Recently I completed my last day as a full time employee of a law firm. I’ve got to say – it’s a strange feeling, because I really enjoy being a lawyer. I thought I’d take a minute so you know what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it.
Here’s the thing – while I love being a lawyer (most of the time), I enjoy other things too.
So, unlike many people, I’m not making this choice because I’ve decided that law isn’t for me. I’ve just decided that something else is MORE for me than what I’ve been doing.
I’m “turning pro” – I’m taking the side out of the hustle
Life Isn’t One Dimension
I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids.
I enjoy writing books.
I enjoy playing with the internet and tinkering with nerdy stuff.
And I enjoy pursuing projects and ventures outside the law, as well as within it (which is really what this site is).
So after 15 years working in the “usual” way with the relative comfort of a salary (and as the primary income earner for my family!), I’m stepping into the great unknown.
Keeping Skills Sharp – and Building some More (but it’s not without some risks)
If you’re wondering, I’m still going to be a lawyer. My employers have kindly accepted me as a “casual” employee, to do odd tasks and bits and pieces as the need might arise. I didn’t have any expectation that might be possible, but I’m grateful that it’s on the table. It’s a bit of an experiment for everyone involved, but I’m appreciative for the trust and confidence.
I’ll also be looking to massively expand the reach and influence of my three main web based ventures:
- this site and its training for young lawyers
- legal news Australia, which is a cool domain name (providing legal news – duh!) that I haven’t done enough with yet
- a modern professional, where I feed my inner nerd and provide advice on internet marketing and tech skills.
On top of that, I’m hoping to look at using my skills in a few new ventures with new people. Depending how that goes, you might find out more about them soon.
And finally – but by no means least – I’ll be helping Mrs Tips for Lawyers build out her own new practice as a clinical nutritionist.
Here’s what the new arrangement gets:
- flexibility – I can work when I choose to rather than being confined to office hours for most things;
- opportunity – the outcome of this is dependent on my effort – the opportunity exists, I just have to step up to the chance. The reward will be directly related to my efforts;
- scaleability – unlike ordinary employment which trades time for money, each of the things I’ll be looking at scale into much larger opportunities – with about the same amount of effort.
That said, it’s not all roses, candy and lollipops. Obviously in the short term there will be a few hurdles:
- money – obviously
- risk – I’m conscious of the fact that any or all of these things might not work
- lack of skill – it’s possible that I don’t know how to do what I need to do.
That said, I’m comfortable with the decision. It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and filled with potential. I’m not content to be a bird in search of a cage – I’m a bird in preparation for a flight path.
Why would I have to stop being a full time lawyer to do these things? In theory I could have continued to work full time and built up these other projects too – certainly that’s what I’ve been trying to do for a while.
The problem is that law is pretty consuming. It consumes your attention, your energy, and your time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it comes with the territory.
But in the process I simply don’t have the focus on those other projects. The danger with a side hustle is that it’s too easy to keep on the side.
Instead, I’m “turning pro” – and I’m doing it by taking the side out of the hustle.
Should You Leave Too?
The fact is that this is something I feel called to do. It took a lot of thought, prayer and discussion.
I suspect that most people shouldn’t do what I’m doing.
But if you think you should, or you have in the past – then I’d love to hear your story!