Hello 2019!

Rather than kicking off the year with a list of resolutions, I would rather begin with reflections on things I learned in 2018. I want to learn from the L's (losses) and turn them into Wins and eventually Millions.

1. Reference Letters

When we went to University, the only instructions many of us were told were "get good grades, so you can get a good job." Thats exactly what I did, I got my good grades and thought after walking across the graduation stage, I wouldn't ever need to see those lecturers again.

Until... I decided I wanted to go to Graduate School and apply for Academic Fellowships. Most of the applications required a reference letter from someone who knows your academic work. My mouth went dry, and stomach was twisting as I racked my mind thinking of who I could approach.

If you, similarly to me, experienced this rude awakening and didn't get the cheat code to make friends with your lecturers- don't panic. Make sure you build relationships with your seniors and clients where you are right now to ensure you can get a solid reference letter in future.

2. LSAC!

If you are applying to a law school in the USA, get ready for the torture of LSAC. This is the Law School Admissions Council and they collate applications to 95% of the law schools in the USA. You need to give at least 3 months and at least $400 for your law school application to make it to its intended destination.

LSAC has centralized applications to law schools so, unless you apply to Harvard Law School or Cornell Tech, you will have to go through LSAC. The whole system is horrible and confusing- read the fine print or you will miss your application deadlines like I have.

3. Have A Plan B Country

As I have been speaking to my friends in South Africa and Zimbabwe,  I have learned that a number of them are working on a plan to leave their respective countries to seek better economic opportunities. Perhaps I am too ideological and I have sipped too much of the the "Africa is Rising" juice that I am too drunk to read the signs with my sepia coloured lenses.

Apparently to have access to the best resources and opportunities, you need to get rid of or supplement your green passport. I have started to browse through some countries, but to be honest I love living in South Africa. As a professional you get to live a first world lifestyle at third world prices. I am not really thinking of leaving South Africa for any time beyond 5 years to gain international exposure.

As a legal professional it may not be so easy to just pack up and go to another legal system. I think you would have to move to a country that is prominent in your practice area. Eg if you practiced mining law or construction, then a move to Australia or Canada may be more feasible.

4. Gym Is A Scam

Your favourite gyms don't want you to show up. They just want you to sign on the dotted line and permit the debit order. They know in January you are all kinds of hype, but by March they know your commitment to after work drinks and Netflix will take over, leaving them with your cash in their hands.

According to The Hustle newsletter, "the nation’s largest gym chains often sign up 20x the number of people who can actually fit in a given location. They are well aware that most won’t show up. As Planet Money reported, one Planet Fitness branch in NYC had a max capacity of about 300, but boasted more than 6k members."

Rather than falling into the vicious cycle, avoid it completely and explore new ways of working out. Set up a mini gym in your home with a yoga mat, a set of weights, resistance bands, a pull up bar and medicine ball. If you want to socialise, you can join a running club or take part in the weekend Parkruns. I have set up my small home gym and watch Popsugar on Youtube for workout routines.

5. Travel

Don't just travel to take bikini pics, but rather to incorporate your work with play. When you are going to new destination, try to connect with local entrepreneurs or lawyers in that area so that you can exchange ideas and grow the network because you never know when you will need to refer a matter in Bolivia!

Meet people through co working spaces like WeWork, which has offices in every major city on each continent (except Africa). Send the desired office an email and explain you are visiting that city so you want to work there for a day and they could let you do so for free :)

Ps: Find out beforehand if you need a yellow fever shot for travel to some countries out there. I almost missed a trip to Lagos because of this!

There is still so much I am learning about being an adult like money management, growing a property portfolio, food combining, choosing a life partner and so much more. I am sure you know something I don't, so please share it below.


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