Episode 100: My Backstory, Lawyers Only & The Invitation of a Lifetime

The Less Stressed Lawyer with Olivia Vizachero | My Backstory, Lawyers Only & The Invitation of a Lifetime

In honor of the 100th episode of The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, I’m walking you through my backstory of why I decided to make the shift from attorney to coach, the impact coaching has had on my life, and something exciting that I’ve had in the works since 2017.

Listening to other people’s stories have always been incredibly inspirational to me and have provided me with the promise of hope on the other side of whatever I may be struggling through. That’s why, today, I’m giving you a behind-the-scenes look into my experience practicing law, how I got into coaching, and the dream I’ve brought to fruition for attorneys who are looking to thrive both personally and professionally.

Join me this week as we celebrate the huge milestone of reaching 100 podcast episodes! You’ll learn how I always knew I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney, why I struggled to perform in Big Law, how my life is unrecognizable now compared to just a few years ago, and the invitation of a lifetime that I’m offering you right now. 

If you want to start helping yourself first, it’s time to join Lawyers Only. This is my signature coaching program only for lawyers, and you can click here for all the details!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I wanted to become a criminal defense attorney.
  • My advice to all pre-law students.
  • One thing I’ve consistently seen in my work as a coach and as an attorney.
  • My experience in Big Law and the toll it took on me.
  • Why I decided to become a coach and how coaching transformed my life.
  • The point at which I decided to bet on and support myself.
  • My Adderall addiction journey and how I set myself free from it.
  • The money I’ve made in my coaching business. 
  • Why it’s been a dream of mine to create a coaching membership exclusively for attorneys.
  • How Lawyers Only is the one-stop shop for learning everything you need to know to thrive personally and professionally.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 100. In honor of the 100th episode, I wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look, tell you a little bit about myself, explain how I got into coaching from lawyering, and then tell you about something I’ve had in the works since 2017. 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.

Hi, how are you? I am so excited! Episode 100, can you get over that? I think it is so amazing that I get to come into your headphones or your speakers every week, and talk to you and teach you the amazing concepts that you can use to live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. I love to give immense value in these episodes. I always want to have you walking away from listening to the episode and be able to implement something right away, and to get a quick win, get a quick transformation.

So, something I’ve strayed away from doing in the first 100 episodes is really going into my story in great detail. I wanted to make sure that I served you amazing content upfront. But I do think that there is value in having you know a little bit more about me. I know for me, listening to other people’s stories was really inspirational to me. It let me know that, A- I wasn’t alone, other people struggled with the same things that I struggled with, that there was hope on the other side of the struggle. 

I want to talk a little bit about my journey, what I experienced when I practiced law, how coaching helped me, and just give you guys a little bit more insight into what makes me tick and how I got to where I am. And then, I’m going to let you in… I’ve talked a little bit about it on the podcast before… but I want to let you in on something that has been brewing since 2017 and tell you all about that too. So, let’s dive in. 

Okay, not to give you the War and Peace version, but to give you the War and Peace version of my life. A lot of people typically ask me, how did you get into the legal industry and then what made you switch? So, let’s get into it. 

I decided that I wanted to be an attorney when I was eight years old. That came as a result… I was really fascinated with the Italian-American mafia. It started with a Scholastic Book Fair; I found a book about Al Capone. And of course it said “Italian” on the front, and I am a very proud Italian. I was very close with my Italian grandfather; my grandfather on my dad’s side. I was just really into all things Italian. 

So, I saw the book cover, I bought the book, and I started learning more about organized crime. Now, because it was a Scholastic Book Fair book, it was a very romanticized version of Al Capone’s story, right? I started to read that, and then got a little bit more into it and I saw a commercial for a documentary on the five crime families in New York, in the Italian Mob. This was right around the same time; I was about eight years old. 

I asked my mom if we could watch it because I wanted to learn more about Italians; that’s how they were promoting it. They were talking about Italian-American mafia families. So, we watched the documentary, and in the documentary there was an attorney who counseled one of the heads of the five families, Vinny “The Chin” Gigante. I believe he was the head of the Genovese crime family.

The attorney… this is when all the RICO indictments were going down, during the wiretap era where everyone was getting busted… the attorney told Vinny “The Chin” that what he should do is walk around the streets of New York in a bathrobe and talk to himself. It actually worked; he evaded the RICO indictment for a really long time. 

I remember, my takeaway from that, at a precocious young age of eight was, “Oh, my goodness, I want to be one of these guys that helps the good guys stay away from the bad guys.” I told my mom that and she was like, “Oh, Jesus Christ. Good Lord, I hope you grow out of this. You’ve got this all wrong. The mobsters aren’t the good guys, the FBI agents aren’t the bad guys, and it’s not a good thing that the attorney helped the mobsters evade law enforcement.”

I was like, “Yeah, I just disagree with you. If we’re keeping Italians out of jail, then it’s a good thing.” That’s basically what my eight-year-old brain told me. So, I decided at that moment that I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney for the Italian Mafia. Like I said, I think my parents thought I would grow out of that, but I never did. 

I set my sights on law school at that point and I just kept working towards it. Obviously, I went through high school, went to undergrad, and then took the LSAT and applied to law school. I ended up getting a full ride to Wayne State University Law School, which is in Detroit; which is where I’m originally from. 

I grew up just outside of Detroit and went to school in the city. I bought a house in the suburbs of Detroit when I was 20? That’s right. It was in 2009, so I was 20 years old. I commuted to school, both during undergrad and then ultimately law school. 

Now, one thing I want to mention if there are any pre-law students listening to this podcast, is that I applied to a bunch of different law schools. I got into some higher ranked schools than Wayne State, but I got offered a full scholarship to Wayne State. At the time, I didn’t realize how impactful that would be for me. 

One of the things that I typically tell pre-law students now is, if you are thinking about going to law school, if you can go someplace where you can get a full scholarship, or any scholarship for that matter, it is so helpful. Not just because of the financial expense associated with going to law school, but because it gives you options. 

I have absolutely no student loan debt. And as I start to tell you the rest of my story, that really does play a part in giving me leverage and autonomy and options that were available to me, because I wasn’t tied to a high-paying job because I had student loans to pay off. 

There are certain jobs where it absolutely helps you to go to a T-14 school, something that’s really highly ranked. But if you want to do family law, or criminal defense like I wanted to do, it really doesn’t make that big of a difference where you go to school. So, if you can take a full scholarship to a school that’s not as highly ranked, you can still get an amazing education. 

You can get great opportunities, because you’re probably going to be in an urban area where the court system is. You’ll be able to get in at firms where you can get great trial experience or courtroom experience, or experience doing whatever it is that you want to do. 

But if you’re not worried about wanting to be a professor or wanting to work in “big law”, take advantage of those scholarship opportunities. It made all the difference for me. Anyways, I digress. 

So, I got accepted. I get a full ride; I say yes to Wayne State. And then I started attending Wayne State as an evening student. I went to law school at night, and I worked full time during the day. At the time, I had a couple different jobs. I was still bartending, and then I was running a personal assistant business. 

In that capacity, I worked for the chief of police in a city that surrounded or bordered Detroit. I worked for him for a number of years. And while I was working for him, during my early years of law school, he knew what I wanted to ultimately do. 

He knew that I wanted to go into criminal defense so he ended up introducing me to someone I ultimately worked for, which happens to be one of the best trial attorneys in the state of Michigan. Someone who handled high-stakes felonies, a lot of homicide cases, a lot of really high profile trials. 

So, I get introduced to him and he invites me out to his office to be interviewed. I drove out there… I had to go home, throw out a suit… I went out to his office and we started talking. He learns more about me, what I’m like, what my experience is, how my law school experience has been going, and we really hit it off. He was impressed with my background and my work ethic and all of that good stuff, then asked me, “When do you want to start?”

This was in March of 2014, I think. I had been planning on starting after law school finals were over, so not until the end of April. I was like, “Oh, I think after finals.” He goes, “Well, when are finals?” I tell him that they’re not until the end of April. He’s like, “Oh, no, I meant when do you want to start this week?” I explained to him, “Well, I have three jobs,” and he just kind of smirked at me and he goes, “No, now you have one.” So, I ended up starting there the next day. 

Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. So, I quit my bartending job and I wound down my personal assistant business. I ended up still working for the chief of police; I did payroll for him and some other administrative stuff. I did that, literally in the middle of the night, while I started working at this criminal defense firm. 

