Q1) Let’s give our readers an introduction to your business.
Ans: My law firm, located in downtown Rockwall, Texas, is family oriented & full service. We handle all kinds of family law cases, probate and estate planning. If it involves taking care of the legal needs of families and individuals, we take care of it. Our goal is to be readily available to all clients and responsive to their needs. We take care of Texans! One Texan at a time.
Q2) Give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: I am married with 2 children. I graduated from University of Richmond in 1973 and Campbell School of Law in 1985. Rockwall has been home for my family since 1994.
Moving to Texas in 1985 was a big move as I had never been to Texas before. Made partner in my first and second law firms. Having my own law firm was always a big dream and I started my firm in 1996.
Because being active in professional organizations is important to me, I have been president of 2 different local bar associations and a bar foundation. Additionally I have served as a member of the board of directors for a statewide bar association.
Giving back to your community is something my parents taught me as a young man. I have volunteered for a variety of local civic groups. Fund-raising is something I really enjoy doing and have headed up more than 20 fund-raising drives for various organizations since I started practicing law.
Q3) What inspired you to start your own law firm?
Ans: I always wanted to be a lawyer growing up. My inspiration came from an early 1960s tv show called “The Defenders.”
I was out of college 9 years before I decided to pursue my life long dream and go to law school. During the time before starting law school, I was in marketing and management. Both experiences taught me a lot of things that I have used in running my law office.
After practicing for 8 years and enjoying the firm environment, I wanted to be my own boss. Within a year, I had my own firm and never regretted the decision.
Q4) What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
● Don’t view challenges as hurdles
● Stay positive
● Believe in your instincts
Starting a new business seems so counter-intuitive to people because most new businesses fail and there is no job or income security. Significant hurdles come up regularly. Regardless of what happens around or to you, staying positive is key. Always trust your instincts and keep pushing forward.
Q5) What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
● Be adaptable
● Be persistence
● Be willing to do the work needed
In looking back, the first fifteen years of my practice was very stressful. During those early years, I learned how to adapt to what was happening around me. Even when things got rough, I developed thicker skin and persisted in moving towards the vision I wanted for my business. Sometimes this meant stretches of back to back 60-70 hours weeks doing the work that needed to be done. Sometimes it meant doings lots of work unrelated to be being a lawyer. Some of this other work included such things like being the copier & fax repair person, the plumber, the office computer geek and landscape guy.
Q6) To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: Learning from my failures and setbacks. I learned to accept that things do not always go the way I want. When that happened, I spent time thinking about why things did not go my way. Once I figured out why things did not go my way, I developed new ways to approach the situation. When I take these steps after a failure or setbacks, I usually got the result I wanted.
Q7) What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
● Do not try to be all things to all people but do offer services that are accessible to as many people as possible.
● Success takes time.
● You get back what you put into your business.
● Push past your comfort zone.
● Mistakes are learning opportunities.
Q8) What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: Being a lawyer means solving problems for other people. The most satisfying moment for me is when, after initially meeting with a client and learning about their problem, I come up with and implementing a plan that solves the problem.
In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I love what I do. God willing and the creek does not rise, I will be helping people solve their problems for years to come.
If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Abraham Lincoln. Talk about someone who faced unrelenting adversity, criticism and complaints throughout this life. Despite all of this, he never gave up in what he believed was right. Our country owes him so much!