Collaboration Over Competition

attorneys collaboration competition trademark attorney Jan 27, 2020

I hear it all the time. And I am absolutely here for it. But for some reason, it seems like the words are being said, but there’s no real meaning behind it. It sounds good to want to collaborate instead of compete, but for some reason, most of us are still doing the latter while pretending to come together. 

I guess the true understanding of abundance hasn’t resonated for us. There’s certainly enough of anything to go around. It’s just a matter of deciding what you want, taking steps toward achieving it, understanding what problem you’re solving and the people who need it solved. 

The other issue is that most of us don’t understand our value and how our unique personalities, skillsets, background, education, and experience is what makes whatever goods or services we offer, distinct from everyone else who offers the same things. 

You have to understand that people buy into people, not products. If people like you, they’ll buy from you. Simple as that. There are millions of people doing what you do, your selling power lies within what makes you different from everyone else. And no one can take that from you. Once you are confident in who you are and fully comprehend your value, the need to compete will disappear because you will know that regardless of what anyone else does, they can’t be you and your people will always choose you over anyone else. 

It’s the same things with major brands. We don’t always know the corporations behind the major brands, but we think we do. We buy with them based on history, commercials and other forms of advertisement, the feeling that’s invoked, or how popular they are in our minds. Their brand colors, delivery and overall messaging makes us feel like we know them personally. We don’t. But that’s the same sentiment (if not more) that small businesses need to give off to be successful and stand the test of time.

As a trademark attorney, I understand this more than most. And as a business owner, I feel it more than anything.

That’s why it’s so important for me to find like-minded individuals that I can grow and learn from. Most of the time when I’m looking for opportunities to learn and grow, my mindset isn’t in collaboration, because I see the other individual as an asset, as someone who can mentor me as opposed to collaborate with me. Over time, the goal is to get to the point where I am of as much value as they are to me, but that’s not where I start. And if we get to the point where I can collaborate with them, then yasssss let’s go.

In the legal field, I’ve found it extremely difficult to collaborate with other like-minded individuals, and it’s because we’re all out here trying to make it do what it do. I get it. Trust me, I do. But at the same time, helping someone else up the ladder doesn’t take away from your ability to climb that same ladder, especially where you have an advantage.

Many lawyers (and people in fact) don’t understand this concept. And I believe that’s exactly what keeps them where they’re at - in the rat race. But then you have some, who are a dime a dozen, who understand the value in offering their knowledge, experience and expertise into grooming and building the legal minds of the future and who pour into those minds to make them better, even if it means being better than themselves. 

I’d never found this person in the legal profession until I met Sonia Lakahny. Her credentials speak for themselves, but when I say she is someone who is invested in the success of the upcoming legal generations, it’s really an understatement. She paved her way in the legal arena, in trademarks more specifically, and recognized very early that it was a particularized area of the law that could be taught and mastered with the right training and mentorship and she took on that responsibility wholeheartedly and has never stopped. She has groomed and produced some of the greatest legal minds in the trademark law space and has done so with grace and humility.

Instead of keeping all of her knowledge and expertise to herself, she decided to teach and collaborate with the other lawyers of the future, because she knows who she is, understands her value, and has no fear of anyone else taking her place. Because even though another lawyer can teach trademarks, they can’t do it with the same flair, personality, and resources that she can. 

Honestly, I just wanted to take the time and energy to show her some love and appreciation because often when people don’t know you personally, they have no true understanding of what their presence or capabilities have on your life. And I am someone who is truly grateful for many people, things, and circumstances, because things could be totally different for me (or any of us) at any given moment. 

So, my #WomanCrushWednesday goes out to Sonia Lakahny! I just want to let you (and my readers) know that #CollaborationOverCompetition can exist, it’s just a matter of finding the right people to surround yourself with.

Wishing you nothing but the best, always. You most certainly deserve it.

And lawyer to lawyer, don’t come for me for borrowing your pic. LOL. I know all the copyright laws, but I wanted to put an image with the blog so people would know who I’m raving about. 


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