I find myself struggling with how much to share here and how much to hold back as I am experiencing one of the most exhilarating, frightening, mind-blowing, fearful times of my life. It feels a little like giving birth in public. I’m letting go of a safety net that is really, really safe and stepping off into the great unknown.
I have truly stopped taking on any new clients in my law firm so I can focus my entire attention on training other lawyers on how to be a true Personal Family Lawyer, promoting my first book, writing my next book, twittering, preparing for my Better TV segments, lining up strategic alliances and otherwise building the Family Wealth Planning Institute so I can change the way lawyers think and the way you think about lawyers.
You might look at all this and say – ok, so what – she stopped taking new clients, what the heck is she worried about? She’s got plenty going on with her new company that why even worry about walking away from the old company?
Well, the new company isn’t quite paying me yet and I’ve invested everything I’ve got into bringing it to life. It’s bringing in lots of money, but it’s all going out the door at the moment because we’re in building mode and getting a great team in place and infrastructure burns cash – fast.
My single biggest fear in the world is running out of money. It’s a fear that has both held me back and propelled me forward and it’s massively rearing its ugly head right now.
From the outside looking in, you can’t see it. I take financial risks that defy gravity because I know it’s the only way to conquer the fear and have everything I want in life. And, like a seasoned sky diver who opens her chute at precisely the last second, the risks I’m taking are highly calculated – sort of.
For 2 years now I’ve been saying I’m going to stop taking on new clients, but I’ve yet to find the courage to actually do it. New clients are like crack to me. Each one brings an average of $5,000 into my law firm and that’s hard to let go of, especially when the law firm overhead insists on being fed whether I see new clients or not.
Not to mention my personal overhead – 2 kids in private school, summer camps, cheerleading, one who needs glasses, both who are prone to cavities and already have mouths full of metal and an ex-husband to support – makes it difficult to really cut back.
I’ve run the numbers 6 ways from Sunday and at this point making less money and living a simple lifestyle just isn’t in the cards for me – not if I want to keep living in Hermosa Beach and sending my kids to private school, that is. And, I do. (Sure, there’s also a part of me that wants to run off to Colorado and home school my kids like my friend Joanne recently did, but that’s not my journey right now).
So, the only answer is to step off the precipice of the safety of the law firm I’ve built over the past 5 years and into the unknown, which means no more new clients even though I don’t have a complete plan as to what’s going to happen next.
I trust that whatever that is supposed to be will unfold perfectly.
I’ve walked off the ledge a couple times now (first, when I left the big law firm to hang my shingle 5 years ago and then when I moved out of from my husband and got divorced 3 years ago), but this is definitely the scariest yet.
In some ways it’s easier this time around because while I can feel the fear, I’m in much more of an observatory space about it. My mind is churning around in the background – playing out unrealistic scenarios alternating between both homelessness and massive riches – and I’m (for the most part) able to observe it without getting too caught up. Writing helps … a lot.
In other ways, it’s more difficult – the stakes are much higher, I’m a single mom with two households depending on me and much bigger financial obligations. But, the rewards are greater too.
On the other side of all of this is a company that changes the way lawyers think and the way the American public thinks about lawyers. And, the potential financial rewards aren’t chicken liver either. I can’t get to any of that though unless I make it through now.
I’ve struggled with how much of this to share – will I regret it later on when I’ve made it through and the financial fears are gone and the new company is thriving?
But, I concluded that I must share it now because after it’s over I will be so lost in the beauty of what I brought forth that I will romanticize the experience and forget all of the painful parts I had to go through to get there … Just like birth. And, if I don’t share it now, I’ll never be able to recall the true experience later and you need to hear it first hand to help you through the ring of fire when you need the support for that one last push.