I was recently asked “What is it about this job you are passionate about?”
My first thought was that I do not have a job, I have a mission. And that mission keeps me focused day after day.
My mission is to make Burn Bright (not burnout) the norm in the Legal Profession – one lawyer at a time if I have to!
My second thought was another question – why am I so passionate about that any way?
So, I pondered and I reflected and the answer came to me.
I would like to share it with you now, both as a way of capturing my thoughts for future reflection and also to hold myself accountable on the days when my faith and resolve may waver (because they do from time to time don’t they when your inner critic volume turns up a little!).
Here we go.
When I was younger, I was so desperate to make a difference, to help others, to be significant and to matter. The route I chose to do that was the Legal Profession.
I worked my butt off studying for my legal exams, put myself through the Legal Practice Course, worked as a paralegal for a year, whilst waiting patiently for that golden ticket of a training contract to land. I completed my training contract and qualified as a solicitor in 2001.
Then, it was like everything came to a crashing holt and I became directionless. I had achieved my goal and now I had no idea what to do with it. I was qualified, I had my own case load, I had a monthly billable target and I honestly had no idea how to ‘be’ a solicitor!
I knew how to pass exams and how to write assignments and I also had a reasonable understanding of Solicitors Accounts and how to negotiate in court. But really, the actual day to day workings of being a solicitor were a complete mystery to me.
At the time, I felt I had no-one to ask. Everyone else seemed to know exactly what to do, how to act, how to keep on top of things even when they were incredibly busy. I thought it was just me who was struggling with what I now know to be imposter syndrome.
What does all this have to do with why I am passionate about my mission to make Burn Bright the norm in the Legal Profession?
Well, if I had had a ‘me’ back then, a coach or a mentor, someone to ask the questions that kept me awake at night about how to be the best solicitor I could be, I would not have felt so isolated, so confused, so baffled by how everyone else seemed to be coping apart from me!
Having that support and understanding and space to find the answers that I was searching for could have made all the difference and I may not even have left the Legal Profession. Who knows?
I recall asking a couple of Senior Partners once what I needed to do to become a great solicitor. One of them told me to read more books and the other told me I had to be ruthless.
At the time, the advice did not help. In fact, the ruthless comment triggered my imposter syndrome even more as it just was not in my nature to be that way therefore how could I make it as a lawyer?
Nowadays, I happen to follow those two pieces of advice consistently in that I am always reading books around my field of expertise in addition to self-development and entrepreneurial topics. Plus, I am now ‘ruthless’ when it comes to ensuring I take care of the most important asset in my business – me!
So, to fully answer why am I passionate about my mission?
It is because I want to support as many lawyers as possible as they navigate the roller coaster of experiences that working in the Legal Profession provides, in a way which enables them to grow in confidence and ability and allows them to become the success they dreamt of becoming when they first set out on their journey.
I want to help as many lawyers as possible to overcome the stress and overwhelm they encounter on a daily basis that makes them doubt their ability to be great lawyers.
I want to turn the volume down on imposter syndrome in the Legal Profession and turn it up on self-belief.
The Legal Profession is an incredible profession which needs to keep its incredible people.
That is my why!
What is yours?