When I became a lawyer in 2004, the word “entrepreneur” didn’t exist in my vocabulary. Sure, I knew what it was, but I couldn’t fathom being one. It wasn’t until 10 years later that I admitted to myself that the practice of law was not my true destiny and it was time to make the leap into being my own boss.
As E.E. Cummings once said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” You see, for 10 years, I worked in a profession that I excelled in, but didn’t fulfill me. I practiced civil litigation and the contentious nature of it chipped away at my inner core. The phrase “I’m filing sanctions against you” was almost as commonplace as saying hello or goodbye to someone. The work I did became very rote, and I literally became like a robot just churning and burning it out day after day. Law was a grind, and the more I did it, the more constricted I felt in my creativity and persona. I recognized that the bosses I worked for were bosses but not great leaders, and I dreamed of great leadership. And, while I continued to grow my career on the outside, it left me feeling incomplete on the inside. That type of feeling is one that will drown your psyche into self-deprecating thoughts, and it took me to a very low point emotionally.
By nature, I’ve always leaned on creative thoughts and free-thinking. Perhaps it is because I am right-brained, left-handed, or simply because my mom spent my childhood years doing brain teasers with me at the dinner table.
When I left practicing law, I went from feeling underwhelmed in my career to thriving in it as entrepreneur. I was in now in the driver’s seat and able to control my impact on the world. That shift in my life shifted my mindset. The idea of taking risks didn’t scare me. I wanted to take them head on and see how I could improve myself in the challenges along the way. I yearned for more creativity and became inspired by it.
I am often asked, “Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?” I probably knew it subconsciously, but I didn’t recognize it until I accepted that being a lawyer was simply my job but it was not my passion or my purpose. You see, we tend to tell people what we do, but don’t acknowledge enough that what we do may not be who we are. I was a lawyer by trade, but a writer by passion. When I accepted that as my reality, my mindset changed as did my personal growth.
Entrepreneurship helped me identify who I was and it enabled me to create an authentic personal brand. Entrepreneurship taught me that following my passion gave me purpose and fulfillment. Most importantly, entrepreneurship provided me with focus and greater self-awareness by refining my business model, maximizing my effectiveness, and propelling myself to master my own destiny.
Originally published at medium.com