There is always someone smarter than you but there is only one you. Compete with yourself to be a better you every day.
Peter Adediran is a London-based attorney who focuses on law, the internet, and their intersection point. While Peter focuses on internet law now, he got his start in a more traditional setting – assembling legal deals worth millions of pounds, and appearing in high-profile cases taken to High Court. Walking the traditional legal path gave Peter the tools he needed to break into a new uncharted territory of the internet, and how law can play a part in creating an egalitarian world with equal opportunities for everyone.
From early on, Peter Adediran knew that the internet and law had a future together. He saw the opportunity to help his entrepreneurial clients by supplying much needed knowledge about the internet legal terrain. His groundbreaking work in said terrain has assisted countless companies and individuals to take charge of their businesses and presence online. Driven by loyalty to his clients, and a desire to create a world where young and old are awarded equal possibilities to thrive, Peter works diligently day in and day out to discover new ways of providing his services.
In 2000, Peter Adediran was commissioned to write a legal treatise on Internet Law titled, “A Practical Guide to Business, Law & the Internet” published in 2002, by the leading independent global publisher of business books – Kogan Page – a book that analysed domain names and trademarks, web media content and copyright laws and principles, Privacy and Data Protection Act (GDPR) in groundbreaking ways, providing new knowledge to the field. Peter was able to make many predictions about the future of intellectual property as pertains to the internet, and in doing so, became a leader in this uncharted terrain. His constant search for new knowledge supports his business ventures and entrepreneurial drive.
With a desire to further client satisfaction, and a never ending quest for knowledge, Peter Adediran decided to open his own law firm, PAIL Solicitors. PAIL® Solicitors is an intellectual property, and digital technologies & law firm founded on the mission to give an unfair advantage to businesses with a valid value proposition. The company’s mission statement consists of three key elements: objectives, specialization & time, and industry. The objectives are to service clients to the best of their abilities by assisting in matters of intellectual property, along with managing consumer regulatory compliance matters.
Peter Adediran has found success through specialisation – while there are many competitors in the world of internet law, Peter has pioneered the way within his specialties. He has created a funnel which begins with matters of intellectual property including trademarks; copyright; patents; design rights. He then focuses on digital related intellectual property such as works in websites; mobile apps; eBooks; online videos; digital music files. The final step to Peter’s successful specialisation is to pick a niche of clients, and provide digital related advice and legal services regarding copyright, intellectual property rights, etc. to professional service businesses such as building companies and contractors.
Outside of matters related to intellectual property, Peter Adediran has recognized the growing popularity and relevance of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Lightcoin, Ripple, and more. He has educated himself on this topic to the point where he is able to provide legal consultations, draft contracts, and manage court-based issues for clients with a high rate of success.
With a strong interest in the future of the internet and all it has to offer society, Peter Adediran forges on to new frontiers, acting as a leader and professional in his field.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I’ve failed so many times in my professional career at many things. Either I was too late or did not have the capital resources or know-how. I’ve lost almost hundreds of times. But on the idea of PAIL® Solicitors I really believed and chased the vision not the money. From the beginning in 1998, I knew that regular businesses – builders, electricians, vets, carpenters, would use the Internet technology to build great businesses – they would need a strategic partner who understood the Internet legal terrain to support them. I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and got on with it because I’m a doer not a dreamer. I’ve failed so many times before in my life and that is why I knew how to succeed.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The only way to be truly happy is to love what you do because you spend most of your life working, and I love what I do. First, there is no such thing as a “typical” day, as every day brings new challenges in my role, particularly being the self-employed owner of PAIL® Solicitors. Usually, I will get up very early at 5am, meditate and go for a run in the local park to get myself mentally ready for the day’s tasks. I am great believer in the Abraham Lincoln quote. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. For me mental preparation is essential for a productive day.
I usually start my work at 7:00 am, and jot down my day’s plan, check my voice mail and emails, other post and my calendar, and try to organise my day so that the most urgent work gets done first. I have a strict policy of dealing with the hardest work first, since I can get the most work done that way and have a more productive day.
I always start with work for existing clients, as they are a priority, particularly where they are paying a monthly retainer fee for my services. That means drafting particulars of claim; defences and or counterclaims; replies – documents known as pleadings related to trademark, copyright, design rights or patent cases in which I am the legal representative for a claimant or defendant company. I do really love this kind of work because good pleadings can determine the outcome of a litigation.
I then deal with any other drafting for existing clients, including outgoing letters, and commercial contracts – like updating terms and conditions for my Internet website business clients. These companies are continually introducing new products and features so updating their terms is an ongoing process. Updating terms and conditions usually also means advising on the privacy and data protection impact on the business. In addition to updating contracts, I give regulatory advice for clients that invest in cryptocurrency – including a hedge fund and entrepreneurs that dabble in cryptocurrency whilst running their main businesses.
Once the hardest tasks are over, I will turn my attention to new clients. This part of the day will include giving legal advice, but also attending to marketing activities, for which I use three separate marketing businesses, as well as running Google Ad word campaigns.
