When I think back about my decision to turn the lights off in my former law office, walk out, and drive to Wal-Mart to buy a printer to start my own firm, I often laugh out loud. There was no planning. No furniture. No book of clients pre-arranged for the exit. Just an idea, and a desire. And, the steadfast support of a couple of very good friends, a client thinking about buying a local mixed use shopping center (so I believed I might have my first client), and an important meeting at Mill Mountain Coffee in Blacksburg.
I have often referred to this meeting as my “ecumenical” firm launch meeting. During that important weekend, I (a Methodist Protestant) really wanted to meet with a good client and friend (a Catholic). The only time we could meet was Sunday morning between his church service and mine. So, we met at Mill Mountain for coffee.
When we met we laughed about such an important meeting for me in between our Sunday services. I quickly got to the point and told him I had been thinking about walking away from my big law firm and starting my own firm. What did he think His response was short and direct: “Do it. Just bill me a set amount for the next few months to get you started. Let’s figure out what you need. You’ll be fine.”
For a moment, I just sat there. I was stunned at his confidence and support. I left that meeting confident of my next step – and have never looked back. Thank you to that client, to all our other wonderful clients, to so many several mentors, and to many, many solid friends.
As we begin the celebration of our 10th anniversary, I am filled with gratitude and start our celebration with a simple message: I appreciate you all. Thank you.
“Don’t wait for opportunity; create it.”-George Bernard Shaw