How do we define success in our business? There are many different ways through all the different coaching programs I have studied that help define success. But, the way that I coach our clients here at Law Firm Mentor, is to use this process intentionally to create what you desire faster, easier, and better.
In this episode we discuss:
- A process to define your success and ultimately create the outcomes that you desire in your law firm.
- Starting your process of success by redefining yourself.
- Becoming successful with intentional thoughts, feelings, actions, and results.
- Engaging in activity that leads you to your current circumstances.
- Positive emotions helping us to stay committed.
Allison Williams: [00:00:05] Hi, everybody, it’s Allison Williams here, your host of The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast, Law Firm Mentor is a business coaching service for solo and small law firm attorneys. We help you to grow your revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money.
Allison Williams: [00:00:29] Today we’re going to talk about three questions to define success in your law firm. So this is a topic that I decided to talk about because one of the things that has recently occurred in my own personal life is I have recognized the ways in which I have been successful at redefining myself and for a lot of us, myself included. This is not something that we oftentimes devote our energy to. It is something that kind of happens upon us, right? It’s something that we kind of look up one day and we have arrived at this destination. But I recognize an all the different ways through all the different coaching that I have personally participated in, the ways that I coach our clients here at Law Firm Mentor, that there is a way to use this process intentionally to create what you desire faster, easier, and better.
Allison Williams: [00:01:35] So I’m going to use the example of what I personally went through recently and then show you the process that I ultimately went through without even knowing it. For ultimately defining my success, and I’m going to hope, I’m going to help you with a process to help you define your success and ultimately create the outcomes that you desire in your law firm that much faster, that much better with that much less stress and agita. All right.
Allison Williams: [00:02:01] So the process of defining success really starts with redefining yourself, right? We all show up in the world in a certain way. We all have certain habits, certain proclivities, things that we are good at, things that we enjoy doing. And then there’s the flip side, the things that we’re not so good at, the things that we don’t enjoy doing. And for most of us, we claim the things that we feel that we are. So if I were to ask someone how they get work done, they would say, I’m a procrastinator. I wait until the last minute and then I crap out a diamond, right? So that is how they are claiming the activity of being one who procrastinates, their owning that is that self-identity. And of course, the real challenge with that is that when you claim a self-identity that does not serve you, then ultimately when you decide to do something different that requires a different skill set. It becomes very challenging for you to step into the new skill set because your definition of yourself is dependent upon the old skill set, right? If I define myself as a procrastinator, then a person who does things on time or meets deadlines or whatever the activity is, is going to be incompatible with the identity that I have as being a procrastinator.
Allison Williams: [00:03:28] Now you might say that’s not that big of a deal. Just in a given moment, you would stop procrastinating, but it’s not so easy, right? There’s a whole lot of things that are required of you when you are doing something new that become really challenging when you are self-identified with the opposite of the skillset that you are trying to embody. So you have to start your process of success with redefining yourself as the person who has the attributes, who lives the life, who shows up as the person you desire to be. So I want you to think about that. And as we go through today’s discussion, I want to really frame this as one that’s rooted in the concept of decision. Decision is something that I think is almost misused in common nomenclature. A lot of people talk about decision as something that you can do over and over and over again. But the reality is you have to be firmly rooted in your decision. Your decision can happen instantaneously, can be a moment in time. But once you have decided once you have given the power and force of your intentionality behind a decision, it is critical that that decision have the attendant commitment to carry through the decision to the other side. And when I say the other side, I want you to envision a canyon on one side of the canyon, you have your present circumstances and on the other side of the canyon, you have your desired outcome. The connector between those two is going to be the bridge of commitment. So when you step away from your present circumstances and you start moving across the bridge over to your desired outcome, you are in commitment as you are walking forward. But when you start to have doubts and fear and worry and hesitation, the hesitation of you being on that bridge is what will often send you back to what is considered to be easier, i.e. the present circumstances also known as your present identity.
Allison Williams: [00:05:42] So when you have an identity that is far away from your desired outcome, the desired outcome has to be valuable enough, it has to be passionate enough, it has to be exciting enough that it’s going to draw you forward into the future rather than while you’re standing on that very, very, very tenuous bridge. That high chasm of fear and doubt and worry that holds up underneath you when you’re standing on that bridge. The thing that’s going to stop you from going backward to the present circumstances rather than going forward to your new self, your desired outcome, your greater version of yourself is going to be all of the positive emotion you wrap up in your desire. Because the positive emotion can be the antidote to the fear and the worry and the doubt that happens when you’re somewhere in between your present circumstances and your desired outcome. But we start to encounter difficulty when we’re on that bridge of commitment, oftentimes because we allow ourselves to have a definition of the word decision that includes being decided today and undecided tomorrow.
Allison Williams: [00:06:57] And how many times have we gone through that process? How many times have you explored something new thought about something that you want to create for yourself? Thought about a new identity you want to adopt and you start getting excited about it and you start leaning into it, and then you talk to a friend or a family member and they don’t have the same resolve that you do. And they, however well-intentioned, start to talk you out of the new identity. They start saying, I don’t know if you really want to do that. Are you sure that that makes sense for you? Right? Wouldn’t it be safer? Wouldn’t it be better? Wouldn’t it be easier if you just did present circumstances instead of pursuing desire? Or sometimes it could be that you yourself are talking yourself out, right? You have an identity of yourself as being a low six-figure earner, and you desire to have a personal income of seven figures or more. And so as those new thoughts and ideas start to surface and your mind starts to get excited about all the things that you’re going to be able to do with your life when you earn substantially more income, what happens? Well, the first thing that happens is you start to contemplate life with the new identity, and you get really excited about it and that desire that is standing on the other side of that canyon that that huge, glorious, beautiful desire that is going to create better for you, better for your children, better for your spouse, better for your parents, better for your family, better for your clients, better for your community. It’s going to, it’s going to create a life that you truly love, right, when you start thinking about that. But you look at your present circumstance, oftentimes doubt, worry, and fear seep in, and you have all of that doubt, worry, and fear that bumps up into your commitment and it starts to knock you back to your present circumstances. And in fact, so often we deviate from being committed to our desires that we start to see indecision as a part of the decision-making process, right? Or another way of saying it relapse is a part of recovery, right?
Allison Williams: [00:09:08] By the way, speaking of somebody who has been sober now for over a decade, I can tell you there was no relapse as a part of my recovery. Once I decided, I decided there was no going back because it was a true decision. It wasn’t a thought, it wasn’t a wish, it wasn’t, it wasn’t a hope, It wasn’t something I thought I could possibly get around to doing. It was truly a decision, and the decision had the requisite commitment, and the commitment continued to bump up into fear, worry, and doubt, right? As I’m self redefining, fear, worry, and doubt is a part of the process. But every time I took a step forward every day forward, moving closer to desire and moving further away from present circumstances, the more I realized that the passion and of the passion and the power of all that was laying ahead for me with the desire was going to draw me much farther ahead and was going to create a life that I truly desired versus the present circumstances. So in that scenario, the positive around the desire was what pulled me forward, even through the challenges, even through the difficulty, even through all of that fear, worry and doubt that kept bumping up into that bridge of commitment over the canyon between present circumstance and desire.
Allison Williams: [00:10:33] So we know that the difficulty comes when we go back and forth, right, we know that when we are wishy-washy, when we are not decisive, when we have not made up our mind, when we have told someone yes, but in our mind we’ve said, Yeah, but I’m still thinking about it, you know? Yeah, I want to. But my mom, my dog, my, my, my dog, groomers, best friends, ex-girlfriends, ex-lover has something to say about it, and I think I just need to lean on that a little bit more or to that today is not the right time, right? It’s not the right time, it’s not the right moment. You know, it’s one of those things like, I wish that decisions could happen as definitively as pregnancy. I tell people this all the time, like once you get pregnant, you can’t get unpregnant unless something happens that causes you to be unpregnant, right? But once you’re pregnant, if you’re kind of on the fence about having a baby, you kind of can’t be sort of pregnant, right? You either are or you are not. So you have to decide.
