Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Starting Your Own Practice with Fear as Your Partner

Last night I was at an AWA Board meeting. A few of us began talking about our respective careers and law practices. A younger attorney mentioned how she would love to be her own boss and start her own practice but didn't know where to begin. We brainstormed together, talked about options, and there was a solo practitioner there who offered to be her mentor. How great is that!

The young attorney was excited, but then spoke of fear... the dreaded four-letter word. Fear can stop you in your tracks or propel you to success. My advice? Take fear as your partner! Fear will make you work hard and keep you honest. It will help you stay ahead of the game and keep you on your toes.

Fear has never stopped me from doing anything. And it shouldn't stop this young attorney from going after her dream. With that said, here are some top tips for starting your own venture.

1. Make the decision and then go for it!
2. Find a mentor to hold your hand through the process.
3. Get your paperwork in order. Talk to a tax advisor about what type of business you want to start and make sure to get all the necessary paperwork.
4. Get your finances ready. Talk to an accountant and get your books in order.
5. Get a website, a blog, business cards and stationary.
6. Join organizations that will help you network.
7. Tell everyone about your business!! You can do this by sending a Grand Opening announcement.
8. Bounce everything off your mentor. Remember that person is there to help you.
9. Keep networking! Stay in touch with your network by sending a newsletter or tips and trends in your field of practice.
10. Be positive!

I plan on calling this young attorney to offer my tips and some encouragement. She's a go- getter and super sharp. I know she'll be great.

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