For over twenty-four years, Eric Pines has been a trusted advocate and adviser to federal employees throughout the United States and Europe. Eric is currently a member of the Maryland, California, and Texas State Bars and is presently in-house counsel for several federal labor unions. Outside of his legal profession, Eric is the father to five children, plays the classical guitar, and enjoys running and bicycling.
Where did the idea for Pines Federal Employment Attorneys come from?
The idea came from the fact that I was a federal employee out of law school and I was interested in helping civil servants and Veterans and this was a niche and unique opportunity to assist these employees who give back to the community.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I start the morning by reviewing all my emails and important messages. I check my Slack feed to make sure I have met all the employees’ needs and put out the relevant fires. I speak with labor union officers and members as their attorney. I meet with clients and attend mediations and negotiations. I spend an hour or so working on the business daily.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I brainstorm on digital paper or write notes of ideas I have. I perform legal research online and then I try to implement my ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love to use cutting-edge technology to automate systems and operations for the firm.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Caffeine…but seriously… It’s my proactive drive to grow and be better.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. It’s only through trial and error and learning from your failures that you can grow yourself and your business.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Many times you can make more money by working less hard. Being a lawyer is a demanding profession. But, it shouldn’t consume your life. By taking the time to be involved in the community, lawyers can form positive relationships and friendships, experience the benefits of service, and be exposed to more practical life experiences. Balance in life is essential. Taking time for yourself with hobbies like musical instruments and exercise is key. Time with family and friends is irreplaceable. If you step back and leave work many times you gain more than working long hours.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Read books to learn from others’ triumphs and mistakes.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Using business coaches, meeting other entrepreneurs, and reading books about business and self-help.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
During the Trump administration, we were worried many of the laws passed were anti-federal employees and we decided to branch out into Personal Injury law by working with a firm that specializes in the field. It was a complete bomb. The firm’s philosophy was to spend as much money as possible on radio advertising. This just did not work in Houston, TX and it put us in a lot of debt. There is a huge amount of competition in this field in Houston. We did not give up though we decided to start our own brand and slowly build a market of our own and own brand. Through hard work and perseverance, we have been able to make our business profitable!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Find a niche and advertise online with Google and other digital ads. The Federal Employee Legal field is very unique; it has its own laws and regulations and court system. Very few attorneys work in this field and therefore online advertising can be significantly cheaper than in other fields of law. Online advertising is a great way to target those who are in true need of assistance. The combination of a niche and online advertising is truly amazing.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
We bought a gift certificate to thank an employee for winning the March Madness contest we had. There is no better use of $100.00 than to show someone you appreciate all their hard work and effort on behalf of your business. That you appreciate them and all their hard work.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Apple Reminders and separate them by business and personal. I can add to them easily by using Siri and have them on all my devices since I stay in the Apple ecosystem for this exact reason. Though I hate being a captive consumer, in this regard, Apple has me where they want me!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Gap and the Gain: The High Achiever’s Guide to Happiness, Confidence and Success – Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy – an amazing book that just came out that helps us appreciate and focus on our achievements instead of looking at our failures.
What is your favorite quote?
Success is never final, failure is never fatal, and it’s courage that counts.” – John Wooden
- Don’t be afraid to take risks
- Take time to show appreciation for your employees
- Cutting edge technology helps your business stay ahead of the curve
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.