Starting a Law Firm in a "Bad Economy"
This post is from the first blog I started, called “How to Start a Law Firm.” Over the years I’ve moved to different sites a few times and wanted to catalog all of my content in one place. If an article refers to a link and there is no link, sorry, that’s consequence of the move. Enjoy!
If you read any of the comments on this blog, you’ll notice a pseudo discussion that broke out regarding Wednesday’s post on the starting a law firm mastermind session I recently attended. It wasn’t going the way I wanted it to (i.e. nothing productive was being said) so I issued a challenge to the commenter – tell us your story and let us see if we can help you past your problem. Hopefully they will accept the challenge.
One of the issues I had with the commenter’s comment was the idea that things are tough because the economy is bad. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know the economy is bad, and, honestly, it’s probably going to get worse. But if I ever talk to you I don’t want to hear the economy is bad, and here are just a few reasons why.
1. The Economy is Macro – Your Law Firm is Micro
When people talk about the economy they talk about it in one of two ways. They either talk about the country, like “the stock market just tanked again because a new jobs report came out and it sucks” or they talk about themselves personally, “the economy sucks because I lost my job and can’t find another one.”
The truth of the matter is, for most people, the economy is just fine. People have jobs. People work. People pay taxes. People buy boats. People buy houses. People go on vacation. These people are our potential clients.
When you start a law firm your goal should not be to take over the legal needs of every person in the United States. You pick a niche so you can focus on a specific group of people. Within that group of people I’m sure some people have money and some don’t. Take an hour to sit down and think about where the potential clients with money are and then go get them.
2. The Economy Provides a Great Excuse to be “Special”
One of the things we talked about in our mastermind was the need to be special, and the need to get over that. Being special can happen in two ways.
The first way it can happen is by comparing yourself to others to make you feel like the better person. This can manifest itself in many ways, but the one we all know is the person you talk to that can never just say congratulations when you’ve accomplished something. They’ve always got to have a story that’s better than yours. They’ve always got to be seen as the best.
The second way is comparing yourself to others to make you feel like the worse off person. This can also be known as the pity party. The idea is by making others see how much you are struggling, how much pain you are in, they’ll feel bad for you and give you some attention.
This business about the economy is a great way to feel buy valium online no rx special by getting people to feel bad about you. By telling everyone you meet how terrible the economy is, you can get a lot of sympathy, a lot of well wishes, and a lot of pats on the back. The problem is, you’re still going to be poor.
3. A “Bad Economy” Gives You an Excuse to do Nothing to Build Your Law Firm
If it’s the economy’s fault that everything is so bad, then I guess there’s nothing you can do to change it. You’ll just have to wait around until the economy improves to make any money. Hopefully it improves.
The truth is, there is money out there. There is a lot of money out there. You just have to go find it. And finding it is going to take some courage. It’s going to take doing things that you have never done before. And the scariest part about this whole thing? It’s not going to take a lot of money, but you’re going to have to risk falling flat on your face.
Times have changed dramatically from even 10 years ago. Things are not done the same way they once were. People are walking around with smartphones and iPads. They are working from home. They are using their minds much more than their hands. They are partnering with people around the world. And they are becoming much more sophisticated from a marketing standpoint (and by sophisticated I simply mean a lot more skilled at weeding out information that is not important to them – i.e. advertising).
If you want to start a successful law firm you are going to have to step out of the box, set the box on fire, and start building a new box. For example, one of the things I do when I think about marketing is take a look at what everyone else is doing. If I’m doing that I stop and re-evaluate to see if I can come up with a way to do it just different enough (or completely different if necessary) to set myself out from the crowd or reach people in a new and exciting way. That is how you become successful, in the law business or any business.
Stop Talking About Your “Economy” and Start Getting to Work
Before I go any further, by the way, I want to make one thing clear – this post is not aimed directly at the commenter from Wednesday – it is aimed all of us. We all have our “economy” sticking point. We all have that thing that we fall back on to rationalize why we didn’t do something or why something didn’t pan out. We all have something to explain why we aren’t reaching our full potential.
Today is the day that you should shed those crutches. Recognize and embrace that success beyond your wildest dreams is possible. Believe that you can be as successful as you want to be at this, and then attack this endeavor and your life with the excitement that it deserves.
I hope anonymous sends me that email.
In the comments, I want you to tell me two things:
1. What is your “economy?”
2. What can you do to get over your bad economy?
Can’t wait to hear from you!