I was asked for some advice recently. “So CJ, what’s your secret . . . ?” The person asking me the question (hereafter known as Mr. X) was an attorney working at a large and prestigious law firm for more than five years and earning a good deal of money. X wanted to know what my “secret” was to starting my own practice and “making it work” meaning, why hasn’t it closed yet?
Mr. X was unhappy. He felt stuck in a job where he had little if any chance of advancement, very long, tedious hours and was in a constant state of competition and worry about his job security.
However, despite his unhappiness and dread, X was more uncomfortable with the idea of starting over or worse, losing “everything.”
During our conversation it also became clear that it wasn’t my “secret” that he was interested in. He wanted to know which book I read and/or which career guru I listened to. X wanted “the secret,” the “inside information” — the sure thing that would launch him into his own firm where he would immediately match or exceed his current income. Well, I hadn’t read such a book and didn’t know anyone with such a “secret.” Should I ever come across such a treasure however, I will certainly share it, but with only those of you who read my blog.
In an effort to make X feel better, I quoted Deepak Chopra and evoked the sacred and ancient art of “Foonbergism.” I was not successful. He went back to work and made me pay the check for lunch.