Celebrating Our 2-Year Anniversary & Lessons Learned
Two years ago, on May 15, 2018, I opened the doors to my own firm, the Law Office of Laurie M. Wasserman. That day was spent sitting on the cold floor of my empty office, with a laptop plugged into the wall and my cell phone by my side. By the end of my first day, the movers showed up with folding tables and chairs for furniture and boxes of supplies that had no place to be housed until months later. It was modest, but it was mine. Fast forward two years later and we are now a firm of six. My team is now comprised of two Associate Attorneys, a Paralegal, a Practice Group Manager, and an Administrative Assistant. We expanded and remodeled our space twice to accommodate the growth. 2020 was going to be my year to level out a bit and adjust to the all of the wonderful changes that made the firm a success. Then the pandemic hit. Suddenly, my plans for the year were changed and we have spent two months and change working together, but apart in our own homes. I could not have planned for this, but my team has adapted wonderfully. We have no idea when we will return to our office or our pre-pandemic pace, but I know that we will come out of this stronger than ever. The past two years of owning a law firm have been amazing. They have also been downright scary at times. I have learned and grown as a business owner.
These are some of my lessons learned in the last two years: 1. Take care of those who take care of you. It is my obligation as a leader to support my team in the same manner I expect them to support me—with respect, loyalty and great care. During this pandemic, everyone has remained employed and paid fully. They are doing the work that is asked of them when I ask them to do it. While the work has slowed down somewhat, I hope they use this time to rest because, in all likelihood, the tsunami of divorces will be arriving as soon as people can move into separate residences. 2. When something is not right, fix it immediately. Whether it is a client who will not pay or listen to you, or a tough decision that needs to be made, the longer you wait to address the situation, the worse it will get for you. At the end of the day, I am responsible for my business running smoothly. If I do not deal with my problems, then I will be responsible for the consequences. 3. Give more than you get. My best referral sources are my direct competitors. I get more business from other lawyers than I do anywhere else. I believe I get these referrals not only from doing good work, but from giving back more than I get in return. I freely share my resources and network with my competitors. By sharing, I am helping my referral sources grow their business successfully, and in turn, they help me grow mine. 4. Lift others up. Whether it is my team, my referral sources, or my clients, I am hopeful that everyone will be successful. I am of the firm belief that someone else’s bright light does not dim mine. One of my favorite parts of being a business owner is that I have helped others start their own businesses. It has become a true love of mine to see friends and colleagues find their path towards business ownership. I expect nothing of value in return. However, seeing how happy they are makes me feel full. I hope that each year I come back to this and add to it with additional lessons. Owning a business is not without challenge and sacrifice, but I am so fortunate to have an amazing team supporting me. For those who are thinking of going out on your own—do it. There is never a better time than now. I have your back and will gladly get a cup of coffee with you (even a virtual one) to share with you my lessons of business ownership.
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