Friday, April 13, 2007

Small Business 101

Maggie Mason blogged recently on advice she would give to high school students regarding entrepreneurial endeavors. I think her advice, though a bit simplistic, is good to keep in mind even for (barely!) post-high schoolers, such as myself. I particularly agree with point #3, after years of not LOVING what I do:

3. Don’t believe the myth that “if you liked your job, no one would pay you to do it.” It’s essential that you love your work for you to be as happy and financially successful as possible in your life. The person who loves her job will always beat out the person who’s doing it for the paycheck.

Food for thought this weekend...


Transplanted Lawyer said...

If you don't like what you do, you should find something else to do that you do like.

What is it about the law that you don't like? My suspicion is that it's BIGLAW which has ground the joy out of you; even a small taste of that for me in an earlier phase of my career proved quite soul-destroying.

Have you ever considered small-firm practice? Fewer jerkoff partners, a more casual environment, more flexibility with your time, and more direct contact with clients. You might not make as much money but the compensation can still be quite good. You might not think you have the skill set to make it outside of the massively-supported infrastructure of a big firm, but then again, you might surprise yourself.

Leila said...

I've never loved practicing law. When I first started, I found some small part of what I do interesting, but I really don't anymore. I know that there are new things to learn and master everyday in the practice of law, but I really don't have the intellectual curiousity for it. And I've seen the practice of law from a variety of jobs, both during and after law school.

Also I am pretty strongly opposed to the billable hour model (for myself), and I don't think that the salesperson requirements of practicing law really varies that much from large firm to small firm, except that for the first several years at a large firm, they tend to shelter you from the business development aspects of the business a bit. I find it a bit tedious and painful to be a salesperson of something that doesn't excite or interest me.

Pretty much the only way I can imagine law working for me at this point is if I could transition into an in house position that is more varied than what I do now and that allowed me to spend some portion of my time in more of a business person role, instead of purely a lawyer role. It just doesn't do anything for me.

You seem to love the practice of law. Learning about various areas of law and discussing points that interest you. I just don't. I was deciding between business school and law school and I (most likely) picked the wrong one. It's okay. I'm just trying to make sure that I learn from this chapter of my life and hoping that I can find something to do with my life that does more for me than just pay the bills.

That thing is not the practice of law. I'm pretty sure of it. I am not one to make snap decisions (as evidenced by the number of years I've stuck this out and tried to make it work for me).