Episode 91: It’s All Happening For You

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | It's All Happening For You

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | It's All Happening For You

The thoughts we think really do matter, because the emotions that we feel about situations and circumstances in our lives are a direct result of the thoughts we think. Our thoughts have the power to transform our experience of anything in our lives, so I’m introducing you to one of my favorite thoughts this week: it’s all happening for you.

If you’re dealing with a situation and you’re feeling a negative charge around it, you might be thinking that it’s unfair and it shouldn’t be happening. But whatever you’re going through right now, you have the ability to think to yourself, “This is happening for me…” and when you do, you can approach your problems with a whole new perspective.

Tune in this week to discover how one thought can totally transform your experience of what you perceive to be a negative situation. I’m showing you how to spot where you need to think more thoughts like this, and giving you everything you need to get positive results out of any situation you’re dealing with.

I’m running another rate and review giveaway! Instructions for leaving a rating and review for The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast are here. Don’t forget to take a screenshot of your review, and email it to me or DM me on social media.

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

Want to be the first to know when my monthly subscription Lawyers Only launches? Click here and sign up for the waitlist!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why no situation is inherently negative, unfair, or outrageous.
  • How to spot the negative thoughts you’re having about a neutral situation.
  • Why negative thoughts always create negative results.
  • How to get out of the victim mindset of, “It’s all happening to me.”
  • Some tips for releasing negativity by thinking, “It’s all happening for me” in the midst of any challenge you’re facing.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

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  • ABA TECHSHOW

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 91. Today, I’m going to introduce you to one of my favorite thoughts. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Hey there, how’s it going? I hope you are well. I have been traveling all around the U.S. the past couple of weeks. I went to a retreat with a bunch of other coaches in Malibu, California. Then, I went home for a little while; got to see my parents in Detroit.

And then, I made my way to Chicago to speak at ABA TECHSHOW. That’s a technical legal conference, where they introduce attorneys to a bunch of different types of technology that make their practices more modernized, more up-to-date, more efficient, and more profitable. I love getting a chance to go there and see familiar faces and meet new people.

I got to teach on some of my favorite topics. I talked a lot about social media marketing. And then, I also talked about the mindset that you need to have in order to really implement legal technology effectively. So, those speeches went really well. I’m so glad that I got to pack so much in to the last two weeks.

And let me tell you, I am happy to be back in Charleston. It is so warm down here, y’all. I just can’t get enough of it. Being in Michigan and Chicago during the winter months, not my favorite thing to do anymore. So, it is amazing to be back in Charleston, and back with my Snickies. If you’ve been listening for a while to my podcast, you know that I have a cat named Snickers. So, after our two-week hiatus it’s so good to see her.

I hope wherever you’re tuning into this podcast, things are going well for you as well. And without further ado, let’s dive into today’s topic. I want to introduce you to one of my all-time favorite thoughts. Now, I want you to remember the importance of our thoughts.

We think thoughts about the situations that we encounter in our lives. And those thoughts, which are just opinion sentences that run through our brains, run through our minds, they cause how we feel. Then our feelings determine how we show up. They drive the action that we take, and our actions ultimately produce our results.

Now, the thought that I want to introduce you to today is the thought, “This is happening for me.” You want to use this thought when something happens in your life that you perceive to be a negative situation. It’s never inherently negative; it’s always inherently neutral. It doesn’t have a positive or negative charge to it. The facts are just what the facts are. They’re neutral on their own.

But then you get to think a thought about it. You may be encountering a situation that you think a lot of negative thoughts about. Oftentimes, instead of thinking, “This is happening for me,” people think thoughts like, “This is happening to me. This is so unfair. This shouldn’t be happening. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I can’t believe this happened.”

I want you to take each of those thoughts and think about how do you feel when you think that way? What negative emotions do you create for yourself? And then, what negative action do you take from those feelings? What result does it produce? It’s not going to produce a positive result, right? Because negative thoughts beget negative results, always.

So, when you’re thinking, “This is happening to me,” you’re going to feel really out of control. When you think something is unfair, when you think, “This is so unfair,” about whatever situation you’re dealing with, you’re going to feel really slighted or cheated, or maybe frustrated. If you’re thinking, “This shouldn’t be happening,” again, you might feel angry or resentful.

If you’re thinking, “This wasn’t supposed to happen,” you might feel really disappointed or frustrated. Or you might think, “I can’t believe this happened,” and feel shocked or outraged.

So, if you’re thinking any of those thoughts, and you’re feeling those negative emotions, what kind of action do you take? You probably complain, you probably stew, you probably dwell, you probably argue with reality.

And remember, when we argue with reality we lose 100% of the time, because you can’t change what’s already happened in the past. You can only curate your thoughts to really support yourself in the experience that you want to have moving forward.

That’s why I want to introduce you to the thought, “This is happening for me.” When you think the thought, “This is happening for me,” about a situation that previously you perceived to be a negative one, you completely change your experience of that situation. “This is happening for me,” is such an encouraging thought. It’s going to make you feel supported or trusting or secure or safe.

Another feeling that I think this thought conjures up for me is, I get to feel really assured when I think it. I get to know that whatever situation I’m dealing with, it’s actually going to be a good thing in the long run.

Now, when you try this thought on… Remember, sometimes when we’re working on building a new belief, or we’re working on shifting a thought, we don’t just have it click into place immediately. Sometimes you can get to this thought instantaneously. You encounter the situation that, by default, you think is negative, and you quickly pivot to this thought.

You’re going to try it on, and it will sink into place very quickly. You’re going to remind yourself, “This is happening for me,” and then, in order to really anchor that belief, you want to find evidence to support that belief. Make the argument to support how exactly it’s happening for you.

Remember, when we ask the question in a way that assumes that it is happening for you, we give our brain more pinpointed direction for the evidence we want it to look for. And then, it’s able to find that evidence so much easier.

Other times, though, it’s going to take a little bit more work for you to believe this thought in the moment. So, time might go by, but I want you to try it on immediately, as soon as you encounter what you perceive to be a negative situation. Remember, those are just your thoughts about that situation.

 But you’re going to try on the thought, “This is happening for me,” and you’re going to ask yourself, “Okay, how is that happening for me?” And you’re going to make the argument. Now, it may feel a little out of reach, that’s okay. I want you to keep coming back to this thought over and over and over again.

Sometimes, after some time, you’ll learn more information. You’ll see how things unfold, and you’ll get to have a clearer picture, a clearer understanding of how exactly the situation did happen for you. Other times, though, it’s a little bit more of a trust fall.

You can keep trying this thought on, and even though you don’t have the evidence to support tangibly how the situation happened for you, you just have to trust that it would have been worse had it not happened. Again, it’s sort of like a trust fall, or like believing in Santa Claus, you just have to believe without seeing the magic of the situation.

I know that’s not easy for everyone. But I really want to encourage you, if you try on this thought, more often than not you’re going to be able to make an argument for it and see how it’s possible that it did happen for you.

And when you do that over and over and over again, it’s going to make it easier for you to trust in the situations where you can’t see the evidence as clearly. That you can trust that it is happening for you. Because all the other times where you do clearly have evidence, you can see that it’s happening for you.

So, you use the situations where it’s easy to access this thought to hold your belief, or anchor your belief, when you don’t have as much evidence to support this thought.

Now, I want to give you a couple examples of where this thought has been applicable in situations my clients have encountered, or in situations that I’ve encountered, just so you can see what it’s like to work on building this belief.

About a year and a half ago, I was working with a client, and they had asked for a bigger bonus from their law firm. They didn’t end up receiving it. They were very frustrated; they came to our coaching session really upset about the situation, thinking a lot of negative thoughts.

They were definitely in the mindset of this was happening to them. And they felt very much like a victim. They felt very taken advantage of and disrespected, and undervalued about the situation.

I asked my client, “Tell me how this might be happening for you.” And we worked on building an argument that it was in fact happening for the client. We came up with reasons like: This person had been contemplating switching firms, and with this new information it was an easier decision to decide to leave.

Ultimately, upon leaving, he received a better job title, a larger salary, and he’s in a position that’s a much better fit for him, and in a firm that’s a much better fit for him. So, even though it felt like a “negative” situation initially, when we zoomed out a bit we could see all of the reasons that it was actually a blessing in disguise.

I also had another client more recently deal with a situation where she was working on a matter, and the attorneys that she was working with, they didn’t communicate billing issues with a client. So, there ended up being a lot of unmet expectations at the end of the matter, and the client was really upset.

Now, this caused conflict between the firm and the client, and my client had to be part of those conversations. Those conversations for my client were quite uncomfortable. My client was not thrilled with having to navigate those conversations. She was very frustrated with the situation.

But I asked her, “How might this situation be happening for you?” What we ultimately uncovered was that it was an amazing learning opportunity for how to not handle billing issues with your own clients. That you want to stay within the budget.

And if you anticipate having to go outside of the budget, that you have those conversations early and often so there aren’t surprises. So people don’t feel like they’re caught off guard. So the firm doesn’t have to be in the position where they end up offering a large discount because things weren’t communicated beforehand, and it was just sprung on the client after the billing had already taken place.

So it ended up being a huge learning opportunity. It also ended up showing her an opportunity that she had to set a boundary with the people that she was working with. “If you’re not going to handle client matters in a way where I feel comfortable working on your cases,” because there’s going to be a lot of conflict, a lot of unexpected turbulence in the client-firm relationship, “then I’m not going to work on your matters anymore.”

We recognized that that is something that is within my client’s control. What isn’t within her control is forcing the other people that she works with to handle situations differently going forward. That’s just not an option. We can’t control other people’s behavior.

So, this was another opportunity for her to learn how to set boundaries, to take care of herself, to support herself, and to control what’s actually within her control, rather than focusing on what’s not within her control. Those are really great lessons that came out of this “negative” situation.

When we look for evidence of how this has happened for her, we can find it when we dig a little bit deeper. As opposed to thinking, “I can’t believe this happened. This shouldn’t have happened. This is unfair. This is happening to me,” that she’s the victim in this situation. We were able to shift her thinking and really empower her.

Another couple of explanations. I’ll use a couple from my own life. One, I think I’ve talked about it on the podcast, but I went through a pretty horrific breakup in August. And one of the thoughts that I tried on early in that situation, early in my grieving process, was the thought, “This is happening for me.” The thought felt really unavailable to me.

I was basically telling myself, “Nope, this didn’t happen for me, this is happening to me. This shouldn’t be happening. This wasn’t supposed to happen this way.” I had all of the thoughts that I was thinking instead of believing that this was happening for me.

I decided… Because I know the power of believing this thought, of coming back to it and feeling assured, feeling empowered, feeling trusting, feeling accepting of the situation. I know the power of working on building this belief. So, I put it on my nightstand essentially, figuratively, so to speak, and I kept coming back to it over and over and over again.

“Do I believe this yet? Do I believe this yet? Do I believe this yet?” It took me a while. I checked in around October and I didn’t believe it yet. I was like, “Nope, I still don’t believe that.” Then I checked back in in December. “Nope, I still don’t believe that.”

Finally, in late January, I tried that thought on again and it finally clicked into place. I finally was able to access evidence for why the situation that I saw to be so, so negative, why it was actually happening for me and not to me. Why it was actually better for me. Why I wasn’t a victim. Why I was actually benefiting from the way that things unfolded.

I started to find a lot of evidence to support that belief. I was able to see that I might have been settling before, and that I wasn’t going to be with someone who had the same goals as me, or the same preferences as me… Not that someone needs to be identical to me. But that there was always going to be friction in certain aspects of my life with the person that I was with.

And since then, as I’ve started to date again, I’ve been able to see examples of where people are more closely aligned with my values and what I want for my life. So, to see that that’s possible, I can start to believe, “Oh, that devastating breakup happened for me, so that I can end up with someone who is more aligned with the life that I want for myself. They want the same things for their life/for our life, that I want for my life and their life and our life together.”

So, as I kept trying that thought on, over time I was able to come back to it and let it fully sink in. And now, I feel so much better about what I previously went through because I’ve worked on building this belief. Now, that’s an example, like I said earlier, of where you have to work on building the belief over time, okay?

Sometimes we know instantaneously that something happened for us. Either you have the immediate evidence to support it… Let’s say, for instance, you go to a restaurant, and they lose your dinner reservation, okay? You could get frustrated about it, and get really upset, or you could just tell yourself, “I just believe deeply that this happened for me.”

You go to another restaurant, you end up sneaking into the bar rather than getting a table, and you end up meeting maybe your next client, or maybe the next person you end up dating, or maybe you just make good friends with someone. But you trust that that relationship is going to be fruitful.

 It happens so quickly that you can just immediately see, “Oh, I see exactly why that “bad thing” happened. It was because I was supposed to be here in this exact moment. And I wouldn’t have been, had that other thing not gone the way that it went.” That’s where you get that immediate evidence.

Other times something “bad” can happen, and you can just latch on to this belief, and do that trust fall, where you believe deeply that it’s happening for you, even though you don’t quite have the evidence yet.

For instance, when I left my last law firm job, the reason I left is because the person that I was working for hadn’t paid me in a while. We would frequently, at the firm that I was at, have inconsistent payroll issues. You would always get paid, just not always on time. I had been behind several paychecks, and I was out of money, so I was quite frustrated with the situation, obviously.

Let me clarify that I was frustrated because of the thoughts that I was thinking about the situation. My boss at the time, even though he was behind on payroll, hired a law clerk for a paid position, as a favor to a local judge. When I found out about it I was less than thrilled, to put it politely. I ended up having a conversation with my employer.

I was just very direct. I said, “Quite frankly, you don’t have the financial capacity to bring someone else on. I feel like that should be very obvious to you.” The person I was working for reassured me that it was the right decision. And in that instance I knew that I couldn’t control him. It was his business; he gets to decide how to run it.

I could choose to stay and complain. I could choose to stay and make peace with it. Or I could choose to leave. I ultimately chose to leave, because I wasn’t going to be able to stay and make peace with it. I had strong opinions about how his business should be run, and I also didn’t want to stay and keep complaining about something that was outside of my control. So, I chose to leave.

Even though I didn’t know what was going to happen next, I didn’t know how things are going to unfold, I chose to deeply believe, in that moment, that him hiring that law clerk was happening for me and not to me. I just felt that deeply in my bones, with the strongest conviction possible.

Three weeks later, a business coach… I was in her program. I had joined her online program that taught you foundational selling, foundational marketing techniques… posted a position for a part time coach. As soon as I saw that job posting I knew that that job was mine. I knew that everything that had just unfolded in my professional life had happened, so I had the capacity to take on that position.

Sure enough, I applied, and out of almost 100 people I ended up getting the role. That was what really gave me my initial foundation to start working as a coach, to start pivoting my identity from being an attorney to being a coach. And it gave me enough confidence in my coaching abilities to start marketing myself in my own business. Putting myself out there. Being able to create consultations, create clients, create money in my own coaching business.

Had it not been for my boss hiring that law clerk, I honestly would have probably stayed a lot longer. Because I was so loyal. Because I loved the people that I worked with. That was the thing that really pushed me over the edge to leave, so I’m so, so grateful that it got that far.

Because it getting that far is what pushed me out the door and empowered me to make a decision that ended up creating this ripple effect, a really powerful, positive ripple effect, that led to me having this thriving business that I now have.

So, even though I couldn’t see how things exactly were going to unfold at the time, when I had that conversation with my boss, when I learned that he had hired that law clerk, I deeply believed that it was happening for me. And then, I just trusted that for a little while, despite not having the evidence to support that belief at the time. I just trusted it, and then lo and behold, things unfolded the way that they did, and I got that evidence a little while later.

Now, you may be tempted to think, “Olivia, I don’t want to blow smoke up my own ass. Okay? I’m not just going to gaslight myself into thinking that these “bad” situations are good. All right?” If that’s you, I just want you to try doing this. This is one of those situations where it’s like, ‘let’s not knock it until you try it.’

It is incredible how freeing this thought process is. It eliminates so much unnecessary negativity from your life, and I really want to offer that to you. I want that to be something that’s available and accessible to you.

So, the next time that you encounter a situation that you perceive to be “negative,” where you’re thinking those thoughts, “This shouldn’t have happened to me. This is happening to me. This shouldn’t be happening. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I can’t believe that this happened. This is so unfair.”

When you’re thinking that, I want you to try this thought on instead, “This is happening for me. How is that the case? How is this happening for me?” And make the argument, make the strongest, most compelling argument you can for how this is happening for you.

Don’t let yourself off the hook here with an ‘I don’t know.’ Or being dismissive, where you’re like, “Nah, it’s not happening for me,” okay? Really work to make a compelling argument for how this is happening for you.

If you can’t get there right away, just keep coming back to it. After a little bit of time has passed, check in with yourself. “How do I feel about that thought right now? Has my belief grown any? Does that thought feel more accessible to me?” You’ll be surprised, if you keep this thought in your top pocket or on the nightstand, how you’re able to access it over time, even when you’re not able to access it immediately.

This thought is going to be a game changer for you, so I really want you to practice trying it on in those situations… the big situations, the small situations that you perceive to be negative… and see how this starts to shift things for you.

Alright, my friends, that’s what I have for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week, and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Episode 90: Giving Yourself Permission To Want & Have More

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Giving Yourself Permission To Want & Have More

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Giving Yourself Permission To Want & Have More

Do you want to live a life you’re obsessed with? A life you truly love and wouldn’t want to trade for anything else? So many people want more for their lives, but they are reluctant to take action to go after their dreams, so they keep themselves playing small. Why? Because they’re waiting for permission from somebody else to do the things they want to do.

Nobody is going to give you permission to set big goals, to chase big dreams, and to live an over-the-top life. Nobody is going to tell you it’s OK for you to want and have more for your life; you have to give that permission to yourself. You don’t have to need something to go after it, you can chase a dream simply because you want to, and I’m showing you how this week.

If you know you want more for your life, but you are hesitating to go after it, this episode is for you. This week, I show you why you need to give yourself permission to want and have more and what needs to change in order for you to pursue a life you truly love. Discover why up-leveling is available to you right now and how to stop tolerating parts of your life you don’t love and start truly loving your life.  

I’m running another rate and review giveaway! Instructions for leaving a rating and review for The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast are here. Don’t forget to take a screenshot of your review, and email it to me or DM me on social media.

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

Want to be the first to know when my monthly subscription Lawyers Only launches? Click here and sign up for the waitlist!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The importance of trusting your instincts and giving yourself permission to pursue your vision.
  • How I gave myself permission to go after things in my own life.
  • The power of trusting yourself.
  • Some epiphanies I’ve had in my own life when I started to give myself permission to do what I wanted.
  • How to establish what is holding you back from what you want to do in your life.
  • Why it is OK to want more than what seems like “enough.”

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 90. Today, we’re talking all about giving yourself permission to want and have more. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Well, hello there. How are you? Can y’all believe it’s already February? I cannot get over it. Actually, I take that back, that’s partially true. I had so much going on in January. January felt like a million years long. I had two friends come visit me in Charleston, and then I was in Nashville working with my business coach for a whole week. So, I feel like I had a lot going on.

But I also can’t believe that we’re already into the second month of 2024. How’s it going so far? Are things off to a good start? I sure hope they are. Things are off to a good start in my neck of the woods. I feel so refreshed and refocused after spending a week with my business coach. It just feels so good to reset and recalibrate, and really get my bearings for everything that I’m working to accomplish this year.

So today, I want to talk to you about a concept that directly applies to what you’re working on this year. I’m currently in the middle of a launch for The Obsessed Retreat, which is the retreat that I’m hosting in Miami, in March. And one of the things that’s come up as I’ve been marketing the retreat, I’ve had quite a few people say to me that they don’t know if they’re sure they want a life they’re obsessed with.

I’ve found that so fascinating because it seems like such a no-brainer to me. Why wouldn’t you want to live a life that you’re obsessed with? And if you’re not sure what I mean by ‘living a life that you’re obsessed with,’ what I mean by that is living a life that you truly love.

A life that you wouldn’t be even remotely tempted to trade places with someone else. You’re really passionate about the things that you have in your life; the work that you do, the income you make, the freedom that that provides you, the relationships that you have in your life, where you spend your time, how you spend your time, the adventures that you get to go on, the memories that you get to create the people in your life, the things that you get to learn and do, the opportunities that you create for yourself.

My goal for everyone I work with, and everyone listening to this podcast, is for you to live the biggest life imaginable. The biggest life that’s available to you. And I promise you, the life that’s available to you is so much bigger than what you can even see for yourself.

One of my all-time favorite quotes, and man, I get emotional even when I read this quote, it’s from one of my favorite authors, Laura McKowen. She’s the author of We Are the Luckiest. One of her quotes, my favorite one of hers… She says, “If you could see even a fraction of what’s possible for you, you would fall to your knees and cry.” I believe that so deeply, and I can see it for people.

I can see what is possible for them, what they’re capable of accomplishing. I can see the grandeur of the life that’s waiting for them to come and claim it. And every ounce of me wants as many people as possible to fully step into that version of themselves. To fully embrace the life that’s available to them. And yet, some people are reluctant to do so.

So, today I want to talk about why I think that is, and what I believe needs to change in order for you to really play full out and pursue a life that you’re obsessed with, a life that you truly love. If you think you want more for your life but you’re hesitating to go after it, this episode is for you.

What I want you to do, I want you to start by asking yourself this question, and I want you to get really honest with yourself. If you want more, or you even think you might want more, ask yourself, what is it that you’re waiting for? I’ve watched so many people tolerate parts of their life that they don’t love. And change is available to them, up leveling is available to them, it’s there for the taking. They just have to take it.

But they don’t pursue it. And I think a big reason why this is, whether people realize it or not, I believe that it’s because they’re waiting for people to give them permission to go after what they want. They have a couple people in mind; you know, the invisible “they.” They have some people in mind and they’re waiting for people to give them the green light.

They’re waiting for someone to cosign them pursuing their big dreams they’re big goals, the big life that they think they might want to live. And if that’s you, if you’re waiting for someone to give you permission, you’re going to be waiting for a really, really long time, okay? Because no one’s going to give it to you. No one’s going to give you that permission that you’re waiting for.

I’ve had this epiphany several times in my own life, and I want to share some of those stories for you. Because maybe you’ll see yourself in those stories and this will resonate with you at an even deeper level. The first example is, of course, my biggest example. It’s when I made the decision to go all in on myself, start my business, and quit practicing law. I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, I believe.

But the people in my life were really not supportive of that decision. They didn’t want me to do it. They wanted me to stick with the status quo. They wanted me to keep practicing, stay at the big law firm that I was at; the one with all the “security and stability.” Because that was the responsible thing to do, at least in their opinion.

I know some of you who are listening to this episode right now, you’re in that exact same boat. You’re in the position where you want to make a change. You want to start doing something differently. You want to pursue a new career. Maybe you want to start your own business, or just start your own law firm, whatever the case may be.

But you want to make what you consider to be a pretty drastic change. And it might not be the responsible thing that you were taught to do growing up. Maybe that’s work for other people, that might be how you were raised. So if you’re in that position, the chances of someone in your life really telling you to ‘go for it,’ especially if they haven’t done that themselves, the chances are pretty low. And if you’re waiting for someone to cosign that dream, for someone to give you the green light to go execute that game plan, you’re going to be waiting a long time.

You’re going to have to give yourself that permission instead. And you’re going to have to allow yourself to feel misunderstood by the people closest to you. They might judge you. They might think you’re being foolish. They might think that you’re taking too big of a risk. But you know you.

One of the things that I tell people all the time, when they’re like, “Weren’t you scared to go out on your own?” And this isn’t to knock anyone who is scared, but the truth is no, I wasn’t. I wasn’t afraid. Because I knew I could bet on myself. I knew that I would make this work.

I had brilliant examples of people who had already done it. They had forged the path for me. They were great examples of what was already possible. So, I had a template for what I needed to do in order to be successful, and I just followed it. I trusted myself to implement. And, I’ll be really honest with you, this is coming from someone who had a pretty shitty track record of following through and being consistent. I really struggled with that when I practiced law.

Now, I’ve done so much work through coaching to become someone who does follow through, who is disciplined, who is consistent. And that’s why I teach that to people now because I’ve done all of that trial and error myself, and I know what works, and I know what doesn’t. So, I’m able to cut through the bullshit, and just give you exactly what you need to know in order to solve that problem and develop those skill sets.

Anyways, I digress. As I was making this decision, I realized no one was going to tell me to go do this. In fact, quite the opposite. A lot of people told me not to do it. I had to put them on mute. I had to not listen to them. I had to listen to myself, my gut; I had to trust my own instincts. I was the one who had to give myself permission to pursue this dream.

To pursue this vision that I had for my life where I was self-employed, where I made more money than I did practicing law, way more money. And I will continue to do that. I just continue to grow, each year in business has been better than the next. I know, deeply, that making millions of dollars as a coach is inevitable for me. It’s just a matter of time, and me working the plan that I’ve created for myself in order to get there.

One of the concepts that I teach is, I teach people how to reverse engineer their results. So, we get very clear on the result that we want, and then we work backwards and figure out all of the actions that we need to take in order to create that result.

And then, we figure out what are the feelings we need to feel, the feelings we need to cultivate, in order to take that action? What are the negative emotions we need to allow in order to take that action? And then, what are the positive thoughts that we need to be thinking in order to feel those positive feelings that fuel us forward?

That’s one of the things that I teach my clients how to do, and I did that for myself when it came to starting my business and as I continue to scale my business. That’s what I’ve done. So, I continue to be the person who believes. I believe the most. I like to say I believe enough in myself and what I’m doing and where I’m going, enough for myself and everyone else.

I want you to do the exact same thing for yourself. I want you to believe in where you’re going and the vision that you have for your future, enough for you and for them. Then, from that place, I want you to give yourself permission to pursue it. Because no one else is going to come along and give you that permission. Okay?

Another example that I have is my recent move. Actually, I’ve moved four times in the past year and a few months. Starting in December of 2022, I’ve moved four times since then. So, I moved out of the house that I own in Michigan, into a furnished condo in Eastern Market, in Detroit.

That place was so beautiful. I loved it. It had this glamorous chandelier and these amazing leather sofas; I just loved it so much. And it was really industrial. It was a really neat loft in an old… I think it was a firehouse before and then it had been renovated to be lofts.

So, I moved out of my house. I bought my house in ’09, you guys, so my mortgage payment is so inexpensive. And I’ll be honest with you, I’m glad that that’s the case, I didn’t uplevel my lifestyle when I was practicing in big law. And that allowed me a lot of freedom to make some changes, to actually go all in on myself and start a business, because I hadn’t increased my overhead so much that I was reliant on the income from that job.

That being said, now that my business is quite successful, I have the ability to live in places that I really love. I’d been in my house since ’09, so A) I was just a little sick of it, B) I never really loved it. It was a really practical place to live, a lot of resale value, it’s a good, traditional three-bedroom brick ranch. I just never loved it.

So, when I became successful… I waited a while before making a move. But when I felt like I was in a place where I could really sustain my income and everything felt very secure, and I had more than enough money coming in, I contemplated moving out of my house into a beautiful furnished rental.

I didn’t want to buy something because I didn’t want to be stuck somewhere. I really wanted to be able to be a bit of a digital nomad. If you’ve been listening to my podcasts for a while, you know that I’m snow birding down south for at least the winter, and probably the better part of the spring. So, I knew I wanted to be able to hop around.

The easiest way for me to start doing that, rather than moving straight from Detroit to Charleston, was to just get out of my house and get used to living in a different space. Having consolidated all of my things, I didn’t take a lot of stuff with me. So, that allowed me to be very transient and mobile.

And then after I lived in the loft for six months, I moved into another place with a really gorgeous pool. That was a building in Brush Park, in Detroit, which is a little bit more in the mix of everything. And from that place, I moved to Charleston. I lived in this beautiful house for a couple of months, and then I just moved, after the first of the year, into a new place.

This place is gorgeous too, you guys. I love everything about it. The wood floors, the beautiful staircase, it’s kind of got “farmhouse” vibes a little bit, but not completely. I don’t know how to describe it. I just really, really love it. It’s furnished beautifully. The bedrooms are amazing. The bathrooms are amazing. I love the kitchen. And I love being in the city that I’m in.

It is so incredible to be someplace that I can walk around in January and February. I really don’t even need a coat. I’m a little bit of a baby, so I typically do wear one. But I don’t need one. It’s so refreshing to be someplace where there are blue skies almost every day. It’s a rarity down here that it’s gray and gloomy outside. Which is definitely the case almost all the time during late fall, winter, and early spring, in Michigan.

I say all of that to talk about how I gave myself permission to live in beautiful places, beautiful spaces that I love. I remember, I had gotten rid of most of my stuff in my house because I was torn between ‘am I going to renovate everything in this place? Or am I going to move?.’ I was leaning towards moving but I wasn’t moving forward, yet. I was hesitating, okay?

I finally had gotten rid of so much stuff that my house sort of became unlivable; I really didn’t have much other than a place to sleep and a place to work.

And I realized, at a certain point, I was like, “Why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you living like this?” It almost felt, at a certain point, sort of punitive. I’m like, “What’s going on here, Olivia? Are you being mean to yourself? Are you not loving yourself? Are you not giving yourself the things that you want?”

I caught the thought that was holding me back. The thought was that I didn’t need to live anywhere else, technically. And that I didn’t want to be impractical. One of the things that I really had drilled into me growing up was that it was a good thing to be practical. Maybe you were raised that way, too. If you were, maybe you will resonate with this.

I have decided to say, “Fuck that,” to being practical. I don’t want to be practical. I don’t like the restrictiveness that comes from practicality. I want to be over the top. I am over the top, and I’ve fully embraced that about myself. So, whether it’s practical or not… No, I’m not suggesting that you take on a ton of debt to go do something. Be reasonable to a certain extent. But don’t hold yourself back in a way that prevents you from living a life that you truly love.

I remember this moment, I was sitting on the floor of my living room, because had gotten rid of most of my living room furniture by that point. I was just looking around, and I was like, “What are we doing here? What’s holding you back? What’s getting in your way?” And I realized, this clicked for me, no one was going to come and give me permission to go be “impractical.”

In fact, most people I knew were going to tell me, “Your house is fine. It’s beautiful. It’s great. You should just stay there. Throw some money into it, just fix it up, make the most of it, it’ll be okay. It’ll be fine.” But that’s not what I wanted. And it hit me that I was just waiting. I was hesitating. And whether or not I realized it, I was waiting for permission from someone. I’m not even sure who, maybe my parents, I don’t know.

But no one was going to come and give me that permission. I had to give myself that permission. I had to tell myself that it was okay to do something that other people might judge. Because I don’t know if y’all were raised like this, but I was raised that it is irresponsible to pay rent when you could just buy something.

That doesn’t work for me. That doesn’t align with the life that I want to live. So, I had to give myself permission to buck that system, to do it differently, to forge my own path forward, to do it my way. Even if that meant being quote “irresponsible” in someone else’s opinion.

So, I recognized, in this moment on the floor, I was like, “No one’s going to come tell you that you should do this, you’ve got to tell yourself. You’ve got to make up your own mind. Do you want to live like this? Do you want to live here, in a space that you don’t like and haven’t ever really liked? Or do you want to move? Even if that means spending a lot of money that you don’t need to spend, you don’t have to spend.”

But this is the thing, I wanted to spend it. And, now that I’ve done it, oh my goodness, I could never go back. I love living in places that I love. I love being in a space that just feels so much like me. The amazing thing about living in a furnished place, I don’t have to do any of the work and I get all the good vibes, all the aesthetic that I love. That really just makes me feel at home, and so comfortable in the space that I’m in.

And let me tell you something, if you work from home, you’d best like your space. All right? I spend almost all of my time here. I’d better like it. I want to like it. So I gave myself permission to do that, even if it’s not the popular thing to do, or the responsible thing to do, or the practical thing to do. I don’t care. I just gave myself permission. You get to do that, too.

Okay, three more examples. Years ago when I was going through… I was getting ready to go through my coaching certification. And at the time, it was a big expense for me. I hadn’t ever paid that much money, it was $18,000. I hadn’t ever paid that much money all at once on a training like that. So, even though that’s very common for me to do when I pay to work with my business coach now… That’s a $25,000 investment every six months.

At the time, it was a really big expense; the biggest expense that I was paying. I didn’t want to come up out of pocket, in cash, and deplete my cash reserves in one lump sum. So instead, I took out a loan. I took out an unsecured loan through Upstart.com. It was super easy to get.

I was working in big law at the time, so they were like, “Yeah, sure you’ve got a W-2 job, everything’s great.” They gave it to me, I used it to pay for my coaching certification, and I paid it off. It was no big deal. And had I asked other people whether or not I should do that, they probably would have told me no. They probably would have suggested that I wait, that I shouldn’t do it, that I should save up the money first.

Thank goodness, I didn’t think. Thank goodness, I trusted myself and gave myself permission to do the thing that made sense in my brain. It made it accessible for me. It made it easy for me. Again, I think the common theme here is, that you’ve got to trust yourself to do what you’ve got to do on the other side of it. Right?

I trusted myself to start a business successfully. I trusted myself to be able to make enough money to pay very expensive rent, depending on where I’ve been living, but especially Charleston. Y’all, it’s pricey down here. I trusted myself to pay the loan back. If you trust yourself, then you got to give yourself permission.

And if you’re not accustomed to trusting yourself, what would it look like for you to just bet on yourself just once? Just to give it a shot. Just to see what happens. What if you had your own back, and you just believed that you could possibly do it? Okay, so the loan is another example. I’ve actually done that a couple of times over the course of my business. You pay off and it’s not a problem, everything’s fine.

Another example, this is back years ago. This is actually right before I started going to law school. My aunt and uncle gave me what I consider, still consider, a lavish graduation gift, graduating from undergrad. My aunt came over to my parents’ house, and she handed me $1,000 in cash. She said, “Here’s your graduation present. Buy yourself whatever you want.”

I think she had planned for me to buy a luxury bag or something like that, or at least put it towards an expensive bag. I looked right at her; I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I had spent several years in a row going to Italy, and I knew that I probably wasn’t going to have much of a chance to go while I was in law school. That I was going to be busy studying, and then working during the summer and all that good stuff.

So, I wanted to get one more trip under my belt before I embarked on the law school adventure. I looked at her, and I said, “I’m taking this and I’m going to Rome.”  I was able to get a buddy pass through a boss of mine, actually. He had a second job working at Delta, for the perks of being able to fly for free. And he had coworkers that would sell their buddy passes, so I was able to get a really inexpensive flight, flying standby to Rome.

Then, I used that $1,000 to, I think, pay for the hotel that I stayed at in Rome. I met my aunt and uncle there; we went to dinner several nights in a row. I went to the Amalfi Coast for the first time by myself. And it was just incredible. I remember, when I got that gift I told my mom about it, and she looked at me and she goes, “Absolutely not. You have to give that back. That’s way too extravagant. That’s way too much money. You have to give that back.”

I just remember feeling like a punch in the gut. I’m like, “What? I don’t want to give it back. I want to go to Italy.” That’s just how she was raised. She was brought up to be, again, very practical. In her mind, gifts like that were impractical. It was not okay, it wasn’t acceptable, to receive generosity at that level.

