Brauns Law, PC - April 2020


Create, Don’t Compete Lessons in Excellence From Kobe Bryant

Before I get started, I need to give you a peek behind the scenes. I write these letters pretty far in advance, which gives me time to put together each newsletter. At the time of writing, it’s late January. I’m telling you this so you’ll understand why I “waited” until April to talk about Kobe Bryant. If you somehow never heard the name Kobe Bryant, he was a famous basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe led the Lakers to many championship wins, earning the nickname “Black Mamba” and becoming one of the greatest NBA players of all time. That’s why so many people were devastated on Jan. 26, 2020, when Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. I’m 47 years old, and over the course of my life, a lot of famous people have passed away. These deaths were sad, like the loss of human life always is, but they never really impacted me until now. Kobe’s loss is the first celebrity death that resonated with me. That said, I’ve never been a big sports guy, so I didn’t follow Kobe’s career with the Lakers. I wasn’t a fan of him because he was excellent at basketball. I became a fan of Kobe Bryant because he stood for a strong work ethic and excellence. Even if you’re not a sports fan, you have to appreciate how much work someone like Kobe Bryant had to put into basketball in order to become a great athlete. That kind of focus is off the charts! This was a man who put his all into everything he did, who was willing to do the hard work because that’s how you get results. Part of Kobe’s lasting legacy is his “Mamba mentality.”

“I became a fan of Kobe Bryant

“Mamba mentality is all about focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most,” Kobe said in an interview with Amazon Book Review. “It’s the ultimate mantra for the competitive spirit. Hard work outweighs talent — every time.” Hearing about how Kobe strove for excellence really spoke to me. I’ve always prided myself on being the most hardworking person in the room. Throughout my career, I’ve used a mental trick to stay hungry and never become complacent. Law and business can be a lot like sports. It’s a competition, and we’re always keeping score. The trick is recognizing who your competition really is. If you’re running a personal injury (PI) firm in Atlanta, it can feel like there’s an overwhelming amount of competition. Personal injury attorneys are on every other radio spot, TV ad, and billboard. When I first started my firm, I got freaked out by the sheer number of PI attorneys in the area. How could I compete with that? This pressure threw me for a loop, and I struggled to focus for a while. Finally, the because he stood for a strong work ethic and excellence.”

switch went off in my head. I told myself, “David, don’t worry about those other attorneys. They’re not your competition. You are your only competition.” At that point, I came up with the phrase, “Create, don’t compete.” It doesn’t matter how good anyone else is. If you are constantly worried about what everyone else is doing, you’re not focusing on being better. You’re just reacting, playing defense. You can’t score if you’re always on defense. What ultimately matters is how good you are, and that’s something you have complete control over. You can create your business, your personality, and your own success. Who cares if you are better than the guy next door? The valuable question is this: Are you better than you were yesterday? If not, take a page from Kobe Bryant’s legacy and adopt a Mamba mentality. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete, an attorney, or if you’re still trying to find your path — hard work and focus always pays off. -David Brauns


Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online