But I dove headfirst into this criminal defense work, and honestly, it was a dream come true. It is all I have ever wanted to do. A couple months in, right after finals ended, I started on my first felony trial where I was supporting two attorneys, our Managing Partner and then another attorney that we worked with, as a law clerk. 

I spent seven weeks working on a felony rape case up in Lansing, and it was like playing in the Super Bowl. It is exactly what I had always wanted to do, and I was getting the opportunity to do it, which was so incredible. I ended up working there all through law school. 

One of the things that I learned while I was there is that just because you’re a great trial attorney doesn’t mean you’re a great business owner. One of the things that I’ve consistently seen both in my work as a coach and in my life as an attorney, is that if you are in private practice, you really need to be good at both. You need to be good at the practice of law but also in running a business. 

Even if you don’t own your own business, if you’re working at a firm you basically have your own practice, and it is its own micro business. So, you have to have both skill sets. And even though we had the best cases, we worked with the best people, and we had so much fun, the person that I worked for wasn’t the best business owner. So, things were a little chaotic at times, a little disorganized, and it felt unstable. Unstable to me felt scary. I have supported myself since I was 18. I’ve lived on my own. I’m super proud of that, but with that comes a lot of responsibility, right? No one else is contributing to my household expenses, so all of the responsibility falls on me.  When things were unstable or inconsistent or chaotic, for me, it really freaked me out. Because it’s like, I don’t have anyone to fall back on. Right? It’s literally just me. So, I started to get a little nervous, and I wanted to explore my other options. I was at the point in my law school career where it was my last opportunity to go out for on-campus interviews. I had absolutely no interest in working at a big firm. But other friends of mine in law school were going out for on-campus interviews. I had heard about it; people get these things called “summer associate” positions. I wasn’t really familiar with that. But I decided, you know what? What do I have to lose? I might kick myself later if I don’t go out for this and just see what’s available to me, identify what are even my options.  So, I applied for on-campus interviews with a bunch of the firms in Detroit, and got a bunch of callback interviews. Went on those callback interviews, and I ended up getting a summer associate offer from the best firm in the state of Michigan. And even though it really wasn’t what I wanted to do, I didn’t have any desire to do civil litigation, it was a very prestigious job.  This was after there was a salary increase. Most Detroit firms didn’t do the salary increase, but this firm did. So, it was significantly more money than I would have made at the criminal defense firm. Or if I wanted to go be a prosecutor; way, way, way more money than I would have made as a prosecutor, if I wanted to get that trial experience. And if we were comparing litigation firms, civil litigation firms, this was definitely the best opportunity just because it was such a lucrative position. So, I was apprehensive because it wasn’t really what I was passionate about. But I felt crazy turning it down.  When I told people that I got this offer, they also told me that I would be crazy to turn it down. So, caring a lot about what other people thought and caring about the money and the prestige, I ended up accepting the position. I ended up going there.  If you’re familiar with summer associate positions, it takes a while for you to actually start that position after you get the offer. So, the rest of the year unfolds. I actually worked on the Flint Water Crisis investigation in the interim, and then it came time for me to start my summer associate position and I went to work there.  Pretty quickly I realized this probably wasn’t the right fit for me. But I went through the summer and succeeded in that role, and ultimately got a full time offer from that firm. And for the same exact reasons as I took the initial offer, me caring about what other people thought, me worrying about the money, me being kind of focused on the prestige, I said yes even though my heart really wasn’t in it. 

I went back. I continued working at the criminal defense firm after my summer associate position. And then, once I left to take the bar exam I left that firm. After I took the bar exam I started in “big law”. It took me all of about a month to realize, “Oh my goodness, what have I done?” I very quickly realized that I did not want to be there, it was not the right fit for me. I don’t have a personality that I think is conducive to that environment, so I very quickly started to regret my decision. 

A couple of different things were happening. Number one, I started blaming people around me. I can say this now sort of with a chuckle or a smile, because I have so much more awareness now about what was going on at the time, but in that moment this felt so true for me. I recognize it’s not true now, but I very deeply felt like I had been forced to take this job. 

I felt like my parents forced me to take the job. I felt like my friends and other family members forced me to take the job, because they had such strong opinions about me taking it. So, I felt like I had made this decision against my own will, which felt very disempowering. I felt very out of control, which is one of my least favorite emotions to feel. 

And I felt very resentful. I was very angry with people around me. I felt like they didn’t support my decision to pursue my passion, which was criminal defense. They had strong opinions about me staying at the firm that I had worked out throughout law school just because it was unstable. I just felt very unsupported. I resented the people around me for having these strong opinions and for voicing them. 

I felt like my hands were tied even though now I know that they were not, and that I made those choices all along the way. I also felt really frustrated and mad at myself, because I felt like I had abandoned what was deeply, deeply important to me. I felt like I had reached a fork in the road moment in my life, in my career, and I felt like I had made the wrong choice. I felt like I abandoned my dream. 

I think that really eroded a lot of trust with myself. Feeling like I didn’t have my own back. Feeling like I wasn’t prioritizing what it was that I really wanted in my life. I had this deep sadness and sort of grief because I felt like the longer I stayed in this new position, the further away from my dream I was getting. Now, I also don’t agree with that either. I think that you can find a detour and ultimately get back to your path. 

But at the time I just couldn’t see that, so I was very frustrated with myself and very sad. Because I felt that dream sort of slipping through my fingers and getting further and further away from me. It was like riding off into the distance, and I wasn’t going with it. 

Now, there are a couple other things I want to mention. Number one, I deeply believed at the time that there was a “right” amount of time to stay at this job, to work in big law. I cared a lot at the time about what other people thought. I thought I would look flaky and look like a failure if I left early, so I decided in my mind I would bide my time and I would stay for a few years. 

If that’s you, if you’re in a position right now and you’re worried about what other people are going to think or how it’s going to look for you to leave, if you know right now that it is not a good fit, I really challenge you to question that, okay? There is a consequence. 

I’m going to talk about burnout a little bit in a minute, but there is a very severe consequence to doing something that feels out of alignment for you for a prolonged period of time. There is an emotional toll, or tax, that you will pay by abandoning yourself and what you want in life every single day. I deeply believe that that is what causes burnout. 

Also, if you have a lack of autonomy, or feel like you do, it’s not just about overworking, it’s about a misalignment in what you’re doing. You don’t enjoy your work, but you force yourself to go every day. You don’t like where you work. You don’t like the people you work with, but you force yourself to do it every day. You’re not passionate about it, you find it very disinteresting, you don’t enjoy your day-to-day work life, but you keep forcing yourself to do it, that takes a toll. 

So, at the time, I didn’t realize this. This is all information that I have since gained, and I can play Monday morning quarterback now and try and spare you from experiencing that. But at the time, I didn’t know that that was a thing. I thought I was just tough and impenetrable. I didn’t realize that could cause burnout. So, I decided I was going to tough it out for a while; don’t recommend it if you know something’s not a good fit. 

The other thing that I want to say is that from day one, probably even when I was a summer associate, I always knew I wanted to go back to work at the criminal defense firm that I worked at. I think that turns a stint at a different place into a prison sentence. You’re literally just biding your time.  I think that also had an emotional toll, because you’re never fully committed to the opportunity that you’re in, at that moment. I always had my eye on the door. I was always looking for the exit. I was always planning my escape. So, I never allowed myself to be fully present. 

If you have a backup plan… I always knew I was going to be welcomed back at the criminal defense firm. I talked to my boss, and it was part of our game plan, that I would work there for a while and then I would ultimately go back and do the criminal defense work with him and his team. 

So, because I had that security of always having the option to go back, I had a little bit of a dismissive attitude about the work that I was doing there. I was never fully invested. I was never fully committed. I was never all-in. Had I not had that safety net, I think I would have shown up differently in that position. 

One of the things that I teach people now, is if you want to be someplace else and you deeply know that, I highly recommend you just jump straight there. I gave that advice to a friend of mine. We actually worked at the same big law firm together. She was a year behind me, and she had the opportunity to work with her mom. 

We went out for drinks one night. She had an offer from the firm that she was a summer associate at, and she was considering whether or not she was going to start there as a first-year associate. I asked her, “Do you ultimately want to leave to go work with your mom?” Her mom is an incredible attorney in Michigan. 

