This week in Young, Hungry & Committed, virtual office NYC attorney Vivian Sobers explains how her practice has become overwhelming, and as a result she has not been taking care of herself like she should be doing.
My best friend recently moved back to Italy with her fiance. She has a very nurturing personality and was the person in my life that kept me in line (personally that is). She was the one who pushed me to eat healthier, go to the gym, and get to bed before the day technically turned into the next one.
When she moved 4,300 miles and six time zones away, I soon realized how much I had relied on her to keep my personal life in order.
Around the time that she moved, I had been working on expanding my solo law practice, and even started taking on contract help to assist me in processing all the new legal work I was bringing in. That gave me free time to go out and market my firm.
I created a monster that I’m struggling to handle on my own.
What I ended up discovering is that I have a lot to learn about managing other people. I am no longer working with any of those contract attorneys and I am officially back to being a one-woman army (more on this topic next week).
What I now have is a significantly bigger solo law practice and no additional hands to help get the work done. It feels like being the owner of an exotic pet; perhaps a cute baby chimpanzee that grew up faster than expected and eventually ripped off my face.
The physical manifestation of the Hamsters in my head.
What has resulted has been the physical manifestation of the hamsters in my head. I find I cannot sleep more than three hours at a time. Additionally, I have been eating poorly and I have not made it to the gym in weeks.
My weight is up, and I feel like my overall health is down.
As I sit in my office surrounded by a pile of paper (frequently after normal business hours), the pressure to “get myself organized” is astronomical. I understand that organization will help manage the overwhelm, and I have been in this business long enough, both as an attorney and paralegal, to know how to setup and manage a system to run a law office efficiently.
The truth is, I am exhausted, and the exhaustion leaves me struggling to find the motivation to get things done.
Am I being tested by a higher power?
My Law Firm Suites colleagues have advised me that these are good problems to have (well, maybe not the weight gain). I have been advised that this is a sign my solo law practice has become successful, and that I must learn the skills required to move myself and my firm to the next level.
But right now it feels like God, the Universe, or whatever higher power you may believe in, is testing me; making sure that I am ready to handle the responsibility of the next level of professional success.
It certainly doesn’t feel great right now (and I don’t either), but I am committed to working my way through it.
I will keep you posted.
Feeling pressure to organize your law practice?
Get our eBook, Organize for Law Practice Success.
Vivian Sobers is a commercial litigator pursuing a solo law practice right out of law school. She is a client in Law Firm Suites’ Virtual Office Program. Vivian’s weekly blog series “Young, Hungry and Committed” documents the trials and tribulations of a young attorney navigating her way through the challenging world of self-employed legal practice.
Everytime I read these posts I ask myself why you are doing this? Your marriage ends, you may have rage issues, your brain will not stop working, and your health is slipping. Are you trying to wear all this like a badge of honor? A sign of all you are willing to suffer for a legal practice? All that I feel is sorrow when I read these things. Vivian, please do not misunderstand, I speak with neither malice nor judgement, but this is not worth it. Having your name on a door and a practice that will be replaced the moment you are in the ground – these are not the things you sacrifice a family and health for. Please, reconsider what you are doing.