Hey, I’m Ian Chowdhury.
In my regular life, I’m a solo practitioner attorney who defends consumers against debt collectors. I do my debt-defense work from my other website, CaliforniaCollectionDefense.com. I like to believe that, over time, I’ve deprived banks and debt collectors of several million dollars, effectively redistributing that money to hundreds of struggling families.
However, this website is not about my law practice.
This website is what you might call the “side gig.” It is about our businesses, yours and mine, as solo practitioners. Your solo business as a writer. Your solo business as an attorney. Your solo business as a web developer. Or an artist. Or whatever.
Working for yourself is hard. Believe me, I know. (After all, I didn’t get to keep any of those millions of dollars I mentioned up above, I just kept them out of the hands of banks and debt collectors).
In fact, I should straight up acknowledge that if you can force yourself to work for someone else as some lacky-peon, you should probably just do it, because your life will be much less stressful.
However, if you can’t just work for someone else for your whole life… If you can’t…. Fucking…. Do it…. Then I’m right there with you. This website is for you.
I’ve known this to be true about myself ever since I discovered my inability to hold down a job as a waiter, despite continuous and multiple attempts at doing so from the age of about sixteen, onwards and into my twenties.
I just couldn’t do the job for more than a few weeks without quiting or getting myself fired and then moving on to the next place.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, I must have worked at every downscale cafe, midscale diner and upscale restaurant in the greater Los Angeles area, or at least about thirty of them. To this day, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who probably remember me as “the worst fucking waiter I’ve ever had”.
Long story short; I am now an attorney.
To this day, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who probably remember me as “the worst fucking waiter I’ve ever had”
Fortunately, where I sucked as a waiter, I now have it dialed-in as an attorney.
There are a few key difference between being an a waiter working for somebody else’s company and being an attorney working for myself. I think you might relate to this if you’re also a sole practitioner of any sort:
As a waiter, no matter how hard I worked, I was never going to be paid for the value of my services, it was always going to be the restaurant (or the company that owned it) that got paid for the value of my labor. I was always going to be paid, very precisely, the smallest amount that they thought they could get away with. It takes tons of mental and physical effort to get good at waitering, so how was I going to develop the high level of motivation to put in such intense effort and study, knowing I was just being bilked. I also had to follow somebody else’s policies and procedures even when doing so made no sense to me.
These days, as an attorney, I always know what has to get done and when it has to get done how to do it and why. I also know that when my efforts lead to financial success I’m going to benefit from that. I am therefore able to make it all happen without fail and without unduly stressing about it. It took a lot of caring-about-my-business and a lot of thinking-about-it-every-minute to get those procedures figured out! Why would anybody do that just so some restaurant holding company could get rich?
Anyway, I’ve been running my own law practice from home on my Mac for well over a decade.
I’ve been honing my methods and procedures for a long time.
If you run a solo business of any sort, you know it can seem like you have to dedicate 110% of your time, either to pulling in business or else, if you have enough business, to keeping everything from descending into the chaos that is often the direct result of having enough business.
I definitely still have those days and weeks myself.
But more and more often as the years go by, I’ve found that I can rely on my systems and workflows. Systems and workflows to get business in the door. More systems and workflows to handle the business once I have it. Knowing what has to be done and knowing when it has to be done can be systematized. Those systems can then be automated.
Fortunately, all this can be implemented with great success, even by the most naturally disorganized man on the planet (hi!). It’s a matter of getting down to the specific mouse clicks required each evening, and automating that process.
Knowing what has to be done and knowing when it has to be done can be systematized. Those systems can then be automated.
Sure, I created these systems for my law practice, but if they even work for somebody like me, they will definitely work for you!
On this website, you’ll find my podcast: the Solo Manifesto, and maybe eventually you’ll find some other training sessions or courses or something lying around here. Be sure to shoot me an email to let me know what your productivity or entrepreneur issues are.
Thanks for stopping by!