There’s an unspoken belief among attorneys and entrepreneurs in general that to succeed, you must push through your own problems in a vacuum, a la Howard Roark from The Fountainhead. If you don’t struggle and sacrifice and work 80-hour weeks, you will never accomplish everything you need to get done. But that’s not the case – truly successful law firm owners appreciate the power of mentorships and masterminds, seeking insights from diverse, smart sources so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
To grow your firm, you must continually improve your business knowledge and gain perspective on how you operate… as well as how you’re fooling yourself. A good mentor can shine a light on your performance and help you be your best entrepreneurial self. Here are quotes about how to make the most of any mentorships you’re lucky enough to develop in your travels:
- You know, you do need mentors, but in the end, you really just need to believe in yourself.— Diana Ross
- Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.— Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Find your mentors among the people you know who are 10 steps ahead of you in your field, role, or industry, doing what you want to, in the way you want to. Connect with new people who you can help, and who will find it a mutually-rewarding and beneficial experience to support you. If you don’t know of any inspiring people that fit this bill, you need to go out and find them. – Kathy Caprino
- Search for role models you can look up to and people who take an interest in your career. But here’s an important warning: You don’t have to have mentors who look like you. Had I been waiting for a black, female Soviet specialist mentor, I would still be waiting. Most of my mentors have been old white men, because they were the ones who dominated my field. — Condoleeza Rice
- A lot of people put pressure on themselves and think it will be way too hard for them to live out their dreams. Mentors are there to say, ‘Look, it’s not that tough. It’s not as hard as you think. Here are some guidelines and things I have gone through to get to where I am in my career. — Joe Jonas
There’s no step-by-step instruction manual that walks you through building and running a successful law firm. But the freedom to explore unknown territories is what makes entrepreneurship so attractive. Don’t walk down that lonely road all by yourself: recruit great mentors and find mastermind groups to get the feedback you need to achieve your dreams.