The Waiting Room

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Calculate The Risk

Posted by Seeking Solace |

Ragey and Rented Life recently wrote posts about taking risks. I wanted to add my own two cents to the mix.

I am a risk taker. But would say that the risks are calculated. I examine, research, plan whether or not to take a risk. (As I am sure many of you do as well.) But, what I have found is by not taking a risk, you miss out on what could be.

I took a huge risk when I started my own law practice a few years ago. I wasn't sure if it would be successful. I knew how to practice law. I knew how to run an office. But, could I run a practice? I mean I would be responsible for the bookkeeping, marketing, client relations in addition to all the other stuff. The only way I knew to prepare myself was to read everything I could get my hands on. I talked to other attorneys who had done the same thing. I learned what I could, realizing that there would be so much I would have to learn on the job.

And of course, failure was always forefront in my mind. What if I lose all the money that I put into this venture. What if I have to go back to working for someone? How would I explain what I had been doing?

I dove in and set up shop. In no time, l had a huge client base and had established a reputation as a no nonsense attorney who was down to earth, but tough when necessary. I was getting referrals from attorneys and medical providers for my services. And, I was gaining clout and respect in the legal community. I was also learning a great deal about how to run a business. Although I am pretty organized, it was way different with a law practice. I was responsible for everything!

That is not to say I did not have problems. I had clients who harassed me, wouldn't pay or tried to take advantage of me. I was tired most of the time, working 60 hours a week. I became a very grouchy person who forgot to take time for herself. The RA became worse.

But out of that experience came my return to teaching. I was having lunch with a freind from law school and we were discussing teaching. I told her how I had a teaching degree and I would love to teach law someday. That's when she told me about the teaching job at Career College.

You know the rest of the story.

Risks can lead to many different things. If I hadn't taken the risk of starting the practice, I wouldn't have learned things about myself, like that I am just not cut out for traditional attorney work. Even though the business was very successful, it was at the cost of my health. At the same time, I have the chance to pursue teaching.

Risks are there to teach us about who we are. Success or failure is nothing more than experience. We can only learn for that.


Abbey said...

I think this is a good post. I think my fear is that if I put both feet in and take the risk - whatever the risk is that I'm considering - that I could lose it all and never regain my footing. Relationships, jobs, you name it, I'm a one foot in kind of girl. I wish I had your courage.

RageyOne said...

Great post! Gives me more to think about as I weigh my decision. One will never know if they don't try...

Seeking Solace said...

Thanks, ladies! I guess I never wanted to go through life wondering what if I had done X or Y.

Of course, that doesn't mean I am not scared to death when I do take a risk, but I try to remind myself that no matter what, I will be OK. I have been to hell and back more times than I can count. But each time, I know I will be OK.

Rebecca said...

Yep, you will be very much better than ok. Go for it.

MissDazey said...

I liked the part about "risks are to be calculated". It took me many years to learn that lesson. Now I research and gather data...still am a risk taker, but a smarter one.

I am enjoying reading your past posts and getting to know you.