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December 15, 2008

Why the Solo Choice? - Solo Practice University E-zine Celebrates 1st Anniversary

With the holidays coming and the New Year almost upon us I thought I would let you see one of the very first newsletters subscribers to the Solo Practice University E-zine receive.  You may just relate:

I'm a big believer in getting to the heart of the matter.  If you've subscribed to this newsletter chances are you fall into one of four categories. You are:
  • A Student (traditional or non-traditional) who already knows you want to seriously consider the solo option either right out of law school or shortly thereafter;
  • A New Lawyer (out of school less than three years) who either can't get the job you want or just wanted to get your feet wet first before striking out on your own; or
  • A Veteran Lawyer (practicing more than three years) who now wants to strike out on your own after years of working for another and/or feels you have no future or stability in your current employment.  You've defined going solo as the only option; or
  • A Current Solo Practitioner who wants tips on how to improve your practice.

If you fit into any of these categories, this newsletter will help you but it is primarily geared for those who want to get started.

So, let's get started!

In his very popular book, "How to Start and Build A Law Practice," Jay Foonberg pretty much says it doesn't matter why you are starting a solo practice. Then based upon his personal experiences goes on to tell you his perspective on how to do it.  His book has been a best seller for decades.

I disagree with Foonberg's premise 'it doesn't matter why you are starting a solo practice.'  It does matter why you are going into solo practice because your attitude about your choice (and everything in life is a choice) will color your entire professional career.  It will determine your financial and personal success as an entrepreneur in the legal profession.  

Your attitude is key to your success.

What is irrelevant is what others think about your choice to go solo. Unless they are your spouse or significant other, they don't get a say in your life.
 
****************
Some of us are born entrepreneurs 
 
You know them, the friend, the family member who just grabs an idea and runs with it, genetically gifted when it comes to marketing, networking and turning mud into gold. They don't take refuge in employment.  They use any employment as a calculated stepping stone to their next entrepreneurial adventure. 
 
Sometimes they succeed; sometimes they don't. But they persevere because they know no other way. Nor do they want it to be any other way.  And they find success, sometimes success being defined as the process.
 

Some of us back into entrepreneurship

 
You've always been intrigued at the idea of operating your own business and have often said, 'some day.' You are more cautious, cautiously optimistic you can do it.  But you get deeply upset, sometimes thrown off track when those you respect, including professors, career counselors, accomplished lawyers, point out all the reasons you can't accomplish your goal.  They fuel your natural insecurities. 
 
This is human nature.  People you seek out for advice will project their fears upon you when you look to step out of THEIR comfort zone.  You need to learn how to recognize this.  Then separate yourself from it.

Some of us are forced into entrepreneurship

 
You've been hit flat upside your head with any number of career surprises:
  • poor job prospects whether driven by the economy or school ranking,
  • unanticipated unemployment,
  • disenchantment working for Big Law,
  • a move cross-country to a strange city

You've experienced a professional disruption and simply don't know what to do.  You just never envisioned your current status.  Plus, you've never considered going solo before now. But you feel you either need to go solo or quit the profession.  You're paralyzed and frustrated, a little angry and scared.

You fit into at least one of these categories. Which one?

Just remember:

Every single one of these situations presents opportunity.  Entrepreneurs recognize opportunity and know how to capitalize on it.

If you would like to read more of this article, sign up for the Solo Practice University E-zine celebrating it's first year anniversary with more than 1100 subscribers. Sign up to the right ===============>>>>>>>

(And in case you didn't see, check out our recent faculty announcements at Solo Practice University.

If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe to my RSS! If you would like to be part of a new educational and professional networking community for lawyers and law students why not subscribe to the RSS for Solo Practice University.

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