I remember she told me, “You have to give it back.” I thought long and hard about it; she had very strong opinions, which I disagreed with. And I let it marinate for a little while, and ultimately decided, no, I’m not going to. I’m not going to give it back.

I gave myself permission to keep it. And I made myself a promise, when my cousin, who is the daughter of my aunt and uncle that gave me this gift, when she graduates from undergrad, I’ll do the same exact thing for her. I can’t wait to do that. I’m so looking forward to being as generous to her as my aunt and uncle were to me.

And if you know me personally, you know that’s pretty on brand for me. I love to be generous with money. It is one of the ways that I show affection and love towards other people. I love sharing the wealth, spreading the wealth around that way. So, this is another time where I had to just give myself permission to do something that allowed me to live a life that I was obsessed with. To chase my dreams of traveling the way that I wanted to travel.

You know I always say, “Don’t take advice from someone who hasn’t done what you want to do.” And in this instance, neither of my parents have ever been to Europe. They’ve never seen Italy, so they don’t know how spectacular it is. And even if they did, they probably would still make the same decision.

That gets to be the right decision for them, but this was the right decision for me. I trusted myself to make the right decision for me, and then I gave myself permission to act in accordance with that decision.

Speaking of money… Actually, I have a friend who says this quote and I absolutely love it. It resonates with me so much, even though I think it can be kind of polarizing. She likes to say, “Life is bought.” I tend to agree with that. People love to say that there are all sorts of things that money can’t buy.

But I think when you take a closer look, even certain memories, if you have time off of work that is a luxury afforded to you by having money, right? You don’t have to be working, so you have time to spend with your family, to be able to make those memories.

Also, there are a lot of memories that money does buy. You wouldn’t be able to have incredible experiences in Rome if you didn’t have the money to get yourself there; if you don’t already live there, right? There are so many things that I did, even just last year alone; hot air balloon rides over Big Sky, whale watching in Cabo, swimming through caves off the Amalfi coast. So many incredible things that I got to do because of money.

I actually met one of my now closest friends… I was in Orlando, at the retreat that my business coach hosts, and I had met this woman over dinner, her name’s Andrea. And a couple days after we had dinner together, and what sort of sparked this conversation was that at dinner I ended up picking up the tab for everyone. So, she kind of saw the way that I like to interact with money.

A couple days later, she was at the pool, and as I walked by her we started making small talk. She goes, “I have a question for you. I think you’re the perfect person for me to ask this question to.” I said, “Yeah, go ahead, shoot.”

She said, “I want to know what are your thoughts about spending money? Because I kind of have a little bit of mind drama around spending money, and I think you don’t. So, I think you’re probably the right person for me to talk to about this. Because I’d like to know how you think about it, and maybe I can borrow your thoughts.”

We talked through all of the hesitations that she had about spending money on luxurious, lavish things; things that were “impractical.” And if this is you, if you’re hesitant to spend money on things that deep down, you really want, but you don’t want to be seen as being irresponsible or impractical, I want you to really think about, number one, what’s holding you back?

What are you afraid of? A lot of people are afraid that people are going to judge them. And maybe that might be true, but what I offered Andrea, and what I offer a lot of people is, what if you become the person that introduces them to luxury? What if you show them what’s possible? What if you show them what an experience can be like, that maybe they would never provide to themselves?

I hosted a retreat in Big Sky, Montana, last August, at a five-star hotel called The Montage; Montage Big Sky, to be exact. My parents actually came out to visit me while I was hosting the retreat. One of my clients, shout out to Gwen, was amazing. She represented my dad when he sold his business.

They had worked together via Zoom, but Gwen lives in Florida and my parents live in Michigan, so they had never met in person. And my dad really wanted to meet her because it’s a family business. It’s been in my family since my grandfather started it. It’s like the biggest deal to ever happen to our family. So, it was a big deal, and he really wanted to meet her.

So I told him, “Gwen is going to be in Big Sky, if you want to come out and meet her.” We ended up taking Gwen to dinner, to say ‘thank you’ for all of her hard work. It was just a really incredible night. As that happened… My parents had to fly out to Big Sky, of course, in order to join us. They got to stay at The Montage, and my parents are the type of people that would never splurge on five-star luxury like that.

The Montage is typically like $1,500 a night. Now, we didn’t have to spend that much, I had a discounted group rate, so it was only $600 a night. But people think, “Oh, it’s not going to be that much better than what I’m typically used to at a much more affordable hotel chain.”

And then they got to experience it, all of the things; the fireplace in the bedroom, the amazing shower, insane shower, the bathtub that you could literally swim in, the robes, exquisite robes, the best pillows, the best bedding. All that stuff, the service that just blows your mind, the décor. Everything’s next level. The scenery is next level. The whole experience is next level.

When my parents were there, my dad said to me, “I get it. I get why you do this. It’s amazing.” We talked all about all of the different aspects of the hotel that he really enjoyed. And when I introduce other people to luxury like that, they feel the same way usually. They’re like, “Man, this is nice. I could get used to this.” And then they start to give themselves permission to opt into some of those experiences, as well.

I think that’s one of the reasons that I absolutely love hosting the retreats that I host. Because I get to do that for the people who work with me. I get to introduce them to a level of luxury or exquisiteness that they might not have experienced before. I like over-the-top experiences.

I actually do this thing called a “returners retreat.” So if you come to one of my retreats, and then you enroll for the next one, you get invited to the Returners Retreat. In Big Sky, we did the hot air balloon excursion as the Returners Retreat. This time, in Miami, I’m renting a yacht for the day. It’s going to be incredible. This boat is fantastic. I’m so excited to bring people on it and for them to see it. It’s really over the top. There’s a jet ski on the boat. There’s all this fun stuff.

I get to introduce people to doing next level things like that. And when they see it, and they experience it, they realize that they want more of that for themselves. They see me giving myself permission to do that, and then it rubs off on them. They give themselves permission to do that.

So, like this conversation I had with my friend, Andrea, I want you to do a deep dive. Take an audit, an inquiry. Where do you hesitate in spending money on what you consider to be luxurious things? Where do you hold yourself back? Maybe it’s an expensive purse. Maybe it’s an expensive car. Maybe it’s flying first class, which I will only fly now.

I know I’m over the top, you can judge me if you want. But I love it. It’s just nice up there. There’s so much room. And I can tell I’m getting older, because I really appreciate being able to get on the plane first and get situated, rather than having to stand in that obnoxious line boarding the plane. And the other thing that I appreciate is being able to get off the plane as quickly as possible.

I also like the little, actual, real glasses that they give you, not the plastic cups. It’s just nice, right? I get to do it because my business provides for that. So, why not? Why not be “impractical” and fly first class? I’m kidding with the impracticality, of course. I used air quotes there; I hate that you can’t see me, I use them a lot when I record this podcast. I talk with my hands, of course, because I’m Italian.

Anyways, maybe it’s that, maybe it’s an expensive hotel. I’m planning a trip to Italy right now, actually two trips to Italy. And I love to stay in beautiful places. I’ve just given myself permission to do that, whether or not other people agree with that decision, whether other people would think that it’s a waste of money, I’ve just decided that it’s great. I like to do it, and I get to do it. And no one else needs to give me the green light. Only I have to give myself permission to do it. And, I do.

So if you want more for your life, if you’re thinking about pursuing more and you’re hesitating, maybe you’re telling yourself that pursuing more isn’t necessary. Guess what? You’d be right, it isn’t necessary. But this isn’t about what you need, this is about what you want. There’s a big, big difference there.

And it is okay to just do something because you want to do it. You are allowed to give yourself permission to go after something, to chase a dream, to purchase something, to make a change, to give yourself an experience. You are allowed to do that simply because it’s what you want to do. For no other reason other than that.

I had someone recently, in response to an Instagram post that I did about The Obsessed Retreat… I was talking about how I’m obsessed with my life. And I am, I really am obsessed with my life. That doesn’t mean everything’s perfect all the time. That’s unrealistic. I have highs and lows, ups and downs. I have tough times and struggles. But I am still obsessed with my life. I love my life. I love what I’ve created for myself, because I’ve given myself permission to want and have more.

I’ve had a couple of people say two things to me. One is, that some people are like, “I don’t know if I want to be obsessed with my life.” And I think it’s because people mistakenly believe that they’re going to have to hustle and kill themselves and grind, and that it’s not going to feel like fun. And that it’s just going to require more of them than they’re willing to give it.

If that’s you, I really want you to challenge that assumption. Where are you getting that from? What are you basing that on? What if you could just pursue more the way you want to pursue more? And you gave yourself permission to go about it the way you want to go about it, at the pace you want to go about it? To really just do it the way you want to do it.

If you believed you wouldn’t have to sacrifice yourself, abandon yourself, or compromise your wellbeing would you want more? Would you want more? Would you think it would be fun to have more? What comes up for you when I say that when I ask you that question?

The other thing that I think comes up for people. I did this post about how I’m obsessed with my life, and someone in the comments chimed in and said that I was obsessed with myself. I want to tell you two things here. One, I don’t think it’s a problem to be obsessed with yourself. I don’t understand why that’s a bad thing.

But I don’t look at myself that way at all. I don’t think that I’m obsessed with myself. I think that I’m obsessed with my life, and those two things are very different. I think there are probably different definitions about what it means to be obsessed with yourself.

Maybe that’s “conceited,” or “full of yourself.” I am definitely not those things, so I don’t even take offense to the idea of being obsessed with yourself. But I don’t feel that I am. I really feel like I am obsessed with my life, the life that I’ve given myself permission to create.

Okay, so if you’re worried about that, you’re worried about either burning yourself out or having to grind too hard, that’s not the case. You don’t have to do it that way. If you’re worried about being self-obsessed, selfish, conceited, arrogant, or full of yourself because you’re pursuing a life you’re obsessed with… Maybe you’re afraid people will think that you think you’re too good for them.

None of that has to be the case. None of that has to be true. You get to know yourself; you get to trust yourself. And you get to give yourself permission to pursue more, to want and have more, in a way that feels really in alignment and integrity for you.

So, I want to sum this all up one more time just to really drive it all home for you. No one’s going to give you permission to set big goals, to chase big dreams, to live an over-the-top life. Because that’s what we’re talking about here today, living an over-the-top life, a life that you’re obsessed with.

No one’s going to tell you that it’s okay for you to want and have more. You have to give that permission to yourself. You have to decide to go for it all on your own. Not because you need it, but because you want it. You have to decide that that’s okay. That it’s okay to want more than what seems like “enough.”

No one is going to give you permission to pursue and create as full of a life as you’re capable of living. The one with all the success, the one with all the connection, the one with all the fun, the one with all the adventure, the one with all the luxury, the one with all the freedom. You’re going to have to give that permission to yourself.

In fact, “they,” the people you’re worried about, they might tell you that it’s too risky to go for it. That the life you have is just fine. But “fine” is not what you’re aiming for, is it? I know it’s not. If you were aiming for fine, you wouldn’t be listening to this podcast. I believe that in my bones.

The “theys” in your life, they might judge you. And that’s totally okay. Usually, it’s just temporary. That’s what I’ve found to be the case. They just need to see you win, so they can see what you see; that more than this is possible for you, and for them. And before you know it, they’ll actually be inspired by you.

That’s what’s happened in my life. So many people that doubted me, that thought what I was doing was risky, they’re now inspired by me. They now use me as an example of what’s possible. But in the beginning, if you’re just getting started giving yourself permission to want and have more, you can’t wait for their stamp of approval. You’ve got to make up your own mind without it.

So, I want you to ask yourself: What’s your choice? Do you want to play small, and wait for them to give you the green light? Or do you want to make up your own mind and start living the biggest life you can? Don’t overthink this question, pick the first answer that comes to your mind.

If you pick the second option, that you want to start living the biggest life you can, this is your invitation to join me in Miami, in March, for The Obsessed Retreat. I’m going to teach you how to create a life you’re obsessed with over the course of three days.

We’re going to go through and solve the problems that are keeping you stuck. We’re going to develop the skills you need to move forward. And then, we’re going to set goals and make the plans that you’ll implement in order to achieve them.

After our three days in person, you’re going to get lifetime access to monthly group coaching calls and The Obsessed Retreat member portal. That will have the event recordings, our monthly call recordings, additional course content, an unlimited written coaching platform, where you can get support from me in between our monthly coaching calls, and then a community platform where you can stay connected to all of the other retreaters.

This is going to be what changes the game for you. All you have to do is start by giving yourself permission to want and have more. As soon as you make up your mind that you’re going to give yourself that permission, that you’re not going to wait for anyone else to give it to you, I want you to head on over to my website; it’s going to be linked in the show notes: bit.ly/the-obsessed-retreat.

Go there and register. Sign up to join me in Miami, in March. I cannot wait to see you in South Beach, where we get to get started creating a life that you’re obsessed with.

All right, my friends. That is what I have for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week, and I will talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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Episode 89: How to Develop Business

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | How to Develop Business

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | How to Develop Business

It’s time to talk about business development. Over the next few months, I’m covering the different facets of business development, so you can take control of the results you’re getting when it comes to your income and your client goals, and I’m starting it off this week with a masterclass on how to develop business.

Most people think of business development as a massive challenge. However, that’s just because they never learned how to create clients and money on demand. So, if you want to develop a stronger, more profitable business, this is a must-listen episode.

Tune in this week to dive deep into business development. I’m sharing exactly what you need to do to create a thriving business, a blueprint for developing your business effectively, and you’ll learn tons of practical tips and strategies that you can go implement in your own business right now!

I’m running another rate and review giveaway! Instructions for leaving a rating and review for The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast are here. Don’t forget to take a screenshot of your review, and email it to me or DM me on social media.

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How to create awareness around where you need more business development strategy.
  • 5 key steps for developing business.
  • The core beliefs you need when you’re developing business.
  • Why your mindset matters on your business development journey.
  • The most common business development mistakes I see people in the industry making.
  • Some of the complementary skills you need for developing business.
  • How to set yourself up for business development success in 2024.
  • A business development success blueprint you can start using right now.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 89. Today, we’re talking all about how to develop business. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Hello, my friends, how are you? I am so excited to talk about this topic with you. I’m going to do several episodes over the course of the next couple months about business development. I think it’s one of the most important topics to cover. It is so empowering to know how to be in control of your business development results that you want, and to be able to achieve your income goals or your client goals.

Most people are bad at this because they’ve simply never learned how to do it. So, today we’re going to kick off this topic. I just hosted a master class where I taught the topic of how to develop business. So, you’re about to listen to that audio recording of that masterclass. It’s super comprehensive. I go through everything you need to do in order to master business development. So, give it a listen.

Then, make sure that you implement what you learn. This is going to be the year where you learn how to create clients and money on demand. If this is one of your goals, this is a must-listen episode for you. Okay? It’s filled with so much tangible guidance on exactly what you need to do. I do not gatekeep; I give it all away. So, go grab something to take copious notes with, tune in, and enjoy rice.

How is everyone today? Happy Friday. You see me, amazing. So, we’re going to workshop together, that way you really get a ton out of this, and you’re able to leave here with what I’m calling a “business development blueprint.” You’re going to have the exact steps that you need to take in order to create the business that you want to create. In order to create the clients that you want to create. In order to develop the type of business that you want to develop.

Okay, so I just want to go over the agenda for today. I love to know where we’re going. I love to explain to people what they can expect. First and foremost, we’re going to start by creating some awareness. In order to make changes to your business development strategy we’ve got to figure out what’s going on right now.

So, we’re going to create some awareness today as to why you’re doing what you’re doing, maybe why you’re not doing what you’re not doing, how you think and feel about business development, if it kind of gives you the ‘ick’ or if you have a lot of dread around it. We’re going to create awareness around that.

Then, I’m going to walk you through my five key steps. So, these are going to be the actions that you take in order to develop business. Normally, I love rules of three; old trial attorney trick. But today, we’re talking rules of five. So, five key steps; that’s going to be all about action.

Then, we’re going to talk about the five core beliefs that you need to have when you’re developing business, okay? Because action alone is not enough. You’ve got to make sure that you’ve got the mindset, you’ve cultivated the mindset to fuel you forward, to make sure the action that you’re taking is effective.

Then, we’re going to talk about common mistakes that I see my clients make, that I see people make when it comes to business development, and I’m going to teach you how to avoid them.

Then, we’re going to talk briefly, at the end, about how you can set yourself up for success this year when it comes to business development. I want to talk a little bit about the other skills that I think sort of dovetail nicely and support a business development initiative.

Some of those skills you might already have, which is amazing. Some of those skills you might not have. If you don’t have them, you want to make sure that you figure out what you’re going to do this year to develop them, so you’re able to support yourself all throughout the year as you go on this business development journey.

We’re going to start off with creating awareness. I just want you to do me a favor… like I said, very active chat today. It’s one of my favorite topics to teach. So, I can’t wait to see all the amazing things that you have to say, the ideas that you have, and all the stuff that we’re going to be able to do together today.

But we’re going to start by talking about what you’re currently doing. I just want to get a sense from the crowd. What are you currently doing, or not doing, when it comes to business development? Tell me: Am I posting sometimes on social media? Maybe infrequently. Am I showing up inconsistently? Am I making plans but not sticking to them? Am I changing my mind a lot?

“Tons of networking and posting, at least four days a week.” That’s amazing, Amy, so good. Okay, so posting on social, either in-person or virtual networking. One of the things that I always say is, don’t change what’s working. If you’re doing stuff and it’s working, we want to do more of that. Okay? If there are things that you’re already doing that are helping you create clients, we want to keep doing that stuff.

You want to make sure you identify it so you know that it’s something that works, and you can continue to do it. “Posting regularly on LinkedIn. Setting up speaking engagements,” amazing. “Sending notes to people who comment on my posts,” love that. “Serving current clients really well.” That’s a great point, it leads to referral business, right?

“And consistent on social media.” There we go. “Creating processes from current clients to get them results faster,” love that. “I regularly post on social media, but I’m not creating consults from it.” Okay. “Some coffee chats and playing tennis. Four out of five consults came from these connections,” amazing. “Serving clients well. Need to be clear, on plan, and more consistent.” All right.

So, that’s what I really want to see. I want to see some of that stuff that’s not working too. So, like, “Inconsistent hosting.” Do you make a plan to do it, and then you prioritize other work? That substantive work first. Do you do what I call “post and ghost”? So, you throw something up on social media, but then you don’t spend any time engaging with people. “Not enough calls to action on how to work with me?” Yeah. Not making offers, right? Totally.

“I’ve been really intentional and welcoming each and every new follower via DM. Awesome, welcome. Glad you’re here. If you have any questions, let me know.” I love that, great way to build relationships. “Speaking at industry seminars, coffee and lunch with existing clients, calls and outreach to target relationship folks,” so good.

“Inconsistent on LinkedIn. Not sure how to translate it to actionable leads.” Alright, Christine, you’ll have to tell me more about that. “How do we get burned out on Instagram? I’m not doing enough lead generation posts. Need to find a way to move my network from engaging with my posts to a discovery call.” Okay.

So, when you’re posting, and this is why I say that ‘action is not enough,’ one of the things that you might not be doing is building your belief. Understanding what your current beliefs are about yourself, your services, your potential clients.

We want to make sure, if you’re taking the action but it’s not producing consistent results, you’re either going to look at your social media strategy… I’m going to teach you how to write a social media post that’s very effective, today… But we also want to take a look at what are you believing, and do you have the right beliefs to make the action you take really effective?

Now that you’ve got a clearer picture of the things that you’re doing, maybe the things that you’re doing well… “Yeah, definitely not solid on belief, for sure.” So, if you ignore your belief, then you end up spinning your wheels. You take all of this action, but because it’s not belief-fueled action, which is what I’m going to teach you today, it doesn’t actually move the dial.

Strategy is super important when it comes to business development. We’ve got to make sure that you’re taking enough action. But if you’re taking enough action, and you’re not getting the results you want, we know we’ve got a belief issue, okay?

I actually teach this to my clients. I like to do this as a process of elimination. If you’re not taking enough action, which comes as the result of a belief issue, you’re going to see that in a second. But if you’re not taking enough action, I can’t pinpoint where your belief is lacking.

So, we’ve got to make sure that you’re taking enough action, and then from there I can say, “Okay, what’s going on? Are you creating consultations with potential clients, but it’s not turning into business? Do we have an issue believing that clients have the money to pay you, or that they want to work with you? Is no one taking you up on your offers? What’s going on there?”

That might be doubt in your own belief, your belief in yourself, your skills, the services you provide, the value of them, that you’re able to get clients the results you offer? We want to make sure you’re taking enough action and then from there, we can come in and laserly target… don’t know if that’s a word, but bear with me… We can target very specifically the belief that’s getting in your way.

Now, we’re going to do what I call… I like to think of this as a negative thought download. Because I want to up root all the negative thoughts that are standing in your way. Okay? So, go ahead and drop in the chat: What are your negative thoughts about developing business? And then, in parentheses, next to the thought, I want you to put the one-word emotion that you feel when you think that thought?

“I just got a whole lot of ‘not now’s’ on consults, and I just deflated totally. I’m so busy.” All right, maybe that’s overwhelmed, or stressed. What else do we have? “I don’t have control over creating consults.” Yes, right, and you will feel either helpless, hopeless, out of control. “Don’t know how to find clients. Confused?” Yeah. This stuff isn’t rocket science, you guys.

When you think ‘I don’t know,’ you will feel confused. “I don’t know where to start,” confused and overwhelmed. “I’m not clear on which is my target audience.” Okay. That’s sort of another variant of ‘I don’t know.’ You might feel unclear, lost, confused. “I feel scattered and unfocused. There are so many potential actions, I don’t know which is the best to do today.” Yeah. I always think that’s when our overwhelm and confusion sort of come together, team up like cousins, and not in a good way.

“Graspy.” Allie, so what’s the thought that makes you feel graspy? “I know, for me, too in the beginning. It’s exhausting. Overwhelm, for sure. I used to think, ‘People will think this is stupid,’ when I thought about marketing on social media. I felt embarrassed or exposed, that people are going to see me. People will think I’m desperate.” That’s a big one for people.

“Graspy or needy. Or people don’t want what I have to offer. People don’t want to be sold to. I don’t know how vulnerable to be, and then I feel like my posts are robotic.” Yeah, you’ve got to share more of yourself, for sure. “I resonate with the previous comment, writing copy is hard. Feeling despair.” Yeah, these are great. These are so, so good, you guys.

Okay, what I want you to do, I want to continue creating awareness, is take one of those thoughts… And you can do this on your own time, where you go through each one and you really create meaningful awareness as to the impact of each one of these thoughts.

But if this is your first time at one of my trainings, one of the concepts that I teach people is that C stands for Circumstance. That’s just the situation we’re dealing with. Right? Today, we’re talking about developing business.

“I worry about former colleagues looking down on me when I market online.” Christine, that was a huge one for me. I had to make a deal with myself, that I would be willing to feel whatever feelings came up on my business development journey. I kept telling myself over and over and over again, “If there’s no feeling I’m unwilling to feel, there’s no results that I can’t create.” I know that’s a lot of negatives, but that is what I kept telling myself over and over and over again.

The truth is, y’all, discomfort both ways. There’s discomfort in taking action and putting yourself out there, and being seen in front of people, those former colleagues. Then there’s discomfort in not doing that and not developing business. “I worry about my daughter seeing my posts,” totally.

My rule is, either block them or get over it. All right? You’ve got three options: Don’t post, because you care so much about what they think. Post and let them see it, and gag-and-go through the discomfort. Or block them. Block them or get over it, I’m so serious.

Two of the guys that I worked with in big law, one of them I used to have a crush on, and other one I couldn’t stand. He was so mean to me when I worked there. I had all this mind drama around what they would think. And if you’re worried about what they would think, I would encourage you to identify who’s ‘they’?

Normally, it’s someone very specific like your daughter, or a specific former colleague that you think is going to have a judgment about you. I decided I could block both of these guys, or I could just move forward and let them see it, if they are online. I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that I would block them; not that you get alerted.

But if someone else was like, “Hey, did you see Olivia’s stuff online,” and then they tried to search for me and couldn’t find me, I didn’t want to put myself in that position. So, I decided to gag-and-go through the discomfort. I allowed myself to feel exposed and embarrassed. I deeply, deeply believe…

This may be one of the thoughts that just came up for you, “I don’t have what it takes to develop business. There is some X-factor.” I deeply believe there is no X-factor. The only difference between people who are making money and developing business and you, is that they’re willing to take actions that you’re unwilling to take. They’re willing to feel feelings you’re unwilling to feel. All right? They’re thinking thoughts about developing business that you’re not.

I just think that’s such an equalizer, which is so fun. Yeah, there’s no X‑factor. I started to recognize, just like Christine said, I’m not a unicorn. The people who have come before me probably had to market in front of their former colleagues, and probably had the same thoughts and negative feelings about it as me. But they were willing to feel those feelings on purpose, to embrace them, to allow them.

Yeah, willing to take consistent action. There’s a lot of negative emotions that go into taking consistent action, that you have to be willing to feel on purpose, right? So, if you decide, “Hey, I’m going to follow suit. People have done it before me. They probably had to feel their negative feelings, and I’m going to have to feel mine.”

The truth is, there’s discomfort both ways: Avoiding being embarrassed or exposed, or in embracing it and moving forward and putting yourself out there. I always suggest picking the path to get to the life you want. And in this case, that’s in creating clients and making money.

There will be a replay, Melissa. If you have to drop off at 12:30, you will get the replay. “That’s something you said in the past, there’s no X-Factor. Never thought that I’d want to do a different business, but I put in X years into creating this one.” I think you’ve got to decide what to do there and make a definitive decision.

I know that you’ve changed a couple of times in the past, so you have to see if that is your success intolerance bubbling up; if you get bored with something, and when it gets hard and you don’t get the results that you want, you want to jump to something else. That used to be me all the time in my 20s. We’ll talk about that for a second before we move on.

This is actually something that you can see, as I walk you through this model. You might be guilty of doing this, too. But this came up for me all the time when I was younger. I started a lot of businesses in my 20s and I never stuck with them. I’d get really excited, energized, committed, determined, motivated; all those sexy, juicy, amazing emotions.

Then you start taking action; time goes by. You start taking action, and you don’t get results. So, now you start to feel a little confused and a little frustrated. And then some more time goes by, and you probably start taking less action because these negative emotions are showing up. And you end up avoiding them by doing something else that brings you instant gratification. So, you’re feeling confused and frustrated.

And then, over time, you take less and less action, and you’re getting less and less results. And now, you feel worried and maybe embarrassed and disappointed and discouraged. Maybe even guilty, because now you’re really not showing up and you’re beating yourself up about it. Then, right around here, you hit defeated, and then you quit.

And then, what people love to do, is they love to jump to something new. They start that whole process over again. Okay? Effort goes down over time. This is time. The curve is how you feel. Right? So, if this is you, and you keep changing because you’re not getting the results you want, I think the question to ask yourself there is: If what I was doing was successful, would I make a change?

If the answer’s no, then you’ve got to clean up what you’re doing and stay the course, rather than making a switch. That’s my guidance there.

“It helps that you’re sharing that you’ve had these feelings, because you’re confident and beautiful.” Thank you so much. That is so kind of you. No one’s exempt from this stuff, you guys. I teach people to stuff day in day out, week in week out.

People have negative thoughts and feelings about developing business. You want to normalize that for yourself, and recognize that other people aren’t unicorns who don’t experience any of this stuff. They’re no different than you, they are just willing to feel their feelings and take intentional action in spite of those emotions.

I want you to take one of those thoughts that you just identified, and we’re going to see the impact of thinking that thought. So, we’ll do, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ Again, you want to identify the one-word emotion. So, when we’re thinking about developing business, and you’re thinking your thought, you feel a feeling.

Chances are, because we just did a negative thought download, it’s going to be a negative feeling. Because negative thoughts cause negative feelings, and then negative feelings produce negative action or no action.

So, what do we do when we’re feeling confused? Spin, don’t figure it out, seek instant gratification. We call this, in coaching, “buffering.” Doing something else that feels better in the moment: Watch TV, scroll on social media, all that stuff. So, spin, we don’t figure it out, and we end up indulging in ‘I don’t know.’

Then, guess what? You create the result of you still don’t know what to do. Right? Same thing. If you’re thinking, “I’m not in control of my results.” You’ll feel out of control, that helplessness. Then, guess what you do? You cede control, you take less action. You don’t cultivate strong beliefs. You do a lot of waiting and seeing. People just come to you. So, you end up relinquishing control.

“Also, endlessly research shit.” Yes, that’s such a good point. That was probably for the other model, but yes. I want you to start to see there are other thoughts that might be seemingly positive…

“I hope I develop business this year.” I just recorded a podcast episode on this. I do not like “hope” as an emotion okay, because it puts you into that wait-and-see, relinquish, cede control, state. Or, “I need to develop business this year.” Need begets more need. Thoughts with “need” and “want” in them create results that leave you still needing and still wanting.

So, “I want to develop business this year,” might feel hopeful, optimistic, or maybe a little guilty because you’re not doing it. Or you’re telling yourself you need to and you feel pressured. Those thoughts aren’t going to serve you. You want to see what’s coming up.

You also might doubt yourself and your abilities. “No one wants to work with me. I’m not enough of an expert. My clients can’t afford to work with me, I’m too expensive.” A lot of the attorneys that I work with, they think their rates are too high so they don’t develop business. “I don’t have time to develop business.”

You want to see how these current thoughts are making you feel, and then the action you’re taking from that feeling. You want to see how it’s producing your current results. Whatever your current results are when it comes to business development, it’s coming from the thoughts that you’re thinking, the negative feelings that are coming up for you that you end up reacting to or avoiding, and then the action that you’re taking that’s not serving you. Okay?

So, in order to move forward, we’ve got to change what we’re thinking about developing business. We’re going to work from the bottom up. We’re going to work from the result we want to create, and reverse engineer it. We start with just identifying the result.

It can be to develop business. I like to get more specific than that. So, how much money do you want to create this year? How many clients do you want to create this year? Some of my clients want to work with particular clients, like a Fortune 500 company. So, get clear here. What’s the exact result that you want to create?

From there, this is what you’re going to do. This is going to be sort of the 50,000 ft view. We’re going to get more specific as we work through the material today. You’re going to do, what I call, create a business development blueprint. We’re going to do that together today. Okay?

Then, you’re going to take all five actions that I’m going to teach you very consistently. You’re also going to work on building those five core beliefs that I’m going to teach you. You’re going to do that week in, week out, to make sure you’re staying in really high belief. And then you’re going to stay the course.

You might be tempted to change it, sort of like Mariette was talking about a second ago, right? Do I want to switch to something new, something that sounds more exciting? No, no, no, no, no, we’re not making changes here. We’re staying the course. You’re going to give the work that you do time to actually work.

Success compounds, but only if you don’t make changes. I also always want you to include in your Intentional Action line: Allow myself to feel… We’re going to list out the negative emotions that you’re going to have to be willing to feel in order to show up and do all of this stuff. So, you might have to feel dread, or embarrassed or confused… got to feel confused and work through it, rather than try to escape it… or exposed.

A big one for people is, tired or pressured or overwhelmed. You’ve got to sit with that feeling, and show up and develop business anyways, instead of just always putting that substantive work first.

Now I want you to tell me, what’s the positive emotion that you need to feel in order to take all of that action, and gag-and-go your way through that discomfort? Give me that one word emotion. Ooh, “Momentum,” yeah. “Committed,” yes. So good. “Confident,” love it. I also love “compelled” here. “Determined,” so good. “My content is always working.” Ooh, that’s so fun. What a great thought.

“Secure. Purposeful.” You guys, these are so good. “Determined,” yes. “Curious,” I love curious. “Capable,” Cam, capable is a big one for me. I totally agree with you.

Now, I want you to take that feeling and tell me what’s the thought that you need to think to feel that feeling? “I have everything I need,” so good. That always makes me feel sufficient. “I am enough,” yeah. “I am such a determined person.” Love that, Acel. “I can do this,” I love that. “This is working. I can do this.” Yes. For me, it’s ‘I will do this.’ No matter how long it takes and what feelings I have to feel.

So, those were the two promises I made myself when I started developing business. I made myself a promise, unlike 20-something Olivia, I would not quit, no matter what. No matter how long it took me to get results, I committed to working the process that I’m going to teach you until I crossed the finish line.

Until I learned how to create money, I learned how to create clients, and I learned how to develop business. I made myself that promise, I would not quit no matter what. I was willing to do it for however long it took me to figure this out. I jokingly said to myself, “I’m willing to be bad at this for however long it takes for me to get good.”

And, I kept that commitment to myself. I also made myself a promise that I would be willing to feel every negative feeling I had to feel on the path to get there. I said, “I’m willing to feel all that discomfort, and show up in spite of it.” That’s how I was able to be consistent, how I was able to put myself out there and give value.

Alright, we’ve got some amazing thoughts. Crowdsource them. I love to just create a whole list of thoughts that I like to think. “All of my future clients are waiting for me.” That’s such a good one. “This can be fun. People are waiting for my help. Everything I do is working.”

What else? “I love that I don’t have to feel joy all the time to act.” If I waited ‘til I felt joyful to act, I’d get nothing done. “I love the work that I do.” Most of the time, I just have to gag-and-go through feeling dreadful and tired, and unmotivated. “Trust the process,” yeah. “That was the best time for me to build this business,” yes.

“Thank you for sharing that about yourself. It’s good to hear we’re not alone in our thoughts.” You’re not alone at all. “Now is the perfect time. Let’s go.” Alright, I want you to keep adding to this. You can create a little note in your phone, or wherever you want, but you’re going to keep adding positive thoughts.

“I know enough now, and I can figure out what I don’t know,” I love that, such a good thought. “I have everything I need, to make money, within me already.” That’s another thought that I love to think.

So, we’ve cultivated some new thoughts. When you change your thinking, you change how you feel, and then you change how you show up, and it changes your results. I want to make sure that you guys are keeping top of mind, you’ve got to make sure that you’re cultivating the mindset that you need to take belief-fueled action.

We’re going to talk about five core beliefs in a second, but before we do that, I want to talk about strategy. These are the five key actions that you need to take in order to develop business. I’m going to walk you through each one of them, but this is the overview.

Number one, you’ve got to know your offer. That’s who you help and what you help them with. I like this to be simple, yet specific. Okay?

Number two… these are going to sound overly simplified, but I promise you, this is all that is required to make money. Number two, you’re going to meet people, both direct clients and referral partners. We’ll talk about that more in a second. Then, you’re going to tell the people you meet what you do. Again, simple but specific.

You’re going to add value ahead of time. Give away information for free, just like I’m doing right now with this webinar. Adding value ahead of time, and then you make offers when it makes sense. We’re going to talk about that. It’s just making sure that you’re doing things that are consensual, that people have opted into, rather than selling in a nonconsensual way.

Step number one, you’ve got to know your offer. I want you to make a commitment that you’re going to figure this out today. If you don’t already have this figured out, don’t spend any more time thinking on this other than the time that you take today. So, who do you help? What problems do you help them solve? How do you help people solve these problems?

