« "You Ask....I Answer" - If I Know I'm Going Solo, What Should I Be Doing During the Summer Breaks While In Law School? | Main | Can You Really Afford To Bash The 'Millennial' Lawyer? »

June 08, 2008

"Tip of the Week" - Things We Hate To Admit (When Deciding Whether To Open A Solo Practice)

I'm paraphrasing the title from another excellent Tejvan Pettinger piece called, "Things We Hate To Admit" because when extrapolating to the challenges facing those who want to open a solo practice it just makes sense:

When things go wrong we are tempted to blame other people and external events beyond our control. We feel a helpless victim and use excuses to justify our unhappiness. External events can definitely make things difficult, but, ultimately what counts is how we respond and deal with situations. Two people can live through the same experience, but come through with a completely different outlook.

If we wait for outer circumstances to be favorable, we may be continually waiting. We need to learn how to make the most of our fate. If we can retain a positive outlook and aspire to overcome difficulties we will be able to improve our fate. Our thoughts and inner state of mind have the capacity to draw things into our life. If we expect problems we will inevitably generate them in some form. If we are open to attracting good experiences then they will also come.

If you want to open your own solo practice and are waiting for the 'perfect' time to do so, when all the stars align, you have enough money in the bank, your child is in school full days, your spouse gets their promotion, when the world will be sunshine, lollipops and rainbows ...well, guess what?  You are not really committed to opening your own solo practice.

If you know you want to open your own solo practice, don't wait for the 'perfect time.'  It doesn't exist.  If you really know you want to open your own practice look at your current circumstances, declare them 'perfect' and get started knowing you will have to find a way to address the unique challenges in your life today.  Always be proactive in your life, not reactive.  That is the real freedom.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Tip of the Week" - Things We Hate To Admit (When Deciding Whether To Open A Solo Practice):

» You Must Be Proactive! from Chuck Newton
Susan Cartier Liebel of Build A Solo Practice has written a great post on the need for those who want to enter into a solo practice to be proactive. She rights, If you want to open your own solo practice and are waiting for the 'perfect' time to do so,... [Read More]


Craig Niedenthal

Perfect post! I can vouch for this one. There is no perfect time. When i decided to jump in, my eldest was applying to colleges and paying for it is a big issue. Would be nice to have steady income coming in right about now. But there is no perfect time to jump in and if you wait for it, you will always find excuses....if you have the gut urge, go with your gut...and just do it.

Edward Wiest

Great message! In the end, no one but "you" is responsible for the practice you have, whatever form it takes--even at those times when (after client service) the interests of your current organization or your family must take temporary precedence. In essence, whatever the structure of our current organization, all of us are solos--or must be prepared to act like solos.

Sean Goss

I am a practising accountant. We have a lot in common with our lawyer friends. Finding clients and matketing the practice is exceedingly difficult. But one word comes to mind...PERSEVERENCE. Dont ever give up. And I agree Edward...YOU are ultimately responsible.

Francine Denise Ward

I think having the courage to be accountable for our choices is important to remember, not just in building a solo law practice, but in doing anything. It is a significant key to success.

Jay Fleischman

I opened my solo practice in 1995 at the tender age of 25 years old. I was admitted to the bar for less than 10 months and left my former firm on the day before annual raises and bonuses were announced. I had about $1,000 in the bank and a bunch of credit cards. No clients, no background in the field in which I would eventually practice, and a whole bunch of youthful stupidity. It was the smartest move I ever made, and it was the right time - because I was emotionally ready. When the bug hits, you've got to treat it. Wait too long and it festers into a gaping wound, eating at your soul and leaving you empty inside.

Jack Vance

this is quite encouraging. i opened my solo practice in 2006 - almost 2 years ago - after a 4 year stint at a law firm. i'm still struggling and in debt (i think i net about 10K after taxes and overhead!), but everyone tells me that's the norm i.e 2-4 years of stress, debt and few clients before take-off (at the moment i have just 2 clients, yikes!). anyway, i shall be watching this site.

Susan Cartier Liebel

Jack, those people who supposedly are telling you this is normal, well I'm not sure they really know what they are talking about. I do notice you have no web presence or for that matter any google presence. This could be one of your problems. As far as a client is concerned, if they were referred to you and did a search for background they would have to question whether you exist ;-)

What you've presented is absolutely not normal and you may want to discuss with a professional what steps you can take to improve your situation to achieve normality.

The comments to this entry are closed.