Know your worth and do not let someone else define success for you. Sitting at the table is a big theme for me meaning you put your ideas forth and use your voice which creates your value. Being an author by 30 and a Senior Partner by 40 involved sitting at that proverbial table.
Have you ever noticed how often we equate success with more? Whether that’s more products, more profits, more activities or more accomplishments, we buy into the belief that we have to do more to have more to be more. And that will sum up to success. And then along comes The Great Resignation. Where employees are signaling that the “more” that’s being offered — even more pay, more perks, and more PTO — isn’t summing up to success for them. We visited with leaders who are redefining what success means now. Their answers might surprise you.
As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Rachel Miller.
Rachel M. Miller has proudly practiced law with The Miller Law Firm for over 25 years with the primary and unique role of Senior Partner with a focus on client connection and providing immediate contact and communication to current and prospective clients, Board Members, and community association managers. Rachel has held many distinct positions in the Community Association Industry: Board Member of several chapters of Community Associations Institute (CAI), the elite President’s Club, CACM’s Legal Steering Committee, ECHO’s legal resource panel, and Board of Director of Consumer Attorneys of California. Most recently, Rachel was voted a Northern California “Super Lawyer” in construction litigation by her peers, as well receiving the noble recognition by Lawyers of Distinction.
Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?
Thank you for having me. I had the luck of growing up in a strong family of attorneys which greatly influenced my decision to help represent consumers and homeowners. Not only do we touch lives every day, but we wrote several books together over the last 25 years. Education was and is always the cornerstone to our family success which helped shape my incredible career.
We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?
One of the largest misconceptions in society and the business world is that success is measured by tangible, material items. I have learned to measure my success by what my life brings to my work and local community. Financial success is just one aspect of success. Who you connect with and watching your community thrive is always a deeper measure of success.
How has your definition of success changed?
Success involves a full life and opportunities with genuine, authentic people. Every decade of my success has brought new realities with the homes and communities I have helped people rebuild, books I have written and the educational endeavors I have provided in my teachings. My philanthropic layers have gotten deeper teaching empathy and compassion every year that goes by.
The pandemic, in many ways, was a time of collective self-reflection. What changes do you believe we need to make as a society to access success post pandemic?
Growth and success during and post-pandemic have gone to the innovative, the flexible, and the energetic. The one thing that the pandemic has taught me is that we all had to be able to adapt to change, which delivered amazing opportunities with our clients, our teachings, and our authorships. That agility to pivot has built so much strength within my company.
What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.
Once the initial chaos of the pandemic settled, I was able to see the ample amounts of unexpected positives. Being able to publish an entirely new book during the pandemic opened the doors to so many in need of our expertise.
We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?”
- Put people first and help others succeed. Encouraging people to advance their own lives and careers only creates goodwill and those returns are immeasurable. Being a role model to so many people has provided me with so much personal and professional enjoyment.
- Focus on your community, be it your industry, through education, your city, through volunteering, or your family.
- Focus on the long game. Don’t focus on what is ahead of you or what you are not awarded in your career. Focus on what you have offered, such as my 25 years of authorships and teachings, which has returned clients to our firm for decades.
- Love what you are doing. Your motivation to succeed will come from what you love doing best. I have the good fortune to collaborate with the brightest minds in my industry every day about how to best service clients and have a lot of fun doing so along the way. I’ve been able to connect with every major player in my industry by exuding that passion and confidence.
- Know your worth and do not let someone else define success for you. Sitting at the table is a big theme for me meaning you put your ideas forth and use your voice which creates your value. Being an author by 30 and a Senior Partner by 40 involved sitting at that proverbial table.
How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?
It’s one thing to strive to be better every day, and it’s another to be your hardest critic. If we learn to be kinder to ourselves and jump into each and every single day as our most authentic selves, the road to success will be positive and enjoyable.
What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?
The pandemic was a huge obstacle as it prohibited us from connecting with people in person which is how people choose to retain lawyers. Moving to video zoom was a learning curve. Whatever the obstacle I advise grabbing the tools and resources available immediately to gain traction in whatever you deliver.
Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?
I go to my close friends who own businesses inside and outside of my industry. Having a diverse group of business owners who face challenges with all aspects of business and who share those experiences is how I’ve gained a deeper insight into helping my team and my community.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she or they might just see this if we tag them.
Oprah and Michelle Obama are two women who illuminate integrity which I so greatly admire. They are amongst some of the most successful women in the world. They have encouraged me and so many others to continue to take my business in strides and to always step forward as my true authentic self. These qualities resonate with others every time.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Currently we are promoting our 3rd consumer guide to faulty construction titled Home and Condo Defects: A Consumer Guide to Faulty Construction endorsed by the Dean of UC Hastings College of the Law and the President of California State University at Long Beach. This short intensive book is on top of 2 legal treatises I have authored that are relied upon by judges, mediators, and attorneys all over the country. I am thrilled to share a book created and written for our clients, community managers and HOA Board members. It really is a guide for anyone who owns a home or is looking to purchase a home. These defects aren’t necessarily deemed common knowledge and I wanted to help as many homeowners know what to look for with their home.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.