I like people to be able to complete this statement; this part is really like bonus extra credit, that last part. It helps you figure out how you set yourself apart.

“Is it okay to have two offers?” I follow a concept that I learned from one of my business coaches, which is called “the concept of this simple offer.” Every time you have more than one offer, you make your job harder. Especially if your offers are serving multiple groups of people, or different groups of people.

It’s going to make everything you do more challenging; writing content, writing copy, marketing. Talking about what you do is going to become more of a challenge. Writing your website is going to become more of a challenge. Figuring out what you talk about on a daily basis. Figuring out what you will lead with when you talk to people.

I love, as a good litmus test, to just speak it out loud. Like if you were going to say… “What if you make it general to target several groups?” yeah, when you do this generally you water yourself down so you stand out less. Which is why it’s simple, yet specific. Okay? You can focus on everyone, but you have to do a better job at speaking to the specific problems that you help people solve, so they actually have an understanding of what you do.

I just like to think of… we’ll use a criminal defense attorney example. I have friends who are criminal defense attorneys. I have one friend who does everything from a traffic ticket to a homicide case. That’s how she introduces herself. So, I know that she can help with anything.

I know another, a friend of mine, he specializes in federal child pornography work. I couldn’t imagine doing that work. But he is a specialist in that line of work, and that comes from his experience as a prosecutor. But if I ever hear of someone who needs that type of service provided, not to get morbid and dark, but I know that I would send them to Paul, because Paul is an expert in that. I also know people who are experts in representing biker gangs.

“Yeah, I feel like what I help with changes with the wind.” We’ve got to fix that; you can’t be changing with the wind. You want to be really clear about who you help and the problems that you help people solve.

“Help General Counsel, ESG initiatives, launching ESG initiatives, by getting leadership buy-in through board and executive trainings.” So good, right, Christine? So, the GCs would hire you? The GCs would hire you; the companies would hire you? Tell me if I’m right, there. “Exactly.” So good.

“Help empty nesters love their lives once their kids are grown and flown.” So good, Jay. I absolutely love that. “Help people who have been ripped off by getting them at their fair share.” Yeah, Benjamin. I would flush that out. Like, ripped off how? Is it like someone who… I know attorneys who are lemon lawyers, so that’s a very specific problem. How is someone ripped off? What’s their fair share? Are you getting them the money back that they lost? Just tell me a little bit more there.

“I help women who want a deep and fulfilling life by teaching them how to have a great relationship with all parts of themselves.” Love that, Alex. “I help humanitarians decide whether or not to leave the humanitarian fields.” So good.

“I help powerhouse women clear their clutter and take up all the space they deserve, so that they can create a life that blows their mind. I do this through interior design and coaching services.” “I focus on holistic transformation from the inside out.” So good.

“Getting them their money back, business litigation.” Yeah, totally.

We just want to make sure that everyone you know is able to know what you do. It’s going to be really, really clear. When you get clearer about this and when you constrain, everything you do gets easier.

I have a client right now, a couple clients actually, they’re torn, I call it being “half pregnant”, between two different ideal client avatars. It makes what they do so hard, they never know who they’re writing to.

Now, if you can identify two offers that you really want to have, and you’re willing to put the time in to go through the business development blueprint and market both of them, you’re going to have to create a lot of clarity for yourself. When am I marketing this one, versus one of my marketing this one? How frequently do I fluctuate back and forth?

“I help people who have been let down by the traditional health system, and their chronic symptoms, with my smart healing methods.” Love that. So good. I have a lot of people kind of in my space right now who are into holistic health solutions, which is so cool.

So, step one is know your offer. The more specific, the better, because it makes your life easier. What I wanted to mention a moment ago was, say it out loud. If you’re like, “Hi, I’m Olivia Vizachero, and I help newspaper journalists submit Freedom of Information Act requests that actually get granted.” Or, “I used to do FoIA work.” That would be one example. I could also say, “I also used to do data breach incident responses.”

So, if I’m introducing that, think about it. I’m speaking out of two different sides of my mouth, essentially. It’s going to confuse the people that I’m talking to. Are they going to remember that I do both of those things? Who am I leading with? What identity am I leading with in that moment?

Then, think about creating content around that. What does my website say? What’s the homepage of my website say? “I help people with problems,” that’s going to be the catchall. Which isn’t going to be specific enough to be compelling. Or it’s going to be really bifurcated, rather than just going all-in on data breach work, or going all-in on that FoIA litigation that I used to do. Okay?

Same thing with thinking about the different types of law you could practice. The people who do everything, they don’t stand out to you, right? So, you want to make sure that people know what you specialize in.

The reason knowing your offer is so important, is not only does it make your social media presence easier to navigate, but it also informs every other step of these five steps that I’m teaching you. Specifically with meeting people, these are the categories in your blueprint you want to make sure you have answered. You’re going to have specific people identified, and ways to reach out to these people, for each one of these categories. Okay?

“When you say ‘two offers,’ are you okay with both one-and-one, and group? Would that be unacceptable, two offers?” Great question, Jen. I only like two offers if you have demand to support it. I was brought up to follow the methodology of starting with one-on-one. This is for anyone who’s an entrepreneurial coach, here. Start with one-on-one, grow it until the point that you’re fully booked, start a waitlist, and then you can launch a group.

I always want people to be thinking about how do you want your launch of a group to go? What do you want your experience to be like? “I want my experience to be as seamless as possible.” There’s a lot of learning that goes into launching a group. But you get to decide, do you do it to crickets? Or do you launch it to a list of 100 people that are waiting to work with you, and you don’t have room for in one-on-one? That’s going to be a very different experience.

“I have a lot of things I’ve helped people with so it’s a sticking point to me. A sticking point for me to know what I specialize in. I’m a generalist in the widest way.” Here’s the thing, you can continue to do other work, just don’t let your marketing be that general. The majority of my clients are lawyers, but I work with people who aren’t lawyers too. Some of my one-on-one clients are coaches. Some of them I’ve worked with are financial advisors, CPAs; people from all different backgrounds.

I don’t change my marketing. For the first several years of my business, I focused only on lawyers. Now, I’m moving into hosting retreats for a wider range of people, and candidly, making my marketing job a lot harder because I’m getting less specific. I am taking my own medicine here.

“I want to help women figure out what they really want, and then we create it. Is that too vague?” I think you can answer that last question, which is, how exactly do I do that? That will give people a little bit more context. “Makes sense, Olivia. Thank you.” You’re welcome.

I want you to start to answer these questions. So, based on your offer, who are your direct clients? Christine gave us a great example earlier. Her direct clients are General Counsel. She can start to think about… That’s who she would identify: GCs. I’ll do this on the next page, actually. Again, if you serve a broad audience, you just want to start to make a list. Pick three people for each one, that you can start to identify.

Because you have to be thinking about how you’re going to find them. So, Christine, we could do General Counsel. She needs to meet GCs. Where in person would she meet them? What conferences, potentially? There’s CLOC, right? I know this is going on right now in Vegas, ContractsCon. “I’m speaking at CLOC,” of course, you are. Amazing. CLOC, ContractsCon, maybe some other… the ACC, Association of Corporate Counsel events?

You might make a list. I don’t go to a ton of in-person stuff. When I do, I make sure I get a lot of bang for my buck. I want it to be a very target-rich environment for me. I’m getting ready to speak at ABA Tech show, that is one of the in-person events that I go to. I also tend to go to ClioCon. That’s an event for me, because it’s filled with my ideal people. Last year, I went to Women In Trial Travel Summit, in Mexico. That was full with my ideal clients. as well.

So, pick a couple, throughout the year, and then you can bank on them. When you identify ahead of time the in-person events that you’ll go to, you can see if you can speak, which is great.

Then, you’ll think about, “Alright, where am I going to connect with people? How am I going to connect with people virtually?” For direct clients, I would probably pick LinkedIn. I don’t know if there’s as much of a following on X, formerly known as Twitter, but LinkedIn I know is Christine’s sweet spot. I think that’s a great spot for her to be.

Remember, we’re answering the questions: Who? Where? How? So, direct clients, you’re going to go here and maybe you speak at these events. Or you just introduce yourself. On LinkedIn, what do we do? We send connection requests. You get 100/week; max those out. Then, comments on GCs’ posts. That’s going to be your how you meet your direct clients on LinkedIn. Okay?

If your people are on Instagram, you can send them connection requests. I like to comment on their stuff. I find them through their hashtags or accounts that they follow. You’ve got to be thinking about, again, when you identify them then the “how” starts to flush itself out.

Then, you want to be thinking about referral partners. Who are the people that would send you business? It might be other attorneys. You can get more specific than that. It also might be other stakeholders within the company, maybe CEOs or CFOs. “Private equity,” so good. “Private equity folks,” amazing.

Ask yourself that: Where can I meet them? Do they attend certain conferences? Again, it’s going to be LinkedIn. Your “how” is going to be a little bit different here. Yes, send connection requests, engage with their content, but you’re also going to do connection calls with these people. Also known as “virtual coffees.”

You’re going to reach out, and you’re going to say, “Hey, I think it would make sense for us to know each other better. I think you work with the same people I work with. I can send you business, you can send me business. I think it makes sense for us to have a better idea of what each of us does. Would you be up for jumping on a Zoom for 30 minutes?” I’m chatty, so mine are an hour. “Would you be up for a connection call, so we could learn more about what each other does?”

Some people will take you up on that, and some people won’t. Do not worry about the ones who don’t. We’re just focused on building our network. I also want you to decide how much of this are you going to do? With direct clients, we’re sending those 100 connection requests each week. How much commenting on other people’s posts are we going to do? How much time are we going to spend doing that? I spent at least an hour a day.

How many connection calls are we going to do each week? Think about if I was doing data breach incident response, like I used to, who would my direct clients be? Business owners, or in-house attorneys at those businesses. But normally…

“Did you say 100 connection requests a week?” Yes, that should take you less than 10 minutes. On LinkedIn, you literally just get to… It’s like Google, this is why we’re identifying it. So, Christine can type in “general counsel” into the search bar and filter by people. Then, all of the general counsels that exist on LinkedIn are going to come up.

I like to filter by second-degree connections, because you don’t want to see the people that you’re already connected with. And, second-degree connections are more likely to accept your request. Then you just send; you click “Connect.” I don’t send a note. I don’t bog down someone’s inbox with that. It’s just a numbers game.

But this should take you no more than 10 minutes. If it takes you more than 10 minutes, you’re doing it wrong. You’re being too perfectionistic about it.

If you serve business owners; founder, owner, CEO; maybe entrepreneur, but probably not. People would probably use “president” or some phrase like that.

If you work with coaches. Jay is here. So, Jay works with parents who are empty nesters. I would identify, pick a couple of different job titles, people… I’m going to sound crass… people with money. We’re not here to sell our services to people without money. So, who likely has money? I’d come up with you know, C-suite individuals, partners in law firms, things like that. I’d search 100 connection requests a week.

“On the direct clients virtually, I’m not sure how much to wait for people to come to me versus asking for meetings, which is feels salesy.” I don’t ask for any meetings with direct clients. That’s why you don’t see that up here. I let people come to me through the value that I add.

I engage with them, I send them a connection request, I comment on their social media post, I put stuff out publicly for them to consensually opt into, and this is why I always make an offer okay. Because I give people an opportunity to opt in to work with me, to take the next step.

So, I made an offer to you all to come to this, through social media posts or through my email list, and you opted in. I’m going to make an offer at the end of this, for you to come work with me this year. But you’ve consented to it, because you showed up here. And, I’m giving value ahead of time. If you want to drop off before I make that offer at the end, you’re more than welcome to, right?

I don’t do this anymore, but when I used to do one-on-one work and I’d sell with a consult, you’d opt into going to that consult. And then at the consult, I’m making you a paid offer to work with me, that you’ve consented to hearing because you signed up for the consult. So, it’s never forced.

I believe direct clients know they’re your direct clients, so if you ask them for a connection call, they know you want to sell them because you do want to sell them. So, it shifts your energy. Do connection calls with people where it’s a reciprocal value add; you can help them and they can help you. It’s not the same dynamic when that person would hire you.

For people, and I’m going to use Jay as an example again. Jay gets to network with parents, so some people that he reaches out to may be ideal clients. But again, you’re really going to have to manage your energy. The purpose of the call is not to get the person to become a client. Okay? The purpose of the call is just to get to know one another.

This is another rule for me, if someone expresses interest in working with you on that connection call, you set up a separate call, okay? For the sales call, the sales pitch, the consultation; whatever word you use, okay? You don’t turn a connection call into a consultation. I think that is not clean energy. You want to make sure you’re really in integrity.

“How soon after connecting with the general counsel, or C-suite, would you recommend asking to meet with them to discuss further?” I think the best‑case scenario is to connect with them if they share content on social media, to engage with that for a little while, then reach out and say, “Hey, saw your posts, really love your stuff. I’d love to connect further, learn more about what you do.”

My guess though, and I could be wrong, but Joshua, for you, are those GCs or C-suite individuals potential clients? Because if they are potential clients, I don’t do connection calls with those people. I let those people come to me. So, what I would do, is I would be connecting with people who would be referral partners.

That might be… I don’t know if I’m familiar with the firm that you’re at, just from seeing the email registrant. I don’t know whether you do transactional work or litigation, but you might want to meet with… “Litigation,” amazing. So, you might want to do referrals, or do connection calls, with people in the transactional space because they’re not direct competitors.

Sometimes I do connection calls with direct competitors, because I believe that there’s plenty of business to go around. But people who don’t do what you do but interact with your clients, you’d be able to refer them business, they’d be able to refer you business. Right?

Or people who do exactly what you do but are at other firms, you might have conflicts. So, that’s a great way to reach out to referral partners. “Hey, we do the same thing. I’m really looking to flesh out, build out, my network of referral partners or local counsel, I’d love to jump on a call with you if you’ve got 30 minutes, just to learn more about your practice, your experience, who you’d like to work with. I think we serve the same groups of people.”

Then publicly, we’re going to talk about this in a second, but you’re going to add value, and then make offers to invite the direct clients in. Like the people on this call right now, I wouldn’t reach out to you and ask you for a connection call. I publish public social media content. This is a public training that I offer, that you get to opt into for free, and then I make you an offer that you have to opt into. I don’t come to you. You want people, our ideal people, coming to us.

“When you are looking for speaking gigs, do you reach out proactively to the folks booking speakers? Or do you follow the ‘they need to reach out to me’ rule here?” Great question, EJ. With speaking engagements, I will reach out. I see that as a little bit of a reciprocal value add, because they need speakers. I think it’s skewed a little bit. I prefer if someone comes to me.

And I think your success rate is better when they’re coming to you, obviously, than when you’re going to them. But if you’re okay getting told no a little bit more frequently, then you can do that cold outreach. I normally speak for free, too. Not all of the time, some of the speaking that I do is paid. But I do speak a lot for free because I want to get in front of the audience.

So, step one, know your offer. Step two, meet people; direct clients, referral partners; in person and online. I prefer online, just because you can get a lot more bang for your buck. Especially if you serve a nationwide audience, an international audience, you’re not just restricted to your geographic areas.

I like in-person events a couple of times throughout the year. I go to the same stuff over and over again. I’ve found that to be the best way to have really rich relationships with people.

You might not know people very well the first time, but then you go back to the same event the next year and you meet up, you have a drink, you remember, you hug, you shake hands; all that good stuff. And the next year, you’re like, “Hey, do you want to do dinner? I’m coming in a day early; I’d love to catch up.” And you really start to know each other.

I do like some intentional in-person events in those target-rich environments. But you want to make sure that you’re spending the bulk of your time virtually. Especially with social media, this is how we’re going to continue to nurture people over time.

Step one, know your offer. Step two, meet people. Step three, tell people what you do. I know this sounds simple, but you want to make sure you’re doing it. And the goal should be that everyone you know should be able to send you your ideal clients. Okay?

It is such an opportunity that we can work globally and virtually now.

And anyone who has thought drama, mind drama, around social media, it is free, you guys. It is one of the coolest things in the world, that we get to reach all these people for free. So, let’s clean up our negative thoughts.

If anyone has to drop off, I just realized we’re at the top of the hour, if you have to drop off, you’ll get the recording of this. I’ve still got more stuff to go through. I figured I would run long today.

So, you want to make sure that everyone you know, knows what you do. Great litmus test here is just to ask people, “Do you know what I do? Tell me what you think I do.” I did a challenge on this last year when I taught this topic. I had people actually create social media posts asking their audience, “Hey, tell me what do you think it is that I do? Who do you think I work with? Who are my ideal clients?”

I’ve had clients tell me, “Oh, yeah, everyone knows what you do.” And then I asked them, “Would your kids be able to send you business?” I had a commercial leasing attorney, and she would tell her kids that she worked in real estate. When I think you work in real estate, I think you’re a realtor. Right? Or a real estate investor. I don’t think you’re a commercial leasing attorney.

She also wanted to specialize in commercial leasing for restaurants or food industry businesses. That’s a very specific thing, and you want to make sure people know that. If you do contract disputes, if you’re a commercial litigator, you want to make sure that people don’t just think that you go to court. I had a client like that, once.

She’s like, “Yeah, my brother would just tell people I go to court.” I’m like, “Yeah, criminal defense attorneys go to court, you don’t have anything to do with that.” Her brother was an entrepreneur so he was an ideal client, as were most of his friends.

We really need to make sure that people you know, they can be out in the world, like your little minions, helping you. Referring people to you. If people are referring you non-ideal clients, that’s just an opportunity to clear that up. Again, keep it simple and specific.

You want to make sure you are clear on how exactly you will do this. So, you’re going to tell people in person, conversations in person. I bring my identity with me, absolutely, everywhere I go. I eat out by myself a lot. Every bartender that I meet knows that I’m a life coach for lawyers. And they also know that I host in-person personal development retreats. I mentioned it every chance I get.

If I go out, leave my house today, and people compliment me that I have a nice dress on… They go, “You look really nice.” I’d be like, “Oh, I taught a webinar today.” They’re like, “Oh, on what?” “I actually teach people how to develop business. I’m a life coach for lawyers. So, I talk about all things; professional and personal. One of those topics that I cover is business development. So, I taught a training on that.”

I tell everyone what I do. I bring it with me everywhere I go. If you are sitting next to me in a restaurant, you’re going to hear about it. If we’re on a tour together in Italy, you’re going to hear about it. I tell absolutely everyone.

Social media posts are another way. In your own social media posts, you’re going to tell people what you do by walking them through examples of problems you solve; more on that in a second. You’re also going to comment on other people’s posts.

One of my dear friends, Shari Belitz, she’s a trial consultant and she loves to use the phrase “comments or content, comments or content.” It doesn’t always make sense to talk about what you do on another person’s post, but if it does… So, if someone was talking about jury selection, that is a perfect opportunity for Shari to talk about what she does. Then you’re also going to tell people on connection calls, what you do.

Again, we’re just building out that blueprint, you want to be really clear about what it is that you’re doing for each of these five steps.

Step four, add value ahead of time. That is a very industry entrepreneurship/coachy term or phrase. It just means giving away free information that is valuable, before people have paid you. The goal is to give away so much free value that it actually makes you uncomfortable.

“Caveat, don’t link out to your website in the comments.” No, that’s so awful. “How much content do you suggest putting out on social media? How long should a post be? For instance, should it refer back to a blog link? And can a post read like an email?”

Most of my posts read like an email. If you follow my social media content, I have a specific cadence to my posts. Shorter posts are easier to read. But mine are lengthy and I’ve just accepted that. I don’t think there’s a right answer there. My rule is at least four times a week, that you should be posting on social media. But we’re going to talk about that in a second; deciding the frequency that you can actually commit to.

For some people, that’s only once a week. If that’s what you can do, fine. This is my full-time gig, so I make sure that I do it at least four times a week, and then only one post a day. “Do posts have to be written?” Nope. You can do videos, reels, TikToks, stories. I do an Ask Me Anything series on Instagram that is very, very popular, that I put a ton of time into on the weekends.

“Can you refer back to a blog link?” You can, I don’t love that. I don’t think people want to leave the platform. So, I’m always thinking about where’s someone’s attention. “For lawyers, any caveats on free value, but not giving legal advice that creates attorney/client relationship claims?” Yes. Just put a disclaimer at the bottom that says ‘this is not legal advice.’

I think people get in their own heads and don’t mark it because they’re afraid of being in a realm that constitutes legal advice. And I think the real issue, I’m not an attorney grievance person so you can run it by someone, I think they’re going to be overly cautious and tell you not to do things that would make you a lot of money. So, you have to determine your own risk tolerance there.

“The platform doesn’t like you leaving the platform, so the algorithm doesn’t favor that.” Exactly. The algorithm doesn’t favor you linking back to something else. Whether it’s your website… I have to do it, because I can’t get you here unless I drop a link, right? So, I’m willing to take the hit. But I do take that into consideration. That if I am bringing it back to something else, that I’m going to be dinged by whatever platform that I’m on.

“As a creator, it is really frustrating when a comment hijacks your post anywhere outside of the platform.” Yeah, I just don’t recommend doing that, don’t drop links to other people’s stuff. “We have to, of course. Just judicially.” Yeah. “The platform doesn’t like you leaving,” yes. “Just judicially, about the links.” Exactly.

So, you’re wanting to give away so much value that it makes you uncomfortable. I like this to be as closely tied to what you do as possible. Again, you’re going to focus on consistency: What’s the amount of value you can commit to providing, consistently? Don’t take on more than you can maintain.

I heard someone say this on social media earlier this week, and I thought it was so, so good. They said if you have to ask “when,” your brain starts to ask “if.” The context that I heard it in was, if you host a weekly meeting but you cancel the meeting a lot, your team members, rather than being like, “When is the meeting?” they’re going to start to ask, “Are we holding the meeting? Do we have a meeting this week? Are you sure you want to do that?”

They wonder if we’re going to do it, not when we’re going to do it. I think the same exact thing is true with the value you add; whatever you can commit to. I have a client right now, and she wants to do more than one webinar a month. That is a grueling pace. I know, because I do a webinar a month. I also do a weekly podcast. That’s one of the ways that I give value ahead of time. That weekly consistency, on top of the other stuff that I do, is intense.

So, I’m very cautious about what I commit to, because I make the deal with myself that I’m going to maintain that frequency consistently.

What’s the purpose of getting value out of time? A couple different things. Number one, you want to position yourself as an expert. The way that you do that is by giving valuable information away for free to your potential clients.

You also want to show what you do instead of tell them. So, when you use my social media framework, or you can use the framework for trainings like this, but it shows people what you do because you talk about the specific problems. You’re giving them an example of seeing you in action.

It also helps build “know, like, trust”; people need to know you, like you, and trust you, in order to work with you. So, we want to increase your “know, like, trust” factor over time. Most people have to see your stuff. The new statistic is 21 times, before they work with you. So, be thinking about that. How can you put yourself out there in a way that allows people to interact with you and see your expertise 21 times?

And, you’re nurturing people. This is, again, why I love virtual connections, rather than just doing stuff in person. Because if you meet someone at a networking event, you probably lose them unless you drive them to connect with you on social media. When I meet people, I don’t give out business cards anymore. I just want them to follow me on LinkedIn or Instagram. Because I want them to be nurtured by my content continuously, so then when I make an offer to work with me, they can opt into it.

Be thinking about that, that funnel that brings people to you. If you meet someone out in the real world, out in the wild, how are we continuing to nurture them?

Here are some examples of adding value. You do not have to do all of these. You can do all of these, if you have the time and availability to do all of them. I gave some examples of things that are related to the stuff that you do for work. And then, some other examples of the ways that we add value ahead of time as well. So, social media posts, webinars, podcasts, either hosting your own podcast or being a guest, you can host an event or a panel discussion. It’s a great way.

Actually, this is for Joshua, if you want to engage with GCs or C-suite people, and you want to do it in a way that’s not pushy, desperate, or graspy, host panel discussions. Reach out to them and invite them to be a speaker at it, it will give you a way to add value to them. Because it gives them a platform, it makes them look important. That’s a great way to engage and interact with those people without it coming off pushy or desperate.

Speaking engagements, reaching out to places, or just being asked to speak, writing articles. I don’t love that, because people have to know about the articles. I think you’re better just putting that time and attention into social media posts. But I have had clients write articles that end up getting quoted by the Supreme Court, or other really huge publications. So, if done well, it can really move the dial.

Introducing people to one another. That’s a little less related to what it is that you do, but it’s a way that we can add value. A newsletter kind of goes up here more; about the content that you would create, telling people what you do, adding value ahead of time. Engaging with other people’s content.

“Social media is a game of reciprocity.” Yes, great point, Jen. You can post the articles that you’ve written to social media, I suggest doing that. I also think because writing articles is such a time commitment, get several posts out of one article and link back to it.

“Engaging with other people’s content,” this is a massive way to add value to other people, okay? If we are on social media, we are not there just to have fun, more than likely. If there is a content creator in your life, they would love your engagement. If you’re a content creator, you would love other people’s engagement; likes and comments. Comments, especially.

Likes aren’t good enough; you want to do more than that. So, you want to comment on other people’s posts, it’s a very valuable commodity. People will be very grateful, and they will be likely to reciprocate. And then, referring business to other people, that’s a great way to add value.

Doing some kind of favor. One of the things that I do all the time, I add value by teaching people recipes on Instagram. It’s just something that I cook and people ask me, “Hey, do you have the recipe for that?” And I’ll send it to them.

If you are heading to Italy anytime soon, you probably know that I will send you a long list of restaurant recommendations as well. So, that’s another way that I add value.

“Yes, there can be overlap back to social media posts with many of these,” totally, yes. Again, you don’t have to pick all of these, I want you to pick what you can commit to. And you want to be answering the question: What am I going to do, and how frequently?

If you’re doing panel discussions, do four per year. That’s not crazy overkill. You can schedule the dates right now, make sure you’ve got it set up, and then come up with your protocol for reaching out to people. If you do webinars, you can come up with your schedule right now for the rest of the year. Do you do them quarterly or monthly? I wouldn’t suggest more than monthly because you have to actually promote them to get people there.

Do you do a weekly newsletter, a monthly newsletter? How often do you engage with people’s content? The answer to that should be daily, but how much of it do you do? How many posts do you comment on? How frequently do you do a podcast? How many speaking engagements do you want to do throughout the year?

You want to be answering these questions. What are you doing? Make your list. And then, how frequently are you doing it?

Last step, step five, making offers when it makes sense. Once you’ve given value, you’re going to make an offer. What I want you to be sure that you don’t do, don’t assume that people know you’re open for business, okay? And, that they know how to reach out to you, to take you up on the opportunity to work with you. They don’t know what the next step to work with you is.

Don’t make them go to your law firm website and track down your email address or your phone number. Don’t make them do that. “Don’t make them leave the platform.” It can be hyperlinks to email you; all the better. Or hyperlinks to call you, or a link to book a call. I use an electronic scheduler. I know a lot of big firms don’t let you implement that type of technology. Figure out, do you want someone to just DM you? Tell them to DM you.

Pick one way that you want people to reach out and streamline it all through that. But don’t assume that people know you’re open for business. There’s an incredible content creator on LinkedIn. I absolutely love her posts, they’re so valuable.

“Is a webinar weekly, too much?” If it’s a different topic, yes. I would say, if you’re running a webinar weekly to cold traffic through Facebook ads, that’s not too much. I have friends who do that quite effectively. But I think if you’re coming up with a different topic, you’re not marketing it sufficiently enough to your audience to get them there, if you’re doing it once a week.

So, this content creator, she has this incredible content and she never makes an offer. Based on who her audience is, my guess is, they probably just think that she likes to write content for LinkedIn. That it’s her hobby, and that she just enjoys sharing her wisdom. They would never know that she’s open for business, because she doesn’t tell people that she works with people and that they can hire her for this service.

Don’t make people guess. Don’t assume that they know. You want to expressly tell them that you can help them with these problems, that you help them solve, and then tell them what to do next; DM me, email me, call me, book a call here, register for this webinar.

Be very specific. Make sure it’s consensual. You’re not sliding into their DMs offering them something that they haven’t asked you for. “How often do you tell them?” At the end of everything you do. If you’ve delivered value, you make an offer. So, with every single post you have a call to action. At the end of every training you do, you make a call to action to work with you.

Keep it consensual. So, you’re not sliding into their DMs, you’re letting them opt in on a public platform. So, always be making those public offers; you make them every time that you give value. Then, if it feels gross to you… my clients, especially attorneys, hate doing this. They just want people to figure out that they are in business, like surreptitiously.

So, gag-and-go through the discomfort. You’re going to feel gross at first, probably awkward. “I love your expressions. Gag-and-go.” I know, it’s catchy. But you’ve just got to be like, “Yeah, I feel desperate. I feel pathetic. I feel stupid. I feel salesy. I feel embarrassed.” And then, feel those feelings and make the offer anyways. “Everyone loves when she says that, right?” It’s just so fun.

The structure of a social media post. You can use the same structure for webinars, podcasts episodes, things like that. But I like to focus on a specific problem. So, I call this a “Tuesday at 1pm problem,” okay? Paint them a picture. Get them to turn into Martin Scorsese in their head, with the little video tape rolling. You want them to be able to see it in their mind’s eye.

So, talk about a specific problem. What is happening in their life, on Tuesday at 1pm? So, for my people who work with GCs. I have a client right now; she does product liability stuff. So, if your ideal client would be a GC, they just learned of a defect in a product. What do you do?

I would paint that specific picture. You just found out that the fasteners on this type of product are breaking down or eroding, they’re not working, and you don’t know what to do. Should you raise alarms? Do you have enough information? Do you need more information? Even with just this example of product liability issue, you’d be able to come up with probably 30 different topics or 30 different posts.

But talk about a very specific problem. “A good example of this would be my product’s liability client. We were just talking about this. She’s like, ‘Yeah, in-house legal departments shouldn’t use the term “defect” in an email.’” That is a very specific problem. This is a great example. The more specific you get, the easier this post is going to be to write.

So, you’re dealing with a product liability issue, one of your assistant GCs used “defect” in an email. Why is it a problem? Well, now you just opened yourself up; that’s a buzzword for litigation. So, did you just expose yourself to liability?

What causes this problem? That they used this word for training, or incomplete training, on what types of language to use in internal documents. What’s the solution? You bring me in to do a comprehensive training for your team on how to avoid creating bad documents; which words to use, which words to make sure you never use, how to handle something when a word has been used. There’s going to be specific solutions. Make sure you’ve taught them something valuable.

This is just like a checkbox: Did I teach them something valuable that they can use on their own? Or that they could use, if you’re working, if you’re a lawyer, that they could take to their other current counsel, and use right now?

I know that’s going to make you feel really gross, that you’re giving away that much value ahead of time. But that’s how they’re going to “know, like, and trust” you and believe that you’re an expert. They should be able to use it themselves, or go take it to their current attorney and be able to run with it.

So, specific problem, explain why it’s a problem, explain what causes it, explain the specific solution to the problem, make sure you’ve taught them something that they can use immediately. And then, at the very end, say, “If you have this problem, I can help you,” and then tell them what to do: DM me, book a call, email me, call me on the phone; whatever. That’s the structure of a social media post.

You can also do this with trainings. Specific problem: You don’t know how to develop business. What’s the specific? Why is it a problem? Because you don’t have agency and autonomy, and you don’t hit your business development goals, you become reliant on other people. What causes it? Not knowing, never learning; I teach that all the time. We’re bad at this because no one ever teaches us. What’s the specific solution? You’ve got to learn what are the five steps to take.

On a social media post, I would teach you what those are… or like today, in this training, I’m teaching you what those are… I’m giving you stuff you can implement immediately. And then, at the end of this, at the end of my social media post, I say, “If you would like my help with this, if you want help developing business, I can help you. Work with me this way.”

Those are the five steps: Know your offer, meet people, tell them what you do, add value ahead of time, make offers to help.

You can spend time, if you haven’t been doing this while I’ve been walking you through it, go through today and just write out a rough draft of this blueprint. Start working it. Don’t perfect it, don’t schedule it for next week. Just do it today. All right? This gets to be easy if you let it be easy.

Those are the five main actions that you need to take. Here are the five core beliefs that you need to have. For each one of these, what I want you to do, I want you to rate your belief, on a scale of 1-10, in each of these statements. Then, you’re going to work moving forward on building your belief up. Okay?

“I can help people.” You have to believe you can help people in order to show up powerfully, to give away information that people find valuable, to entice people, to draw them in to come work with you. So, rate your belief in that on a scale of 1-10.

Then, in order to build your belief: What evidence do you have to support this? You can actually create a note in your phone with each one of these things. And then, day in day out, you can just keep adding to it.

Second belief you need to have: My services are valuable. “Services,” this is different than “I”; that’s about what you can do, what you’re capable of. Your “services” is slightly different. So, if you’re a criminal defense attorney, “I believe that people should hire me, because my services help them stay out of jail.” Versus, they can just represent themselves.

Or if you do trusts in the state’s work, “I believe having a trust and a will and power of attorney, and all those documents, that that’s very valuable.” Rather than people not needing it and everything just going through probate. Trademarking something, if you’re a trademark attorney. Why are your services valuable?

Again, what evidence, or why is this true? You’re going to answer that in as many ways as you can.

“People want to and can afford to work with me.” One of my favorite thoughts is, “People always have money for the things that are important to them.” That might help you build belief in this. You can start to find evidence that that is true. “People want to, and can afford to work with me.”

This is the big one. I think this is probably out of all of them the most important one, “My results are within my control.” AKA you need to believe in the thought, “I create money. I create clients.” I never believed that when I was getting started.

When I was getting started, I didn’t believe that thought. One of my coaches tried to get me to believe that, to try that on, but it just didn’t feel accessible for me. It wasn’t until I started this business. Before I was making any money with my own clients, I decided I didn’t want to go work at another law firm.

I was really burned out from having been in big law, and then having gone back to the criminal defense firm that I was at. I just wanted to focus all of my effort and attention on this business. So, rather than going to get another law firm job, what I chose to do was sell my stuff on eBay. I sold my jewelry on eBay. And guess what? It made me money. eBay has this fun little cash register noise where, when you make a sale, it goes off and you created money; there’s money in your account.

When I finally sold stuff for the first time, I learned that I do, in fact, create money. So, the cash register machine on my phone went off, and I realized that if you believe that someone wants what you have to offer, and you take the requisite steps to make that offer available to them, which I did by taking photos of my stuff, posting it on eBay, listing it, and pricing it in a way that they would want to buy it for that price, that they would think it’s valuable and you can create money.

When I started to see evidence that I could create money in other ways, I started to see that I could create it in my own business too. By believing that I can help people, that my services are valuable, that my services help my clients get the results that they want, that people want to work with me and can afford to work with me.

Then, you take steps 1-5: Pick your offer, meet people, tell them what you do, add value, make offers; with these beliefs. And when you do that, you create your results. You make the requisite moves to create those opportunities to make money. Ultimately, if you do that for a long enough period of time, consistently, you will make money.

