Failure is now an option

As lawyers, we cannot fail.

Failing means we forget a precedent. We miss a court deadline. We negotiate poorly. We lose a case for a client.

And as a result, we fear being sued for malpractice. We fear losing a chance at partnership. We fear losing the client. We fear breaching our fiduciary duty.

We cannot fail. It’s part of our job description as attorneys, and it’s become part of our personal psyche.

Failure is now not only an option, it’s a pre-requisite

Fortunately, that is not the case when we leave the law.

We change this belief system. Failure is not looked at as a death sentence, it’s looked at as a learning experience. It’s considered a right of passage, a way to test and experiment, a way to get stronger.

I view failure as just another word for “babystep” to success.

For example, for one of my clients last year, we identified three main job areas that could have been a fit for his Unique Genius (his skills, strengths and enjoyments) and for us to explore.

But the Strategy Consulting lifestyle had too much travel. And Project Management was too overwhelming. And Account Management was not fulfilling enough for him.

We struck out three times in trying to identify his new, “non-law” career path.

Until we didn’t.

Until we found a fantastic opportunity, where he now heads “planned giving” for a local university. The role is client management and tax planning and long term visioning, all sprinkled with interpersonal and communication skills and a little bit of sales on top. A perfect fit for him.

My client failed three times in a row! But these three times were actually just steps, due diligence, self-assessments, boxes to check … before success.

“Not many people are willing to give failure a second opportunity,” said legendary ad man and copy writer Joseph Sugarman. “They fail once and it’s all over. The bitter pill of failure is often more than most people can handle. If you’re willing to accept failure and learn from it, if you’re willing to consider failure as a blessing in disguise and bounce back, you’ve got the potential of harnessing one of the most powerful success forces.”

If you feel now is the time for you to act and leave the law, and you want to no longer be afraid of failing, but rather want to embrace and demystify failure as just a normal part of the path to positive change, then schedule a free time to speak with me about the Leave Law Behind Coaching program.

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