Thank you for those powerful questions in your response to my question from yesterday. It generated a whole lot of insight when I journaled answers to them this morning.
Years 0-4 of my law career, I was broke and had no money for coaching. I knew what coaching was, and knew it was for “rich” people and not me. I worked in low paying jobs even though other attorneys with similar low levels of experience were making more. I also worked in nonprofits for a spell.
Years 5-9 of my law career, I started my own practice and fumbled my way into a breakthrough that “I am a business.”
Years 10 – 15 of my law career, I have been really clear on being a business and the value of my offer.
My breakthrough in my law practice was the moment that I decided on a niche within my niche that was more lucrative than the one I was doing when I first opened it. I was tired of doing the niche that was more “charity” type work. I had come out of working in nonprofits very disillusioned, which was fertile ground for my aha moment that “I am a business.” And once I decided on the more lucrative niche, I continued to do more “charitable” type cases, and still do them today. I just make more money doing them. And, I have been in a position to help more people on a broader scale.
The successful model is/was:
C: law practice
T: I am a business.
A: Walk in the world as the one who takes the high-value cases. Changed all my SEO and website content to speak to that ideal client. Easily learned how to get better at the chosen niche because I just think of myself as the one who does those cases. Make the clear offer. Turn down the cases that don’t make money without guilt. Take a few charitable cases but make more money at them, and don’t “get in the pool” with those clients.
R: Successful practice.
I loved your reassurance that I don’t restart the clock just because I am building a new business. I have decided that thought works for me. So I worked with the successful model and my evolution with the law practice, and compared that to what is going on with my coaching practice, and this is where I got.
Unintentional model for coaching practice
C: Coaching practice
T: When you’re just starting out at ANYTHING, you’re supposed to take on do-gooder, free, hippie granola nonprofity stuff. [That voice speaks in hushed, earnest tones like interviewees on NPR.]
A: All my marketing speaks to who I was during years 0-5 of my law career, and the problems I had then. Don’t spend much time overcoming objections on consults with women who complain about lack of money.
R: Made only $2500 from coaching so far. Even if my current website content says little about money problems and nothing about student loans, on the whole, it draws in women who complain of no savings, student loan debt, trouble finding or keeping a job or just being in a temporary role — the kinds of things that traditional (free) professional mentoring (should) exist to address. It confirms the thought line.
Intentional model based on what worked in my law practice
C: coaching business
T: I am a business.
A: Spend time exploring the pain points women lawyers have once they are at the point where they are making money at being lawyers; roughly years 3-5-ish and beyond. I know all about it from personal experience and because of the Listservs I’m on with these women. Journal on those problems, how I’ve solved them for myself and how I can help others. (These are relationship problems, and health problems — with the lawyer angle.) Coach the pro bono, super newbie lawyers for practice and experience and look at that as an investment, just like the certification program. Pick a time to decide which of these problems (relationships or health) is going to be the main one I offer to solve.
R: Get coaching practice successful on faster timeline than law practice, because I can be just as clear about it here as I am in the law practice.
This is progress. I have not yet done every action in the intentional model. If you see anything else that could improve my work, I would appreciate it.