The last thought that I love people to practice… This is the most important part of my job. This is the most important part of my day. I start every day with business development. It is the first thing I do every morning. “What you lead with, grows.”

So, if you prioritize doing other people’s work over business development, you’re going to keep getting more work from other people. If you prioritize business development, you’re going to create more business.

These are the five core beliefs. You get to answer the question, what evidence do I have to support this belief, every single day. And, just keep adding to these lists over and over and over again.

Last but not least, I’m going to quickly run through some common mistakes that people should avoid. Number one, making assumptions. Don’t make assumptions that people know what you do, that they know how to work with you, that they know you’re open for business. Don’t make assumptions.

Explain even what feels obvious to you. Overkill. You know your business intimately, inside and out, other people don’t. So, don’t make assumptions that they know what you do, they know that you’re looking for clients.

I just had someone tell me the story where she reached out to someone, and she was like, “Hey, if you know anyone that you could refer to me, I’d really appreciate it.” And the person who she said that to was like, “Oh, do you need clients? I thought you were full.” So, never make assumptions.

Being too broad. We talked about this earlier, with knowing your offer. The broader you are the harder you make your job. So, you want to get more specific, it makes everything else you do easier.

Being impatient, right? People will get impatient and they’ll quit because they don’t give themselves a long enough chance to let what they’re doing work. Stay the course. I suggest do something for six months consistently.

Which brings me to the next mistake, being inconsistent. You’ve really got to make sure that you master showing up consistently. I think being consistent beats being good every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

If you struggle with consistency, make sure you’re getting yourself the support you need to work through that. You want to understand why you’re inconsistent. It’s caused by a negative thought you’re thinking and a negative feeling you’re unwilling to feel. In order to fix your consistency problem you’ve got to be able to change your thoughts and allow yourself to experience those negative emotions.

That’s the sweet sauce, the secret sauce, of what I teach my clients to do. If you struggle with consistency, reach out to me. Let’s talk about it.

Making too many changes all at once. When you change too many things all at once you don’t create reliable data. Think about an experiment. You haven’t isolated a control variable so you don’t know what is working. And when you change too many things all at once people get confused.

So, if you’re going to change something after you’ve waited six months of implementing, and you’ve given things a chance to work, make one change based on a data-driven decision. You’ve seen something not work, so you’re going to try something else again for another six months.

Taking on too much. If you take on too much you over commit yourself. You’re not going to be able to be consistent because you’re going to be overwhelmed. I’d much rather have you be underwhelmed by what you can commit to, and actually stick to that schedule and honor it.

Speaking to the wrong people. I see a lot of my lawyers do this, especially on LinkedIn. They speak to their peers, not their ideal clients. So, if your ideal client is a business owner, do not write your content like it’s a law review article. Don’t write to other attorneys. Write to the business owners. Talk to them in the way that they would understand. Don’t use industry-speak.

I always like to pick someone in my life who is smart, but doesn’t use the industry terminology. So, my dad’s the business owner. For a lot of my clients, he’s an ideal person to use as a litmus test. Would he understand this or would it be too confusing? Would it be too much legalese for him?

Withholding the value. People do this because they’re afraid to give out too much for free, because they think, “Who’s going to pay me to work with me if I give away all the stuff?” Trust me, people will pay you to work with you even when you give them all this stuff. Because they want your support, they want your hand holding, they want your expertise, they trust you. There’s so much more to learn, even in addition to what you give away.

“I think I get hung up on thinking that other coaches are judging my content when reading it. I also struggle thinking, ‘People already know this.’” Exactly. This is what I mean. Don’t make assumptions that people already know this, they don’t.

I always like to include, “Some people might already know this, but not everyone.” You’re always speaking to the “some people” who want what it is you’re talking about. “Some people might think this is stupid,” was one of the thoughts that really helped me in the beginning move forward. I kept telling myself, “People will think this is stupid. People will think I’m stupid. People will think coaching is lame.” Even over time, I couldn’t coach myself out of that thought; I deeply believed that some people would think that.

So, instead of convincing myself that some people didn’t think that, I switched the sentence from ‘people will think this, to ‘some people will think this’ and ‘some people will think what I teach is awesome.’ It was my job to speak to the people who thought what I was doing was awesome. So, that “some” really helps.

Some people might judge your stuff, but I think most people are just worried about their own content. But if that helps you move forward, rather than gaslighting yourself that someone’s thinking a negative thought about your content, run with it.

Mistake number nine, not making offers. We talked about this earlier. You’ve got to tell people what to do to work with you.

Results entitlement. I see this very commonly with my clients. They think they shouldn’t have to do any of the stuff we talked about today, in order to develop business.

“Offer with every post,” yes, every single post. An offer for something; sign up for my email list, book a consult call with me, come to my webinar, do this, do that, do this. Offer with every post.

Results entitlement. “I shouldn’t have to do this stuff in order to develop business. Clients should just come to me. I’m good enough at what I do, I shouldn’t have to put in this much effort. This is unfair. Other people don’t have to work this hard.” Number one, yes, they do. Number two, don’t worry about other people. This is just you against you. Okay?

But you can’t feel entitled to getting results without putting in the work. I call my clients out on this all the time. I do everything we’ve talked about today. I still do all of that.

I still spend at least an hour, normally two hours a day, commenting on other people’s social media posts. I still send 100 connection requests a week on LinkedIn. I still find people through hashtags on Instagram, or I track down accounts that they follow and reach out and connect with them. I comment on their social media posts. I tell them their dog’s cute.

I teach them stuff about time management. I complement the dress that they have on. I still spend my time doing that. I don’t think that I’m too good for it. I still do a webinar once a month. I know a lot of people who get to a certain level of success and stop doing what’s working. Don’t do that. We call that “success intolerance.” Don’t get entitled to results. Stay humble, stay hungry.

Comfort entitlement’s another one. Comfort entitlement is where you want this to feel good, and because it doesn’t feel good, because it doesn’t feel comfortable… Thank you, Catherine… Because it doesn’t feel comfortable, you make that a problem and you don’t move forward. You don’t take action.

You’re like, “I don’t want to feel dread. I don’t want to feel exposed. I don’t want to feel embarrassed. I don’t want to do it tired. I don’t want to do it confused. I don’t want to do it while I feel overwhelmed. This isn’t fun.” Yeah, a lot of the stuff that gets you the results you want in life isn’t going to always be fun. If you wait for it to be fun, you’re going to be waiting a long time.

You’ve got to get out of your discomfort avoidance, your comfort entitlement, embrace the discomfort, gag-and-go through it, okay? It’s going to feel uncomfortable. You want to know what’s comfortable? Money. Having money that comes from doing the stuff. Hitting your origination goals. Hitting your income goals. “Being able to afford all that you want out of life.”

I have a really good friend, she uses the phrase, “Life is bought.” I love that, I think it’s really bold. And I think most people take offense to that comment, because they say, “The best things in life are free.”

I’m like, “I don’t know. Black-car service isn’t free, and it’s lovely. So is flying first class. So are five-star hotels.” Not that it needs to all be about the experiences or what you can buy with money. You know what’s fun? Freedom, leverage, input, a seat at the table, being able to hire people to do things that you hate doing.

I think I never want to make another bed for as long as I live. I just hate doing it. It’s not enjoyable. It’s hard for my nails because my nails are long; lifting up the mattress. I just want to hire all that stuff out.

There’s going to be discomfort both ways, and not hitting your income goals and in doing the things required to hit your income goals. I highly suggest you get over your comfort entitlement and embrace the discomfort that comes with developing business.

This is a big one, especially for my lawyers who don’t always love what they do. They try to develop business when they hate what they do. This will not work. Okay? “It just doesn’t. The universe knows.” So, you’ve got two options, either switch to doing something that you actually enjoy; and don’t change it again, stick with it. Or get yourself to the point where you actually do enjoy what it is that you like to do.

But if you’re going to work with someone and you hate what you do, you’re going to have to start there first, otherwise it’s a waste of time. I’ve watched several of my clients, and through our work I discovered that they hate what they do, never make money with business development because they don’t want the work, because they don’t enjoy doing it. If you don’t want more work, the universe keeps score; it knows.

Buying into limiting beliefs like, “I’m too old for this. I missed the boat. I should have done this a long time ago. I’m too old. this won’t work. I’m not good at this. I don’t have the X-factor. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have enough new ideas. I’m not a thought leader.” Whatever your limiting beliefs are about yourself or what’s possible, you’ve got to clean those up.

We clean them up through coaching. So, if you’ve got a lot of those going on, and you know they’re holding you back, again, think about how you’re going to support yourself this year to overcome and dismantle those limiting beliefs.

Another belief that doesn’t serve people is believing that the business you’ve already developed was a fluke. It’s never a fluke, it always goes through those five steps. You picked an offer, you met people, you told them what you did.

Normally, that can be enough. I think you moved the odds in your favor when you add value ahead of time and make offers. But you can always force it through that formula. I highly recommend you force it through that formula. Every dollar you’ve ever made, every client you’ve ever gotten, was because you went through those steps.

If you force it through, you’re going to reinforce that idea that it is within your control to create clients and to create money. So, pump it through that equation so you can see how ‘when I take this action, with these requisite beliefs, then I create clients. It’s within my control.’

And last but not least, the biggest mistake people make is not prioritizing business development. Single handedly, it is the thing that allows people to have the most freedom in their lives, whether you work for yourself or you work for other people, if you prioritize this. There’s a concept called “the one thing.” This, for so many people, is the one thing that makes all the difference in the world. By having enough demand, by hitting the income that you want to hit, by being able to feel secure in what you do, and what you have coming in, and what will come in in the future.

I have the most consistent business because I designed my business that way. At the beginning of every year, I typically know what I’m going to make. I know what I make each month, it doesn’t fluctuate. It’s very consistently a certain number. I’ve designed my business to be that way. I show up consistently when I’m developing business, with all the actions that we talked about that are in my business development blueprint, in order to create a very consistent result.

I do not believe working for yourself or business development is outside of my control, that it’s inconsistent, that it’s unpredictable. I don’t believe those things. I believe the opposite, so I create the opposite. I create that consistent, reliable income.

If that’s something that you want to do this year, I want you to be really honest with yourself. Do you have the support necessary to hit your income goals? To learn how to do this? To take action and then evaluate? I teach a concept called “Act-Audit-Adapt.”

So, take what I taught you today, and then to have support along the way, to tweak things. What’s working? What’s not working? Do you have support of fleshing out specifically what you want to be in your blueprint? Or the support to build your core beliefs in what it is that you want to do?

If you don’t have that support, what I want to do is invite you to come work with me. I am hosting an in-person personal development retreat, called The Obsessed Retreat. The Obsessed Retreat kicks off with three and a half days, in person. Most of the people there have business development goals, not everyone. But a lot of people are going to be working on the exact same things; hitting the income that they want to hit this year. Developing the business that they want to develop this year.

We’re going to talk about, day one, the problems that you’re facing that are keeping you stuck. We’re going to talk, day two, about developing the skills you need to hit and achieve the goals you want to achieve. So, developing discipline, practicing constraint, and making decisions as it relates to business development. Then, day three, we’re going to make very specific game plans for what you’re going to do this year, in order to make the results you want to create inevitable.

Then, we have this incredible farewell dinner, where we celebrate all that we’ve accomplished in person. Then you return home and you get back to work.

And I’m going to continue to support you in that capacity, as well. When you sign up for The Obsessed Retreat, you get lifetime access to monthly coaching calls. We’ll meet once a month, and you’ll be able to work through all your business development questions. If you encounter obstacles in that game plan that we created together, you’ll be able to get coached on it live, by me.

You’ll also get access to a member portal, which will have the event recording replays, additional course content, a community platform where you can engage with other people and stay connected with the other people in the group.

And then, you can also submit things for coaching or feedback from me. So, if you want help with a social media post, and you want my feedback on it, you can post it in that group. If you want to flesh out an idea for a webinar, because that’s one of the ways that you want to add value ahead of time, I can help you with that. I’m going to hold your hand every step of the way. You’re going to have all the support that you need.

I dropped the link for The Obsessed Retreat waitlist; I’m getting ready to open enrollment. It’s going to be the last time that you can join before the event in March. The event is March 20th – 23rd. And like I said, we’ll be meeting monthly thereafter.

The cost to attend the retreat, including the lifetime access to those monthly coaching calls, is $4,000. You can pay that in one payment, in full, or in two payments of $2,000.

All right, if you have additional questions, stay tuned. I’m going to be hosting a specific Q&A for The Obsessed Retreat in the beginning of February. But if you already know, “This is exactly what I need this year. It’s going to move the dial on me hitting these goals and developing the business that I want to develop,” sign up for the waitlist right now. You’ll be the first to find out when doors open for The Obsessed Retreat.

I can’t wait to see you in South Beach, if you decide to join me. Alright, my friends, have a beautiful weekend… You’re so welcome. I’m glad you guys found this valuable… Have a beautiful weekend, and I will see you all at the next masterclass.

“I’m so excited to see you in Miami.” Yes, Jessica, I can’t wait. See you soon. Bye, my love.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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Episode 88: In With The New Year (A 2023 Review & 2024 Planning Session)

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | In With The New Year (A 2023 Review & 2024 Planning Session)

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | In With The New Year (A 2023 Review & 2024 Planning Session)

It’s a New Year, we’re back at it after a break, and today, I’m walking you through an evaluation of 2023 and setting you up for achieving your goals in 2024. You might think it’s too late to set your intentions and figure out a plan for 2024. However, now is the perfect time to kick your year into action.

Meaningfully evaluating and formulating an action plan gives you the biggest chance of achieving success over the coming 12 months. So, if you’re ready to tie a beautiful bow on last year, close out 2023, and really get your bearings in 2024, today’s episode is for you.

Tune in this week to review, reset, and focus your attention for the year ahead. You’ll learn how to perform a comprehensive evaluation of 2023, and I’m showing you how to decide what you want to leave behind, what you want to take with you, and how you want to do things differently in the coming year.

I’m running another rate and review giveaway! Instructions for leaving a rating and review for The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast are here. Don’t forget to take a screenshot of your review, and email it to me or DM me on social media.

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

Want to be the first to know when my monthly subscription Lawyers Only launches? Click here and sign up for the waitlist!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why you aren’t making significant progress toward your new year goals yet.
  • How to get clear on your review of 2023.
  • Why your feelings about last year matter as we enter a new year.
  • 8 ways to uncover the lessons you learned in 2023.
  • How to leave any negativity behind as you navigate 2024.
  • A way for you to choose your word of the year.
  • Some tools you can use to plan for an amazing, successful 2024.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 88. Today, I’m going to walk you through an evaluation for 2023, and get you set up for setting and achieving your goals in 2024. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Well, hello, how are you? I missed you. As you probably noticed, I took a little bit of a break from the podcast. I took the last few weeks of the year off, and the first week of the new year off. I gave myself some luxurious space to catch my breath, take a breather, spend some time with family and friends, go home for the holidays. I actually moved, which was unexpected, but I moved over the holidays as well. Still in Charleston, though, enjoying the warm weather while it’s freezing up north in Detroit.

So, I took some time, and I didn’t intend actually to take a break from the podcast. But it just felt like the most aligned thing for me to do. But it’s the new year, and now we’re back at it. I can’t wait to continue on teaching you all of the things that you need to know to live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment.

Before I wrapped up work for the end of 2023, I taught a workshop. I’ve hosted this, I think it’s been two years in a row now. I really love this workshop. It’s a 2023… or whatever year it is, but this year; it’s 2023… A review, a comprehensive review of the year, and for 2024 it’s a planning session. So, I call it my 2023 Review and 2024 Planning workshop.

I want to give you some of the prompts that I gave to the people who attended that session live, so you could use those prompts to really wrap up 2023 and kick off 2024 on the right foot. Now, if you’re a perfectionist, and you’re like, “Olivia, we’re halfway through January, this is too late. It’s not timely enough,” I actually just coached a client of mine on this.

She is planning to do an annual planning session at the end of January, and she was frustrated; that was really the only date that worked for her schedule. She was frustrated that she was going to be doing it so late in the year. I just joked with her, “That’s only a problem if you make it a problem. You could decide that the end of January is the absolute perfect time for you to teach that workshop, for you to teach that masterclass.”

That’s exactly how I look at this. Maybe you’re into your new year, and things aren’t going off the way that you expected them to go. They’re not going as smoothly or as seamlessly. And even though we’re only a couple of weeks in, you’re not making the kind of progress that you want to make.

It’s probably because you’re doing what most people do. They wrap up a year, and they’re like, “Man, that didn’t go exactly the way I wanted it to go. Next year will be better.” And then they just carry on, they don’t meaningfully evaluate, and they move on, without really formulating a specific action plan for what they’re going to do moving forward to get where they want to go.

I’m going to walk you through my prompts, so we can tie a nice, beautiful bow on 2023, you can get some closure, close out the books on the last year, and sort of get your bearings for 2024. Now that we’re a few weeks in, you can see what’s working well. Have you given up on those goals? Have you kind of abandoned your resolutions?

If you have, this is a really good reset to focus your attention moving forward. I want you to start by just doing a quick debrief. What are your thoughts about 2023? If you were to do a thought download about last year, what thoughts come up for you? You can pause this episode, and take a minute and write them down.

As you do that, with each thought that you identify, I want you to identify the one-word emotion you feel when you think that thought. So, the circumstance is 2023. Then, you’re going to write down all of your thoughts about it.

Alright, what did you come up with? What thoughts are you thinking, and what feelings are you feeling, when you think about 2023? Are you thinking that it was a rough year? That you didn’t accomplish what you wanted to? That you’re behind schedule? That it was a tough year? That it should have gone differently than it did?

If you’re thinking those negative thoughts, you’re going to bring that negativity with you into the new year. Think about it. You just identified the feelings that you’re feeling, when you’re thinking the thoughts that you’re thinking about 2023. Are you likely to take positive, productive, intentional action from those emotions?

If they’re negative, the answer is going to be no. Because negative feelings beget negative action, or no action at all, right? So, be honest with yourself. How are you likely to show up based on those feelings? Are you likely to show up in service of your goals? Are you likely to accomplish what you want to accomplish this year? Or is that negative emotion going to impact, in fact, everything that you do from this point forward?

If you’re thinking negative thoughts about 2023, we’ve got to change them. I want you to think about how you want to feel, instead of the negative emotions that you just identified. How would you need to feel to take the action that you’re going to need to take, to achieve the goals you want to achieve this year?

What emotions would you need to be feeling, instead of those feelings you just identified? Would you need to feel committed, determined, capable? Would you need to feel encouraged, prepared, certain, in control? Would you maybe need to just feel accepting or understanding, rather than frustrated or discouraged or disappointed?

Think about the feelings that you would need to feel, in order to take the action that you’re going to need to take this year. Okay? Then, work your way backwards. What are the thoughts that you would need to think, not about the new year, but about 2023, to feel those feelings? To feel those positive emotions? What are the positive thoughts that you would need to practice?

Again, take a second if you have to and pause this episode. You can use it sort of like a workshop, and in real time work through these questions with me. Identify those thoughts.

Another thing that I do with my clients is, I have them write down all their negative thoughts. And then, for each negative thought I ask them to replace that thought with a thought that’s slightly more positive. So, you can do that, too. You can take that negative thought download that you just did, all your negative thoughts about 2023, and for each one ask yourself: What do I want to think instead? And, come up with a new list of thoughts.

It’s going to be a much more powerful, empowering list of thoughts than the ones that you probably came up with by default. Once you’ve figured out what you’ve been thinking about 2023, you’ve cleaned up your thoughts, you’ve started to shift your thinking, and you’re thinking about last year a little bit more positively, you’re going to set yourself up and lay the proper foundation for moving forward.

But before we do that, I want to do a quick evaluation. We’re going to dive in and explore eight different categories; you’re going to do an exercise with me. And then, once we do that, we’re going to plan for the future. I want you, on a scale of 1-10, to rate your satisfaction with each of these areas of your life.

There are eight categories; you can take a second and write them down. You’re just going to use whatever number first comes to your mind. One is the lowest, 10 is the highest; you’re rating these categories on a scale of 1-10. Notice I said rate, not rank. You’re not putting them in order, you’re writing your level of satisfaction with each of these areas of your life.

The first area is your Career. Or if you’re an entrepreneur, your business. What is your work life like? What is your level of satisfaction with your current results, on a scale of 1-10?

The second category is your Finances. What’s your level of satisfaction, on a scale of 1-10?

The third category is your Health, both physical and mental.

The fourth category is your Friends and Family; your relationships with them, the time that you spend with them, all of that. Everything that those relationships entail.

The fifth category is Romance; however you choose to define romance.

The sixth category is Personal Development.

The seventh category is Fun and Recreation.

The eighth category is Physical Environment. That’s where you spend your time, your home, your car, your physical space, okay?

Go through that. You’re going to just use the first number that pops into your mind when you think about each category. But go through and rate each one on a scale of 1-10.

Now, once you’ve done that, you’ve come up with your ratings for all eight categories, I want you to get more comprehensive about each of those categories. We’re going to do a more comprehensive evaluation. We’re going to figure out why you gave it the rating that you did.

I like to start by just going through and listing out my reasons. Why did I rate it that way? Just to create some additional information, some additional clarity. But then, we’re going to get even more specific. This might take you some time, so again, you might have to pause and start and stop this episode a couple different times, in order to complete this exercise.

But for each of those categories, I want you to go through and answer these three questions: What worked in this area of my life? What didn’t work in this area of my life? What will I do differently in this area of my life moving forward, to remedy what didn’t work in 2023?

Now, if you’re getting overwhelmed, if this feels daunting, one of the things that I love to have my clients do is just to force them to constrain. You can decide to only list one bullet point for each question, for each category; three bullet points for each question, for each category. It’s up to you.

If you want this to be a really comprehensive exercise, you can give yourself an unlimited amount of time to do it. But if that makes it mean that you’re unlikely to complete this process, I highly encourage you to constrain and just decide the number of bullet points you’re going to list for each question. That’s something that I do, and I have my clients do that. And it’s how I get people to complete evaluations when they, in the past, have been reluctant to complete them.

Now remember, when you’re evaluating you always want to start with, what worked? For each category, you’re going to go through that question first. Then you’re going to move into what didn’t work, and what will I do differently moving forward?

One of the fun things that happened in our workshop, when I taught this in December, was that as people went through this process, and they started with what worked, they saw how much they actually accomplished. How much they had forgotten that they did. They felt as though they could actually increase their ratings.

They came in a little low originally, and when they saw all that they had done throughout the year, they felt better about where their current results were. So, that might happen to you. If it does, that’s amazing. If it doesn’t, that’s not a problem, it’s just something to be on the lookout for.

Before we move on to planning, I want to make sure you really leverage your 2023 experience. I’ll be honest with you; I’ve talked about this a bit on social media and potentially on this podcast. I know my friends are well aware of this, and if you’re one of them, and you’re listening, “Hello, this will sound familiar to you.”

But my 2023 did not go as I expected it to go. It was a lot rockier, a lot messier, a lot bumpier, than I initially anticipated. One of the things that I tell myself all the time, and I also tell my clients this, I deeply believe that I’m always winning or learning. Sometimes you get to do both. But other times, one is being favored, or one skews higher than the other.

For me, 2023 was a year of a lot of learning. I learned some hard lessons. And, I learned some lessons the hard way. So, I really wanted to underscore the value of the wisdom that I gained through learning those lessons the hard way. I felt like my normal evaluation process, ‘the what worked, what didn’t work, what would I do differently,’ didn’t quite emphasize and highlight all of the learning that I did in 2023.

My past few years in business, I had some really massive wins. I feel like I achieved quite a bit of success pretty easily. And then, in 2023, I feel like my winning/learning ratio sort of skewed to where I was doing more learning and less winning. Now, I still made more money in my business than any other year that I’ve been in business. So, it was still a good year for me. I just didn’t hit the numbers that I expected to hit.

Instead, I gained a lot more wisdom than I probably expected to gain. I wanted to highlight that for myself, and I did that by making a list of all of the things that I learned last year. So, you can do this by category; I think that’s a way to keep it really organized. If that feels a little overwhelming, just make a list of What Did I Learn In 2023.

You can sort of go through those categories loosely in your head to flush out all eight of those areas. To find all the good, meaty lessons that you obtained, that you learned throughout the year. I promise you, when you make the list of all of the things that you learned throughout the past year, you’re going to feel so solid and so secure knowing that 2023 set you up and gave you the foundation that you need to move forward.

You had to learn those lessons to get where you’re going to go. I deeply believe that. That’s one of the thoughts that I’m thinking about 2023; I had to learn those lessons in order to achieve what I want to achieve next. I needed to create that foundation for myself, that learning, that knowledge, that wisdom. It makes the year feel like such a valuable year for me, even though I didn’t see the results, monetarily, that I wanted to see in my business.

Same thing in my personal life. I learned some hard lessons there, too. I didn’t see the results that I wanted to see in certain aspects of my personal life. But I walked away with some really incredible hard-fought, hard‑learned lessons, and they’re very valuable. So, I wanted to highlight that for myself, that’s why I created this list. I think you will find that to be a super valuable exercise, as well.

Now that you’ve gone through and identified and changed your thoughts about 2023, you’ve evaluated 2023 by rating each of those eight categories, coming up with your reasons for that rating, comprehensively evaluating ‘what worked, what didn’t work, and what you do differently,’ and then closing the year out by figuring out what is it that you learned throughout 2023 in each of those categories, you’re ready to move forward and start planning 2024.

What I want you to do… Again, we’re going to practice constraint here… I want you to pick one goal that you’d like to achieve in 2024 for each of those eight categories.

What’s one thing you want to achieve when it comes to your career or your business?

What’s one goal you’d like to accomplish when it comes to your finances?

What’s one goal you’d like to accomplish when it comes to your health, both physical and/or mental?

What’s one goal you’d like to achieve when it comes to your friends and family?

What’s a goal you’d like to achieve when it comes to romance?

What’s something that you want to complete or accomplish as it relates to personal development?

What’s something you want to complete or achieve as it relates to fun and recreation?

And, what’s a goal that you want to set and accomplish when it comes to your physical environment?

Go through… You’re going to have FOMO, I get it. You want to achieve all the things, all at once. But when we approach goal setting that way, we overwhelm ourselves and we end up making less progress than we otherwise would. So, the way to get the furthest, the fastest, is to practice constraint.

I want you to go through and pick one goal for each of those eight categories. Just allow yourself to feel that FOMO. That sense of feeling underwhelmed about what it is that you can accomplish. And if you complete all eight things, go pick eight more, all right? You don’t have to limit yourself to just those eight. But you’re going to limit yourself to those eight things at a time. All right?

I think you can even get more specific, and really prioritize one of the eight at a time, to get the absolute furthest, the fastest that you can. So, once you’ve identified your eight goals, one goal per category, what I want you to do, is I want you to reverse engineer those goals.

The way that we do that is we work backwards. You figure out, what are all of the things that I need to do? What are all of the actions that I need to take, in order to achieve this particular result?

Then, you take it back a step further. What are the positive emotions that I need to feel, in order to take that action? I also love to include this in my action plan: What are the negative feelings that I’m going to be forced to feel? That I’m going to have to embrace? That I’m going to have to allow myself to experience, in order to take this action and create this result?

I always focus on the emotion twofold, the positive emotions that I need to cultivate and the negative emotions that I need to allow. From there, we work at one step back. What are the positive thoughts that I need to be thinking, in order to feel those positive feelings? In order to create that emotional experience for myself?

I want you to do that for each one of those goals, all eight of them. You’re going to reverse engineer each one. You want to be specific; your goals need to be specific, measurable, objective, and attainable. I should be able to come into your life and know exactly what it is you’re going to accomplish this year, with a great deal of specificity. We want it to be very clear.

Your action plan should also be very clear. I should be able to come in and determine, with my little clipboard, are you doing what you planned to do? Are you doing what you set out to do, and be able to check off boxes like a rubric? You want it to be that specific.

Then, you’re going to create the mindset component for yourself. What are those positive emotions you want to feel, and need to feel, to take that action? What are the positive thoughts that you need to be thinking, in order to feel those feelings? Do that for each of those eight categories, each of those eight goals. You’re going to make achieving them inevitable. You’re going to make achieving them foolproof.

Reverse engineering goals is the most specific way to approach achieving what you want to achieve in your life. Now that you’ve figured out what it is you’re going to achieve in 2024, I want you to come up with a really powerful list of thoughts that you can choose to think about 2024.

How do you want this year to go for you? What are you determined to make it be like? Come up with the most powerful, compelling, inspiring thoughts you can think of, and use that to fuel yourself forward. Who do you want to be this year? Where do you want to be at the end of the year? What do you want your experience to be like? Come up with a really powerful list of thoughts to practice thinking all throughout the year.

Last but not least, as you start to do that, I want you to decide on a word for the year. If you feel like it’s too late to do that, I promise you, it’s not; that’s just your perfectionism talking. So, if you haven’t picked a word of the year yet, let’s pick one together. I want you to answer these questions. You’re going to start to see a theme develop as you answer them.

The first question I want you to answer is: What do you want more of in 2024? What do you feel like is missing from your life? That’s the second question. What’s needed to achieve your goals? You just identified those eight goals that you’re going to set for yourself and work towards.

What do you need to do, who do you need to be, in order to achieve those goals? What’s needed to achieve them? What qualities do you envy in other people?

Envision and begin to embody the 2024 version of you. Tell me, the 2024 version of you is what? If you think to yourself, “The 2024 version of me is…” Tell me what that fill-in-the-blank is. And last but not least, answer this or complete the statement: I’d be proud of myself at the end of the year, if I was…

As you answer these questions, you’re going to start to see trends emerge. When you see that trend emerge, pick that. Sum it up into one word, and pick that as your Word of the Year. Let it fuel you as you move forward throughout 2024.

Just to let you in on mine, my past couple years, I’ve picked the word “free.” I definitely think “free” is going to be the anthem of my lifetime, or the word of my lifetime. I have a whole episode all about “But are you free?” I believe that’s the title of the episode. I’ll link it in the show notes.

That’s a really powerful word for me. I think it’s what most of my people crave, they crave freedom. They want to live a life where they are truly free in every aspect of their life. So, while I think that is the pursuit of a lifetime, and it’s certainly my pursuit of my lifetime, I did decide to switch it up this year.

I did a lot of learning; I talked about that a little bit ago. I did a lot of learning in 2023, and I feel like I’m not done learning yet. However, I do want my learning to be more intentional. Rather than learning the lessons that life just simply throws my way, I want to be really focused about what I learn moving forward. So, that’s my word of the year.

There are a lot of things that I want to learn, and learn is exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to set out, make a list for what I want to learn in all those different areas of my life, and I’m going to set out and embark on that education, learn those skills, learn those things, and learn how to do all of this stuff. So, “learn” is my word of 2024.

I can’t wait to embark on that educational experience. I’m actually going to record a podcast episode following this, to talk a little bit more about that. It’s a funny little story that I want to share with you.

But I would love for you to message me on social media if you listened to this episode and you picked your Word of the Year. I love learning what people’s words are. I love seeing what they’re going to embody in the coming year. I love to see what’s going to fuel them as they move forward. I just find it so exciting and inspiring.

So, 2024’s word for me is “learn.” I’d love to know what yours is. I hope this helps you just set the right foundation for 2024, so this year is a really positive, productive, intentional year. I hope you will accomplish all of the eight things that you identified and more. But we’re going to start with the eight, because we’re practicing constraint.

Okay, if you just went through this exercise, and you’re like, “Olivia, I could use some help. I could use some support in achieving the goals that I just identified. I feel like I’m still in a negative headspace when it comes to 2023. I don’t want to carry that with me into the new year. I really don’t want to go it alone. I want the support of a coach, and I know that you’re the right person to help me.”

If that’s how you feel listening to me right now, I want you to make the decision to join me in Miami, in March, for The Obsessed Retreat. We’re going to spend three days comprehensively setting the stage for the rest of the year.

Like I said, mid-January is not too late, neither is March. I actually think it’s the perfect time. You’ve gotten your bearings, you’re into your year, and you want to make sure that the rest of your year is as intentional as it possibly can be.

The way you’re going to set yourself up to ensure that that happens is, you’re going to join me in Miami, in March. We’re going to meet up March 20th-23rd, and we’re going to spend three days together. We’re going to go through day one, solving all the problems that you’re facing, that contributed to the 2023 that you just had. We’re going to solve those problems, so we clear the way for you to show up very powerfully the rest of the year. So, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Day two, we’re going to develop the essential skills that you need to have in order to achieve what you want to achieve this year. We’re going to talk about practicing constraint, developing discipline, and making decisions. Those are three essential skills that you need to develop in order to create a life that you’re obsessed with, which is the whole point of The Obsessed Retreat.

Then, day three, we’re going to make plans. We’re going to figure out exactly what you need to do, even more comprehensively than you just did, with those goals that you identified. It’s going to be a foolproof, follow-the‑yellow-brick-road plan for what you’re going to do, when you’re going to do it, what that timeline looks like; everything that’s going to be required of you in order to cross the finish line for everything that you’re setting out to do.

So, that’s what we’re going to do in person for those three days. There’s also an amazing community that you join when you attend to The Obsessed Retreat. We spend the first night at the welcome reception getting to know each other, we workshop for three days straight, then we celebrate everything we accomplished in person with the farewell dinner.

Then, you return home, and you start putting those plans into action. You start implementing. I’m going to support you every step of the way. It’s not just coming to the retreat and then you’re on your own. You’re going to come to the in-person event in Miami, in March. And then, once you return home and you start putting your plans into action, I’m going to support you with monthly coaching calls.

We’re going to meet up once a month. You’re going to be able to get coached, work through the problems that you continue to face, new problems that are going to arise, and new obstacles that are going to present themselves. You’re going to get stuck at different points along the way, and I’m going to help you work through them, overcome them, and get unstuck so you can keep implementing in order to achieve everything that you set out to achieve this year.

You’re also going to get additional training materials and event recordings and a member portal online. There’s also a written coaching platform. So, in between our monthly calls you get access to me. I can help support you whether it’s seeking feedback, advice, guidance, coaching, you want my eyes on something. I’ve got you. You can submit anything there and I’ll review it. It’s going to be really comprehensive, and a ton of support.

I just had someone ask me, “Olivia, how is that different than what you do on Instagram, on the weekends, with your Ask Me Anything’s?” It’s so much more detailed. I actually know who you are when you’re in my community, versus my Ask Me Anything’s which are anonymous. So, because I’ll know who you are and what you’re specifically working on, I’m able to provide you with such detailed support, versus the anonymous Ask Me Anything’s.

You’ll also have a community platform where you can stay connected with everyone that you meet at the retreat. Which is going to be so fun to watch other people achieve what they set out to achieve while you’re achieving what you set out to achieve. You get to cheer each other on, support each other, and have each other’s backs. It’s going to be so incredible.

Enrollment is getting ready to reopen for The Obsessed Retreat. It is the last time that you’ll be able to join before March. So, what I want you to do, is go to bit.ly/the-obsessed-retreat. Okay? Go there and you can find out all of the specifics, even though I just went through a ton of them with you right now. You can find all of the specifics there about the event, the logistics, what you’re going to learn, what it’s going to be like, all the details, and then you can register.

