I want to talk to you about whether you want to go fast or whether you want to go slow as you consider the possibility of starting a new law firm, but the risk of getting stuck in a planning phase forever. You know, if you’re anything like me, you’re a planner. I don’t like to jump out of the airplane and hope my parachute’s going to open without making sure that I folded it just right. Many times, you know, I’ve got a lot of friends that run awesome law firms that are maybe a little bit different than me. They’re a little bit more of a, you know, take this job and shove it type of person where, you know, they didn’t like what happened at work one day and they grabbed their stuff and they left and they hung their shingle. And it’s a great story. And, you know, a lot of these people are super successful. You know, there’s certainly nothing wrong with going fast, but, you know, I’m the cautious type. I went slow. I knew at the time when I began my journey of considering the possibility of launching my own law firm that I knew very little about what I needed to know. And I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I never intended to start my own law firm. I was very happy at my old job, but it was, you know, one day around Thanksgiving, I was at the car wash and I was playing around with my phone and I found the purple podcast app, and I started to listen to all these amazing podcasts on launching and running your own law firms. And I just fell down the rabbit hole thinking, this isn’t really for me, but I’m going to, I’m going to use this knowledge to help my wife’s law firm get better. And then, you know, there was a, a period in time where I said, actually, maybe this is for me, potentially, theoretically, but I don’t really have the impetus to make a move because, you know, my job at the big law firm is pretty good. And then I got a little bit more to a middle ground where like, maybe it is for me, maybe I should be thinking about this. And then there was a moment where the light came on and I said that this is absolutely, for me, it’s absolutely relevant to my practice area. I can serve the same kind of clients. I can have a very sophisticated practice outside of the protection of the big law firm. And, and I just taking in all this content, I couldn’t get enough of it, right? And I listened to hundreds of hours of podcasts until I was sure that I figured out, you know, what are all the unknowns? You know, you know, I, I, I have always thought that Don Rums, Don Rumsfeld’s quote about there being, you know, known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns, you know, was very apt. You know, because I wanted to figure out, you know, what are all the things that I needed to know, you know, and to the greatest extent possible, I wanted to find out, you know, what are the unknowns that I can know about? What are the known unknowns? And I took a long time listening to all these podcasts, hundreds of hours until I heard enough people talking about the same thing again and again and again. And then I really felt like I had kind of the size the challenge, you know, measured up, right? It’s a little bit like performing legal research where, you know, you’re on Lexus or you’re on Westlaw or whatever you use, and you research until you start seeing the same authorities, the same case law, and you get to a point where you just know in your gut that you think that you’ve seen enough for what’s out there and, you know, anything further you’d be going beyond the point of diminished returns. So I took a lot of time to plan, but the one piece of advice that I would give you, okay, in addition to deciding, you know, am I someone who’s going to go faster? I’m going to go slow, is if you are going to go slow like me, and you’re going to be methodical. You need to commit to a date where you are going to make a decision to either make a change and leave your current job, you know, start that new law firm or not. Because you could plan for years, you could plan for five years, 10 years, it could go on forever, and you may never make a decision, right? Having a a point, maybe you say it’s a year from now where I’m going to make a go or a no go decision is very important for you. Otherwise, you know, you could just marinate in all this interesting content forever. You know, one thing that really grabbed me from Seth Godin’s book, the Icarus Deception, you know, was when he said that finding someone to correct your typos is easy, but finding somebody to say go is hard, right? And that’s really important. If you are, like, I was a couple years ago, a big law firm partner, pretty happy with my arrangement. You know, I liked the firm, I liked the people, but I just felt like something wasn’t quite right and I wasn’t sure that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. You know, you need to understand that nobody but you is going to say go, okay, is going to make the decision for you to actually move forward. For me, I’ll never forget the, the moment when I made the decision to start my own firm. I was with my wife on a little getaway in Tempe, Arizona, and I was talking to a, a branding company that