9 power moves, 9 power moves for your law practice and life, Dina Cataldo, Be a Better Lawyer Podcast, planning 2023, 2023 planning

#230: 9 Power Moves for Your Law Practice and Life

What if you could make vast improvements to your law firm and life by implementing 9 power moves?

Would you do it?

Or would you tell yourself, “I'll do it later?”

99% of people tell themselves they'll “do it later,” and never do it.

Not you though.

You're a high-achieving lawyer who wants to improve your life.

I know. I've been there.

And I want to give you 9 of the boldest power moves I've seen from my clients and myself this year.

Buckle up, and get ready to change everything.


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Thanks for listening, and I'll talk to you next week.

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Let's talk power moves, my friend. This episode was really inspired by me taking a look back over this past year and pulling out nuggets of wisdom from my own self coaching, from my own experiences in my business, and leaving my law practice to coaching clients and what have their big shifts been and what have been the common denominators and some of the biggest, most impactful decisions that they made.

And so I distilled that into this episode, wanting to share with you nine power moves that you can bring into 2023. I think it's so important to evaluate. I'm gonna talk to you more about that in this episode. When you do, you have the opportunity to make changes. You bring awareness to what is going on in your life right now, and then you can start making the shifts that you need.

And each of these nine lessons, these nine power moves I'm gonna share with you, resulted in generating a new level of awareness and responsibility for the results that we got in our law practice, our business, whatever it might be that we were doing that we had our focus on. So what I've done here is I've broken these power moves down into business, right? Your law practice if you're not in a business that's okay.

Like this is applicable to your law practice, to your goals and goal setting as well as to your personal life and your personal growth. I'm gonna break them down and I encourage you to stay to the end because it's all gonna wrap up. What we're gonna be talking about in the last few are all gonna be related and tie in what you learned in the first six. So be sure to stay till the end.

Now, bring these into your 2023 planning. If you are not doing this, this is essential because when we start to look at the entirety of our year, we begin to create the shape of it. We need to think intentionally about what we want to create. That's what I help my clients with. Okay? So if 2023 planning isn't even on your radar yet, I want to invite you to a strategy session with me where you will get clarity on what you want in the upcoming year.

If after you get some clarity, you wanna learn more about working with me, I will share with you how we can work it together in 2023 to make it your most fulfilling year yet. And you can book a call with me at dina cataldo.com/strategy session. And we're not even waiting until 2023 to get started. We start right away. Okay?

And I wanna share with you an email I got from someone who had a strategy session with me, and she said, Just the perspective change and learning how to challenge slash examine my thoughts is something no other coach I found has offered. So clearly you really speak the truth clearly. I thank you for that. Now, if you've been putting off booking a call with me, now is the time.

I will help you get the perspective that you need before you go into 2023. And if you've been tolerating the situation you have going on in your life right now and you're tired of it, you definitely need to book a call with me.

If you've been hoping things will change and you keep telling yourself things are gonna be different soon, you need to book a call with me. Situations do not just change, we change them when we take action. You've gotta take action to make change. So gain momentum, start making the change you're looking for and book a call with me.

You can go to https://dinacataldo.com/strategysession to find a time that works for you. Okay? Let's talk power moves, my friend.

The very first segment of this is gonna be talking about your business and or your law practice. Number one, power move. Take 100% responsibility for everything happening in your practice. Whether you're an associate, a partner, a solo, it doesn't matter. Take responsibility. Here's why this is important.

Even if you are thinking about things that your brain tells you are outside of your control, when you decide to take responsibility for them and not in a judgmental way as if you really could change the way someone else behaved, you start to problem solve differently.

Let me give you an example of this. If you don't have the business that you want, if you don't have clients coming in and your brain tells you, you don't have any control over what people decide, whether when they come to a consult or whether or not they walk through your door, you have the opportunity there to ask yourself, Okay, if I were to take 100% responsibility for the lack of people walking through my door for the lack of consults, what might I do differently? Right?

