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Why Lawyers Are the Ultimate Entrepreneurs

How many businesses can you start with next to nothing and create a real asset if you play your cards right? A cash-flow business that works for the long-term, well beyond the hours you put into it?

I know what you’re thinking.

There are so many businesses that can be a hell of a lot larger than law firms.

But nearly every practice I know has pretty much done it on their own. Their own money. Their own drive. No investors.

Of course, if it was that easy to have an amazing law practice, every attorney would be the ultimate entrepreneur.

But they don’t all get there.

While some lawyers can lay claim to the mantle of ultimate entrepreneur, others are unable to achieve what we call freedom in practice.

Here’s why.

Mistake 1: Being a “Wantrapreneur”

When many lawyers start out practicing, they think they’re starting a business. But all they’re doing is selling their time.

The day they stop working is the day they stop earning. That’s not being an entrepreneur. That’s selling your life away, one minute at a time.

Related: Why The Best Lawyers Aren’t The Most Successful

Real entrepreneurs sell results, not their own time.

Mistake 2: Not Marketing and Selling Like a Real Business

Lawyers love following precedent. Unfortunately, in the world of legal marketing, the precedent is crap.

Random acts of lunching don’t qualify as marketing. Accepting meetings with people who will never be clients or send you clients because you have nothing better to do isn’t marketing.

Real entrepreneurs say “no” to these time wasters and distractions.

Mistake 3: Not Separating Yourself from the Business

This is a close cousin of mistake 1.

A “wantrapreneur” doesn’t realize that they are not their business. Or they shouldn’t be, if they want to have a real business.

Real entrepreneurs understand that they need to be separate from their business to create value.

How Lawyers Can Be the Ultimate Entrepreneurs

Imagine creating a business that delivers real results for your clients. Collects a healthy fee. Provides you with a recurring revenue stream even when you’re not in the office.

Wouldn’t you like to have that business? If you could create that business, wouldn't you deserve the mantle of ultimate entrepreneur?

Related: Bill or Build? How to Balance Clients and Law Practice Growth

Here’s how you can do it (this is going to be easy). Start by avoiding mistakes 1-3.

Then, ask yourself these questions.

Question 1: Have you created a business in which the value you deliver to clients, and what you charge for that value, aren’t tied to the amount of time required to deliver the result?

This is absolutely possible.

I’ve done it. I’ve shown dozens of law practices how to do it. This is the first step to creating a real law business.

If you're not sure how, and aren't in our practice growth program with our template, you still need to do it. Start working on it now.

Question 2: Have you implemented a strategy that will repeatedly generate ideal clients who are willing to pay premium prices?

Are you leveraging people and processes to make your business as “hands off” as possible? If not, how are you going to accomplish this?

Once you figure out how to step away from old-school, in-person marketing, you create leverage for your business.

Not the simplistic use of the word that attorneys use, where "leverage" means "associates" ... marketing leverage is a bigger lever than a pyramid of people. It's intellectual capital that can completely change your practice.

Question 3: Have you separated yourself from your business to create a law practice than can eventually be sold?

That doesn’t mean you have to sell your practice. But you could. Or, if you or a family member got sick, it could run without you being critical for everything.

If you’re inseparable from your business, you haven’t created asset value. You haven't created freedom in practice. None of this is beyond your reach.

Legal businesses don’t require a huge investment to succeed. It’s not like a restaurant, where you have to buy inventory, worry about food spoiling, or get investment capital. You need intellectual capital, and a relentless focus on creating a business that's more than just you. A real business.

If you haven’t figured out how to do this on your own, it’s time to start asking the right questions. I did it. It's what we help our members do every day. You can do it, too.

Raj Jha