This April, will mark 5 years since I started my own law practice dedicated to retirement plans/ERISA.
5 years ago, I swore the days that I would be working for someone else were gone. I had enough; I wasn’t going to let my career to be dependent on a decision maker who didn’t understand the retirement plan business and/or didn’t understand how I would get clients. It’s not a knock of the law firm managing editor that I have made fun of the past 5 years, but Lois wouldn’t have gotten what I was trying to do no matter what type of law it was. Lois knew best and probably still does, but I knew that no matter the support, I would never make it at that law firm or any law firm for that matter. I had no choice but to go on my own.
There was a family member or two who thought I would fail on my own. Their reasoning was that since I couldn’t draw business at that law firm, how could I draw business on my own? Despite my failing in getting any substantive business for that firm, I don’t think I was given the necessary tools and support to draw a lot of business.
There was the law firm partner I worked for that claimed I would be a superstar on my own, but I don’t know if he was just patronizing or not (still to this day). The point is that the only reason I was able to make a go of it was because I believed in myself and my ability to connect with an audience of clients and other retirement plan providers. I took a gamble and it’s paid off somewhat, it’s still a struggle after 5 years.
The point here isn’t to say how great I am or how I was right, etc. The point here is that after 5 years of being on my own, I could not have done it without the support of my clients, referral partners, other retirement plan providers, and the folks who read my articles. You can have a great message and write great articles, but it means nothing if no one reads it.
So I thank you all for the first 5 years, and thank you in advance for the next 5.