Most solo and small law firm attorneys I encounter want success. They can visualize a life where they are making more than enough money and spending ample amounts of free time doing what brings them joy, whether that’s sitting on a beach, watching their kids perform in the school play, or just relaxing and not having to get up super early or be somewhere at a certain time.
And while we can envision what we want our success to look like, we see people who we perceive as successful leading lives that drastically differ from this ideal. They are working 80 hours a week. They’re exhausted. They may be moody. They may have health problems. They may just have a negative outlook on life.
In many cases, our brains will take this conflicting information and decide it must mean we can’t have it all. That you can only have so much of a good thing. We convince ourselves we must choose which good thing we want the most and forego the rest. We must choose between being a great parent, or being successful, or making a lot of money, or enjoying a quality of life. And then we find ourselves striving for something that is antithetical to what we truly want for ourselves – we want it all.
The belief “I can’t have it all” gets us trapped in wishy-washy behavior. For example, say you want free time. But your thoughts about success say, “if I have free time, I’m only going to make so much money and I’m not going to be a successful.” So, you start flipping back and forth between both of those realities: Sometimes you’re pursuing success; sometimes you’re pursuing rest and relaxation. Never both. As if those two things run counter to each other.
Doesn’t this sound exhausting? Disheartening? It is.
So, let’s change that.
I want to share with you a framework for success that will get you out of this mental trap and revamp how you approach your goals in the future.
How to Create Success Easier, Faster, and with More Ease
Before I tell you the “how”, I need you to promise yourself that you’ll read this blog to the end. That you won’t tune out right away. Because I know it will sound like something you’ve heard before. But I promise, there’s more to it than you think.
Ready? Here we go: The easiest way to create success is simply to create the vision.
Still with me? Excellent! So, let’s dive into what I mean by that.
Having a defined vision for what success means to you is the critical piece to creating success with ease because it ensures that you’re only acting on things that will get you closer to that specific reality.
This is the only way to avoid the inherent dissatisfaction that comes with creating something that is not tied to the vision that you have for your life. But I promised you a framework, right? Let’s dive into the steps and what they entail.
6-Step Framework For Success
When you create the vision, you have to get crystal clear on what it will require and what it will contain. That means that you have to get clear on things like money. Even if the goal is to enjoy your life, not stockpile money, it will take some amount of money to get you to that goal. You need to know what is actually required to fund your dream lifestyle.
Have fun with this part! Get into the juicy details of dreaming out loud. What kind of house are you going to have, what kind of flooring? What light fixtures, what neighborhood? When start creating your vision, you are creating a roadmap for your mind to manifest what you desire.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you create your vision:
- If money was no object, if people’s judgments and thoughts about this lifestyle were no object whatsoever, what would “the dream” be for me?
- Where am I going to live? Am I going to have one house or more than one house?
- What kind of cars am I going to drive?
- What kind of clothing am I going to wear?
- How frequently am I dining out? Do I have a personal chef when I’m home? Or am I going to love to prepare my own meals?
The answers don’t have to be lavish. They just have to be TRUE. Whatever you want to spend your time doing and whatever you want to spend your money on needs to have very clear, defined activity and that activity needs to be written down.
Step 2: Write your vision down. This will help you put energy behind this vision and the more energy you put in the direction of what you want, the easier it is to have. Hold on to this every time your brain tries to throw rationalizations at you as to why you can’t have what you want before you even start seeking it.
Plan for the eventuality of your vision becoming reality. This is arguably the least sexy step, but you don’t get to skip it. Consider what your life will look like when you are the person you want to be and start planning now for the changes that have to happen in order for you to be, do, and have what you need to create that dream life. I want you to think about who or what is going to need to join your life, and who or what may need to go, in order for your vision to become reality.
Embody the traits and behaviors of a person who already has your ideal lifestyle. And no, I’m not telling you to go out and spend all your money as if you’re a multimillionaire today. This is about how you show up. How you make decisions, interact with people, the standards you hold yourself to, the boundaries you set, the people you surround yourself with, and the places and things that bring you joy.
Create evidence that you can believe in. One of the things that I love to talk about with my coaching clients is why they have developed certain beliefs and how those beliefs are serving them or not serving them. And for those beliefs that are not serving them, the trick is to replace them with very intentional thoughts that will shift their energy, their narrative, and their directives over to the new belief that best serves them.
Let me give you an example: Maybe you’re thinking “I’m not happy with my law firm because I don’t think I have a good team. Some of them have bad attitudes. Some of them are not productive. I haven’t replaced them yet because I can’t find the right person on the market or I’m not really looking for the right person because I don’t believe anyone’s going to be better. I feel like I just have to suck it up and deal with these people.” When that belief is so well-worn into the grooves in your mind, you start to accept this belief for fact. So you need to intentionally give yourself the a new thought to hold on to that is going to counter this well-worn negative belief.
So how do we do that? There are a lot of options. One is the One Hundred Ways exercise, where you right out 100 ways that the new view will serve you. Based on the example above, you would start to write out things about your team that are supportive of your environment and from there, one step further, if you had the ideal team, what are the attributes would you want to see? This gives you an opportunity to see the value in what you have and to extrapolate and dream out loud to really expand what it is that you want. Just that alone allows you to start focusing your energy in the direction of your desire, which helps you uncover the things that are necessary for you to create the desired outcome.
Agree now not to stop. This one is super challenging but massively impactful. This means you have to be aware that certain triggers will inevitably come up that would give you the excuse or justification to say “even though I want to grow, even though I have this beautiful vision, I can’t create that vision because something got in the way.” That “something getting in the way” could be your best associate resigning. Or something more personal, like a family member or spouse starting to complain that you’re not around enough as you grow your business.
It’s important to be aware that when you start making changes, even GOOD changes, your subconscious mind goes nuts and starts making up a whole host of reasons to try to get you to agree that it’s time to stop growing. Because growing means change, and change is not safe. But if you decide now that you’re not going to stop regardless of what your subconscious mind throws at you, and that you will find a way through any obstacle, you are that much closer to realizing your success.
Creating success is never a one-size-fits-all. But if you are swimming upstream against your own interests and having difficulty, I hope this framework can serve as the rock you can hold on to. By following these six steps, you can create and realize the vision you have for your life with fewer stops and a little more ease along the way.
Want to hear more examples of how this framework can apply to your situation? Check out this episode of the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast.