3 Tips for Leaving Law Behind to Start a Business
Throughout our LQP series, we have talked to a number of lawyers that left law to pursue and succeed in other areas. Every single one of them has had a unique career path with different passions and opportunities available to them. There is however a few common threads we’ve noticed among them.
1) Always Be Learning
Almost all of our LQP articles mention learning everything you can about business, and about your new field.
If you plan on starting a business or working in a management position, you need to inform yourself as much as possible about leadership and management, especially because it requires new skill sets that you may not have gotten from practicing law.
Gurvinder Bhatia also recommends learning everything you can about your industry and always being up to date. When he first decided to go into the wine industry, he spent all his free time absorbing information, until he eventually became an expert and started writing about wine.
Aside from researching and reading, many of our lawyers emphasize learning from others.
Daniel Suss spoke to many people in the restaurant business before opening Kupfert & Kim. He knew exactly what to expect in his business and he got to learn what did and didn’t work for them.
Raegan Kennedy valued her network when she was able to contact successful people in her field, and also contact other lawyers who left law. She got a ton of insight into the retail industry, and also how to adjust when leaving law to start a business.
2) Be Dedicated and Work Hard
This seems like an obvious one, but it doesn’t hurt to keep this in mind. Many of our lawyers have talked about the difficulty in starting something new. Sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and get things done yourself.
Mario Fiorucci talks about doing just about every job when he opened the first location of The Healthy Butcher, including paperwork, management, working the register, etc.
Jeremy Weisz talks about working at a firm while also spending the hours between 11 pm to 2 am working on developing his own business.
The lengths that these lawyers went to shows us that hard work really does pay off.
3) There is No “Right Time”
Our lawyers also provided some insight into when the “right time” to quit your job is. The short answer is that the right time does not exist.
Everyone we interviewed had their own opinions and experiences. Some practiced law and pursued their industries on the side, while others found that impossible to do and quit before pursuing anything else.
The general rule is do not quit your job with no idea of what to do next. Be open to opportunities, and research what you want to do or what industry you’re interested in. Once you have a good sense of that, you can decide when your “right time” to quit is.