Laura Terrell: Cultivating a Business Mindset in Your Legal Career

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Laura Terrell discuss:

  • The increased focus on the business of law.
  • The need for doing marketing in your law practice.
  • Running a law practice is running a business.
  • Understanding your client’s industry and needs not just their legal needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Staying on top of the issues, more so than through a printed publication, is key to staying on top of what is happening in the industry.
  • Have the conversations early in your career about how the law firm is run and what it would take to take the path you want to be on.
  • Don’t be afraid of feedback. Without knowing where you stand, you can be blindsided by decisions made by the firm you work for.
  • To best serve your client in law practice, you need to understand what their concerns are and how it affects business.

“Get comfortable with asking questions and doing investigations. Communicate with the people that can help you.” —  Laura Terrell

Connect with Laura Terrell:  

Website: https://www.lauraterrell.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauralterrell/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lauraterrellcoaching/

Book your FREE consultation with Laura: https://www.lauraterrell.com/consultation

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Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

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Website: Fretzin.com

Email: [email protected]

Book: The Ambitious Attorney: Your Guide to Doubling or Even Tripling Your Book of Business and more!

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Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

firm, lawyers, people, clients, law firms, business, steve, partner, laura, attorneys, practice, career, partnership, overhead, coaching, questions, work, interested, year, important

SPEAKERS

Stephanie Vaughn Jones, Narrator, Steve Fretzin, Laura Terrell, Jordan Ostroff

 

Laura Terrell  [00:01]

Get comfortable asking questions, and doing investigation. communicate with people that can help them.

 

Narrator  [00:12]

You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer Coach Steve Fretzin will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

 

Steve Fretzin  [00:34]

Hey everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am. Who am I? I am Steve Fretzin. Oh boy. It’s been a long day already, I guess. Holy mackerel. Well, Laura is in the wings. How you do Laura. I’m doing great, Steve. Good. Good. hot and muggy down in Atlanta.

 

Laura Terrell  [00:48]

It is today it’s it’s we’re we’re coming out of the heat of summer. But it’s, it’s still pretty intense.

 

Steve Fretzin  [00:54]

Okay, okay. Well, we’re gonna we’re gonna find out all about you in a moment. I want to, obviously welcome everyone to the show. And hopefully you’ve come to learn and take notes and observe and remember this show is called be that lawyer for reason. It’s all about helping you to be that lawyer, somebody who’s confident organized, and a skilled Rainmaker. want to mention that I’ve got four books for sale on Amazon, the most recent legal business development isn’t rocket science is not only being used in some law schools, but also is essentially 51 chapters of my greatest hits. So if you’re interested in checking that out, it’s an international best seller. It’s all they’re all up on Amazon. So feel free to check that out. support my son’s 529 Is what I’m saying. You know, that’s where that money’s going, Laura. So of course have to thank the sponsors legalese marketing, practice, Panther and money, Penny, all terrific partners for the show. And for me, and Laura, you submitted a quote, and I love this quote, It is so important, not only in life and business, but it’s Winston Churchill. Okay, Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Wow, that’s heavy, right?

 

[02:04]

I think it’s true

 

Steve Fretzin  [02:06]

and true in heaven. In our business, something can be true and heavy.

 

Laura Terrell  [02:10]

That’s true. That’s true, accurate average. I like

 

Steve Fretzin  [02:13]

that’s it. That’s it. So why did you submit that quote? What does that sort of mean for you and in your in your world?

 

Laura Terrell  [02:19]

Well, a lot of my clients come to me because they’re feeling isolated, they’re grappling with something really difficult, or they feel like they’ve had a setback, or something seems really hard. And the reality is most of us have had some failure or some setback, it’s important our career, hey, if we’re lucky, we’ve only had one. And getting through that and finding a way to learn from it, move forward, transform, pivot, whatever the next step is, I think, is what makes people stronger, and more successful, whether that’s as a lawyer in practice or in developing their business.