If it were a hundred percent on me, if the person who was in my consult decided that they were gonna work with me, what might I do differently? And one of those things you might come up with is, Oh, well, maybe what I need to do is run ads. Maybe what I need to do is run, learn how to run a consult, right?

Don't abdicate any responsibility in your business. Like really think it through. I had this come up with a client who had hired an assistant and the assistant wasn't generating the number of billable hours that she had anticipated.

And so when we explored this a little bit more, she had actually abdicated responsibility for keeping track of that to the assistant versus her just taking 100% responsibility and saying, Oh, I needed to check in with her every week. We needed to have a meeting. We needed to actually have a plan. Versus she didn't find out until months into hiring this assistant that the assistant wasn't billing the hours that she wanted.

She if she, like, when she sat down and she actually took responsibility for it, she could recognize, Oh yes, there need to be systems in place so that I can do what I wanna do.

And there's also this sense of responsibility in a way of how much money you create. Like if you're not creating the amount of money that you want, how might you behave differently If you were 100% in control of that, like if this were a hundred percent your responsibility, how might you learn to show up on social media? What kind of things might you do differently?

How might you think differently about networking, about calling prospective clients, about connecting with old clients? How might you behave differently? And how might you think differently to create the result that you want to create? Hey, always ask like, for what you want is another aspect of this, right? So if you're an associate or you're not getting the kind of work that you want within your, your job description, right? You or you wanna expand your job description, take responsibility for that.

It's not up to other people to give you things. It's up to you to ask for them. So ask for what you want, Be direct, ask for assignments at your job. You could even take this into your personal life, right? Ask for when you want to be alone. Ask for time, time just to, you know, sit quietly versus waiting for someone else to behave in a way that you want them to behave, right?

So when we take responsibility for everything, then we put ourselves in a position, right? It's a great thought to have. We put ourselves in a position where we start asking for what we want and we start getting creative to create what we want. Power move. Number two, how you feel matters. Pay attention, right? Just pay attention to how you feel. So how you feel when you're in a consult, when you're talking to a manager, When you're talking to a client emanates from you like a skunk, okay?

So if you notice you're feeling anxious or you're feeling frustrated or irritated, and you're telling yourself, Well, I'm doing a really good job of hiding it. I'm managing my words. I'm not showing them how angry I am, you are lying to yourself because you can sense when something is off and you have experienced when you've been in a conversation with someone and they are short with you, they might think that they're hiding it really well, that they're angry, that they're irritated, that you interrupted them, but you know, you know exactly what's happening. If you're judging somebody, right?

Or they're judging you for some behavior, you know, intuitively that what that person is feeling is irritation, anger, there's something happening there. It emanates like a skunk. So if you're, it's, it's the same thing when you're creating content, okay? If you're, if you're writing an email to your people, if you are writing social media posts, if you are in graspy energy, if you are trying to convince them to book a call with you, to work with you, it is going to come across as salesy, right?

I hear that a lot from my clients. They're worried they're gonna come across as salesy, but that's because when we are thinking that we want something from somebody, that we want them to do something so that we can feel better, right? We want them to buy so we, we feel secure. We want them to like us so that we feel validated when we are trying to get somebody else to behave a certain way so we can feel better. It's gonna come across in a way that emanates like a skunk.

People are gonna be repelled. But when we don't need something from someone, when we really truly are just concerned about their wellbeing, it is crystal clear. And you can sense this when you connect with somebody, when they're truly concerned about you and what you want versus when they are only caring about what they get out of that interaction with, you recognize it.

We have these emotions, they matter, and they will emanate from us in a way that the people we're interacting with can sense. Okay? So pay attention and recognize them. Number three, do uncomfortable things. They have the biggest payoff.

