It's All About 3 Seconds

A decade ago, I left one of Latvia’s largest law firms, where I had spent more than 10 years advising local and international clients on different legal matters. I remember sitting in my home office with my agenda like a blank page in front of me. It was clear that I should start my own practice, but I had no clue how. The experience I gained in the large firm was of faint help.

But what I had was courage and persistence. I contacted the large and worldwide-known publisher Baker McKenzie Link (formerly LawInContext) for whom I had done a few minor formal reviews and updates.

After a few emails, I was already on a call with head of the publisher. That fantastic and open-minded personality, not knowing anything about me, took a chance and made me an offer. I don’t precisely recall the dialogue we had, but it was along the lines of this:

The publisher: Well, having considered the possibility at hand, the only thing we can offer you to contribute to is the Latvia content in a Private Banking Helpdesk we run. Basically, this helpdesk is focused on all legal and practical aspects wealthy people should solve and consider when relocating their assets. Can you do that?

Me: … Sure, I can. 

When the phone call was over, I realized I had agreed to a project I had no idea how to accomplish. Nevertheless, a couple of months of intense work and a few revision iterations later, there it was: 80 pages of family, business, corporate, charity, insurance, finance planning, tax planning, and cross-border solution topics from all angles described — and a lot of new know-how gained for myself.

At the end of 2020, the publisher announced the decision to discontinue upholding of the said helpdesk — the entire project was closed. Over its time, the Latvia helpdesk had developed into a 200+ page resource even more complex than at its inception. The know-how and experience gained during these years has been fantastic. I am absolutely grateful to the publisher’s team for their amazing cooperation and support during these years.

What this experience has taught me is that there are a lot of opportunities all around us, we just need to stay open-minded to them. The ideas at first may seem crazy or impossible to manage, but this may become a drive to reach higher targets than ever assumed possible. There’s a saying, “We adopt the right decision in the first three seconds. The rest of the time after that, we’re just trying to persuade ourselves not to stick to that decision.” Maybe it’s true and three seconds is all what we need to fly high.

Yes, there will be some free time in my agenda soon. But most probably it won’t stay unused long, new challenges will come. The only thing required: Stay open-minded and have courage to take the challenges offered.