What Does Success Look Like to You? — Taylor Appelbaum

What Does Success Look Like to You? — Taylor Appelbaum

Taylor Appelbaum is a 45-year-old partner at a Chicago, Illinois law firm. Specializing in corporate patent law, Mr. Appelbaum attended Stanford University where he studied patent policies and intellectual property law. As a corporate attorney, Mr. Appelbaum works diligently to ensure the protection of his client’s products and designs while safeguarding their intellectual property rights. As an experienced legal professional, he remains an industry leader in his field.  When Mr. Appelbaum isn’t working he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. 


How have you achieved success?

After graduating from Stanford University, I accepted a position at a Chicago-based firm. There I was really thrown into the thick of things and I received extensive first hand experience. From there, I eventually moved on to open my own practice. Over the last ten years we have seen immense growth and I look forward to the next five to ten years of business.


What obstacles have you overcome in the process?

Both the business world and legal sector are highly competitive industries and you need to be willing to put in the work if you really want to make it. There were plenty of times when I felt like giving up or just throwing in the towel but I reassessed the situation and tried again. You have to be strong and resilient. 


What drives you to succeed?

I really have two motivators in my life, the first being my passion for the legal sector and the second being my family. When I first started in the industry I worked for a major law firm and there I had some wonderful mentors that really helped me navigate my early career years. They gave me the knowledge and resources I needed to eventually open my own firm and I am grateful for their guidance. I love what I do and I am fortunate to have been so successful. My family always encourages me to go for more and I experience an overwhelming amount of support day in and day out.


How has your definition of success changed over the years?

Success when I first started, I was really focused on just hiring clients and maintaining a loyal client base. I work mostly with trademark and copyright laws and I work as an advisor when it comes to intellectual property rights. In my early career I didn’t have the option of being selective with my clients. Now, having experienced extensive success I can really focus on projects that interest me and challenge me in new ways. 


What has success meant to you?

I think helping companies navigate the legal landscape is very rewarding, especially when it comes to those with little experience. They may have a new product design that they are excited about so I do my absolute best to ensure they are legally protected. Creators have the right to protect what they have worked hard to build.


Do you have advice for others on how to be successful?

Be honest with yourself. I would often tell myself something different if it meant not having to face certain failures or adjust a process. Look at your numbers weekly and figure what works and what does not, that is the only way to move forward.