Do the uncomfortable things. Ask for the time off. Set up your vacations. Do it without a laptop, Okay? When something is outside of your comfort zone, that is where your growth is. If you are comfortable checking your email all the time, the uncomfortable thing is to check your email less, to set up times where you're designating to check up, check in email. If you are comfortable giving your phone number to your clients, do the uncomfortable thing and make the boundaries that you need.

Those are the areas where we need to grow to make our lives easier, to improve them to feel better. But when we avoid the uncomfortable things, we are avoiding our growth.

When we are avoiding seeking help, when we are avoiding having the difficult conversation with our client, with our employee. And that is how you know you need to do it. So recognize that as a power move, when you do an uncomfortable thing, you are taking the reigns of your life, of your practice. Now, we're gonna move into the goal setting area.

So if, if you're multitasking, come back to me because this is something that is going to expand into your practice if you are, if you have goals around your practice, but it's also going to bleed into your personal life if you have goals for your personal life, your relationship, whatever it is, okay? This is multifunctional here, <laugh>, right? Power move number four, do not give up. There are multiple how's to get the goal that you have multiple ways. And the biggest area in this power move is having multiple plans to hit your goal.

You gotta have a plan, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and so on. And this is something I really learned in my business this year as I've been recognizing how I have control over how much money I create. And I am learning that there's not just one way for me to achieve a goal. So this is what this might look like. You might think that you're gonna hit your goal by posting on social media, Hey, but you don't. And then you're like, Oh, that's so strange.

And then you try another thing and you're like, Well, maybe I hit my goal running ads, but you don't. Well, maybe I hit my goal by running more of webinars, but you don't. And then you're like, Okay, well maybe I hit my goal by making a different offer, right? You're just, but you're doing them one at a time versus just planning in a way in advance to integrate all of these hows, okay?

Integrating plan A, B, C, D, E, F, G, right? Maybe you don't do all of them at once, but maybe what you do is you try a few at a time so that you're not lengthening your timeline of hitting your goal. You get to compress the timeline by having variables in place. Well, if they don't join when they get an offer via social media, maybe they'll join when they get on my email list with this opt-in or maybe I will hit that goal when I run these ads and so on.

And then let me, let me look at this in terms of if you have a personal goal. So if you have a goal to lose, I don't know, 20 pounds, right? You're like, Well, maybe it'll happen if I do yoga, or maybe it'll happen if I go for walks around the neighborhood, or maybe it'll happen if I eat right?

You wouldn't just choose one and try that. You would combine them, right? You'd be like, Yes, what is going to help me? Give me the highest likelihood that I'm gonna hit my goal. Let me try all the how's that I can. I'm not gonna overwhelm myself. I'm not gonna power lift. I'm not gonna like decide I'm gonna totally cut meat outta my diet. I'm just gonna make some tweaks, but I'm gonna do multiple tweaks at once that feel good to me, and let's see how that works. Okay?

Achieving a goal is almost always harder than you think that it will be. Do not give up. The only reason people don't hit their goals is because they give up, right? Your only job when you have a goal is to believe in yourself and to believe that the goal is done right? That it's already done, and you're just figuring out how it's gonna be done.

It's your job to protect that belief. No one else is gonna do it for you. Depending on the people who you've surrounded yourself with, they, they may trade to try to knock down your dreams. They may say things to you and you have thoughts about them, but you've gotta be responsible.

Taking us back to number one, right? For surrounding yourself with people who support you or deciding not to share what it is your goal is with those people because you are the best judge of what it is you need and the people that you've surrounded yourself with. Number five, evaluate, evaluate, evaluate.

This ties into everything that we're talking about here, whether it's business, your personal life, what have you. If you are avoiding evaluating, it's probably because you're being mean to yourself, right? You're telling your yourself that you're gonna find something wrong, that you did something wrong, and you're probably feeling disappointment and shame and you're avoiding evaluating.

And I know this because when I have done things in my business where I've gone back and evaluated, I avoided evaluating for those very reasons. I avoided evaluating my copywriting, for instance, because I was telling myself before I even sat down, My copywriting isn't good enough. This isn't, I, I hate reading what I'm writing. Like this isn't working. I was saying all of these horrible things.

