Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hang my own shingle?

For the last few weeks, a good friend of mine and I have been debating whether we should settle for a low-paying associate position contributing our blood, sweat and tears or whether we should instead light out on our own and start our own shop. I'll readily admit that the idea of doing so is thrilling and terrifying at the same time. Who doesn't enjoy the idea of working for yourself and fighting for your clients? But that comes with alot of risk. How will I pay those seemingly insurmountable school loans that will be coming due six-months after graduation? How will I get clients? Do I have what it takes to make it? At the same time, the thought of working really hard for some schmuck who is getting rich off my efforts while throwing me crappy grunt work does not sound appealing. At all. I've already worked really really hard for someone else and it was not gratifying. Sure I'd welcomed the security of having a steady paycheck, health insurance and other benefits but I was unfulfilled. I like the idea of building something of my own on my own. And I know me. If it's mine, I will jump up to start the day and make it a success. It's give me the opportunity to do what I love, to pick and choose cases (hopefully), and to have the instant gratification of helping someone. Of course, it also puts me directly in the line of fire - but I've never been afraid of that.

The biggest challenge right now is deciding where. BF has a great job here in Boston. He's on the fast track at his company and his family is here too. And my friend from law school is putting her plans in motion to start her own practice and has invited me to join her. She and her husband just bought a commercial space with their tenants paying the mortgage. They're very well-connected in their community which means we'll have clients right away. I love the area - it's beautiful. It's got it all - the ocean, four seasons, amazing restaurants, unrivaled education. But it's not home. So if not Boston, where then?? BF and I have been talking about heading back to Texas. I want to go to Dallas to be closer to my family plus I have an "in" at a firm there. BF hates the Dallas area but is willing to consider Austin. He's an environmental engineer and there are lots of environmental companies headquartered in Austin. Plus, we are all about the lifestyle - commuting via the greenbelts, the landscape of hill country, sailing on Lake Travis, biking community, the food, the artsy vibe, the bluesy bars, and as BF will usually mention in all of our discussion, Shiner Bock! So we're now considering it seriously.

So it's scary. It's thrilling. It's alot of pressure. But what else is new. That's living.