November marks the two year anniversary of Athena Legal Solutions so I want to share my entrepreneur story. I didn't start a law firm simply because I was a lawyer (I'd actually considered several different types of businesses first), I started it because it was the spark that I ended up being the most passionate about. I was at a crossroads in my career and unhappy. I was asking myself - "What do I want my life to look like?" and Mark Twain's quote below was literally staring me in the face. I've had it framed since my first apartment on my own to all the homes I've made with Roman and my family over the last 17 years. It was challenging me to find a better way.
"Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
As a corporate lawyer and self-confessed workaholic, I was working 70-80 hour weeks as standard and it was taking a toll on my health, my family, and my happiness even though to the rest of the world I was a verified success story. I was supposed to be living the dream, but instead, I was feeling unfulfilled and disconnected. As time in the corporate world passed, I became more and more worried that I’d wake up one day and my children would be grown, and I would have missed it all. My oldest son only had 5 years left at home and I wanted to be as present as possible while I still could. That drove me to take those first few steps into entrepreneurship. So, I took a leap of faith and started Athena Legal Solutions.
I had advised businesses and nonprofits for years, but nothing really prepares you for the ups and downs of starting your own business. As a dove into the entrepreneurial world, I knew that my success hinged not just on me, but also on the connections I would make to help me navigate this new world. I was really fortunate to meet a lot of kind and generous people who helped create the success I've achieved over the last two years. These people may not know the impact they've had, but I want to share them here in case they can help you.
Jen Becker, Modern Ledger Business Services - Jen helped me learn and understand how to set up and use Quickbooks, which was critical in those early days of trying to make sure my accounting was set up for success. It was an area I had little experience with and Jen was incredibly patient.
Emily Bissen, Blue Heron Business Partners - I met Emily as I was exploring my options and she is a master connector, who helped me meet key partners and clients over the last two years. She's also a whiz at teaching development teams the skills they need to find greater success. Her next cohort of Finding Your Magic kicks off in January.
Bill Vinson, ActionCOACH of Wisconsin - I met Bill through Emily and as my business coach, week after week, he's constantly holding the mirror up for me and pushing me to achieve the goals I set as part of my 5 year business plan created at Ascend. Ascend was one of the first things I did when I started my business and gave me permission to dream big, which led to big success.
Amber Swenor, Soul Seed - Amber's Ignite Your Brand course laid the foundation for helping me find a better way to communicate the goals of my business and who my target client is. Plus, I met an amazing group of entrepreneurs in her groups, which I work with still today. She's an invaluable strategist and coach.
Liz Lajoie, Zen Money - Liz is my outsourced, strategic CFO. She takes care of my finances and helps me make better decisions with my money that are aligned to my goals. Each meeting with her saves me money in the long run.
Tina Paulus-Krause, TPK Training Company - It was Tina's vision planning workshop that helped me solidify my dreams and goals for my first year as an entrepreneur. Additionally, Tina's COVID entrepreneur support group introduced me to a group of wonderful women leaders who are a continual source of support on my journey.
Amy Pierquet, Waterfront Graphic Design - I met Amy through Tina and her SEO skills have helped me solidify and grow my presence on Google. No longer am I buried 8-11 pages back in key searches for my business. Now I'm on page 1 or 2.
Maddie Ace, Nella Marketing - Maddie is a social media maven. She's helped me create better messaging and taken a significant amount of work off my plate. My videos are all her and her team.
As you see, it takes a village, which is why when I started my business, my number one motto was “start up doesn't mean alone,” and while this represents the way we work with our clients, it’s about so much more than how we can help you protect and grow your business. I truly believe that we shouldn't hustle alone, myself included, because connecting with, partnering with, and learning from other business owners makes us all stronger.
"Start up doesn't mean alone"
If you are looking for a legal partner to help you on your journey or some other partner, please schedule time with us. I'm sure we or some in our network can help make your day-to-day easier as you pursue your dreams.