Of course, I didn't wanna sit down and evaluate my writing versus when I came in and I was just, I just decided ahead of time like, Look, this is great. Like what I did was great. Okay? It was the best I could do. At the time, it was fabulous, okay? But now what I'm doing is I'm just going in and I'm just checking and seeing where I might make some improvements. I'm not judging myself for the quality of the work that I did in the past.

What I'm doing is I'm evaluating so that I can improve my quality of work in the future. It's a subtle difference here, okay? But if you are avoiding evaluating the numbers in your practice, you're, you're avoiding evaluating, like, you know, stepping on the scale and like checking and, and looking at the number. It's only because of what you are thinking about that number. It's only because of what you're thinking about the numbers in your business.

When we look at our mindset that is going to tell us a couple things. First of all, we're gonna check in with how we feel, right? If we're looking at the number, we're avoiding looking at the number, what's that feeling that you're having, right? You're noticing you're avoiding something. You're probably feeling some resistance, some shame, maybe some disappointment ahead of time. And then you don't step on that scale.

Why? Because you're having a thought maybe that that number isn't gonna be low enough, that it means something about you, that you didn't do a good job, that you didn't do enough, that you didn't work hard enough. Hey, that is the judgment that is creating the resistance to evaluating. When we start releasing that judgment and just saying, Look, I'm doing the best that I can right now, We're gonna just like, we're just gonna check in, Okay?

We're just gonna check in. I'm not gonna make it mean anything about me or my ability to run a business or my ability to eat healthfully or any of that. We're gonna take that off the board and I'm just going to evaluate and see where I am, okay? Just like a math problem, right? There's numbers, it's just math. Doesn't mean anything about me. When you start to do that, you will begin to evaluate, and from there you can make adjustments, but if you don't evaluate, you can't adjust.

I see this with my clients who are resistant to using a calendar too. Because when they go back and we do the process of evaluation, they sometimes resist it because they're making judgements about how they did their calendar wrong or they didn't do enough, or that they were bad at it, or that they're never gonna succeed at it, or that they're a failure at their calendar.

But what we do is we remove that evaluation in our session, or we remove the judgment in the sessions, and then we can start gently evaluating in a really kind way, right? And when we do that, we can make the adjustments for the next week. And then they don't just ditch the calendar altogether. They begin to adjust things so that it works for them and they start to understand themselves better. They start to understand their natural rhythms better, and then they can create a calendar that works for them versus them fighting their calendar.

Number six, power move. Number six, ask for help. Always ask for help, Okay? If someone offers, take it. Okay? There's very few times nowadays that I will say no to help. Okay?

When I'm at the grocery store and I'm checking out and somebody asks me, Can I help you out? I say no. Because I'm like, No, I can do this. I'm on my way. You don't need to know what my car looks like, right? Like, I am fine, I'm healthy, I can do this. But if I am carrying things and a friend says, Hey, can I, can I take that for you? I practice saying yes. Okay? When somebody says, Can I take the tab here? I practice saying yes, because I want to remind myself that it's okay to ask for help. When I am finding myself spinning on a problem in my business, I ask for help, Okay?

There's only so much capacity each of our brains has in a given moment to problem solve. There's always a higher level we can be problem solving at, and if we don't have access to that, we need to ask for help. It makes our life so much easier, I swear. All right, so now we're gonna enter into the personal life power moves. And they are also, you're going to see relevant to what we've just talked about, right?

So come back to me if you're, if you're like driving, if you've got a lot going on, come back to me because these are really important power moves to bring into any area of your life or your practice. So number seven, be nice to yourself. Okay? Can already hear where this is going. This ties in with evaluation, right? It ties in with how you can build your capacity to do bigger and better things.