Allison Williams: [00:11:31] Now, of course, we’re not talking about the unfortunate circumstance where something happens and a decision is made for you. We’re talking about where you, as the person holding a fetus inside of you makes a decision. I mean, they’re going to have this child or I’m not going to have this child, but you can’t, you can’t kind of sort of have the child, right? You can’t kind of sort of go through 40 weeks of gestational period. You either are or you are not. And in that scenario, physiologically, the choice of being decisive is made for you. But in our lives, we have just as much power to be as firmly rooted and decision as when we are essentially pregnant with our purpose. So I want you to think about your life and ask yourself how decisive you are now. We have a whole episode here on the podcast about being decisive. So this is not actually about this. This is about redefining ourselves as a part of the process of creating success.
Allison Williams: [00:12:29] But now I want to give you a little exercise, and I walk to my coaching community through this recently, so I’m going to share it all, share it with you all. One of the great things that we do here at Law Firm Mentor is we have a mindset power hour every single week where I approach the community and I share with them the insights of how to be successful with your intentional thoughts, feelings, actions, and results. And this is a way of framing the intentionality, the approach that we have to take to take to all of the substantive content we give on marketing, sales, people, systems, finance, facilities, and all of the things that are necessary for you to run, for you to create, scale, and run a highly successful, highly profitable business. But of course, it all starts with the way that we’re approaching things, because if you approach a great strategy with a shitty attitude, you’re not going to get a great outcome. Ok.
Allison Williams: [00:13:25] So I want to share with you this exercise. I want to recommend to you that you get a sheet of paper. So if you don’t have one, press, pause, and go get that sheet of paper and your pen, and join me when you have those handy. Now you have your sheet of paper in your pen. So I want you to write down these three questions, OK, and then we’re going to talk a little bit about them. So the first question is, what will I change today to enable, pardon me, to embody who I am. Ok, question again, What will I change today to embody who I am? Second question, What are the thoughts necessary to support the new attribute of who I am? Again, what are the thoughts necessary to support the new attribute of who I am? All right, third and final question is really a statement redefined and rehearse the new you, again redefine and rehearse the new you. So let’s talk about these three questions. Let’s break them down and see how we can use them in order to define success for ourselves.
Allison Williams: [00:14:40] So the first thing we have to do when we ask the question, what will I change today to embody who I am? The natural question in that is who am I, right? So as a part of this exercise, one of the things I want you to seriously consider doing is to write on a sheet of paper. This is you can do this below your three questions on the left-hand side of the sheet of paper. I want you to write who I was and on the right-hand side of the paper, I want you to write who I am. Ok. When we say, who I was? Or who was I? However you want to characterize it. Who was I? Is a question that implicates how you’re showing up right now, right? With whatever skill or whatever attributes you have right now, your current behavior, your current thoughts are leading to your current feelings, and they’re causing you to take action or inaction that lead to results that is happening all day, every day, whether you were conscious of it or not. And when you look at where you are in life with something that you want to change, right? Let’s say let’s talk about money, right? If you want more money than you have right now and who I was is someone who makes $100000 a year. The who I am, the redefined version of yourself has to be making more than that. So the question becomes, Well, what do you want to make? Let’s say you want to make five hundred thousand dollars a year instead of one hundred thousand a year. Well, the person who makes $100000 a year has a certain mindset around money, they have a certain behavior pattern, they spend money in a certain way, they generate money in a certain way, they approach clients in a certain way, they sell or fail to sell in a certain way. And a person on the flip side, on the right side, the who am I or who I am? That person has a completely different way of being. That person sells in a different way, that person spends money in a different way, that person manages money in a different way, that person has a mindset of money in a different framework, right? They’re different people. Now you might say, Well, I’ve gone from making one hundred thousand to five hundred thousand and I’m not any different than I was before, but I would beg to differ. You might not be aware of how different you are, but you are fundamentally different when you are making 5x the income you used to make. And if you don’t think about how you were different, it becomes challenging for you to conceptualize how you will need to be different when you are making the desired income, in other words, when you are embodying the Who I am. So I want you to ask yourself today the first question What will I change today to embody the who I am? It could be something as simple as what the person who makes. What I make right now looks at legal consultations as an opportunity to give information in exchange for a consultation fee versus the person who I want to be. The person who has 5X. The income looks at consultations as a sales conversation in order to help people to make a buying decision.