 

Steve Fretzin  [02:54]

Yeah, totally agree. And, you know, I’ve heard, you know, fail forward. And I’ve also, you know, heard, you know, failures, just, you know, something that has to happen to learn and improve. You know, I don’t think anybody gets better without failure without losing without making a mistake, that just, that just doesn’t happen, whether it’s it’s a recipe that you’re trying to perfect or business development as a lawyer, there’s going to be mistakes, and all you can do is continue to move forward and get better. I think that’s sort of the gist, right? Totally agree. Now, Laura Terrell is the executive coach, and she is working with lawyers all over the country, correct? Yes. Yeah. Work with lawyers internationally as well, nationally? Yes, I’d have to hear about that. That’s pretty cool. Does that time the time thing throw you off? Like if you’re working with a lawyer in Sydney, Australia, or something like that?

 

Laura Terrell  [03:43]

No, I’ve worked internationally for many years, including as a practicing lawyer. So it just feels sort of natural. And, you know, we have great tools. Now that automatically put us into the timezone we’re in so we can schedule pretty easily. Yeah,

 

Steve Fretzin  [03:56]

nice. Well, let’s get into your background, because it’s general counsel, it’s big, firm law. It’s a lot that led up to you eventually, you know, being an executive coach and working with attorneys. So give us give us that background and let us understand kind of where you came from.

 

Laura Terrell  [04:11]

Sure. I have, as you say, I’ve been in a number of roles. I started out in government, went into private practice, went back to government service, I was a practicing partner equity partner at two big law firms where I was on executive committees I did training, I was the chair of litigation for one of the offices that I was in. I then moved into publicly traded world moved into publicly traded company and the General Counsel’s Office. And so I’ve have a good variety of experiences. But one of the common threads I found was that people are always looking for guidance, and I enjoy talking with people about where their legal careers go and I enjoy talking with them about the hurdles they hit and the frustrations that they have. And I came to a point where I thought I Want to spend more time doing that not just five minutes snatched in the hallway or in the break room. And my real passion is working with lawyers to try to get them to the goals they have set for themselves, or to figure out what those goals might be, whether it’s, again, in a solo practice and a large law firm, or in some other context,

 

Steve Fretzin  [05:19]

you know, I’d be curious to hear your take, based on your background, and lawyers are working with now. How has it changed in the last, you know, number of years, let’s say 1015 years as it relates to where lawyers attention and focus is within like, trying to, like work their way up at a big firm or just just trying to live the balance life? Like, where are you seeing, like the focus for lawyers these days,

 

Laura Terrell  [05:45]

I think a lot of people are focused on the business aspect, or they should be focused on the business aspect of lawyering, the tools that are available now, whether that’s sophisticated software systems that allow law firms to track, many metrics of billing, profit margin realization, are much better than they were 10, even 15 years ago, and there’s an ability to really see where you are. I know, Steve, you know, in your work, you talk a lot about the the availability through business development, to leverage a lot of things that just didn’t exist or don’t exist in infancy, whether that’s social media, or the ability to connect virtually, the ability to work seamlessly across international boundaries, it has the effect of making lawyers be more nimble, if they want to get ahead and they want to develop their business, they’ve got to be aware of the opportunities there are, you can’t just be in your office looking at a hard copy of Black’s Law Dictionary and your trade journal from the ABA and hardcopy, that’s not where the news is, by the time you get that, and by the time you get that information, that’s old news, what’s coming out daily on the feed in your email box, on your Insta, in your direct messaging with colleagues is vitally important to staying abreast of the issues, not just for your firm or your business. But what’s happening in the broader industry.

 

Steve Fretzin  [07:08]

Yeah, and I think, you know, obviously, this shows about, you know, to some degree, you know, business development and growing a law practice. I mean, we talk about a lot of different things on the show, but that’s clearly what I do. And that’s clearly yet, I find that a lot of attorneys, not the ones listening here, by the way, but other attorneys are not focused on business and not focus on the business development side of things. They’re just cranking out ours, year after year, and not really looking for anything different. And I’m just concerned for them. Because I think, as the world continues to change, that having your own clients, your own book of business, you know, that affords that control in the freedom and the power that other attorneys just don’t have. So are you seeing that as well? And why do you think lawyers are so hesitant to kind of jump in the pool and get more active with growing a law practice?

