It all started with praise dance rehearsals of about 5 of us ladies. Followed by feasting on Chinese food with girl talk and jokes. It was then it started, it, the inspiration. Stephanie is quite an affable person, always smiling, always dancing. However, life wasn’t always a walk around the park for her. She went through hard and challenging times. She had to face naysayers and doubters. She had to face criticisms. She battled it all through sheer self-confidence. Hearing about her redemptive journey and how she pulls through is an utterly remarkable story. She is a humanitarian and her career as an immigration lawyer and immigrant advocate reflects that.
Here goes my virtual questionnaire with Stephanie:
- What is one thing you would you like the audience to know about you?
I want everyone around me operating at their best. I want everyone to be great. I encourage myself and everyone around me to outdo their last accomplishment. If you are in my circle, collaborating with me, working for me, next to me, with me, down for me… whatever it is, I want you to be great. No mediocrity.
- How do you deal with failures, hardships, judgmental and pessimistic people?
I pray. I cry. I scream. LOL! Those are my usual first three actions. I have learned that failure and hardship will come. I am not immune to the devastating blows of failure… however, after a good cry or just taking a few hours or days to get it back together, I get back up and keep going. There are many situations where I could not afford to be down for too long. I literally have people’s lives in my hands… When it comes to judgmental and pessimistic people, I am still dealing with that. Sometimes it really hurts! Especially when it comes from the people closest to you. But at the end of the day, I know that I have to keep going. My success depends on it.
- What is the one thing that you would say contributed most to your success?
My resilience. I have been able to bounce back from some devastating personal and professional setbacks… I found that my success was dependent on not staying down. I have not let failures or shortcomings stunt my growth or stop me from striving for the next level. No matter what, if you keep making those boss moves, success will follow. I must also mention READING!!! Reading is fundamental – especially in this business… I am constantly reading the law, precedent and landmark cases, visa bulletins, practice advisories… I have to stay current and know what is going on. Moreover, I found that with immigration, what separates a good lawyer from a great one is knowing all of the exceptions to the rules.
- What advice would you offer women wanting to be like you and make a difference?
Take the shot. Take the risk. Take that first step. Do not listen to what “they” have to say. No matter what you undertake, you will encounter naysayers and doubters. Do not listen to them or internalize that negativity. Many will say that you cannot do it until you do it. Then once you make it happen, they will ask you how you did it! LOL! Keep going! Do not let your circumstances or life stop you. You will overcome. Just keep at it. Be your biggest fan, even when you have no one in your corner. Your persistence will lead to a breakthrough. Another key piece of advice, be a “see” person, not a “watch” person. What I mean by that is, do not announce a major move or accomplishment until it is done. Like, “I accomplished this, SEE?” You have evidence of your achievements and you have a record of success. Do not be that person that is always saying, “I am going to do it, WATCH…” Who will take you seriously if you never do it?
“Keep going” is indeed her life’s motto. Even if she falls during the race, she gets up and carries on in the race. She is courageous. This is why I’m stronger with her. Her story drills in me that failure is not a motive to back down on my dreams. Keep going!
Here’s to great success Stephanie
[*] If you need any immigration assistance, please contact her- Stephanie@SJPLawOffice.com