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Tips For Lawpreneurs- Be Happy, Compelling and Run A Thriving Business

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Former securities lawyer turned branding expert, Katy Goshtasbi, shares her story and tips for Lawpreneurs to have a successful business and a happy life. http://lawpreneurradio.com/katy-goshtasbi/

All We Have Is Time, Right?

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In this world where we are all running around in a hurry trying to get who-knows-where, stop and think to yourself: what’s the best thing you have to give? If we look at what we know to be “for sure” in life, we’ll find that besides death and taxes, time is a sure thing.

What do I mean by this?  We only have so much life to live.  So how much are you giving to your life and where?  Your time and where you choose to put it really are in your control.  If you think otherwise, then you are getting sucked into the game of “there is never enough time”. You may be out of balance.

If you look at your career and aspirations, there are certain things that are very important for you.  For instance, if you are a lawyer, then becoming a partner is valued because not everyone can achieve it, only the “elite”.  If you are looking to get promoted within your company or get a new and better job, then that is valued because your new title/job signals something to others- that you’ve made it.

Tweet: If all we have is our time, allow yourself to do things that you love to do- things that nurture, enrich and balance you.

But what have you really “made” it to?  Put another way, what are the costs of your success?   Maybe your success costs you your relationships? Maybe your happiness and joy in life?  Or maybe both?  It really can be very lonely on the top.  Is it just too painful to step back and observe?  Is that why you read this and subconsciously think it is non-sense and “fluff”?

I believe all great personal brands (and thus successful people) have balance in their lives.  Unfortunately, because of the stressors and demands of particular careers (i.e., lawyers and doctors), we are out of balance and oftentimes, not even aware of it.

Balance means that we stop and assess our lives. As Byron Katie said when I interviewed her, we stop and “sort out our lives” by sitting still.  Then we can find that we want our time to mean something.  If all we have is our time and how we give to others, allow yourself to do things that you love to do- things that nurture, enrich and balance you.  For instance, doing community service that actually and truly enriches the community nurtures and enriches you, too.

If you stay out of balance long enough no one wants to be around you, much less hire you.  That’s the sign of a failing personal brand.  Eventually anything out of balance succumbs to natural forces and tips over.  Don’t let that be you.  Find your balance and center.  Now, that’s a great brand.

TELL US WHAT YOU DO TO STAY IN BALANCE.

Djokovic Won Wimbledon But Did His Brand Win, Too?

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I’m a huge tennis fan. I used to play.  When I stopped playing, together my father and I watched Wimbledon, the French Open and the US Open.

Djokovic beat out Federer in a fantastic match yesterday to win Wimbledon.  Both were fantastic athletes and both handled the win and loss very well on camera.  The on-camera interviews went really well- right in the middle of Center Court.  

While Djokovic is very likable and spoke eloquently and with emotion when interviewed, I do wonder if Djokovic could have spoken a bit more smartly.  I’m a big advocate of being genuine and speaking from the heart.  Djokovic at some point in the interview said something to the point that Wimbledon is his favorite tournament and that he loves it there best.  It was certainly genuine and sincere. However, I winced.  The first and only thought I had was what about the other tournaments- US Open, French Open, etc!?  Is he not planning on ever playing anywhere else in the four Grand Slams?  

In order to keep the “love” flowing to the fact that he is a man all about tennis and to develop the brand that does not alienate other tournaments and fans, Djokovic could have worded his feelings and statement a bit differently and still been genuine. Perhaps he could have kept his comments to something like, “winning Wimbledon means so much to me” or “I love being at Wimbledon”.  Same effect, just as genuine, less alienating of the other Grand Slams and fans.  

Just some thoughts on brand development of a great athlete.  Not the end of the world or the brand and certainly doesn’t take anything away from the beauty of the match.  My point is to make sure the fans recognize the athlete’s contribution and love of the sport in general, not just one venue.  That’s what keeps a great brand (and endorsement deals?) thriving.

Can’t Bill Enough? Is the World Over?

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billablecartoonA common conversation I have with attorneys revolves around the almighty billable hour.  Depending on how long they have been in practice and where they are in their career, they are either wondering how to monitor the hours (i.e., hire/fire others who don’t meet them) or trying to figure out how to meet their own hours.

One thing applies to all of them across the board when it comes to billable hours- they are all stressed out. Many are to the point of obsession about their billable requirements.  This obsession leads to all sorts of nasty things- like paralysis, I dare say.  According to my research, there is a direct inverse correlation between your self confidence and stress.  The higher your stress, the lower your self-confidence and thus, the poorer your personal brand for others.

So what, you say?  What does this have to do with my billable requirement?

Tweet:What if there was a peaceful,productive atmosphere-less angst around the almighty billable?

Well, I believe that the pressure to bill X number of hours leads to higher stress and less productivity.  In other words, lawyers produce worse and less.  The other detriment of this is of course that lawyers are angry, anxious and perhaps at the point of desperation where they’ll compromise their integrity to bill enough….all leading to a bad public brand perception of our industry.

What if there was a peaceful, productive atmosphere and less angst around the almighty billable?  I’m not disillusioned when I suggest this- I’ve been there, done that.  It didn’t work then, it hasn’t worked for others since.  And it is only getting worse.

If you are “in charge” and reading this consider creating a work atmosphere that is less tense and focused on the billable hour.  Try something new and be daring. It can’t fail.

If you are reading this and you are identifying with my message because you “must bill”, then what about trying something new.  What if you work it the other way: set your PERSONAL weekly billable goal lower and exceed it. Watch the stress go down and your productivity and happiness go up.  Also, consider what’s the worst that can happen if you don’t bill “enough”? If the answer isn’t “death” then I think you know what to do.

Who Do You Want As Your Audience?

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I was working with a band last week and this issue came up again- so I thought I would address it again.  The reason I love working with artists and musicians on their personal brand management is because I like to see them in control- of their music, talent and business growth.  So often artists who “just want to make music” or “just want to sing” forget that they can and should be responsible for the entire brand they project.

So my question is always the same:  who do you want in your audience?  The initial response is always something like, “whoever wants to come listen to us perform”.  That’s the same as when I ask lawyers who they want as clients and they respond with, “anyone who can pay me”.  Wrong answer, in my book.

After all, do you really want to cater to anyone and everyone?  Even if you did, do you really have the time and/or money to spend on marketing to every one of us on the planet?  Where do you start and where do you stop?

The answer always rests within yourself.  What do I mean?  Well, in the example of the band mentioned above here’s how it went:  after about 20 minutes of asking the same question, the lead singer finally said that he wanted himself in his audience.  Bingo!

If the personal brand premise is to connect with people who like you, “get” you and want to be around you, then your target marketing/audience goal should be the same- you should aim at getting people in your audience who are like you or share your similarities and personal brand value.  They can look different but in general be “like” you.

How do you figure out who is “like” you, so that you can market to them as your potential audience?  Well, that’s why your Personal Connection Story is so important.  Once you figure out your story- who you really are and why you are an artist (fill-in the blank with any profession), then it becomes so much easier (and more fun!) to get your perfect audience in place.  I promise!

First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.