A few weeks ago, I wrote about how to invest in your law practice and grow it into the business you really want. But, what about when you don’t have any extra to invest? Then what?
In this article, I provide three places to look for the extra you don’t think you have.
I didn’t have any extra to invest when I started my law practice. Not a penny extra.
I didn’t have any cash in savings, just a little in my retirement account and no wealthy family to back me if I failed.
I put myself through college and law school.
So when I made the decision to leave the security of my six-figure paycheck at a big law firm and start my own law practice, I did that with the expectation that there would not be any financial resources available to me through my family.
But then, my dad’s business started making money. And I began having frequent (sometimes daily) conversations with my dad about my business. He was interested in my ideas, my vision for where I could see it going, and that I saw what wasn’t working in the industry as a whole.
Seeing how interested my dad was in my business and seeing how much he believed in me gave me the inspiration to ask him for support. It was really hard for me to ask.
I did it anyway and what I discovered is that my dad was thrilled to be able to invest in me. It wasn’t a big investment and it never did pay any financial return for him, but he was happy to do it.
And I almost didn’t ask.
So when lawyers write to me and tell me, “Alexis, I would love to participate in your programs, but I don’t have the money,” I wonder where you might not be looking also.
While it may have felt normal to ask for support from your parents to go to college or law school, it may feel more awkward to broach the idea of asking your parents to support the launch of your law practice or to taking your law practice to the next level.
Truly though, it’s just an extension of the investment they may have already made in your degree and it’s likely the best investment they can make, bar none.
The stock market isn’t performing well unless you are willing to invest in things that hurt the planet; CDs and Bonds aren’t even keeping up with inflation and Bitcoin sure isn’t a stable bet.
You, on the other hand… you are a great investment. If you can get a successful practice off the ground, you are a sure bet to provide your folks with loving care throughout the rest of their lives.
If you don’t have close family willing to help you invest in your practice, what other options are there?
Banks are still lending and, you my friend, are a great risk. If the first bank you approach isn’t a yes, try another one. Get to know the bankers in your local community. Provide a pro forma that lays out the expected financials of your venture. Show them how you are going to make it work with the resources they send your way.
If you simply cannot make it go with family or the banks, consider crowdfunding. Yes, I said it. Crowdfund your law practice. Consider a platform like Plum Alley (which is specifically for women entrepreneurs). And, of course, consider whether there are any ethics concerns before launching your crowdfunding campaign.
But, under no circumstances ever let the lack of immediately visible money stand in your way of investing in your practice.
There’s too much money out there for you to give up so easily. Your law degree is a highly valuable asset if you are willing to use it in the right way to make a difference in people’s lives, and know how to command a profitable fee to do so. Send me an email if you want any advice or guidance specific to your situation.