Generating New Business During Covid Is Hard For All Small Biz Owners

I decided I wanted out of my job at the law firm where I’d been working for over four years in March 2018 and made a long-term plan to leave, which involved volunteering at a non-profit as their insurance guy, building up my resume to get me out of the firm. I eventually started getting interviews at places I was interested in working around March of this year. But then, with Covid, negotiations just weren’t going the way that I wanted them to. What changed my considerations were two things: the first was a conversation I had with the in-house counsel for a large company and the other one was that my firm decided to move their office to Daly City. The first mattered because I was talking to that in-house counsel because one of the jobs I was interested in was being an in-house counsel in tech. I said to him, “I’m not happy in the firm where I’m at and I’d rather be doing this other thing. I don’t feel like I’m getting the experience I need and I’m having trouble finding the job I want. I’m almost thinking of going off and starting my own practice.” But I was unsure because, with firms, starting your own practice is basically like a blank spot on your resume. But he said with tech companies, it’s the exact opposite. They love people who have started their own firms. It shows they’re entrepreneurial, and can do things outside the job of being a lawyer. It shows they’re courageous and willing to take risks. In the tech world, those things are really desirable. And the move to Daly City would have added an hour each way to my commute… for a job I hated. I tried to figure out a way to make it make sense, but I just couldn’t. Fuck that. DONE!

I started my own practice in July of this year. This may be a temporary stop while I’m looking for something else– I don’t know yet. If I can make my own practice work then I may be able to stop looking for something else. Right now, if I find something that’ll pay the mortgage, it’ll pay the mortgage. The problem I’m having is just sort of how to generate business when everything is so slow. I’ve been struggling and just barely getting by. But I have had a couple of promising things wander by in the last couple of weeks, so we’ll see if they work out. A few different people have said they may have some bleed-over work, a lawyer in Oakland has a bunch of employment work he doesn’t have the bandwidth to deal with and is looking for someone to slide it off onto. These things could potentially be enough to give me operating capital so that I know where my mortgage payment is coming from. 

I’ve been having conversations with a few professional acquaintances of mine that keep saying if they have openings at their companies they will give me a call, and one or two of those would be dream jobs for me. You just have to be working at whatever you can, taking whatever you can do. I have a bunch of stuff going on right now. Someone will call me with a legal crisis, and I can help. I’m a lawyer. 

Cassady is a Raddle Verified Facilitator. Licensed to practice in 2013, Cassady Toles has been an employment attorney his entire legal career. He has been advising local businesses even longer. He has tried two cases before a jury to verdict, tried three more in federal administrative courts. He has taken up federal appellate work, and won cases before the criminal courts of Santa Clara County. He has negotiated seven figure international business deals, and opened the firm with clients on multiple continents. Cassady is currently accepting new clients, so if you need small business legal services, visit his website to learn more.

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