Dave Lukas Chats with Rick Sterger
90: The Man Who Built a Massive Legal Practice and International Fanbase from a Video Store, Rick Sterger
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Rick Sterger. Rick is the epitome of what it means to find a niche and focus intently on being the best in that area. He is known as “the Immigration guy” and has built a law practice that continues to grow exponentially each year. Rick has a very specific focus in practicing immigration law with an emphasis on removal defense, but also has a breadth of experience in developing business systems and strategies for companies like Samsung, Motorola, Sprint, and Dell prior to starting his practice. He’s received numerous awards and his firm services clients throughout the U.S. and the world.
The reason for having Rick on today is not to talk about immigration, but for you to hear his story of hitting bottom, figuring out what was really important in life, and then creating the life he wanted to have. And of course, to discuss how to identify and maximize a niche in your business.
Rick’s story started with being in the mobile phone market early on. He rode the wave from a 30% market penetration to a 120% penetration. As growth begin to slow and the market started to consolidate, Rick found there was no place left to go and in 2008/2009 with the economy was collapsing, while going through a divorce, he was laid off.
He took a gig consulting, but knew he needed to find out what he was truly meant to do.
The opportunity came serendipitously. He was having a conversation with a friend, who worked in borders/customs and was told that you don’t have to be a California lawyer to practice immigration law in California, because it was handled under federal law. The light bulb went off to go start a firm because Rick had originally gone to school for law.
Within 8 mos, he had gotten rid of everything (fancy car, house, expenses he didn’t need), had his new practice up, but had not clients. He then starting building from there.
You hit bottom – how did you get back up and get out of the bottom you were in?
At 12 min mark, Rick talks about how it took going through a full financial collapse to make him realize what really mattered.
Ego and pride got in the way of asking for help, but also helped in needing to prove himself and kept him going. He had to learn the hard lesson of balancing them.
He also had his father’s rise from poverty as a role model for him.
At the 19 min mark, Rick talks about how he took his business from $0 to growing at hundreds of percent by bootstrapping in a niche.
At the 27 min mark, Rick talks about how selling his service from a video store became his biggest revenue source and other guerrilla tactics he used to get business…
Rick was then able to use his 6-sigma training from his former positions in the mobile industry to create systems to help his business find leverage through technology and create an infrastructure to grow at a rapid pace.
Tips for growing a tribe on social media:
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