My luck has never been at cards, dice, slot machines or games of chance. My luck has always involved people who supported my goals and my vision. Among the crowd of naysayers whose pragmatic mindsets said my dreams of quitting the top patent law firm in the world to go out on my own were insanity, I’ve also had family and friends who considered my dreams and said, “Why not?”
And chief among these is my wife, Saba.
For the last 20 years, I’ve been fortunate to know and be married to Saba Rizvi. And on this day, as I celebrate another birthday with her, I want to pen this letter of gratitude to my best friend, partner, confidant, and wife.
There would be no Patent Professor ® without your limitless support and encouragement. Your comforting words inspired me to make the craziest decision of my life — to quit my job at arguably one of the top patent firms in the world and strike out on my own.
Though, at the time, we had no savings, no plan, and no office, knowing that you believed in me made me feel like I already had everything I needed to succeed as a patent attorney. And within a few years of quitting my job and moving to Florida, you were able to see what I created because of your love and support.
5 kids, 30+ top-tier, cream of the crop team members, hundreds of loyal clients, and one 10,000 square foot building later, my vision and goal to help the budding inventor has unfolded in ways that I never imagined.
I’ve never shied away from giving credit to the people in my life that’s helped me get to this point — from clients that turned into friends, colleagues that challenge and inspire me, and parents who did everything in their powers to see me succeed — but I couldn’t imagine being where I am today without you, Saba.
The workload of a patent attorney can be a great burden to you and the kids. I give my job and clients everything I have. And sometimes that means spending my weekends in the office, or double-booking myself for speaking engagements on your birthday. But despite the demands of my job, I’m fortunate to come home to you — my wife and best friend and find you ready to hear about my day and offer a comforting word to counter the day’s craziness.
Saba, there are no words to adequately describe what your love has inspired me to achieve. I know that we’re not islands; we all need support, assistance and sometimes just a friendly voice telling us we can do it, or that we’re out of pocket and why.
Your love helps me be a better patent attorney. Your support teaches me how to be there for my clients in ways that superseded what an “average” attorney is supposed to do.
For the inventor or the innovator, they need legal advice, sources of revenue while they develop and market their inventions, business assistance and people, like me, who believe in their vision and their ability to see it through to a finished product.
We don’t escape the grey twilight, as Teddy Roosevelt put it, alone. Even if you truly are the metaphorical “one-man band,” you still need people to buy what you’re selling, to use it, and to tell others about it who might also have need of your innovation.
We’re not islands. All the “self-made” people we read about and see on the covers of Forbes or Fortune or the Wall Street Journal have a legion of people standing behind them, helping, guiding and cheering them on.
I think about the struggles we’ve shared together: raising children, the inevitable bumps in the road every married couple encounters, financial troubles and misunderstandings… and if I had to do everything all over again, I’d do it in a heartbeat with the woman who is my heartbeat.
Happy Birthday, Saba.
John Rizvi is a Registered and Board Certified Patent Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property Law, best-selling author, and featured speaker on topics of interest to inventors and entrepreneurs (including TEDx).
His books include “Escaping the Gray” and “Think and Grow Rich for Inventors” and have won critical acclaim including an endorsement from Kevin Harrington, one of the original sharks on the hit TV show – Shark Tank, responsible for the successful launch of over 500 products resulting in more than $5 billion in sales worldwide. You can learn more about Professor Rizvi his patent law practice at www.ThePatentProfessor.com
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I’ve helped hundreds of inventors successfully prosecute their patent applications, from initial filing to final award and look forward to helping you with your new idea.