Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Olympic hungry

Man, I have just loved keeping track of all of the Olympic trials, both for Canada and the US. Olympic time is my favourite time. I have gotten hyped during the summer every four years since 1984 when I watched the Olympics in my grandparent's living room. This year is even more exciting for me as my children are now getting to an age where they can start to appreciate some of the finer points of sports, and as they are now competing in sports themselves. Last night, my one daughter told me that she wants to be a doctor and an Olympian when she grows up. That really inspired me. Our swim team is called the Raymond Olympians, and both of my daughters are competing and my wife and I are coaching. Really cool. Really real.

I have also been getting in the water as much as possible, and my swimming is improving. Our family is all competing in a triathlon in August. I don't feel that I will be competitive at all, but I probably won't come in last place. I did a 10K in June that really hurt, but I was proud to have finished as I had not been training properly for weeks before the race, and I had woken that morning with aches and pains and a big headache. Work seemed to get in the way of training. Having my wife and daughters train for the triathlon is really inspiring and exciting for me. I have a bit of a cold/flu today, so training has taken a back seat again...at least for a few days.

I met with a fellow lawyer today at lunch, and was pleased to hear that my experience of seeing a decline in the amount of available work is not unique to my personal practice. He said that he is having to work harder to meet his own billable expectations. Those lawyers in Canada (especially sole practitioners) who think that the current state of affairs in the US and Canada is not going to affect them - they had better make sure that they are prepared, flexible and outgoing. Real estate has been the bread and butter for so many of us for a few years, but it's getting harder to rely on conveyancing to pay the bills...

It might be time to go do some more research into rainmaking tactics. Actually, my personal practice is thriving right now. Each month seems to bring an increase in client base and quality of work. There are some specific files that are bringing me great joy as I work on them. Further, I am getting better at firing those clients that I really do not appreciate working with. Also, each month I am gaining expertise in the areas that I am practicing in, and my confidence continues to grow. Each day brings its own challenges. It's not getting boring yet. This is the longest that I have held the same job (i.e. being a lawyer) in my life, I think. Well, that's not true - I was a lifeguard for many years, but that was usually part-time work, and I didn't really consider it a career. In any case, I feel I have reached a bit of a milestone in that my practice just passed its two-year anniversary (I opened my law firm the day after I passed the bar). Cool, huh?

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