Brett Nelson is Conscious of His Role as Business Owner, Husband, and Father!
There’s a saying that suggests the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and it is used by people who aren’t satisfied with what they have. For Brett Nelson, the grass is only green where you water.
Sit down for five minutes with Nelson, a Lantana resident and successful divorce attorney who owns Nelson Law Group PC in Flower Mound, and you will hear plenty of sage advice. Some of it he came up with on his own, but Nelson admits he gleaned most of those words of wisdom from people he says are much smarter.
Nelson took time to learn and put it all to good use — in his family life and within the community he serves.
“I’ve been prepared for where I sit today, and my marriage is more fulfilling because of what I do for a living,” Nelson said. “I have all this context from which to look through, and it keeps you grounded. I’m not perfect, but I’m more conscious of my role as a husband and father, and the need to bemore involved.”
When Lantana Living caught up with Nelson earlier this month at his office in Parker Square, we asked him to spend the bulk of that time talking about his family rather than the practice he has worked so hard to create. And as we quickly found out, he didn’t need his arm twisted for very long.
Sure, Nelson Law Group — which focuses on everything from family law to personal injury, civil litigation, estate planning, and small business legal needs — is a big part of his life. But work life isn’t what makes this man tick, and he’s quite intentional about it. It’s obvious when he starts talking adoringly about his family.
Nelson and wife, Karma, have been married for 15 years and have three beautiful children (Lucy 13, Pierce 11, Peyton 8). Karma owns her own health and fitness coaching business, and as Brett puts it, she is the most attentive mother and caring wife he could ever hope to have. Add in their dog Jo Jo, and the Nelson’s are your All-American family.
“When I think back to when I was a kid and what I used to dream of in terms of the type of family I hoped to have later in life … well … that dream has been fulfilled for me,” Nelson said. “My wife is an incredibly strong and giving person. And my children are amazing. What I wanted and envisioned hascome true.”
None of that happened without plenty of soul searching, old- fashioned hard work, and commitment.
Karma and Brett juggle careers with obligations at the local Rockpointe Church, various sports commitments for their two boys, cheerleading for Lucy, and the typical trials and tribulations that go along with any marriage. That’s quite a load, and it’s not hard to see why their calendar fills up so quickly. But they are committed to one another, and insist on beginning and ending each day with family time.It’s the sort of balance most families maybe lacking.
In this day and age, Mr. Nelson said it’s very easy to be selfish and get too caught up chasing the mighty dollar. There were times in the past, he said, where he would get up at 3:30 a.m. and stay at work all day — oftentimes not coming home until after 8 p.m. That, he said, put a ton of pressure and strain on his family.
Now, on a day where he has a chance to come into the office and talk about his work successes, Nelson calls to say he’s running a few minutes behind because he spent the morning consoling his daughter, who had recently been grounded and was trying to negotiate a change in her punishment.
“In the past, I would have been quick to get angry, say, ‘I don’t have time for this,’ and just rush off to what I felt was more important at work,” Nelson said. “But this family is important. As we explained to Lucy, sometimes you have to do what is painful. That was hard for me. I want her to do the things she enjoys doing. But in life, there are consequences for all our actions.”
So what changed in this man’s life to make him so satisfied with his current situation, wanting nothing more than to improve upon it rather than search for greener pastures?
For starters, Brett and Karma saw what it was like to live a life without stability. Karma’s father passed away when she was 5, and Brett was a child of a divorced family. Both had to carry with them the stinging pain of being caught in the middle while trying to move forward.
“Both my parents and granddad were extremely influential in molding me into the man I am today,” Brett said. “My granddad was very conservative and there were things he instilled in me, like if you are going to do a job, do it right the first time. Also things like be tidy, avoid clutter, make your bed. In my family, I am naturally the firm one, and sometimes I end up in situations I don’t handle as well as I should. But Karma and I learn as we go. There is no handbook. We are doing the best we can, just likemy parents did.”
As much as Brett has always adored his family, he was able to recognize early in the process that he still had plenty of work to do in living up to his role as a husband and father.
“There was a time when I didn’t understand my role. I was out of work for a period of time and that really brought me to my knees and the Lord helped soften my heart,” Nelson said. “That process made me understand that all my wife and kids wanted was my time. That’s what makes them happy, and that’s where I now see the fruits of my labor. When I can stop and give my family the attention they deserve.”
When Nelson was out of work, he was given a book through Rockpointe Church written by Robert Lewis called, Raising a Modern-Day Knight. The book took a unique approach toward helping fathers raise Godly sons. Nelson read it cover to cover, and it further validated for him the need to be an authentic man.
“It changed me. My role to my boys is to demonstrate what it means to be a good spouse and an honorable, Godly man. For my daughter, it is to show her what a healthy relationship is,” he said. “Karma and I are very intentional about our relationship, and we hope our kids find comfort through the security we give them.”
That attitude has carried over to his practice. Nelson’s philosophy, he explained, is all about treating his clients as people. And in many instances, he would rather talk a potential client out of working with him — and potentially save a marriage — than make an extra buck.
It’s that personalized approach that has gained Nelson a loyal following everywhere he goes.
Though Nelson’s firm may still be relatively new to Texas, owning and operating a successful law firm is nothing new for him. He practiced family law and operated his own firm in Iowa and Illinois for 16 years. While there, he gained a reputation as a tireless defender of families. Nelson also led Highland Village-based Christman, Kelley, & Clarke’s family law practice before starting his
He will forever be a tireless worker, but Nelson knows now it’s important to have balance. Being a husband and a parent is the hardest thing he’s ever done. But it’s also the most rewarding.
“I heard a great presentation where we were asked if our life is like a pizza, where you can carve out what you want, or if it’s like a cake where everything is mixed together,” Nelson laughed. “I used to be that pizza guy, but more and more now, my intentions are to be the cake guy.”
He added, “I am always available to serve my clients. But they don’t take precedence over my family.”
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