Allison Williams: [00:17:51] Ok, question number two. What are the thoughts necessary to support the new attribute of who I am? So this really goes to looking at how you show up and how you engage in activity that leads you to your current circumstances. So if what you’re doing right now that leads you to the current income you have is that you hate the concept of selling, then who you need to be in the future in order to make 5x the income if somebody who loves selling. Ok, if you love selling, what are the thoughts necessary to support that? It could be anything from selling is what is done to help a person acquire what they want for their life. I benefit people by virtue of selling to them because I give them something of greater value to them while they give me something of greater value to me, it’s a win-win, right? That’s what a sale is. A sale is an exchange of value. I value your money more than my information, so I’m willing to give you my information in exchange for your money and you value my information more than your money, so you’re willing to give me your money in exchange for my information. We both got something of greater value to ourselves than what we had in our possession. That’s why we were willing to trade it. We’re willing to give away what we had in order to acquire something else. So when I have that thought that I am helping people by virtue of selling to them, it becomes easy for me to love selling because I love helping people. And as a part of that process, I am also helping myself right? I love helping people, I’m included in that group.
Allison Williams: [00:19:32] All right, third and final is the redefining and rehearsing of the new you. Now this may become challenging for some of us, right? Some of us look at our future, our desires and they are so out of reach in our minds that they almost are like these ethereal pie in the sky, unrealistic, never going to happen types of thoughts and the way that we ground the desire that we have for our lives into something that we can use today. The way that we do that is do we, we create positive emotion associated with that desire because positive emotion is what is going to lead us to not only stay committed as we’re walking on that tenuous commitment bridge from our present circumstances over to our desire. But the positive emotion is also necessary in order that when we define ourselves, we’re defining ourselves in a way that sounds great to us. Because if we define ourselves by things that are neutral or God forbid, negative, we are going to be repelled by those things as opposed to drawn to those things, right? It is the human condition that we all desire to feel good. We desire to be happy, we desire to be fulfilled, we desire to have more in life. So if you don’t define your new self, the new you, that’s required for you to embody the desire that you have. If you don’t define yourself by the positive attributes around that desire, then your desire is going to be as neutral as your present circumstances or worse your desire is going to have negative associations with it, in which case you’re going to run away from your desire back over to your present circumstances.
Allison Williams: [00:21:17] So here’s an example of that. We talk a lot about the value of money and how we conceptualize money here at Law Firm Mentor, and some of our clients have expressed that in the past. In fact, I use myself as kind of the supreme example because I had this and had to work this out in order to become wealthy. But one of the things that would come up a lot is that I associated losing relationships with money, right? I couldn’t have a successful dating relationship because men were intimidated or felt it was challenging for a woman to have much more money than he did. I couldn’t have a successful relationship with my parents because my parents identified with having a middle-class lifestyle, and once I exceeded having a middle-class lifestyle, I didn’t fit with them anymore. I couldn’t have relationships with friends and colleagues who were high earners but not earning as much as I was because they didn’t conceptualize us as peers anymore, they didn’t speak to me the same way they used to, they now started to treat me differently and I felt isolated, right? So when you identify and you define the desire, the desire for more money as including a necessity of changing relationships, leaving relationships, ending relationships? Well, most people would not say that that’s positive. Right. Most people would not say as a part of my life plan, I want to start plucking off all the people in my life that I love and going on, going on in life by myself, just me and my money against the world, right? Most people don’t desire that. So of course, if that’s how you define the success, the, the desire that you have for more money, if you define it in a way that is negative and limiting, then when it’s time for you to get up and make the next sale, you’re going to have a subconscious block around it. You’re going to say, I don’t want to do that because, you know, you’re going to come up with some reason. I was going to say, I don’t want to do that because I don’t want to lose the relationship. But a lot of people are not conscious of that being a firmly held belief, right? So a lot of times you’re not actually going to say to yourself, I don’t want to make more money because I don’t want to harm my relationships much more often you’re going to find justifications to not make the next sale or to not pursue the next goal or to not do the next growth activity and your mind is going to rationalize it in a way that you can personally live with.
