Ryan Barack, Kwall, Showers & Barack, P.A.
Today we’re hearing from Ryan Barack. Ryan is a board certified labor and employment law attorney with Kwall, Showers & Barack, P.A, a law firm focusing on personal injury and employment law since 1976. Ryan has been in business for himself since joining the firm in 2004. Prior to 2004, he always worked for someone else, except for his stint in college working as the Good Humor Ice Cream Man. Ryan has a wonderful wife and two smart, silly, active sons who keep him busy in his “off” time.
1. What is the most interesting thing about you or your business?
I primarily represent employees who are having issues with their jobs in matters like non-compete agreements, unpaid compensation or discrimination issues, so the most interesting thing about my business is that I get to learn about everyone else’s work. My first question to a potential client is almost always, “tell me about your job?”
2. What makes business ownership worth it to you?
I love the freedom of being a business owner. It means that I can take the cases I want to take and get involved in the causes that are important to me, without having to justify my decisions to some distant group of people.
3. Describe your typical day.
After I take my children to school, I meet with individuals who have had an issue arise with their job and talk with them about what their legal options are. I will typically have lunch with other lawyers and then the afternoon might involve a court hearing.
4. Would you ever trade running your own business for a 9 to 5 job?
No. Having had the freedom that comes from being my own boss is something I cannot imagine giving up.
5. What advice would you give to someone considering business ownership or entrepreneurism? Are there certain skills or traits they need to be successful?
This question leads me to get on my employment lawyer soapbox—Pay Your Employees! If you are working for yourself and you have employees, it is your responsibility to make sure that your employees get paid every payday. These people are depending upon you to feed their families and you have a legal and moral responsibility to make sure they get paid. You, as the entrepreneur, are expected to take the risks and receive the benefits, but the folks who are working for you need to be paid their regular compensation every week.
6. Why do you think you’re successful? What does success mean to you?
Professionally, I think I am successful because I put my clients’ interest first and they know that. If you are my client, I am investing my time and energy in your case and I am doing everything I ethically can to get you the best outcome. Professional success for me is a satisfied client.
On a personal level, I think I am successful because I married a wonderful woman and together we have built a life filled with love and laughter.