Topics Covered

  • The keys to winning cases.
  • The benefits of working hard.
  • Having a successful mindset.
  • Be passionate about what you do.
  • Success doesn’t come overnight.

What’s the Secret Sauce to Success?

Noel: I’ll tell everybody what the secret sauce is, okay? I’m not going to keep it a secret anymore. I’ll tell you exactly what the secret sauce is. Do you know the secret sauce is to winning cases, what the magic Tim Bilecki dust is? It’s effort. It’s the hustle. It’s caring about your client and the result. That’s it. It’s not personal glory. It’s not winning for winning’s sake, it’s none of those things. It’s not going to Harvard or Yale, although those are great schools. It’s not about what you were born with, or what you what you learn from anybody else. All it is is that innate ability to put in the effort and the hustle. And if you care about what you do, and you care about your client, that’s the secret sauce. That is what I learned is the magic Tim Bilecki dust. And that’s it. That’s the key to winning. If you want to be a great lawyer, whatever you do, the secret sauce is putting in the effort and uncovering that mystery witness. Tim: Yeah. I think you said it once in a while, “I worked my butt off for 20 years and became an overnight success.” Funny how that works. Noel: Right?

Hard Work is Hard

Tim: I mean, funny how that works. You work your butt off for 20 years, you put in the hard hours, you outwork, out-hustle everyone else and it’s called hard work. Why? Because it’s hard. Noel: Yeah. Tim: I tell that to my kids like it’s hard. Well, that’s called hard work otherwise it’d just be work. It’s hard work. Noel: If it wasn’t hard work and it was easy then everyone would do it.

There’s No Success Without Hard Work

Tim: Yeah, you do that, you put in that hard work for 20 years, now you’re an overnight success. Funny how that works, doesn’t it? Noel: But, you know, to get to your point where this all was going was that the travel is just a small component of it. And I hate to travel. I don’t like to travel. International criminal defense attorney is a great label if I get to stay here in Hawaii, but it’s something that you have to do. I’ve got a state court case. I was prepared to fly to Vilseck, Germany this week to get a witness, to drag him by the scruff of the neck. And a lot of people sometimes say, “Can’t you just do this over the phone? Can’t you just do this over the phone?” You absolutely can do this over the phone. I want to have brain surgery. Can my brain surgeon tell, you know, the guy who is dusting the floors how to do the surgery over the phone? He can. Should he do it? I don’t know, it might come off as a great success but if you don’t put in the effort, if you’re not prepared to do that, and put in the hustle and have a little self sacrifice, that’s another one, have a little self-sacrifice, I would much rather be playing catch with my son in the backyard, or watching him play softball, or going paddling or swimming or sitting in the air conditioning. I’d rather do any of those things than go to Korea or Japan in the middle of the summer. But you do it because you care about the client, you care about the result and you want to win. And that’s it. I don’t know what else there is. If you’re out there and you want to be the overnight success in this field, and there’s a lot of guys who want to be the overnight success after one tour in the JAG Corps, God bless them. Maybe they’re the next Johnnie Cochran, who knows. I don’t know, maybe they are. Hard work, effort and care and you’ll be that overnight success after about 20 years of doing this thing.
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