The Dilbert Principle for Lawyers

You know how lawyers are pretty much the worst managers ever placed on Earth? Well, as Scott Adams wrote in the Wall St. Journal over the weekend, that’s an incredible gift. As he puts it, being managed by “hamster-brained sociopaths” is key to developing your own economic stimulus package: becoming an entrepreneur.

Dilbert out out demons of stupidity
You could try an exorcism, or you could try being an entrepreneur. Suddenly, entrepreneurship sounds sensible!

What’s that? No way are you an entrepreneur! Yeah, that’s the response I get a lot from clients when I first broach the topic. The fear kicks in as fierce as Katrina, except that you may not spot it for what it is. You may think you’re being practical, or something else equally silly.

If you’re list-making (i.e., problem-hunting) about how you don’t have drive, focus, self-discipline, blah, blah, blah, you haven’t given the idea of yourself as an entrepreneur an honest try. Law and the people who work in it are brainwashed into thinking that almost any risk is a bad one. As I go on about endlessly, law has pretty much become the business of fear.

From my own experiences, I can assure you there’s nothing more freeing than actually tackling your fears. Once you find the thing that lights you up, the rest is all manageable. Not easy, necessarily. But possible, yes, even by imperfect you. In fact, you’re serving a higher economic good, not to mention your soul, by trying that thing you always secretly wanted to but didn’t.

Or, as Adams puts it:

The primary purpose of management is to kill any hope that staying in your current job will work out for you. . . . The economy needs workers who are fed up, desperate and willing to quit their jobs for something better. Remember, only quitters can be winners, because you can’t do something great until first you quit doing something that isn’t.

Ponder that on a walk today. And maybe again tomorrow, or even the whole rest of the week. Drop me a comment about what the article did for getting you started as seeing yourself as an entrepreneur. I’d love to hear about it.

Jennifer Alvey is a recovering lawyer whose life improved a lot once she embraced her inner entrepreneur. She coaches attorneys who are searching for a better life than working 80-hour weeks under PTSD-inducing conditions. And she even offers half-hour free sample coaching sessions. Contact her at jalvey AT to share your secret entrepreneurial dreams.

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