was one of many people out there that wanted me to sign up with them and have them create my website, you know, and to launch my marketing campaign. And at the time, I had vetted a bunch of companies. I listened to a lot of different pitches. I wasn’t particularly moved by the companies that wanted to try to tell me to go down a, a search engine optimization route. I wasn’t as excited about the idea of trying to use the internet to find strangers who are going to hire me. Instead, I was more taken by this brand and company that said, you know, you’ve got a lot of contacts in the industry. Let’s not focus on that expensive, you know, and complicated and unknown game of how to, you know, get attention through Google just yet. Let’s focus on getting your message out to the people that, you know, staying top of mind to them. So I did my homework, I did my vetting. I found the company that I wanted to build my law, my, my website that was going to kind of launch, you know, the way that I was going to start to try to market my new business. And they’re actually the people that helped me shoot my first videos. You know, if you go to, you know, www.buildchicagolaw.com, you’ll notice there’s about 20 videos that are different from all the rest. Where I’m sitting in an office, there’s a cameraman, and you know, I had makeup on, you know, and I had the videos professionally shot before I learned how to do what I’m doing right now, which is create them myself. So this was the company I found the people that were the ones who I wanted to hire, but I had to make that go or no go decision. I was sitting there in Tempe, Arizona with my wife on speakerphone talking to this company, and I said, it’s go time. You know, I’m not sure when I’m going to leave my current firm, but I made a decision that we were going to build a website, we were going to shoot some videos, we were going to create the content necessary for the website. And these, you know, people who I hired, I can’t remember the exact amount, but I think it was something like $7,000 is what they wanted me to pay them. And to me, you know, it wasn’t like the most earth shattering amount of money, but you know, with four young kids, you know, and lots of expenses in my life, it felt like an enormous commitment, right? If I was going to part with $7,000, then I was leaving the phase where I was going slow and researching and trying to find the, you know, all the unknown unknowns and to triangulate all that. And I said, we’re going to do this. I’m going to spend the money and we’re going to build it. And I don’t know when I’m going to leave my firm, but I’m committing to build this thing. And, you know, there’s no reason to build this thing if I’m not going to use it. Okay? And so, you know, whether you’re going to go slow or fast, the one thing I want you to remember from this video is you have to make a decision at some point. You got to make that go or no go decision. And if you’re early in your journey of thinking about these issues, you know, maybe think about setting 365 days from now is the day where you’re either going to make the decision to go or not. You know, if you decide to go, you know, some vision planning is, is essential. You know, at the time when I first launched my firm, I made some mistakes about not doing a vision, planning about where I wanted to be five years from now, about not building out a hypothetical organizational chart to see where I would sit. Am I doing legal work? Am I managing people who are doing legal work? Am I thinking about business development or is that someone who I’m going to hire? You know, I didn’t do the sort of vision planning that I wish that I, I would’ve before I made the go decision, right? There’s a lot of reason why people who, if you’re like I was several years ago, if you’ve got a pretty good gig and you’re not sure, you know, you want to start thinking about that vision planning. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going slow, right? Even, you know, coming up with an organizational chart, doing some of this, trying to peer ahead five years or 10 years, that’s the cloth that I’m cut from. I’m not just going to quit my job, hang a shingle and hope my parachute opens and hope that I don’t wreck my career and, and, you know, bring about financial ruin, you know, from my wife and, and my four children. So it’s cool to go slow, but you’re going to have to make that decision at some point. Next up in the series, I’m going to cover, you know, two essential pieces of advice that I would give to anyone if they’ve decided to make the go or the no go decision. And if you’re looking for an action item, the one thing that you may want to consider now is, you know, are you going to go faster? Are you going to go slow? If you’re going to go slow? So you have the courage to set a cutoff date for yourself. You know, and you know, either way, you may, you do yourself a big favor and begin to envision what is the sort of firm and what is the sort of life that you want to have five years or 10 years from now? ’cause that vision planning as you’re thinking about the go or no go decision is absolutely worthwhile.