 

Laura Terrell  [07:58]

Well, I think a lot of people that are lawyers today, still subscribe to what I call old world thinking old mindsets of lawyers don’t need to do marketing lawyers don’t need to do business development, you just do good work, and somebody will notice it and hire you, you have long term relationships with clients that always want to go to Steve, they always want to go to Laura, they are going to search out somebody else. But the realities of the marketplace are so different. Now, companies and clients do look at what your rates are, whether you’ve been effective, whether they need more competition in their pool of legal advisors. And for people that are making the assumption, if I just keep my head down, if I do good work, nobody’s going to be too concerned about whether I bring in clients or whether I’m profitable. That’s a really dangerous mindset. And I think one of the things I see with clients is often trying to get them to take charge of their career and take charge of things like Be your own personal brand, make sure you are doing business development for yourself. I know that’s something you talk about Steve, just individual actions you can take to build your individual business, it is not enough to say I have a great firm or there’s a great, you know, track record behind me I have great partners that I work with, they’ll feed me at work, that is just not going to be the case anymore.

 

Steve Fretzin  [09:17]

Yeah. And it doesn’t mean that it’s easy, right to a make the decision to focus on business development and growing your own client base. It can be easier if you get help through books, videos, podcasts, coaching consultants, mentors, but I think it’s incredibly necessary. And this is how I’m spending every day, you know, of my life. You know, we you know, from week to week is helping lawyers do this. And it’s really frustrating to me when people like I met a guy who was like, a fifth year at a big firm. And he’s like, You know what, I think you and I should talk in a few years. You know, I’m just I don’t know, you know that now’s the right time and I was like, Holy mackerel, like that’s just so backwards in my mind. Like I’m just like, This guy is the perfect client For me, other than, clearly, you know, the attitude or the mindset that this is unnecessary right now.

 

Laura Terrell  [10:07]

I think you’re absolutely right. I see people that are very senior in their careers, and they realize they’re getting to a timeline where they’re thinking about partnership. It’s time for them to be a partner. But they’ve really explored what it means to be a partner, how you make partner in your firm, what the evaluation criteria are, what kind of feedback they need. And, and one of the first questions I ask is, what do you know about partnership in your law firm? If you’re waiting until your 10th year or your 11th year, that’s a pretty late point to be doing it. If you are even contemplating that you might one day want to be a partner in your law firm, for example, I think that fifth year, as you said, needs to be asking some good questions and doing some significant research on what that really means and what that path looks like.

 

Steve Fretzin  [10:57]

Yeah, it’s concerning to me when law firms are intentionally vague about their comp about their about the way that the firm works. And I think they do that because A, they don’t want to deal with it or be because they’re actually making a lot more money by not having that conversation, just having people hammer away. And, and they’re making the lion’s share. And they’re, they don’t want to have that conversation. And ultimately, it’s going to come back or either has or will come back to haunt that firm. And that you know, the way that they’re running things with just very cloudy, you know, decisions about how they’re running stuff.

 

Laura Terrell  [11:29]

I think some law firms are doing a better job. But I think others are maybe falling into the mindset of thinking that you don’t need to tell Junior fee earners, you don’t need to tell junior lawyers about how they’re really being evaluated, that it matters. If you write off in a large amount of time on the bill, that it can make a difference if they’re not being efficient, and working on that memo. And that memo should have required five hours, but they took 15. And some individual attorneys I think are really good about having those conversations. But proactively law firms could be doing I agree with you more, in many instances to have those conversations early. I know some law firms that sit down with their first through third years and actually talk to them about, here’s what the law firm is running on. Here’s what our financial plan looks like. But I think others don’t have that information available. And you really need to seek it out.

