Starting a Business 101: Face Your Fears“Every cell in your body is telling you that this is wrong.” That’s how Ian Aldridge felt – right before making the best decision of his career. Find out how Ian nearly lost his soul at a corporate law firm, only to break away and start an incredibly innovative and successful business of his own.
If you’re reading this, and you’ve experienced that sort of exciting, sort of terrifying moment before you take the leap into business, into entrepreneurship, into freedom – then you know exactly how my guest Ian Aldridge felt just before leaving a successful career in corporate law.
Every entrepreneur will have countless moments like this, and it’s terrifying at first, but I and my guest this week Ian are here to tell you that what’s on the other side of those moments is worth it – even if you fail spectacularly. Tune in or read on to hear more about Ian’s story. It’s real, it’s raw, and it’s chicken soup for the entrepreneur’s soul.
Who is Ian Aldridge?
Ian is a career lawyer turned entrepreneur. He broke away from a career in corporate law and started a firm with a new business model – one for the modern entrepreneur. Progressive Legal throws aside the slow and costly old method in favour of a fast and affordable service that meets the needs of today’s business owner.
10 Years a Lawyer
Like many people, Ian worked his way up the corporate ladder. He did this for over 10 years, practising as a lawyer. He finally landed a job in London for a massive law firm called UBS. ‘Lucky’ for him, he did this during the worst time in history – The GFC.
“The bigger [the firm] gets, the more you feel like a small cog in a big wheel,” Ian remembers. There’s more politicking, there’s more back-stabbing… and some law firms are famous for encouraging that kind of behaviour. You have no client contact, so it becomes about the people you’re working with – and they were miserable.”
– Ian Aldridge
In the podcast, Ian shares his horrifying stories from that era, things that people should never see let alone experience. The worst part is that the law firms were encouraging political and backstabbing behaviour.
Taking the Leap
As miserable as corporate law was, it was really hard for Ian to leave it.
“The longer you spend in your career track, and the more successful you become, the harder it can be to leave it.”
[But] at a certain point, you realise when you’ve spent 10 years in an industry – do I want to do this for the rest of my life?”
– Ian Aldridge
After pondering, and worrying, and worrying some more, Ian decided he wanted out. So he did it, he took the leap.
“Every cell in your body is telling you that this is wrong,” Ian said of how he felt the moment he committed to his own business.
So what came after?
Starting a Business – The Best and Scariest Undertaking of Your Life
“People need to know this: I’ve worked for big fast-paced law firms… and nothing compares to the stress, anxiety and responsibility of owning your own business.”
– Ian Aldridge
As you can tell by his quote, what came next wasn’t all sunshine and roses. But as stressful as business ownership can be, it can be equally uplifting and enlightening.
“It’s actually very powerful, and a great feeling that you are responsible for people’s livelihoods,” Ian says.
Beyond all that, you get to do what you’re passionate about, and your life takes on incredible purpose and meaning.
Law for Entrepreneurs
The reason Ian actually took his leap was so that he could provide other entrepreneurs with better legal solutions.
He’s massively passionate about it. Stats say 60 – 70% of small businesses in Australia don’t have someone they can turn to for good and affordable advice. They’re usually overpriced for slow and often not very good service. His business Progressive Legal aims to change all that. Affordable legal services in plain English for the modern Australian business. That’s what’s on offer.
She WON’T be Right… Think Ahead and Get Good Advice
The “She’ll be right” mentality can cost you an arm and a leg. Be careful with your business.
The world of business ownership is a minefield of blindsides and mistakes waiting to happen. After starting his own business and helping over 2,000 other owners through their legal issues, Ian knows this better than anyone. His number one tip? Get good advice, and as much advice as you can. Mitigate risk, and understand your limitations.
…And when You’re Ready, Take Your Leap
Most people feel that they’re trapped in their career, not realising it is just an illusion. Society has trained us to desire higher earnings and higher status. But it’s not for everyone. If you’re ready for a change, if you feel like you have a higher purpose in this life, and if you maybe even have a plan you’d love to hatch… maybe it’s time to take your leap. And if you’ve got your own business already, just remember how important it is to keep standing for what you believe in – and remember how much you’ve accomplished by doing that thus far.
So it’s true. Starting a business is the best, scariest undertaking of your life – and there will be many of those ‘leap’ moments for every entrepreneur. At those times, and even before or after those times, I hope stories like this one will help you out.
Apple Podcast | Android | Stitcher | Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube
- [0:45] Who is Ian Aldridge
- [4:50] 10 Years a Lawyer
- [9:00] From Feeling Trapped to Taking the Leap
- [20:00] The Best and Scariest Undertaking of Your Life
- [28:00] Law for Entrepreneurs and Blockchain
- [40:00] She WON’T be Right… Think Ahead and Get Good Advice
Mentioned in the episode