Welcome back to part 2 of our Leap Into a Law Practice You Truly Love series. If you missed the first part of the series, you can read it here.
I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. I thought that working for a big law firm, earning a 6-figure paycheck was the jackpot I had worked so hard to win.
What I didn’t realize is how little control I would have over my schedule, the work I was doing, the clients I did work for, and how out of place I would feel working at a big law firm.
I was pretty miserable while at the same time beating myself up for being miserable because “I should be grateful” to have such a good job.
So I decided I would make the best of it and try to build my own book of business at the big law firm. Fortunately, the firm was willing to support me in that, as long as my clients passed the conflict checks. Apparently, this is pretty rare in big law, so I did feel lucky.
One day, I was attending a ‘Women in Business’ conference in my hometown of Manhattan Beach, and there was a woman speaking on stage about branding.
I didn’t hear a word she said about branding. All I could hear was how much she loved her business: working from home, on her own schedule, choosing her clients, making great money, home for her son when he got home from school.
It sounded like heaven to me.
I decided to buy her book, not because I cared to learn about branding, but because I knew there would be something in there that would give me the secret of how she made the leap into entrepreneurship that would help me.
And, there was.
She didn’t do it alone. She had a coach. A coach I would find and go on to hire, back in the day when coaching was still considered very strange, I never spent a penny on myself, I didn’t think I had the money to do it, and I was sure I was too smart to need a coach.
But, when I looked at the life this woman had and I looked at the life I had, I knew I would make the investment to learn what she had done to create the life and income she really wanted.
It was a stretch, and I did it anyway.
Within three months of hiring a coach, I knew I would start my own law practice. I knew I would never be happy working for someone else.
And just three years after I had started at Munger, Tolles & Olson, I found myself telling the partner I worked for that I wouldn’t be returning after my maternity leave.
I’d be starting my own law practice, local to my home in Redondo Beach, CA, where I could be a mom to my kids, a pillar of the community, and build a meaningful practice I could count on.
With a baby and a four-year-old at home, my husband staying at home to care for them, and me as the breadwinner with no savings in the bank, no safety net to support us, and only my own belief that “if she could do it, I could do it”, I leaped.
On August 6, 2003, I opened the doors to the law practice that would one day become Martin Neely & Associates.
Those first few months, I was sure I had made a dreadful mistake. I thought I would have to go back and get a job because I wouldn’t be able to support my family.
But fortunately, something happened that changed everything. And as a result of that something happening, my law practice became a million dollar a year generating business within just three years, by 2006.
Watch for my next post to hear about exactly what it was that allowed me to shift from struggling, worried, sure I was going to have to go back and get a job, to confident that I could support my family and eventually only having to go into my office a few days a week.
Until then, I’d love for you to start dreaming into the life you would love to have…
- If you could create your life and law practice exactly as you want it to be, what would it look like tomorrow?
- What would your office look like?
- Who are the clients you would love to serve?
- How much (or how little) would you work?
I promise you this, with clarity, you can create it.
And we will support you to leap from wherever you are now to where you want to go next.
Ready to make a leap? If you are a lawyer who would like to find work-life balance while building a profitable and fulfilling business, book a call with one of our Law Business Advisors today to discover what your clear path to change and a new reality could look like.
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