By Demetrio Zema, Founder & Director
The end of year is a prime time for reflection, and for me, a time to say thank you to all those who have supported and continue to support Law Squared and myself — my team, our clients, my family and friends, our supporters, our challengers, and especially, our community. Law Squared could not have achieved its many milestones in 2017 without you.
Reaching those milestones have not been without its fair share of roller-coaster moments though.
If 2016 was our year to establish Law Squared, 2017 was a year of such rapid change that it was sometimes hard to keep up. Rapid and exhilarating progress and unforgettable moments as a team has alternated with more challenging times, and as with most high growth businesses, our fair share of growing pains.
In reflecting on the year, three things stood out to me that I consider to be some of the most valuable (and to be honest, hard-won) lessons I’ve learnt this past year…
STAY TRUE TO YOUR VALUES
A little under two years ago I set out to start a law firm that was like no other. One that not only changed the way law is perceived and practiced, but that was a catalyst in an industry in dire need of change.
I was spurred on by my belief that law can be practiced in a more innovative, inclusive and meaningful way, in a supportive and trustworthy environment that encourages lawyers and clients to work better, together.
I am pleased and proud to say that in 2017, we are well on our way to meeting this vision. Our firm’s reputation, its presence and the respect it has gained both within and outside the legal profession have been a positive recognition of our achievements.
But here’s the thing. Law is an old and traditional industry, and if you challenge the status quo of any industry, you’re inevitably going to face some level of criticism and people who question your validity, viability and sustainability.
Your values are the backbone of your business and what helps advance your mission, what guides your decisions and actions, keeps you and your team on track, and what has the ability to breathe life back into the business in times of adversity or hardship.
If me and my team hadn’t been as passionate about our mission as we are, or believed in it and the need for change in our industry to the extent that we do, neither our growth nor the change we aspire to contribute with on a larger scale, would be possible.
When you know why your business exists you won’t be tempted or influenced to sway from that mission, irrespective of what people think, or the challenges you face.
I recently wrote about the power of saying NO in business.
Prioritising has been the second biggest thing that’s enabled us to grow our presence and team in a short time.
If you’re running a high growth business or are a solo founder, chances are time management will be your biggest hurdle. Managing growth, cash flow and ensuring the business is profitable and sustainable, all in a fast-paced environment means the constant demand for your time and attention can get pretty overwhelming, quickly.
You only have a finite number of hours in the day, so it’s important that you choose carefully what to spend them on. Focus on the matters that will help you grow the business, such as client meetings, engaging your community and supporting your team, and use your limited time as a source of motivation.
If you find it hard to choose between all the opportunities available to you (a common entrepreneurial trait) consider this:
When you say yes to everything, what are you saying no to?
FOCUS ON YOUR PEOPLE
Our team has evolved rapidly, from me starting out alone in a coworking space in 2016 to the team of 18 talented individuals we are today.
Growing so quickly definitely has its perks, especially being part of a team that continues to inspire me with their capability, drive and commitment. But naturally, it also comes with its challenges.
I make it a top priority to ensure that my team is as happy and well-supported as they need to be in their work. I’m a big believer in both mentorship and creating positive and responsive work environments, and make sure we have individual meetings, team activities and a consistent feedback loop on a regular basis.
These are some of the things we do to support our team members and watch them grow, both individually and collectively.
These are three things that I consider to be some of the most valuable (and to be honest, hard-won) lessons I’ve learnt this past year. My hope is that they will inspire or help you on your entrepreneurial or business journey.
I am beyond excited for 2018 and cannot wait to continue to share this journey with you.
Wishing you a happy and wonderful holidays and New Years, from all of us at Law Squared.
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