 

Steve Fretzin  [12:26]

Yeah, and I’m continually pushing my associate and younger partner clients to bait you know, ask the tough questions and identify, you know, what the path really looks like. Because if they have to generate a half a million to get somewhere, and they don’t realize that, then they might just wait and hold off, and then it takes extra years for them to get there. So it’s, it can be a bit messy with without that clarity. What I think

 

Laura Terrell  [12:50]

that’s true. I would just add to that, Steve, that I think also sometimes people don’t realize the nuances. If you’re in a certain practice group that is really a priority of your firm and commands high rates, and you can bring in work, you may be well positioned within that firm. But if you do a different type of law, let’s say you practice employment law, and bills at a bit lower rate than some of the other practice areas of your firm. And your firm isn’t really valuing that and is constantly pushing you to get rates up. But clients don’t pay that that might not be the right firm for you. If you want to keep practicing employment law, you may need to pivot somewhere. Or you might want to think about a different practice or if your practice areas drying up the way labor law did a number of years ago that it really reduced down the amount of work that was in that area, thinking about a pivot or something that you can make a change on. I also find people are just not realizing that that’s an option.

 

Steve Fretzin  [13:43]

Yeah, that’s really, really great. And so with for you in executive coaching with lawyers, first of all, what level are you generally working is at all levels from young associates all the way up to managing partners and equities. Is there a sweet spot for you? And then what are kind of the main things they’re coming to you with, like on a day to day basis that they’re engaging you for?

 

Laura Terrell  [14:03]

I work with people at different levels, and younger associates that are asking themselves, what’s my next step? Career wise, I may not want to stay at a firm, more senior people that want to make partner, managing partners, members of executive committees, chairs of firms that are grappling with the really heavy burdens that come with being a managing partner and being a leader in the firm. People that have made partner fairly recently and feel like they got dropped off a cliff because now they have the title but they don’t know how to operate as a partner. They don’t know how to make the shift into a partner driven mentality and a partner driven attitude towards business. Yeah, really interesting.

 

Steve Fretzin  [14:47]

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Jordan Ostroff  [15:23]

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Steve Fretzin  [15:46]

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Stephanie Vaughn Jones  [15:50]

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Steve Fretzin  [16:03]

I did not know that. That’s a lot of business going away right there. Let’s cut to the chase. What are you prepared to do for my listeners?

 

Stephanie Vaughn Jones  [16:10]

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Steve Fretzin  [16:24]

Very cool. Thanks. So then what are the things that you’re again in the trenches with them on that? Like, what are you working with them on? Like, what are the main tips or ideas or focus points that you’re that you’re helping them in is, you know, is tactical as you can give us so that the people listening can say, hey, you know what I have that that you know that problem. And here’s a solution. And I can take it and do something with it.

 

Laura Terrell  [16:49]

One of the key things, I think, is for lawyers to get comfortable asking questions, and doing an investigation. It’s funny how many lawyers are comfortable with that in their professional role if they do internal investigations, or if they are a seasoned litigators to do depositions or corporate attorneys that have to make sure they dot every I and cross every T, they’re really careful about that. But when it comes to actually doing the factual investigation or research, what does it take to be a partner? What does partnership look like at your firm? They’re not asking the questions. And I really push clients, first of all, to communicate with people that can help them. If you don’t understand the revenue goals of your firm, if you’re not sure if your profit margin is on the right track for what your firm’s priorities are, if you don’t know the path partnership, who can you ask? And you may have to go to several people, you might need to talk to some people, even outside partners, billing supervisors are great at explaining how that process works, why it’s important within the firm. Those are ways even junior people can do that. But asking those questions and not being afraid to get the feedback of you know, your margins could be better, or this is a tough practice area. Some people are scared to hear what they think might be a negative response. But if you don’t seek the feedback and get some information about where you stand, you might be blindsided by decisions that the firm makes about whether you stay at the firm, whether you get promoted and where you get compensated. Yeah. And I would say

 

Steve Fretzin  [18:18]

across the board, lawyers need to do a better job of of asking questions that could be in a business development networking meeting, it could be in a prospective client meeting where you’re going in with your pitch, or you’re going in with your, you know, this is why I’m so great, or my firms are great, or here’s the solution you’re looking for when they haven’t taken the step back to ask the questions. And so I think we need to agree that that you have to take the skills of questioning in a deposition and in other ways that use questioning and bring that into the business side.