Through our conversation, she ultimately figured out that she did know that at the end of the day she just wanted to go and work with her mom. That it was a really unique opportunity. They’re both powerhouse women. My viewpoint was, why would you prolong that, if that’s where you ultimately want to be? 

Because you are losing years if you know that’s where you want to go. If you discover along the way that you want to be someplace else, then it’s never too late. Go ahead and make the pivot. But I think if you already know you want to be someplace else, just invest in that right now and figure out how to make it work. 

If you think you won’t make as much money, go figure out how to make more money. If you think that you’re going to get some skill set from a different opportunity that you wouldn’t otherwise get there, really question yourself. Do you need that skill set? 

I wanted to be a criminal defense attorney; did I get better at doing civil discovery when I worked in big law? Yes, much better than I would have otherwise. But that’s not a skill set that I needed to develop to do the work that I ultimately did. 

Now, are there skill sets that I did develop that made me a better lawyer overall? Yes. But I think the question you really want to ask yourself is: What makes me the best lawyer that I want to be? That question, had I asked myself that, would have made a really big difference. 

I had a friend of mine, and we went out to dinner one night. This is when I was deciding whether or not to accept the full-time first-year associate position. He asked me, “What makes you the best lawyer at the end of the day?” I said I’m going to work in big law. 

But what I realize now, is that it was an incomplete question, or it wasn’t the right question. What makes you the best type of lawyer that you actually want to be? Whatever the answer to that question is, that’s what I think you should pursue. 

So, for me, I didn’t know any of this stuff at the time so I decided to stay put for a couple of years, not realizing that it was going to take a toll on me. I also underestimated that having my eye on the door, and one foot in one foot out, was ultimately going to negatively impact the way that I showed up. 

If you can avoid those, if you can avoid those “mistakes”, I highly recommend that you avoid them. Because they do impact your experience wherever you’re working. 

That being said, I’m in my first month, two months in big law, and I’m realizing this is not what I want for myself. I made the wrong decision. I shouldn’t have ended up here. I want to do criminal defense. How on earth can I get out of here? What I realized as well… Of course, I could have just left, but I cared too much about what other people thought. I also didn’t want to give up the money. 

So, I crafted this bananas scheme in my head. And I think entrepreneurs are a little delusional. I think you kind of need to be, you need to be a dreamer in order to undergo what entrepreneurship requires of you. I’m so glad that I was, as the kids say now, a little “delulu”, because it’s what helped me embark on the journey that I ultimately embarked on. 

I decided that in order to not give up big law money, but to be able to do the work that I was really passionate about, criminal defense work, I was going to start a side hustle while I was working in big law; working 70 hours a week. I was going to build that side hustle to bankroll my lifestyle, match my big law salary. And then once I had done that, I would be able to quit my big law job, go back to work at the criminal defense firm; where I also worked like 70 or 80 hours a week at the time. And do both.

I would run my side hustle successfully, I would continue to fund my lifestyle, and I would be able to do the work that I wanted to do without having to worry about the instability, because I wanted to go back and work at the exact same firm that I had been at before. I loved the cases that we got to work on, it was the best. 

So, that was my game plan. I was going to start a business, build it, and then use it to go pursue my dream and not have to worry about finances. I had no idea what kind of business I wanted to start. And, I see this a lot with people. I very frequently get asked, “Olivia, how do I find my next thing? I want to do something else, other than practice law, but I don’t know how to figure out what I should do.”

What I’ll watch people do is, they just wrack their brain. They just keep thinking about it. “What do I want? What do I want? What do I want to do?” A lot of times that answer probably isn’t in that brain of yours, alright? You have to start to explore the world and learn some things, and expose yourself to new information in order to get inspired, in order to learn what’s even available to you, in order to get some new ideas. 

For me, I started binge listening to podcasts. I started to consume everything that I could possibly get my hands on, as far as entrepreneurship was concerned. I was binge listening to Gary Vaynerchuk, he talks all about entrepreneurship. So, I started listening to his podcast, watching his keynote speeches on YouTube. I just devoured everything he had to say. 

I also started listening to a podcast called Hack the Entrepreneur. The host of that podcast, which is no longer in active production… which really bums me out… anyways, that host, he would interview entrepreneurs and talk about their stories. You get inspired by listening to their success story. Then, he would distill the interview down to one life hack that you could use and apply to your own life, in order to make progress or make a change or to do something better or more efficient. It was so good. 

One of the episodes that he did, he interviewed this woman who, I kid you not, basically had the same story as me. She wasn’t an attorney, but she had gone into corporate America because it was “the safe and secure thing to do”. Her family members had strong opinions about her doing it. They thought she should take the safe and secure route, the responsible route, the practical route. So, she went into corporate America.

Just like me, she very quickly realized it was not a good fit for her. She proceeded to stay for a while, and was really, really unhappy. Ultimately, she found a life coach. That was the first time I had ever heard that phrase. She explained that she worked with the life coach and stopped blaming the people around her. She started recognizing what fears were holding her back, and she worked on her limiting beliefs. 

She leveraged the coaching tools that she learned from working with a life coach. And, she was able to quit her job, start her own business, and then she went on to make seven figures a year. 

I was like, “Yes! This is exactly what I want for my life.” So, I’m like, “Tell me more. Who is this magical person you worked with?” She explained that her coach no longer worked with people one on one, but that her coach had the best podcast on the planet. So, I decided to go give it a listen. 

The first episode I listened to changed my life. I tell people this all the time, that a podcast episode changed my life. I kid you not, I deeply, deeply mean that in the first episode that I listened to, I learned that everything that I have in my life is the result of a choice that I’ve made. I realized that instead of making it my parents’ fault… me taking this job that I knew ahead of time that I probably wouldn’t like… that was actually my fault. 

That was my doing. That was a choice that I actively made, and I kept making it every single day. Why? Because I cared more about other people’s approval, and getting other people to think good things about me, than I did about making myself happy. I cared more about what other people thought than what I wanted for my own life. That was a massive wake up call for me. 

So, I felt like this person intimately knew me. The coach’s name was Brooke Castillo. The podcast that she created is called The Life Coach School Podcast. As soon as I listened to that first episode, I was hooked. I was like, “Alright, give me more.” So, I started binge listening to it. 

A couple months after binge listening to the podcast… It was pretty new at that time. She still records the podcast. It’s been out for a long time now. But I started in the early episodes, and I just listened to everything I could get my hands on… then I joined her group program. 

It was called Self-Coaching Scholars, and it was a weekly group coaching program. She did more than one call a week, but it was a weekly group coaching program where you could come and get coached live by her or you could watch other people get coached. I learned so much from watching other people work through the exact same problems that I had in my life. 

I started to realize all of these things that I was struggling with, that I didn’t even realize I was struggling with… I was a massive people pleaser. I was a huge perfectionist. I had a really hard time managing my time. I really struggled with procrastination. 

I didn’t even know that I had a great vocabulary of this stuff at the time. I think now, in a world where self-help and personal development is so much more popular than it was back in 2017, people are way more familiar with these terms. Terms like impostor syndrome or self-sabotage. But these were relatively new concepts at the time, and they were definitely new to me. 

So, I started to just devour everything that Brooke taught. I started to work on not caring so much about what other people think. I started to work through my tendency to people please. I started to understand why people please, and how to stop. I started to recognize that I have options. 

At the time, I didn’t realize I was such a negative person. But I really was a negative person. I had so many negative thoughts. We think 60,000 thoughts a day, most of them… when you haven’t been introduced to coaching… most of them are negative. 

I started to work through all of my negative thoughts. My “should” thoughts about other people; that they “should” do this, that they “shouldn’t” do that. My “should” thoughts about myself; what I “should” do and what I “shouldn’t” do. Beating myself up. I started to work through all of that. 

And very quickly, I started to feel better. I started to see a different way to look at the world, to go through the world, and I really couldn’t believe that this was the first time I was learning the concepts that I learned through coaching. 

Using these tools, I immediately started to feel better. I became a much more positive person. I felt more in control of my emotional experience, my relationships improved, so much stuff in my life immediately got better. 

Now, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. I learned incredible tools right from the get-go. But some of this stuff is more deeply ingrained than others. A lot of the mindset tools I was able to apply immediately. Some of the skills-based tools that I learned took me a while to really master. That part of the story is going to unfold in a minute. 

