As rezoomers we are blessed, we think, with 20/20 hindsight.
If I had only done this, then I would be further along with my return to the practice of law. If I had only I’d gotten to that meeting, had lunch with that person or written an article for this publication I would be further along in my journey toward rezooming my legal career. As a Rezoomer myself, now 3 years back in the saddle so to speak, I can tell you I have had both good and bad 20/20 hindsight experiences — what was I thinking — as I journeyed back to the law.
This month I am giving you 3 tips to help you overcome those times when you are dwelling on the 20/20 review mirror and your dream yet achieved.
- Recognize You Are Exactly Where You Need To Be.
- Make The Most Out Of Everything You Do.
- Get Out of your Comfort Zone.
Recognize You Are Exactly Where You Need To Be
If you feel stuck and want to move faster take a minute and ask yourself — Am I getting all I can out of this experience? I don’t care where you are, be it a rezooming opportunity or a family gathering. Being present in the moment creates it’s own set of learning skills.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been with family or friends and gotten an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment and left with an idea for articles or heard something that spurred me to think, “that answers a question/problem I just couldn’t solve.” Be present, just mantra ‘there is a reason I am here’ then wait for it to reveal itself. Good or bad. You will learn something either way. Think ‘I’ll never go to another BNI meeting’ or ‘I will absolutely attend another Women in the Law event because their local program was awesome.’
Make The Most Out Of Everything You Do
If you are attending a program which is clearly out of the norm for you, go with it. You may discover a niche you never thought of, good friends who will help grow your practice or colleagues ready to listen to you on your rezooming quest. Often, you can feel more at ease exploring rezooming your practice with people who are not in the law at all.
Example: my son was accepted to a very prestigious film school in California. the Knottsberry Film School at Chapman University. It is a state of the art facility. Just where a kid who has wanted to be a filmmaker since he was 6 would want to attend, right? Not my kid. He asked one simple question—do you allow other students from different disciplines to take classes in the film school? Absolutely not said the tour guide. That was it for my son.
As we got back into the car I asked him why he’d asked that question. He said, “Mom I get most of my inspiration for films from talking to my friends who are not film makers. They think differently.”
How did he get so smart? Must be from his mother! He wound up studying film at Occidental College, a small liberal arts college where President Obama studied for 2 years (and they never let you forget it). He graduated in 2012 with a very respectable degree in Fine Arts Film, one of 6 students in the program, and Russian History, Culture and Language. His film studio is Ptislle, after the Russian word for bee.
Why I tell you this story is that he made the most out of his situation. True, he chose to attend a liberal arts school. Yet he made the most out of this choice by seeing the value in being in a different place with different people who could spur him on to really learn and explore his craft.
As you Rezoom your career, yes, be with lawyers! But think about branching out to groups where your future clients spend time. Not as a fisherman, but as a teacher of fishing. People will get to know, like and trust you in a different venue then hire you because you are one of them and not pushing for the hire.
Making the most out of where you are especially when it is not law related. It will be how you create a buzz about what you do. You never know where the next evangelist of your service will come from. Yet, if they know what you do from spending time with you elsewhere, they will speak your praises everywhere and all you will need do is sit back and enjoy it. Make the most out of each opportunity. At the very least you will learn something new and, after all, that’s not all bad either.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
20/20 hindsight gives you a good look at where you’ve been. How has that worked for you? If you are rezooming your practice you tend to haunt the same places you did before you left. You may feel you’ve fallen very far behind the times and playing catch up. Maybe, instead of doing what you know, you should consider starting somewhere else. Begin where you have no bar already set because you never knew this market in the first place.
Practice real estate if you did trust & estates; do business law if you practiced civil litigation; try labor law if your prior forte was human resources. Something close, but different. You will feel like you are learning, without being constantly reminded how much you’ve forgotten or how much has changed. These are difficult ideas to get out of our heads as we are rezooming our careers. And they will eat away at our confidence.
If you get out of the comfort zone of what you did and get into the zone of ‘wow this is new and interesting’, you forget you’ve been away. In this new area things haven’t changed and you are not catching up.
As you look at what you’re doing to recreate or create a law practice, try keeping your 20/20 hindsight in check. It will not serve you if you keep looking at what you did or could have done differently. You did or acted in the only way you knew how while you were away. You need to move on. As they say the genie is out of the bottle now and you are leading a legal life again. Looking back and making adjustments is a good practice, but shouldn’t consume your day.
What you did is in the past. You are in the now on your rezooming journey.
Always look back with 20/20 hindsight and see the glass as half full, a learning experience. It makes this journey a bit easier and always worthwhile. It’s okay to say, ‘I’ll never do that again’ as long as you take the time to say, ‘WOW who knew that would have been so much fun!’
My rezooming colleagues we are now free to travel the world of law, paraphrasing Southwest Airlines slogan. When using your 20/20 hindsight look for the expansion as well as the limitation. It will keep you balanced on this journey.
Until next month my re-zooming friends, get out there and zoom away!
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.