 

Laura Terrell  [18:50]

I think that’s absolutely right. The other areas I see that I’m really emphasized with clients are get smart on financial metrics and definitions. If you don’t know what are PL and ppl and accounts receivable and past due dates mean, you need to get familiar with that I have a lot of attorneys that say I didn’t go to law school to do math. And I would have gone to business school if I wanted to run a business. But running a legal practice is running a business. If you’re an individual lawyer and a large firm, you’re essentially expected to run your own p&l. You were running your own business line and you need to be accountable for that. But you’ve got to understand those terms. I have a client right now that’s in the partnership process. And one of the things that’s coming up is reporting on your partnership form billable hours worked lawyer’s hours attributable to working lawyer originating credit and how those get defined can vary some by each firm and how they get measured is important. So knowing those terms, understanding them that’s taking charge of your own financial future because if you don’t understand them, you again may get surprised from competence. As time comes around, or promotion opportunities are not there.

 

Steve Fretzin  [20:03]

Right. And I used to, you know, and there might be some formulas to that helped by, for example, when I used to, I used to sell franchises in the franchise that we that I was working within, you know, it was it was 30% was your sort of overhead 30% Was your labor, and 30% was profit. And if you were way out of range with any of those three, you know, there was something to look into and take a deeper dive into, you know, why you spending so much on this or so much on that insight? Are there formulas that lawyers can use to, you know, help figure out, like, you know, where they should be. And I know that that may vary from from, you know, solo to big, firm, lawyer, but anything, anything that’s kind of obvious? Well,

 

Laura Terrell  [20:44]

I think there’s some good rules of thumb, like profit margin is a good measurement to look at across firms, regardless of size. Okay, that tool, that metric is important, it may vary at a large firm, you might need to have a much larger profit margin, just given the overhead and the cost of the large firm has a smaller one, it might be a much narrower, maybe it’s 15%, and 20%, instead of 35%, being the goal, but that profit margin is really critical. It tells you a lot about the values of the firm, what they’re looking to achieve. You were you were mentioning, you know, firms don’t want to share the largest. But if you’re being told you need a 40% profit margin. And that just seems daunting. And then your pay isn’t commensurate with that, that also gives you a sense of whether this is the right place for you, or whether the metrics are being fairly applied or in a way that you think is is equitable. I mean, some

 

Steve Fretzin  [21:35]

lawyers might look at it and go, Wait a second, I’m billing it, you know, 750 an hour, I’m putting in 2000 hours a year? What’s the math on that? And then what am I getting out of it, and they might not really like what they see, when they do look at the numbers.

 

Laura Terrell  [21:48]

True. And again, they might like it better at a smaller and midsize firm where the overhead is less, they might also be finding out that a lot of that overhead goes for things that they don’t value, like a lot of first class travel for internal firm events, or a lot of business development, or maybe making sure that the firm partnership meeting every year takes place at a really nice resort somewhere, maybe they would rather spend money differently. And they’re not seeing it come to them in the form of compensation that goes directly into their pockets.

 

Steve Fretzin  [22:18]

And that’s probably why a lot of attorneys and ultimately going out on their own because they realize you know that this overhead is totally unnecessary. And it’s never been easier. Now you want to, you know, give me your side of this. But from my perspective, like, between automation and the information that’s available, and you know, not having to get necessarily big office space, or you know, buy couches and desks and all that, like, you can really make a killing as a solo, if you if you don’t mind some of the aggravation of, you know, putting all the pieces in place, that you could really take your few clients or whatever you have and go on your own and really have a very, you know, very nice lifestyle.

