January 11, 2012 at 8:19 am | Posted in small law, the book biz | 1 Comment
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In my current job, I need to do a fair amount of networking. When I was a BigLaw corporate lawyer, I spent my weeknights billing big corporate clients. Junior lawyers had no real client interaction, so networking was entirely self-initiated in anticipation of the day when you would want to flee BigLaw (or they let you go).

As a mother, one really didn’t have time to network anyway. You do your work, you go home and put your children to bed, and then you log back in and bill, bill, bill to try to make up the deficit of leaving working early.

Now, however, I work for a very small firm and am expected to generate a degree of business. In addition, as a literary agent I represent a number of authors and am expected to keep finding more. So I have built into my personal “business plan” that I go to an event one night a week. I set that expectation with our nanny, and I try to tell her as far ahead as possible which night that will be. Often, my husband is out with clients one night a week, as well, and while we try to make sure they are different nights, on some nights the nanny ends up putting the children to bed (which causes me a pang of guilt).

On one hand, being in an entrepreneurial environment with small children is challenging. There is of course quite a great deal more business generation I could and arguably should be doing to try to build up my own little practice. And I still do have to bill a certain number of hours in order to cover costs and, um, make money. I don’t think I was entirely aware of this when I left the corporate world.

On the other hand, there is something really great about changing up the “bed, bath & beyond” routine for a night and mingling with creative people, often holding a glass of wine. Of course, when the event is over at 9 p.m. and I have to get myself home and wind down and then the children are up, just as the moon sets at a very early hour, I vow to go to sleep by 8 p.m. the following night.

It’s all a balance and a juggle, isn’t it?

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