This may sound “old school,” but my success, in large part, is due to hard work and intensity for doing a good job. My “new school” approach to hard work, however, recognizes that it is important to be present in your life.
Being present often requires more work to have awareness and appreciate where you are and what you are doing.
I can say now, 17-plus years out of law school, the first 10 years I had no presence or perspective — only hard work. Today, I endeavor under a new approach to my projects: To know the facts and details, to know the context and let the process flow from there.
Learn from others
I belong to a number of industry, trade or affinity groups, and am currently the 2016-2017 president of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Columbus. It’s truly an honor to work alongside amazing business owners.
Through these groups, particularly NAWBO, mentors have encouraged me to work on my awareness and be more present. It has refined my communication and rounded out my approach to leadership and my own business.
I occasionally still work too hard and can be too intense getting things done, but these successful women have shown me how to evolve my business and myself.
I also observed this firsthand from other mentors over the years. The best examples were senior law partners, with their different personalities and approaches.
Some were smooth, others a bit gruff. Some were self-assured and would chase down new projects; others were conservative, perhaps even shy or quiet. They all, however, put in the hard work. We worked long hours — often with successful results.
During my 16-year tenure in a big law firm, we started at least three successful practice areas of law. This wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t all work hard. Now with my own company, I have chances to grow and expand — I just need to work at it.
Mix it up
There are certain opportunities or watershed moments in every life. If we prepare, work hard and aren’t afraid of new things, our hard work can pay off and new growth opportunities can happen. We all learn, change and grow throughout life.
I think working to be aware; being open to new things and new experiences is key to life and successful business.
The constraints of life often have us playing constant catch up. An old school approach to get ahead of that cycle is to go into the office over the weekend, stay late, go in early … you get my point. That’s tough and what I did for years.
I still go in on Sundays, but I challenge myself, and other businesswomen, to work to change the cycle, work to mix up the routine, work to learn new things and try new experiences every day.
For me, and other entrepreneurs that I admire, that new viewpoint helps you see problems differently, approach situations with an open mind and understand opportunities for yourself and your businesses.
Laura MacGregor Comek, Esq., is the Principal at Laura M. Comek Law LLC. Laura is also the 2016-2017 president of National Association of Women Business Owners Columbus.