Start by listing all the things you are thankful for in your own life. Did you get more educated about the law or your particular business? Don't forget that includes lessons about what not to do. Be thankful that client tried to screw you out of the thousands of dollars they should have paid you for a job well done despite the circumstances -- which were their fault. As a result of that situation, you know you cannot trust that client and that you should take even more steps to fully evaluate the truthfulness of what a client represents to you about their legal situation. Furthermore, you now see the holes in your retainer agreement or business contract. Experience taught you how you can improve it, which comes in handy when you have to use legal measures to collect.
Next you list all the people around you that you are thankful for. For example, that unhumble person you met at the networking event who seems to have had all their opportunities handed to them including their cushy job. Be thankful that your business struggles have humbled you to become a human being. You now can never look at another business person the same way again. In fact you respect them more and and they like you because they know you get them. Voila! rapport built and new client retained.
Next think about the world around you. For example, struggles sent your way due to an economic environment that disfavors small businesses because of massive city state and federal taxes --- New York City. Be grateful that you have learned to be cognizant of all the different ways you can deduct your expenses for your personal and corporate taxes. As a result of feeling the heat you were motivated to attend lectures on bookkeeping and basic accounting held by the New York City Small Business Administration. You are now able to help your business clients navigate the possible mines of getting too creative with deductions.
I promise you that if you make it a practice to think about what you are thankful for first, in evaluating the progress of your business, your mood will be better and you will be better able to keep pressing forward!
In my last blog post I discussed my experience with the fire walk at Life Coach Tony Robbins' Conference 'Unleash the Power Within', which was held in Newark, New Jersey last weekend. This week I realized that I needed to start developing some techniques to change my state. According to Tony, the most important thing you can do is control your state. That is the only way you will meet your goals. Running any business, such a my legal practice Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law P.C., comes with ups and downs in income. Sometimes the dip is so low I cannot immediately see a way out of it. When I started employing Tony's techniques to change my state, I realized a change in the direction of my circumstances and it can work for you too!
Number 1: When a negative thought comes into your head. Question it. Your bank account is running low and you start thinking "how am I ever going to get another client?" Instead of starting on a downward roller coaster of emotions, you should say, by doing what I did in the past to get clients and developing some new techniques by learning from experts in the field of marketing.
Number 2: Do something to lighten your mood. Try mimicking Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movie. Do it! I bet you that you will instantly start smiling because it's absolutely absurd for a serious lawyer or business person such as yourself to do that!
Number 3: Move your body. Pay attention to the way your body sets itself when a stressful or unreasonable circumstance comes your way. Do you slouch? Do you tense up? You have to shake it off! Jump up and shout yes! go to take a walk around the block or hit up your gym. You can do power strokes with your hands and shout yes dozens of times in the mirror! You know you've got this, you just have to convince yourself. With the renewed sense of confidence you are sure to see the solution to your problem.
Number 4: Listen to something that inspires you! Tony Robbins and many other great motivational speakers like Jake Ducey, Les Brown and others post both short and long videos that you can take a mere 10 minute listen to for the inspiration you need to continue on with your day!
Running a business can be more painful than fracturing an ankle. But for those who do, the freedom to direct your own life is worth it. The key is recognizing that its the battle of your mind, not those around you, which is the key to success.
This past weekend I attended Tony Robbin's 'Unleash the Power Within' Conference. Tony Robbins is a world reknowned Motivational Speaker and Life Coach. Mr. Robbins has a created a multi-billion dollar company helping people learn how to use the power of their minds to achieve great things. He has coached some of the greatest minds of finance and business. He currently coaches Billionaire Investor Ray Dalio and has coached such notables as Princess Diana. Attending his event this weekend firmly reminded me that my ability to succeed in business has everything to do with what is in my mind. Running my practice Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law P.C. is my own personal chess game.
For the second time, I participated in Mr. Robbins' famous fire walk. Participants use the power of their minds to walk accross hot coals burning at 2,000-3,000 degrees--without burning. As a reference, a hot stove reaches only around 670 degrees maximum. Although I had successfully completed the walk last year without sustaining life threatening burns, I observed that both my inner voices and the speech of my peers were my worst enemy in completing the task yet again. It was the walk from the stadium to the parking lot, where the coals burned red, which was the most critical part of my journey to success. I had to block them out. I intended to cross the coals this time without the sore feet and tiny blister I experienced last year. I firmly believe that it was my legal training that caused that. Similarly, being trained to look for the negative can be damaging to a struggling business. I knew my success depended on how I used my mind. This was my opportunity to prove that if I did an even better job at blocking out the negative voices, I would avoid any burning sensation whatsoever.
