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How to Embrace Being a Beginner & Start Your Own Firm

Karly spent a long time trying not to go to law school.

She came from a family of lawyers and planned to stay as far away from law school as possible. 

And she definitely wasn’t going to marry or even date an attorney. 

Today, Karly has her own law firm, and she’s married to a lawyer. 

(Isn’t this how it goes sometimes? 🤣)

After law school, Karly worked at a large litigation defense firm, and later switched firms to go of counsel and have more flexibility. 

For years, she worked really hard to make her way further and further up so she could eventually make partner. As a type-A, high-achiever, she felt programmed to do things this way. 

Until one day she took a good look at the people who were actually at the top and asked herself this honest question:

Do I really want that for myself? 

Do I want their lifestyle?

Do they have the same priorities I have? Are they able to spend time with their children? Are they able to go on vacations?

Are they working on weekends?

That’s when Karly realized she was trying to get somewhere she didn’t really want to be. 

So she decided to branch out and start her own firm. 

I asked her for a few tips she would give people who want to do something similar. Here’s what she said: 

Plan as much as you can, then take the leap. 

Plan to the point where you feel comfortable and confident enough to take the next step. Think about how many clients you want to have per month and how you want to go about getting those clients.

Once you have a plan, get out of your own way, and take steps to accomplish that plan. 

Anything you’re trying for the first time is going to be scary. Nobody feels 100% confident that what they’re trying for the first time is going to be a success.

Our brains immediately go to all the bad things that are going to happen. We ask questions like: What if it fails? What if it doesn’t work? What if nobody likes it or buys it?

Try to think the opposite way instead: What if it’s a huge success? What if it really takes off?

Experiencing success is just as possible as experiencing failure. 

Start small. 

We’re in this instant gratification culture where we want to see results right away. But the goal of your first post on social media is not to go viral. The goal is just to take the first step. 

Someone once said: “Don’t compare your Year 1 to someone else’s Year 5 in business.”

Especially with social media, we tend to compare ourselves to people who have been in business for a really long time. But it’s not fair to expect ourselves to measure up this way. 

Instead, put your blinders on, stay in your lane, and stick to the plan. 

You’re going to get there too. You just have to stick with it.

Find Community

When doubt creeps in, you’re going to want community. You’d be surprised how many people are out there in a similar situation having the same issues as you. You need people to bounce ideas off of. 

There are also a lot of networking opportunities, either in person or online, within your practice area. Get around like-minded individuals who will lift you up and support you. 

Find people ahead of you who have helped pave the way. As lawyers, we tend to feel like everything is a competition, which makes sense because of the nature of litigation.

But the truth is, there’s room for everyone at the top. 


This was such a great conversation with Karly. Creating community doesn’t have to be difficult. 

Find someone you want to connect with and reach out to them through email or LinkedIn. Take the first step. 

I can hear my introverts out there saying this feels SO unnatural to them, and I hear you. But I’m an extrovert and it doesn’t feel natural to me either, but I do it anyway. 

I take the first step and say something like, “Hi, this is who I am. I just want to connect and see how we can possibly help each other. Maybe there's somebody in my network that can help you and vice versa. That's all I'm here for.” 

More people than you think will respond positively to this. This is literally how I've built my entire Powerhouse Lawyers community. 

I cannot stress this enough - every problem, question, and issue you have in your life and career is one contact away from being solved. 

This is how close you are to achieving your dreams and goals, Powerhouse. 

To hear my full conversation with Karly, check out my latest podcast: How to Embrace Being a Beginner & Start Your Own Firm 

Where to find Karly:


Email: [email protected]

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