The reality of being a lawyer can be everything but inspiring.
Civil rights leader Howard Thurmon once wrote, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” You’ve probably heard this statement before or seen inspirational posts that use this quote.
It’s a nice idea, but what does it have to do with the reality of being a lawyer? Does it even matter?
Life as a lawyer often comes with stress, long hours, missing time with family, chasing billable hours and invoices—the challenges of which don’t exactly lend themselves to ‘coming alive’. In fact, they too often lead lawyers to contemplate career change or giving up on the practice of law altogether.
For lawyers already stretched beyond capacity to meet the demands intrinsic to the reality of being a lawyer, the tools you often rely upon (intelligence, determination, and hard work) aren’t what’s going to get you through the inevitable tough times you encounter along the way.
Getting through the hard parts and staying in the game often requires you to tap into a greater source of energy and motivation. Huffington Post’s contributing writer, Nancy A. Ruffin writes, “Inspiration is never enough to keep you going when things get hard or when you lose momentum and feel like giving up. You must have something that is going to motivate you to push past the obstacles and challenges when they arise.” [Source: Huffington Post]
How to find this motivation? Find your why.
Beyond what you do and how you do it, why are you actually going to do what you set out to do? It’s a statement of purpose, and will ultimately reflect your deepest motivations for success both in your career and personal life. Your why is what is going to inspire you to wake up each day and take the necessary action.
There’s a personal why: why is it so important for you? Why is it so important for your family? And then there’s also the collective why: Why is it so important for you to do this work in the world?
To define your why, ponder the following:
- What was my dream when I started law school?
- Who are the most important people in my life and how does whether I am successful or not impact them?
- What will it mean for me when I achieve what I am setting out to do?
- What impact would I like to have my contributions make on my family, my community, and the world?
If you’d like to take a deeper dive on this subject, check out the wealth of resources from well-known author and speaker, Simon Sinek. For now, answering these questions for yourself will help you tune in to your deepest motivations and find your why.
Once you really understand and can articulate your why, you have your source of fuel for accomplishing the what and the how.
Remembering your deepest motivations will:
- Support you in the moments that are hard to keep moving forward.
- Give you the strength to know facing what’s hard and making it through to the other side is worth it.
- Give you a reason to harness and focus your energy on taking the next step on the path to achieving your goals.
One lawyer’s why.
One of the lawyers currently in training with New Law Business Model, and in the first few months of building their solo estate planning practice recently shared their “why” that inspires them to move through the challenges:
“So I can see my family and I can have personal and professional flexibility while I’m helping my community make meaningful changes in their preparedness.”
And after training 2,700+ lawyers over the past decade, we’ve noticed that making a great living, having time for the people they love, and making a difference in the lives of others often top the list of these deeper motivations.
We’ve also noticed that far too often, the reality of being a lawyer (practicing in the traditional way) not only is challenging—it is simply incompatible with those deeper motivations.
If you’ve found the reality of being a lawyer is beyond hard, and actually not in alignment with your values, not allowing you to make the income befitting someone with a law degree, and not allowing you to enjoy your life—it may very well be time to explore a new way to practice law—and New Law Business Model is here to support you 100%.
If you’d like to learn more about a way to practice law that allows you to take control of your schedule, reach your personal and financial goals, and build a law practice you love while making a difference in the lives of the clients you serve, book a call with a Law Business Advisor today.
Ready to Learn More About Our Core Program? Schedule a call with one of our Law Business Advisors today.