To mark our business law firm’s 20th anniversary, I’m sharing a weekly articles highlighting lessons learned over the past two decades. By transparently reflecting on our journey embracing change and innovation, I hope to provide perspective applicable beyond the legal industry.  Thanks, Scott Levine

To mark our law firm’s 20th anniversary, I’m sharing a weekly series of articles highlighting lessons learned over the past two decades.

Twenty years ago, I was a young entrepreneur just starting my law firm. We were a tiny operation in those early days, and I vividly remember a time when making a large payroll and paying rent coincided in the same difficult month.

I had already overextended myself financially, and then a client’s payment by check bounced, leaving me scrambling with empty coffers only days before payroll was due. I panicked, wondering how I would come up with the funds in time.

In desperation, I turned to relationships I had cultivated over the years – clients, my banker, vendors I worked with. I was honest about my situation and asked for their help. To my relief, they came through. The banker approved a short-term loan, clients made payments, and the owner of the payroll company advanced me the money I needed.

No one was obligated to help, but they did because of the goodwill and trust we had built in our relationships. I realized then how vital relationships are, in business and in life. They provide a safety net when we falter and fuel our growth when we succeed.

Since that time, I’ve continued nurturing relationships with kindness and respect. And time and again, those connections have helped me overcome other challenges and reach new heights, just as I’ve tried to be there for others in their times of need.

The lesson is clear – life presents difficulties for us all. But with strong relationships, built on genuine care for others, we have the support to make it through and thrive. Reach out and invest in your relationships. Should hardship come, you’ll be grateful for the helping hands of those who know and trust you well.

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