Niki Khoshzamir, CEO of Practice Pro, and David Morrow, start-up adviser for emerging industries, both transitioned from practicing lawyers into business roles within the last few years. During the recent Next Gen Leadership: Advancing Lawyers of Color Ask-a-Mentor session, the pair sat down with participants from the community of lawyers of color to share their stories of how they made the transition.
In this podcast episode, Khoshzamir and Morrow discuss details of the actions they took before, during, and after they made switch to their business roles. They also highlight how they prepared mentally to deal with the lean years of going from making a good salary as a practicing lawyer to making barely enough money to pay their bills. They also share their strategies for how they paid back some or all of their student loans before they left their full-time jobs.
Morrow and Khoshzamir also explain the skills that they have learned on the business side — skills that they wish they would have known as a practicing lawyer, such as carving out time for continuous learning, knowing your strengths, focusing on what is working, and staying current with market trends. Likewise, they cite other skills — such as communication, writing, and resiliency — as those they acquired from their legal experience that has helped prepare them in business.
In addition, both Khoshzamir and Morrow provide their best tips for dealing with failure and how to establish the right mindset before making the jump from a steady, full-time job to entrepreneurship, which include:
- Know yourself and what you want in life. Understand what drives you.
- Run your own race. Don’t run someone else’s race, and don’t let others influence the path of your race.
- Know that you belong, no matter what. You graduated law school, passed the bar exam, and earned your way into your jobs practicing law. Very few people in this country do that. You belong.
You can hear the full podcast below: