James DeZao is the managing, owning, partner of The Law Offices of James DeZao. His law firm is based in Parsippany, New Jersey and proudly represents clients in Pine Brook, Morris County, and throughout the entire state. James’ firm handles personal injury law, medical malpractice, employment law, corporate law, and real estate. James has four children and three grandchildren and enjoys spending time with his family.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
I spend most of my time in courtrooms or at administrative hearings. A lot of my day also revolves around the specific needs of my clients and the cases I’m responsible for. This includes communicating with them via email or text message, phone call, or face to face. It all depends on what stage of the case I’m at. For example, if I’m preparing for a deposition or trial, then I spend most of my time meeting with the client either face-to-face or via Zoom. If the case is in its early stages, then my schedule revolves around meeting major deadlines in the “scheduling order” issued by the judge.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by coming up with a theory and then bringing in a team that I know will assist me in developing it. You can’t always do things on your own. It’s important to have the input of others to help your ideas become a reality.
What’s one trend that excites you?
AI excites me. I think it could revolutionize all industries. It may come with downsides, but I feel it could be extremely useful in law practice.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
Setting daily goals has been a powerful tool for improving productivity and ensuring success for my firm. Daily goals provide me with direction, structure, and purpose; they help me stay organized and focused on achieving the results I desire. Having specific objectives to aim for each day also keeps me accountable for the progress that I make each day, helping to ensure that all of my efforts are being put into achieving larger objectives.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell my younger self that taking breaks is okay, and to spend more time with my family, friends, or things that make me happy.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you.
Something that people may disagree with me on is you have to take risks. Also, I feel it’s true that you don’t always need to have all the answers to run a good business. It’s important that you’re not afraid to ask questions to other people/colleagues that have had similar experiences.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
One thing I’d do over and recommend to others is to not take on as much responsibility on your own. I would suggest that business owners hire and train a support staff. This way you will have the ability to focus on the critical aspects of the business rather than minute issues that may arise.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
I delegate smaller tasks that don’t really require as much of my attention or time to someone else so I can redirect my effort and focus on more complicated tasks that actually need my expertise or unique skillset.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
One strategy that has helped grow my business is perseverance. You may encounter a great deal of ups-and-downs as an entrepreneur, but it is essential to remember that you can not fold on the downs.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
Not learning how to say “no”. Having the ability to say “no” as an entrepreneur is important. You need to be able to prioritize your commitments, don’t take on more than you can handle, and avoid being a “yes person”. I overcame this by learning that saying “yes” to everything will burn you out.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Customer service is crucial. Always treat your customers with respect. Your customers want to be heard and listened to. As for the times when they’re frustrated or unhappy, you must take their concerns seriously. You also should evaluate what they say to see if you need to make any changes.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
RingCentral. My staff and I use it everyday. It helps us keep in constant communication with our wonderful clients.
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
My staff has been working really hard and I wanted to reward them with a catered meal. I enjoy doing these kinds of services for my employees to keep morale and show my appreciation for all of them.
- Don’t be a “yes” person. Prioritize your commitments and learn to say “no” so you don’t end up taking on more than you can handle.
- Perseverance is essential for entrepreneurs. Never fold when you’re down.
- A good business leader doesn’t need to have all the answers. It’s more important that you ask questions and seek out other people/colleagues who can provide you with insightful guidance.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.