PetWill Radio

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What did you learn from you business today?

Every day our businesses have something to teach us. For some of us, it’s learning that a law practice is not simply the practice of law, it is being in the business of providing legal services. I think there’s a significant difference. Robert Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series was right. You can be an employee, you can own a job, you can own a business or you can be an investor.

Most small business owners simply own a job. They day they stop showing up is the day they no longer get a paycheck. As a result, you can feel like you are simply a hamster on a wheel—constantly running but never getting any closer to your goal. I know I felt that way when I was an employee. Before opening my own law practice in 1999, I had never been anything but an employee. I always worked for someone else, under someone else’s rules. Although I got a paycheck at the end of every week, I never felt like I had any control over my future—it all depended on what someone else thought.

When I had my “entrepreneurial seizure,” a term coined by Michael Gerber in The E-Myth, and decided to open my own law firm, I was terrified. What did I know about running a business? I had a good background. I was well educated with a double major undergraduate business degree AND an MBA from Stetson University. I had a law degree and I had worked for more than fifteen years in other people’s businesses. Little did I know what it was really going to take to run a successful business.

In hindsight, probably the smartest thing I did was bring one of my team members with me when I ventured out on my own. I didn’t know how I was going to pay her salary (or my own) but her presence, diligence and commitment to my success were key in getting me off on the right foot. She was able to concentrate on the smaller details of running the business like buying the office supplies, making the coffee, answering the phone, doing the filing, etc. while I was able to focus on my unique abilities—primarily the ability to attract new business and provide legal advice.

It wasn’t long before I knew I didn’t want to practice on my own—in fact, I knew this before I ever started, but it took me a few months to convince my partner, Randy Bryan, to give up the security of his employee paycheck and join me in our venture, known as The Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan. It’s now been twelve years. We’ve had three offices of increasing size, numerous full and part-time team members who have all contributed to our success. We own our building, have two associate attorneys we are grooming for a front and center rule in our practice and a core of long-term team members that make every day possible. We might still own a job, but everyday get closer to the dream of owning a business—one that operates well even when we aren’t there.

I learn something new every day. What did you learn today?

No comments:

Post a Comment