The Lawyer’s Escape Pod
Given the time commitment and uncertainty, is entrepreneurship worth it?

Given the time commitment and uncertainty, is entrepreneurship worth it?

October 11, 2022

The truth is that building a business you care about does take time, and there's no way to have a clean, complete map of the process in advance that guarantees success.

And in this episode, I argue that it's still worth.

It has a lot to do with the fact that a heart-centered business is more than a job, it's a life project. And when you look at it like that, the journey is more than worth the cost.

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The Sick of Being Stuck Workshop Series (Starts October 12): https://megansmiley.com/sick-of-being-stuck-workshop

Janelle Christian leaves BigLaw to build her dream life and business

Janelle Christian leaves BigLaw to build her dream life and business

September 28, 2022

I am so excited to have Janelle Christian as my guest this week. Janelle tells us about her attempts to find her place within different law firm settings, and her ultimate realization that the law was just not for her. She initially launched an interior design firm, which led to people asking her how she started her business, which has ultimately led to her running a hugely successful business and branding strategy company. 

There are so many nuggets of wisdom in this episode for anyone thinking about taking a leap into entrepreneurship. 

Specifically, we discuss:

  • How the pandemic brought up some existential questions about how Janelle was spending her life
  • Trusting in your ability to figure things out and be resilient 
  • Immersing yourself with people doing what you want to do
  • How Janelle publicly shared what she was doing, which helped get her business off the ground and grow organically
  • Getting coaching support will help catapult you to the next level
  • Janelle’s true north is the lifestyle she wants, not a particular business model
  • Health insurance does not need to be a deal breaker

 

Connect with Megan!

Daydreams to Designs Private Podcast: https://bit.ly/daydreamstodesigns

Employee to Entrepreneur Quiz: https://bit.ly/employeetoentrepreneurtype

Schedule a Catalyst Call: https://megansmiley.com/schedule-a-call

Website: https://www.megansmiley.com/

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Connect with Janelle!

Janelle’s Website: https://janellenicole.co/

What coaching actually involves and if it’s for you

What coaching actually involves and if it’s for you

September 20, 2022

The truth is, the answer to what coaching looks like and who it’s for is much like the answer to most legal questions: it depends. 

It does. It depends on the coach, their approach, the intended outcome, the timeline, etc.

And I know how confusing and unhelpful that can sound. In a world where you’re already lacking clarity and feeling overwhelmed, I’m hoping to help bring some transparency to it - at least with respect to how I work.

So, in an attempt to demystify what it looks like in this episode I discuss:

  • What coaching is versus consulting, and how my work is a mix
  • What kinds of goals and challenges my coaching is tailored to  
  • How to know if you’re a good fit for coaching
  • How to identify if coaching isn’t for you, at least yet (just as important!)
  • When it is time to explore coaching support
  • The right energy and mindset to approach coaching with

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Connect with Megan!

 

Schedule a Catalyst Call: https://megansmiley.com/schedule-a-call

Daydreams to Designs Private Podcast: https://bit.ly/daydreamstodesigns

Employee to Entrepreneur Quiz: https://bit.ly/employeetoentrepreneurtype

Website: https://www.megansmiley.com/

Age & Authenticity: Work, Life and Style After 40

Age & Authenticity: Work, Life and Style After 40

September 13, 2022

Melanie Lippman, a style and image coach, and I co-hosted a webinar last month called Age & Authenticity: Work, Life & Style After 40. It was such a good conversation, I wanted to share it with all of you on the podcast.

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • How to embrace, rather than resist, your evolution
  • How to connect with your personal values and desires
  • How to explore and experiment without judgment 
  • How to let go of other peoples' expectations and all the "shoulds" that weigh on you
  • How it’s never too late to switch gears and honor your authentic self

Melanie sees this topic through the lens of personal style.

I see it with people who realize the practice of law (or traditional employment generally) isn’t aligned with who they are and how they want to live their next chapter.

It’s a really rich conversation that I know will resonate with so many of you.

Connect with Megan!

