It was five years ago today that I started my adventure as an independent lawyer. It’s hard to believe this milestone is already here because, in so many ways, it feels like I was packing up my old office was just yesterday. Nevertheless, here I am.
I have learned a lot over the last five years and my life these days is entirely different than it was when I started this journey.
During these five years, my legal income has gone down as I’ve scaled back trial work in favor of helping clients with transactional work. The work I do now feels like I’m accomplishing more for clients, but I make less money. I often tell clients that going to trial is like setting a bonfire of $100 bills. They think I’m kidding, but I’m not. Despite the financial hit, I feel better about being a lawyer now than I have in a long time. I could continue doing this for the duration.
On the MacSparky side, these five years have let me grow the Field Guides into something so much better. They also make me more money now, so that balances a bit of the pain on the legal side. I also have had time to keep up production values on the Mac Power Users and add two new podcasts, Automators and Focused.
On the personal side, I’ve been able to be there for my family so much more now. I have many great memories with my wife and kids since going independent. Overall, the leap, for me, was worth it.
I think the most significant change in my life over this time is the fundamental difference in my heart’s desire. In the years leading up to my big move, I knew I needed to change my life, even though I wasn’t exactly sure how that would work. Almost immediately after making all these changes, I realized that the struggle was no longer to get to the next thing but instead keep the current thing going. Somehow, through a combination of hard work, good fortune, supportive friends and family, and dumb luck, I feel like I’ve landed exactly where I belong. This struck home recently when I was filling in security questions while signing a new online account, and it asked, “What is your dream job?” The answer that immediately occurred to me was, “My current one.”
Thank you to all the readers, listeners, and Field Guide customers that have stuck with me and supported my family and me on this journey.