A Discussion With Shawn Khorrami On Looking For Life’s Next Challenges
By Suzie Zeng, I am a spiritual enthusiast
Born in Tehran, Iran, Shawn Khorrami immigrated to the United States fleeing the Iranian revolution of 1979 when he was just ten years old. He grew up attending school in Los Angeles and would enroll at UCLA, one of the top universities in the country, obtaining three degrees: Mathematics, Economics, and Computer Science. Shawn then obtained his post-graduate degree in law from Pepperdine University School of Law.
Khorrami began his professional career as a lawyer, starting his law firm as a solo practice just two months after passing the bar exam, and growing it into one of the largest plaintiffs-only practices in the country. During that time, he obtained $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients across the country.
He has had immense success handling a broad range of complex litigation including, but not limited to, consumer fraud, pharmaceuticals, natural disasters, toxic torts, wage and hour and consumer class actions, product liability, civil rights, and catastrophic personal injury. His individual and class cases are often against some of the country’s largest corporations and may involve classes covering millions of class members throughout the country.
As an entrepreneur, Khorrami has started and invested in multiple businesses in a variety of industries, from real estate management to restaurants, to professional services, and even an online newspaper. Based on his business expertise, particularly in corporate development, marketing, and management, he has also served as a consultant for a variety of businesses from law firms to tech companies.
Shawn has been featured in the largest media outlets in the country, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other major daily newspapers, national magazines, and network affiliate news stations around the country.
1. What do you love most about the industry you are in?
How fast it moves. Things are happening on a daily, hourly basis that are major events. I have to adjust to them and get my teams to adjust to them. I find that challenge to be a lot of fun.
2. What does a typical day consist of for you?
A typical day is filled with meetings, everything from prospective clients, to my teams, to other business contacts. I ensure that things are very regimented and meetings are kept on topic and on time. I also have to assure that I set aside time to do various aspects of projects, both in terms of planning and creating tasks that need to be advanced by various teams or by me.
3. What keeps you motivated?
New challenges and coming up with new things to do. I enjoy it even though much of the things I work on are fundamental things of businesses and have been for many years. Coming up with new ways of dealing with them is something that is continuously motivating me because I’m constantly thinking and trying to come up with another way to get around a problem more efficiently.
4. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get a lot of inspiration from the people around me. That includes my kids and my wife. My family. It also includes my business colleagues. If I can’t find the inspiration in the people that are around me, then I’m not hanging around with the right people.
5. Who has been a role model to you and why?
My dad, for many reasons. Because of us kids, at the time he was in his 40s, he got up and moved us to a completely different country. He left his business, left his profession, and moved to the U.S. People don’t realize how hard it is to do something like that. For as long as I can remember, my dad had this ability to view things from other people’s perspectives, even in the toughest of times. I’ve always found it to be fascinating and an inspiration. It’s something I’ve tried to model, though not as good as he has. Also, his persistence, consistency, discipline, and patience with me. There are lots of things I can go on about.
6. How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
This is going to sound somewhat counter-intuitive. I’m keeping a good balance by always having work available to me. So as much as I’m regimented and compartmentalized, I keep set work hours. I do not use any alarms, even for early morning flights. Even if I have a flight at four in the morning, I will not set the alarm to get up for it. I even get up and workout before I have to leave for the airport for those early flights. So I never set alarms, and I also make sure that I’m well equipped to handle business in any setting. I carry with me anywhere I go whatever equipment I need to handle my business. That provides me with the flexibility to separate out and plan better because there’s never any anxiety about something that happened at work. I choose to do it when I choose not to do it.
7. What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
Planning, branding and marketing. I strongly believe that you need to concentrate on a strategy that heavily incorporates these three concepts. However, you’re just playing the lottery with your success. So you must plan in order to have an organized, efficient, and deliberate way of achieving milestones. You must brand yourself or other people will. You have to choose what your brand is going to be because you’re going to have a brand whether you like it or not. Lastly, without a great marketing strategy, you can have the best product, the best service in the world, but no one is going to use it. Those three things are incredibly important, and often those three things are what I see get missed most by other entrepreneurs.
8. What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Here are two. You don’t get what you don’t ask for, and you are whom you associate with.
9. Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
I’m both compassionate and passionate about life. I’m laser-focused and loyal to a fault to my family and those that I consider friends.
10. What trends in your industry excite you?
I’m unsure whether this is good-exciting or bad-exciting, but the accelerating growth and increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI). Just the sheer possibilities of what is being accomplished and all the different uses of AI is overwhelming. However, as you increase in this way of machine learning, it’s hard to say what effects it will have and whether it will end up having some very negative effects as well, as any major thing always does.
11. Where do you see Khorrami Consulting in five years?
The way I see it is having teams dispersed throughout the country, helping their clients in crisis management. Also, creating, branding, and executing our restructuring plans and launches of brand new generation products.
12. Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
Something that sticks in my mind is the first restaurant chain that I founded was awarded one of the best new restaurants of the year. The reason it sticks in my head is because it was a new direction for me, and the way we went about it was totally new compared to prior projects of mine. For it to have that kind of success so quickly just stuck out in my mind over the years.— Published on October 18, 2019
Suzie Zeng, I am a spiritual enthusiast and adviser on how to deal with burnout problems
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