WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?
The advent of the browser. I was working as a lawyer at the Securities & Exchange Commission in the mid-90s. Due to happenstance, I became the “Internet guy” in my Division. This led to speaking appearances & I began to write articles for publications.
After I left the government in 1998, I launched my own website and sold it. Then by chance, I read about software that allowed someone to “blog” – sounded odd that anyone would want to read your diary. But I created a blog and was one of the first lawyers to do so in 2002 – and I have blogged daily ever since.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I often start work about 5:30 am because I believe in posting my blogs before my community gets to work. We have 10 blogs. After a few hours of work, I walk the dog and go to yoga. Then more work. A nap. Etc.
Nearly all of my communication is by email. I’ve gotten my job down to a science where I average about two phone calls per week. And zero meetings. I’ve had enough jobs where unproductive meetings can crush your entire day fast.
WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE?
Nothing too fancy. A laptop is pretty much all I need. I have some sophisticated podcast equipment now for my “BigLegalMinds.com” series – but that’s because I’ve started to tape longer format podcasts in addition to shorter ones that I conducted by phone.
WHAT DO YOU DO OR GO TO GET INSPIRED?
Hypnosis and meditation. Although to a large extent, they are related. I am a certified hypnotist. There are many myths about hypnosis – but once you realize they are just myths, you can tap into that 90% of your brain that isn’t being used.
Even my dreams are much more creative if I’ve been hypnotized several days in a row. You can hypnotize yourself by making a tape for you to listen to – so you can direct yourself where you want to problem solve.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?
Anything written by Pema Chodron.
WHAT IS THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?
I’m nearing the end of my work bucket list. Creating a bevy of online “colleges” for younger lawyers. Doing this by offering content in a variety of ways – including hard copy if folks want to read.
Since the educational experience mainly is boring – read “ineffective” – in our society, I am trying to bring back the art of storytelling as a more effective tool. My tagline is “education by entertainment.”
Is there a Product, Solution, or Tool that you think is a Good Match For Your Digital Publishing Efforts?
Hiring good people.
ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS JUST STARTING OUT?
Reach out to those that you want to mentor you. But don’t bother to reach out if you’re truly not 100% committed to following through.
It should be shocking as to how little ambition younger people seem to have. But I can understand the apathy. That largely is a result of the very broken framework of how corporate lawyers work & live. The billable hour has nearly killed the industry. And younger lawyers are smart enough to look at it and say “I’ll do five years to pay back my student loans. Then, I’m out of here.” It happens a lot.