Overcome Your Fear of Quitting Big Law – Start Without Leaving Your Day Job

Let me ask you.

Have you ever dreamed of leaping from corporate life to start working on your own? Design your success and your path to get there? But you are overcome by fear of leaving the law.

Have you had enough of Big Law and its ways?

Are you unhappy and want to leave corporate life for good, but you don’t know how?

You might even think you want to quit the law completely

I hear and understand you. I used to be you. I am a lawyer who made the leap and started my law firm, practicing law on my terms. True to my values. Going after my dreams.

There is an alternative to corporate life and golden handcuffs. A better approach to delivering legal services and a better solution for you. You became a lawyer for a reason. You can still be that person: the lawyer with the purpose and the passion.

There’s only one thing that is holding you back. It’s always the same reason in different shoes.

Ready for the reasons? They are below. And I’m going to tell you exactly what to do about it.

Golden handcuffs

Staying miserable in a secure corporate life is about fear.

The salaries and bonuses and the comfortable life they offer is a big incentive to stay.

Do you stay because you are afraid of running out of money, being poor, living under a bridge? You worry about providing for your family and maintaining your lifestyle. You become poor, your friends and family leave you and you die alone as the lonely bag lady.

Reading it, it sounds embarrassing and ridiculous, yet your fear is real and genuine. All humans have a basic need for security: food, shelter, and safety. We need to meet these needs before fulfilling any other basic human need. When you look at it this way, leaving the comfort of your miserable job seems impossible.

But is the price of your life in a miserable job worth more than daring to make a change? How long can you exist this way?

The financial perks you enjoy as a lawyer offer a comfortable life. It also means you could spend more than you would if you worked in a job with a lower salary.

Your fear is partly right. Let’s say you leap, and your income is temporarily reduced. A temporary drop in income, while you are in transition, is not as scary as losing it all. Is it?

(More about money below.)

You can do this, tackle the fear. Most people imagine the worst possible scenario. And stay there. Yet that worst-case scenario rarely occurs.

Do you want a rewarding and meaningful career in the law or stay in a constant state of unhappiness?

What you need is a solid plan that will silence your fear and helps you prepare for the leap.

How to make the leap from corporate to your own business

So how do you leap and quit corporate life?

My advice is: you don’t. Not right away.

My advice may sound counter-intuitive, but hear me out.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t start right away. You begin creating a roadmap that prepares you for the leap. It helps you overcome your fear. And once you have completed your roadmap it’s time to take on the world. And you’re much better equipped to do it.

So you start the journey now and leap when you’re equipped and ready to fly.

Start a side-hustle

Start with small steps. There is no reason to quit your job today or even tomorrow. You can start your new future in the law in your after-hours as a side-hustle. It’s an exciting new project for you.

I wish I had this advice when I started planning my own business. I made the decision over-night in a rush. I had no plan whatsoever. Sure, it made a good story, but I do not recommend it. It was going cold turkey into a business.

Side-hustling is a gentle footpath to your own business. Much easier than driving in the 6-lane motorway too early too slow.

Starting the process as a side-hustle gives you space and time to listen, learn, and experiment. It gives you the chance to get creative, make mistakes, and learn from them. And gives you time to build up your audience and momentum.

Follow and trust the design process in your side-hustle journey. Discover the problem you can and want to solve for your customers.

Design your unique solution, get feedback, and improve. This approach will work miracles. Far better than going straight to business repeating the ways of traditional law.

Make a plan for your financials

What about the money?

Make a solid and realistic plan for your financials. Start putting money aside if you can.

Sit down and open an excel spreadsheet and map your monthly expenses. Look at how much you spend. What is essential? How much is the lifestyle?

When you understand how much you need to live it frees you to make conscious choices about your life. You can release negative energy. That negative energy has allowed you to stay stuck in your rut. Allowing you to make excuses for your unhappiness because you need the money.

Planning your financials allows you to make realistic decisions about your future. You might surprise yourself. The plan itself will make you spend less while still living well.

Work with your fear

Fear is an emotion. Nothing more and nothing less. An important emotion that gives you useful information.

But your fear is also monotonous. It only has one answer: “NO” regardless of your question. And most of the time “NO” is wrong or at least a huge drama-queen with its overreaction.

It’s important to understand that your fear is trying to protect you even when you don’t need protection. So be kind to your fear but don’t let it define you. Don’t resist but don’t let it steer your decisions either.

Create new routines to overcome your fears. It is a daily process. One of the most effective ways to challenge your mind to go beyond fear is to do one thing that scares you every single day.

It could be as simple as walking the wrong way on the street. Change your daily routine. Then start bigger things. Learn to roller skate? Learn new things. Do stuff you don’t usually do. Every day.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Change your relationship with fear. Let your fears motivate you to grow, change, and get excited about different things. Your new future in the law awaits.

Workbook to get you started without leaving your day job

I have created a workbook to help with your first steps towards your new future in law.

Let’s transform your daydreams to action. Giving you focus, and a clear roadmap to follow.

This workbook gives you a step-by-step plan to start today without leaving your day job. It reveals the secret sauce of turning the traditional model of starting a business upside down.

You know the person you want to be. How you want your life to feel.

If you are not sure where to start to make your next move in law. I’m here with the workbook. Your roadmap to happiness. Grab it – it is the perfect and easy way to start. And yes, it’s free.

Workbook cover - 4 steps to start your business without leaving your day job

FREE WORKBOOK

4 steps to start your business without leaving your job

Image of Hannele Korhonen Legal Designer

Who’s writing?

Hi, I’m Hannele. I am an ex-corporate lawyer, legal designer, pioneer in legal tech, serial entrepreneur and blogger.  I am the founder and teacher in Lawyer’s Design School.

I’m here to teach you new skills and mindset of legal design to thrive in the future of law.

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