Several months ago, a colleague came into my office and said he wanted to talk to me about leaving my job and joining a partnership with him, forming a new firm.
“Are YOU CRAZY???” I said? “How can I leave my office, my coworkers, my paycheck, people will be mad at me. THERE WILL BE BLOOD!”
“Huh.” He said. “It hadn’t occurred to me that you might not need me…”
“I’ll think about it,” I said.
I talked to Scott. He thought I should do it. I talked to Mom. She thought I should do it. She called me back to tell me that my 99 year old grandma had said to tell me: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I wanted to do it. It was scary.
I approached my bosses. They were angry with the colleague for asking me. They were sad, they were supportive. I said I’d think about it some more.
The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. I was scared. With a regular paycheck, I know I can hit my bills. I don’t know about all this overhead and such, licensing, paperwork, insurance, etc.
I told Matt, the colleague, that I’d do it, but that he had to set everything up. I told my bosses at my old job that I was going to do it. They told me to give them 60 days notice, I said okay.
We started looking for a building, and found one pretty quickly. We have the option to buy it at today’s prices in the next few years if we want. I said I could order letterhead if Matt would do everything else. We were set to go August 1.
Then my bosses placed an ad, saying that they were looking for someone to start July 1. They asked if I could leave the 15th, they told me they couldn’t keep two lawyers on for more than a couple of days. I told them I was going to probably have to shoot for opening the 1st of July. So that is how, half way through June, Matt & I had, suddenly, 2 weeks to get everything in order.
Luckily, Matt had been doing a lot of set up to get things up and running, and it was a matter of dates. I ordered the letterhead. I told Matt that if his name was going first I wanted the big office. I got the big office.
Suddenly I realized that I know NOTHING about decorating, and suddenly there was a big office to decorate. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Then I remembered my secret weapon. Embee.
Embee is what we call style gifted. I am what we call style challenged. I asked her if she would help. She said she’d promised herself never to decorate another office again. Then she said yes, because she is an awesome friend. Before and after pics here.
Let me tell you, I could not have done what she did with that office if I had all the money and time in the world. She was quite patient with me, going out, looking at things I liked, and saying, mmm, No.
So here we are. The last time I had this much change in my life at once or, as Grace Paley once brilliantly put it, Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, I was pregnant with Charlie and my ex-and his girlfriend had just gotten in their really romantic motorcycle accident and I was about to be a broke single mom.
This feels nicer.
Soon I hope to have clients, and to figure out how to work the thermostat in my office. Ms. Caroline is our receptionist. Thursday I did my first ever really girly thing in my whole life and took Caroline and our paralegal out for nail related stuff at the local Vietnamese nail salon. They got pedicures. I got tips to cover up my psoriasisy regular nails and now I click click click on they keyboard. Also I wish I spoke Vietnamese so I knew what they were saying to each other while we were there, and also because it’s an awesome sounding language. I’m girly as hell now, I tell ya. Well, womanly.
Watch me fly.