Let’s face it. There are certain professions which don’t lend themselves to obtaining certain goals. Sure, you can make a lot of money billing by the hour as a lawyer. But what about other priorities which somehow fade into the background as your life kicks away in six-minute increments. I’m talking about things such as creativity, inspiration, self-motivation, integrity, flexibility, balance, and – well – a pretty long list of other stuff.
So if you want to reclaim certain attributes in your life which seem to be diminished or missing, there is only one place to start. You have to take an honest look at yourself, your law firm and your business model…you need to take a hard look at yourself. You might start by asking yourself these questions and trying to come up with honest answers:
- When I wake up in the morning, do I have this innate desire to get to work and start kicking ass? Or do I just feel the need to be in my chair so I can start billing?
- Do I have a nagging sense that somehow I’ve gotten off track and I’m now stuck?
- Do I seem to have an overinflated belief that my law firm name or the size of my office are somehow important to me or how I believe other people perceive me?
- At the end of each year, after bonuses are paid, do I really feel that I’ve earned the money I’ve made? If so, is the calculation in my head a computation of billable hours or the good I have done for my clients and the value I have provided to them?
- Am I proud to tell my children what I do each day at work? Am I setting the example I want them to aspire to when they grow up?
- When I think about next year, do I find myself primarily focused on how I will somehow generate more hours of time to be billed?
- Do I love my clients? As important, do my clients love me?
- Do I think in all honesty, that my current situation allows me to fulfill my potential as a lawyer and as a human being?
Depending on how you answer these questions, you should either feel extremely fortunate or, on the other hand, start considering your options. Yes, you do have options! No, you are not “stuck” in your job.
Life is short. You only have one chance to become everything you had always hoped you would be. If your law firm is not making that happen for you, or your partners have got you down, you should not hesitate to start thinking about how you might improve your situation either within your firm or starting again.