I thoroughly enjoy meeting potential new clients because you never know the hidden gem that can land across your desk. It is truly inspiring to listen to other people’s aspirations and dreams, especially when those people reflect your value to them in fair compensation for your time. I really love a situation where everybody wins.
I then deal with attendance by telephone, or any scheduled face-to-face meetings, advising new clients that make enquiries through Google ad Word campaigns, or that are referred by word of mouth. New clients often seek assistance in my relevant specialist areas of work including trademark, design rights, copyright and patent registrations; website or mobile start-up launch; managing consumer regulatory compliance relating to data, PR marketing and ebusiness; commercial contracts relating to Internet business; and cryptocurrency and blockchain projects.
I will then check on the progress of marketing campaigns for the firm with the professional companies that run our marketing and branding campaigns.
Finally, I will make notes on what has been accomplished that day, and what needs to be done the following day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am a great believer in relaxing to get ideas. But bringing ideas to life requires doing. I am a believer in the great Walt Disney quote “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” I usually fail. When I do I just scrub it out of my memory and think of something else. When I succeed I just allow myself a little smile and get on to the next idea. I am eternal optimist and a tenacious very hard-worker.”
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am excited by the fact that in lots of ways people are getting closer together even though they may be worlds apart by background, geographically, race, and religion. Internet technology and other technologies are making that happen. These new technologies are allowing people to access the best of professional services; low cost travel; learning from multiple cultures from the wealth pool of the best around the world. The costs of starting a successful business has gone down considerably because of these new technologies, providing unprecedented access to consumer markets for anyone who has the ideas, and drive to make it happen. You can take a more pessimistic view but that is not in my nature. I am an optimist and try to surround myself with optimists.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Don’t get excited when you succeed or disappointed when you fail. I have the habit of remaining humble never getting cocky no matter my success or despondent no matter my failures. This keeps me grounded and allows me to focus on the most important thing of all which is productivity and happiness. A productive day is a happy day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t get arrogant. Don’t be too meek. There is always someone smarter than you but there is only one you. Compete with yourself to be a better you every day. Believe in yourself and trust your instincts.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You can teach anyone to implement good ideas, but you can’t teach someone to have good ideas. Knowing which type of person, you are (where your strength lies) is what will bring you success.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Don’t take somebody else’s word for it check it yourself. Nobody knows everything and most of the time they know a lot less than everything. Know that there are limitless possibilities in what you are doing you just have to find one way that works. Anything is possible. All obstacles can be overcome. If I have one piece of advice, it’s improve and never let anyone undermine your confidence.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Specialisation. I realised that there were many competitors within Internet law, many of whom are opportunists getting involved when it proved popular, rather than choosing Internet related law. I realised that the way to grow was to specialise and then have a specialisation within my specialisation. I specialise in intellectual property law so trademarks; copyright; patents; design rights. Within that specialisation, I specialise in digital related intellectual property including intellectual property works in websites; mobile apps; eBooks; online videos; digital music files. Then I specialised further in providing digital related advice to professional service businesses like building companies. I then attended as many functions and events as possible to do with building companies, as a result I got a lot of my work from word of mouth referrals within the building community. If you want a successful sole practitioner business you need to get involved in the communities that you serve.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My first company didn’t make money. It was an Internet consultancy very early on in the Internet era. I was not very business savvy and cash flow soon became a problem for me after just a few months.
I decided to close it down to teach instead. If I had stuck to my original plan not only would I have gone personally bankrupt I would have been demoralised for years to come. Instead, I decided to be flexible and leverage what I had done thus far into a university teaching role and to learn a new language which made me instantly successful again. I launched PAIL® Solicitors in February 2009 which is essentially the same business, and what began as a dream that failed before became a reality that is still going strong this day.
What this period in my life taught me was knowing your limitations. Knowing when to quit, regroup and try again.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Shopping bags are currently not fit for purpose because they are simply shaped wrongly for decent packing even with good packing skills. If you can invent a plastic shopping bag that can more conveniently pack groceries it will be hugely successful.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Being British my spend was £100 not $100 but the result was the same. I spent £100 on cooking lessons. I have always loved food freshly baked in the oven. I attended a course at the local community centre offering a cooking class and I learned how to make Shepherd’s Pie. I can now make a decent Shepherds Pie when I am hungry. Cooking a good Shepherd’s Pie will also impress dinner guests.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I use SessionCam which is a website optimisation tool, produced and marketed by a great British software team, who I also happen to have done legal work for around their terms and conditions and data protection compliance. SessionCam provides tools for session replay, heatmaps, funnels, form analytics, journey mapping, error reporting, struggle & anomaly detection. I use their tools to monitor activity on the PAIL® website to improve sales.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I am a big fan of Gladwell’s and have read all his books including Blink and The Outliers. The thing I like most about Tipping Point is how it explains that success can come at any time through a series of events that might seem random but are somehow connected. Ever the optimist, I appreciate the conclusions Gladwell draws based on logic and research. My interpretation is that anyone can be a success, you just need the right set of circumstance for there to be a tipping point when your ideas suddenly hit critical mass. I just love that idea.
What is your favorite quote?
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” –Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.