Taking the Leap

After years of advising entrepreneurs, I have finally become one. Starting my own law firm has been exciting, energizing and terrifying all at the same time—it has given me a whole new level of respect and admiration for entrepreneurs.

Perhaps the most daunting part of this whole process was resigning from my former law firm. It’s never easy to walk away from a steady, significant income, to say nothing of the safety and comfort that comes with a big office, virtually unlimited expense account and sizeable income.  But I was tired of not being valued and of having my success judged by a management committee with no clue of what success looked like in my industry.   I was tired of trying to make myself look like their version of “success” –especially when I didn’t agree with it at all. It wasn’t me… 

Last May, a good friend sent me a box of the most amazing carmels from a company called Good Karmal (www.goodkarmal.com).  The wrapper around each carmel had a meaningful quote–the one I loved the best, from Erich Fromm, said “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” That sums it up.  I pasted that carmel wrapper to my computer and looked at it every day for the 5 months it took me to “let go of certainties.”   And I thought of it when I walked into the managing partner’s office to resign.

Most entrepreneurs face the question of when to take the leap.  One of my clients used the very fitting analogy of skydiving.  Leaving a steady job for the unknown is absolutely the leap from the plane.  Terror and exhilaration when you jump, hope that the parachute works and pride, confidence and liberation when you land on both feet.