Allison Williams: [00:23:47] So one that I hear a lot and I hear it not only from my own clients, but I hear it from lawyers across America that a good mom is physically present with children. So if I am a good mom, I can’t work, but so many hours, right, if I were to put in any more hours on working on the business, the hours that are necessary in order to grow the business, if I were to do that, I would be a bad mom. And that is such a firmly held belief by so many mothers, right? And its fathers have it to a certain degree, but to nowhere near the degree to which mothers have it, because fatherhood is defined by protecting and providing. So a father who works extra hours in order to provide more for his children is praised, whereas a mother who does the same thing is often denigrated. But whether you have it as a gender issue or not, as a parent, there’s a certain level of time and commitment you need to have to your children, and most people accept that. And so when you start defining life and success as spending time away from your children because what you desire more in your business is associated with spending time away from your children, which is negative, you’re going to have a block on it. Versus if you were to define that success, that desire for more as being able to provide more for your children, being able to have them have greater opportunities, take them to countries and see different cultures that they never would have seen otherwise. Being able to expose them to abundance in the world, teaching them about how you use your law license to effectuate change for people, and that’s something you would not be able to do if you weren’t able to perform a certain amount of pro-bono service because you have the resources in your business to do that, right. All of those thoughts lead one to a positive conclusion associated with your desire. But when you don’t define your desire as something inherently positive, if you don’t see the positive in the desire and you see only the negative consequences that your mind and your subconscious programming will conjure up to stop you from pursuing that desire, you’re most likely not going to achieve it.
Allison Williams: [00:26:03] So the three questions again for you to define success are What will I change today to embody who I am? Two, what are the thoughts necessary to support the new attribute of who I am, and three, redefine and rehearse the new you, and that redefinition has to include the positive attributes of the new you that you know are waiting for you as soon as you step into it.
Allison Williams: [00:26:29] All right, everyone, I am Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor. And we have been talking today about the three questions necessary for you to define success in your law firm here at the Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast, we are committed to helping you to grow your revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money. And if you want help with that. Just reach out to our team. Schedule a call with our growth strategy team and we can help you do just that. I am Allison Williams, your Law Firm Mentor and I will see you on the next episode.
Allison Williams: [00:27:04] Thank you for tuning in to The Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor podcast to learn more about today’s show and take advantage of the resources mentioned, check out our show notes. And if you enjoy today’s episode, take a moment to follow the podcast wherever you get your podcasts and leave us a rating and review. This helps us to reach even more law firm owners from around the country who want to crush chaos in business and make more money. I’m Allison Williams your Law Firm Mentor, everyone. Have a great day!
Allison C. Williams, Esq., is the Founder and Owner of the Williams Law Group, LLC, with offices in Short Hills and Freehold, New Jersey. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, and is the first attorney in New Jersey to become Board-Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the field of Family Law.
Ms. Williams is an accomplished businesswoman. In 2017, the Williams Law Group won the LawFirm500 award, ranking 14th of the fastest-growing law firms in the nation, as Ms. Williams grew the firm 581% in three years. Ms. Williams won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. In 2018, Ms. Williams was voted as NJBIZ’s Top 50 Women in Business and was designated one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. In 2019, Ms. Williams won the Seminole 100 Award for founding one of the fastest-growing companies among graduates of Florida State University.
In 2018, Ms. Williams created Law Firm Mentor, a business coaching service for lawyers. She helps solo and small law firm attorneys grow their business revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money. Through multi-day intensive business retreats, group and one-to-one coaching, and strategic planning sessions, Ms. Williams advises lawyers on all aspects of creating, sustaining, and scaling a law firm business – and specifically, she teaches them the core foundational principles of marketing, sales, personnel management, communications, and money management in law firms.
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My favorite excerpt from the episode:
TIME: 00:10:33 (30 Seconds)
So we know that the difficulty comes when we go back and forth, right, we know that when we are wishy-washy, when we are not decisive, when we have not made up our mind, when we have told someone yes, but in our mind we’ve said, Yeah, but I’m still thinking about it, you know? Yeah, I want to. But my mom, my dog, my, my, my dog, groomers, best friends, ex-girlfriends, ex-lover has something to say about it, and I think I just need to lean on that a little bit more or to that today is not the right time, right? It’s not the right time, it’s not the right moment.