There was a perversely fascinating post on Susan Cartier Liebel's blog yesterday about some guy who's auctioning his law degree off on eBay. Susan's comment is evenhanded, gracious and thoughtful.
Mine won't be.
The diploma seller, who claims his name is David Wold (although he's not listed in Martindale-Hubbell) spends 750 words going on (and on and on) about how he spent $100,000 for his diploma, and how he hates his job, his life, and so on.
My post won't be gracious because I have been exactly where he claims to be. I got my diploma, too, at enormous expense. My legal career didn't work out, either. I was deeply in debt, not making a lot of money, and really not happy being a lawyer. So, when I comment, it's not hypothetical. See?
I think that, in one fell swoop, this guy has made himself a living example of how not to think about being a lawyer. He's a lemming walking off a cliff. And by whining and pouting, he's simply digging his grave deeper. On the other hand, this thing may also simply be a PR stunt for his new porn site (I'm not making this up). But there's a lesson to be learned here. It's short, and it's simple, and it's critically important. And it's one every wounded veteran, every single mother, every failed entrepreneur and every fat person who wants to lose weight, among others, has to learn.
It doesn't matter how you got to where you are. The only thing that matters is what you are going to do about it. You can whine about unfair breaks, circumstances, or, in Mr. Wold's case, education policy, until the cows come home, and it's going to get you absolutely nowhere. Until you actually do something, you're in neutral.
If you're a lawyer, you may hate marketing. You may feel like you lack the time, the trainng, the motivation, and the prospects. There may be a thousand factors lined up against you. And you know what?
None of that matters in the slightest. At the end of the day, the week, the month, the year, your career, results are results. Either you get going, beginning from where you are right now, and make it happen, or you don't. The rest is detail.