This may be the most important video I record if you’re anything like me, because what concerned me the most as I stared over the precipice from my comfy big firm job and considered the possibility of starting my own firm was whether I’d be able to get clients. And one of the biggest misconceptions, and perhaps maybe the biggest lie ever told to some young attorneys is this idea that they can’t develop their own business. Now, certainly my experience in law practice has made it evident that there are some people that are just whiz at this. I mean, there are some people that I knew at the big law firm who were rainmakers on another level that had skills that many of us don’t possess. But the idea that they’re the only ones that can really develop an excellent stream of, of consistent business, I find that to be just false. You know, it half the lawyers out there are below average and somehow they manage to find clients for themselves. So, you know, if you’re like me and you’re a big firm lawyer, you know, and you’re sitting there thinking that you would start your own firm, but you can’t because you’re not going to be able to get your client own clients. That’s really something that I want you to pause and reflect on. You know, we talked about Stephen Pressfield’s concept of the resistance, what he describes as this enemy from within a force of nature that often manifests as fear and procrastination. And I think that a lot of you out there, if you are like me, if you’re a comparatively junior partner, a service partner that worked on other people’s files, to a great extent, if you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t get your own business, I want you to consider whether that’s really true or whether perhaps you’re just giving into the resistance. Because I think we probably can all agree that clients hire individual lawyers, right? They want to hire you if you’re the right lawyer for them. Yeah, sure. Some clients like institutional firms and you know, they’re passed from lawyer to lawyer over generations. But generally speaking, the decision makers out there, whether they’re general counselors or business owners, they’re going to be captivated by a single person, a single lawyer, and they’re going to hire that lawyer and the firm that comes with him. And so I think that we will talk about this more later, but it is possible for you to get clients, even if you haven’t had a lot of success doing a great job at it thus far. Now, it’s totally possible for most lawyers, but you know, it isn’t for everyone. And this has zero to do with how good you are at law practice. It really has quite a lot more to do, you know, with owning a business than doing the technical work of practicing law. Stephen Pressfield in the War of Art, you know, makes the argument that being good at doing the technical legal work doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be good at running a business that produces that tactical legal work. So, you know, just being a great lawyer is not enough to get clients. But in this new world that we’re living in, if you could take advantage of some of the technologies and some of the ways to get yourself in front of decision makers and bring, bring yourself into their consciousness, it really is possible to develop a nice book of business. And what I found is that, you know, my friends, the attorneys who don’t have their own clients, they tend to be the kind of lawyers who don’t really know and they don’t really care what the clients want, right? They’re the kind of lawyers that, in a moment of honesty, would know that the clients are probably not going to want to get involved in full blown litigation. And that at some point down the road, maybe they’re going to want to, you know, pull the objection seat on the litigation that a lawyer starts, you know, and some of these lawyers, you know, to, to a litigator, you know, everything looks like a lawsuit to a hammer, everything looks like a nail, you know? But if you can understand what clients want and you could try to meet them, you know, there, a big part of my practice is early cost efficient dispute resolution. You know, it’s a message in the design and construction industry that’s really resonated. I think that it’s helped me get the attention of decision makers that, you know, I am, you know, much more likely to help you figure out a way to resolve your dispute, you know, in three months rather than have to litigate it for three years. That’s the kind of thing that gets decision, make’s attention, and that’s the kind of thing that you as an individual lawyer have the ability to, to, to get messages like that in front of decision makers and overcome, you know, this resistance, overcome this false notion that if you are anything like me, you are a laboring lawyer, which is that only some people have the magic ability to develop business. Certainly if I understood when I was the big firm attorney, that it would be comparatively easy for me to get a good stream of business, I probably would’ve started my firm a lot earlier. But I think that it’s worth considering as you ponder, you know, am I one of these people who can do it? You know, or I am I among, you know, the people who are just not, you know, made of the right stuff to go out there and get that work. You should think about whether you’re running to something or running from something as you consider the possibility of starting your own firm. You know, if you’re watching these videos, there’s probably something in your current job that you don’t love. I had a great job before starting this firm. I loved the law firm. I was a partner at, I worked for good people, but I knew that there was something that just wasn’t quite right there. I wasn’t going to be able to satisfy my life goals if I stuck there. And if, if, if you’re watching these, these videos, perhaps you’re in a similar circumstance, but if you are just running from something that is not great in your current situation, that’s a bit of a red flag. That’s, you know, maybe a sign that some of the enthusiasm I feel around the idea that anybody can develop a good book of business. Maybe that doesn’t apply to you, but if, if you, you know, went through a transition like I did over time where I realized that I wasn’t running from the thing that was not great in my last job, I was running to this idea that there was something more out there that was possible for me in my life and my career, then I think this notion that you can get clients and you can develop a very healthy stream of business, I think it act absolutely applies to you. You know, once the light came on for me, and it was a process of a couple years, but once the light came on for me, and I realized that this idea of owning my own firm was not just something that was possible, but something that I really wanted to do, all that I could do was take in all the maximum amount of content that, that I could get my hands on, you know, on how do you get clients, how do you run law firms? And so if you’re moving in this direction where you’re enthusiastic about the idea of this, and you’re not running from something that’s not great at your job, but you’re running to this idea with enthusiasm that there’s something better, you know, then I’m here to tell you that you absolutely can develop a nice book of business. Certainly, it’s not easy, it is hard, but it is hard in ways that are different than probably what you think. If you are anything like me, back when I was staring over the pic and considering the possibility of launching my own firm. You know? Enough, next up in the series, I’m going to cover some of the recent massive changes in our culture and in the legal industry that really have to be taken into account as you consider, you know, how would you go about, you know, launching your own firm, how would you run it? And is it even something that your willing to consider? But the one thing that I’d like you to think about is, is a quote or a paraphrase from The Great War of Art, a book by Stephen Pressfield, where he cites, you know, the work of Socrates. And he says something along the lines of that the paradox seems to be that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his or her own self mastery, while those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them. Okay? I am 22 years into my law practice, and for the first 18, I believed that I didn’t have the stuff it takes to get my own clients. I believed that I needed to find masters to govern over me, to hand me business. And that was dead wrong. It was, it was the biggest lie that I was ever told. And so I want you to ponder whether or not you’re really in a situation in your career where you have nothing to say to clients, where you have nothing to say, to let them know that you understand what their concerns are. You care about, you know, what they think. And if you, if you have the ability to deliver that message, it’s comparatively easy to find a medium in this new economy for you to get that message in front of them. So, I want you to consider, as you’re pondering the idea of whether you can get business, which was absolutely the number one fear that I had, if I launch my firm, that I’m not going to be able to get business if, if you’re interested in an action item, I want you to consider whether you’re laboring under this false notion that you are somebody that’s inherently incapable of developing your own book of business. I think that for almost all of you, I would categorically reject the idea that that’s true. But if you are feeling that resistance, that enemy within that force of nature inside you, that manifests as fear and procrastination because you’re, you’re, you’re convinced that you can’t develop business, I would encourage you to really think about whether that’s true or whether that’s just a vestige of a different kind of economy, a different kind of times for legal practice, you know, and, and maybe something that that is not true. And if you could find a way to really examine your doubt and your concern about whether you can get your own clients, you might be able to put in your hands the key that will unlock for you, as was the case for me, a really rewarding law practice and, and a, a very, a wonderful lifestyle that I could have only dreamed of when I was working at the big firm.