7 Simple Tips for Success from an Entrepreneurial Lawyer

One of the joys of teaching is the opportunity to invite guest speakers who bring their experience and insights alive for the class. The speakers have the added advantage of being a “guest” lecturer and their message not only sounds new but resonates well. I was fortunate to have Bea Wolpert, an amazing entrepreneur, lawyer and woman leader.  Over an hour, Bea in her inimitable style—reality laced with humor and self-deprecation—shared her own experience as a lawyer and entrepreneur as well as the stories of some of her entrepreneur clients. I realized her stories and insights serve well as advice for most prospective and practicing entrepreneurs. Here they are

  • Purpose Be purpose-driven – It’s well worth figuring out what are you passionate about. Pursue that passion rather than money alone – be it dog-walking, raising Labradoodles or being a chef or lawyer (all examples she illustrated)
  • Relationships Work on building authentic relationships – these take time and will pay off in spades
  • Give forward Focus on giving something of value first – people will automatically seek more and become customers. This could be a blog, seminar or webinar, free consultation, or samples at farmers markets – make it easy to buy from you.
  • Sales Recognize your job is selling – not just being a chef, designer, lawyer and learn to become good at it.
  • Numbers Business is about numbers – so the more you learn to understand numbers – costs, profit & loss the better off you will be
  • Commitment Be all-in. Don’t expect a bank (or anyone else, except a parent possibly) to fund your company or you, if you are not willing to be all-in and
  • Plan Whether a business plan for a bank, succession plan for yourself or a marketing plan for the company, planning is both important and will help.

8 Secrets of Success

As the father of two teens, there are many moments when my children ask, even implore, me to “Just tell me what to do!

As a parent, it’s hard not to TELL your kids what to do. Of course there are far more times when they don’t want to hear the things I’d like to share with them. Mentoring entrepreneurs in many ways not that different from raising teens – you’ve gotta resist the urge to tell them “the answer” even when they ask for it and you’d better get used to your advice not being adhered to or at times even heard.

That of course never stopped me as an entrepreneur, mentor or parent from sharing, lessons and insights that I never cease to learn. Even while urging kids or entrepreneurs to focus on impact and the journey, rather than “success” – the question of how does one get to be successful comes up all the time. Luckily better men than me have grappled with this issue and here’s a short (3.5 minute) video that answers this very question. For those that prefer to read over watching a video, however short, I have provided a short summary at the end.

The eight secrets are

  • Passion – be passionate about what you do (& the money will follow as Marsha Sinetar put it)
  • Work – work hard but have fun. As Richard St. John puts it, be a workafrolic and not a workaholic!
  • Focus – focus – on one thing is critical to being successful
  • Persist – persistence is an attribute that comes up consistently
  • Ideas – be creative and constantly come up with new ways to think & do
  • Good – practice, practice, practice – so that you get good at what you do
  • Push – you have to push yourself, past doubts & doubters, obstacles to be successful
  • Serve – be of service, whether with your business or product or in life