I thought I was going to quit before I even got going.
Who knew college and licensing would be the easy part about becoming a paralegal?
I have been trying to start a business essentially blind. I don’t know anything about bookkeeping, taxes, or billing. Coupled with the fact that I don’t know how to be a fully functioning paralegal either, and you’ve got one absolutely panicked brand new paralegal business owner.
I worked hard for two years to get to this point, but I recently got an email about a case and I literally threw up because of the fear it put into me.
See I haven’t had the support behind me that I need to feel like I know what I’m doing. I have had two different mentors, both of whom rarely answer my messages. I applied for an advisor session and a coach at the law society, both did not find a match for me. And finally, had a meeting with a legal specialized counsellor (which was a little helpful).
I even did my first process serving the other day, and cried in the car because I was sure I’d messed it all up.
Suffice to say, this whole ‘new business’ thing has been so much harder than I thought it would be. But I did find some unlikely help in some very different ways. My brand-new-regulation-necessary bookkeeping program did a one-on-one demo that showed me all the things I didn’t know I was supposed to be doing all along. They even connected me with the branch that will catch up all of the discrepancies I’d made over the last eight months.
Plus the company I did the process serve for gave me so much positive affirmation that I didn’t know I desperately needed, and that helped me pick my head up off the floor and keep going. A program that I accidently signed up for connected me to a new, non legal mentor. And lastly, I found two new unlikely sources of mentorship by way of another paralegal newbie and my professional adversary.
The new motto I have given myself to get through it all is: I am beyond the point of caring if I look stupid.
This mantra has given me the newfound hope to keep trying. With it, I’ve felt the freedom to ask people the questions that are keeping me down, to reach out to other supports, and to be able to press on through the ever-impending sense of doom.
This new life as a business owner has been one of the hardest journeys that I’ve found myself on. The ups have been few, and the downs have been so utterly low that it knocks me right down.
I still haven’t decided If I’ll make it or not, but at least for now I’m not quitting.
We’ll see how next month goes….