Do you know that most businesses start out at the Founder’s kitchen table, in a spare bedroom, or even in the garage? Yep. It’s true. You aren’t the only one working at a folding table in the corner of your bedroom.
In fact, I’ve heard great stories from the likes of Gail Goodman, the Chairman, President, and CEO of Constant Contact about how her first office at the company was the Founder’s kitchen table working along side all of the other members of the team.
Another smart woman entrepreneur, Sara Blakely, the Founder of Spanx, worked on her business out of a tiny two bedroom apartment. She kept her inventory in the spare bedroom. You might have seen Sara on the cover of Forbes Magazine last year talking about how she grew her business into a billion dollar brand. Check out her story in these videos on Inc. Magazine’s website. She tells a great story about her product being selected as one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things”, and the day Oprah’s camera crew showed up and asked for a tour of her “offices”. It’s a funny and honest look at how entrepreneurs work.
(And before you say “What do I have in common with these entrepreneurs?”, just let me say: YES! You are an entrepreneur. So what if law firms have been around for centuries. You are building your unique business from scratch. Welcome to entrepreneurship! Embrace it.)
We all have to start out somewhere, and usually because of a lack of funds, most entrepreneurs start out at home.
Don’t feel bad about it. You’re not alone. Lawyers in all practice areas, from all schools, of all ages, are practicing law out of their homes.
Don’t apologize for it. Why should you be sorry about the way you are pursuing your legal career? You’re using your skills to build a business that will hopefully fund the life you want. There’s no shame in that.
In fact, I say embrace it. If the topic comes up, I am not afraid to admit where I work. Heck. If it’s good enough for my salesperson husband and all of the other sales reps at the huge, multinational company he works for, why is it bad for me?
You might be thinking that it’s different because I’m a lawyer. And all I have to say about that is:
Please. This is 2013. The “Great Recession” changed the legal industry. It’s time we lawyers change our attitudes to match.
The fact of the matter is, we all have to start somewhere, with the resources that we have. Sometimes we have to make due and that means building our practices from home.
I will say it again. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you aren’t a professional. Just because I work in jeans or sweat pants most days, doesn’t mean I’m going to meet a client that way, and it doesn’t mean I do subpar work.
Working from home has its challenges (which we will discuss in future posts), but don’t let other people’s opinion get you down. Only you know why you do what you do. Accept your reasons and embrace your career.
All you need is the right attitude and a little dose of reality.