Starting Up and Escaping a Life of Quiet Desperation


Henry David Thoreau once famously said that, “most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” That statement is likely more true today than it was in the 1840s, when he said it. With increased specialization, many adults sleepwalk through their professional years, operating on a level of minimum consciousness, never fully engaged or alive. They’re just there, mildly depressed and disappointed with how their lives have unfolded. They have just enough entertainment to keep them going from one moment to the next, but deep down, they know that this isn’t what they want.

As someone who starts his or her own business, a life of quiet desperation isn’t a luxury you possess.

Your professional survival depends on your actions, every day. You cannot hide your ambivalence beneath layers of bureaucracy. Either you create something that customers want or you do not. As someone who starts a business you will experience fear and inadequacy and depression and self-doubt. You may have moments or long stretches of time when you don’t get paid or struggle to earn wages that are far less than what you could have received with your skillset in a traditional corporate environment.

You look around and notice the lives of those who have chosen not to start their own businesses. Without question, those people lead lives that are more comfortable and predictable than yours. Starting a business won’t likely lead you to a comfortable or predictable life. Rather, starting a business is a means to fully engaging life. It’s a way to put your mark on your corner of the world.

It won’t be easy, but if you go there, and you stick with it, you will probably find that the decision to start your own business is among the most rewarding and important things you ever do.

My practice is dedicated to all those who seek to get there. In many ways, as a big-firm refugee choosing a non-traditional approach to legal practice, I’m right there alongside you. I cannot promise that reading my blog or working with me will guarantee success, but it will arm you with an accessible set of tools to avoid common mistakes that prevent success. And as you make your way, you’ll have no stronger advocate for your business than me.

Here’s to hoping you get it done!

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