by Howard T. Scott, author of “Rascal on the Run”
Do you ever feel like you are on a treadmill with no purpose or end in sight? I can relate. Twenty years ago I reached my starting point and was the last time I left a courtroom. I had been in the practice for more than two decades and I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. However, I didn’t choose on a whim. The legal profession was all I knew. My father and grandfather were lawyers, and I started working for my father’s law firm as a teenager. But as time went on, I took stock of the increasingly dire state my colleagues and I were facing. A once noble profession had turned into an advertising game. I stared at alcoholism and depression. So i left
Now I can sail in the Caribbean and write books. My life is exactly the way I want it to be, simple and beautiful. How did I do this? Like any good lawyer, I made a plan.
Always have multiple sources of income
As a lawyer, I’ve made an excellent living. I mean i was really good! What wasn’t good, however, was the constant stress and the nagging feeling that my job was killing me. I knew I had to find some way to finance my escape, so I started investing in real estate while I was still working. I imagined it to be a safety net and didn’t touch it until I needed it. When I finally set out on the high seas with my yacht, the Capricho, I was glad to have this security.
Jumping off the corporate ladder is the perfect time to learn the art of side business. As I left my lucrative career behind and set sail, I was open to any unconventional job or freelance gig that came my way. Every dollar earned helped keep my freedom.
Turn your passions into paid jobs
Making a fresh start after exiting the rat race is your ticket to discover the possibilities of your talents. They say you get a fee for decorating? Start getting your Interior Design Certificate right away and start your own business. Apply the same theory to sitting, landscaping, and grooming pets – you name it. They just did it for fun all along, so why not turn it into income? You may not earn as much as you do in your daily work, but you will be happy
The Joneses? I have never heard of them before
It’s so easy to get tangled up in the game of appearances. The better you are, the higher the stakes, right? Fancy homes, cars, and exclusive country club memberships are prizes in a competition you can never win, and suddenly you find yourself knocking yourself off trying to accomplish things you will never have time to do . Who are you doing this for Finding the courage to break this cycle feels good, as does putting aside the expectations of others. The Joneses really aren’t that important.
Stick to your hobbies
While you should be proactive about earning income wherever you can, remember that not all passions can be monetized, and that’s a good thing. It is important that you prioritize hobbies like reading, crafting, cycling, geocaching, yoga, or whatever else you do in order to stay anchored and healthy as you navigate through the next chapter of your life. These are the things that keep you grounded, the actions that make you love yourself. Regular engagement is also a great way to network with like-minded people who share your vision.
Sometimes these hobbies will lead you to your next big opportunity. I had always dreamed of writing novels, but I never had the time. When I finally left my law firm and embarked on a sailing adventure, I took my chance. I wrote my novel Rascal on the Run while hopping around the island and no one was more surprised than me when it was picked up by a publisher! The old adage is true: you never know until you try.
Self care is a real thing. Take care of yourself.
Something tells me, by the time you’re reading this, you probably already feel the need to do something new. Taking a clean break is scary, but one of the healthiest benefits is the luxury of not worrying about how people perceive you. This is your time to focus on what makes you feel alive. It is your time to go where the electricity will take you. You are the captain of your own destiny.
After thirty years as a lawyer in Georgia, Howard T. Scott moved from the courtroom to writing fiction inspired by anecdotes from the southern storytelling tradition in which he is immersed. He is one of the founding partners of the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise – the world’s only Chartered Blues Cruise – and a lover of live music, fitness, nature, monument protection and travel. Rascal on the Run is his first novel.