Thoughts on Law and Life

The Official Blog of Astrab Legal Services LLC

Create Your Own Economy!

In perusing today’s headlines, all I see are stories about job cuts – Home Depot, Caterpillar, Sprint, Phillips, etc… The gist of the stories is that the economy is still slowing and that these companies need to swing the axe in order to accommodate the slowing demand. Most folks who read these stories will adopt a ‘woe is me’ attitude towards their situations and wait for the axe to drop on them.

As I’ve mentioned in prior blogs, I often listen to the podcasts available through the Morning Coach. The host is always preaching about ‘creating your own economy’ and not relying on the whims of our employers. I am in absolute agreement with this philosophy and urge all of you who can get out there and either do it on your own or work on a side business to do so! This won’t work for everyone, but it is essential that we adopt a strong sense of personal responsibility and get out there and work for ourselves. It requires a strong work ethic, a willingness for short-term sacrifice and an ability to see the big picture. I am not waiting around for the shoe to drop on my career – I am moving forward with my private practice and understand that, although it will be tight at first, I am opening up a whole new world for myself and my family by giving myself the ability to create my own schedule, collect my own fees, select my own clients and decide the scope of my practice without someone telling me that I need to sell X, push Y or run everything through an anal-retentive compliance system. If I want to blog on a topic, by God I’m going to do it without having to worry about upsetting my corporate masters. If I want to change the direction of my practice midstream and move into more estate planning versus felony defense I want the power to do it without having to sell the idea to a manger or partner.

The bottom line is that there is an entrepreneur in each of us screaming to come out. If you are sitting at your desk refreshing over and over again to see the next economic shoe to drop you need to stand up and scream “ENOUGH!” Get out there and explore how you can use your education, training and business sense to build a consulting business, open a coffee stand or do whatever the heck you’ve been daydreaming about for the past ten years.

Obviously I’m not advocating just walking away from your day job this afternoon – map out your plan, get buy-in from your significant other, run your ideas past trusted peers and make sure that you are financially able to get the business off the ground with little to no outside financing. If you believe that you can do it, keep that mindset and get out there and get started!

Some Quick Tips:

  • Do some market research before jumping in – make sure that there is a need for what you want to do.
  • Create a unique ‘value proposition’ that differentiates you from the competition.
  • Seek out constructive criticism – ignore the naysayers.
  • Speak to a financial advisor, CPA, insurance agent and/or a business attorney to make sure you are financially able to undertake the venture and that you are crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s.
  • Develop a detailed business plan and set reasonable/measurable goals for yourself.
  • Maintain a positive mental attitude – Don’t lose sight of the goals that you set for yourself!

Now get out there and do it! Create your own economy and don’t look back!

Michael K. Astrab is the principal attorney for Astrab Legal Services LLC, a general practice law firm located in Cleveland, Ohio. He may be reached at (216) 577-0013 or via e-mail at This blog is designed for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


January 26, 2009 - Posted by | Financial, Law, Life, sales & marketing, small business | , , , , ,

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