Andrew Shein is a Criminal Defense Attorney for The Law Offices of Andrew Shein, PA (http://www.andrewshein.com). He and his wife, Tien have been in business for themselves since 2002. They recently expanded their practice, hiring an associate who does marital and family law. Andrew has a competitive spirit that serves him well both in court and on the court, where he plays recreational basketball and coaches his three children.
1. What is the most interesting thing about you or your business?
I just never know what’s next. I don’t know who’s going to call or come into my office next with some new unique set of circumstances. I get to interact with people from all parts of society. I got a call today from a guy I represented five years ago.
2. What makes business ownership worth it to you?
The sky is the limit. The idea that this is my own business means I can do whatever I want. It could be creative, a new strategy, a new concept – we can try it. I really like that idea, whether it be in advertising or legal, whatever we want to do is available to us as long as we can pursue it. So, being my own boss, having opportunity and freedom. Those things make it worth it to me.
3. Describe your typical day.
I leave the house around 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. and get here shortly hereafter. The hours I work before 8:00 a.m. are critical to my success. Nobody bothers me, I’m not getting emails or texts or calls. I can concentrate and clean up yesterday’s business and prepare for the day. Some days I can even stop home and see the kids before they go to school. Then, I go to the court house for an hour or two in the morning, and am back to my office mid-morning. I could be meeting with an existing client or potential new client, phone calls are coming in, responding to clients, reviewing police reports and cases. Most days I go back to court in the afternoon, and then back to my office where I’m answering calls, talking to clients and looking ahead to next day or later in the week. I leave my office between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m., but my phone’s with me so I can go home and if a client calls I’m available and I’m still working. I live close so I can easily shoot back to the office if necessary. I go to sleep early compared to others, because I wake up early, then I wake up and start again.
4. Would you ever trade running your own business for a 9 to 5 job?
I wouldn’t say never, but pretty close to never. I’m coming up on 12 years on my own and it would be really hard to take orders from somebody else. Not that I mind taking orders, but I know this is mine and can decide when I want to work, how hard I want to work and it would be difficult for me to relinquish that. It would have to be an unbelievable opportunity for me and my family, because now I have flexibility to help if my kids get sick or they need a chaperone. That flexibility makes it great.
5. What advice would you give to someone considering business ownership or entrepreneurism? Are there certain skills or traits they need to be successful?
I didn’t know this myself when I started, but first, nothing happens overnight. Building a business takes a long time. To get a well running, organized profitable business takes a lot of time and you have to educate yourself on so many different areas. Whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, money, less work time, customers you want to have, it’s hard, hard work. You make mistakes and have to be prepared, and deal and adjust. You need to get a game plan of your goal and you really have to work at it.
6. Why do you think you’re successful? What does success mean to you?
I think I’m successful because I work hard, I care about my job, and I care about my clients and getting the best results that are possible for them. I want to get them through a tough time. I’m a competitive person by nature and my job allows me to be in competition every day. Whether it’s in a legal case or in growing the business, there’s a lot of competition in it and I enjoy that.
My definition of success is that I enjoy going to work. I enjoy having my own business and creating something. My wife and I work together and there’s not a lot of separation. Our firm is a part of our lives, and I’m happy I have a job and career that lets me provide for family and spend a lot of time with my wife and family.