Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What freelancers need to understand about Legos

When I was a child, my brother and I spent countless hours building with Lego blocks. For the uninitiated (if there are any left in the world), Lego blocks are plastic building blocks about 1” x ½” or smaller that can be connected together to build things. We had a simple collection of Lego blocks with which we built whatever we dreamed up on any given day. Castles, forts, houses, cars, airplanes, robots, and more. If we could dream it, we could create it. We were limited only by our imagination, and, eventually, the number of blocks we had at our disposal.

When I moved to San Diego, I experienced a new level of the creative power of Legos on a visit to Legoland, a theme park with rides and attractions, all featuring the ageless Lego blocks. The sculptures and landscapes constructed out of hundreds of thousands of Lego blocks boggle the mind! Here is a picture of a massive dragon dwarfing the child standing next to it. Here is a picture of a replica of the Excalibur Hotel in Las Vegas, complete with cars, fountains, and tourists. These and hundreds more are all made out of those same individual Lego blocks I played with as a child.

So what do Legos have to do with freelancers? A lot, actually. Individual Lego blocks are colorful, useful, hardy, and practically indestructible. However, they have little use or longevity by themselves. By themselves, they are little different from any other piece of plastic and will, sooner or later, get sucked up by a vacuum cleaner and end up in a landfill. Together with other blocks, however, they can build the most amazing things, then be disconnected and be built into other amazing things. The possibilities are endless.

Freelancers are like Lego blocks. Individually they sit around the country, periodically used in projects (by law firms), but far too much of the time collecting dust on a shelf. It is hard to see that freelancers are even there. By themselves, they are small and don’t attract much attention. If a law firm is looking, even if they want to use a freelancer, they may not be able to find one.

Freelancers, it’s time to do some building. Unite together in a force that will be seen and cannot be ignored by the legal profession. NAFLP needs your participation to thrive and grow. Only you can make it happen.

1 comment:

SPurani said...

Melody - Your Lego metaphor is a fitting one. The industry is evolving and out of the box approaches to legal services is required to take advantage of the unfolding changes.
Now I think I'll visit Legoland with my kids next time I'm in SD... Thoughtful post.