The Editor's Note from Amy Cosper, Editor in Chief, in the February 2015 issue of Entrepreneur magazine is an excellent read for any entrepreneur, including those intrepid souls who go out on their own to develop their own law practices.
Cosper's column is not only inspirational, but it contains a number of good reminders for those times when everything might not be working exactly the way you'd like it to. The column is entitled "It's OK to be great," and I think it's her message about hard work that may resonate the most.
For example, Cosper says,
You have a hard job. but I promise you, no matter what direction your company does, it will be meaningful, and you will matter. Because what you do, even in failure, matters. Why? Because you have chosen the path less taken, the path less understood and the path most pockmarked with pain. Much of the time that path is a complete slog, and your job, on occasion, is simply to slog it out.
Later, she says,
...the reality is, you are working your ass off to make something, to fight for something and simply to see your vision to the next stage. And it doesn't always work. But that's OK....It's not always rainbows and bunny rabbits. In fact, it rarely is. Being an entrepreneur is more than being the boss. You are the leader - not only the leader of your own destiny, but a leader to the people who believe in you: employees, investors, customers and evangelists.
Fear, although you may feel it, is not an option.
The truth is that going out on your own, whether as a solo or with others to form a new venture is scary, and it's hard work. Sometimes it's easy to lose the vision and to forget why you decided to do this in the first place. Those are the days that you just have to keep going. It's that hard work and perserverence even (and sometimes especially) when facing the nay-sayers, that makes the difference.
It doesn't always work - sometimes you fail. But that's OK, too, because it's all a learning experience. As Dan Lear, director of industry relations for Avvo, mentioned in his article this month in Law Practice Today (quoting one of his mentors),
The best way to figure out what you want is to do something. Whatever it is, just start doing something. You’ll learn more by actually striking out and doing something than you ever will from thinking about doing or even talking to lots of people about doing. Instead, just get started.
Don't let fear stand in your way. The doing makes a difference, whatever the outcome. And, after all, isn't success even sweeter once you've worked for it?