With the cooler temperatures and leaves beginning to fall, it’s starting to feel like autumn in Kansas City. The fall brings many things we hold near and dear to our hearts at Complete Legal: football, soup, vests, the big litigation push before the holidays, bourbon, Patrick Mahomes and, most importantly for us, our birthday. This year, we celebrate our 5th anniversary. In 2017, we made a point to celebrate our 3rd anniversary because 2 out of every 3 businesses fail before reaching their 3rd year. But 5 years? I’m not sure either of us believed this day would happen.
Now we know there are companies that have been around for much longer, but looking back on our little baby after 5 years, we’re filled with one simple emotion: gratitude.
We are grateful to our families and close friends who have supported us along the way. However, friends and family, although appreciated, were almost “forced” to support us, they really didn’t have a choice.
Our co-workers and our clients are the ones who leave us the most humbled.
So many people have supported, encouraged and believed in us along the way. From clients who strong armed co-counsel to use “my guys at Complete Legal” to co-workers turning down job offers that pay much more money for similar responsibilities; our clients and co-workers have demonstrated loyalty we weren’t sure still existed. Without you all, we are nothing and we can’t thank you enough.
Before Complete Legal, our time spent in this industry was full of private equity firms, mergers/acquisitions, a rotating door of CEO’s, countless VP’s and constant changes in direction with no vision. Profits went from being an important thing, to the most important thing and finally the only thing. Those profits needed to be delivered for the CEO & PE firm – even if it came at the expense of our employees or clients.
Whether it was arrogance or ignorance (probably a healthy dose of both) we felt if we could do it ‘our way’, we could be successful. ‘Our way’ wasn’t going to be anything earth shattering. We weren’t going to give TED Talks or write a NY Times Best Selling Book, but we believed in our vision:
- Hire great people, constantly invest in them and treat them well. We have intentionally hired mostly from outside of our industry. We decided from day one that we would rather invest the time and resources into training the right person than to try and undo the bad habits of a lateral hire from a larger competitor.
- Empower our co-workers and treat them like adults. Our industry is stressful, and deadline driven. The work can be overwhelming and demanding at times, but no one should feel overworked and underappreciated 52 weeks a year. We try each day to balance the demands of our clients and our co-worker’s life outside of work. We encourage everyone to strive for harmony between work and home, even if balance isn’t currently possible (one way or the other).
- Obsessively focus on what our clients ask for, not what is easy for us to provide. By developing honest and logical workflows, we save our clients measurable amounts of money and immeasurable amounts of stress. We strongly believe that the easier we make your life, the better you will make ours.
- Start with Kansas City, grow from there. We saw a legal market that was being neglected. Although we both carried national books of business in previous lives, we were going to start here and invest in the community. So many providers were removing their presence from KC or only focusing on a handful of large firms. We saw a crack in the sidewalk that we knew we wanted to fill.
- Keep the fox out of the hen house. The only shareholders at Complete Legal come to work here every day. We are forced to live in the house we built, for better or worse. It’s amazing how much more thought you put into employee benefits when you are sharing a lunch table with those who your decisions will affect.
So, as we pause to celebrate 5 years, we can’t say it enough… thank you, thank you, thank you!
If you’re reading this, you are definitely a huge part of our success.
It’s been an amazing 5 years and we’re not done yet. Every month, we continue to grow and develop as an organization. Hopefully to become a better partner and provider to our clients. We’re proud of what we’ve built but we promise we’re committed to continuing to build on the foundation we’ve created.
On behalf of our co-workers and all of our families, thank you for trusting us to serve you and we look forward to another 5 years together.
Eric & Jeff