I have been blogging for the past year about being a mompreneur, lawyer-style. Solo lawpreneur with a touch of mom, if you will. For all of you people who are audibly “ughhh!”-ing right now, because you absolutely detest these cutesy titles I’m always working into my posts, well, if you’re still reading my stuff anyway, you will be thrilled to now learn that I’ll soon be tossing these catchphrases around a lot less frequently.
I have a job.
That’s right, this former self-anointed “unemployable” lawpreneur (HA! I did it again!) is now, once more, a law firm employee. An associate, even. Yes, I went from being the owner of my own firm to being someone’s associate again. And because I can clearly see where you’re going with that line of thought, let me be the first to say that if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing right now, I would be squandering a serious career opportunity. The details of why that is are boring if you’re not part of the special ed advocacy/education law community here in Connecticut … so hit me up in the comments or on social media if you want to talk about it, but otherwise, I’ll save all that for a more appropriate place and time.
Anyway, I’m not actually here to squawk all about the details of taking down my shingle. I will just say that this happened very, very quickly, and I haven’t had much time to stop and reflect upon what just happened to me. Yes, employment just happened to me, as weird as that sounds. My boss is somewhat of a take charge kind of guy. I mean, we had already had a preliminary conversation about the idea, and when I followed up by visiting his office, I even expected the meeting to end with a “cool, let’s do this” kind of thing. But that’s not what happened. I walked in, hung out and met some awesome people, and then sat down with a file, and, yeah, I had a job. I mean, if I really didn’t want this, I would have just said no and walked out. But obviously I wanted this. (Yes, I’m still talking about the job, not some weird 50 shades of something or other. Oh, that’s not what you were thinking? Sorry. My brain is a strange place.)
I’m in the process of shutting down my business right now. DH asked if I was sad or torn about it. You know what, honestly? Other than the nervousness and excitement that comes with the feeling of everything happening so suddenly, no, I have no emotion whatsoever about this. It’s not hard to do, I’m not sentimental and have no mixed feelings here – this is, absolutely, the right thing to do, and I feel great about it. But let me say this: I don’t feel like I’m losing my law practice, although in strict terms of the LLC and the bank accounts and tax stuff, sure, that’s exactly what’s happening. But I was practicing special ed law before, and I’m still doing that now. I’m doing it under someone else’s roof, but it’s still ME under that roof, and I’ll be using that solopreneurial mindset I have developed over the course of the past year to help synergize an existing, well-established practice with a great reputation. Being a solo +1 is awesome, especially with the right team. So no, I’m not mourning the loss of my own firm.
I was laughing today with a friend over how I didn’t have much time to think this through, and he reminded me of this: It’s probably better that I wasn’t given some artificial built-in period of time to reflect and overanalyze what I was getting into. Knowing me, he said, I likely would have worried myself into inaction by freaking out over what could go wrong instead of taking positive action toward hitting the ground running in an awesome new opportunity. He’s absolutely right. When it comes to some career and business decisions, the smartest strategy is sometimes ‘don’t think, just do.’
Oh yeah, when did I hear this before? Back in my 20s, when I was engaging in so much unnecessary overanalysis about the perfect time to pop out that first kid, or any kid, for that matter. How many months or years should we be married first? How many months or years were the majority of our friends married first? How much money should we be making or have saved (hahaha)? Am I a responsible enough adult? Oh god, I don’t even feel like an adult. Do we need a different car? What kind of car does a responsible adult who can handle a baby drive? What if I feel like I need to quit my job? What if my child has special needs and I can’t keep working even if I want to? But then what if I quit and we have no money and have to live in a cardboard box? Should I buy one or twenty books on pregnancy and childbirth and afterbirth and breastfeeding and toddlerhood and how will I talk to my teenagers about sex? What does the pregnancy book say about how to live in a cardboard box if you run out of money? What if I don’t know how to change a diaper and it just doesn’t come naturally to me? What if …
Oh my god. If you are going through this much analysis paralysis, it’s likely you will be an AMAZING mom or dad, because this train wreck of thoughts indicates just how aware you are that having kids is a huge undertaking, one that commands the highest levels of demand and responsibility. But beyond that simple realization, there is really nothing more you need to do. Just have the kids. They will be fine. You will be fine. You will never, ever, be prepared for the challenges of hatching a tiny human and keeping it alive for several years until it can venture out of the house into the wide world of adulthood without you. So just quit with the Boy Scout motto, and let it happen. You will be so glad you did.
TL; DR: Taking the leap into accepting an amazing job offer is an apt analogy for jumping into first-time parenthood. Don’t think, just do.
Postscript: Oh and hey, I love it when solo lawyers find my posts and want to talk to me about the joys of running a law practice. I was a solo, and I am now another solo’s “plus one,” and I love talking about the business and the profession … so keep hitting me up in the comments if you find this and want to talk about it!
image via dreamstime.com