Chapter 2

History Doesn’t Repeat Itself,
But It Does Rhyme

Michael’s description of this chapter:

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” —George Bernard Shaw 

When I was younger, I always fell asleep in history class. I know there are many of you reading this who can relate. However, after reading that quote from our good friend George Bernard Shaw (nice job, George, you’ve made it to twice in this book so far), I feel like it’s describing me as I wiped my drool while the teacher says class is dismissed. As a grown-ass man, I wish I’d paid a bit more attention during history class. Perhaps not so much to understand the details of the War of 1812 or how Magellan was killed in Cebu, Philippines, but to become more conscious and aware that history can sometimes repeat itself and that success leaves clues. This is why I want to spend some time going back in a time machine to search for clues. Worst-case scenario, you’ll be enlightened by the rich history of entrepreneurship and business

In this chapter, I go back into history to explore the early forms of business and how the entrepreneurial journey has adapted over time. Understanding the different periods in history and how pivots occurred gives us the framework of what the future may hold. I then bring us back to the present day and how the pandemic is impacting us.

  • Certainty? Benjamin Franklin was only partial right
  • How I pivoted John Sheard, Hons BA, LLB, Partner at Sheard Law PC
Contributing Author:

John Sheard

Partner and Lead Counsel of Sheard Law Professional Corporation

In 2011, John Sheard founded our law firm to serve Toronto’s Danforth community, offering a new style of family law practice based on pragmatism and rationality. Though many things have changed in the legal practice, John’s leadership continues to reflect these principles.

We strive for calm and sensible decision making based on the facts of each individual case. When emotions run high, we encourage clients not to “take the bait” and we don’t “fight fire with fire.” We use cool, clear water instead, and try to avoid burning everything down.

John graduated from Queen’s University Law School in 2004 and practiced as a lawyer in Ontario since 2005. Before law, John Attended the University of Toronto, majored in English and graduated with distinction. Academically, John pursued his passion for writing and language. He brings this to our firm every day.

In his spare time, John loves travel and works on the four languages he speaks (in various degrees of fluency…). Travel provides a unique perspective cultivated in the 100+ countries John has visited. Together these experiences give John an edge in legal practice, sometimes helping clients to feel at ease.

Our Firm’s Vision

Effective lawyers help and support clients as they navigate important decisions. Our Danforth law firm welcomes anybody who we can assist. We provide a safe and inclusive space for clients.

Our office serves the diverse community around Danforth Ave. and throughout the GTA. Since we do not have the high overhead costs of a large downtown firm, we can offer a more direct and personal client experience.

While our clients may sometimes interact with a student or other staff, we aim to connect them directly with a lawyer. For this reason, we limit the number of new cases that we accept at any given time.

John’s personality and leadership style creates a relaxed atmosphere in our office. This helps to de-escalate the feelings of anger and outrage that sometimes experience during family breakdown.

We try to set clients at ease so they can achieve clear focus. Our approach prepares clients to make better decisions involved in separation and divorce. This leads to better outcomes.

Our team remains focused on genuine issues in your case. Where possible, we avoid getting dragged into unnecessary conflict. This might include antagonistic letter exchanges. In other instances, it could involve petty disputes with no value to the client. Sometimes it could even mean unnecessary court proceedings. We want to get you through your separation and divorce without losing your peace of mind.

​​Sometimes court is necessary to resolve dispute. Taking a reasonable position from the outset allows our team to push vigorously for client rights in court. We encourage you to take positions that we can justify when the judge starts asking questions.

Telephone: 416-860-9990


Address: 177 Danforth Ave. Suite 302, Toronto, ON M4K1N2