Chapter 4Obstacle #1: What They Didn't Teach You in B-SchoolIf I Am Supposed to Be the Expert, Why Do I Feel So Stupid about Sales?

George Wythe was one of the most respected attorneys in colonial Virginia. The Reverend Lee Massey called him “the only honest lawyer I ever knew.” That reputation caused Wythe to be in great demand. The anteroom in his Williamsburg office was filled with farm owners contesting boundaries, gentlemen hoping to draft bills of sale, and sea captains settling debts. In 1762, he decided he needed help. He'd learned the law working for his uncle, Stephen Dewey, in Prince George's County, and thought it made sense for him to see if there was a young man at the College of William and Mary he might take on in a similar role. The deal would be that he would teach the lad the law, and in exchange the apprentice would help with drafting. He met his friend Dr. William Small, a Scotsman who taught at the college. Over several rounds of rattle-skulls, a popular brandy and porter cocktail, at the Raleigh Tavern, he asked his friend for a recommendation. Putting his drink down, Small didn't hesitate. “Young Tom Jefferson from Shadwell is your boy. His mother is a Randolph, and he's quite intelligent.”

This model of standing next to the person you want to become was familiar to both Wythe and Jefferson. It was the way blacksmiths, candle makers, apothecaries, coopers, tinkers, limners, wheelwrights, wainwrights, bakers, and silversmiths were trained. Want to build ...

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