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You Don't Know Jack


You are one conversation away from success.


Let me explain what I mean.


Several years ago, I was a Junior Partner in a law firm.


I had a title and my name on the letterhead, but very little power and no equity in the business.


That was okay with me at that time because I had been promoted, and I was more than willing to earn my way to ownership.


The problem arose when the main partner and I had some philosophical disagreements that we couldn’t resolve.


If you’ve been in business any stretch of time, you recognize this happens, and you move on.


So, I did.


I struck out on my own.


After obtaining the blessing of my family, some trusted counsel, and lots of prayer, I began telling the people I know what I was doing.


Allow me to digress a bit here and say that many business owners fail to do this. We may be very public facing with our services, but we often overlook the people who know, like and trust us the most.


This is a missed opportunity.


Even if your friends, colleagues, and family are not candidates for your services, they can be your promoters.


They have jobs. They have connections. They may have businesses. They know people who know people …


And they already care about you. No need to win them over with fancy marketing.


In my case, I began telling everyone about my new venture–not out of business sophistication, but out of desperation!


I had left a well-paying job with tons of upside to hang a shingle, and I had no clue where to begin.


So (perhaps being a lawyer and a minister) I started talking. 😉


One of those conversations was with my pastor at the time. I told him what I was doing, and he paused and said something like, “You don’t know Jack?”


I gathered myself for a moment.


I realized I really didn’t know much, but geez, my pastor was being a little hard on me. 😟


That’s when he cleared it up.


Jack was an actual person–a church member who was a successful businessman. He suggested that I call Jack right away.


I took his advice, and that connection changed my life.



I contacted Jack and we had what you’d call a divine appointment.


His company lawyer just happened to be leaving town and he needed a replacement. In less than an hour we hammered out a deal for me to become his new counsel.


Here are the main components of the deal we made that day:


I would become Jack’s company lawyer. Meaning I would work inside the company and handle all their legal affairs. In exchange, I received:


✅ A physical office space inside the company headquarters with room to expand.


✅ All overhead covered (phones, faxes, Internet, utilities, etc.).


✅ A financial retainer.


✅ An agreement that I could grow my independent law firm within his company walls until I outgrew the space.


In short, we created a massive win-win.


This arrangement went on until my firm had grown to around 15 employees and then we moved to another location.


I want to leave you with two conclusions from this story.


The first I’ve already mentioned. You don’t know Jack. And you probably don’t know Diane, Susan, or Robert.


Yet, they are right there at your church, the PTA, Little League, the Public Library, or other places that you frequent.


Have some conversations. You are probably one conversation away from a breakthrough.


The second point is that entrepreneurship requires creativity. There’s no exclusive way of doing things.


Jack and I found a way we could both win.


He got a lawyer, and I got my start. I moved my office from my kitchen table to Jack’s building.


He lost no ground with his departing counsel. If anything, he gained more by having a lawyer on site.


Where can you show some creativity in your business or endeavor?


Have you considered who would compliment your work? Is there an innovative deal that you can make to uplevel your offering?


Give this some serious thought.


I guarantee you there’s fruit there. Or give me a call and I’ll help you think through your options if you feel stuck.


There were some bonuses to the deal I struck with Jack.