Are solo attorneys entrepreneurs? Some say yes, others no. Follow this edition of Things I Wish I Knew to get Joleena Louis’s take on the concept.
A common question I get is if all solo attorneys are entrepreneurs. My answer is no. Here’s why.
The best description of an entrepreneur that I’ve found is from Attorney At Law Magazine which says, “An entrepreneurial lawyer is someone who takes complete responsibility for the success of his or her practice.”
Some solos just want to practice law. Their goal is to bring in enough work to live comfortably and continue doing what they love. They want to be self-employed. They want to have control over their future and decided what’s best for themselves and their firm. There is nothing wrong with this.
But some solo’s want more. They focus on growth and opportunity. They don’t shy away from trying new and unique marketing techniques. Self-employed lawyers spend more time working in their practice and entrepreneurial lawyers spend more time working on it.
Entrepreneurial attorneys try to understand who their ideal clients are, where they come from, and what their pain points are. Then they use that information to draw in as many of those ideal clients as possible
Here are some things to consider if you want to be a more entrepreneurial attorney.
Have a Vision
Vision is what we hope to achieve. It’s your “why.” One thing that makes a lawyer entrepreneurial is the desire to do more than make a living.
My “Why” was the driving force behind starting my own practice. I wanted the freedom to guide my clients through the most difficult time in their life while making them feel like their case is my main priority.
I have my Why written down so I can pull it out and remind myself when I start to feel my motivation fading.
Your vision is what keeps you on track to reaching the goals you have for your practice.
A good entrepreneur is a great strategist. That means carefully planning, taking calculated risks and learning from failures. Someone who wants to be self-employed just plans for the day or week ahead. An entrepreneurial lawyer plans for years ahead.
Learn to Focus your Energy
The most important aspect of being an entrepreneurial attorney is learning to focus your energy. Solos have a lot on their plate between practicing law and managing our business. It can quickly become too much to handle since you are responsible for every aspect of your practice.
Plus, if you have an entrepreneurial mindset, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with ideas and opportunities. To avoid becoming distracted, entrepreneurial attorneys must develop the ability to focus and concentrate.
Think about both how and with whom you spend your time–it’s likely an indicator of what you are to become.
Not every solo has to be an entrepreneur, and that is ok. But if you want to be an entrepreneurial attorney, you have to change your mindset and focus on growth. Hopefully, these tips will put you on the right path.