Since starting this self-employment racket, I’ve met at different times with a respected business consultant to solos who need assistance managing growth, marketing, strategic planning, etc. He actually told me not to quit my job and go out on my own in 2009 (saying I didn’t have enough liquid capital), but I don’t hold grudges. I usually see him once a year, but this year, I’ve been spending about an hour a week with him for the past couple of months, as I try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. We’ve talked about likes and dislikes about my current practice and have come up with mission statements and stuff. It’s been expensive, but enlightening.
Part of his list of recommendations for me included adding another practice area–one that’s not as likely to involve the daily confrontations and pissing matches my current professional life includes. As hesitant as I’ve been to learn an entirely new area of law, I figured it was worth a shot. So, I found an instructional conference in Philadelphia, moved a bunch of stuff off my calendar, and went. I didn’t tell my brother or anyone else I knew that I was coming, as I wanted to spend some time alone reflecting on the material learned during the day and, hopefully, networking. The latter goal was more difficult than I anticipated, so I followed Bossy’s advice and visited Zahav alone, her “fav restaurant in the city.” It was “restaurant week,” but I was able to find a seat at the bar. It was awesome. I went to bed fairly early afterward, so I could learn some stuff the next day.
After classes ended, I wanted to run…I’ve found it to be the best way to see a new city. Except all I’d packed for exercising was a t-shirt and shorts. I looked a bit ridiculous surrounded by jacketed pedestrians, but I went with it.
I started along the river.
Crossed a street somewhere and made my way through some local neighborhoods. Followed the signs to Independence Hall.
Worked my way past the Liberty Bell, and finally found my way back to the hotel in time to shower, change, and go where Bossy said the hipsters go for dinner: Buddakan. Again, I sat at the bar, but this time, I was able to engage the bar tender a bit. Patrick was a Penn State student and had grown up in Gettysburg, so we had much to discuss in the areas of college football and the Civil War. I let a few hours and more than a few of these pass before I realized I’d pretty much killed my night:
As I recall, it was called a “solid,” and it included Bulleit bourbon, Thai cola, lime, and ginger. I hit the hotel bar for a nightcap (and some bonding with other conference attendees) and got up in time to have my cabbie take me here on the way to the airport:
He pulled over illegally, let me out, and I ran up the steps. I walked down and snapped a picture of my favorite protagonist.
I flew home, got up the next morning at 0500, and was ceremoniously pinned a Lieutenant Colonel. My dad, a retired Lt. Colonel himself, pinned on the silver oak leaves.
My bride had hoped to be a part of the ceremony, but she was at a conference herself in Salt Lake City, so I told her to wait for the Colonel ceremony in a few years.