But as I was starting to become more positive and look at the world through a different lens, and approach situations differently, in a more empowered manner, in a less victim-ey way, I started to look around me and I realized that the people around me were suffering just like I had been. 

They were struggling with the same mindset blocks that I had struggled with. They were looking at the world the way that we’re just taught to look at the world. That we’re living at the effect of our circumstances. That things happen to us. That our emotions are outside of our control. That the situations that we encounter automatically or directly cause our feelings; which is super disempowering and simply not true.  So, I saw people feeling overwhelmed or disappointed or frustrated, or resentful, or feeling insecure, or inadequate or nervous or anxious. All of those negative emotions that my clients typically feel day in and day out. All of my colleagues were feeling those feelings, too. 

And I know this is going to sound so cheesy, but I felt like I had the secret to the universe and I just wanted to scream it from the rooftops. Like, “Guys, I have the solution. You don’t have to feel this way. You don’t have to live this way. It doesn’t have to be this bad.” 

So, in the summer of 2017, I got this idea. I wanted to start a group coaching program for lawyers, specifically. A place where they could learn all of the things that I was learning. All of the things that law school, our employers, and our parents never teach us. I wanted to teach them a different way to go through life, a more empowered way to go through life, a different way to look at the world. 

I wanted to teach them the skill sets that we didn’t learn. Speaking of skill sets we don’t learn. So, at this time, even though I was having all of these breakthroughs with my mindset, I was still struggling in big law. I was still committed to toughing it out and staying for a couple years. But I was not performing the way that they wanted me to perform. I was struggling in that environment.

I, at the time, was so good at working for one person. That is what I had done all throughout law school. When I worked for the chief of police or worked as a personal assistant, whoever I was working for, I was answering to one person within an organization. 

And then, when I worked at the criminal defense firm, same exact thing. I worked for the managing partner of the firm. I was like his right-hand girl; I liked to say, “His Girl Friday.” I could think for him, I could anticipate his needs, I was the person who took care of everything behind the scenes. And when I work with one person like that, I’m really able to thrive because I know how to prioritize everything. 

None of the needs or assignments are competing. You have a very clear direction. You know what needs to go first. And then, in big law, I really struggled because I was working for a lot of different attorneys. That was a very new experience for me. 

I was such a people pleaser; like I said, I was learning tools to overcome that. But they hadn’t taken root yet. I hadn’t mastered the art of not people pleasing. I had mastered the art of not people pleasing at this point in my personal life, but not in my professional life. 

What I have learned through doing this work, both in my own life and working with so many clients that I’ve worked with, is that we attach such a sense of pride with being the person who goes above and beyond, that it’s normally harder for people to apply these skill sets or these tools in their professional lives than it is in their personal lives. And, that was definitely the case for me. 

So, I’m in big law. I’m working for what felt like a million different people. I had competing deadlines, and I didn’t know how to navigate it. I didn’t know how to communicate my capacity, or how to even understand what my capacity was. I had always just been the person through law school, and then at the criminal defense firm, that just figured it out. 

It’s like, I would look at my to-do list, which would be a mile-long, and an empty calendar, because I wouldn’t plan my schedule. I wouldn’t put things from my to-do list into my calendar. I wouldn’t factor in the time that it would take me to get things done. 

These are all things that I now teach people to do, but I wasn’t doing any of that. So, I would look at my blank calendar and be like, “I’ll just work until it gets done. I’ll figure it out.” But I’d constantly underestimate how long things would take. I wouldn’t communicate when I was falling behind on something, because I didn’t want to disappoint people. 

I was worried about what they would think of me, even though they weren’t going to think anything good by me missing an internal deadline. So, I was really struggling to keep up and meet expectations at the firm. And one of the men that I worked for, he was sort of a mentor to me while I was working in big law, we went to lunch one day. I had received several “talking to’s” at this point about my time management, or lack thereof. 

He was like, “Olivia, you do such good work. But you really need to get a handle on time management. You just need to get better at it.” I was, honestly, ready to pull my hair out. I had been listening to podcast episodes on it. I had been reading books on it, watching YouTube videos. I had bought every planner on the face of the earth, and nothing was moving the dial. 

I set my fork down… I was eating a salmon salad, in the building of the law firm that I worked at, at the restaurant on the first floor… and I was just really frank, because I felt so exasperated and so frustrated with myself and the situation. 

I just looked at him, and I was like, “Honestly, you got any fucking tips? Because I’m fresh out. I have no idea how to solve this for myself. I feel like I’ve tried everything, and it’s not making a difference. I just don’t know what the answer is. So, if you have any suggestions about what I could do differently, like actual steps that I could take to remedy this issue, I am all ears.” 

Honestly, bless his heart, he was so honest with me. He was like, “Honestly, no. I don’t have any suggestions. I suck at this too. I have just managed to make my way up the ladder in spite of my bad time management habits. And now that I am an equity partner, I can kind of get away with being a little disorganized and not having great time management practices. But unfortunately, you’re an associate and you answer to people. This is something that you are going to have to figure out and work on.”

In that moment, it was such a freeing experience for me because I was able to set down my shame around it. I realized that the reason that I was bad at it is because they don’t teach us this stuff. We don’t learn it. We don’t learn it in school, our parents don’t teach it to us, and the people that we work with also don’t know how to teach us the skills. All they really know how to do is tell you that you need to be better at it. 

And for me, that wasn’t sufficient enough guidance to actually be better at it. So, I made it my mission. I was like, “Come hell or high water, I’m going to figure this out.” I realized I hadn’t really dived into using coaching for time management, yet. But I realized that coaching and mindset work likely was the solution to this problem. 

So, I started to work on it. Again, like I said a moment ago, this is one of those areas for me, like overcoming my perfectionism and time management, procrastination for sure, were topics where I needed to learn the tools but it took them a while to take root. It took me a while to really master them. 

As I was learning these things, I decided, “I am not alone in this. Other people struggle with the same things that I struggle with.” And, that there wasn’t a great resource out there for lawyers to learn these things. So, I wanted to become that person for attorneys. I decided to get certified to become a coach. 

I registered to get certified in February of 2018. I started my certification process in August, late August of 2018, and I completed my certification in December of 2018. At the end of December of 2018, I put in my notice at the firm that I worked at, and I decided that I was going to go back to the criminal defense firm. I was going to start my coaching business, and I was going to do both.

I was going to be a criminal defense attorney and a life coach for lawyers. I was going to do both 50/50. Help attorneys with the things that I wanted to help them with, and then go get to do the trial work that I really wanted to do. 

Now, I do not want to make this sound like it’s all rainbows, daisies and sunshine over here. To be very fully transparent, while I was working in big law, getting certified, going through all of those steps to pursue the future that I really wanted to pursue, I was really struggling. So, this is where I want to talk about burnout. 

I kept showing up to a job that I didn’t like, and it took a massive emotional toll on me. Number one, feeling like I was underperforming felt terrible. That was very, very new for me. I have always excelled at basically everything I’ve ever done in my life. So, to feel like I wasn’t a good fit and I wasn’t meeting expectations, felt terrible. And, I took it really personally. It really, really impacted my mental health. 

I also was using Adderall. Abusing Adderall, I should say, in order to overperform. I took it through undergrad, not prescribed, but I took it through undergrad to study for finals and to pull all-nighters. I worked multiple jobs through undergrad, and would cram at the end of the semester. Basically, all of us did that in undergrad. It was definitely part of our culture in our study groups. So, I started to use it in undergrad. 

And then I also used it in law school, both to study for finals and to make it through trials. I get it, this is going to sound absolutely insane, but this was my schedule when we were in trial. I was an evening student, so I’d go to class at night. And then, I would go back to work after classes. So, I’d get out of class at 8pm and then I’d go back to the office and I’d work till about midnight.

I would go home, and typically take Adderall before I went to bed. I used to sleep on the floor of my guest bedroom, on the rug there. I would sleep with the lights on because I wouldn’t want to actually fall into a deep REM sleep. And then, I’d wake up at about 2:00 or 2:30, I would shower, put on comfy clothes… leggings, something comfortable… and then I would head to the office. 

I would print things out. Get ready for court. I would go meet with my boss before court, and we’d prep for trial. I’d go to the courthouse, I’d spend all day in court with him, then I’d go back to class at night. And, I’d do the whole thing over again. 