Right before I crossed the threshold was the hardest part. I felt the terror of my peers who started to panic when they saw the burning coals. They started saying 'no' 'no' but I screamed 'yes' 'yes.' I knew that if I did not block out their negativiity, I would fail. It was critical to push back the assault on my mind. I kept chanting 'yes' 'yes 'yes' and swooshed my arms in the assertive position Tony had taught to us. I faced fear in the face like Tony said to and seemed to effortlessly glide accross the hot coals while chanting cool moss, cool moss to counter the apparent reality of the burning coals beneath my feet. When I reached the other side, my feet didn't hurt at all and I had no blisters! What changed? My mind. The only reason I was able to cross the burning coals was that I was constantly telling myself I would succeed and actively blocked all the negative voices around me.
As a business owner, you will only succeed if you protect your mental integrity. If you don't control your mind, you will fail in life and business. Although you cannot control what is in your environment 100%, you can control your mind by what words you allow yourself speak. Don't express everything that comes into your mind. Fight the inner voices and the outer naysayers with a daily practice. Do not allow poisonous clients into your life or else risk losing everything you have built. Although this practice may be challenging at first, you will build a muscle that will strengthen over time. You will be able to give more value to your clients and your family. As lawyers we have a dangerous tendency to assume our education gives us superior knowledge. But just as we must constantly learn the law, we must take the time to learn about ourselves. We must realize that any barriers we think exist are really just in our minds.
PS: Yes those are my feet less than an hour after my firewalk on November 8, 2018. Warning! Do not try this without the guidance of a professional trained in this process like Tony Robbins!
I used to think that another country's economic problems could never inspire me to overcome mine. That was before I left on my trip to Egypt where I toured the land of the Pharaohs for the first two weeks of this past October 2018. I run a solo legal practice in New York City. I needed to get out, away from the struggles and challenges of running my practice, Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law, P.C. I chose Egypt as my escape because I knew I would learn something. I planned to forget about my business struggles and gain insight into my life direction.
Egypt is a land rich with history but lacking in prosperity. Until my trip to Egypt I had never seen animals walking around with their ribs exposed. Nor had I ever been in a place like Cairo where it is a way of life for many to never give anything, be it advice or directions, without demanding money. It is not because they are not kind or giving, its because they have nothing. When you have nothing, you find something to sell pretty quickly.
Similarly, when you are struggling in a new legal practice, you have an advantage. Problems force us to find solutions and as Lawyers it our ability to solve problems which we sell. We need to recognize that our problem solving ability is a valuable commodity that should not be given out so freely that we burn out.
I met many people are on my trip to Egypt. I met my peers who had never left their country and yet their humility told me they knew alot about life. They are also sophisticated because they constantly meet people from all over the world who come to see the splendors of Egyptian history. The tour guides in Egypt and surrounding countries must be licensed to guide tourists and are generally well educated. In Egypt the only real industry is tourism. After the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, the lack of tourism was like a plague to the Egyptian economy. My tour guide Nader struggled through the lean years in the tourism industry which came after the revolution, by working in a customer service call center owned by an American company for two years. The American company did not pay well because they knew they didn't have to. Despite having earned a masters degree and having engaged in constant self learning, he was stuck working in a call center. Nader told me it was the worst two years of his life but in hindsight he learned alot about Americans and human behavior in general. He learned that not every American was good but that not every American was bad either. He learned how to be a better business person because he had to constantly deal with people who were calling with a problem.
If you can't deal with people, don't go into business and don't even think about a legal practice. I can not tell you how many times my last experience with a difficult client helped me easily deal with the next one. Improve upon your people skills and you will improve your ability to run a business.
As Americans we have no excuse not to be prosperous. We have every advantage at the tip of our fingers. We can go wherever we want and say whatever we want. Even the poorest of us have access to healthcare, food and clothes. Egypt is a socialist society where in theory everyone is supposed to have equal access to healthcare and other resources. But, in reality the country has a large lower class which considers happiness to be having somewhere to lie their head at night and having food in their bellies. Egypt has little or no middle class and only about a dozen families monopolize the wealth. In America we have the luxury of the ability to complain without consequence about our government and change it. We can use the internet to sell ideas and influence even if we don't have the money to invest in inventory. We can move between societal classes and confidently start a business knowing that the prosperity in our country is not reserved for a special class with special access. American entrepreneurs come from every class and background.
After my trip to Egypt, I realized how spoiled I was. I was complaining about not bringing in enough revenue to a new legal practice while I lived in the East Village and attended several charity events a month--all while paying my bills on-time. I realized I had no excuse not to keep pressing forward. I had to remember that the early struggles of my business were the only ones that were going to prepare me for my later success. I had to remember to 'never look down on your small beginnings.' While I was in Egypt Nader's former professor, the current Minister of Tourism, led First Lady Melania Trump on her tour of the Pyramids. He was well prepared. He began his career has a tour guide. It made be think about what my struggles were preparing me for and I realized that I could never know unless I kept pressing forward.
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P.S. I had a wonderful time in Egypt and I highly recommend that everyone go see Egypt with a licensed tour company. The people are wonderful and the experience will change your life! Check out my trip photos here: Egypt 2018