly validate that for me.

The first is, with the launching of my Men’s Family Law Podcast, I knew I wanted to have guests. I’ve known for years that one of the best ways to get positive exposure for yourself is to share the benefits of what others do and you will gain from the reflected light. With that in mind, I crafted an e-mail to a select group of lawyers that I know and have a relationship with and offered to showcase them on my podcast and that we’d find a way to relate their various specialties to the needs of the men who are listening to me. I figured I could easily do a show for a tax attorney, a real estate guy, a probate person I know, a personal injury specialist, maybe do an immigration episode, you get the idea.

Out of 35 lawyers that I offered to showcase and make them look good, how many do you think took me up on a free offer?

Zero. Zip. Nada. Bupkis.

I was shocked frankly. I figured I’d get a few of them. Honestly, free publicity that is guaranteed to make me look good is a sure way to get me to show up. Maybe even better than good linguine alfredo or BBQ.

But since that didn’t work, I thought well I’ll try a wider audience. I sent out an e-mail that said “FREE PUBLICITY. All I need is a 20 minute timeslot for a conference call and we’ll chat about how your Santa Monica business would benefit men who are going through, or went through a divorce.”

My e-mail went out to 275 business owners in Santa Monica. I cleaned the list so I knew that it was good. I thought for sure I’d get a decent response, so I limited it to only five slots to make people grab a slot.

The e-mail went out on Tuesday morning, and by that afternoon I had one response.

I’ve still not received any more responses.

Only John Cassese the Dance Doctor was proactive enough to reply to my e-mail and say “Yes, I want to do this.” So we scheduled a conference call and were able to knock out a fantastic conversation about why a man who is post divorce should start taking dance lessons with John. We discussed the social opportunities of meeting lots of new people who are trim and active. We chatted about the exercise benefits of dancing and how it keeps your heart rate up and works major muscle groups. He pointed out to me that for men looking to meet women, if they’ve been out of the dating pool for a long time, the group dance classes make getting back in the swing of things easy.

There’s many a parable about a man who sells his land and home to go in search of riches in a foreign land. Temple University uses the Russell Conwell speech “Acres of Diamonds” on its website. The basic premise of all these myths, legends and parables is that we have the resources in our own backyard, but we fail to see them.

I have to believe it is true since I offered to help 300 people with free publicity, and only one could see the benefit.

It makes me wonder what diamonds I am missing in my own backyard. What are the riches in your backyard that you are overlooking?




David Pisarra is a Los Angeles divorce and child custody lawyer specializing in father’s and men’s rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at or (310) 664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra.

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