Then what happened is, the more that I took it, the more I needed it to work. So, my energy levels would be so depleted. I started to take it so consistently that my body became dependent on Adderall for a source of energy. So, when I got into big law and I was working there, and I was falling behind and struggling to manage my time, I would think, “Oh, the solution to this is that I just need to stay up later. I just need to work more.”

I would, typically, average about three all-nighters a week, sometimes less than that. But that was, typically, my average. I’d stay up for two days at a time. I have since learned how unproductive I was. Because the fun fact about Adderall is that you just get more interested in whatever you’re doing or more focused on whatever it is that you’re doing. 

So, if I was buffering to avoid work, because I didn’t know where to start, or I thought it was going to be hard, or I was just overwhelmed by all the work on my plate and felt so behind, I turned to something like Instagram or anything else I could get my hands on to avoid doing my work. 

I’d also go down insane research rabbit holes, and I’d waste a bunch of time not getting things done. Or I’d be fixated on organizing my inbox, instead of actually getting the work done that I needed to get done. But I felt like I was chasing this productivity high, and always wanting to take more Adderall in order to perform at my “highest”. Even though it definitely wasn’t my highest level of productivity when I was on it. 

But the more I took it, the more I needed to take it in order to function. If I wasn’t taking it, I would have absolutely no energy. Just imagine if you took the Energizer Bunny, but took his batteries out; that was essentially me. I couldn’t function without it. The more and more I built up the dependency, the more and more I was not able to focus and perform. So, things just kept getting worse and worse and worse at work. 

I had this perfect little storm going on. I was unhappy. I felt really unfulfilled by the job that I had. I felt like I wasn’t measuring up, like I didn’t fit there. And I personally really didn’t like the atmosphere. This is just my own personal preference. I know a lot of people who like working in their office by themselves and just getting their work done. 

I had come from a criminal defense firm where it was very common for us to all be in the conference room all day long brainstorming through things together, reviewing evidence, figuring out the evidentiary arguments that we were going to make. There is nothing better than that. That is my jam. There is nothing more that I love than being surrounded by colleagues arguing about the rules of evidence, figuring out how we’re going to prep for trial, and working together as a team. 

And, that just was not the dynamic. When I was working in big law we worked in staffed cases in a hierarchy structure. I hated that. I really loved the idea of ‘all hands on deck’ and everyone’s equal. Everyone contributes and is a valued member of the team, and no one’s above one another. That really resonates with me. And, that just was not the dynamic in big law. That doesn’t make big law bad, it just means that it didn’t align with my preferences. 

So, I’m feeling bad about myself and my performance. I’m struggling to perform at the level that they wanted me to perform at, because I still hadn’t mastered the skills that I really needed to have in order to thrive there. Then, I’m also dealing with this very severe dependency on Adderall. 

I was heading into the end of the year, and I had decided that I wanted to stay until the end of the year to get my bonus, and I met with the Attorney Development Director, the head of Attorney Development. 

She sat me down and she was like, “Hey, people think you’re brilliant, but you’re really struggling in a couple of key areas. We’re going to have to work on it. But before we get into talking about what that’s going to look like for you to make improvements in these areas, I just want to ask you a really honest question.” And she said to me, “Olivia, I think you’re terribly unhappy here. I just want to know if that’s true, and to ask you why you want to be here? Do you want to be here?” 

At that moment, in her office, I just broke down. I think it was the first time I really admitted how unhappy I was, and how much of an ill-fitting position this felt like it was for me, that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I just finally let it all out, took a deep breath and was honest with myself, like deeply, deeply honest with myself. Because I was really trying to tough it out, to make it to that three year mark that I had glamorized in my head.

So, while we’re having this conversation, I was really honest with her. I was like, “I am terribly unhappy.” I recognized that the reason that I was staying was because I didn’t want people to think that I couldn’t hack it. Even if I’m being really honest, I wasn’t hacking it. I didn’t want people to disapprove of my decision to go back and work at a place that wasn’t very stable; my parents had strong opinions about that. 

Again, I was still making a professional decision because I was worried about what other people would think. This woman was like a godsend. She just said to me, “Those aren’t great reasons to stay in a job. Great reasons to stay in a job are because you’re passionate about the work, you like the people you work with, it feels like it’s what you want to be doing with your life.”

And when she said that to me, I quickly could see that none of that was true for me, right? So, it was in her office that I made the decision to leave. I told her I had another job opportunity. That I could literally walk out of her office, make one phone call, and line that up. Which is exactly what I did. I walked out of her office, I called my former boss, and I said, “We need to sit down. I’m ready to come back. And, I want to talk through the logistics of that.”

So, like I said, I left big law, and I went back to work at my criminal defense firm. I had really planned on doing both coaching and doing the criminal defense stuff, 50/50. Now, I was still in a little bit of denial around my Adderall abuse. I wasn’t ready to face it or come to terms with it. So, I went back to work at that firm and tried to pick up where I left off. 

That being said though, I had changed significantly since I had left there. I had been such a terrific people pleaser when I worked there. I had no boundaries with my boss. And when I went back there, I was a different person. I had learned these coaching tools. I had become someone who had opinions and didn’t mind voicing them. I was someone who had boundaries and wasn’t just willing to follow someone blindly, especially when I disagreed with their decisions. 

So, when I went back there, we butted heads. I had a decent amount of conflict with the people that I worked with because I didn’t agree with the business decisions that they were making. I went back there thinking that I was going to have more control over running the firm than I ended up having. And I recognized it while I was there… I wasn’t there for very long, I only worked there for like nine months and then I went off and started my coaching practice. 

But while I was there, I recognized that I was no longer okay being the second-in-command, or lower than that actually. I wasn’t okay just letting other people make decisions that impacted my livelihood, that impacted my financial security and stability. I had opinions, because I just spent years learning about entrepreneurship in order to start my own business. 

I felt like I had some really good ideas and I wanted to be able to implement them, but I wasn’t given the runway to implement them. So, very early on in returning to that firm there was tension, there was conflict. I was no longer someone who was okay not offering my ideas. I was going to challenge the way things were being done. 

I had ideas about what I wanted the firm to be like, and I wanted to implement them. And I realized that this wasn’t going to be a place where I was going to be able to do that. I could either tolerate how it was being run or I could leave. Because continuing to stay there and complain and not accept it wasn’t a good option. 

And then, the only two real options that I had were to make peace with it, which wasn’t an option. I just had too strong of opinions about what I thought should happen. My other option was to leave. So, I ultimately decided to do that. 

In the interim, though, despite the tension, I was very close with my employer. My boss sat me down one day, and he saw that I was struggling with Adderall. He called me out on it in the most kind, loving way. I’ve had a lot of people say to me, “Oh, was it a mistake to go back there? Should you have just started your coaching business?” Very honestly, I just wasn’t in a place to start a business at the time. I needed to clean my shit up. 

And going back to a place that felt like home for me is what enabled me to do that. I will never forget. This conversation absolutely changed my life. It was the first time that I looked at someone and said out loud, “I have a problem. I’m struggling with this. I don’t have a handle on it. It’s gotten away from me, it’s winning. I’m not in control here.”

That conversation was this loving, wakeup call that I needed to start really prioritizing my health, and admitting to myself that this is something that I needed to work through. That things weren’t going to get better in my life until I worked through it. 

So, this conversation was in the early summer of 2019. And things, like they had always been at this firm, got rocky, got unstable again. I had had dreams of grandeur of being able to go back there and start my coaching practice, and bankroll my lifestyle. Like I told you guys a moment ago, that that was my initial game plan. 

But again, I was a little delusional. Because the trial work that we did was a full-time job and then some. I was still working 70-, 80-hour, 90-hour weeks doing homicide trials with our team. So, I didn’t have the capacity or time to build my business. 

I also didn’t have the capacity as far as my wellness went, because I was struggling with this Adderall addiction. The reason that I so openly talk about this, I am not ashamed of it at all, I deeply understand that it was my drive for excellence that took me down this path. Wanting to perform and wanting to not disappoint people, and wanting to be everything to everyone. That’s what got me there. 

So, I don’t beat myself up. I just deeply have compassion for myself. I understand why what happened, happened. But I also recognize that I couldn’t pursue my dreams, in the way that I wanted to pursue my dreams, with that being in the picture. 