Our ability to talk to ourselves in a kind way is directly related to our ability to do bigger things in our life. How do I know? Because I have needed to do this work and I help my clients with it. And when we start to like overcome the judgment that we have of ourselves, we start to do things that we once thought were impossible, we start to hit goals, we start to build our practice in a different way.

You can always talk nicer to yourself. Like when you do, you're gonna open yourself up to so much creativity. You can objectively evaluate what's happening in your life, in your practices, in your relationships. But when you don't talk nice to yourself, you feel horrible, right? You basically can do no right? And you cannot make the shifts that you wanna make because you're fighting yourself. Of course it makes sense.

If we're unkind to ourselves, we're not gonna be motivated to do different things. So be kind to yourself even if you don't think that there's any reason you should be, right? Like if you think I didn't get enough work done today, be like, Wait a minute, hold on, I'm, I'm being really mean to myself. You'll know this cuz you're gonna feel shame or you're gonna feel disappointment, You're gonna feel just horrible.

And when you do, you could just be like, Hold on, let me look at this objectively and evaluate my day. Yeah, okay, I didn't get everything I wanted to get done today, but what did I get done? And I bet you 99 to a hundred percent of the time, you will have gotten the most important things done that day. Hey, like you prioritized, You got them done and yeah, you didn't get to that big project that's due next week.

That's okay. You got the biggest things done right now. Remind yourself of that. You're gonna chip away at all of the judgment and start shifting your brain when you do that. And you're gonna enjoy your experience of life and work so much more. Power move number eight, invest in mentors, right? This kinda links in with like the asking for help.

Always find mentors to help you up level. Invest in yourself, invest in yourself, invest in yourself. That's what I've been doing a lot of the last few years as I've invested in the life coach school coaching a few years ago and then now master coach training and my business coaching. I mean, going way back to like just discovering what coaching was like. I invested in myself and that's how I made the shifts that I made. And the biggest investment that I got was getting that time back, right?

So I invested money to learn how to use my time, right? And I get my time back because I up level faster than I would've if I was trying to do something on my own. And our most valuable asset is time, cuz we can always make more money, but we can never make time out of thin air, Okay? So we want to build better relationships.

We invest in something that is going to help us create a better relationship. If we are building our business, we wanna invest in something that is going to help us build our business with intention, right? When we wanna invest in our mental health, right? And we wanna create that experience that we have wanna have for ourselves, we've gotta invest in the, the mentors that have that available to us, right? That can help us move in the direction that we wanna go, create the goal that we've set our mind to power move Number nine, okay?

This is probably the most important one of all of these is take care of the asset. You are the asset my friend. Mental health is everything. And if you're not taking care of yourself first, even if you have loved ones with health problems, okay, you are gonna burn out. I wanna share with you an experience I had. It was right before Covid.

My mom was in the hospital. She ended up being there two weeks and I, you know, was still working my full-time legal job. I was still working my coaching practice. I was still doing the podcast. I mean, there was, there was all of the things were happening and my mom had to be in the hospital and it was horrible experience, right? But what I knew, because I have been teaching this for years and I have been practicing this for years, is that I needed to take care of myself.

I didn't care what anybody thought about what I was doing for myself. What I knew is I needed to take care of myself or nothing would work. I wouldn't be able to take care of anything that I needed to at the office. Even if, if I was taking some time off for those two weeks, I could do that. But of course there's always things that pop up that you need to connect with the office for.

I needed to take care of the things that were gonna make me feel good. I needed to go do yoga. I needed to get my hair done just to get away from everything I needed to get coaching, which I got coaching during that time. Like I needed to take care of my mental health so that I wouldn't freak out so that I could take care of my mom the way I wanted to so I could talk to the hospital staff that I wanted to in a way that I wanted to so that I could take care of.

Like I have my dog too. It wasn't as if he just disappeared. I could spend time at the hospital. I could spend time at home to, you know, take the dog out. I could, you know, do what I needed to do to take care of my business. And I had to make sure I was first okay? Yes. Love my mom, gave her all the things that she needed during that time.

