I shot this video (it’s short, only 2:45) this past weekend after reflecting on my daughter’s softball game … and after thinking about a phone conversation I had with a fellow Leave Law Behind community member.
My daughter was afraid of being hit by the ball when she was at bat … and by trying to avoid being hit, she ended up striking out.
And the attorney I spoke with was afraid of all the risk he associated with leaving the law … and by trying to avoid making any mistakes, he ended up doing nothing and remained unhappy.
Check out the video below to see how both were able to mitigate their fears (not fully overcome their fears yet, just reduce them a bit) to be able to create some momentum and move forward.
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I think you’re going to like one of our recent podcast episodes at “Love or Leave the Law”.
As many of you know, Love or Leave the Law is a point/counterpoint format, where Adam Ouellette (a fellow Leave Law Behind reader, author and founder of www.EsquireAcademy.com) and I discuss how to (re) love the law again … or find ways to leave it.
In this recent episode, we focus on all of the signs that you may be on your way out of the law.
It can be very difficult to determine whether continuing to practice the law is right for you.
On the one hand, we may be unfulfilled, anxious and unhappy as a lawyer.
On the other hand, it’s the one job we really know and we’ve invested so much in becoming an attorney.
In this episode of Love or Leave the Law, Adam and I explore the early signs that you may be on your way out of the law, even if you don’t know it yet. We get into a deep discussion about how to recognize the onset of boredom and depression as an attorney,
In San Francisco subways a new ad campaign is running. Its for Fiverr, an online marketplace that connects business owners with freelancers who can help them with tasks in order to grow.
I took a picture of one of the ads that stood out to me. See it above. It reflects two core truths about starting a business: You need help to grow your business … and you also may be crazy.
Entrepreneurs need a lot of help to get started. That’s why they get co-founders and venture investment.
And they also always run into naysayers. They always run into doubters. They always have people around them who are worried about them and say their ideas are crazy.
It’s good to be crazy
And can’t we say the same thing for us unhappy attorneys leaving the law? For most of us, if we were to tell those close to us that we wanted to leave, many would likely dissuade us. Doubt us. Call us crazy.
They’ll first ask:
How can you leave such a stable job? How can you throw your law school education away? Who else will hire you?
We have totally overhauled our eating habits in our family. Our kids were suffering from pretty bad food allergies, so we’ve gone gluten-free, sugar-free and consume minimal dairy.
We’re in a good groove now, but we struggled in the beginning: We read blog posts, watched YouTube videos, talked to friends. It was helpful, but we still felt we didn’t know how best to really start.
We then took part in a live training from an expert focused on this area. She took us slowly through the steps. She answered our questions. She repeated the details over and over until it sunk in.
Now our diet is doing great!
And it got me thinking. I wanted to put together a similar type of training session for the Leave Law Behind community.
So, I wanted to let you know that I’m doing a brand new, free training this Sunday February 26 2017 at 5pm Pacific (8p Eastern).
The topic is “The first thing all people who successfully leave the law make sure they do”.
Go here to reserve your spot now
One of the main obstacles for us in leaving the law is we don’t know where to start.
This past weekend, my wife, two kids and I let out our collective inner geek and visited the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, in the heart of Silicon Valley.
While the toys in the gift shop elicited the most interest from my daughter and son, the museum exhibits were not far behind.
The museum provides a fascinating history of how, going all the way back to the ancient Chinese and Greeks, humans have thought up new ideas, used new tools, and created new processes to find things out, make life easier, and reduce manual steps.
Think the Abacus to the Antikythera mechanism to IBM punch cards to iPhones.
What really struck me though were the personal stories behind all of these inventions.
They weren’t always famous and successful
Sure, it’s easy for us now to see how useful all of these tools are. And it’s easy for us now to assume as self evident that these technology inventors would be famous. It’s easy for us now to take for granted the ways the technologies they invented have made our lives simpler, easier and more dynamic.
