I promised that I would lay out the things I learned over the last year and a half/two years. This time last year, I was already a year deep into a journey that would lead me to where I am today. I had quit a job that I moved back to Houston for and gone back into full-time solo practice. I was living with a friend and her children. My practice wasn’t bring in hardly any money, except for the occasional $50.00 credit card case. I was bouncing between Dallas, Houston and Austin doing electronic discovery work to make ends meet.
People told me in so many words that I needed to abandon my pursue of solo practice and get a job. Was it said to me directly? No. However, I am very proficient in reading between the lines. In all honesty, it wasn’t that they were wrong. That is what people do: get a job for money. I was never opposed to working for someone else. I applied for hundreds, if not thousands of positions. I can count on my one hand how many interviews I landed. I did everything: I rearranged my resume. I applied for legal jobs that weren’t attorney positions. When I did not land interviews, it just confirmed what I already knew—working for someone else was not my path.
It was always my goal to be an entrepreneur and have my own practice. I mean….I had my own practice. It was just tough garnering revenue. Moreover, I knew in my spirit that my goal was more than just that; it was my calling. I was called to be an entrepreneur because my purpose in ministry is connected to me practicing law in my own firm.
I can be quite hard headed and stubborn. Sometimes, those qualities aren’t so bad. Due to my hard headedness and stubbornness, I literally ignored people when they suggested I get a job.
Although people may mean well, it doesn’t always mean that you should take their advice. I learned that when you know your path, every one’s advice will not apply. I learned to take what applied and discard what did not and continue to pursue what I knew was for me. If you are an entrepreneur, 97% of friends, family and associates do NOT have an entrepreneurial mindset. We have been socialized to think it is better to work for someone else. As such, you cannot expect them to see the vision, especially if you are struggling. If you KNOW that entrepreneurship is the path you are supposed to be on, do not get off that path. You may have to get a part time job to keep afloat while you work on building your business. That is okay. However, make sure that job only facilitates your goal of entrepreneurship. I worked as an assistant director for a tutoring center for three months while I practiced law during the day. When I was at the point my practice was too busy, I left. If you get a position that will take away from what you are really supposed to do, I would strongly consider you weigh your options.
If I would have abandoned what God put in my spirit and followed the advice of people who were really not privy to what God placed in me, I would not be where I am today. Now I have a virtual office, clients and I do contract work for an advocacy firms. I make more than I made on any of my previous jobs. I love my job. I love creating opportunity for myself. I like doing things MY WAY. I am built for this!
TD Jakes said it best: You will work harder for yourself than you will working for someone else. It is a grind. My days are long. I often work seven days a week. But it is worth it.
LESSON LEARNED: IF YOU RECEIVE ADVICE THAT IS CONTRARY TO WHAT YOU KNOW IN YOUR HEART TO BE TRUE FOR YOU—IGNORE IT AND KEEP MOVING. GO FOR WHAT YOU KNOW.