Name: Lisa A. Coppola
Business: Lisa Coppola Law
Location: Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Industry: Legal Services
Reason for starting? I started my law practice because I wanted and frankly, needed, more: more meaningful work with clients who have true needs. At almost the same time, I had an opportunity to invest in a garden design and construction firm that creates WNY’s most beautiful outdoor spaces. The businesses may seem incongruent, but they work so very well together. There is such a yin and yang to the work I do, whether it’s working on someone’s end-of-life plan, helping an entrepreneur begin a flourishing business, or supporting a hardworking crew that creates an oasis at someone’s home. This is the cadence of the work I do, and it creates meaning and joy in my life and the lives of others.
How do you define success? Success to me is a synonym of leadership. I believe that we all can be leaders in what we do, and that focusing on service and then executing a leadership style that serves others and our communities is the quintessential definition of success. When we are successful leaders in whatever we choose to do, the riches of a purposeful life follow. This includes material success as well as personal satisfaction.
Biggest success: My biggest success to date is creating a business based almost entirely on referrals from colleagues and clients in our community. This is an incredible gift which is related to being chosen by my attorney peers as one of the Top 10 attorneys in my community. The recognition from peers reinforces that they know my intentions and are supportive of them and respect my professional approach. To me, there is no greater reflection of success in my professional life.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? My top challenge is balancing a vigorous and demanding career with my #1 job of being the most present parent I can be. I chose parenthood as a single woman, some years after a divorce. As a later-in-life parent, I was mindful that solo parenting would be a challenge. What I didn’t truly understand at the time was what a joy it could be as well. Through the sometimes sleepless nights and the occasional childhood illnesses, I came to learn that being in the moment with my daughters was a soothing balm. Learning to quiet my mind – which was a huge challenge – before I entered our home after a grueling day at work was imperative to creating the life that my daughters deserved. Any parenting is a challenge, of course, whether solo, working-in-the-home, or otherwise, and for me, I learned that to balance the challenge of parenting by myself with the rigors of a career requires that I chart my own course.
Who is your most important role model? There are so many people I look up to, but I don’t have a single role model. I have charted a course that is unique in my circles and have done it with the support of many, yet I feel as though there is no individual after whom I’ve modeled my work and life path. If I were asked to choose, however, I would say that my clients who come to me with a present need, who have a clear goal and desire to serve others, are the most important role models in my life, because they form the catalyst for my law practice to be both successful and meaningful.
Edited by The Story Exchange