I’ve started a podcast called “Love or Leave the Law”. It’s a point/counterpoint format, where we discuss how to (re) love the law again … or find ways to leave it.
My podcast partner is Adam Ouellette, a fellow Leave Law Behind reader, author and founder of www.EsquireAcademy.com, which helps attorneys refresh and grow their legal practice and being to love the law again.
And as you can guess, I’m the guy who talks about how to leave it 🙂
In our second episode, we discuss “Why the Law Sucks?” and why it’s just not that much fun nor that lucrative to practice the law any more. We focus on the current state of the legal practice, what disruptive forces are on the horizon, why it’s harder to make money as a lawyer and what lawyers can do now to make sure their practices survive and thrive.
Hope you enjoy!
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“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
Last weekend I went skiing with some of my best friends I’ve known since childhood. We rented a cabin right off of Lake Tahoe, in the mountains of California. Sounds great, right?
It was a great … but I have to admit, it started off really wrong.
I’m not sure if it was the elevation or the excitement of being with friends or something else altogether, but I had trouble falling asleep the first night.
A lot of trouble.
All of my buddies were asleep like babies, snoring, peaceful, relaxed.
And there I was, middle of the night, eyes wide open, awake on the living room couch.
All alone in the dark, my mind racing. Anxious. Nervous. Frustrated. Worried I’d be a wreck the next day. Trying to figure out what I had done to deserve this.
And I also tried really hard to fall asleep: I paced, I did pushups, I drank water, I looked out the window,
I spoke with a coaching student today. We’re beginning to work on her Unique Genius and she told me that she didn’t know which way to think any more. She was thinking so many thoughts.
She is excited to actually begin to leave the law because she is so unhappy as an attorney. She is motivated to find other non-law jobs out there that could align with her skills and strengths. She is happy to visualize a future where she doesn’t have to litigate and fight each day.
But she also thinks she should maintain the only professional identity she knows. She has doubts whether she could actually make it in an alternative career. She thinks that if she leaves the law it is proof of her weakness, that she couldn’t “make it” as a lawyer.
And I told her that maybe the point is to think less, and feel more.
What are our emotions telling us?
Maybe this is just how it starts. Maybe there is no big bang, or aha moment, or inspiration or external force telling us to begin to leave the law.
Maybe your leaving the law just started when you first felt that pang of unhappiness.
One of the things you’ll quickly notice about trying to leave the law and starting a new life is that you take one step at a time … to build confidence, to gain momentum and to learn what jobs and roles best align with your skills and strengths.
Yes, you must work at it.
(No one else will do this for you, you need to act)
Yes, you must do your research.
(This means meeting with people and learning about the non-law jobs they are in and how it might fit with your skills and strengths)
Yes, you may feel alone.
(This means mitigating your doubt and anxiety and fear of the unknown)
The question is, how do you take these steps?
You can re-do your resume, do informational interviews, find out what you’re good at, find the right alternative career, find helpful people …
I’ve got good news …
Today I’m excited to share that I’m opening enrollment to the Leave Law Behind Online Training Program.
This is just for our tribe,
It is easy to find a message from somewhere in our culture celebrating “being different”.
Celebrities and star athletes and politicians all interest us because of their public uniqueness. At a high level, we shower praise on those courageous enough to go for their dream, to fight back for what is right, to do what they love, to make good money, to stand out, to act crazy, to speak their mind, to say what we only think, to break barriers, to fight the system, to drop out of school or the rat race, to do the unthinkable, to be funny or coarse, to push boundaries, to be eccentric, to be themselves.
Be the same
But at our level, our day-to-day, in-the-grind, working-as-an-attorney level, we are often conditioned to be “the same”. To blend in. To think like all the others.
This programming can come from our upbringing. Or from our schooling. Or specifically from law school. Or from the other attorneys we work with and around.
But since we are unhappy attorneys, we are different. We feel different.
We feel unfulfilled practicing the law. We want to do something else.