River City Six – Susan Napolitano
Meet Susan Napolitano, attorney for Berry Law.
Tell us a little about your business.
Originally focused on criminal defense work, Berry Law has expanded to offer a full suite of services ranging from injury law to business law. As an attorney for the firm, I am a problem-solver who loves helping my clients succeed in the areas of real estate, business, and civil litigation.
How did you get started in the business?
Like many entrepreneurs, I started from the ground up. I come from a family of builders, so starting my legal career in real estate was a natural fit.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Investing my time in the right work, the right people, and the right experiences. I have learned to be fiercely protective of my time and to say no to that which brings little or no value to my life, either personally or professionally.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Twenty-five years ago, my dear friend Polly died of cancer in the same little Wisconsin farm house she was born in. I visited her the day before she died and she said to me, “My life is over, but I feel like I never even got started.” She was 72. That was the saddest thing anyone has ever said to me. Polly’s words have stuck with me as a reminder that when it is my time to die, I want to feel like I did everything I could do to live the hell out of this life.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I love hiking in the woods with my kids and our dog.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I am the most stubborn person I know…and the most loyal. I guess that’s a double-edged sword.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by people of courage—the people who repeatedly rise and get in position at the starting line in spite of being afraid, tired, or weakened. I am truly blessed to interact with those kinds of people every day at work and in my personal life.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
I am artsy. I paint, write, or do some other type of creative exercise every day.
Which talent would you most like to have?
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be?
I think writing biographies would be a fascinating way to spend a life.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
Either Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, or Sick Puppy. The last good book I read was Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?
Buddha or Bill Murray.