Daydreams to Designs Private Podcast: https://bit.ly/daydreamstodesigns

Employee to Entrepreneur Quiz: https://bit.ly/employeetoentrepreneurtype

Schedule a Catalyst Call: https://megansmiley.com/schedule-a-call

Website: https://www.megansmiley.com/

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Connect with Melanie!

Melanie’s Website: https://www.melanielippman.com/

Melanie’s Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/showupandbeseennow

Melanie’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melanielippman/

Using new school year energy to jumpstart your next chapter

Using new school year energy to jumpstart your next chapter

September 6, 2022

There's just something about back-to-school energy. There's a sense of hope and possibility. And it's a great opportunity to refocus and recommit to the big career changes you've been wanting to make.

 

In this episode, I share some ideas for how you can set yourself up for success and make this the year you get off the carousel of doom in your current career, find clarity, and make progress on the path to your new life.

 

Connect with Megan!

Daydreams to Designs Private Podcast: https://bit.ly/daydreamstodesigns

Schedule a Catalyst Call: https://megansmiley.com/schedule-a-call

Website: https://www.megansmiley.com/

A New Paradigm for Success

A New Paradigm for Success

July 5, 2022

This week I share my thoughts on how we can buck the system and define success on our own terms. I think the new paradigm of success is centered on you being self-actualized and of true service, rather than being the best rule follower out there.

I also shared some wise, if salty, words from my mom. 

It would be her birthday today. 

I recently came across a submission she made to her alumni magazine for her 25th reunion. Parts made me cry. Parts made me smile. And parts made me think I really would have enjoyed her. At 11, she was still just “mom” - not a whole person with interesting world views…

Anyway - here she is wrapping up her entry to the alumni magazine with a mic drop challenge to traditional success:

“I suppose that in conclusion, I should mention how essential my Wellesley experience was in shaping my life. Actually, I don’t think it was. I went through the four years longing to be out, and I’m sure I wasn’t taking advantage of all the intellectual possibilities. But I have learned that there are a lot of smart, achieving people in the world who didn’t go to Wellesley or anyplace like it and I get worn down by the self-congratulating, ‘aren’t we all great, we went to Wellesley’ attitude that comes through so oppressively in the pages of the alumna magazine.”

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Connect with Megan!

Daydreams to Designs Private Podcast: https://bit.ly/daydreamstodesigns

Employee to Entrepreneur Quiz: https://bit.ly/employeetoentrepreneurtype

Schedule a Catalyst Call: https://megansmiley.com/schedule-a-call

Website: https://www.megansmiley.com/

Kristen Gyolai combines law and entrepreneurship

Kristen Gyolai combines law and entrepreneurship

June 21, 2022

Kristen Gyolai is the owner of The Law Office of Kristen Gyolai & Lure of Law. She started her career at a high-volume law firm. She enjoyed the practice of law but 5 years in, she was feeling burnt out and needed a change. After considering her options, she ultimately decided to start her own law firm. That has proven to be exactly the right fit for her. She is now also the founder of Lure of Law, where she helps show other attorneys how possible it is to start their own firm.

 

In this episode we discuss:

 

  • Kristen realized that traditional law practice wasn’t the lifestyle she wanted to live
  • She didn’t hate practice, but hated the system
  • How Kristen decided to start her own firm
  • Running the business and doing the legal work on her own didn’t worry her, but the fear of not finding clients and failing weighed heavily on her
  • She decided she wanted this enough to fail trying
  • There are some unknowns, but you can trust yourself to learn and figure things out
  • Kristen tells us how she found her first clients
  • There’s a growing trend of starting solo practices

 

Connect with Kristen!

Kristen Gyolai Website: https://kristengyolai.com/

Lure of Law Website: https://lureoflaw.com/

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

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Connect with Megan!

Daydreams to Designs Private Podcast: https://bit.ly/daydreamstodesigns

Employee to Entrepreneur Quiz: https://bit.ly/employeetoentrepreneurtype

Schedule a Catalyst Call: https://megansmiley.com/schedule-a-call

Website: https://www.megansmiley.com/

Lauren Kay teaches us about Human Design and creating a portfolio career

Lauren Kay teaches us about Human Design and creating a portfolio career

June 7, 2022

Lauren Kay is the host of the Legally Different Podcast, a Human Design expert, and a lawyer practicing on her terms. Lauren tells us about her journey of quitting the law in search of something more fulfilling. She identified freedom as her top value, and with that as a guiding principle, has been able to construct a portfolio career. She consults as a lawyer, which allows her to work the hours she wants from wherever she chooses. And she has been able to lean into her other interests, starting her podcast and Human Design business.

