Education: Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania; law school at Temple University
What was your first job?
I mowed lawns. I was in the fourth grade. I took my mother’s push mower, and I mowed the lawns for as many neighbors as would let me. In those days, it was two bucks, and for a kid that was 9, that was good eatin’ right there.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
I worked for a guy named Mark Tanoury at a law firm called Cooley. The guy’s brilliant. American Lawyer the magazine named him America’s top business lawyer about 10 years ago. He was a CPA before he went to law school. I tell you all that because the guy’s really, really that good, and working for Mark, I learned two things that were really important, not just to my business success but my happiness in business.
He’s such an incredible guy, and then he’d not know things, and he’d say, ‘I don’t know.’ He was so comfortable saying, ‘I don’t know,’ that I decided, as a mere mortal, that I did not know. And that was OK. The sky didn’t fall. Things didn’t stop. I didn’t get bad performance reviews. I could just not know. Now maybe I’d do something about not knowing next, but he’d just say, ‘I don’t know,’ and that was probably one of the greatest lessons ever. He never lectured me on it. I just watched him do it, and that was so liberating. I’ve used it ever since. Turns out there’s lots I don’t know.