 

Laura Terrell  [22:59]

I think it depends on the type of practice you’re in and what your goals are. If you need a lot of associates to do investigations, document review, if you need large teams if you need a big global group. Sure, sure. National arbitration. Yeah, that’s may not be the path for you. Right, right. But I think a lot of people do question the type of firm, they’re the type of autonomy, they also get to make decisions like that. And look, I think COVID and the reduction in real estate because people are not physically present in the office is part of a continuing trend we’ve seen first you saw law firms moving to better leveraged use of support staff, the days of having one secretary one, attorney, partnerships were just are not there anymore. The days of having big huge offices when a lot of people are basically Hotelling. And coming in for short periods of time is changing the overhead of firms, that’s also creating some pressure from clients to reduce rates and it’s hard to justify the rates of some larger firms with that overhead.

 

Steve Fretzin  [23:58]

Yeah. What other tips are you working on? Or tipsy? Can you share on things that you work on with your clients on a regular basis?

 

Laura Terrell  [24:06]

I’ve worked with a lot of my clients on really cultivating a business mindset around their legal career thinking from day one in your legal career. What’s my business? What am I good at? What do I want to do? And how do those things overlap? And how do I get compensated enough for them? How do I also stay in touch with the industry? I think another part of having a good business mindset is really being aware not just what’s happening in the legal industry, but what’s happening in your clients industries. If there’s a decrease in the number of people that are looking for assistance in coal energy issues, but a real uptick in people that are interested in nuclear or electric, you need to be tracking those trends. If your client is saying, Hey, we’re spending off our consumer business, but we’re going to contain we’re going to retain our commercial pharmaceutical business. You need to know about that. I think one of the thinks that having a business mindset means is looking at your clients with a business mindset. And I’m sure you cover this with a lot of your clients as well, Steve, knowing your client, knowing your industry, you don’t want to sell somebody oranges that is allergic and only eats apples. And if you don’t know things about what’s going on in their business, if you’re not seven, if you don’t ask them to tell you also what’s important to their business, your business is going to suffer because you won’t have as good an understanding of where their needs may be in the future, where their needs now are and how things are pivoting.

 

Steve Fretzin  [25:35]

And I think the other thing we can just add on to that is, you know, when you have clients, and you’re doing good work for them, that’s the baseline. What else are you doing for them? Are you referring them, you know, young GCS to work at their at their company? Are you trying to connect them with new distributors? Are you sending them articles? Are you giving them new law updates? Like how are you build the social relationship? Like how are you? Because if you ultimately decide that you’re going to change firms go on your own, or stay where you are either way, there’s competition beating down their door every day? And so I think, right, yeah.

 

Laura Terrell  [26:10]

And I think they want people that understand the challenges they’re facing. One difficulty, especially for young lawyers, is, it’s great that you’re the best ediscovery person in the firm, it’s terrific that you really understand specific parts of insurance statutes, and regulations and guidelines. But if you’re not looking at your client and talking to your client as a whole person, and that includes the people in the legal department, by the way at your client, you’re not talking to them as a whole person and really understanding what’s worrying them what’s concerning to them. Maybe the biggest concern they have is not that they might run afoul of a certain statute, but that the business unit that’s having that problem is about to go bankrupt. And they’re being asked to really reduce cross across the company. And being sensitive to that. And being aware of that, I think is just good business. Yeah,

 

Steve Fretzin  [26:59]

really good stuff. So if people want to get in touch with you, they want to learn more about about what you do and how they can work with you or check out your blog, what are the best ways for them to get in touch.

 

Laura Terrell  [27:09]

The best way to reach me is on my website, which is Laura terrell.com. Liu, Ra te R R E LL. And I know you’ll put that in the show notes, and people can pick it up there. But I blog there pretty regularly. I’m also on LinkedIn, with topics and updates. And I’m giving and always, of course, pleased to share my thoughts on shows like this, but the best way to learn about me is really to reach out through the blog, and I do offer a free consultation. For people that are interested in coaching. Maybe as a lawyer, you’ve never really thought about coaching or you don’t know what that means. I’m happy to do sort of a mini session with you talk through some things and see whether it’s a good match and whether we can work together.

