Self-made success: a business owner’s guide to achieving your dream

Samantha Sharlot, News Editor

In modern-day America, being successful is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding feats a person can strive for. Being able to embody resilience in the face of adversity is a rare trait, making it one that encompasses the drive behind any accomplished individual. Success is not defined by money or social status, but is gained through perseverance and persistence. 

Schooling plays a major role in one’s ability to be successful, and oftentimes, is a key role in a successful person’s childhood.

“Education was pushed. In fact, it was mandatory. You were expected to get good grades and [they] weren’t something you were allowed to neglect,” said John Sinodis, chairman and managing partner of the second-oldest law firm in Arizona, Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod. 

On the contrary, education is not always an essential pillar in an accomplished individual’s childhood. In fact, some young people have found their love for learning on their own accord. 

“Education was not emphasized while I was growing up. My father left the house when I was relatively young. I was pretty much left to do what I wanted to do from a young age,” said Laurence Sharlot, named one of the best lawyers in America according to The Best Lawyers in America Organization, as well as the youngest-named partner at Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod. 

Whether education was integrated into the two lawyers’ childhoods or not, does not diminish the role school plays in success. In fact, it sets a baseline for future accomplishments in one’s career.

“My advice would be to get a good education, by that I mean a minimum of an undergraduate degree,” Sharlot said. 

In addition to a strong degree, understanding the purpose behind a job and its value to the person, is just as important. Ensuring one picks a job that does not feel like a job, was a point honed in on by both attorneys. 

“I would tell you to choose something you are passionate about, something you really enjoy doing. Then, it won’t really seem much like work. It will seem like a calling,” Sinodis said.

Many struggle to uncover their true passion in relation to career choice, and receiving a higher education is a huge building block to discovering that calling. 

“Once I did get into college and applied myself, as well as law school, I found education to be intellectually very stimulating. I enjoyed learning,” Sharlot said.

For a lot of students, college is where life-changing decisions, such as career paths, are made. In fact, it can spark an appeal to a job that the student would not have had otherwise. 

“I first got interested in [law] in college. I had an undergraduate degree in finance with a minor in accounting. I thought going into corporate law would be a good profession. I was probably about a junior in college when I made that decision,” Sharlot said. 

In terms of the traits needed in order to accomplish a goal, the notion of giving 100% to every task at hand did not cease to pass through the lawyers’ minds. 

“One of the things my father used to say was that, ‘I don’t really care what you do, you are expected to give everything to whatever you are doing at the moment. You are expected to do well,” Sindois said.

Going further, the drive needed to be successful is just as simple as wanting to succeed, no matter the capacity. 

“It was the same kind of thing that led me to want to get a good grade in a geometry class, or to make the starting nine on my high school baseball team. Just the desire to do well,” Sinodis said.

In terms of perseverance and persistence in correlation to success, it was made evident that those two characteristics were the largest driving factors behind accomplishing goals. 

“I would suggest an ethic of working hard, persistence regardless of failures, and then working hard again. You will be allowing yourself to succeed,” Sharlot said. 

The idea that no matter the obstacle, accomplishment is always possible is essential to being not only successful in a career, but successful in life. 

“Work extremely hard. Don’t settle,” said Sinodis.