Interview with Jeff Chukwuma, Senior Partner at Chukwuma Law Group

Jeff Caesar Chukwuma is the founder and senior partner at Chukwuma Law Group, primarily focusing on Criminal Defense and Personal Injury. Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Chukwuma served as an Assistant State Attorney for Florida’s 17th Judicial Circuit. During his tenure as a prosecutor, he investigated and litigated a wide range of felony criminal cases, including but not limited to drug trafficking, robbery, armed home invasion, and murder. He has tried over 50 criminal cases to verdict. Chukwuma received a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University and a Juris Doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University Law School. He is eligible to practice law in the state of Florida and the United States District C. In addition to his legal practice, Chukwuma has accumulated over 700,000 organic followers across Instagram and Twitter, where he used the platforms to educate his followers on their legal rights, legal options, and empowering those who may feel alienated or intimidated by the legal world.

Where did the idea for Chukwuma Law Group come from?

I always knew eventually after working as a prosecutor at the Broward County State Attorney’s Office that I wanted to start my law firm. It was simply a matter of time. I had to put in the work, pay my dues, and get my experience to make sure I was prepared to deliver value to my clients in private practice.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I wake up early around 6am. I believe the key to ruling your day is an early start. First, on the agenda is the gym followed by meditation and my morning read, which consists of catching up with what’s going on in the world and finance. By 9 am, I’m in the office unless I have court. In the afternoon, I make time to focus on some of my other business endeavors and finish with work around 6-7pm. I also make the occasional social appearance at a fundraiser or happy hour when the situation presents itself.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Through self-discipline. As an entrepreneur, you’re your own boss. Most people only hear the glamour in that and don’t notice the responsibility. No boss or manager will be following up with you about deadlines you must meet and work that needs to be done. You must develop the self-discipline required to do the work necessary to deliver value for your customers.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Social media and the course it’s taking. Social media apps have completely revolutionized our lives: from how we get information to how interact with one another. It’s a powerful tool, one that you can either use to your advantage or become a victim to. Thanks to digital tools, for the first time in history, the ordinary person is able to amplify their voice to the entire world. That’s crazy if you think about it. We’ve never had this much power to shape our identities and public perception of ourselves. If you can use that to your advantage, the sky’s the limit to what you can achieve.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Resilience. The first rule of entrepreneurship is that things never go according to plan, no matter how good your plan is. You can either become defeated and discouraged when things don’t go your way. Or you can use failure and roadblocks as learning moments to develop your character and hone your skills.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Study up on finance and investing. A lot of people look at fiancé like this big, complicated topic way above their comprehension. That’s what the powers that be want you to think so that you don’t discover how to play their game. That’s all it is: a game. And once you understand the rules, you know how to set yourself up for success. In the age of the internet, you’ve never had more resources at your disposal to learn about basically anything. So, taking time to learn how to create generational wealth for yourself and your family is a major life hack I wish I had been aware of earlier. Luckily, it’s never too late to get started.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I mean, many people agree with me, but just as many don’t. Race is still something that prevents many people in this country from reaching their full potential. It’s so easy for people to be dismissive of those they consider beneath them, never seeming to realize how easily roles could have been reversed had they been born into the situation they’re judging. It’s easier to judge someone’s circumstances than it is to live in them. Until we get to that level of empathy as a society, this generational curse of injustice will be upon us.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Hit the gym. Everything is connected: mind, body, and soul. If one area of your life is out of balance, the whole of your life will follow shortly thereafter. That’s why I use the gym as the foundation for the rest of my life. Like I said, it’s the first thing I do when I wake up. It helps prepare my body and mind for the day. I have greater clarity, less anxiety, and a sense of accomplishment as soon as I begin my day. That has ripple effects that carry me through every other activity that follows until I finish work at the day’s end.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Time management and allocation. This is one of the most important things in running any successful organization. With so many different aspects of your business that all need attention, knowing where to give your attention and how much attention to give is paramount. Rome was not built in a day, but it was still built. You have to find a way to accomplish a myriad of complicated, time-consuming goals while still maintaining balance in the various parts of your business and personal life. It’s a tall order, which is why I say not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. But if you feel called to it and can handle the pressure, it’s incredibly rewarding.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Caring too much about what others think. As social creatures, we’re wired to belong to groups and seek their validation in how we live our lives. Although understandable, this can be detrimental to an entrepreneur. By definition, as an entrepreneur, you’re doing something new and risky. Not everyone is going to understand or support your vision. You have to be ok with being your own cheerleader and number one fan for a while until you get converts. But if you wait for the crowd to cheer you on before you take action, you’ll never reach your destination. It’s uncomfortable and scary to go against what people think and say about you, especially when it’s the people closest to you who are pulling you down. But if you can endure, the reward will be worth it.

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

Social media marketing agency. Understanding the nuances of marketing and online consumer behavior is a skill. A lot of people look at influencers like the Kardashians and assume they don’t have talent because it didn’t come packaged with a fancy degree or prestigious corporate job title attached. But the skill of getting and keeping people’s attention in a world consumed by instant gratification, endless notifications, distractions, and ads is incredibly rare. Not many people can do it, which creates an incredible opportunity for people like myself who can. And like the saying goes, if you’re good at something, never do it for free. Although I’m already dedicated to the law, there’s a great business idea for someone out there brave enough to pursue it.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Recently, I gave someone $200 who was in need. I didn’t expect or ask them to pay it back. I just wanted to be a blessing in their life since I’ve relied on the generosity of others to get where I am today. They ended up referring me a case that was worth far more than the money I spent helping them. That just shows you how good things have a way of finding when you don’t expect it.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Instagram. That was where I grew my social media following before expanding to other platforms. It’s helped me raise awareness not only for my personal brand and services but also for issues I care deeply about and voices I want to amplify.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Courage is Calling by Ryan Holiday. It’s a great book not just for entrepreneurs but for anyone trying to do something significant in life. Because any time you’re trying to achieve something, you’ll face resistance and opposition. Emotionally, we experience that opposition as fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of embarrassing ourselves. The list goes on and on. What the book helped me realize is that you’ll never get rid of fear. If you’re waiting to no longer be afraid before you start taking action, you’ll never do the things you dream of. You’ll live and die in your comfort zone, the ultimate dream killer. Instead of getting rid of fear, each person must develop more courage, becoming braver in spite of the fear. The book helped me learn that fear is natural and part of our nature. However, that doesn’t mean we should let fear control us and stop us from reaching our potential as individuals.

What is your favorite quote?

“Fortune favors the bold” In case you couldn’t tell, I live by that. Fear is the enemy stopping you from achieving your dreams. Boldness and courage are the way to your destiny.

Key Learnings:

  • I believe the key to ruling your day is an early start.
  • You must develop the self-discipline required to do the work necessary to deliver value for your customers.
  • Social media apps have completely revolutionized our lives: from how we get information to how interact with one another.
  • The first rule of entrepreneurship is that things never go according to plan.
  • Everything is connected: mind, body, and soul.
  • “Fortune favors the bold”
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
Sarah Brown: Sarah Brown is an American journalist who recently spent a year working as a freelance writer in Berlin, Germany. Sarah has contributed to a range of publications as well as Founder's Courier, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, covering everything from celebrity and fashion to travel, business and lifestyle.