 

Steve Fretzin  [27:46]

Yeah, that’s wonderful. And I appreciate your offer there. So it’s really for people like career executive, but it is career advancement, right? It’s how do I go further in my life and my career,

 

Laura Terrell  [27:58]

I think is very much how do I get where I want to go in my professional life? Yeah. And that means different things for different people. But most people have some idea of where they want to go. Sometimes we spend some time focusing on exactly what that picture looks like. Maybe you think it’s in house life. Maybe you think it’s private practice. Maybe think it’s partnership, but we do some exploration also sometimes to make sure that’s really what’s on your mind.

 

Steve Fretzin  [28:23]

Yeah, really great stuff. And you also submitted a game changing book, and it’s working identity unconventional strategies for reinventing your career. What do you love about that book?

 

Laura Terrell  [28:34]

Well, I love her main. And Barbara, who’s the author, she was a professor at Harvard Business School for many years, I think she’s now at the London Business School, organizational pH, organizational culture and management PhD. The book is really about people that want to take something they’re doing and they want to change something in their life, sometimes they find that they come back to where they were, maybe they still want to be a practicing lawyer, they still want to be a securities analyst. But some of them have taken different detours, she offers a lot of practical tips for how to explore different possibilities, and how to get comfortable with them. Four main piece of advice is instead of deciding you want to do something and just going out and doing it, play with it first, experiment with it, give it a try, check it out. And I think that’s good advice for people that are thinking about maybe a career pivot or a career shift.

 

Steve Fretzin  [29:24]

I really think that’s a good idea. So you don’t quit your day job, you you, you know, so for example, coaching, right, you and I could keep our day jobs, and then we could try to you know, hey, let me try coaching a couple people. Let me go through a coaching class or do something like that, and why I really felt that was a lot more gratifying than, you know, maybe billing hours or doing things that maybe aren’t as exciting or fun or interesting. I’m not trying to talk everybody into coaching, by the way, but it’s not for everybody.

 

Laura Terrell  [29:50]

I think that’s a good point. You know, if someone is interested in maybe in moving from a law firm in house, maybe this is a conman opportunity. Maybe you offer to see if you can go work for a club. I had for a few months or even shadow a client in house for a few weeks, I know companies that have done that. It’s a great way to get an inside view about what that

 

Steve Fretzin  [30:08]

really feels like. Yeah, I think it’s better than pushing your chips in before you really know what you’re getting into anytime you can dip your toe versus pushing, you know, versus just diving in a bunch of analogies there that all mishmash together. So, but you get the gist, everybody, there’s opportunities to learn before you go all in on something, which I think is really good advice. So Laura, thank you so much. I appreciate all your wisdom. And again, your background is tremendous. And I hope that you get some calls from people who see you as a valid asset, you know, in their in their world and as they advance in their career.

 

Laura Terrell  [30:42]

So thank you so much, Steve, it has been a pleasure. I’m a big fan. And it’s been great talking with you

 

Steve Fretzin  [30:47]

today. Awesome. And hey, everybody, thank you for spending some time with Lauren, I hopefully you got a couple of good takeaways and some, some just getting your head in the right place to at least have an open mind to, you know, coaching or learning or thinking about your future and how you’re going to get there. And again, it’s not something you have to do alone. There’s a lot of great people and Laura is one of them to help you figure that stuff out. And if you’re interested in business development and learning how to build clients, that’s my jam. If you’re interested in figuring out where your future is. That’s the worst jam I think there’s a good there’s a good case to be made for both of those. So, anyway, thank you so much, everybody, be safe be well, we’ll talk again soon.

 

Narrator  [31:28]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretzin.com For additional information, and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes