We had the good fortune of connecting with Aron Phillips and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aron, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Two major ideas contributed to jumping out and starting my own firm: (1) I wanted to build the kind of firm that I would want to work at. I had several experiences early in my career within firms that were led by attorneys who knew how to attract clients and practice law, but that weren’t necessarily great at managing people. Growing up, I’ve found myself in leadership situations many times, and have worked on my leadership skills throughout my life, so I believed that I could lead and manage better than those I had been underneath up to that point. It’s something I continue to strive for, reading books and engaging with opportunities to expand my leadership skills. (2) I wanted to be able to create an environment that allowed me to prioritize my family and my health over my work, something that the legal profession doesn’t always do a good job with. By building up a firm with my values, I hope to bring together a small group of people who are similarly motivated so that we can all provide a living for ourselves and our families, without sacrificing those relationships in order to achieve success.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’ll share three things: (1) My brand is about helping clients to have a positive legal experience. That doesn’t mean we’ll win every case or that the real world situations that lead to needing an attorney would suddenly get better. What it does mean is giving clients a frank appraisal of their situation and their legal options so that they can make a decision. It means allowing clients to make their own mind up, and not insisting on my way, so long as they understand the risks. It means being an ally, confidant, and advocate. (2) Early in my legal career, due to the arrangement I had with a firm that was paying me based primarily upon what I could generate, I was working three other jobs on nights and weekends. I would drive Lyft/Uber during rush hour and weekend nights late into the night. Weeknights I would power wash parking lots for a friend’s pavement cleaning company. Then I would get up and go network, and do some billable work. It was a time that I’ll always look back on when I need to remind myself that I have grit, determination, and I’m willing to do what it takes. Also whatever problem is in front of me is probably easier than that time, from a work perspective. (3) For a young professional, learning how to network and attract clients is one of the most important things to do if you ever want to have your own practice. I was networking for about two-and-a-half years before I started my firm, and it helped the transition immensely. Understand that networking is not about showing up and telling everyone about you. It is about making connections, and helping other people make the connections that they need. It is about recognizing what kind of connections are good for you and pursuing those relationships. If you just show up and hand out business cards, you’ll just be part of a database or mailing list for someone else. You need to follow up by grabbing coffee or lunch and figuring out how to help the other person.
I am an avid disc golfer and all my close friends enjoy playing at least somewhat, so we would definitely play Harry Myers Disc Golf Course in Rockwall, Texas, which is one of the best in the metroplex. We would probably also just go to some of my favorites, such as Arcadia Disc Golf Course in Fort Worth, and perhaps Z Boaz Disc Golf Course in Fort Worth. Lunches: Monday – Feedstore BBQ to get their burnt ends; Tuesday – Sushi Zen for great sushi; Wednesday – Weinberger Deli for a great sandwich; Thursday – Malai Kitchen for some great thai-inspired dishes; Friday – Redrock Canyon Grill for some great all-around selections. Dinner/Happy Hour: Jack & Grill in Roanoke, Texas; Wildwood Grill in Southlake, Texas; FnG Eats in Keller, Texas; Taverna Rossa in Southlake, Texas; Cane Rosso in Fort Worth, Texas. Sites to see and hang out: Denton the downtown square area is just really nice to walk around and has a coffee shop and ice cream shop as well as plenty of restaurants; also, Grapevine downtown is nice to walk and window show and has plenty of boutique little interesting spots, as well as a great cigar shop (Ole Grapevine Cigar & Tobacco); finally, Roanoke Oak Street has many great food locations and is beautiful to just walk along. It would be a fun-filled week of disc golf, good food, and fun and relaxing times.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is dedicated to my wife, without whom I might not have taken the leap to start my own firm, to my father, who has always pushed me to be the best that I can be, and my mother for always believing in me and encouraging me. I would also thank Bill Travis, Ron Dearmond, Scott Prickett, and Michael Chaney for helping me to become more who I was created to be as an adult.