I cannot wait to see you in South Beach, where we take everything that you just identified in this episode, we kick it up a notch, we make it more intentional, we make it more thorough, more robust, so that we truly make accomplishing what you want to accomplish in 2024 inevitable. I can’t wait to support you in that journey. It’s going to be so much fun.

All right, my friends. That’s what I have for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week, and I will talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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Episode 87: Hope (Is Not a Strategy)

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Hope (Is Not a Strategy)

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Hope (Is Not a Strategy)

The holidays are a time of hope, but there are some hard truths about hope that we need to discuss. If you’re spending this season hoping and wishing for something different in your life, this is not a strategy, it isn’t serving you, and it’s time to try something else.

Contrary to what you might believe, hope is not a helpful emotion. However, people tend to challenge me on this, saying that hope is wonderful, so to address this pushback, I’m explaining why hope isn’t an emotion you want to be cultivating for yourself. 

Tune in this week to discover why hope is not a strategy, how it has you relinquishing responsibility, and why operating from hope isn’t going to bring what you want into your life. Discover why hope doesn’t create results, how to see where you’re stuck in the emotion of hope, and how to start operating from more empowering emotions that will help you actually create your desired results.

I’m running another rate and review giveaway! Instructions for leaving a rating and review for The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast are here. Don’t forget to take a screenshot of your review, and email it to me or DM me on social media.

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

Want to be the first to know when my monthly subscription Lawyers Only launches? Click here and sign up for the waitlist!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why the actions you take from hope tend to be passive and lack power.
  • How hope keeps you stuck in wait-and-see mode.
  • The kind of action required to ensure something actually happens.
  • How to see where you’re currently relying on hope to drive your actions.
  • Some stronger emotions you can start operating from.
  • What to consider if you feel like hope is your only option right now.
  • How to start actually working your way toward your desired results.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 87. Today, we’re talking all about hope. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Well, hello there. How are you? I don’t know about you, but my December is A- flying by, and B- going so well. I don’t know if you know this, I don’t know if I’ve talked about it on the podcast before, but I take time off at the end of every year.

I was actually inspired to do this by one of my coaches, who early in my coaching career, early in the journey of starting my own business, I heard her talk about taking time off, she took a whole month off, and I just thought that was absolutely crazy. I had a lot of judgment of it, at first.

I thought it was sort of irresponsible. I had a lot of limiting beliefs about being an entrepreneur and being able to take time off, some of which I picked up from family members who are self-employed. I decided that I was going to work my way up to it. Now, I could only decide that after I made the decision that it’s actually something that I would want to do at some point, to take a month off.

For the past couple of years, I’ve taken two weeks off at the end of the year, and it never quite feels like enough. So, this year, I’ve upped it to three weeks. This is my last real week of work before the end of the year. I’m taking two weeks off at the end of the month, and then the first week off in January. The podcast will still be coming out, so don’t worry about that.

But I am so excited to relax and brainstorm, and do some behind-the-scenes stuff prepping for my business in the new year. I’ve got a bunch of exciting stuff coming down the line. So, I’m super thrilled to be doing that.

I’m also getting ready to, at the end of this week, I’m heading to Savannah to host a content weekend for a bunch of my friends. What that looks like is we record content, we create video content. My videographer, Alex, is going to be there. If you’ve been to my in-person retreats, you already know Alex. So, he’s going to be there, and we have a whole group of entrepreneurs who are coming in to record video content with him.

I also have a photographer coming in. She’s a local photographer in Savannah, so she’s going to be coming in for us to create static photo content as well. I’m so excited to do that. It feels like a fun way to kick off my time off, and a really neat transition from my typical work weeks into an extended vacation.

I hope you have something fun planned throughout this month, end of year. How are you celebrating? What are you doing for yourself? Are you doing anything fun? And if you have judgment, when you hear me talk about taking that much time off, I highly encourage you to explore that.

What’s coming up for you? Do you have limiting beliefs about what’s possible for you? Do you have thoughts that aren’t serving you when it comes to taking time off? I’m actually going to do a whole episode on that now that I think of it. So, there’s more to come on that topic. But just see what comes up for you in the meantime.

All right, speaking of the holiday season… I don’t know that these things essentially go together, but bear with me here. I really wanted to talk about hope. This has come up on a couple of my coaching calls recently. I’ve heard some clients say some things back to me when I talk about this. They know how I think about hope, and I’ve gotten some pushback.

So, I wanted to record a podcast episode on this topic. I also think it’s sort of timely, because I feel like holiday hope, miracles, making wishes for the holiday season, that kind of all ties in together. Are you spending a lot of time hoping and wishing? Today, we’re going to talk about whether or not that serves you.

Okay, so let me give you a little backstory on a couple of my recent coaching sessions with clients. I’ve had clients make comments to me, and they’ve used the word “hope.” They’ve said, “I hope this happens… I hope that happens…” And more than once I’ve had a client say to me, “Well, I know you don’t like ‘hope.’ I know you don’t like the feeling ‘hope.’”

Or I’ll tell someone, just in passing, “Oh, I don’t love ‘hope’ as an emotion. I don’t love ‘hope’ as a feeling.” and people will always challenge me on that. They’re like, “Oh my God, why not? Why don’t you like ‘hope?’ Hope is wonderful. Hope is lovely.”

Because of the pushback I’ve gotten on this, I wanted to address this specifically. Because if you’ve heard me say this on social media before, or maybe elsewhere on the podcast, you might be confused why I feel this way about “hope.” So, I want to get into it today and really explain to you why I don’t like it. Why I think “hope” really isn’t the emotion that you want to be cultivating for yourself and operating from.

I’m going to give you a couple examples here, but ultimately, my thesis on “hope” is this: The action that you take from hope isn’t very powerful. I don’t think that hope is a feeling that necessarily serves you. When you’re feeling hopeful about something, you normally get really passive. You sort of throw your hands up in the air, you cede control over a situation, you really step into wait-and-see mode, you kind of cross your fingers, and wish and hope that things work out.

But you don’t take active action to ensure that something happens or goes a particular way. You become very passive, you relinquish responsibility for your results, you kind of put it in the universe’s hands, or if you’re religious, you put it in God’s hands. You put it outside of your own control, your own responsibility.

When you do that, it doesn’t create very powerful results. It typically leaves you still hoping that something turns out the way that you want it to. I often say, when you’re thinking a thought with the word “want” in it, that want begets more wanting. The same thing goes for “hope.” Hope begets more hoping.

Here are a few examples of this. Think about time management. Let’s say you struggle with time management, and it’s something that you’re working on. As you go to “work on it,” your thought that’s fueling you forward is the thought, “I hope I get better at this.” When you think, “I hope I get better at this,” you end up feeling hopeful.

And, what do you do from feeling hopeful? You don’t really do anything, you just wait. You “try,” and try just means not doing. So, you keep doing the same things, and you anticipate a different result. But that doesn’t make sense, right? Doing the same things, crossing your fingers, hoping as a strategy, not doing something different as a strategy, that’s all going to get you more of the same.

So, when you’re thinking, “I hope I get better at this,” and you’re feeling hopeful or optimistic, you don’t take the action that would actually help you get better at this. Right?

What would that action look like? Following my process. Reclaiming control of your calendar. Planning your schedule accurately. Honoring your plan. Evaluating. Allowing the negative emotions to be there. Taking action in spite of them. Those are all of the things that you need to do in order to get better at time management.

Really studying yourself: Where did I reshuffle? Where did I procrastinate? Where did I plan inaccurately, and do the math wrong? Going through that process, and making decisions and changes little bit by bit at a time in order to get better at it. That is the process of actually getting better at time management. When you’re hoping you get better at it you don’t engage in those activities.

Take business development, as an example. Maybe you have the goal to bring in half a million dollars in revenue for your firm. Or maybe your goal is bigger than that, maybe it’s a million. Or maybe it’s bigger than that; how fun.

If you were thinking the thought, “I hope I develop business. I hope I make $1 million,” and you’re feeling hopeful or optimistic, what do you do? You sit around, you cross your fingers, you hope as a strategy, you wait for clients to come to you, you don’t actively market, you don’t meet people, or you don’t tell them what you do.

You don’t add value ahead of time in a bunch of different ways through social media or through conversations with people, or you don’t make offers to help people when it makes sense to do so. You just sit around and wait. Guess what? You take what comes, but what comes isn’t going to get you to your goal. That strategy isn’t going to get you to where you want to be.

So, you end up still hoping that you make a million dollars next year, that you develop a business next year, and you’re probably getting discouraged in the process because it’s not going the way that you “hoped” that it would go. So, you start taking less and less and less action, because hope isn’t panning out, then you feel discouraged, and the worst you feel the worst action you take. Right?

Think about that. If you’re feeling hopeful when it comes to business development, you’re still going to be hoping that you get different results than the ones that you create. When you’re using hope as a strategy, you also might be thinking, “I might hit my goal.” The sentence doesn’t have to have “hope” in it. The thought doesn’t need to have “hope” in it.

It might be, “I might hit my goal. Maybe I’ll hit my goal. Maybe I’ll develop business this year. Maybe clients will want to work with me. Maybe I’ll sign clients. Maybe I’ll develop a business. Maybe I’ll make the amount of money that I want to make. Maybe I’ll get the bonus I want to get this year. I might get the bonus that I’m hoping to get this year.”

And then, when you think any of those thoughts, you feel hopeful and then you relinquish control. You put the power of achieving that result outside of yourself. Again, you cross your fingers, and you wait. You wait to see what happens. When you wait and see what happens, and you passively pursue your goal rather than actively pursue your goal, you don’t create the results you want.

Same thing if you’re thinking about the circumstance of making partner. Maybe that’s a goal that you have. When you’re thinking the thought, “I want to make partner. I hope I make partner. Maybe I’ll make partner. I might make partner this year,” and you feel hopeful or optimistic, what do you do? You sit around and wait and see, rather than actively pursuing it.

What would it look like to actively pursue making partner? You’re going to get very clear on what you need to do, what the firm expects of you, what the metrics are, that are considered in order for you to go from being an associate to being a partner, or from being a non-equity partner to an equity partner.

You’d get very clear on what you need to do in order to meet the requirements, and then you would get to work on meeting those requirements. You would hit a certain billable hour target, if there is one that exists within your firm. If you need to have a certain book of business, in order to be considered to make partner you would make sure that you devote time to developing that book of business.

You’re going to make sure you have strong relationships with the people who make those partnership decisions if there’s a committee that makes those decisions. So, you would go very intentionally about checking off those items on that list.

Rather than just crossing your fingers, using hope as a strategy, and waiting around to see what happens. Hoping that people look out for you. Hoping that people advocate for you. You take much more intentional action to ensure you do everything in your power to make it happen.

So, I want you to think about an area of your life where “hope” is coming up for you. Where are you feeling hopeful? And then, I want you to think about what action you take from that feeling. You’ve got to be really honest with yourself here.

If you’re someone who likes feeling hopeful, and you think that that’s a good emotion to operate from, really get tedious here. Get very specific and identify what’s the exact action you take when you’re feeling hopeful. Then, get even more honest, even more candid.

Is that action guaranteed to produce the results you want? Are you taking the most intentional, most active action? Not to be redundant, but are you taking the most meaningful, logical action to create your desired results? Or are you being passive from that hope?

Here’s the thing with hope, there’s always a better feeling that you can move into in order to create the results you want, with more intention and more success. So, think about the examples we talked about earlier, the time management, the business development, and making partner.

If you were thinking, “I’m going to get better at time management. I am getting better at time management,” you would feel encouraged. If you were thinking, “I can learn how to do this,” you would feel capable. If you were thinking, “I’ll figure out how to do this,” you would feel committed and resourceful. If you were thinking the thought, “I will get better at time management, no matter what. I will not quit until I get there,” you would feel determined, right?

Those emotions drive you to take significantly different action. Think about the action you take when you’re feeling capable, committed, determined, resourceful and encouraged. How would you show up differently than just feeling hopeful? If you’re thinking about developing business, if you shifted from feeling hopeful that you develop it to feeling determined and committed that you would develop it, feeling capable of developing it, feeling encouraged and resourceful, what would you do?

You would take that action that I mentioned a moment ago. You would meet people, you’d tell them what you do, you’d add value ahead of time, you’d make offers to help people, you would network, you would do virtual coffees, you’d go to in-person events, you’d post on Social media, or you’d offer trainings online. There’s so much stuff that you would do, you would leave no stone unturned.

If you were feeling determined and committed and capable, you would really go for it. You’d be taking all of the active action; the massive action, not the passive action. Think about making partner; I gave you that list of things that you would do. That’s going to come from feeling determined, committed, capable, and resourceful, not from feeling hopeful.

So, that situation you just identified a moment ago, the one where you have hope coming up for you, the one that you’re feeling hopeful about, or where you’re using hope as your strategy. You’ve gotten clear now on the action that you’re taking from that hope.

I want you to be really honest. How would you change what you’re doing if you were feeling determined and committed and capable and resourceful and encouraged? What would change? How would you show up differently? What action would you specifically take that you’re not taking right now? Would you be waiting around to see what happened, or would you be making it happen?

You’re going to be making it happen. If you’re feeling those stronger, more powerful emotions, you’re going to ensure your success. You’re going to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

So, that’s what I mean, when I say I don’t love hope as an emotion, I don’t love hope as a strategy. I want you to move into, if you think about emotions on a spectrum, feelings on a spectrum, I want you to move into a stronger, more powerful emotion. I want you to inch your way across the spectrum, going from hope to those more powerful emotions, that committed, determined, motivated, resourceful energy.

Another way to prove my point here, one of the ways that we accomplish goals, is I teach people how to reverse engineer their results. We do that by starting at the end of the model and working backwards. So, the model is the tool that I use in my coaching. It consists of five components: Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions and Results.

The premise is that we encounter circumstances. So, a goal would be a circumstance. And then, we think thoughts about it. Those thoughts drive our feelings, or cause our feelings. And, our feelings drive our actions. And, our actions produce our results.

So, what you can do, you can use the model to create awareness as to why you have the current results you have, while you’re doing the things you’re currently doing. You can use it to figure out what you would need to think, how you would need to feel, and what you would need to do in order to create your desired results.

You could just start by replacing the thought. You can say, instead of thinking, “I hope to make a million dollars,” you can shift it to, “I will make a million dollars.” You can see the difference that thought makes, how it makes you feel, or how you show up differently from that feeling, and the different result you produce from that action.

But you can also work backwards. So, you can start with your desired result, and then you work your way up the model. You go from the result to the actions you would need to take in order to produce that result, then you go to the feeling you would need to feel to take that action, and then you go to the thought that you would need to think in order to feel that emotion.

So here, think about the result you want to create. If you want to develop business, if you want to master time management, if you want to make partner, if you want to delegate, if you want to stop people pleasing, if you want to travel the world, if you want to get married…

If you want to do anything in your life, think about the specific actions you would need to take in order to make that result happen, in order for that to come to fruition. Get very specific and list out all of the micro steps, all of the little actions that you would need to take, in order to produce that desired result.

Now, once you’ve got that list, work your way up the model again, another level. What’s the feeling you would need to feel, in order to take that action? I promise you, whatever word just came to your mind, it definitely wasn’t hopeful. And, that’s what proves my point.

If you were to reverse engineer your results, you’d never pick hope as the feeling to fuel you forward. You would always pick something stronger than that. So, it goes to show that hope isn’t a strategy to get you to where you want to go.

You choose to feel compelled, committed, convicted, determined, motivated, driven, empowered, powerful, encouraged, certain, assured, capable, confident, unstoppable, resilient, or relentless. Relentless is one of my favorite emotions.

I love taking action when feeling relentless. I love pursuing goals while I’m in that state, that emotional experience. It’s so fun. It’s so much different than hopeful, you can feel it in your body, just as you’re listening to me right now.

I want you to check in with yourself. Try on what hope feels like in your body, and then try on what relentless feels like, what convicted feels like, what compelled feels like, what committed or determined feels like. And if you are having a hard time accessing that emotion in your body, think right now of a time where you felt any of those feelings before, and tap into it. Notice the difference. The energy of those emotions is completely different than the energy of hope.

So, working the model backwards really proves my point here. You’d never intentionally choose that as the emotion to fuel you to take the action that you would need to take, in order to produce your desired result. So, don’t settle for hope.

Now, with that being said, I want to talk about an exception to my rule of not using hope as a strategy. I’m going to be really realistic with you, okay? Sometimes hope is all you have. If you’re feeling, right now, if you’re feeling discouraged, defeated, down, depressed, stuck, ashamed, guilty, frustrated with yourself, helpless, and really hopeless…

If you’re feeling those feelings, sometimes the furthest you can get yourself along that feelings spectrum is to get yourself to feeling hopeful. Optimistic is as far as you can get, at least for now. You’ll be feeling hopeful that things might get better. Hopeful that the situation that you’re dealing with is going to work itself out. Hopeful that you’ll be okay.

Sometimes hope’s all you got. And if that’s where you’re at right now, I don’t want to diminish it. I want to hold space for you to just be there for a little while. And even better than saying hope’s all you’ve got, think of it as hope is the best that you’ve got in this moment. And when that’s the case, hope is a step in the right direction.

Again, I want you to think of feelings as a spectrum. Now, I don’t want you to stop at hope; I don’t want it to be your final destination. But if hope’s the best you’ve got right now, then let it be a pitstop. Get yourself out of those heavier emotions, those feelings of discouragement, defeat, depression, feeling stuck, ashamed, frustrated, or hopeless. Get yourself to hope.

Ask yourself: What would I need to think right now to just access hope, even if for a moment, even if just for a little while? Get yourself to hope and stay there for as long as you can. And then, practice being there. Practice being in the emotion of feeling hopeful. Hang out there for a little while, until hope becomes your new normal.

From there, once you’ve shaken off those heavier emotions and you’ve been able to stay in hope, recalibrate. And then, work on moving your way further across the feelings spectrum to those more powerful emotions. There is no shame in taking a quick stop, or a long stop, at hope if it’s the best you have access to right now.

And, you’ve got to be really honest with yourself. “Is that the best I have access to? Is hope as good as I can get to in this moment, in this season, for right now?” If it is, just let yourself be there and let hope be enough. And then, I promise you… You’ve got to be on the lookout for it and you’ve got to try on different thoughts.

The longer you stay in hope, practice trying on a thought that would make you feel a little bit better than hopeful. Practice trying on a thought that would make you feel an emotion that would have you taking slightly more intentional action than hope would have you take. Then, let that spot, that emotion, be your new normal for a little while. And just keep inching your way along that feelings spectrum to get to those much more powerful emotions.

Okay, if you’re used to using hope as a strategy, this is your sign to stop. I want you to challenge yourself to move your way along the spectrum to get to those more powerful commanding emotions. But if hope is as good as you can do right now, if hope is as good as it gets for this moment in time, give yourself some grace and just let yourself be there.

If you’re not there, get yourself there. Do the work to just get to hope. Ask yourself: What would I need to think to feel hopeful, even if for a minute? And practice that thought as often as you can. All right? Inch your way along the feelings spectrum, and as you do this, you’re going to create more positive emotions and more intentional action.

Ultimately, as a result of all of that, much better results. I hope this helps you make sense of what I mean by ‘I don’t love hope as an emotion.’ If you’ve heard me say that before, hopefully this clears up some of the confusion.

My hope for you, as we close out this year and we head into a new year, we head into 2024, is that you don’t just settle for hope. You don’t just hope that next year will be better than this year. I want you to ensure it for yourself. I want you to commit to it, that next year will be better than 2023.

The best way you can ensure it is by coming to work with me. There are two ways that you can do that in 2024. You can decide to attend The Obsessed Retreat. Join me in Miami, in March; March 20th through the 23rd; for three and a half days, in person.

Where we immerse ourselves in solving the problems you’re facing, developing the skills you need to have to create the results you want, and then making your plans for the future, for all of 2024 and the next several years. So, you’ve got a clearer picture of where you’re headed.

That way, we don’t just hope to get there and create the results we want, but we ensure it. Because we’re going to reverse engineer those results, and create a roadmap that you can follow to get exactly where you want to go.

Remember, when you attend The Obsessed Retreat, you also get access to lifetime monthly coaching calls. So, you’re going to have continued support after our time in Miami, and lifetime access to those calls to get all of the support you need, to get the results that you want. That’s the first way to work with me in 2024.

The second way is to join Lawyers Only. The Obsessed Retreat is open to everyone, whether you’re a lawyer or not; you’re welcome to come to that. If you are a lawyer though, and you want to join a group coaching program that consists entirely of lawyers facing the exact same problems you are facing, I am getting ready to launch a monthly coaching subscription for, you guessed it, lawyers only.

Now, the monthly subscription consists of weekly group coaching calls. We’ll meet once a week as a group, and you’ll get a chance to get coached by me and work through the problems that you’re facing. You’re also going to get access to a member portal. There’s going to be courses on demand; courses in there on time management, on how to do the thought work that I teach, and I’m going to continuously be adding courses as time goes by.

So, we’re going to kick off with those two courses. But the next course I’m going to add after that is going to be a business development course. And then we’ll go from there by continuing to add on how to manage a team, how to delegate, how to set boundaries, how to do all of the things that you need to know how to do, in order to have the life you want to have, the career you want to have, and the personal life you want.

In addition to that course content, that you get to binge on demand, and consume on demand as much of it as you want at a time, you’re also going to have access to written coaching. You’ll be able to submit issues in writing, and I’ll be able to respond to you. You get to do that in between our weekly calls. So, you have all the support you need whenever you want it.

You’re also going to have access to a community platform where you get to engage with all of the other attorneys and lawyers only. You can cheer each other on, problem-solve things together, and celebrate each other when you’re achieving the goals you set out to accomplish.

This program is going to have everything you need to have the practice and the life you want. It’s going to be so good. So, enrollment for both of those programs is getting ready to open. Like I said, don’t let hope be your strategy for how to have a better year. Ensure that you have a better year in 2024 than you did in 2023. Ensure that you do next year better than you did this year.

Come work with me. Enrollment opens for both of those programs very soon. The way to stay informed and up to speed on when doors open for both The Obsessed Retreat and Lawyers Only is to head on over to my Instagram, there’s a link in my bio there. My Instagram handle is @thelessstressedlawyer, or you can go to my link tree link, which is linktr.ee/thelessstressedlawyer.

I’ll repeat that one more time, and you can just type it in your browser right now. linktr.ee/thelessstressedlawyer. All right, go there. The first two links are the interest list for The Obsessed Retreat and for Lawyers Only; go sign up for either or both. I can’t wait to work with you in the new year. We’re going to make 2024 the year you go from hoping things happen to making sure you do.

All right, my friends. That’s what I’ve got for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week, and I will talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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Episode 86: Frustration

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Frustration

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Frustration

Frustration is an emotion we all experience. You might believe that the situation you’re currently dealing with is what’s causing your frustration. However, there’s a coaching tool I use in my practice that illustrates why you have more power and influence over your feelings of frustration than you realize.

If you’re ready to address the root cause of your frustration, today’s episode is for you. When you can see how you’re creating your own experience of frustration through the thoughts you’re consciously deciding to think, then you can begin taking the steps required to move past frustration and start getting things done.

Tune in this week to discover what you can do to ease your frustration about anything in your life. I show you how to separate your thoughts and feelings of frustration from the facts of your situation, and how to start easing your feelings of frustration while creating the emotional experience you actually want, without needing to change anything external in your life.

I’m running another rate and review giveaway! Instructions for leaving a rating and review for The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast are here. Don’t forget to take a screenshot of your review, and email it to me or DM me on social media.

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

Want to be the first to know when my monthly subscription Lawyers Only launches? Click here and sign up for the waitlist!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How we often confuse our thoughts and feelings with facts.
  • The stories you might be telling yourself about your feelings of frustration.
  • Why nothing in your life is inherently frustrating.
  • How a coach can help you see the real source of your frustration.
  • What you can do to ease your feelings of frustration right now and choose the emotional experience you really want.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 86. Today, we’re talking all about frustration. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Well, hello there. How are you? I hope your week is off to a wonderful start. Maybe it’s the end of your week when you’re listening to this. Whenever it is, I hope that your week is going well. My week is off to a good start. I just had a bunch of friends come visit me in Charleston. I’ve actually had those friends on my podcast, we recorded a group call, or like a group episode, earlier this year, all about the power of group coaching.

I had the privilege of meeting these women in a group coaching program that we all joined. Since we were all in that program together… I’m still in it, but the three of them are not… we still get together a couple times a year.

Because we’re all coaches, and we’re all entrepreneurs, we like to get together and brainstorm and make plans for our businesses. We strategize, and we work through some of the problems that we’re facing. We trade tips and different ideas and suggestions.

Actually, one of the tips that came up over the weekend, that was recommended to me, I just implemented right before I started recording this episode. It was a game changer. I have been stuck on something and just the slightest, smallest, little suggestion from someone in passing made all the difference in the world.

It’s so fun to spend time with people who inspire you like that. I get the privilege of doing it in the group coaching programs that I’m a part of. And then, with the other people that I’ve met that are entrepreneurial, that are in the coaching industry, that think like me that have similar goals.

To me, it’s just so incredible to get to spend time with people like that. If you’re listening to this, and you want to spend time with people like that, you’ve got to come to the next retreat that I’m hosting, The Obsessed Retreat, because those are exactly the types of people that you’ll meet.

They’re people who have the same goals as you. You can talk about your goals with them, you can workshop through things, and they can have suggestions and tips and tricks. You’ll just have so much in common with them, and you’ll form relationships just like the ones I have now, that last you outside of these programs.

You can continue on in the programs if you want to, but you’re going to make friendships and you’re going to build relationships, that last you far longer than whatever program you’re in. It’s so cool.

We meet quarterly, essentially, myself and these women, so I might do a couple episodes here and there throughout the podcast about some of our random takeaways and epiphanies from these incredible weekends we spend together.

I had a lot of takeaways, some small, some really big, and I was taking notes all weekend, thinking about how can I implement what we discussed. I know as I was taking all of that in, I was thinking, “Oh my God, this would be so helpful to the people who listen to my podcast, and to the people who follow me on my social media channels.” So, I’m definitely going to share some of those tidbits with you in a separate episode. That’ll be so fun.

Speaking of tidbits that I want to share with you, this is something that’s come up pretty frequently on recent coaching calls. It’s come up across the entirety of my coaching career, but I’m noticing a bit of a trend. Sometimes I see things more frequently. Or I’m just paying attention to something because it popped up on my radar, and I really want to start thinking about maybe recording an episode on it, or creating some social media content around it.

So, I’ve been paying closer attention. It’s sort of like when someone tells you or asks you, “Did you see any red cars on your way driving here today,” and you can’t think or remember any of the red cars that you saw; you can’t think of them. And then when you’re driving home, all you see is red cars. So, it’s sort of like that.

I encounter this issue all the time when I’m coaching. But because I’ve been paying particular attention to it recently, it’s really come up on my radar. I’m just much more cognizant every single time a client references this, so I wanted to record an episode about it.

The topic that I want to talk about specifically is the topic of frustration. So, if you’ve been listening to my podcast for a while, you know I teach a concept called “the model.” The model consists of five interrelated components. It’s basically an equation for your life. You get to plug things into it, and then it spits out other information.

The five components are: Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, and Results. Circumstances, the premise of the model starts with this, circumstances are neutral.

They’re simply facts that we encounter in our lives. What someone says, what someone does, without any spin on it. Without any qualifying statements, subjective statements, opinions, adjectives, descriptors; anything that makes it an opinion, not a fact. So, circumstances are strictly facts.

Then, our brain serves us up thoughts about them. And thoughts are just sentences that run through our minds. They’re our opinions. They’re subjective. They have those descriptive, qualifying words in them, those adjectives. And, it’s our thoughts that cause our feelings.

Our feelings are one-word emotions that we experience as vibrations in our body. Then, our feelings drive and determine the action that we take. And, our action produces our results. Okay?

So, circumstances, thoughts, feelings, actions, results, those are the five components of the model. Now, we use the model in a couple of different ways. We use it to understand ourselves and others, why we’re feeling the way that we’re feeling, why we’re doing the things that we’re doing, or why we have the results that we have.

We can also use the model to solve problems. So, if we don’t like how we feel, we can figure out what thought are we thinking, and how do we need to change it in order to feel differently? How do we want to feel? What would we need to think instead to feel that way? If we want to change what we’re doing, what would we need to think and how would we need to feel in order to show up differently?

If we wanted to produce a different result, you’d address all three of those things: What do we need to do differently? In order to do that, how would we need to feel? In order to feel that way, what would we need to think?

So, we can use it to gain awareness or solve problems. Now, I always tell my clients, one of the biggest components of coaching, one of the things that we do the most, one of the most important things that we do, is start to learn how to distinguish between circumstances and our thoughts about them.

Most of us don’t know the difference between a circumstance and a thought. Therefore, we go through our lives believing that our thoughts are circumstances. We believe that our thoughts are facts, even though they’re not. And when we do this, we make it seem like our emotional experience is outside of our control. That we’re living at the effect of our circumstances.

We’re not, we’re living at the effect of our thought. But when we conflate a circumstance with a thought, and we think that a thought is really a fact, what happens is that we make ourselves feel like we don’t have any control over our emotional state, over our feelings.

So, when I’m working with my clients, a big chunk of the work that we do together in our coaching sessions is just figuring out and distinguishing between circumstances and thoughts. Figuring out what’s the circumstance, what is the thought. What is the fact and what is the thought.

Now, when you’re new to coaching, you’re not going to be good at this. This is why we work with coaches because coaches have the ability to point this out to you, and show it to you in a way that you start to become aware of your blind spots and you start to change your perspective.

You stop seeing your thinking as true. You stop seeing your thoughts as facts, as circumstances, and you start seeing them for what they are, simply your thoughts. But it really takes the support of a coach to help you do that. Because these sentences, when they run through your head, they feel true because it’s what you believe. But just because you believe something doesn’t make it true. Okay?

So, when you’re working with a coach, they know what questions to ask you to help you see how it’s a thought, not a fact; how it’s a thought, not a circumstance.

They’re going to be able to show you, through the questions that they ask and the journey that they take you on in a coaching session, they’re going to help you see how it’s simply your opinion, how it’s not a fact, how other people might be able to look at it differently, how you’re looking at it, and what words you’re using that change it from a fact to a subjective statement.

The power of that is that once you know the sentence isn’t true, once you know it’s an opinion, it becomes optional, and you give yourself power to change it. So, one of the most common thoughts that my clients mistake as a circumstance is the thought, “It’s frustrating.”

I’ll digress just for a second here. I really want you to be thinking about those five components of the model: Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, Results.

There are only two places in the model that frustration would go, okay? Now, the first would be in the T-line of the model, the thought line. That would be the thought, “It’s frustrating.”

Or you could use a specific noun that you’re talking about. “What that person did is frustrating. What that person said is frustrating. What happened is frustrating. What didn’t happen is frustrating.” Whatever the noun is, you’re thinking the thought, “It’s frustrating.” So, frustration would go in the T-line of the model in that way. You’ll think something is frustrating.

The other place frustration can go is in the F-line of the model, in the feelings line, because you’d be feeling frustrated. Guess where frustration doesn’t go in the model? It doesn’t go in the C-line, which is what most of my clients end up doing. It’s a thought error they have, they think it is true that something is frustrating. That is never true.

I’m going to say that one more time because I really want you to hear me: It is never true that something is frustrating. What your colleague did is not inherently frustrating. What your mom said to you is not inherently frustrating. That someone turned something in late to you is not inherently frustrating.

That someone emailed you on the weekend is not inherently frustrating. That someone cut you off while you’re driving is not inherently frustrating. That a store won’t let you return something that you purchased is not inherently frustrating. That your spouse keeps buying you presents that you don’t like, that is not inherently frustrating either.

You can put anything that you encounter, any fact that you encounter, in the blank there, okay? It, in and of itself, is not frustrating. It is not true that the things that you think are frustrating are actually frustrating. It is simply your opinion that something is frustrating.

Now, imagine this. When you think something is frustrating, you will feel frustrated 100% of the time. That’s just how this works. It’s very linear. If you think something’s frustrating, you’ll feel frustrated.

Now, you might think some other thought. Your thought might not be, “It’s frustrating… They’re frustrating me. When they said that it was frustrating.” You might think, “They shouldn’t have done that,” and you’ll feel frustrated. You might think, “I can’t believe they did that,” and feel frustrated. You might think, “It should have happened differently than it did,” whatever situation it is that you’re encountering.

When you think that way you might feel frustrated, but the facts themselves would be ‘what present your spouse got you.’ It would be the statement that your mom said, or whatever your colleague said or did. Or the fact that someone got you something at a particular time when they said they’d get it to you at a different time.

Any of the examples that I just gave you… that the store said no to you returning something… all of those things are facts. That’s what happened. Okay? And, they aren’t frustrating, or not frustrating.

Here’s how I think of this. If you think about frustration on a spectrum, it’s not even on the spectrum yet until you have a thought about it. So, there’s no charge, good, bad, or otherwise, to the fact that you’re encountering, to the situation that you’re dealing with, to the circumstance at hand. It’s just neutral; it’s blank.

Then you think a thought about it, and you decide whether or not you think it’s frustrating. Depending on what you think about it, it’s going to determine how you feel about it. It’s going to determine whether or not you feel frustrated.

Now, one of the tricks that I teach my clients… Because when I call them on this, when I point out to them, “Hey, it’s not actually true, that that thing that you just said is frustrating is actually frustrating. That’s just your thought. That’s just your opinion. Even though you just told me that it’s frustrating, and you said that to me in a manner where it seems like it’s true, like you’re just reporting the news to me, it actually isn’t true. That’s just your opinion. That’s just your belief.”

When I tell them that, they struggle to see it. So, one of the ways that I help them see that it’s not actually true, is we start to find other ways to describe it. We work on identifying other thoughts to think about it. I was coaching a client on this earlier today, and the conversation that we had around the situation that she was dealing with, she said to me, like it was true even though it’s not, she said, “This person’s not getting back to me, and it’s beyond frustrating.”

Do you see how it sounds like she’s reporting the news? When you think that thought you’re going to feel very frustrated or very angry. And listen, you get to pick those feelings and that emotional experience on purpose, if you want to.

But when I teach people that it’s not true that something is inherently frustrating, that that is just their opinion, I’m also teaching them what is happening is that they’re causing their own frustration.

Another person isn’t causing your frustration. What they do is neutral, what they say is neutral, what they don’t do is neutral, what they don’t say is neutral, and the situation, or the fact that you’re encountering, is also neutral. It’s not causing you to feel frustrated; none of it is.

What causes you to feel frustrated is your thought about the fact. Which means you cause your own frustration because you have control over your thoughts. Now, this begs the question, do you want to make yourself feel frustrated?

Most people don’t think like that, they don’t talk like that, they blame other people for their feelings of frustration. But that’s not what’s actually going on. You’re causing your own frustration by thinking things are frustrating. Now, if you want to feel frustrated, you get to; you get to choose that emotional experience for yourself.

