Leaving the law is not hard. But gaining the courage to face the fear of leaving the law is. Here are 10 easy-to-do babysteps to begin your journey of leaving law behind.
1. Determine if you really need to leave the law: When you think about your current unhappiness or dissatisfaction, take a second and really assess whether these can be attributable to your practice of the law. Are you unfairly scapegoating the law? It there something else going on? Or should you really consider leaving the law?
2. Join me next week: If the latter, then attend the next Leave Law Behind phone chat (this Friday July 8, more details to follow shortly).
3. Begin working on and exploring your Unique Genius: Your Unique Genius is a skill or a talent you are so good at, which comes so naturally to you, that you don’t even consider it work. And, surprise, this is likely a talent that you can make money off of (even though such a concept may currently boggle your brain). Aaron Ross of Pebblestorm recently put out a Unique Genius Assessment worksheet that is a great guide – download it here.
4. Subscribe to blogs: Realize that there is a large community of like-minded people out there: Seth Godin, Amy Applebaum, Aaron Ross, Scott Dinsmore, Tim Ferris, Copyblogger.
5. Drink coffee: Get coffee (or tea) with friends or colleagues who have left the law, or left the firm life and practice in a different way, or work in areas that you might find interesting (Biz dev, sales, tech). Pick their brain.
6. Write a manifesto: This is a document that sets forth your principals, your goals, ie what’s important to you, and what you want to attain. You may already think of these things throughout the day, but now take some time to put them onto paper and have them stare back at you. Some questions to consider: What do you like about your current life? What do you not like? What makes your ego and sense of self-worth grow? What makes you feel inferior? What business ideas (no matter how far-fetched) would you like to begin? How do you want to spend a normal work day? (Advanced baby step: email the draft manifesto to a friend and invite comments.)
7. Reserve a URL: If the entrepreneurial bug is growing inside of you, go to www.godaddy.com and reserve a URL for a new, potential business. Anything. It’s just $12 a year. (It is a great babystep that shows immediate results.)
8. Talk to your friends and network: Tell some trustworthy friends and colleagues that you are looking to (gradually) leave the law, or leave how you are currently practicing it, and to keep you in mind for opportunities. Purposely keep your goals vague and high level, as they will develop and mature as you go through the process. Just get the ball rolling.
9. Do not lead with the money: As you envision and explore different life and professional plans, do not make money your guiding priority. Lead with other things – what you are good at, what you enjoy, how you envision a work/life balance, how you want your daily routine to unfold. Follow what you enjoy, and the money will follow.
10. Let’s schedule some time: Contact me for a free 20 min talk to discuss some ideas for moving forward.
Great article. A little coffee seems to make lots of things better.