Never give up. If you have an idea or a dream, you have to make plans in order to make them come to fruition.
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, William Doonan understands the speed and needs of the city he calls home. A member of the baby boomer generation, Doonan graduated from Fordham College and began his career as a teacher. His focus was teaching mathematics and history, which he has always held much passion for. During his time as a teacher, Doonan was called to another career path. Following another dream, he then attended Brooklyn Law School.
As William Doonan taught his students during the day, he attended law school in the evenings. Finally reaching his new career goal, he founded his New York based business. Doonan dedicated his career to helping others with their finances. He now has more than 35 years in experience, assisting his clients with their finance needs. Many of his typical clients play important roles in the community. Donnan has a passion to help teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters, and other members of the community.
With his background in teaching, William Doonan has a passion to share his knowledge of education. He has always loved supporting his community through activities, funds, and more. One of his fondest memories as a teacher in the community was when he treated his 8th grade mathematics class to a New York Yankees Stadium. This event was to allow his students to compete for their school. It was a prime lesson on how you can work hard to earn a nice reward.
Doonan lives a life that puts others first. Even after founding his own company, his intentions were to help others. He is a firm believer that if you treat others well, you will earn their friendship and respect. One of his favorite books that displays this is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This book is one of his greatest inspirations to live his entrepreneurial lifestyle each day.
William Doonan is your typical New Yorker with a passion for the people in his community and the city he calls home– New York City.
Where did the idea for Law Office of William Doonan come from?
My previous career began as a teacher in New York Public Schools. I was a mathematics and history teacher for middle schools. Although I loved the education community and loved my students, I felt a need to grow my side hustle. After teaching during the day, I attended Brooklyn Law School in the evenings to earn my degree. From there, as clients grew from word of mouth, I was able to found my business.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day is serving clients. I’m always looking for the best way to help clients. A lot of our typical clients are active members of the community, such as teachers, firefighters, nurses, and police officers. I am able to keep up with productivity through the inspiration of my clients and community. It feels great to give back to my community– that’s where my motivation to be productive stems from.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Never give up. If you have an idea or a dream, you have to make plans in order to make them come to fruition. Another tip would be to lead a life of many passions. As for me, I’ve had careers in many areas from my current business to public education and even lifeguarding for beaches in New York when I was younger. Its okay to follow a passion and see it through. To that, you have to never give up.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
A trend that excites me is volunteering. More and more people are engaging in their communities, standing up for the members of their community. It’s great to see people volunteering to help others.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Put other people first. I am a big member of the community. I love volunteering and getting involved. I love to support our local workers at the NYPD and FDNY. My community of New York plays a huge role in who I am as an entrepreneur.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. A lot of people struggle with confidence and their self worth. I’ve always loved my community but I hate to see them hurting from not believing in themselves. Follow your dreams and passions. You are worth it!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
New York City is the best city in America. I love everything about NY. I love the sound, the business, the people, the state. It’s all great!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Read books that inspire you. I live by the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This book is great to read as entrepreneurs because you are constantly networking with others. When you live a life that makes others feel uplifted, you will then uplift yourself.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Word of mouth. My business grew through friends and local connections I had made, simply by treating others with kindness. By helping them reach their financial goals each season, I was able to keep clients that believe in the business and spread the word.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
No matter what your career is, you’re going to make mistakes. One failure I had was letting failure itself get to me. You have to overcome your fear of failure by believing in yourself to try again. Learn from every situation and use that with each step you take forward.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’d love to see a business that allows people to get more involved with their community. A business that lets anyone in the public work for a few hours, and get paid to make friends and reach out to others in their community. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
During my time as a teacher, I’d pay for other teachers and students to go to sports games in New York. I’ve regularly spent my own money taking students to games. One time, our entire 8th grade class went to the New York Yankee Stadium. They got to enter a math competition for their school. Their faces were priceless when they won the competition!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
LinkedIn. Its a great resource for networking with others! Its how you can stay involved in your industry and learn the best new practices and trends happening. It allows you to follow others and see their success. LinkedIn is great inspiration for business.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’ve mentioned this before, but “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This book has taught me how to be kind to everyone I encounter. From simple faces I pass on the streets of NYC to longtime friendships, this is a must-read.
What is your favorite quote?
“It’s nice to be nice” is my favorite quote and also a mantra that I live by. When you are nice to others, it’s rewarding.
William Doonan on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-doonan/
The 100 Best Books For Entrepreneurs
Sign up for our emails and we'll send you a list of the 100 best books for entrepreneurs, which we compiled by analyzing over 3,000 interviews.