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From Attorney to Author Adventures in Book Writing and Expanding My Comfort Zones
When I was first told that I should write a book, I distinctly remember my dumbfounded reaction. A marketing and networking group I’m part of was discussing ways attorneys could provide additional expertise to clients, and book writing was one of the options my peers found beneficial. The idea was so daunting to me. I said, “How the heck am I going to do that?” Between running my own practice, helping my clients, and raising my two busy and active kids with my wife, there’s already very little time for extracurricular activities. Besides, I remember thinking, do I even have anything worth saying? As I work on the second edition of my first book, I guess the answer to that question would be “yes.” In January 2019, my book “Planning Ahead: Everything You Need to Know About Estate Planning and Elder Law”was published. I can still remember the frenzy my mom and grandmother had over my published work, asking me to sign their copies for them. It was very sweet. My family was amazed by the accomplishment, and, to be completely honest, I am too. When I was finally persuaded over my initial fears, I decided I couldn’t just sit at a computer and stare at the blinking cursor as it mocked me. In fact, I don’t think I would have finished the project if I had. Instead, I picked up my phone and spent an hour every day rambling. I pulled from my own experiences with elder law, both personally and professionally, and I would continually ask myself what I wish I would have known when my grandparents were facing
complications from entering long-term care. I knew that if I wanted this book to be relatable, I had to speak like I was talking directly to a client; I had to cut the legalese and get to the center of people’s concerns. A few sessions of chattering away later, I believed I had enough content to create some semblance of a book, and I sent it off to a company to be translated. I did some editing and shifting upon receiving the written words and sent the finished version off to my publisher for editing. After working their magic on my ramblings and choosing the cover art, the thoughts, advice, and guidance I provide for clients every day was bound into a real paperback book. It’s still amazing to see something that was once just me talking into my phone for hours as a real, tangible book. I’ve been amazed at the reaction from my family, and I’m grateful for the clients who have read this first edition and passed it on to their families. I’m currently working on another chapter for the book, and the second edition is set to be released this year. Never could I have imagined that I would write a book, much less have two editions of it! My work has even grown past authoring a book to include public speaking as well. This spring, I have been asked to speak at a couple of events, and, after getting past another initial “Well, who would want to hear me speak?” phase, I’m encouraged and excited to share my expertise with the local community. There are many points in my career where I have stopped and been in awe of how far I have come. Looking back to where I started —
from sharing an office with another attorney, staring at the phone, and praying it would ring — to where I am now, I am blown away. Now, Monteforte Law, P.C. has its own new, bright office space that is easily accessible to my clients, and I’m answering questions from new clients each day. My goal was always to be a resource for clients, so they didn’t have to fear the same outcomes my family did. I’m proud to say I’ve been able to give back, and I can’t wait to see how my clients continue to help me grow.
–Michael Monteforte Jr.
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