Now, a few more months went by and things really began to unravel at the firm. Things got more unstable. I continued to disagree more with the way that the firm was being run, and it ultimately came to a head. I chose very abruptly to leave. I had never done that before. 

If you want to talk about the power of coaching, I was willing to bet on myself. I was willing to leave without a game plan. I was willing to let things be rocky in order to bet on myself. I had worked on a homicide trial. And through that I wasn’t getting paid on time. And as that summer unfolded, my income was really inconsistent so we would miss payroll. Things were just very, very scary, and I was absolutely broke. 

Like I said a moment ago, I totally support myself, so there was no other money coming in in order to support me. I thought that I would be able to go back and weather the storm because I loved working with the people that I worked with and I loved the work that we got to do. But I was so much less tolerant of it going back, after becoming empowered and learning what I had learned through coaching. 

So, I finally decided that I could stay and weather the storm, but I would never really be able to tolerate how the firm was being run. But I could stay there because it felt “safer” than going out on my own with no game plan. But I realized that if I was willing to endure a rocky period, and be broke for a while, be scared for a while and have a lot of uncertainty in my life for a period of time… If I went all in on my business, in five years from now I would have way more control over my life and my financial stability than I would if I stayed there. 

At the time I didn’t want to work anywhere else. I didn’t want to go work for another firm. I wanted to be a coach. I felt that so certainly after going back. The only place that I ever wanted to work was this firm. So, if it wasn’t going to be there, that wasn’t what I was going to do. So, I left. I left without a game plan. I left very, very broke; I had no money to my name. I had no savings saved up. 

I had gone a really long time without consistent income, so my credit cards were maxed out. I didn’t have any savings. It was a really grim situation. But I decided to bet on myself, so I left there. 

A couple of weeks went by, and I was like, “Alright, what am I going to do?” I ended up applying for a contract coaching position. It was super, super part time; it was 10 hours a week. But it gave me just enough money to pay my mortgage and feed myself, and keep the lights and the internet on at my house, to enable me to build a business. 

Once I had that foundation, I knew the thing that I had to tackle next was the Adderall. So, in January of 2020, January 19th to be exact, I quit taking Adderall. I went cold turkey. It is hands down one of the hardest experiences of my life. 

And if you’re someone who’s struggling with Adderall addiction, I just want to warn you, and I’ve done research on this, there are medical consequences to going cold turkey. So, please consult a doctor and don’t just take this as any advice that you should follow. 

Very transparently, I was just not willing to go talk to someone or see a doctor about this. So, I assumed the risk. But you can have seizures and other complications from withdrawal. But I decided that I was going to quit and I did. It took me three weeks to detox. It was horrific. 

And then, I came out on the other side. That was in early February. And in early February, I was like, “Alright, I’m ready to start this business.” I started marketing myself. Every single day I deeply knew that I could help people. I was finally able, free from Adderall, I was able to start implementing the tools that I had learned through the past several years of coaching. 

So, I was able to start tackling my perfectionism. I was able to start working on my time management. I was able to start building and developing my discipline. I was able to start making plans and following through. Everything that I learned, now that I was free from Adderall, was able to take root and I was able to put it into practice and use it to build a successful business. 

I started going out and meeting people. I went to in-person conferences before the world shut down. And then when the world shut down, because of the pandemic, I felt like I was in my moment. I felt like people around the world were freaking out, and that I so deeply had the tools to help them through that time. 

I started showing up on LinkedIn. I started creating my own content. I started telling people how to manage their mindset. I started hosting free meetups on Sundays. Anyone who’s been around since March of 2020, and has known me from the streets of LinkedIn or Instagram, remembers those Less Stressed Sunday sessions that I used to host during pandemic times, during “quaren” times, when we were all at home and no one really had a sense of community or knew what to do. 

I started hosting webinars and trainings. And through showing up and meeting people and telling them what I did, and adding value ahead of time and making offers to help people, and just serving in every single way that I knew how to serve, people started reaching out to me. I started to get consultations. I started to sign clients, and my business started to take off. 

I signed my first client in April of 2020. And the rest was, I don’t know if ‘downhill from there’ or ‘uphill from there’ is the right term here, but everything started to fall into place. I started helping people. I started to teach attorneys the tools that I had been spending years learning and practicing in my own life. 

I started to see my clients get results, start to feel better, start to overcome their people-pleasing tendencies, start to dial down their perfectionism, start to get a handle on their procrastination, learning how to manage their time, developing discipline and following through. I started to reach more people, build my audience, help more people change their lives. 

Amazing things started to happen quickly. I think it was in August of 2020 that I beat my monthly “big law” salary. I couldn’t believe that that had happened so quickly. It was such an incredible day. I think in September of 2020 I had my first five-figure day, which was just insane to me. In the first 12 months, from when I made my first dollar in my coaching business to 12 months later, I beat my “big law” annual salary. 

In my second year, I made a quarter of a million dollars. In the third and fourth year of my business, I made a half a million dollars each year. I share those figures with you because one of the things that was so inspirational for me was hearing entrepreneurs talk about the money that they were able to make. 

Because I had known so many people that told me, “You’ll never make more money than you make in big law. This will be the most amount of money that you ever make. You should never leave it because of that.” And because other people boldly talked about the amount of money that they made, I felt safe and secure betting on myself. I was like, “If it works for them, it could work for me. It will work for me. I can be successful at this.”

It was their transparency that gave me the courage to go all in and bet on myself. So, for the first several years of my coaching practice, I focused on coaching clients one on one. Which has been such an incredible experience for me, being able to spend significant amounts of time with people, being able to get to know them intimately and work through their problems intimately. I still do a ton of one-on-one coaching, although I am winding that down now. 

Then in June of 2020, I created my first group program, and I started hosting in-person events because I have been on a mission to create a community for lawyers. For a while, I did this three times… that sounds right to me. Three separate times, I did a six-month group coaching program for lawyers. It was called the Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind. 

That gave me an amazing experience coaching attorneys in larger groups, being able to understand what that dynamic is like, and bring attorneys together; attorneys who are struggling with the same things. Give them a place where they can come and learn from me and learn from one another, connect with one another, and feel safe and feel like they’re not alone. 

So many people that I work with, especially my one-on-one clients, they feel like they’re the only ones struggling with these things. What they don’t realize is I have identical conversations with my clients session after session. They just don’t know that because they’re not in those other sessions, they’re just in that one-on-one session with me. 

I have been deeply interested in creating a space where attorneys can realize that they’re not alone in their struggle. They’re not the only ones suffering with these things. They’re not the only ones who feel like they don’t have the skills that they need to have in order to really thrive in this profession. 

Now, as much as I loved running those six-month programs, I knew in my heart that that is not what I was put on this earth to do. Since 2017 I’ve had a dream to create a coaching membership for attorneys. The group membership that I joined in 2017 was open to everyone. And as helpful as that was to me, I knew there was something sacred and special about creating that type of environment for lawyers only. 

And after gaining years and years of experience coaching one on one and running group programs, I knew it was time for me to create what I had always wanted to create, that weekly coaching membership program for, you guessed it, lawyers only. That is when the idea for Lawyers Only, my signature coaching program for lawyers only, was born. 

I decided to put it together. I wanted to have weekly group coaching calls, and then have this amazing community member portal where people could come and get coached, in writing, by me. They could bring anything that they were struggling with at any time, day or night, and I would be able to come into the portal and talk them through it. We could go back and forth and have this space where other people could learn from the issues that they were struggling with.

So, you could crowdsource ideas. You could network with one another. You could realize that you’re not alone, and you have this support system. Not for six months, but for your entire legal career. It’s a subscription service, it’s a membership. So, you sign up and you just stay enrolled and it keeps renewing as long as you’re practicing, as long as you want to be a member in that program. It is there to support you at every stage in your legal career. 

And so, that’s what I’ve done over the past eight months. I got the idea last summer to really implement this and get this off the ground. I started putting it together. I started outlining what I wanted it to be like. And then, over the course of the winter, I started announcing it to people and building the interest, and talking about it and getting it in front of people’s eyeballs. 

We opened up the doors to Lawyers Only in the beginning of March of this year. We had our first group call at the beginning of April 2024; whenever you’re listening to this, maybe it’s right now, maybe it’s years from now. 

This membership that has been on my heart since 2017, it is exactly what I dreamed of creating. A place where people could come and learn everything that law school didn’t teach them. To come and learn how to manage their time, how to follow through, how to overcome your tendency to people please, how to set boundaries and say no.

How to care less about what other people think, how to get comfortable with other people’s discomfort, how to define what’s good enough so you can overcome your perfectionism. How to have difficult conversations, how to delegate, how to manage other people, how to hire, how to supervise, how to develop business, how to network, how to make partner, how to transition jobs.

How to get into a different practice group, how to transition out of practicing law if that’s what you want to do. Learning how to manage your emotional experience in the world. How to control what you think, how to change what you think, how to dismantle beliefs that don’t serve you, how to overcome your imposter syndrome, how to stop self-sabotaging.

How to improve your relationships; dial down your frustration and your resentment and experience the people that you love and care about differently. How to dial down your guilt and shame and experience yourself differently. How to feel less overwhelmed, less stressed, less behind. How to feel more proud, more accomplished, more productive.

I wanted to teach people how to set goals and achieve them, and become someone who deeply trusts themselves, someone who feels confident, capable, and in control of themselves. Someone who feels like they take intentional action and they show up in furtherance of the life that they want. Someone who acts in integrity and in alignment with what they want for their lives. I wanted to be able to teach people how to feel better day in and day out, both at work and in their personal lives too. 

That is exactly what I have created with Lawyers Only. It is a one-stop shop. And I mean that when I say it, it is the one-stop shop to come and learn everything you need to know to thrive personally and professionally. To come and learn what you need to know to live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. That is the idea that I got in 2017, and that is what I have created this year with this program. 

Now, I want to talk a little bit about what’s inside the program, and what you get when you join. First and foremost, you get weekly group coaching calls, those are on Tuesdays at 1pm Eastern. They’re an hour long. People keep asking me, “Olivia, are they different from the master classes that you teach each month?” Yes, they are different. What is different about them? You raise your hand and we talk through an issue that you particularly are facing; you specifically are facing. 

So, I’m having a one-on-one conversation with you, but I get through multiple people each call. And the amazing thing about this is, because everyone on the call is an attorney we’re all struggling with the same issues, right? So, if you’re struggling with time management, another person who’s listening is also struggling with time management. 

If you’re struggling with delegating to your paralegal, another person on the call is also struggling with that. So, they can take the issue that we’re working through and apply the coaching to their own lives, to themselves. If you’re an attorney and you’re struggling with how to develop business, there’s someone else on the call who’s also struggling with that. 

If you’re an attorney and you’re struggling to get started working on a brief or redlining a contract, there’s someone else on the call also struggling with that. If you’re an attorney and you’re struggling with undercharging or underbilling because you feel guilty about how expensive your rates are, there’s someone else on the call who is also struggling with that. If you feel like you’re never measuring up, there’s someone on the call also struggling with that.

If you don’t know how to manage interruptions from colleagues, or even family members or friends, there’s someone on the call who is also struggling with that. So, every single thing we talk about week in week out is going to be relevant to you. You’re going to be able to apply it to your own life, and you’re also going to be able to get coached by me. 

First and foremost, we’ve got the weekly calls. Then, we’ve got the Lawyers Only Member Portal. Inside the member portal there is so much good stuff there. Number one, there are foundational materials that you’re able to go through, to just get familiar with the type of mindset coaching that we do in the program. It’s like, how to feel better 101, how to live more intentionally 101.

It is everything that you need to know to get started in the coaching space. I’m going to teach you the tools that we use on our weekly calls, that we use inside the member portal. It’s like a crash course in how to live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. So, you’re going to have those materials to go through. 

And then, you’re going to have a written coaching section where you can submit any coaching issue that you’re dealing with; any problem you’re facing, any question that you have for me, anything that you want to work through that you feel stuck on, any obstacle that you want help overcoming. You can just bring it there, you write up a description, then we go back and forth in writing, and I work you through it. We go through and we solve that problem together. 

There’s also a Feedback Request space. So, if you’re working on time management and you want to sort out your daily schedules with me, you can drop them there and I’ll give you my feedback. If you are working on business development and you want to work on your social media strategy for your legal practice, you can drop a social media post there and I’ll give you feedback on it. 

If you’re planning on doing a training, maybe a webinar to talk about the services that you offer and teach people about the work that you do, you can drop your outline there and I’ll give you feedback on it. 

There’s also a Masterclass Vault. Every single masterclass that I’ve ever done is in that vault. So, it’s there for you to watch on demand. If you want to learn more about how to delegate or how to make decisions or how to manage your time, you can do that in that Masterclass Vault.

There are also going to be specific courses on topics that I’m going to be releasing. We’re going to have Time Management for Lawyers, and that course is going to be released in summer of 2024. So, later this year. Then, Business Development for Lawyers is going to get released in fall of 2024. 

So, if you’re struggling with either of those areas, you want to be inside Lawyers Only because there’s going to be full on-demand courses to go through that are going to teach you every single thing that you need to know in order to master your time and develop business. 

You also have a Discussion space within the member portal that allows you to engage with your peers, the other members of Lawyers Only. It is an amazing networking opportunity in this program. We have attorneys from every practice area that you could possibly imagine. We have people who are in private practice. We have people who work in-house. We have people who work for the government. 

We have solo practitioners, people in “mid law” and people in “big law”. Every area that you could possibly think of we have attorneys in that space. So, you want to be in this program to network with them. It’s so easy. Inside the member portal, you can just DM the other members. You can set up virtual coffees. You can make those connections, be able to refer each other business, and just have people that you can run questions by and crowdsource ideas from.

I love seeing the members share with one another. They’re like, “Hey, have you tried this? Hey, this worked for me. Here’s a suggestion I have for you.” It is like the brain trust inside this program. So, you get access to that when you join Lawyers Only. 

The other incredible thing that you get, and I’ve never offered this before, but when you’re a member of Lawyers Only you get the ability to book one-on-one calls with me. If you would like additional support on a specific issue that you’re dealing with, and you just want to be able to talk with me one on one and do a deep dive in order to get unstuck, you can book a call one on one with me. 

There is an additional charge for that but it is well worth it. If you’re really stuck or you have something that feels really personal or sensitive, and you don’t want to talk about it on one of the weekly calls, you can just book a call with me directly. That is something that is only available to the members of Lawyers Only. I have never allowed people to just book a one-off session with me outside of that. 

My one-on-one clients have to work with me, in the past it’s been six months, now it’s five months. But you have to work with me for a committed amount of time. This is a really unique opportunity. If there’s just one thing that you want to work on, or you just want a little additional support as you go through the program, you’re able to do that by booking those one-on-one calls. 

Which is just something I’m so excited about, because I’m going to be able to keep that intimate aspect of coaching by offering that to people who want it. But then still being able to offer a program that is really accessible and really affordable to people. 

Speaking of affordability, let’s talk about the investment that you would need to make in order to join Lawyers Only. So, there are two ways to join Lawyers Only. One, you can become a Monthly Member. All it costs is $150 a month to be inside this program. Which, honestly, is just insane. There is nothing like this on the market at this type of price point. It is so accessible. 

I wanted it to be accessible and affordable to any type of lawyer. Whether you work in big law, or you are a prosecutor, or you work for a nonprofit, I wanted you to be able to be in this program. I wanted this help and these tools to be accessible to you. 

If you want to save a little bit of money, and you know you want to be in this program for the long-haul, you should join as an Annual Member. That is $1,500 for a full-year membership. Honestly, that is what I recommend you do, because I want Lawyers Only to be a resource that you have by your side throughout the entirety of your legal career. 

You’re going to go through seasons in your legal career. If you’re an associate, there’s going to be the trials and tribulations that you experience as an associate. As you move on up to a non-equity partner or an equity partner, there are going to be different challenges, different skill sets that you need to develop.

Learning how to develop business. Learning how to manage and supervise other people. Learning how to delegate and trust members of your team. Learning how to make higher-level strategy decisions can be very uncomfortable for people. You’re going to experience exposure that you haven’t felt before, that’s going to feel new for you. 

So, as you’ve worked through one level of struggles and obstacles, you’re going to embrace and experience a new level of obstacles. I like to say, “New levels bring new devils,” so you want to have the support that Lawyers Only offers you every step of the way. Same thing if you transition to working in-house. That’s going to come with its own set of new challenges. 

