John M. Shari is a seasoned business lawyer with over two decades of experience, having built an esteemed reputation in both business law and complex real estate transactions. His impressive career boasts an extensive range of roles, from associate to shareholder in his own firm, Law Offices of John M. Shari, LLC. This progression reflects not only his hard work and dedication but also his deep understanding of intricate legal landscapes and business law principles. Known for his meticulous attention to detail and analytical acumen, John has become an authoritative figure in his field. He consistently demonstrates a unique blend of legal expertise, business savvy, and problem-solving skills, contributing to the success of his clients’ legal and financial objectives.
How did you get started in this business?
My journey into business law started at Seton Hall University School of Law where I earned my JD… Fascinated by the intellectual challenges of business law, I naturally gravitated towards it. I started as an associate in a traditional law firm, handling various cases related to business and real estate law. This gave me a solid foundation of knowledge and experience, allowing me to establish a strong reputation in the industry. I moved on to a larger firm for my second job and then I went in house as head of acquisitions for a Telecommunications company.
How do you make money?
As a business lawyer, my revenue primarily comes from the consultation and representation services I offer to my clients… I work hard to foresee possible business problems and avoid this problems with proper contracts/agreements.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
The initial stages of my practice involved establishing my reputation and client base (which was certainly a challenging period)… However, my persistence paid off… by my second year, I began to see profits. I would advise anyone starting their business to save for at least three years of living expenses before quitting their salaried position.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
In my early days, like many others starting their own ventures, I had moments of doubt. However, witnessing the success of others and the growing legal services market helped me believe in my capabilities and potential… If they can do it why can’t I do it? Why can’t you?
How did you get your first customer?
I got my first client through active participation in meetups and in-person conferences. These networking events were instrumental in the early days of my career, allowing me to build trust and rapport with potential clients, which led to my first customer engagement… It is always best to start with this approach because it is easier to gain rapport with clients (more rapport = more sales).
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Beyond referrals, again my advice would be to attend in-person conferences.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I face tough decisions every day in my role as a business lawyer. Balancing the interests of my clients; the legal requirements; and ethical considerations of my profession often require rigorous analysis; strategic planning; and careful decision-making.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
The initial year had a fair share of difficulties. But focusing on persistence and resilience has helped me navigate through them… I see setbacks and challenges as opportunities to learn/adapt/grow.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A significant milestone in my professional journey was when my independent legal practice became more profitable than the salary at my previous job. This not only signaled financial success, but also the realization of my entrepreneurial dream.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Looking to the future, I plan to scale my practice further… I am excited about the opportunities this growth presents, including taking on more complex deals; contributing to my clients’ success; and making a larger impact in the business law landscape.
What business books have inspired you?
There are many, but “Fastlane Millionaire” by MJ DeMarco has been a source of inspiration for me… It is a great beginner business book to help train a novice’s mindset for business.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
If I were to advise my younger self… I would say to gain around ten (10) years of experience working for someone else before venturing into your own business. (This experience provides a necessary foundation of knowledge and understanding of the industry while minimizing risk.)
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Yes, I am willing to be a mentor. Individuals seeking mentorship can contact me through my email or phone, (both of which are available on my professional website). I believe in sharing knowledge and helping others grow, and I am always open to providing guidance and insights from my journey in the legal field!