The legal sector is not bouncing back as expected post-Crash of 2007. That career path may never return to what it had been. Therefore, both lawyers and current law students should consider if they can become entrepreneurs. That could be within the legal industry or outside.
Last night at Youngstown University, Shark Tank's Lori Grenier hammered what it takes to become an entrepreneur. It's not complex.
Her first venture was developing the erring organizer. To get it going nationwide through JC Penney, she had to move fast in having it manufactured and catch fire in 12 Penney Chicago stores.
Her inner entrepreneur, plus the help of her husband, pulled that off. Today, in addition to being a member of the Shark Tank, she sells her products on QVC.
So what will lawyers have to conjure up to gain control of their professional lives? Here's what Grenier fingered:
- Trust gut instincts. Lawyers might have to veer away from the totally cognitive and verbal bravado and get in touch with their animal which wants to survive.
- Come to like risk. It's funny but the conventional route in a legal career has become the most risky, even for partners who are being forced out or demoted.
- Be an energetic Type A. So much for the low-profile.
- Nurture authentic, helpful relationships with everyone, not just the power players. The factory workers producing the erring organizer tipped her off to defects. That saved business deal with Penney.
- Become decisive. So what if the decision is wrong.
- Do whatever it takes to succeed.
- Work all the time.
After the talk, I informally interviewed some women who had been in the audience. Essentially they had started their own businesses because they found being an employee made them hostages in a man's world.
One had operated a tax business until she was a bit over-80. That was so successful that one client had relocated her to where his headquarters was.
All believed in themselves. Self-assurance seems to be the platform for taking the road that is currently being more traveled. I wonder if law school and toiling in the vineyards of BigLaw suck off self-confidence? That is hard to restore, of course.
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