[I am writing this post, as a follow up for a post I have written before because my sister felt that the last post on this subject was not friendly at all and did not do much to help her start the process of learning about businesses. I know most of my readers are law students, and for those who need, a friendly guide to how you can start getting some insights into how businesses work.]
A law student needs to think like a businessman – guess why?
Once you graduate and become a lawyer – you have a few paths to choose. Some of those paths will lead you away from businesses, like a specialized criminal law or constitutional law practice.
However, if you are going to be a corporate lawyer or a tax lawyer, or you work in a law firm or even a shipping lawyer, or any other sort of lawyer who advises any kind of company or business on its day to day function, you must know how businesses function and what is going on inside the head of a businessman .
Here are five things that are common to any successful business, and if you want to understand how businesses work, you sort of need to understand if not internalize these rules. By default, these will also enhance your actions and differentiate you from the run-of-the-mill law student. A lawyer in a law firm must be well informed. A person who actually follows this course of action, and demonstrate that they understand the value of these in an internship or interview, will have little trouble in convincing anyone to hire him/her.
- Businesses function on the basis of confidence, not a certainty: No one can guarantee what will be the consequence of a certain action. People still act, on a basis of research, information, and calculations. It is, however, not gambling. You do not wait to be certain before you take an action, but still you must take only reasonable, sensible and responsible actions. It is a question of judgment which has to be developed – and every business value that judgment. They want their lawyer to have that judgment. And you must portray confidence in your action, otherwise no one is going to be confident about you.
- Timing is everything: A right decision at a wrong time is a wrong decision. Being too early is bad, being too late is a sin. Everybody in the business in on the ball – those with better timing performs better. Some people call it luck, smart people try to get the timing right.
- There is no scope for being an amateur and no alternative to expertise: Confidence described in step one should come from expertise and skills. Experiences too to some extent. Learn to pick up skills, not mere information, and you shall be better than the majority of people around you. If you are not good enough, you just don’t make the mark. You just can not afford to sound/appear like an amateur ever if you are in a business. There is no place for amateurs in the business. Ok, maybe there’s place – as minions, but if you are happy with that quit reading this post. Don’t come near my blog. Amateurs think it is OK to make mistakes – that’s the primary sign of an amateur. All sound businesses hate amateurs by default – because they have suffered in hands of some amateur in the past.
- There is no yesterday, no tomorrow, you must live in the present: In almost all business what matters is what you are doing right now. If what you are doing right now is good enough, people will connect up your past and future with the present and glorify you. If you don’t have a present, you have no future. And your past does not matter.
- Performance or quality alone is not enough, these must translate into the visible expression: Are you good? Then why is no one else telling me that?Is Ratan Tata any good? How do you know? Because every newspaper and tv channel and everyone audible over that scream is saying so. Even if you are a small fry, and you are good, it just does not matter. There will be someone who knows how to become visible in your space and take it all away.
Learn how to be visible. Make your skills and expertise visible. Make your good deeds visible. What do people find when they google your name? Does the partner know your name? Do the people who matter know that you have fabulous research skills? Make sure they do. Otherwise, it is like you are an actor with brilliant acting skills but no head. And network. It’s best if you can get others to talk about you, otherwise speak for yourself. There is no alternative to this either.