As you transition to each next phase of your career, you’re going to want the support of this program. So, I highly suggest you join as an Annual Member. 

If that is too much of a financial investment for you at this point, you’ve got the Monthly Membership option, which is, again, just $150 a month. But plan on being in this program for the long haul. You always want to have this support. You always want to have a space where you can come and get coached by me, work with other people in the program, learn from them, crowdsource ideas, talk through things with them, support one another. Just have a space that’s for you.

The people in your life, I’m guessing, don’t know how to support you if they’re not attorneys. And if they are attorneys, if they have the same  messy mindset, the same limiting beliefs, the same negative thinking, they’re not a great resource for you. You want to surround yourself with people who know these tools, with a coach who knows exactly what you need to learn in order to succeed, and with other people who think like you do and have the same commitment to really thriving in the legal industry. 

That is what you’re going to find in Lawyers Only. So, I want to invite you to join this program with me. We’re getting ready to do an amazing deep dive on what I call the three P’s: People pleasing, Perfectionism and Procrastination. We’re going to be talking about those three topics over the course of the next month. And you want to make sure you’re in this program so you can take advantage and be a part of those conversations. So, you can learn to overcome them. 

Those are the three biggest pain points I watch attorneys struggle with, and I want to make sure that you’re inside Lawyers Only so you can start to overcome those, alongside all of the other members of this incredible membership. 

Last but not least, and if I can get through this last part without my voice cracking I will be amazed. Here’s what I want to say to you. I want you in this program because I do not want you to miss out. I wanted to tell you my story today, because I wanted to show you the impact of coaching and I want to highlight how coaching guided me through that journey. Okay? 

I got out of victimhood. I stopped blaming other people around me for what my life experience was like. I reclaimed control. I started to empower myself. I recognize that my choices are my own and that no one forces me to do anything. And then, with that knowledge, with that awareness, I was able to start making different choices. I learned that what I want from my life matters. 

I learned to trust myself. That I know what’s best for me, and that other people don’t know more than I know about what I want from my life, what is important, and what I should do. I learned that it’s okay for people to disagree with my decisions. I learned how to let myself feel judged and misunderstood by people. I learned how to stop people pleasing them, how to set boundaries, and say no. 

I learned how to care less about what other people thought of my decisions. And to get comfortable with other people being uncomfortable, in order to prioritize myself, what I want, and to chase and pursue the life of my dreams. I learned how to get out of my own way, to stop being frozen or stay stuck. I learned how to stop procrastinating. I am a master at taking uncomfortable action now. 

I teach a concept called “gag-and-go” that I created, because I was my own first student. I learned how to work through my own discomfort and not let it be an obstacle that stops me in my tracks and keeps me from accomplishing my goals. I learned how to be realistic with my time and how to actually manage it. I learned how to plan my schedule accurately, how to control my calendar, and how to honor that plan. 

How to start ‘working’ when I plan to work, how to work without interruptions, and how to stop working on time because I’m not obsessing over doing a perfect job, I’m not indulging in perfectionism. I learned how to define what’s good enough for me, and how to release my perfectionistic tendencies in order to get more done and be more effective. 

Now, I’m able to put so much amazing work out into the world, because I’m not obsessed with it being an A+ job. I’m able to aim for B+ and get more done, and help more people as a result of that. I was able to stop beating myself up, because I was no longer holding myself to impossible standards. Which helped me feel prouder of myself and more accomplished, and that helped me increase my confidence. 

I was able to learn how to manage my mindset. Being able to recognize thoughts that I was thinking and being able to distinguish those thoughts from the facts that I was encountering in my life. Being able to change how I think so I could change how I feel. 

And if you change how you feel, you’ll change what you do. You’ll change how you show up. I stopped self-sabotaging and getting in my own way. I dismantled limiting beliefs that didn’t serve me. I challenged old ways of thinking, things that I had been taught that had been passed down to me. And by dismantling those limiting beliefs, I was able to unlock a whole world that was never available to me before. 

Now, I know how to set big goals and achieve them, and I am achieving them. I’m living a life that was incomprehensible to me years ago. I can’t believe what I have accomplished in a very short amount of time. I deeply promise you that would not have happened had I not found coaching. 

I feel like everything in my life is better because I found this work. And, it’s what I want for you, too. Every relationship in my life is better. My friendships are deeper and richer. My relationships with my family members are so much healthier. 

I went through a rough patch, especially when I left my legal career, with my parents. They really didn’t support my decision, and I was able to allow them to judge me, and for them to have their opinion of me, without me needing to solve that. I just let that be okay. I loved them from a distance through it. I trusted myself to have my own back and to bet on myself. 

And now I have such a beautiful, deep relationship with them because I don’t hold things against them. I don’t resent them. I let them be them. And I’m easier to get along with because of the tools that I apply in my own life. I let other people be the way that they are. I let myself be the way that I want to be. I just let there be room for all of that. I don’t resent people, I don’t feel frustrated, I don’t feel disappointed by people. I don’t feel guilty. 

I’ve learned how to work through fear of embarrassment, or fear of failure. I’ve learned how to work through all of that, which has just made me unstoppable in my life. I’m so much more positive day in and day out. I love the outlook that I have with the world. I love how I get to show up in the world. I love the experiences that I get to create for myself and that I get to have with other people. I am living a life on my terms. 

I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, but I am in pursuit of being free in every aspect of my life. I am the freest I have ever been, and I can’t wait to see how that journey and my pursuit of freedom continues to unfold. But I want that for you, too. I am more vulnerable than I’ve ever been in my life. I allow people to know me and see me, and to be connected to me in a way that I never before experienced. 

I have given more of my true self to the people around me in a way that I find just beautiful and inspiring. I used to put on a brave face, and I used to only let people see the part of me that I was comfortable showing them. I wanted everyone to think that I always had it 100% perfectly together, and that left me feeling so alone and disconnected, and unknown and unseen, by even the people closest to me. Now, I don’t do that. 

Now, I share myself with people, and I share what is good about my life and what is tough about my life, and what I’m struggling with and what I’m proud of, and what I have going on. I’m just so open. Am I done growing? No, I don’t think we’ll ever be done growing. But my life is unrecognizable in 2024 from what it was in 2017, before I found this work. 

Some of my transformation was immediate, it felt like lightning. There were moments where I learned something, like when I learned that I don’t cause other people’s feelings and other people don’t cause mine, and that transformation was night and day difference. I was just a different person from one minute to the next. 

Other transformations took time. It took me a while to unlearn my perfectionism. It took me a while to master time management. It took me a while to develop discipline, how to become someone who follows through and who does what they say they’re going to do. 

Whether my transformations were immediate or took a while doesn’t matter, the journey has unfolded perfectly. I am so proud of what I have accomplished during the time that I’ve been accomplishing these things. I want to offer you, when you start to do this work your transformations will be both instantaneous and will take some time to unfold. 

What I want for you is to get out of your own way and start this transformation process now. Number one, so you can experience those lightning bolt transformations and start to have those quick wins instantaneously. And you will get those immediate, instantaneous a-has inside Lawyers Only. 

I also want you to start getting to work on this now because some of your transformation is going to take a little bit of time. And the longer you prolong getting inside this program, the longer you’re going to prolong having this transformation be a part of your journey. 

I don’t want you to miss out on that, because there is a world on the other side of joining this program that is available to you. That life is waiting for you ,and the faster you get inside this program the faster you get to claim it. 

I have created a life that I love, a life that I am deeply, deeply proud of. A life that I’m living on my own terms, for me. A life that I’m obsessed with. And, I want that for you. 

Joining Lawyers Only, if you are an attorney and you are struggling with any of the things that I talked about on this podcast, is the best gift you will ever give yourself, hands down. I promise you that. Do yourself a favor, get out of your own way right now. Head on over to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com/lawyers-only. I’ll link it in the show notes. 

This work is going to change your life just like it changed mine. You’re going to have an incredible story one day to share with people about all of the obstacles that you overcame because you listened to a podcast one time, and that podcast episode changed your life. Let it be this episode. Alright?

Alright, I’m done being emotional with y’all. I love you deeply. I can’t wait to work with you inside this program that has been on my heart since 2017. I will see you inside the Member Portal. The second you join we’re going to get to work. The life you’re waiting to live, that life with less stress and far more fulfillment, is waiting for you inside this program. We’ll see you inside. 

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?

Recommended Posts