We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark St. Vil and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, is there something you believe many others might not?
Often times, you are told or advised that you have to get all your ducks in a row before proceeding with an endeavor. While I can appreciate the concept of planning, there must be a point where the rubber hits the road. Stated differently, you can only plan so much before you have to actually take action. After all, the most pertinent part of a plan is its execution – you can strategize, plot and design the perfect scheme; however, the execution of the plan is what will be remembered.
One of my favorite quotes, is by Les Brown and reads: “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”
This corresponds with my sentiments, and is counter to what many people would deem to be conventional wisdom. I believe that the biggest deterrent in starting a new business, or stepping out on a limb is self-doubt. Whether it is described as the fear of failing, of stepping out of your comfort zone, of being questioned, or even ridiculed for your decision, it all amounts to self-doubt, and it can be debilitating for some. This is why I am of the opinion that sometimes you have to say enough is enough and spring into action. It’s okay if you don’t have every single detail figured out, your work ethic and passion to succeed will typically see you through the bumps in the road that you will inevitably face. To a certain extent, I believe that it’s the hope of avoiding those bumps, and wanting a smooth path to success that supports the idea of over planning.
I will share however, that the constant fear of feeling “under prepared” is not a mystery to everyone. There is an entire industry that has been created to sell people on ways to help themselves be more prepared. According to MarketResearch.com, the self-improvement market was worth $9.9 billion in 2016 and is estimated to grow to $13.2 billion by 2022 with 5.6% average yearly gains. This is my concern, companies are capitalizing from those that are doing more preparing then actual work, individuals can become engaged in “shelf-help” instead of self-help. By that I mean getting consumed in the idea of helping yourself, reading book after book, attending seminar after seminar, but never actually applying the information to better yourself.
What’s interesting about my viewpoint on this is that, planning and strategizing is an essential part of my profession as the Managing Partner of The St. Vil Firm, PLLC. And even in a career that is as fact intensive as Law, there comes a point where you have to trust your research, be confident in your abilities and move forward with the case, motion, mediation or claim. So, ignore the conventional wisdom that tells you that you have to line up each and every duck, put your boots on the pavement and get to work on creating the life that you truly deserve.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The St. Vil Firm, PLLC was a creation of acknowledgment. After working as a practicing attorney for the better part of a decade, in many sectors of public and private practice, I recognized that the process of legacy building would not be accomplished by working for someone else. After a very challenging 2020, from both a health and personal perspective, I made the decision to get out and make a way for myself. Somewhere in between family turmoil and ailment, it dawned on me that those personal issues did not absolve me of my work or the expectations of the office, I was still expected to produce and I recognized at that point, that it was time to take care of me.
Throughout my career, I customarily worked long hours and weekends to exceed quotas and perform at a high level, so why not take that same work ethic and drive and invest in myself? My transition into being a firm owner has allowed me to help people in cases involving criminal matters, personal injury and property damage. I have regained control of my work life balance and been able to make more time for my family and friends, all while working for one of the coolest people that I know, myself.
With my restructured work schedule, I have been able to dedicate more time to People About Change, Inc., a non-profit organization I founded in 2019 to aid the citizens of South Florida through various community-based initiatives. This year we were blessed to provide warm meals and toiletry kits to over 150 transient and displaced members of the community and partake in a back-to-school initiative that provided free haircuts, and snacks to school aged residents of North Miami Beach.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well I don’t have a best friend, but if one of my good friends were to come visit me in South Florida there are a number of places we could go for a good time. I’ll truncate my list to a weekend trip, which is more practical.
After 5 pm on a Friday (I still have to work folks!) we could attend happy hour in the Brickell area, there are plenty of bars that attract the young professional crowd for mixing and mingling. Friday evening I’d suggest something fun like TopGolf in Miami Gardens or checking out the strip on Las Olas Beach.
We are in the Sunshine State so Saturday would be a beach day, but not the touristy area, maybe somewhere like Haulover Beach. After a day of fun in the sun, we could head out to Wynwood which is the home of Miami Art Basel, to observe some local street art and try some local cuisine. While I’m not much of a partyer, if my friend was so inclined to party there are definitely venues to accomplish that goal.
Sunday Brunch as Nikki Beach is definitely worth checking out, followed by some site seeing in Little Haiti and Little Havana. Maybe catch a Dolphin game if its football season.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As it relates to my education, I am forever indebted to my institute Florida A&M University for my training and tutelage. As a double-rattler, I had the benefit of learning from world renown professors and more importantly community leaders and role models that not only looked like me, but understood the complexity of being a first-generation college student. I also must acknowledge my family, as they have consistently served as a support system throughout my upbringing.
I recall a particular conversation with my Father while in High School. During the conversation, he explained that as the son of a foreign-born immigrant, if he was able to provide stability, security and essentials to his family, that his expectations for me were much higher as I had been provided opportunities that he could only dream of as a child. This stuck with me and has continued to be a driving force in my path to be the best version of myself. So shoutout to Pops for helping to light that fire!
Instagram: @attorneymarkst.vil & @thest.vilfirm