What Does Success Look Like To You? – Bracken McKey

What Does Success Look Like To You? – Bracken McKey

Attorney and Owner at McKey Law

Bracken McKey is an experienced attorney based in Portland Oregon. He grew up in Pendleton, where he developed a passion for waterskiing, snow skiing, and other outdoor activities. Bracken pursued his law degree at Willamette University and has had a distinguished career, including roles as Senior Deputy District Attorney, and Chief Deputy District Attorney for the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.  In addition to trying many of Oregon’s most high-profile cases, Bracken is actively involved in his community, particularly through baseball and other youth sports. Today, he continues to serve the legal community as the owner of McKey Law.

What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?

My typical day starts early with a morning workout, and I try to mix in weekend water skiing or snow skiing, depending on the season. Physical activity helps me clear my mind and prepare for the day ahead. I believe in meticulous preparation, so if I’m not in trial, I spend a good portion of my day reviewing case materials, meeting with clients, and preparing for court appearances. I also make sure to allocate time for family activities, especially my sons’ baseball games, which keep me grounded and motivated.

What’s one trend that excites you?

One trend that excites me is the increasing use of technology in the legal field. From virtual courtrooms to advanced legal research tools, technology is making the practice of law more efficient and accessible. This not only improves productivity but also enhances the quality of legal services we can provide to our clients.

What is one habit that helps you be productive?

Admiral William McRaven talks about starting your day by making your bed, and I agree.  But really, making your bed is just one small example of the importance of being organized and sticking to a schedule. I use a planner to organize my day, set clear goals, and track my progress. This helps me stay focused and ensures that I allocate time for both professional responsibilities and personal activities.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to embrace challenges and view them as opportunities for growth. Every setback is a learning experience that can make you stronger and more resilient. It’s also important to balance work with personal passions, as this balance is crucial for long-term success and happiness.

Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?

I believe that failure is an essential part of success. Many people fear failure and avoid taking risks, but I see it as a necessary step in the learning process. Whether its failure in the courtroom or in a business venture, analyzing failure and learning from it can lead to greater achievements in the long run.

What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?

One thing I consistently do is prioritize my health and well-being. Regular exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate rest are fundamental to maintaining high performance in any field. I recommend everyone make their health a priority, as it directly impacts productivity and overall quality of life.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

When I feel overwhelmed or unfocused, I take a break and engage in a physical activity like water skiing or snow skiing. These activities help me clear my mind, reduce stress, and regain focus. If I’m unable to get outdoors, a simple walk or a few minutes of deep breathing exercises can also be very effective.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?

Networking and building strong relationships have been key strategies in my career. Engaging with colleagues, mentors, and community members has provided opportunities for growth. But nothing’s as important as spending time with your family and true friends, away from work.  Volunteer for something completely unrelated to work, like coaching your son’s youth baseball team.  

What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?

An idea I’m passionate about is creating a mentorship program for young professionals in the legal field. Pairing seasoned attorneys with recent graduates can provide invaluable guidance and support, helping them navigate the complexities of their careers and develop essential skills.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why? (personal or professional)

The best $100 I recently spent was on a pair of Nike Zoom Vomeros. They’ve made my morning runs more comfortable and enjoyable, which in turn helps me start my day with energy and focus. Investing in good health equipment is always worthwhile.

Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?

I love anything written by Michael Lewis or Jon Krakauer.  I just finished an Abraham Lincoln biography by Ronald White called A. Lincoln, and it was outstanding.  

What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?

I recently enjoyed watching “The Queen’s Gambit.” The series is not only entertaining but also inspiring, showcasing the importance of dedication, strategic thinking, and overcoming personal challenges. It’s a great reminder of the power of resilience and determination.

3 Key Takeaways from This Interview

1. Balance and Health: Prioritizing personal health and maintaining a balance between work and personal life are crucial for long-term success and productivity.

2. Embrace Failure: Viewing failure as a learning opportunity rather than a setback can lead to significant personal and professional growth.

3. Community and Relationships: Building strong relationships and engaging with family and the community can provide invaluable support and opportunities for career advancement.