Episode 204 – Creating the space to stop and smell the roses with Paul Cott
In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing lawyer Paul Cott- a Melbournian through and through who has found his ‘other home’ in sunny Ballarat! I learned a lot in this chat about life in Victoria- particularly through the ups and downs of 2020- and as you listen, I suspect you will soon find yourself in love with the location as much as Paul clearly is.
It is Paul’s passion for living a purposeful life that really shines through in this interview. Through a series of considered decisions, Paul has built a career in the law that certainly enables him to have the life that matters to him. It is in this piece that I think we can all learn a lot from Paul.
Paul’s decision to study and practice law came ‘later in life’ as they say but it is a decision he continues to be grateful for. These days he runs a smart boutique practice from his home town, primarily working in employment and commercial law for members of his local community. He has found that magical ‘balance’ between work life and life and I sense it is his mindset that has been the key here.
In this interview, Paul and I also chatted about-
- If Paul was not a lawyer he would have been a landscape gardener as he shares his passion for his own garden.
- Paul grew up in Melbourne at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges and shares some of his fondest childhood memories.
- Paul started off working in a bank, but after a number of years made a career shift into Law.
- His decision to follow the law was driven by the intellectual challenge it brought, along with a chance to help people.
- Graduating at age 34, Paul’s first job was as an Article Clerk as a commercial lawyer. We discussed the challenges of getting that first foot in the door.
- Paul’s experience of starting as a ‘lawyer’ but feeling totally out of his depth in terms of knowledge. The application of law vs the study of law.
- The true love story of Paul meeting his now wife Kathy and how, 2 weeks after meeting her, he moved to Ballarat.
- While living in Ballarat, Paul was commuting to Melbourne- a 3 hour round trip.
- The story of how a client, who resided in Ballarat, pushed Paul to start his own law firm locally.
- ‘Law on Lydiard’ was born and Paul shares the highs and highs of owning his own law firm since opening just under 3 years ago.
- His focus is employment law, domestic building disputes, wills and estates and commercial litigation, however, most of his work is focused on dispute work.
- Paul has an obvious passion for the work he does, and although he refers to it as an ‘easier’ area of law, he still finds challenges in his daily work.
- A day in the life of Paul Cott the business owner.
- Pauls tips for maintaining balance as a business owner, and taking off the lawyer hat when you go home.
- We discuss re-thinking what success looks like and the number of hours lawyers traditionally work.
- The joy in saying ‘no’ when you are your own boss and only working with clients who bring joy.
- Pauls advice to his 20-year-old self.
- Technological advances in business’ and the essential impact of human connection.
- Defining himself as a content lawyer he gives his advice to others who may not be as content in the law.
- Pauls’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Paul Cott.