What is success? How should we measure success? Who is successful? I'm on a journey to find out by interviewing individuals who other people identify as "successful" starting with my friends and family. Guests connect me to the next guest by identifying who they believe is successful. As the network of successful ripples out, we will be on our way to defining success.
Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, all the kids knew that if you get into trouble there was only one person to call - Hank Coxe. Hank, an criminal defense attorney, started his career as a prosecutor. He has held the some of most prestigious leadership positions in her profession and is truly a legal legend in Florida.
Here is an excerpt from his firms website: "Coxe has served as president of The Florida Bar and the Jacksonville Bar Association and has recently served on the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission and the Florida Supreme Court Innocence Commission. He has been recognized with the highest awards of the Criminal Law Section of The Florida Bar, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Florida Bar Foundation, and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. He is listed in Florida Super Lawyers(Top 10 and Top 100), Florida Trend magazine’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame, and Best Lawyers in America."
From the perspective of a young lawyer, I viewed Hank as being in whole other league and seemingly unapproachable. Then one day, he wasn't unapproachable at all, but rather a friend and colleague. He is a genuinely cares for others and is a "true believer" in our justice system. He is a leader in our profession and it was an absolutely honor to interview him.
Hank's tedX talk.
In 2014, I asked Belkis to join me in opening a law firm. We were both unhappy at our jobs at the Office of the Public Defender in Jacksonville, Florida due to the state of the office and the limited opportunities for upward mobility (although we loved the work). I knew a little bit about Belkis at that time - the basics that she shares - Latina, first in her family to graduate from college and law school, "double Gator" although she knew nothing about University of Florida sports, and that she was already a great lawyer. We then became business partners, really binding ourselves to one another as our livelihood was so reliant on the other. There were challenges to say the least. But as our five-year anniversary of Plata Schott Attorneys & Counselors at Law approaches, our personal and professional relationships as well as our business are better than every. And I obviously know a lot more about here than I did when we got started.
In the last five year, Belkis has been honored, and honored, and honored. It's hard to keep up. Not only that, she has gone from a face in the crowd to literally the face staring down at you from the bench of traffic court where she serves as a traffic hearing officer. She is on various boards and committees and I truly believe that she will ultimately become the Honorable Judge Belkis Plata. It's just a matter of time. So its only fitting that she starts off track #2 from my network as someone that I believe is successful. You can find out more about Belkis here.
Here we go! I'm Shannon Schott, the person behind the Mrs. Make It Rainka brand. Success, for me has been an elusive concept although on paper I have "checked the boxes" of success. I'm am a partner at a law firm, mom, wife, leader in various organizations et cetera, et cetera. But this concept of success has really gnawed at me in a negative way for a very long time.
I settled on this concept for a podcast years ago, but when I attended a funeral of a classmate, I realized that I am not alone in my quest to not just check the boxes, but feel successful.
I have lined up some incredible people who are publicly and privately making a difference and who by all accounts are "successful." But, do they agree?
It's fascinating to hear how my guests break it down. I hope you'll join me for a new episode every week.