Category Archives: “Involuntary” entrepreneurs

“I was a Washington lawyer” — Washingtonian Magazine

Here's another heartwarming, uplifting story (in Washingtonian magazine) of a lawyer who left the field of First Class travel and lots of dollars in return for lots and lots of billable hours , then reinvented himself into a happier field. "… what I wanted to do all along was tell stories. and play rock n' roll.")

His name? Ron Liebman.  His core point: if you're a practicing lawyer, ". . .to make it work you have to live the job. and if you live the job, there goes the rest of your life. It took me a while to get that."

It took me a while, too. Like him, I (also) was a Washington lawyer. And a New York lawyer. And a Virginia lawyer.  And, to paraphrase the old saying about boats, "The second happiest day of my life was when I finished law school and got admitted to the bar (s), but the happiest day was when I walked away from law and lawyering."

Why am I including this story: because this blog is about (beyond sales) career reinvention, going off on your own, career change, and self-employment as a career opton.

In any case, for more on Ron Liebman and his books

For his article in Washingtonian"I was a Washington lawyer"



“Pulling off the ultimate career makeover” — Fortune

When I was starting-up on this blog, I expected the main readership would be among new business start-ups, consultants, new free-lancers, people new to selling and sales.  Why? Mainly because the economy was begining to slide down, and a lot of people were going off on their own— some as involuntary entrepreneurs, others as self- reinventors in advance of getting laid off.

It hasn't been that way, so far as I can tell: most of the readership seems to be professional sales people, folks who already know their way around a sales call, and were looking for fresh ideas.

Yes, that kind of info is here, but also here are a lot of the basics of getting started in sales, or starting up a new venture, finding prospects, and making a convincing case. There are also a lot of free sales training articles drawn from books (Selling 101, How to Sell Face-to-Face Survival Guide, Sales Training Tutorials, and Sales Presentations and Demonstrations.

In any case, for the "reinventors" out there, let me recommend the article, "pulling off the ultimate career makeover" in Fortune, issue of July 4, 2011.   Case studies include,

  • An owner of franchises who sold them off and is setting up his own franchise operation, Yogurt Mountain. (Full disclosure: I have not, repeat not, received any free samples!)
  • A sales executive formerly with the likes of Intel, Dell, and NetApp who, after being down-sized, first became a free-agent, then was hired as director of marketing of a social media operation.
  • A lawyer, downsized after the media burst bubble burst in 2000, who turned around to become a contractor with the same firm. That led to a further reinvention as she set up what's best described as a legal firm of part-time lawyer contractors, many of them women juggling work and school-age kids.
  • A director of strategic development and communicaitons who got cut when that company was acquired. He then did what any good consultant and strategist does, develop his "brand" after an analysis (which makes very good reading) of his passions and skills.  Now he's consulting full-time.
  • Another lawyer who left the practice (good for him!) to become an author of mystery novels. (First reinvention.) Then when the market for paper books started sliding, he moved into the e-book field and took on self-publishing his backlist for Kindle and the like. (Second reinvention.)    By the way, as a "reformed" lawyer myself, I can't resist giving a plug to another lawyer who found "real work," hence this: his name is Paul Levine and you can read more about his mysteries at  Website of Paul Levine 

Fortune article: Pulling off the ultimate career makeover, by Douglas Alden Warshaw