Celebrating International Women’s Day: Janvi Patel introduces Halebury’s Female Founders blog series
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” Maya Angelou
International Women’s Day is a great time to reflect on the strides that women have made to change their day to day lives as they fight for greater opportunities for themselves but also for the next generation; women who are “kicking it”.
It is with this spirit that we have changed International Women’s Day to International Women’s Week to enable us to highlight and to honour 5 amazing female founders who are changing their market place and leading the way for the next generation.
We set up Halebury 8 years ago with the vision that we wanted to change the way legal services were provided to clients, but we also wanted lawyers and especially senior lawyers to have an alternative career path. We wanted to change the game in a fundamental way; to revamp the legal services model so that it is fit for purpose for this century, this decade and this generation.
After 8 years, we are now a team of over 30 senior ex in-house lawyers and an internal team of 7, working for a number of listed companies such as BT, Barclays, BskyB, HSBC and Expedia, as well as a number of SME clients and we generate a multi-million pound turnover.
Along our journey, I have learnt a great deal and I have met some incredible, inspiring women. I would like to share a few lessons learnt, but also to share stories of a few of the amazing founders I have met along the way.
Lesson 1: Don’t be afraid or intimidated.
As my aerospace engineer husband reminds me, “it’s not rocket science”. This is business. It requires a concept or a product and the rest is logistics, determination and passion. A 100 people will tell you “there is no market”, “it is not possible”, “we are not interested”. I also love the quote from the Imitation Game “sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” Have a vision and be determined.
Lesson 2: Nothing good comes easy.
It is what I tell my children most days. It applies double for women entrepreneurs. There is a lot to juggle, children, career and life. Work/life balance in itself is a struggle and something I am constantly thinking about. But for me, it is the vision and passion I have for Halebury that makes me more determined every day and wake up and push through on the hard days; and we all have those days, weeks and months.
Lesson 3: Recruitment is key
I am inspired by my team everyday. Their passion for Halebury and what we are trying to achieve is amazing. I receive emails from the team but also from clients on a weekly basis talking about our amazing team. Surround yourself with positive people (that does not mean yes people) and remove the negative. It is hard to recruit the right team, but it is essential.
Lesson 4: Pay it forward
It is important to pay it forward at every stage. It should not be about giving back once you “have made it” or even “when you have time”. If you are reading this, you have the capacity to give back and always remember it is quality not quantity even for this lesson.
For the next week we will be introducing you to 5 amazing female entrepreneurs who have founded businesses and who are not only changing their market place, but also the world around them. To all the women of the world, happy International Women’s Week. Honoured to be part of this amazing club.