Giving Thanks for the Journey

It’s been a tough year – but as I wrote last year, there’s much to be thankful for. Whether this year has been a long and winding road or smooth sailing, or something in between, we can give thanks just to be here for the ride.

Despite the best laid plans, starting a law firm can be hard. The struggle to pay the bills as you build a practice. Staying on top of the administrivia. The constant rejection — whether by prospective clients who choose other firms or colleagues who won’t take the time to meet you for lunch let alone refer you cases. And don’t forget, of course, the filings rejected by this court or that because you’re still trying to figure out the minutia and the arguments rejected by judges not based on the merits but because you’re the new kid on the block (spoiler alert: that s**t happens all. the. time.)

And yet, believe it or not, right now in the middle of it just might be some of your best days. These are the days when everything you do is a first. When you realize for the first time that you alone hold your destiny in your hands. When you experience the thrill of life on the wire and realize that no matter how bad things are, that you’ll never go back.

Like the Pilgrims before us, you will struggle through seemingly insurmountable hardship en route to freedom and staking claim to a new land. Some may claim that it doesn’t have to be this way – that with programs and templates and coaching and someone else’s tried-and-true systems, you can skip past the learning curve and find a shortcut to success. Maybe so, but you will cheat yourself. Because this is your journey to travel, your story that you will eventually tell, your history that you make with each painful or embarrassing or cringeworthy mistake.

So today, on the eve of Thanksgiving, take a moment to give thanks for the journey and to fully appreciate the courage it took to get this far. And believe it or not, someday not too far off, you’ll look back and marvel at where you started and what you built.

Happy Thanksgiving fellow solo and small firm travelers! I’ll see you all on the other side.

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