And if I hadn't taken care of myself first, I would not have been able to do that in a way that was graceful at all. I would've been a hot mess, okay? And I'm sure I probably was a little bit of a hot mess, but definitely not as much of a hot mess as if I hadn't, if I hadn't taken care of myself. Okay? We, when we disconnect from ourselves let me relate this to maybe your law practice, right?

So when we disconnect ourself from ourselves, we cannot connect with anything else really. Okay? We have a relationship with our business, we have a relationship with loved ones and we have a relationship with ourselves. When we disconnect from ourselves by numbing out with alcohol, by numbing out with social media, overworking, like checking email at all hours, allowing calls to come through at all hours, bringing files home, doing all that, thinking about work at all times.

Like when we start to do those things, we're disconnecting from ourselves, okay? We're over indulging in those kinds of things. What we've gotta do is that we've gotta reconnect. And a way to reconnect with ourselves is to put ourselves first. Okay? So that means going out and get your hair done or your nails done or whatever it is to take care of you. Going to the, going to yoga, getting coaching, finding ways to take care of your mental health, going on walks.

Those are things that we have to do first. That's why in my, in like calendaring when I'm working with clients, I say put yourself on the calendar first, okay? You put on your important appointments with the gym, with getting healthy food, with getting meals prepped to make your life function well. Creating those connection points with yourself. Because when you do everything else improves.

That is a huge power move my friend. So even though the, like, let me sum up what we just went through cause we went through a lot here, and I wanna encourage you not to wait until 2023 to implement these. Like you can start implementing these now.

So number one, take a hundred percent responsibility for all of the results happening in your life. Whether it's your law practice, your personal life, whatever it is, take that responsibility and then you start to be able to get creative about how you might be able to change things in your life.

Number two, how you feel matters. Pay attention. Because when we start to pay attention, then we get the awareness we need to make the shifts that we need. Like if you're in a consult and you start noticing your getting graspy and thinking thoughts like, Oh, I need her to, to sign up, then you can like release the reins and say, you know, I really don't need anything from them. Like, I'm okay. Right? All I wanna do here is help them.

Number three, do uncomfortable things. They have the biggest payoff for you financially, personally. Goals. Number four, power, move. Don't give up. There are multiple How's to hit your goal? Your job is to keep the belief that it is happening and find all the ways that you can experiment with to make it happen. The only thing that's gonna keep you from hitting a goal is giving up.

Number five, evaluate everything. Okay? Don't avoid the evaluation because when you do, you are not going to be able to improve what you are getting in life.

Number six, ask for help.

Number seven, be nice to yourself.

Number eight, invest in mentors that are gonna help you get what you want.

And number nine, take care of the asset at all costs. Our brain loves to tell us to do it later. Okay? Oh, well, I'll find time for it later. That's not how it works. Pick one of these power moves that felt the most uncomfortable. Like it, it resonated and it made sense to you, but it felt like a stretch. And I'm gonna challenge you to do something today that is gonna further that power move. If it's talking nice to yourself. Write 10 things down that you like about yourself. If it's taking responsibility for something in your practice that you think is out of your control, what is it?

What action can you take to take responsibility? What might it look like if you decided that you were ultimately the person responsible for that? Not in a judgmental way. Remember, we're being kind to ourselves. It's just in a way that allows you to think differently about the problem so you can make the shifts you need.

And if you are ready to stretch yourself and to uplevel your life and your law practice, book a call with me. We will get you on the track where you want to go, and you can book your call at https://dinacataldo.com/strategysession. You don't have to prepare anything, you don't have any homework before you set up this call with me.

We're just gonna have a conversation about where you are now and where you want to be. And then together we're gonna make a plan for your next move, whether that's working with me or doing something else entirely. All right my friend. I hope you have a lovely rest of your day. Take these power moves into your day, take them into 2023 and go do amazing things. All right, Bye.

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