 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • That Lauren followed her intuition to quit and travel
  • How Lauren thought there was only one way to practice law, and it wasn’t for her
  • The confusion of disconnecting from the label and identity of “lawyer”
  • Lauren’s realization that freedom was her top value, and how that helped her create and follow aligned opportunities 
  • Finding legal work on a consulting basis
  • How Lauren’s personal growth journey led her to understand her interests and purpose more
  • Human Design basics

Connect with Lauren!

Legally Different Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/legally-different/id1536355826

Book a Human Design Session: https://calendly.com/legallydifferent/human-design-foundational-1-hour?back=1&month=2022-06

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

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Connect with Megan!

Daydreams to Designs Private Podcast: https://bit.ly/daydreamstodesigns

Employee to Entrepreneur Quiz: https://bit.ly/employeetoentrepreneurtype

Schedule a Catalyst Call: https://megansmiley.com/schedule-a-call

Website: https://www.megansmiley.com/

Mary Adkins leaves BigLaw litigation to become a novelist

Mary Adkins leaves BigLaw litigation to become a novelist

May 24, 2022

Mary Adkins is a former BigLaw litigator turned writer. She is author of the novels When You Read This (Indie Next Pick, “Best Book of 2019” by Good Housekeeping and Real Simple), Privilege (Today.com “Best Summer Read,” New York Post “Best Book of the Week”), and Palm Beach (recently named one of the New York Post’s “Best Books of 2021”). Her books have been published in 13 countries, and her essays and reporting have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and more. She is also a writing coach and founder of The Book Incubator, a 12-month program to write, revise, and pitch your novel or memoir. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Getting into law to make a positive impact, but then taking a BigLaw job
  • Feeling misaligned with your work, and coming to not care about it at all
  • Prioritizing taking writing classes even with a crazy schedule
  • Taking a bridge job to allow the time and space to pursue more writing
  • Realizing that a lot of the roadblocks to making a change aren’t as immovable as we tell ourselves they are
  • How to build a writing career
  • How the Enneagram plays out for lawyers and writers 

 

Connect with Mary:

 

Website: https://maryadkinswriter.com/

 

Apply to The Book Incubator: https://www.thebookincubator.com/apply-novel-writing-program

 

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

 

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Connect with Megan!

 

Daydreams to Designs Private Podcast: https://bit.ly/daydreamstodesigns

 

Employee to Entrepreneur Quiz: https://bit.ly/employeetoentrepreneurtype

 

Schedule a Catalyst Call: https://megansmiley.com/schedule-a-call

 

Website: https://www.megansmiley.com/

From partner to entrepreneur: Embracing your second act

From partner to entrepreneur: Embracing your second act

April 26, 2022

Erika Cole built a thriving, very specialized law practice advising churches and other faith-based organizations. After running her own firm, she merged her practice and became a partner at a larger firm. She enjoyed the work. And from the outside, all the boxes of success were checked. But, something in her told Erika that this chapter was complete. She was ready for a new challenge. And she was ready for an even greater degree of freedom and flexibility. Leveraging the specialization she’d developed, she’s now serving a similar audience as she had in practice, but from a new angle. She runs a conference, hosts the Church Law podcast, and has launched a 6-week course for burned-out pastors.

I had the pleasure of having Erika in a program I ran last summer, and seeing the leap she’s made in less than a year is really inspiring. Not surprising to me (as you’ll hear), but definitely inspiring. 

For anyone questioning whether you’re too deep into practice to leave now, or if there’s really time for a second act - this episode is for you.

 

Connect with Erika:

Website: https://www.erikacole.com/

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Connect with Megan!

 

Daydreams to Designs Private Podcast: https://bit.ly/daydreamstodesigns

 

Schedule a Catalyst Call: https://megansmiley.com/schedule-a-call

 

Website: https://www.megansmiley.com/

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