So, if you want to feel frustrated, keep your thoughts, don’t change them, you get to continue to think that the thing is frustrating. Now, when I ask most people, “Do you want to feel frustrated,” they tell me no. Which means you have to change your thought about the circumstance. You cannot keep the thought, “It’s frustrating,” and not feel frustrated, the two simply go together. If you keep thinking something is frustrating, you’re going to feel frustrated. That’s just how this works.

In order to not feel frustrated… Which, who wants to feel frustrated? Like 99.9% of the time, I don’t want to feel frustrated. Every once in a blue moon, I’ll choose to feel frustrated because I will not want to think anything else about a particular situation. But that’s very, very rare.

I want that to be the 1% rule for you as well, rather than the 99% rule or even the 70/30 rule. I want it to be rare that you think something is frustrating.

So, think about a situation that you currently find “frustrating.” What are the facts? What actually happened? Get very clear on what those facts are. Then ask yourself: What am I thinking about those facts? You might be thinking the simple thought, “It’s frustrating. This is frustrating,” and that will make you feel frustrated.

But you also might be thinking something else, so dig a little bit deeper and see if there are other thoughts that are making you feel frustrated too. See what those thoughts are.

From there, once you’ve identified those thoughts, ask yourself: Can I think something else, instead? You can start with identifying the feeling. How do you want to feel about this situation, instead? About this circumstance, instead?

Do you want to feel accepting? Do you want to feel understanding? Do you want to feel in control or at peace or grounded? How do you want to feel? Pick the emotional experience that you want to have for yourself.

From there, work it backwards. Ask yourself: What would I need to think in order to feel that feeling?

Now, one more tip that I have for you. People will try and do this, and they’ll find one replacement thought, and the replacement thought won’t land with them. It won’t resonate. So, they give up really quickly and they just go back to the original thought. Instead of approaching this like trying on clothes. Okay?

You might not settle on the first article of clothing that you try on, especially if you’re shopping for something for a special occasion, right? You’re going to try on lots of things probably, until you find something that fits, something that looks good on you, or something you feel comfortable in. You keep trying until you find the ideal fit.

That’s what I want you to do here when it comes to finding new thoughts to think. I want you to keep going until you find a replacement thought that feels like it clicks into place. Where you’re like, “Ah, I could believe that. I could choose to think that. That makes me feel differently. That makes me feel a little bit better.”

It’s going to make you feel better because you actually believe it. If you don’t believe it, it’s not going to change the way that you feel. So, you’re going to still feel frustrated because the thought, the primary thought that you’re continuing to think, is the original thought that made you feel frustrated in the first place. You can’t get rid of the feeling of frustration until you get rid of the thought causing it. So, you want to replace that thought with something else.

Another way that you can break up the thought, dismantle the thought making you feel frustrated, is simply by making the argument: How is that thought not true? Now, I know you’re going to feel like it is very true; that the situation that you’re encountering is frustrating.

But I want you to put your thinking cap on and really go to work here. How is it not true? How might someone else look at the situation? How might the business that is telling you you can’t return something, how might they look at it? How might your mom look at the situation? Specifically, what she said, how might she look at that? Will she think it’s frustrating or will she have a different thought about it?

Will your spouse think it’s frustrating that they bought you the present that they bought you? Will someone else think it’s frustrating your colleague said what they said, or they did what they did? Or the person that turned something in late to you, will they think it’s frustrating? What might they think, instead?

Even just going there helps you get perspective on how other people can look at the exact same fact through a different lens, from a different vantage point. When you start to see those different lenses and those different vantage points, you get access to different thoughts to think about the facts that you encounter. And when you get access to those thoughts, you also get access to different feelings.

So, if you’re someone who frequently feels frustrated… Which a lot of the people I work with they frequently feel frustrated. They feel frustrated about traffic, that there shouldn’t be traffic. Or that it’s frustrating to be in traffic… what else could you think about that?

I promise you, there’s one person, at least, probably many more people than one, but there’s one person on the planet that has a different thought about traffic. What do you think they think? How do you think they feel about it?

Try that on. What would someone else, who got the present that you received, think about it? What might another person think about it? Maybe not what would they, but what might they think about it? Just to give you access to different thoughts to think, instead of the thoughts you might be thinking.

Try doing this. Find the things that you feel frustrated about, and figure out what you’re thinking that’s making you feel frustrated. Because I promise you, you are frustrating yourself. No one else is doing it to you. And then, make up your mind: Do I want to feel frustrated? I highly recommend you don’t choose frustrated most of the time. And in that case, what can you choose to think instead?

Think of how you want to feel instead of feeling frustrated, and let that be your common experience, feeling those feelings instead of feeling frustration, it’s way better. I hope this helps you dial down the frustration that you feel day in and day out, so you can feel less stressed and more fulfilled. That’s what we do here on The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast.

All right, my friends, that’s what I have for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week, and I will talk to you in the next episode. Oh, one more thing. I talked about this last week, but I’m going to mention it again here.

Remember, I am doing another rating and review giveaway. So, if you rate and review the podcast before the end of the year, before December 31, 2023, you will be entered to win a $50 gift card to Amazon.

I just gave out five of these gift cards, which was so fun for me to do. It’s not like there’s only one bite at the apple, you have a lot of chances to win. There’s also no limit on how many times you can leave a rating and review.

So, go in there, leave me a rating and a review, and then either email me at Olivia@thelessstressedlawyer.com letting me know that you did it, include a screenshot so I can see that you did, and then I’ll have your email address.

Or you can DM me on LinkedIn or Instagram with a screenshot and your email address, that way I can enter you to win. And if you win, I can easily send over that Amazon gift card to you.

It’s so much fun giving away a little extra holiday cheer. I really appreciate you taking the time to go help me get this podcast in the ears of more listeners, that’s what happens when you leave me a rating and review. I greatly, greatly appreciate it.

All right, my friends, that’s it. I will talk to you next week.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Episode 85: The Process of Creating a Process

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | The Process of Creating a Process

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | The Process of Creating a Process

Is creating processes in your life something you struggle with? If so, you’re not alone. Tons of people have difficulty when it comes to this topic, as our brains love to choose confusion and overwhelm instead of taking action. So this week I’m giving you a process for creating a process.

When I experience confusion, I tend to shut down and stop taking action. Maybe you’re the same, but this is exactly where implementing processes can come in useful. If you find it impossible to get started, or you feel overwhelmed by the idea that you might end up doing things wrong and you just want someone to tell you exactly what to do, this episode is exactly what you need.

Tune in this week to discover why you are feeling overwhelmed and confused when it comes to taking action in your life and how having a process in place can help. I’m showing you my process for creating a process, so you can move forward, figure things out on your own, and break free from the confusion that’s keeping you stuck.

I’m running another rate and review giveaway! Instructions for leaving a rating and review for The Less Stressed Lawyer Podcast are here. Don’t forget to take a screenshot of your review, and email it to me or DM me on social media.

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why our brains love to choose confusion and overwhelm.
  • How to see where you’re waiting for a step-by-step process to appear before you can take action.
  • Something I’ve struggled to take action on lately because I lacked a process.
  • How to get out of that space where you’re convinced that you don’t know where to start.
  • Why there isn’t one right way of doing things.
  • My process for creating your own processes.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 85. Today, we’re talking all about the process of creating a process. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Well, hello there. How are you? I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s so wild to me you always know what I’ve got going on in my life, and I don’t ever really get to hear what’s going on in yours. But I hope you got to spend it with people who matter most to you.

My parents actually came down. We had a very non-traditional Vizachero family Thanksgiving. It’s different than anything we’ve ever done before. I shouldn’t say that. I went to Chicago, I think two years ago, for Thanksgiving to visit with my aunt, my uncle, and my cousin Emily. I call her Ginger, for those of you who know her. She has red hair, so that’s my nickname for her.

That was the first time I really did something unconventional and didn’t spend it with my parents. This year, I spent it with my parents, but we weren’t at home. I wasn’t in Michigan, and we didn’t have a traditional home-cooked Thanksgiving meal.

We spent the week bopping around Charleston eating our way through the city. I got to go deep-sea fishing with my dad, which was so much fun. It’s something that we used to do when I was a lot younger. I haven’t gone with him in years, so it was really amazing to get out on the water with him and just have a riot.

So, they were down here for almost the whole week. I took some time off of work, which I’ve been coaching people on a lot lately, about their mind drama about taking days off of work. I should do a whole episode on that. I’ll make a note of it. But today’s episode isn’t about that.

Today’s episode is a continuation of what I talked about last week. Last week, I was talking about the process of focusing, and imperfect focus versus perfect focus. I explained in the last episode that I wanted to talk to you about the process of creating a process.

This is something that I do all the time in my own life. It’s something that I use with my clients all the time as well because I’ve seen how effective it is for me. So, here’s the reason I do this, and I’ll explain what it actually means in a second.

But the reason that I create processes, it’s because I’ve learned how I operate. All right? Confusion is an emotion that when I experience it, I tend to shut down. When I feel confused, I do not like moving forward. Is that my perfectionism making an appearance? You’re right, it sure is.

Because I don’t like the discomfort of not knowing. I love the certainty. I love feeling like I’m doing something right, the “right way.” Even though, as a coach, I intellectually know there is no “right way” to do something. That being said, I’m still a human.

So, if I’m doing something new, something I’ve never done before, it’s very easy for me to feel confused. And confused just comes from the thoughts, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know how to do this.” That’s it. You just think, “I don’t know,” and then you feel confused. That’s all that happened. That’s all that causes confusion.

I’ve also noticed that when I feel confused, I also tend to feel overwhelmed. The two are sort of like cousins, they go together. So, when I’m feeling confused, I also feel overwhelmed. Maybe there are a lot of different options to choose from, and I don’t know where to start. I tell myself that something’s going to be hard or challenging, and it’s going to be difficult for me to complete. So, I’ll feel overwhelmed and confused.

Which is so funny, because if I don’t know how to do it, how can I assume that it’s going to be hard or complicated, and feel overwhelmed? It could be easy, but that’s not what my brain does when it defaults to this setting. When it’s indulging in ‘I don’t know,’ it loves to choose confusion and to choose overwhelm.

When I’m in this state, in this low-value thought cycle, one of the things that I’ve noticed is I really crave someone to tell me how to do whatever it is I need to do. I want them to give me the ‘follow the yellow brick road’ process. Every single step from A to Z, I want them to lay it out for me.

And if I can’t clearly see every single step, again, I shut down because I’m in that low-value cycle. I’m feeling confused. I’m feeling overwhelmed. Where there’s a lack of clarity, I just refuse to move forward.

A lot of people don’t teach things the way that I teach. If you work with me, if you’re a client of mine, you know this. I teach meticulous processes. I make it so clear, so crystal clear what you need to do. I break it down with such specificity because that’s what my brain needs to function at its most optimal level. That’s what I need to get unstuck and to move forward.

I need to know, I call them the micro steps or the micro tasks, 1.1, and then 1.2, and 1.3, and 1.4; every single micro step to doing something. When I have that clarity, I’m able to move forward with such ease.

If you remember back to elementary school, when you learned how to do math, when you learned how to do multiplication or division. In the very beginning, your teacher always tells you, you’ve got to show your work.

And when people glom a bunch of different steps together, and they’re really ambiguous or vague about what they’re teaching and how they’re teaching it, I get really overwhelmed and confused. It doesn’t make sense to me; I can’t see the path forward. Then I end up resisting what they’re teaching me, because it doesn’t make sense to me.

Now, in a perfect world, everyone would just hand me a perfect micro step, micro task, follow the ‘yellow brick road’ process for everything that I need to do. I have worked with some people who have done that for me. Those are the teachers that I end up really resonating with, that I follow, that I am so grateful for, because of the way that they teach. They teach in a way that makes sense to my brain.

But not everyone teaches like that. Sometimes people teach certain concepts really thoroughly, really well, and then they teach other concepts very vaguely. I’ve noticed that I really struggle when people teach vaguely. So, what I end up doing is I resist, I fight. I’m a little combative. I don’t apply what they’re teaching me.

I’ve learned… I worked through this with a friend of mine. She’s a coach, she’s a brilliant marriage coach. Her name is Maggie Reyes. She thinks a lot like I do, our brains work very similarly. So, she has an ability that when someone else says something that I end up feeling confused or overwhelmed about, she’s able to translate it for me and to approach it or teach it to me in a different way that makes sense to my brain.

I’ve noticed, because she’s been patient enough to do this with me, one of the things that she’s helped me do is recognize why I’m so frustrated, why I’m so resistant to whatever I’m being taught. It’s because I’m confused. It’s because I don’t see a clear process. Maggie knows that I have a flowchart brain, a very process, logic, oriented brain.

To give you a little backstory here. I was a math major through most of my undergrad career. I ended up dropping in at the last minute because it was going to extend my undergrad timeline by about another year and a half in order for me to finish it.

But before I dropped that double major, one of the classes that I took was Proof Theory. Proof Theory is all about those logic formulas. If A, then B. If not B, then not A. So, my brain works like that. That’s how I see the world. I see the world in flowcharts, in processes, in equations.

And I know not everyone loves math, but I think you can use math as a really great framework for teaching people things. It’s like, you have to go from A to B before you can go from B to C. You have to go from C to D before you can go from D to E. That’s just how it works.

So, if you think of the world that way, and you think of your problems that way, you can solve them with such greater ease than glomming everything together, jumbling it all up, being really confused and overwhelmed, and not knowing where to start.

Once I learned that I have this pattern of feeling confused and feeling overwhelmed when there’s a lack of clarity, when I don’t have a specific process, and knowing that I shut down when I’m in this state… Like I said, it’d be great if everyone just gave me, spoon-fed me, an amazing flowchart process to simply walk through and apply and implement.

But not everyone does that. Not everyone teaches like me. Not everyone knows that I might need that or that it might be beneficial, so I have to tap into my own resourcefulness. And one of the things that I started doing is to create my own ‘follow the yellow brick road’ processes for anything that I struggle with.

So, I’m going to walk you through a couple different examples. I’m going to start with the most recent one. Recently, I was getting coached by my business coach, Stacy Boehman. Before I raised my hand to get coached on this issue, I recognize that it would probably be good if I flushed out some of my thoughts about the topic that I was going to raise.

The topic that I was going to bring up with her was my resistance to hiring someone. I’m at a point in my business where I could probably really benefit from bringing someone on, even if it’s just part time, and I’ve been very reluctant and resistant to doing that. I noticed that I have a lot of resistance to it.

So, whenever I notice that I have a lot of resistance to something, that’s always a red or pink flag for me to dig a little bit deeper and figure out what’s going on there. What am I resisting? What’s coming up for me? Where are my thought errors?

What problems in my thinking are causing me to not move forward and do something that would actually really benefit me? What negative emotions are coming up for me that I’m resisting or avoiding by not moving forward?

I did a thought download. I just wrote down some of my thoughts about hiring. I noticed very common thoughts that come up for me when I’m embarking on doing something new that I don’t quite understand how to approach.

So, the thoughts were, “I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to do this. it’s going to be really hard.” Those were the kinds of thoughts that I was thinking. And when I think them, I feel confused and overwhelmed. Then I just spin, I don’t move forward, I don’t figure it out.

You’ve probably heard me talk about this on the podcast before, if you’ve been listening for a while, but one of my favorite questions once we’ve done a thought download and we’ve identified the negative thoughts that we’re thinking, is to simply ask the question: Is this thought true? Now, it’s a thought. Our thoughts are never true. So, the answer is always no, this thought is not true.

But then, from there, I go to work to make the counter argument. I go to work to prove how the thought is not true. So, I want to prove how the opposite is quote “true,” even though the opposite isn’t true either. because thoughts aren’t true. I know that’s a little confusing but bear with me.

So, I challenged the thoughts, “I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to do this,” knowing that it’s simply a thought and not true. I started to make the opposite argument. I started to make the argument that I did know where to start. I just started to jot down the process.

Now, I allowed myself to not need to have it all figured out. I was, at that time, telling myself, “You probably don’t know the whole process, but you might know some of it.”

I also want to backtrack for just a second. Right before I started to engage in this process of writing out what I think the process is, I noticed I had a lot of victimhood coming up in this moment. I noticed that I desperately wanted my business coach to just give me the process to hire someone.

I was feeling whiny and entitled and sort of desperate and needy. Very much like, “Why can’t you just explain this to me? Why can’t you just tell me what to do?” Being in that energy feels terrible. I never like to feel helpless. I never like to feel I don’t have the ability to be resourceful, to figure things out on my own and to come up with the answers that I need myself.

I think there’s a gentle balance between being willing to get help from a coach, but also not relying on them to do everything for you and to be willing to move forward and figure things out on your own.

So, I noticed my own victim mentality coming up here. Really feeling needy and desperate for someone to just tell me what to do. And yeah, could I start to google stuff and do more research and consume more content and find 18 different people who have 18 different ways of hiring? Yes, I could certainly do that. But it’s not a super-efficient use of my time.

Instead, what I realized is that I could just come up with my own process. If someone teaches me something, and they don’t give me the micro step brick by brick, ‘follow the yellow brick road’ process, I can just create that for myself.

There isn’t one right process. There might be a lot of different ways to do something. And just because mine is different than yours doesn’t make yours wrong and mine right, or mine wrong and yours right. We get to have different processes and arrive at the same result. I don’t need to match yours; I can just come up with one that works for me. So long as it moves me forward, that’s all that matters.

So, that’s what I did for myself. I gave myself permission to not have everything figured out. I, at the time that I embarked on this process and started to list out the steps as they came to my mind, I didn’t think that I would know steps A through Z. I didn’t think I would know the whole process. But I gave myself permission to do it imperfectly, and to just start to list out as many steps as I could think of.

I started with the thoughts, “I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to do this.” I said, “That can’t be true. Where would you start if you had to take a guess? If you did know, where would you start?”

Here’s what I came up with. I first started by deciding that I would need to make a list of the tasks that the person would do for me. So, make that list, that’s step one.

Step two, decide the number of hours I’d like them to work. I decided on five, very randomly. And then, I actually already know of a matchmaking service that pairs virtual assistants with coaches, with entrepreneurs, so all I need to do is go and fill out their questionnaire. From there, they’ll send me an email notifying me that I’ve been matched with certain candidates.

I’ll read that email, and then the next step will be to schedule interviews with the candidates that they selected. Then, the next step will be to do those interviews. Then, the next step will be to select the one person I want to work for me. Then, the next step will be to invite that person to start working for me, to extend that offer to them, and see what they say.

If they accept, the next step will be to inform the other applicants, the other candidates, that they did not receive the position. And yes, I will have to gag-and-go my way through those conversations, sending those emails or making those phone calls. Then, I will onboard the person and start giving them assignments. I decided that I would pay them as a contractor, likely through PayPal.

So, I wrote this all out in the same setting that I had just moments ago been telling myself, “I don’t know where to get started. I don’t know how to do this. It’s going to be so hard.” What I realized is, just like our brains love to do, my brain was lying to me. I actually did know where to start. And not only did I know where to start, I actually knew the whole process.

Now, my brain was indulging in confusion because I have some other fears around hiring. Can I sustain employing another person? Is my business secure enough to be able to do that? And the answer to those questions is, yes. However, it just shows me where my own self-doubt is. It shows me where I need to build and further develop my self-concept and my identity as a business owner and a CEO.

It’s okay for me to have gaps in that belief, and to go to work on bridging those gaps, on filling those gaps, and becoming more and more confident in my capabilities as a business owner, as an employer. But the confusion protects me from all of that, from having to feel that worry, and to have to work through those questions. Being confused and being overwhelmed gets me to keep spinning and not moving forward.

So, it was so fascinating for me to see that I actually, not only did I not need a process from someone else, I already knew the process. I was able to answer my own question myself.

This is the process of creating a process. This is the process that I want you to start to utilize in your own life. You have to pay attention to where you feel confused and overwhelmed. You want to start to look for it. You want to start to identify it in your day-to-day life.

Then, I want you to pay attention to how you show up when you feel confused and overwhelmed. Do you do what I tend to do, which is shut down and spin and not move forward and get yourself stuck? If that’s you, if you don’t move forward, if you freeze when you feel confused and overwhelmed, I want you to practice creating your own process for whatever it is that you want to do, whatever it is you want to accomplish.

So, I just gave you an example of hiring. Last week, when I was talking about perfect versus imperfect focus, I helped my client come up with a process for focusing. I walked you through that in the last episode. I’ve also walked clients through the process of starting work in the morning.

This is going to seem really, really tedious. But I’ve had clients who say to me that it’s just so hard to start working in the morning. “I can’t bring myself to do it. I procrastinate. I waste hours at the start of my day because I just can’t get myself to start working. I can’t do it. It’s so hard.”

They’ll tell me it’s going to be challenging, “It’s really difficult for me. I’ve so much to do.” That thought will make you feel overwhelmed. “There are so many things that I could do,” that will make you feel overwhelmed. Then, telling yourself, “I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what I should do first,” that’s going to make you feel confused.

So, when that confusion and overwhelm come together, you’re likely just going to stare at your computer screen and shut down. Right? And if you’re telling yourself that it’s so complicated and it’s so convoluted, and it’s so difficult to work through this, you’re not going to have a very good time doing exactly that.

I worked with a client on this. I was like, “Break it down for me. What exactly is hard?” Again, she was glomming it all together, saying, “It’s just all of it. It’s all hard.” I’m like, “No, let’s break this down micro step by micro step, micro task by micro task. Let’s create a ‘follow the yellow brick road’ process for starting work in the morning. “Do you have a hard time getting out of bed?” “Do you have a hard time waking up?” “No, my alarm goes off and I wake up.”

“Okay, great. Next step, getting out of bed. Do you have a hard time doing that?” “No, I don’t. I get out of bed pretty easily.” I’m like, “Okay, what has to come next?” She’s like, “I’ve got to put clothes on.” If she’s working from home she’s going to just go into her office, but she gets dressed first. “Is that a challenge?” “No, it’s not.”

“Okay, then what happens?” “Well, then I make coffee.” I’m like, “Great. Is that hard?” “Nope. That part’s not hard, either.” “Okay, great. Then you walk down the hallway into your office, is that part challenging?” “No, it’s not.” “Okay, then you sit down at your desk, is that part difficult?” “No, it’s not.”

“Okay, then you open up your computer and you log in? Are either of those steps challenging?” “Nope, those aren’t a problem.” I’m like, “Okay, then you open up your email, is that a struggle?” She goes, “Nope, that’s not hard, either.” I’m like, “Great, and then what do you do from there?” She was like, “Well, that’s where I freeze.” I’m like, “Amazing.”

I’m going to talk about pinpointing your resistance in a second, but what we learned here is that this is the time where her confusion and her overwhelm is the highest. She’s telling herself there’s so much to do, there’s so much that she needs to do, and she doesn’t know where to start.

So, one of the things that we decided to do from there is to create a process for figuring out how to decide what to work on. I want to encourage you to come up with your own process for that. I teach a 10-step process for planning your day. I’ve mentioned this on recent podcast episodes.

You’ve got to start by putting everything, all the appointments that you have on your calendar. From there, you’ve got to make an electronic to-do list, and you’ve got to put everything on it. You’ve got to break projects into tasks, micro tasks if possible. You’ve got to estimate the amount of time those tasks take.

Then you’ve got to decide your start and stop times for the day. Calculate your total availability, factoring in time for being a human and time for any meetings you already have scheduled. Once you get that number of your total availability, you want to plan only what fits. Actually, less than what fits.

Then it’s time to implement. You’re going to implement the plan that you put in place. Then you’re going to evaluate what worked, what didn’t work, and what are you going to do differently. Then you’re going to take what you learned and you’re going to adapt. You’re going to apply the learning, and do tomorrow differently. That’s the process for creating your plan for the day, for figuring out what your schedule is going to look like. Alright?

If you do that the day before, which is what I recommend, then you don’t have to sit in front of your computer like this client was, wondering, “What should I be doing?” You’ve already decided. Then your work just becomes doing what you said you were going to do, even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when something else feels more pressing.

You get to create a process for all of this. Think about a process for working out if you had to create the micro steps to working out. Let’s say you work out in the morning. You would need to wake up, get out of bed, put on exercise clothes, put on your tennis shoes, walk out of your room, if you work out at your house go to wherever it is that you do that.

Start the Peloton, start the video on YouTube that you’re going to use to guide you, whatever it is that you use. If you go for a walk, you’re going to walk out of your house and start walking down the street. If you go to the gym, you might need to get in your car and drive to the gym. Then, go into the gym and pick a machine to start with. Maybe decide on a routine. All right?

These are the micro steps that, when put together, create the process of working out. You can do this with so many different things. You can do this. I did this recently with a client. We came up with it a bespoke process that she now uses for processing her email.

She would wake up in the morning and get into the office and start working, and she would be so overwhelmed by her email. She would be telling herself there were so many emails that she didn’t have enough time to get through all of them. That she didn’t know where to start. Again, when you think those thoughts, you’re going to feel confused and overwhelmed.

So, we came up with a process. We decided that she starts by going through her email, and she sets time aside each morning in order to do that. When she’s processing her email, she has four steps that she would take.

There are four actions that she would take: Delete it, save it… I talked about this in the recent email series that I did… Delete it, save it, reply immediately, or create a task on her to-do list and schedule the time where she would reply to that email later. Those are the four steps. That’s the process that she uses.

We also decided that she starts with the first in, as far as received emails goes, rather than starting with the most recently received. She starts at the bottom and just works her way through.

We always go back to this process. Your brain’s going to want to break the rules, that’s okay. But the process works, so you’ve got to work the process. All right? That’s why we come up with the process in the first place.

Now, over time, you may realize that there are holes or gaps or flaws in your process. You can make data-driven decisions to correct those issues. But you don’t want to just keep changing it because you’re indulging in perfectionism, and you think it could always be better.

Or that you don’t like your process, and because you’re not sticking to the process that means there’s something wrong with the process. That’s not accurate. The only thing that’s wrong, is that you’re not exercising discipline to stick to the process that you already created for yourself. That it’s more comfortable to create a new process than it is to force yourself to stick to the one that you’ve already created. So, you got to be onto yourself there.

You can also have a process for entering your time. People have so much resistance to entering their time. But if you create a ‘follow the yellow brick road’ process for entering individual time entries: Pick the client name, pick the client matter, enter the amount of time, enter the narrative, proofread it, hit enter, release the time.

If you create this little tedious process… It’s funny, we actually enjoy tedium. I always tell people, if you want to threaten me with a good time, give me a box of like 4,000 documents and tell me to put it in numerical order; tell me to put them in numerical order or chronological order. That is my idea of fun. I know I sound so exciting, don’t I? But honestly, I just get a kick out of that.

That’s very tedious to sit there. And, I have a whole process for doing it. I would create four piles: Zeros, 1,000s, 2,000s, 3,000s, all the way up to 4,000s. Then, I would set the 1,000s, 2,000s, and 3,000s aside, and I would just focus on the zeros; zero – 100, 101 – 200, 201 – 300, all the way up to 1,000. Then I would create those many piles, and I’d separate them again. Then I’d go through each mini pile and put it in order. That’s what I would do. That’s how I organize things chronologically or numerically.

I have so much fun doing that. When I tell people about that, that really resonates with them. They’re like, “Oh my God, I love doing that too.” So, if you’re someone who likes doing that, but you don’t like entering your time, stop telling yourself you don’t like it because it’s tedious. That’s not true. You actually enjoy tedium, just not the version that comes from time entry.

But all that has to happen, for you to feel differently about entering your time, is for you to change your thoughts about it. One of the ways to do that is to create a micro task process, a ‘follow the yellow brick road’ process.

Now, the reason that this works is threefold. Number one, you really eliminate your resistance when you break things down into micro tasks, into micro steps. Because no individual micro step is that challenging, is that hard. You break them down so specifically, so minutely, that you really don’t have any resistance to doing any one individual task. And then, you can start to rack up the wins.

Which brings me to reason number two that this works: When you create a micro process filled with micro tasks. Your own bespoke process, with all these individual steps, these very small steps. Every time you complete a step, you get a hit of dopamine. And this is how you work with your own brain, with your own primitive conditioning.

When you complete a micro step, a micro task, your brain releases dopamine. You feel good and you get to start to create more momentum for yourself. This is how you organically cultivate motivation. By getting started when you don’t feel like it, completing micro steps, completing micro tasks, and then getting the dopamine hit from the things that you complete. Then working yourself up to feeling really focused, feeling really motivated.

So, that’s the second reason this works, because every time you complete a micro step your brain drugs you, in a good way.

Lastly, the reason that this is so effective, is because it is a great self-study tool, a great self-study approach. Because when you break things down this specifically into these micro tasks… When you are following the yellow brick road and you come to a point in the yellow brick road where you freeze, where you get stuck… Because the tasks are broken down with such specificity, you get a very, very clear, pinpointed picture of where your resistance lies; to what it is that you’re resisting.

That helps you identify the thinking that’s getting in your way and the negative emotions that you’re experiencing. You think those thoughts, negative emotions come up, and then you resist and avoid them. Right?

So, when you have this very clear, pinpointed understanding of the micro step that you’re getting stuck at, you’re going to be able to identify with, again, very extreme specificity, what thoughts am I thinking about this specific micro step? What negative emotions would I be forced to feel if I forced myself to complete this micro step?

It’s going to get you laser focused on what you’re resisting, on what thoughts aren’t serving you, on what negative emotions you’re not willing to feel, and the path forward is going to be so much easier to create. Because those thoughts, those pinpointed thoughts, are going to be the thoughts that you need to change.

And those negative emotions, those pinpointed negative emotions, are going to be the emotions that you need to be willing to feel. You’ve got to force yourself to feel them on purpose. You’ve got to gag-and-go your way through them.

This process, creating your own process when you’re confused and overwhelmed, is a game changer. If you struggle with this, I want to invite you to come work with me. I realize that not everyone sees the world in processes. This is definitely a skill that you can develop, but if it’s not something that you default to naturally…

I was working with my client, when we were talking about creating a process for focusing, and she really struggled to articulate what the process would be. And all you have to do is sit down and start to say, “Well, this is where I would start. This is the first step. And this is the second step.” If you write out the process, like you had to give instructions to another person, that’s what you need to do for yourself.

There’s a really funny video that really articulates this point, it gets this point across so well. So, there’s this exercise that they give young children, and they tell them to give instructions to an adult on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They have to go step by step by step, and they’re told to be as specific as possible.

They start out, and of course, they’re not as specific as possible. They know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so they don’t show their math, they don’t show their work. They glom a bunch of the steps together and they aren’t specific enough.

The adults are instructed to take the instructions very literally and not to bridge or close any of the gaps with their own thinking, with their own reasoning. So, the first step that a child might articulate, if you’ve got a container of peanut butter that’s closed, and a loaf of bread that’s in a bag, they might tell you to put the peanut butter on the bread.

In the most literal sense, because no other instruction has been given, what you would need to do in that case would be to take the closed jar of peanut butter and place it on top of the closed loaf of bread. Right? Obviously, that’s not what the young child means. They mean to spread the peanut butter using a knife, that you also would have, on an individual slice of bread.

But in order to get to that part of the process, you’ve had to go through so many other steps, right? So, think about if you had to instruct someone on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Write it out. What are all of the micro steps you would tell them to take?

Open the jar of peanut butter. You might even want to be more specific than that, twist the lid of the jar of peanut butter too. Open the jar of peanut butter or hold the jar of peanut butter in one hand, and then take your other hand, place it on the lid, and grip and twist. See how specific that is?

Then, once you’ve done that, you would need to open the bag of bread. So, you could be specific about that. Take the twisty tie, untwist it, and then open the bag where it opens. Don’t create your own new opening by ripping the bag. Then, reach inside, grab two of the middle pieces of bread, and remove them from the bag. Do you see this level of specificity?

There’s a really funny video, as children are giving these adults this instruction. They go through multiple takes, and each time that the person screws up they have to start over. They learn to be more and more and more specific.

But there’s this really funny clip where this child has gone through a couple iterations of giving instructions, and it’s not going well. They’re starting to get frustrated. They’ve reached the point in the process where they tell the adult to take the knife and put it in the peanut butter. The adult, as instructed, takes that instruction very literally.

The peanut butter jar is open and it’s full, and they take the butter knife, and they drop it into the jar of peanut butter. So, of course, the whole thing gets covered with peanut butter. It’s not the way that we would want to extract the peanut butter from the jar.

Which is to hold the knife in your hand, take the tip of the knife to get a dollop… or a teaspoon, a tablespoon, or however much of some unit of peanut butter, and put it on the tip of the knife… then take that portion and slide it all over the bread, spread it all over the bread.

So, when his adult drops the knife just straight into the jar of peanut butter and gets peanut butter all over the knife, to where it would be totally messy and you’d get it all over your hands if you were to pick the knife back up, the kid just goes, “Ugh,” and takes his hands and smacks them on his forehead because he’s just so exasperated. It’s really charming. It’s a really funny video. I bet you could YouTube it if you wanted to see it.

But it illustrates the point that we aren’t specific enough. That there’s a certain level of specificity that you need to aim for, in order to get yourself unstuck. In order to create a process properly filled with micro steps and micro tasks, so you have a ‘follow the yellow brick road’ way to proceed.

I want you to practice this. Start to search for: Where are you confused in your life? Where are you overwhelmed? What do you do when you feel those feelings? Is that situation right for you to create your own process?

Like I said, If you struggle with this, if you don’t think this way, if you don’t see the world mathematically or in processes or in flowcharts, in that logical if A then B way of thinking, this is something I teach people how to do. So, I invite you to come work with me.

I’m currently enrolling people into The Obsessed Retreat. The Obsessed Retreat is a three-and-a-half-day retreat. We’re going to be in Miami, in March. March 20th through the 23rd, technically. But you would leave the morning of the 24th because we have this fab farewell dinner.

On March 20th through the 24th, you come and you’re going to learn how to solve the problems that you’re facing. I’m going to teach you how to think this way, and how to break it down. This is one of the ways that I teach people to solve their own problems, is to create processes that help them work through the confusion and to get out of the overwhelm.

Not only are you going to learn how to do this, when we’re together in Miami in March, but when you sign up for The Obsessed Retreat, you also get lifetime access to two things. Lifetime access to monthly group coaching calls, and then lifetime access to The Obsessed Retreat member portal.

The member portal is going to be a place for you to ask me questions, get coached on anything that you have an issue with or confusion around, or anything you’re struggling with in between our monthly calls. You can ask for feedback from me, ask my advice on something, you can also interact with the other retreaters.

There’s going to be a community platform there, where you can engage with them, stay in contact with them, cheer each other on, or support one another, that’s going to be so amazing.

Then, there will be additional training resources that I put in, that I add from time to time, so I’m always giving you fresh material to work with. Also, the retreat recordings are going to be in there. So, if you want to refer back to anything that we talked about, anything that we did together when we were in Miami in March, you’re always going to have access to those recordings.

If you want to learn how to think like this, if you want to learn how to approach your problems and solve them with this level of intentionality, being this deliberate with this level of specificity, I will teach you how to do this.

Go to bit.ly/the-obsessed-retreat to register for The Obsessed Retreat in Miami, in March. Enrollment closes December 1st, so don’t waste any time. Go sign up. Right now, there are only a few rooms left at our discounted rate at the Betsy Hotel, so you want to sign up and register as soon as possible.

As soon as you register, you get the information that you need in order to complete your room reservation. And trust me, you’re going to want to stay there. You’re going to want to be in the middle of all of the action. That’s where everyone’s going to be.

It’s just a really wonderful experience to be in the center of it all. To be able to wake up, just come down from your room, and to start workshopping with me. To be able to hang out with people at the pool. To be able to have a drink at the hotel bar with the other retreaters after a long day of solving problems, developing skills, and making plans, which are the three things that we’re going to do in person.

So, go to that website, bit.ly/the-obsessed-retreat, and go sign up. Join me in Miami, in March, and we’ll learn how to do this in real time, together. It’s going to be so much fun.

A couple more announcements. Quick housekeeping, very quickly, I’m teaching a couple of masterclasses and online virtual events that are coming up over the next two months, and I want them to be on your radar.

I am teaching how to set boundaries on December 8th. I am hosting, for the second year in a row, my In With the New Year workshop. That’s where we do a 2023 review, and a 2024 planning session. That is on December 20th.

Then, on January 19th, I’m teaching a masterclass on how to develop business. So, those are the three trainings that I have coming up:  How to Set Boundaries, In With the New Year; a 2023 review and 2024 planning session, and then How to Develop Business. If you head to my linktree, linktr.ee/thelessstressedlawyer, you can register for all of those events there. I would love to see you at all of them.

Last but not least, I announced winners of my rating and review giveaway, the one that I did in October, in the last episode. It has been so fun sending out the prizes that people won to them, this week. Since I’ve announced the winners, people have reached out to me and have been like, “That was me. I won, amazing.”

I’m doing it again. It’s so fun, and ‘tis the season of giving, am I right? So, you have until December 31st to leave a rating and review. This time, so it’s easier for me to track, I want you to send it to me. Take a screenshot. You can email it to me at Olivia@thelessstressedlawyer.com. Or you can send it to me, DM me, on any of my social media platforms, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Just shoot it to me so I know that you submitted it, and send me your email address. That way, I have a really easy way of reaching out to you and sending you your gift, if you win this next giveaway. So, anytime between now and December 31st, go leave me a rating and review of the podcast and you’re automatically entered to win the prizes that I give out. They’re good, y’all.

So, take a second and go do that. It means the world to me. Your support is so valuable to me. I really appreciate you taking the time to do it. And because you take the time to do it, I want to say thank you with these giveaways. There’s no limit on how many times you can do it. Go submit all the ratings and reviews that you want to enter to win.

I will announce the winner after December 31st, in the new year. I can’t wait to get to that again, it’s going to be so fun.

All right, my friends, that’s what I have for you this week. Go out there and indulge, in the best way, in the process of creating your own processes. I hope this works for you. I trust that it will. Now you just need to trust that it will. That’s what I’ve got for you this week.

I hope you have a beautiful week and I’ll talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Episode 84: Perfect vs Imperfect Focus


The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Perfect vs Imperfect Focus

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Perfect vs Imperfect Focus

Would you say you struggle to focus? Do you find yourself chasing the kind of laser focus that has you devoting all your attention to one thing? There are two different types of focusing we engage in, but a lack of either one of these isn’t the huge problem you might think it is.

This week’s episode is based on a recent client conversation where my client expressed her struggle with focusing. But what does it actually mean if you get distracted? And what if you could create a process for focusing when you find yourself running out of gas?

Join me this week to learn the difference between perfect and imperfect focus and how to see which one you engage in. I’m showing you what each type of focus looks like in action, why imperfect focus isn’t a problem, and how to course correct when you notice yourself getting distracted. Make sure to stay tuned all the way to the end because I’m also announcing the five giveaway winners!

The Obsessed Retreat is open for registration right now! It’s an in-person event happening in Miami Beach, Florida from March 20th through 23rd 2024. It’s where you’ll learn a three-part framework for creating a life you’re obsessed with, so click here to find out more. 

Want to be the first to know when my monthly subscription Lawyers Only launches? Click here and sign up for the waitlist!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The difference between perfect and imperfect focus.
  • How you might be making imperfect focus a problem.
  • What happens when you believe imperfect focus is a problem.
  • An example from my life of what imperfect focus looks like.
  • Why you don’t always have to be in the right mood to take action.
  • How to turn your attention back to the task at hand when you’re imperfectly focused.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 84. Today, we’re talking all about perfect focus versus imperfect focus. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Hey, y’all, how are you? Happy early Thanksgiving. What a fun time of year. I love the fall. I really love fall in the South because it’s about 30 degrees warmer than I’m used to it being, where I’m originally from up in Detroit.

There’s so much that I’m grateful for this year. I’m grateful for you listening to this podcast, I hope you’re getting a ton of value out of it. At the end of this episode, I’m going to announce the winners of the giveaway that I’ve been doing. I ran this last month; I’ve had all of these amazing reviews come in, and I’m going to announce five winners. I’m going to give away five different prizes.

I’m going to announce it here. I’m also going to announce it on my social media, because I’ve posted about it there as well. Some people have submitted reviews, but there’s no identifying information so it’s just your handle on the iTunes app. Not the iTunes app, the Apple Podcast app. I’m going to use your handle, but you’re going to have to reach out to me because I don’t have a way to send it to you. Okay?

Next time I do this, I’m going to build in a mechanism so people can email me proof that they reviewed, and then I’ll have their contact information, which will make it much easier. But we’re going to make do this time.

So, if you listen to the podcast, I’m so grateful for you. Thank you for taking time out of your life to listen to the things that I have to say. My goal is always that I provide you with value, tips and tools, and tricks and tactics, that you can implement on your own in order to start seeing immediate improvement in your day-to-day life. I hope you’re getting that from this podcast.

If you are and you haven’t left me a rating and review yet, or you haven’t subscribed, go ahead, and do that right now. It would mean the world to me.

Other things I’m thankful for: I’m thankful for getting to spend Thanksgiving with my parents. I was just back up in Detroit, and I am going to sound ridiculous, but I go back up there to have my hair done. I’ve been going to the same stylist for a million years. Basically, he’s a really good friend of mine and I just trust him completely. So, I’m willing to fly back and forth in order to have him be the one to do my hair.

But I was just back in Detroit, in order to have that done, and my parents decided, instead of having me come back again to Detroit, they were going to come down to Charleston. So, they’re on their way down here as we speak. I’m so excited to get to spend the holiday with them in a way that looks a little bit different than what we’re used to.

It’s a departure from how we usually celebrate, but I’m going to be honest with you, nothing this year went the way I expected it to. We’re kind of just pulling an audible, or calling an audible on a lot of different things that I didn’t expect to go quite the way that they went. The holidays this year look different for me than what I expected them to look like.

If you’re a client of mine, or your friend of mine, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But I’ll get into that on another episode of the podcast; that’s a total digression.

With that being said, though, I’m super excited. My parents are coming down, they rented a place right on the beach, and they’re going to get to enjoy some time away from their day-to-day life. My dad just sold his business, so this is their first retirement trip, which is so exciting. He and I are going to go deep sea fishing, that’s one of the things that we love to do together.

I haven’t gone with him in years and years, just because of our schedules and he doesn’t travel a ton, especially when he was still working. So, I’m grateful to get to spend some quality time with my folks. I hope you get to spend quality time this week with the people who are important in your life.

I’m going to do a post about this, but if your holiday season looks different than you expected it to, just like my holiday season looks different than I expected it to, my heart goes out to you. You’re going to get through this. You’re a tough little cookie. You’re going to be okay. All right?

Try and make the most of it. Try and find the silver lining. Try and enjoy the parts that you can even if they’re small, and even if they’re not the parts that you wanted to be enjoying this season. Okay?

I’m going to announce, towards the end, the winners of the rating and review giveaway, but let’s dive in to today’s content. Today’s topic came out of a client session last week. I loved the conversation that I had with my clients so much, I knew that I had to share it on the podcast.

My client comes to our session, and I ask her, “Hey, tell me what’s been going on? Give me an update. How have things been going?” She starts off with saying to me, “Hey, Olivia, I’m like really struggling with focusing. I’m just having a hard time focusing.” I said, “Okay, tell me more about that,” and we started to get into it.

I’m going to do a separate podcast, I think it’s going to be the episode right after this one, to talk about how I solve problems. I know I’ve done some content around solving problems, but this is a specific way that I’ve learned to get myself unstuck, by creating a process out of thin air. I’m going to walk you through and teach you how to do that for yourself. That’s a separate episode, though.

I want to talk about what I did with this client in particular, when we were addressing the issue of focusing. So, she comes to the session, and she tells me she’s struggling with staying focused, with being focused, with focusing, and I asked her, “Walk me through the process. If you had to create a process for focusing, a step-by-step process, that you could follow, walk me through it. What would it look like?”

She really struggled to articulate and form an answer for what I was asking her to articulate. She was like, “Frankly, respectfully, if I knew how to focus, I wouldn’t be having this problem. I wouldn’t be asking you this question. I wouldn’t be bringing this up right now.”

While I totally understand where she’s coming from, I do want to teach you to tap into your own ability to create a process, sort of out of thin air. Just to be able to talk yourself through it, to start to identify steps. The more we talked, I realized she was struggling to really understand what I was asking her to do.

So, I knew at that moment that I was going to walk her through it. I was going to explain, by way of example, what I was talking about. But before I got to that, through the course of our conversation, I realized… and I’ve never articulated this quite this way before, and I was so excited to share it with you… I realized there’s two different types of focus.

There’s perfect, ideal focus. And then, there’s imperfect focus. So many people are chasing and craving perfect, ideal focus. Now, what the heck am I talking about? Perfect, ideal focus is the focus that you experience when you work on something you want to be working on. It’s where you devote all of your attention to something. You don’t pick your head up, you don’t come up for air, you don’t distract yourself, you don’t allow interruptions. You just stay focused, like laser focused.

Then, the second time that this comes up… So, the first time is when you really want to be working on something, when you’re really into it. All right? For me, if you’ve ever watched me do a jigsaw puzzle, I am in to it. That is an understatement, I promise you. I am intense.

I did a puzzle with my aunt and my cousin Kenna, a couple weeks ago. I guess it was maybe the end of September. I guess, it was right before I moved to Charleston. So, a couple months ago, I suppose. But we worked on a jigsaw puzzle at my parents’ house, and they are just like me. They are just as intense.

They are so focused; talk about perfect, ideal focus. Neither of us, or none of us, did anything other than work on this puzzle start to finish. We got it done in an entire sitting. There were no distractions, no funny business, we just got to work.

Myopically laser focused, that’s ideal focus. So, when we want to be working on something, when we’re really into it, we’re perfectly focused then. The other time I see people perfectly focused is when they’re working on something at the very last minute, and if they don’t remain focused, they won’t finish it in time.

You’re up against a really hard deadline. You put your phone down, you don’t do any of the things that would normally distract you or allow you to buffer and procrastinate, you just get to work. Those are two examples of perfect, ideal focus.

What I was asking my client to do, was to walk me through… Let’s say I couldn’t see, and you needed to describe to me what it looks like, what you would need to do step by step by step, microscopic step by step by step, what you need to do in order to perfectly focus. If you were to describe it to me, what would it look like?

So, it would look like putting your phone down. Start working on whatever it is. Not stopping, not grabbing your phone at any point. And working to completion, right? That’s what it would look like to perfectly focus, the process of perfectly focusing.

Now, that’s not what most of us do. So, when we’re not up against a tight deadline rushing at the last minute, or we’re not working on something that we really, really, really want to be working on, that we’re really into, we end up doing the second type of focusing, which is imperfectly focusing. I’m going to call this “imperfect focus.”

Imperfect focus looks like getting distracted, allowing yourself to be distracted, distracting yourself, allowing interruptions, losing your attention, turning to something else while you’re in the middle of doing the task at hand. That’s what imperfect focus looks like.

My perfectionists, if you’re listening to this, you know you’re making imperfect focus a problem. Just like my client was when she said, “Olivia, I’m struggling to focus. I’m having a hard time focusing.” What happens is when you focus imperfectly and you get distracted, you distract yourself, you allow yourself to be interrupted, then you get frustrated with the fact that you’re not focusing perfectly. So then, you invest more time into the distracted activity. Okay?

You focus more imperfectly. You stop focusing because you’re frustrated with yourself. You’re discouraged, and you’re upset with yourself for not perfectly focusing, instead of giving yourself some grace.

Now, what I don’t mean by ‘giving yourself some grace’ is just saying, “Yeah, it is what it is. I’m having a hard time focusing. I’m not going to pay attention, and I’m not going to get back to what I was doing.” That’s not what I’m talking about here. What I mean by ‘giving yourself some grace’ is, what if the process for imperfect focus looked like this?

I’m going to use recording this podcast, as an example. Now, this isn’t every time I record the podcast, but a lot of times I record the podcast, if I was to break down and describe to you step by step by step by step by step, the things that I do in an imperfectly focused manner, which is typically how I record this thing, it looks like:

I sit down in front of my computer, I put my phone away, I open up GarageBand, which is the app on my Mac that I use to record my podcast episodes. I plug in my podcast microphone. I use a specific microphone to record it, it gives the best sound. I click the file in the Settings tab to make sure that the microphone is hooked up. That way I don’t record the episode without using the correct mic, and have poor audio quality and need to record it all again.

So, once I’ve sat down, put my phone away, opened GarageBand, and check to make sure the mic is plugged in and it’s on the right setting, then I record the intro. That’s the part where I say, “You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 84. Today, we’re talking about…” Then, I give you the title, and I say, “You ready? Let’s go.”

Then I pause, and I outline the episode. I go through and I figure out roughly what I want to say. Now, I don’t script out the entire thing. But I do map out the things that I want to talk about, the points that I want to make, and then I start recording.

So, if I were to list that out… Let me count them. Sit down, step one. Step two, put phone away. Step three, open up GarageBand. Step four, plug in mic. Step five, check mic. Step six, record intro. Step seven, outline the podcast. Step eight is to start recording the core content.

Normally, for me, step eight is to give you a little bit of an update on my life, what’s been going on. We just do a little bit of the pleasantries in the beginning. Just to bring you all along with me in my life and feel like you’re a part of my life, just like I am privileged to be a part of your life. So, that’s step eight.

Then, step nine is to get into the meat and potatoes of the episode. So, I start recording that part. And lo and behold, as I’m doing this, I always reach a point where I subconsciously think to myself, “Shoot, I don’t know what to say next.”

As soon as I think the thought, “I don’t know what to say next. I’m not sure what to say next. I don’t know where to go from here;” it’s just a tiny, micro, little thought; then I feel confused. That’s the emotion that that thought creates for me.

When I think the thought, “I don’t know what to say next,” and I feel confused, step 10 is, I stop recording. I press pause, or I press the Stop button. Step 11 is, I grab my phone. Step 12 is, I go on Instagram. Step 13 is, I start to scroll. Step 14 is, I catch myself. Step 15 is, I stop, and I remind myself, “We’re not done with the episode, yet.” Step 16 is, I put my phone back down. And step 17 is, I start recording again. Okay? I figure out what I’m going to say next, and I start recording again.

Now, this process, this part of the process specifically, from where I think to myself, “I don’t know what to say next,” that’s step 10. Then I feel confused, and I stop recording, I grab my phone, and I go on Instagram. Or I text someone, I check my email, I go on LinkedIn, whatever the activity is that I use to distract myself. Then I catch myself, I stop doing it, I put my phone down, and then I go back to recording and figure out what to say next. I keep recording until this happens again.

What I end up doing is, I record the podcast as I cycle through and repeat steps 9-16, over and over and over again, until I get to the point where I get close enough towards the end of the episode that I see the end in sight. Then, I pivot and transition back to that perfect focus, rather than the imperfect focus.

I just power through and I record the rest of the episode. Because the end is so near, that I’m really motivated to just get it done so I can get the dopamine hit of finishing the project that I’m working on, recording the episode.

Now, what I’ve noticed is different about me than the way my clients think about this, is that I don’t beat myself up for being imperfectly focused. I don’t give myself a hard time. I don’t make it a problem. I recognize when I’m recording something, or doing an activity that I don’t have the utmost enthusiasm for. As much as I love teaching you guys things, this is an activity that I’m not always in the mood to do. That’s me being completely transparent.

Just like I’m not always in the mood to respond to an email. Or I’m not always in the mood to record video content for social media. Or I’m not always in the mood to create a post. We don’t need to be in the mood in order to do something.

You just need to know, if you’re not in the mood to do it you’re going to have resistance to finishing it. And it’s likely that you’re going to be imperfectly focused, and more likely to distract yourself while you’re working on something than you are if you’re really jazzed about something. I am very jazzed about recording this episode. I was super inspired when I brought this up with my client last week, and I couldn’t wait to talk to you about it, so I’m able to just power through.

But other times, I pick topics that I believe are really useful for you, but I am not always super, super excited about that topic at that time. I probably planned it in advance, I knew I wanted to record it to get it to you, but I’m not feeling super motivated. We don’t want to rely on motivation to get work done.

When we’re motivated, we’re perfectly focused. But when we’re not motivated, we’re going to be imperfectly focused. You just get to decide that being imperfectly focused isn’t a problem. If you make it a problem, you’re going to devote more time to the distraction. Unlike what I do, which is my goal, is to reduce the amount of distracted time as much as possible, without expecting there to be no distracted time at all.

So, your goal, when you’re working on being imperfectly focused, you’re going to leave room for yourself to get distracted, to distract yourself from the task at hand. Then, the whole goal, the whole thing you want to be striving for, is just to make those distracted moments take the least amount of time as possible.

You want to catch yourself as quick as you can, realizing that you distracted yourself. Then, you want to stop engaging in the distracted activity, and you want to turn back to the task at hand, the thing that you’re in the middle of doing, as quickly as possible.

So, you’re making these distraction cycles, steps 9-16 or 10-16, you’re making them as short as possible. That’s the goal when you’re working on being imperfectly focused. You’re not beating yourself up, you’re just paying attention to yourself. You’re being curious, you’re watching this happen, and you’re working to reduce the distracted time as much as possible. All right?

That’s what it looks like to be imperfectly focused. That’s the process of “focusing,” if you think of focusing as a verb. Something that you actively strive for, you actively work towards with your actions. These are all of the little, microscopic steps that you would need to take in order to “focus,” to be focused. To create the result of working on something in a focused manner.

There’s perfect focus, and there’s imperfect focus. Most of the time, you’re going to be imperfectly focusing. Now, the more you get better at imperfectly focusing, the more often you will also perfectly focus. But you’re not going to have a perfect track record. This isn’t going to be 100% of the time, “I’m perfectly, ideally focused on the task in front of me.”

You’ve got to leave room for yourself to be a human. To not make it a problem, and to know how to course correct as quickly as possible. That’s the goal here, course correcting as quickly as possible.

So, I want you to take this concept with you. I want you to go into your week, and if you’re struggling to focus on something, I want you to aim for imperfect focus, not perfect focus. I’ve given you the process for imperfectly focusing.

Now, I gave you an example from my own life, the podcast, recording episodes like this. But you could use this with email, right? Let’s say, email’s coming in and you want to clear your inbox. What needs to happen? Go through and create a process for yourself. What does imperfect focus look like for that?

Or if you need to respond to an email, you’re going to open up the email you received, you’re going to read it. Actually, let me back up. We’ll get even more specific. You’re going to open your computer. You’re going to open your email. Your phone’s going to have to be put away. It’s going to need to be next to you, not in front of you, unless you’re using your phone to respond to email, right?

You have to close out of the other apps. Open up the email application. Read the email. Decide, right then and there, to respond to it. Draft your answer, or start drafting your answer. Type out your intro, “Hello, how are you? I hope this email finds you well.” I’m not actually recommending that you say that, that’s a little cheesy. But you get my point. Open the email, and then start typing what you need to say in the email.

Now, you might catch yourself thinking, “I don’t know what to say next,” and you feel confused, and you stop typing the email. You jump to something else, something that distracts you from having to sit through and figure out what to say next, having to work through that confusion that you experience.

If you’re imperfectly focusing, you’re not going to make this a problem. You’re just going to notice that you’ve turned your attention to something else. You’re going to realize why you turned your attention to something else. It’s because you were feeling confused about what to say next. And you’re going to stop doing the distracted activity.

Then, you’re going to turn back to the email and you’re going to sit in the confusion. You’re going to work through it. You’re going to figure out the next sentence you need to say, and then you’re going to type it. Then you’re going to type another sentence after that, and another sentence after that.

And if you distract yourself again, because you’ve reached another point in the email where you think, “I don’t know what to say next,” and you feel confused, you’re going to repeat that process, that loop part, of this imperfect focus process. You’re going to stop doing the distracted activity once you catch yourself and you realize why you’re doing it.

You’re going to turn back to the email, you’re going to figure out what to say next, and you’re going to keep doing that, working in that loop, completing that cycle as many times as necessary, and shortening the time period of distraction as much as you can, until you’re done with the email.

Same thing with writing a brief or drafting a contract. Same thing with reviewing documents. You distract yourself because you get a little bored or you get confused about what to do next, or you’re not sure whether documents relevant or not, or you don’t know what to say. Notice your pattern. You feel a negative feeling because you’re thinking a thought, and then you distract yourself.

The art of being imperfectly focused is being able to recognize why you distract yourself, what you’re distracting yourself from, and to catch yourself. To course correct and go back to the task at hand. Sit in the discomfort. Work through it, and get a little bit further to make a little bit more progress.

Take this with you. Go out there, and work on being imperfectly focused. Don’t fixate on having to have 100% of your attention, 100% of the time, doing the thing that you decided to do. That’s ideal, absolutely. But if that’s not what happens, if you get distracted and you distract yourself from what it is that you’re doing, because you’re confused, because you’re bored, for whatever other reason, figure out the reason, and then practice being imperfectly focused.

I hope this helps you. I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving. I’m going to talk to you in the next episode. But before I leave you, let’s pick the five winners. Actually, I lied. Before I get to the five winners, quick announcement.

If you’re following me on social media, you already know this, but I am in the middle of a launch for my upcoming retreat. The retreat is called The Obsessed Retreat. It starts with a three and a half day in-person event. We’re going to be in Miami Beach, Florida, March 20 – 23.

The whole point of the retreat is, it’s designed to help you create a life you’re obsessed with. I am really a huge advocate for living a life that you absolutely love, not just a life that you merely tolerate. I really want people to live a life they’re obsessed with.

The way that you do that, there’s a three-part framework that I’m going to teach you. We’re going to solve problems, that’s day one of the workshop. Day two, I’m going to teach you how to develop the skills you need in order to create a life you’re obsessed with. We’re going to talk about making decisions ahead of time, developing discipline, and practicing constraint. Those are essential to creating a life that you’re obsessed with, a life that you love.

And then, on day three, we’re going to set goals and make plans. You’re going to map out everything that you need to do and want to do in 2024, in order to create the results you want and get where you want to go. So, three days; we meet, we do the welcome reception. You know, I always do that when I host events, an amazing welcome reception. It’s going to be so fun; you get to meet me and all the other retreaters.

Then, we wake up the next morning, breakfast is served, group breakfast, so delicious. Then, we dive in. We do six-hour days, three days in a row. So, that’s 18 hours of workshopping, coaching, growing, learning transforming. Three days.

Day one is all about solving the problems you’re facing. We’re going to talk about the professional aspects of your life, and also the personal aspects of your life. Because in order to create a life you’re obsessed with, we can’t just have one area be good, it’s all got to be good. So, we’re going to solve problems on day one.

Day two, we’re going to develop those essential skills. And then, day three, we’re going to set goals and make plans. Then, of course, just like I always do, it ends with a really decadent, lavish, farewell dinner where we get to celebrate everything that we accomplished in person.

Now, people keep asking me, “Olivia, in addition to the in-person event, is there any other support that we get when we sign up for The Obsessed Retreat?” The answer is, yes. When you sign up to attend The Obsessed Retreat, you get lifetime access to two different things.

Number one, you get lifetime access, you heard me right, lifetime access to monthly group coaching calls. They’re live calls. Each month, we’re going to coach, go through different exercises, different prompts I give you, in order to make sure you accomplish what you set out to achieve. It’s going to be amazing support, to make sure you stay on track and achieve what you set out to when we’re in person, together in Miami, in March.

You’re also going to get lifetime access to The Obsessed Retreat member portal. The member portal is going to be where you can come and submit questions or issues to get coached on, and I’ll coach you in writing. Written coaching is so, so powerful.

Number one, you can sit with it. Sometimes when you get coached live, in person, face to face, or over Zoom, you have a hard time taking everything in all at once. Now, obviously, face to face, live, in real time, coaching is super, super powerful, super effective.

But so is written coaching, just for different reasons. You get to sit with it, you notice different things, you can slow yourself down, you can go back to it over and over again, and recognize different aspects of the coaching that feel more relevant at one time over another. Written coaching is super powerful.

So, inside the member portal, which you also get lifetime access to, you’re going to be able to submit questions to me. It can just be simple questions that you just want answers to. You want advice, tips, tricks, feedback on something, but you can also submit issues to get coached on and I’ll coach you in writing, and respond in writing, to your questions.

You also get to watch the retreat recording replays. They’re going to be available in the member portal. I’ll also be adding additional materials over the months, over the years, for you to watch on demand. I love over delivering to my people, so I’m constantly going to be updating the member portal with new stuff in there. It’s going to be so fun. Kind of like Easter eggs, or like Christmas Day.

You also are going to have a community platform. So, you’re going to be able to stay connected to everyone that you meet in person, all of the rest of the retreaters. You’ll be able to stay connected inside the member portal.

So, that’s what you get when you join. The three and a half day event in Miami, in March; March 20 – 23. Then, you get lifetime access to the monthly group coaching calls and The Obsessed Retreat member portal. It is an insane value, you guys.

When I decided to add on the monthly coaching calls, the lifetime access to that, I blew my own mind. I just can’t get over it. And the response has been epic. People keep reaching out to me, and they’re like, “I can’t believe that. I was so excited to come and be with you in Miami, and now this. I can’t believe you’re offering this to us.” People are so excited because they know it’s everything they need to really accomplish what they want to accomplish.

So, if you’re interested in working with me… Also, I’m getting ready to launch a members-only subscription for lawyers only. Because I knew that I was getting ready to launch that, I wanted to give people an opportunity to work with me whether or not they practice law.

Because a lot of people who follow me, they’re former lawyers. They’re people who used to practice but they’ve transitioned to something else. And rather than comingling lawyers and former lawyers inside the subscription that I’m starting at the end of December… And will start officially in January; our first call’s January 10… I wanted to create a space, a program, an offering for everyone. For anyone who listens to me, or who follows me, who has been interested in working with me.

If that’s you, if you’re listening right now, this is your opportunity to work with me. All right? So, you want to make sure that you register. You can go to bit.ly/the-obsessed-retreat. Or you can go to my social media platforms, LinkedIn, or Instagram, and access it there. There’s a link in my bio in both places, for you to access and register for The Obsessed Retreat.

You can also go to my link tree, which is linktr.ee/thelessstressedlawyer. That’s another way to access the registration page for The Obsessed Retreat. The retreat, the lifetime access to the monthly group coaching calls and the member portal, cost $4,000. You can pay that all at once or in installment payments.

So, if you’re interested in working with me, make sure you sign up. You’ve got to sign up before December 1. And if you want to stay at the venue that the retreat is being hosted at, we’re staying at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. It’s on South Beach, it’s absolutely incredible. If you have followed me on social media, you know I don’t pull any punches. I don’t skimp when it comes to the locations that I select. I want it to not only be a transformative experience for you, but I want it to feel like a vacation. I want it to feel luxurious and decadent.

So, The Betsy Hotel is absolutely that. Just to-the-nines, over the top stunning. If you want to stay at The Betsy Hotel, we have a very, very, very… I’m going to say it one more time… a very limited room block. So, you want to register for the retreat as soon as you possibly can, in order to make sure you get in that room block at our discounted rate. It’s $579 a night, which is a steal for Miami, at the time of year that we’re going to be there. Especially for a location as nice as The Betsy.

So, make sure you go to my social media, go to bit.ly/the-obsessed-retreat, and sign up and join me in Miami, in March, to create a life you’re obsessed with. I can’t wait to see you in South Beach.

Alright, without further ado, here are the five winners of the reading and review contest, or giveaway, I suppose. I’m just reading the handle that you submitted the rating and review with, and then you are going to have to reach out to me.

You can contact me on social media, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Just DM me, or you can email me at Olivia@thelessstressedlawyer.com. Just send me your contact information, send me your email, so I can send you the gift that I’m going to send you. All right?

So, here are the five winners: Kristen King Jaiven. If I’m mispronouncing that, I’m so sorry. The second person, the handle is, The Peace_Maker. So, I don’t know who that is. You’re going to have to reach out to me and let me know. The third person is, RJP Injurt Attorney; that’s the handle. The fourth person is, JRLevenson. And the fifth person, also another handle that I can’t recognize who it is, keepin’itRayl; keepin’itRayl, like keeping it real, but not quite.

Okay, those are the five. If you contact me, you will receive your prize. For anyone listening, I’m going to do this again. Actually, we can just start it right now. I will do another giveaway by the end of the year. So, you have between now and the end of the year to submit a rating and review. The rating and review winners, the giveaway winners, receive a $50 gift certificate to Amazon. A $50 gift card to Amazon.

You get to buy yourself whatever it is you want. If you’re anything like me, you love buying things for yourself. I love getting myself presents, especially during the holiday season. So, this is just a little bonus; you get to go buy yourself something. Reach out to me if you’re one of the five winners, and I will send you your Amazon gift card.

Thank you again, so much, for taking time out of your busy day to help me share this podcast with more people. It means the world to me. I am very thankful for you, and I’m thankful for everyone else who took the time to leave a rating and review.

You can resubmit, too. That’s how I understand iTunes to work. So, you can submit another rating and review if you want another opportunity to join and to win the next one. So, the next one will go until December 31, and then I’ll pick five more winners.

All right, that’s what I’ve got for you this week, my friends. I hope you have a beautiful week, and a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I will talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Episode 83: Caring What Other People Think (Part 2) – How to Stop

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Caring About What Other People Think (Part 2) - How to Stop

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Caring About What Other People Think (Part 2) - How to Stop

Last week, you learned how much it’s costing you when you’re stuck in caring about what other people think. Now you understand the negative impact of worrying about the opinions of others, we’re diving into how to stop caring about what they think, whether that’s their thoughts about you, or their thoughts about anything else.

Now you know that nothing bad happens when you prioritize your own opinion over other people’s, you can begin the work of not even trying to control the thoughts of others. This not only frees up your time, but also your attention and energy to focus on what matters most to you.

Tune in this week to learn a framework for letting go of your worries about what other people think. I show you why you care about other people’s opinions in the first place, two truths you need to start accepting right now, and how to start reframing the way you think about other people’s thoughts and opinions.

Want to be the first to know when my monthly subscription Lawyers Only launches? Click here and sign up for the waitlist!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why nothing bad happens when you prioritize your own opinion over other people’s.
  • What changes when you stop caring about other people’s thoughts.
  • Why it’s incredibly difficult, at first, to stop caring about what other people think.
  • How to see why you care deeply about other people’s opinions in the first place.
  • Why caring about other people’s thoughts or behavior is ultimately futile.
  • 2 truths you need to start accepting right now.
  • How to stop caring about what other people think.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 83. Today, we’re continuing to talk about caring about what other people think, Part 2. Specifically, how to stop caring about what they think. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Well, hello there. How’s it going? As you already gathered from the intro, I am continuing this two-part episode about caring about what other people think. In the last episode, we talked about what it costs you to care about what other people think, the impact that caring about other people’s opinions has on your life.

Quite typically, it’s a negative impact that it has on your life, right? So, you’ve had some time to let that marinate, to start to create some awareness around what caring about other people’s opinions is costing you. How it’s impacting your life, whether it’s on a day-to-day level or on a much grander scale.

I gave you some examples of ways that I’ve overcome caring about other people’s opinions and how it’s benefited me. So, hopefully, we’ve started to make the case for why you might not want to care about what other people think.

Now, I work with a handful of people that think it’s important to care about other people’s opinions, and I just want to offer you, it’s okay to not care about them. Bad things won’t happen if you care about your own opinion more than you care about other people’s opinions of you. Okay?

If that seems foreign to you, you’re going to have to trust me a little bit on this one. I want to walk through a framework that you can use in your own life, if maybe you’re receptive to this, if maybe you’re not resistant to the idea that it actually can be okay to not give so much credence to what other people think.

If you’ve gotten on board with the idea that you want to stop caring about what other people think, that you don’t need to be preoccupied with it, that it’s okay if you’re not obsessed with controlling other people’s opinions of you, and you don’t want to devote all of this time, attention, and energy to caring about other people’s opinions of you, then you need a framework to do it.

A lot of people feel like they don’t know where to get started. They don’t know how to not care about what other people think. So, that’s what we’re going to cover in today’s episode; we’re going to talk about the “how.”

Now, the first step to getting over your preoccupation about caring about other people’s opinions of you, is you need to really understand why you care in the first place. There are a couple different reasons that we care. First and foremost, it’s part of our primitive conditioning as humans.

Belonging to the group, belonging to the majority, being a part of that cohesive communal unit, that is a survival mechanism. It is a way that we ensure our survival. It’s a way that we protect ourselves. I want you to think back to the hunter/gatherer days.

Your existence quite literally depended on your ability to be part of the group. You couldn’t do everything that you would need to do in order to survive on your own, by yourself. You needed to rely on belonging to the collective in order to survive. And that’s just a part of our human conditioning that we haven’t evolved out of. So, that desire to belong, that push to belong, that’s still within us.

Now, what’s good news, is that we can be pretty self-reliant. I do believe that as humans we need other people in our lives, in different ways, in order to really thrive and be our best, and to have the most enriched experience on this planet during our time here. But for the most part, we can provide for ourselves. Very different from how we couldn’t provide for ourselves in these primitive days, right?

So, even though we’ve evolved out of that, that we’ve advanced enough to where we can pretty much just provide for ourselves, we haven’t evolved enough to the point where we no longer have this primitive condition where we have this desire to belong. This is just a protective mechanism.

You want to know that it’s there, just to simply understand where this drive, this desire, this internal longing is coming from, to wanting to belong, to wanting to be accepted by the group. Okay?

We’re also taught to care. In addition to our primitive conditioning, if you’re thinking about the nature versus nurture, nature is the primitive conditioning, but nurturing, meaning how we’re raised, also plays a big role in our caring about what other people think. So, we’re taught to care about other people’s opinions of us.

Think about what you learned growing up. Where did you learn to care about other people’s opinions of you? You probably learned this both explicitly and implicitly. One of the ways we typically learn this growing up, oftentimes from our parents or other authority figures, they will say to us, “If you do X, people will think this about you. You can’t do Y, because if you do it, people will think that.”

So, we get taught that our actions determine someone else’s judgments of us. That our actions beget a certain viewpoint, a certain opinion. That that is bad, and we need to protect ourselves from that happening. That we need to be concerned about what other people think.

Also, if we’re being really honest here, this is a way that people control other people. I like to think of this as the poor man’s control mechanism. As you go through life, you become intimately aware that you don’t actually have the ability to control other people’s behavior. We can’t control what another person does or doesn’t do.

Instead of just accepting the fact that we don’t control another person’s behavior, what people will do is they will attempt to judge or shame or guilt someone in the hopes of altering their behavior. Right? If you fear judgment and someone judges you, or threatens to judge you, if you do something, you may not engage in that behavior to avoid the judgment.

Again, this is the poor man’s control mechanism. It recognizes that people can’t actually force you to do something against your will. But they can attempt to influence you by threatening to shame, guilt or judge you. This is very effective.

If you’ve been taught that you’re responsible for how other people feel, and you’re responsible for controlling other people’s opinions, and that you need to guard against and prevent anyone else from having a negative opinion of you, this is an effective way that people can manipulate you.

We see this a lot in organized religion. Or with parents raising children, wanting to control their behavior. We also see this in friend groups and different relationships, even romantic relationships. Someone will judge or attempt to guilt or shame the other person.

Now, no one can guilt or shame you without your permission. So, you have to change your own thoughts, to feel ashamed or to feel guilty, in order for this to be effective. Another person can’t make you feel those feelings. You cause yourself to experience those emotions because of the thoughts that you choose to think.

So, that’s always within your control, whether or not you choose that emotional experience for yourself. But you want to be aware, if you are someone who chooses that emotional experience for yourself, why is this happening?

It’s because you were taught to care about what other people think. And someone might want you to care about their opinion, in order for you to alter your behavior. Whether or not you succumb to this tactic is up to you though, it’s optional.

Now, another way that we get taught to care about what other people think happens in a more implicit way. It actually happens in both negative ways and in positive ways. So, one of the negative ways that I see this implicitly play out is by hearing other people judge other people. It’s not being directed at you, but you’re watching someone else have an opinion about someone else, they articulate it, and you bear witness to it.

You form a negative association with that person’s opinion about the third person, and you want to protect yourself against it. So, you learn to care about what other people think and alter your behavior accordingly.

The other time this happens is a more positive experience. Which is where you receive praise for doing something that someone else thinks is “good,” or “acceptable.” There is no true, inherent good, that’s just a subjective opinion about a particular action that you might take.

But when we receive praise for our behavior, it feels good because we then give ourselves permission to think positive thoughts about ourselves. And because that experience feels good, we learn to care about what other people think.

Now, unfortunately, if you care, in a positive sense, what other people think, you’ll also tend to care in the negative sense about what people think, right? If the positive feedback and praise has you feeling excellent about yourself, then negative feedback and criticism and judgment will make you feel badly about yourself.

So, you really want to strive to get to the place where you don’t care about another person’s opinion of you, whether it’s good or bad. You really just want to care about your own opinion of yourself.

These are some examples of why and how we’re taught to care about other people’s opinions in the first place. Actually, let me add one more example of how we’re taught implicitly to care about other people’s opinions. Think about the people who raised you, they probably care about what other people think as well.

And when they model this for you, you will learn that it is important to care about other people’s opinions, about other people’s judgments of you, right? If your parents are concerned about what other people think it shows you that other people’s opinions are important. So, this is another implicit lesson that we get taught, that we pick up over time as we’re growing up.

Okay, now that you understand why you have this habit of caring about what other people think, why we as humans have this habit about caring what other people think, it’s time to break the habit. In order to do that, we need to identify the judgments that you think people have about you.

We started this exercise in the last episode, in part one of this two-part series. But if you missed that episode, or it’s not fresh in your memory, you can go through and complete this exercise again. I just want you to take a second and think about: What are you afraid other people think about you? Finish the sentence: People think I’m…, and fill in the blank.

Complete that sentence as many ways as you can think of completing it. You can even get more specific; you can identify specific groups of people. So, “My clients think I’m… My friends think I’m… My colleagues think I’m… My boss thinks I’m… My parents think I’m… My partner thinks I’m… My children think I’m…” Go ahead and identify all the judgments that you think people have about you.

Then, from there, you have to go through, and for each opinion that you’re afraid someone thinks about you, for each judgment you’re afraid someone’s making about you, you have to go through and distinguish the facts from the story that you’re telling about them.

So, the first question I want you to ask yourself is: Did the person or the people who you think hold this opinion about you, did they actually say this to your face? Is this a direct quote? Did this happen verbatim or are you reading this meaning into a situation? Is this just the story you’re telling yourself about a particular set of facts? You really want to separate what did they actually say versus what are you making it mean?

For instance, did someone tell you to revise something? If that’s the fact, are you making it mean that they think you’re not smart? Or that they think you’re not a good writer? They didn’t say those things, you’re just assigning meaning to what they said. That’s the opinion you’re telling yourself that they have of you, even though they never articulated that opinion to you.

Did someone ask you to work over the weekend, and you make that mean that they think you’re lazy? They didn’t call you lazy, you’re just assigning that opinion to the person even though they never articulated it to you.

When you do this, you’re going to notice two different options appear; two different options become available to you. In the first instance, you recognize that you’re just giving this additional meaning to the facts. Someone actually didn’t express this opinion to you. Your brain is just offering this up to you.

So, in those instances, what I want to offer you is that you can check it with yourself. Option number one is, can you just make it mean something else? There’s whatever they actually said or did, or they’ve never even said anything or did anything, but whatever the facts are, can you just tell yourself a different story?

Can you admit to yourself that you aren’t a mind reader, that you don’t actually know what they’re thinking, that they might be thinking this instead? Can you put a more positive spin on the situation? Can you read different meaning into it? Read a meaning that’s a lot less malicious, or a lot less negative than the one that you’ve been assigning to that story?

That’s the first option. If you can tell yourself a different story, and you can just give different meaning to a particular set of facts, you’re going to feel better. You just get to change the narrative about the opinion that the person holds. Because you don’t even know what the opinion is to begin with.

However, sometimes that doesn’t work. A good example of this is when I was getting started marketing myself on social media. I was creating a story in my own head about what other people thought. No one had reached out to me to tell me that they thought my marketing was stupid, that coaching was stupid, that I couldn’t hack it as an attorney. No one was telling me that; that was all in my own head.

The facts were, I was marketing. I think that’s the actually the only fact now that I think of it. No one was reaching out to say anything to me. The facts were, I was marketing, and some of my former colleagues were connected with me on LinkedIn.

Now, I can’t even say that a fact was that they saw it, because I don’t know that to be true. I would guess that it was likely that some of my former colleagues were seeing my stuff on LinkedIn, but I can’t guarantee it. So, with that being said, at the time, the only facts that I had were that I was connected with former colleagues on LinkedIn, and I was also marketing and posting content on LinkedIn.

The story that I crafted in my beautiful brain was that they were judging me. That they thought what I was doing was stupid. That they thought I was a failure. So, option one, in this instance, when I go in and I separate fact from story, I could just assign different meaning. I could come up with a different story, a different narrative.

For instance, I could come up with the story that my colleagues, my former colleagues, were happy for me that I was pursuing something that made me happy, right? Or that they thought what I was doing was cool, or useful or valuable. I could have told myself that story instead.

But I’m going to be really honest with you, I tried to coach myself but this thought, these judgments, these opinions that I had come up with in my brain, they were really, really sticky. So, as much as I tried to tell myself a different story about other people’s opinions about what I was doing, I wasn’t able to get it to stick.

So, option number two, if you can’t change the assumptions that you’ve been making about other people’s opinions, or if the person actually said the opinion that you are now thinking about, if they actually said it verbatim, then here’s what you need to do. Instead, you need to decide what you want to do about the judgment.

To start, you need to notice the impact that these thoughts have on you. How do you feel when you think them? How do you feel when you think, “People think I’m…? He or she thinks I’m…? They think I’m…?

When you think about the opinion you’re afraid people have of you, or the opinion that they told you they have you, check in with yourself? What’s the one word emotion you experience when you think about this? Do you feel inadequate? Do you feel ashamed? Do you feel insecure? Or do you feel attacked and misunderstood?

If you’re feeling inadequate, ashamed, guilty, or insecure, part of you is agreeing with this judgment. Part of you is agreeing with their opinion of you.

If you’re feeling misunderstood, you probably don’t agree with it. It’s always important to check in here, does part of you agree with it? But if you don’t agree with it, or there’s a part of you that doesn’t agree with it, then you’re going to feel misunderstood. And based on how you’re feeling, it’s going to help you figure out how you want to move forward. How you proceed in light of this judgment that you’re on the receiving end of.

So, if part of you agrees with the judgment, with the opinion, you want to start with asking yourself, do you want to agree with it? If you do want to agree with it, then there really isn’t a problem here, you can release the negative emotion.

If you’re like, “Yeah, that’s kind of right about me. That actually makes sense,” then you, and the person with the opinion, are actually in agreement and we don’t have an issue to resolve here.

Now, if you don’t want to agree with it, if part of you agrees with that, or all of you agrees with it but you don’t want to agree with it, what you need to do is make the case for how it’s not true. So, whatever the judgment is, make the counter argument. As you do this, you also are reiterating to yourself that opinions about you aren’t true. Opinions aren’t facts, okay? Opinions are just subjective statements about facts. They don’t have truth to them.

They’re just opinions, so make the case against the negative opinion. Talk through it: How is this opinion of me not true? And then, decide what you want to think about yourself instead? Then work on finding evidence to support that belief.

Now, if you fall into the second camp, if you don’t agree with the judgment, if you don’t agree with the opinion, and you’re feeling misunderstood, you get to think about, what do I want to do instead?

A lot of people in this instance want to start to defend themselves. I really want you to question your urge to do that. I really want you to think through that. Does it make sense for you to defend yourself? For you to correct the record? For you to try and convince the other person that they’re wrong about you?

Or might it be more effective, and a better use of your time, to simply allow yourself to feel misunderstood, to feel judged, to feel criticized? When you think about defending yourself, I want you to think about, what’s your motive behind defending yourself? Are you hoping to convince the other person to change their opinion? Are you trying to change the other person’s mind?

If you are, really question whether or not you want to invest time into defending yourself. The reason it’s important to take a look at this, to slow yourself down and really question whether or not you want to do that, is because the truth of the matter is, you can’t control what another person thinks.

So, there are two huge truths, when it comes to caring about what other people think, that you really want to internalize. Truth number one is that people’s opinions of you are not true. Opinions aren’t true. Facts are true. Circumstances are true. Another person’s opinion of you is not true. It’s also not false. That’s not the measurement of an opinion. Okay? Opinions are simply opinions, and every person gets to form their own opinions.

Which brings me to my second truth that you want to accept, is that other people’s opinions of you aren’t within your control. Think about examples of things where other people have opinions that differ from you, and you don’t even think to correct it, or you don’t think to make the other person wrong.

Think about someone’s food preferences. Some people like chocolate, other people don’t. We don’t make chocolate right or wrong based on people’s opinions of chocolate. Same thing with, I don’t really love kiwis. I think my cousin loves kiwis. I don’t love the texture of them. Now, that doesn’t make Kiwis good or bad. It doesn’t make her right or me right, or her wrong or me wrong. We just simply get to have different opinions about kiwis.

Same thing with pineapple on pizza. It isn’t inherently good or inherently bad. No one’s opinion about pineapple being on pizza is right or wrong. We simply just get to have different opinions. Same thing with restaurant recommendations or movies.

Some people, my dad for example, he doesn’t like The Godfather, he kind of thinks it’s boring. It is my favorite movie. Now I don’t make him wrong, he’s right for him and I get to be right for me. But neither of us are inherently right or inherently wrong. It’s simply, we hold different opinions about the same thing. Which we’re perfectly allowed to do.

No matter how hard I tried to convince my dad that The Godfather is amazing, he still holds his same opinion, as is his right to do so. He’s allowed to do that. Again, that does doesn’t make him right or me wrong, or vice versa. It’s just that we have different opinions about a thing.

Now, we mistakenly get taught growing up that we actually do have input and influence over another person’s opinion. But if you think about the examples that I’m offering to you, if you’ve tried to convince someone’s taste in movies to change and it hasn’t worked, you’ve done it to no avail, you know you can’t control another person’s opinion.

For instance, a really good client and friend of mine, Jen, she loves the movie The Matrix, and I can’t stand it. That doesn’t make her wrong or me wrong. No matter how much she tries to get me to love it, I’m not going to love it. That’s just my opinion about the movie and I’m not going to change it.

We notice our same lack of control about other people’s opinions or judgments when we try and convince someone to change their political viewpoints. Right? Typically, that does not work. Same thing if you’ve ever tried to cheer someone up. I think there’s really no better example of this, of our lack of control over another person’s opinion, over another person’s thought process, than when we attempt to cheer someone up and it doesn’t work.

It’s because we don’t control their opinions. We don’t control what other people think, and we don’t control how they feel. So, you’ve got to, if you want to care less about what other people think, you have to accept these two truths.

You have to accept that other people’s opinions of you aren’t true. If you understand the other people’s opinions of you aren’t true, then you get to concern yourself so much less with what other people think. If it’s not true, why does it matter?

Then, the second truth, which is, you don’t actually have control over another person’s opinions. They get to form their own opinions. They get to have them, and you don’t get to change them. So, why expend any energy trying to change them if you can’t? When you accept these two truths, you really free yourself from carrying about other people’s opinions of you.

So, you want to figure out what you think other people think. Separate fact from story. If no one actually said the opinion verbatim, decide, can you tell yourself a different story? Can you change the narrative? If you can’t, or someone actually did say their opinion to you, decide or figure out how you feel about it.

Do you feel attacked and misunderstood? Or do you feel insecure, inadequate, guilty, ashamed? Depending on how you feel, it’s going to depend and determine what you do from there.

If you feel inadequate and insecure and ashamed and guilty, if you’re feeling badly about yourself, a part of you agrees with the judgment. And you’ve got to figure out what you want to do about that. Do you want to agree with it, yes or no?

If you don’t, figure out how the judgment or the opinion is not true. And then decide what you want to think about yourself instead. Make a case for it. Find evidence to support that new belief.

If you fall into the misunderstood, attacked, criticized camp, and you feel as though someone is being wrong about you, then decide if you can just release your caring about it? Can you just allow yourself to feel misunderstood on purpose? Can you just sit in the discomfort of letting someone be wrong about you, rather than needing to defend yourself? Or trying to control the narrative? Or get someone to change their opinion, get someone to change their mind?

Which, if you’ve had someone try to get you to change your mind, you probably know that’s a futile exercise. So, can you just let yourself feel misunderstood? There’s so much power in just allowing yourself to feel misunderstood. I truly believe this is a superpower when you learn to master it.

Lastly, one thing that I want everyone to practice, that will help you get better and better and better at caring less about what other people think, is really learning to cultivate your own self confidence. The way that we do that is, number one, develop your own self-concept.

Figure out what you want to believe about yourself. How do you think about yourself? What opinions do you want to have? Make up your own mind before anyone else makes up theirs. Then evaluate yourself frequently. How do you think you’re doing? Make up your mind before you receive feedback.

I do this every time I do a presentation. Before I ever receive feedback from someone else, I’ve made up my own mind. How do I think I’ve done? How do I think I did? What could I have done better? What did I do really well? What will I do differently next time?

You also get to decide, are you even open to feedback? Now, you can’t perfectly control whether someone gives you unsolicited feedback or not, because people have free will. But I do like to decide, am I even open to feedback? Do I want to care about positive feedback? Just like I want to decide, do I want to care about negative feedback?

I really want to make sure I monitor myself for whether I am being intentional about being open to different types of feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. If you care about the positive feedback, you’re going to care about the negative feedback. So, take that into consideration when you’re deciding what types of feedback to care about and to concern yourself with. Okay?

These are the steps about how to care less about what other people think. I hope you walk yourself through this process. This is a process that you get to bring with you into your day-to-day life to help you care less about other people’s opinions of you.

I want you to go out there and develop a strong opinion of yourself. Develop your self-concept, evaluate yourself frequently, make up your own mind about you, about how you’ve done, before you receive feedback.

These are great ways to guard against being preoccupied with what other people think. But remember, no matter what someone thinks about you, their opinions of you are not true. You can’t control their opinions, so don’t concern yourself with them. Free up your time, free up your mental energy, to devote yourself to something that is within your control instead. All right?

Okay, my friends, that is what I have for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful week. I will talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

Enjoy the Show?

Episode 82: Caring About What Other People Think (Part 1) – What It Costs You

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Caring About What Other People Think (Part 1) - What It Costs You

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | Caring About What Other People Think (Part 1) - What It Costs You

Are you one of those people that cares deeply about what other people think of you? If this is a familiar pattern for you, you’re not alone. I used to care about what EVERYONE thought, and this had a hugely negative impact on my personal and professional life for way too long. So, if you resonate with this story, today’s episode is for you.

Learning to stop caring about what other people think has been one of the most transformational aspects of my coaching journey. There is a massive cost to being preoccupied with other people’s opinions about who you are and what you’re doing. But by the end of this episode, you’ll see how focusing your attention on other people’s thoughts is affecting you, and what changes when you free yourself from worrying about the opinions of others.

Tune in this week to start identifying the judgments you think people have about you, discover what these worries are costing you, and learn how to begin laying the foundations to stop caring about what other people think, so you can live the fulfilling, enjoyable life you really want. Be sure to come back for part two where I’ll teach you a practical framework to help you stop caring about what other people think.

Want to be the first to know when my monthly subscription Lawyers Only launches? Click here and sign up for the waitlist!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why we fear being judged.
  • How to catch yourself worrying about what other people think.
  • An exercise to get clear on the specific judgments you think other people have about you.
  • 2 sentences that will help you stop caring about what anybody else thinks of you.
  • Some of the opinions other people had about me that I let hinder myself for too long.
  • What caring about other people’s thoughts, opinions, and judgments is costing you.
  • How to start the work of disregarding other people’s opinions and doing what’s right for you.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 82. Today, we’re talking all about how to stop caring about what other people think. You ready? Let’s go.

Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.

Well, hello there. How are you? I hope you’re as excited as I am to talk about how to stop caring about what other people think. This is one of the coaching concepts that I was introduced to pretty early on into my relationship with coaching, if that makes sense, and it was really transformational for me.

I used to care so much about what everyone thought, and it had such a negative impact on my life. I’m going to talk a decent amount about that in today’s episode. I have so much to say, I’ve actually learned a lot about this, but I also have a lot of my own stuff to share as well.

I’m going to turn this into a two part episode because I don’t want it to be obnoxiously long, and I don’t want to rush through the things that I have to teach you. So, I’m going to take my time with it, and just cover it in two separate episodes.

Today’s episode is really going to focus on getting intimately aware of what caring about what other people think is costing you. What being preoccupied with other people’s opinions about you, and about what you’re doing, what kind of impact that’s having on your life. That’s what I want to talk about today.

Then, in the next episode, little teaser, I’m going to go through and teach you a framework that I recently taught in a masterclass that I hosted. That teaches you what you need to do in order to stop caring about what other people think. So, I really want to give you the ability to free yourselves from caring about other people’s opinions.

I’m going to walk you through a process. You guys know that I love a process. I tell everyone that I have a flowchart brain. That is really how my brain sees the world and approaches every single problem. I can turn it into a flowchart or a logic tree, a decision tree. That’s how I see the world. It’s very much like mathematical proof theory. I see everything as an if/then equation.

So, I broke down ‘how to stop caring about what other people think’ into a process that I’m going to give you in the next episode. But first, let’s slow down a second, and talk about if you’re someone who cares a lot about what other people think about you, about what you do, about what you don’t do, or even about other people.

If you care about other people’s opinions about other people, I think we weaponize that against ourselves as well. It’s like, you notice someone else’s judgment of another person. Then our fear of being judged, our fear of having someone have an opinion about us, ultimately deters our behavior or impacts our behavior in some way.

We might have wanted to do something… I’ll just use a silly example. Let’s say, you wanted to get a tattoo. But then you heard your grandmother talking about someone else with a tattoo, and she was judging the person with the tattoo, and then you choose to not get the tattoo because you saw your grandmother exhibit an opinion about someone else. Right?

So, it’s these three different ways that we care about other people’s opinions: Their opinions about us, their opinions about our actions, and then their opinions about other people and their actions. We use all three of these opinions against ourselves to really hinder the things that we do.

Take a second and start to take an inventory. I’m going to talk a little bit more about this in the next episode, and we’re going to go through part of the exercise. It will just be identifying judgments that you think people have about you. But we can start that process now. What are you afraid that other people think about you?

The easiest way to start to identify the judgments that you’re afraid people have, the opinions that you think they have, is just to finish the sentence, “People think I’m…” People think I’m what? “People think I’m…” Okay? Complete that sentence as many ways as you can think of.

If you want to get more specific, if that’s a little too broad for you, that’s not a problem. We can get more specific with what we mean by “people.” So, what do your clients think of you? What do your colleagues think of you? What does your boss think about you? What do the associates you supervise think about you?

What does your assistant think about you? What does your partner think about you? What do your parents think about you? What do your friends think about you? What do your kids think about you? What do your neighbors think about you? Start to make lists for each of these categories of people.

You can even get so specific as to say one specific person. So, whoever the person that you might be worried about having some judgments or opinions of you, just list their name. “He/She/They, think this. Eric thinks this about me. Miranda thinks that about me.” Just pick the person and start to write out the judgments or the opinions you think they have about you.

Now, think about the action that you take. So, those are going to be judgments particularly geared towards just who you are as a person, based on your personality or the actions that you’ve taken. But it’s a judgment about someone’s personality based on the actions that they’ve taken. Right?

For example, if you don’t work weekends, you might think someone’s opinion of you is that you’re not a team player. Okay? Now, that would be a judgment about you, even though it’s based off of the action. Versus a judgement about the action itself.

So, what would you think that someone thinks about your actions? Would you think, that they think not working on the weekends is irresponsible? These are going to be a little redundant. But you guys know that I like a little bit of redundancy, because it pulls out some nuance in the different things that come up when we answer redundant questions.

Start to make lists. What are all of the judgments that you think people have about you and the things that you do? Or the things that you want to do that you’re afraid to do, because you’re afraid to be judged for doing them?

For instance, maybe you’re a vegetarian and you’re questioning that. And you want to start eating meat again, but a lot of your friends are also vegetarian. So, what judgements would they have about you eating meat? Maybe you’re not making the switch back to eating meat because you’re afraid of being judged. That’s just an example.

But I want you to compile your lists. What are these judgments? List them all out. Then I want you to start to think about this, what is it costing you to care about these opinions, about these judgments? What aren’t you doing because you’re afraid someone is thinking this thought, or would think this thought if you did something different than what you’re doing?

What aren’t you pursuing in your life because you’re afraid that someone else is going to judge you or have an opinion about what you would pursue, or how you would pursue it? What parts of yourself are you hiding? Are you playing small in some way? Or are you being more agreeable? Are you shrinking yourself and your personality to avoid someone else’s opinion of you? What are you missing out on?

I really love this next question. A friend of mine reached out to me recently, and he made this point about how you’re really always just choosing your regret, which regret will you have? The regret of doing something, or the regret of not doing it?

So, the last question I have for you, when we’re thinking about what is it costing us to care about other people’s opinions, is: What regrets are you accumulating by caring about what other people think? How you’re altering the things that you do, and the things that you don’t do, in response, or even in anticipation, of someone else’s judgment?

You can pause this episode and take a minute or two to really think about this. What is it costing you to be preoccupied with what people think of you? It almost makes me start to get emotional when I really think about how limiting it is to care about what other people think.

How we limit our experiences. How we don’t live authentically. How we don’t pursue the lives that we would prefer to be living, because we’re afraid of someone else’s opinion of us.

Now, if you’re having a hard time articulating what caring about other people’s opinions is costing you, another question that gets at this is just to ask and answer: Where in your life would you choose a different option than what you’re currently choosing, if no one had an opinion about it?

It’s like, “Oh if no one had opinion, I definitely wouldn’t go home for Christmas. If no one had an opinion, I’d never work weekends. If no one had an opinion, I would never show up to work before 10am. If no one had an opinion, I would only check my email once a day.”

Think about it. How would you be showing up differently if you didn’t care about what another person thinks? If no one had an opinion about what it is that you do or don’t do?

I wanted to talk about some of the ways that this has shown up in my life. Once I learned… We’re going to talk about this in the next episode. The operative word here is really the word “opinion.” Right? So, we have to come to terms with the fact that other people’s opinions of us aren’t true.

Because opinions are not facts. Opinions are just that, opinions. Just thoughts someone else thinks about us. They get to have their own judgments, or their own subjective stance on something, but that doesn’t mean their stance is true. Facts are true. Stances, opinions, are just subjective beliefs. Okay?

Their thoughts… and you’ve heard me talk at length about the difference between circumstances and thoughts. So, another person’s opinion is just their thought. It’s not true. It’s not a fact about us.

Once I learned that other people’s opinions about us weren’t true, and also, that we can’t control what another person thinks about us… Again, that’s a very in depth topic, so I’m going to go into detail about that in the next episode.

But I learned these two things: That opinions about us aren’t true. And that we don’t control another person’s opinion about us. When I learned those two things, it really was permission for me to start living the life that I wanted to be living. I started to live life on my own terms.

When I realized that I didn’t have control over what another person thought about me, I really decided to spend a lot less time caring about what other people think. If we believe we can control another person’s opinion, then we think that we need to twist ourselves into a pretzel in order to control their opinion of us.

But if you realize that that is something that is outside of your control, and also that their negative thoughts about you, their negative opinion of you, their judgement of you isn’t true, so that means they get to have it. And you don’t have to concern yourself with it.

That was really my permission slip to start living life the way that I wanted to. To start living a life that felt authentic to me, and in alignment for me. A life on my own terms.

So, when I learned this concept, I started making different decisions in my life. One of the decisions that I made really, really early on, I wanted to have an elective surgery done. People in my family had strong opinions about it. And for a really long time, I hindered myself, and I didn’t pursue something that I knew deep down I wanted to do for my own health and happiness. I didn’t do it because I was afraid of being judged for doing it.

Sometimes people don’t tell us what we think, and we’re just making an assumption about what they think. Other times people tell us what they’re thinking. This was an instance where people were telling me what they were thinking.

When I realized that their opinions weren’t true, and also that I couldn’t control their opinions, I couldn’t change their mind, I decided to stop concerning myself with what they were thinking. I made the decision that made me happy. I elected to go forward with the procedure.

I’m so, so happy that I did. I absolutely believe it was the right choice for me. I’m so proud of myself for making that decision. It was the decision that was most aligned with what I wanted for myself, and it was only available to me on the other side of caring about what other people think.

Now, if I’m thinking temporally, one of the decisions that came shortly after this time was my decision to leave my big law job. A lot of people I know had a lot of really strong opinions about that decision. I might have mentioned that on the podcast before. I talk about it pretty openly.

But my friends and family were really opinionated about my decision to leave big law. They thought it was irresponsible. They thought I was being foolish. They thought it was stupid for me to walk away from that type of prestige and that kind of salary.

I had to trust myself to know what was right for me. I had to let them judge me, and I had to not care about what they thought. I actually worked with a woman, and she was amazing. She did the Attorney Development in the firm that I worked at. I was having my annual meeting with her, and before we were going to dive in and talk about some of the things that I was struggling with; I was really struggling with time management and procrastination at the time.

Before we dove into really workshopping a strategy to improve, she sat me down and she said, “I have to be honest with you. I think you’re really unhappy. I think you’re tragically unhappy in this job.” I just started crying. As soon as she said it, I broke down. Because she was right, I was tragically unhappy in that job.

I admitted to her that I was so, so unhappy, and that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I didn’t feel like I was doing a good job there. It’s just not what I wanted for myself. I just felt like it was not the right fit. She simply asked me such a powerful question; such a simple question, but a powerful one. She asked me, “What’s keeping you here? You don’t have to keep coming to a job you don’t like.”

I realized that there were two main things that were keeping me there. Actually, three main things. My parents’ opinion about me working there, that was one. And then the other two were about my perceived opinions, judgments, that my colleagues would make. So, I figured that people would think that I failed, and that I couldn’t hack it as an attorney.

Now, those judgments are kind of similar. But those were really the two statements that came up in my head at the time, so I’m just rehashing both of them for you. Those were the judgments that I was afraid that other people were going to have of me.

I kept choosing to stay in a job that I didn’t enjoy, because I was trying to prevent someone from having that opinion about me. Okay? Now, that is not a great reason to stay in a job, because you’re afraid about what other people will think if you leave it.

Great reasons to stay in a job are that you love it, you feel fulfilled by doing the type of work that you’re doing, you have fun, you find it stimulating and rewarding, you enjoy the people that you work with. That wasn’t me. I was just trying to avoid other people’s judgment by continuing to stay in a job that I didn’t like.

When I recognized that those were my reasons, I realized that I didn’t want to keep making that decision for those reasons. I wanted to choose differently. I wanted to let people have whatever judgments they were going to have. My parents had judgments. I’m sure people who I worked with had judgments when I left; about me, about my performance, about who I was, and the type of lawyer I was.

I just had to let them have their opinions. I had to take care of myself and do what was right for me. I also did this when I started my own business, when I quit practicing law, which was not too long after I left big law, but a little while later. A lot of people had judgments about me starting a coaching business.

I’ve talked about this a decent amount, especially every time I talk about business development. I really struggled with putting myself out there on social media, because I was so afraid of my former colleagues seeing my social media content and judging me.

I thought that they were going to think that I was stupid, and that coaching was stupid, and that I was pathetic for starting a coaching business, and that I couldn’t hack it as an attorney, and that I had failed as a lawyer and that’s why I was doing something else.

Now, that’s not true. I could have had a long, successful career as a criminal defense attorney. That was work that I was passionate about. But I really wanted to become a coach, because I believe this is how I can truly best help people in the world. I believe in what I teach so strongly. I always tell people, “I feel like I went to law school in order to help people. And I finally feel like I actually do that now, in the work that I’m doing now.”

But in the beginning, when I was getting my business off of the ground, I was hesitant to put myself out there. I really had to force myself to feel exposed, to feel embarrassed in front of other people, and feel judged. Because I believed that they had opinions about me, and about what I was going to be doing online.

I recognized that there were two options for me. I could keep caring about what they think. And if I cared about what they think, and I let myself hold myself back from marketing, I was never going to be successful. I wasn’t going to make anything of my business. I wasn’t going to get it off the ground. I wasn’t going to start making money.

I could care enough to hinder myself and my future success, the success that was ultimately available to me. Or I could deal with their judgment, deal with their opinions, stop caring about what other people think or thought at the time, long enough to start putting myself out there.

That’s what I ultimately did. And honestly, not caring about what other people thought, or at least not caring enough to let it hold me back, it was a game changer. I now get to live a life that I love, because I got over caring about what other people think enough to pursue what was important to me.

Even recently, I’m renting furnished condos, and I was raised by a dad who strenuously believes that renting is a waste of your money. That was an opinion that I was allowing myself to be hindered by. I knew that he would think that. I knew that a lot of people would probably think that I was being impractical or irresponsible with spending money, when I own a perfectly fine house in Michigan that I could just continue to live in.

But the truth is, I don’t want to. I want to live in different places across the country and across the world. I want to live in beautiful places that I don’t have to decorate. And to me, that’s worth it. Even if other people don’t think it’s worth it. That’s okay for them to have that opinion. I don’t have to hinder myself or alter my behavior because of it. I can simply not care about their judgment, and I can do what makes me happy.

These are just a few different examples of ways that once I learned that I can’t control what other people think, and that other people’s opinions of me aren’t true, I started to give myself permission to choose what was important to me. To choose what I wanted, and to care less about what they thought of what I was doing. Okay?

It would be so tragic to me to envision a life where I never got over caring about what other people think. I would probably be still working in a job that I strenuously disliked. I wouldn’t have pursued running my own business. I would have held myself back from that.

I would have played it safe and played small. I would have never started showing up on social media. I wouldn’t have made changes in my life that make me happy, even if they don’t seem “practical” or responsible. I’d be living as less of myself. I’d be living less of the life that I want to be living.

Now, I’m not wanting to really hold myself back, personality wise. Some people might think I’m over the top, and I’m okay with that. But I know a lot of people who hold themselves back and water themselves down, because they’re afraid of being judged by other people.

So, if that’s something that you’re doing, think about that. Who would you be? How would you get to show up? What would you be doing instead, if you stopped caring so much about what other people think? What is it costing you? Is it costing you the life that you want to be living? Is it costing you beautiful experiences that you would get to have, if you didn’t care so much about other people’s opinions of you and the things that you do?

Would you have fewer regrets in life if you got over caring about other people’s opinions? Would you miss out on fewer things, if you stopped caring so much about what other people think? What goals would you set? What activities would you try? What adventures would you embark on?

My guess is, if you’re someone who feels crippled by the weight of other people’s opinions of you, your life would be so much fuller, so much more rewarding, so much more enjoyable, if you finally stopped caring about what people think. I really want the pain here to be as high as possible. Because I really want to incentivize you to adopt the framework that I’m going to teach you in the next episode.

I see people fight what I teach on this because it’s quite foreign to how we were raised. We were raised to care about what other people think. We were raised that other people’s opinions matter. So, this seems foreign to people. We were also raised to believe that we can control what other people think of us.

So, when I offer you that other people’s opinions aren’t true, other people’s thoughts about you aren’t true, and that they’re not within your control, it goes against so much of our upbringing. People really fight me on this.

I have a lot of my clients ask me, “Did you struggle with thought work, and learning the model, and coming to believe that circumstances are neutral and that it’s our thoughts that cause our feelings? And that we have the power to change our own thoughts, but not someone else’s thoughts?”

People ask me all the time, “Did you struggle with adopting that?” And very candidly, I didn’t. I didn’t. I was experiencing so much suffering from living a life I didn’t love, to making choices I didn’t love, because I was caring so much about what other people thought, that when someone introduced me to a different way of thinking, I just adopted it.

I really felt like, “You know what? You’ve got a better framework than I do for how to navigate life. I’m all ears. I’m all in.” I didn’t fight it at all. So, I really want you to be clear: What is caring about what other people think costing you?

I want you to become intimately familiar with the pain and suffering that caring about other people’s opinions is creating in your life. Because when I introduce you to a framework to stop caring about what other people think, rather than being apprehensive or skeptical and resisting it and saying, “No, that can’t be right. That goes against what I was taught growing up,” I want you to adopt it.

I want you to just dive headfirst, be all in, and really see how it can be right for you. How it can be true for you. Okay? I promise you, the life that you get to live when you get over caring about other people’s opinions, it’s delicious.

You get to that delicious life a lot faster if you don’t resist the things that I’m going to teach you, when I teach you the specific process for how to care less about what other people think. All right, I will give that to you in the next episode.

In the meantime, I hope you have a beautiful week, and I will talk to you in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.

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