There is a paradigm shift happening in business.
Take the most antiquated professional service –law- and look at the business model. There is no shortage of articles, courses or consultants floating about teaching how to implement creative pricing strategies that flip the billable hour model.
This is a major paradigm shift and a HUGE opportunity.
A paradigm is a set of rules, beliefs or assumptions by which a society lives. As an attorney (who left the practice of law, recovered, and recalibrated) I’ve immersed myself in the world of entrepreneurism. My findings show that lawyers, leaders and newly minted entrepreneurs are not all leveraging the ‘new paradigm' to their advantage and the effects are detrimental.
Why? People are stuck in the way things ‘should’ be done, always were done, or the way they think they’re supposed to be done. These are just ideas. A better idea is to implement new, creative, and lucrative business models and pricing strategies that result in more money, more fun, more joy and more ease. I didn’t say work/life balance on purpose.
Creating your own paradigm –obviously within the parameter of ethics in your industry- means you don’t need to separate work and life (work life balance) because you love what you do and you create a lifestyle that allows you to be who you really are in your business and personal life.
Living an authentic life means you create your life on purpose. You decide what you want and what you don’t want. You compromise enough to succeed and help others succeed but you don’t compromise on big things like how you want to work, with whom you want to work, and how and what you do for work. How do you do this? Creative business models and pricing strategies.
Mavericks (risk takers) are willing to challenge the status quo.
You do need a little bit of maverick mojo to adopt a new business model and implement creative billing strategies. Why? Because people resistant to change (non-mavericks) are comfortable with the way things have always been and if you haven’t noticed, things are changing rapidly! In today’s rapidly changing market you need to build some maverick muscle to fully leverage a robust financial and lifestyle opportunity that is at open auction “NOW.”
To adopt a new business model or new and creative value based pricing strategy means you have to educate your customers or clients. It may also mean you have to ‘sell’ the idea to partners or managers, the CEO or the Board.
Regardless if you’re a one person show or a large firm, there are 2 things you need to master to fully leverage the paradigm shift.
1. Mindset –is it fixed or growth?
1. Mindset –is it fixed or growth?
What is a mindset? A mindset is made up of a set of beliefs- a belief system.
People with a fixed mindset tend to believe things are as they are and shouldn’t change. Why change something that’s not broken. They’ll resist seeing ‘broken’ until collapse. Change is uncomfortable for people with a fixed mindset and they tend to think we’re born with certain skills and we don’t change much.
People with a growth mindset believe that with intention we can grow and learn new skills, they seek change and adopt to new situations more easily than those with fixed mindsets.
You can have a growth mindset in one area and a fixed mindset in another.
For example you may be an out of the box thinker and believe we can change. You may believe change is good and you’re always learning new ways to do things. Yet at the same time you may have a fixed mindset when it comes to money. It may show up as detesting sales, ideas about what influences the purchasing decisions of your clients, or how money is generated. (If you're grunting here you may have a fixed mindset when it comes to money).
The idea is, to maximize your income potential in the new paradigm using creative business models and pricing strategies, you must be willing to do some personal investigating into your own beliefs about money, business, sales, and negotiation.
You’ll be negotiating and selling new ideas internally in your firm, and/or yourself, and with your clients. You must know the facts, the mindsets of who you need to educate and you must be ready to meet objections.
Knowing your personal beliefs about money and business paradigms and whether you have inner hidden conflicts that may interfere is crucial for positioning yourself, your ideas, and your value proposition. When you’re transparent with yourself in this department, you’re fully in a growth mindset and you’re more aware and armed with tools to help get your opponents on board with your vision. It's sales.
I tell young people, learn sales if nothing else. I wish I learned sales from a young age, and not just selling for others. When you sell your own service, you have to self-promote and it sometimes ‘feels’ like you’re selling yourself.
This brings up all kinds of weird stories, beliefs, and feelings. Becoming good at sales is part emotional, part mindset, part competence, and mostly confidence. When you’re able to uncover your unique selling proposition and show a possible client, colleague or whoever you wish to sell your idea, position, product or service to, you must articulate a return on investment.
We are selling all day long. We sell to our children, why they need to brush their teeth. We sell to our colleagues when we want to them to jump on board with our vision. We sell to our clients when we believe our service will enhance their life.
Yet, there is a scary part of the population (I don’t know the statistic) that shies away from sales at ALL COSTS. With a fixed mindset, they’re doomed. With a growth mindset, it’s possible to learn the skills and confidence of selling and create a massive paradigm shift in your world. If I did it, anyone can learn it!
Taking these two essentials for success into account, no matter what your profession it behooves you to adopt a growth mindset and get good at sales.
Getting good at sales means clearing up any idea you may have about why it’s awful to sell, why you detest people who sell, or why you 'hate' sales. There are usually inner hidden conflicts around money at the root when someone resists sales. The most beautiful thing I’ve learned (because I was someone who resisted sales at all costs- in fact I’d go into a catatonic state before making a sales call just a few short years ago), is that becoming masterful at sales is the most gorgeous journey of personal growth.
A new level of self-worth emerges, a new layer of confidence revealed, and a new lawyer of who you really are is allowed to shine when you take a stand for what you believe in, what you’re worth, and how you claim it. When you do this for yourself you become more valuable to your clients, your firm and the world. When we grow we lift others.
I'd love to hear your comments below.
You can have what you want, you can have it sooner than you think, and you are more powerful than you believe.
Have you ever felt like you gave your power away unintentionally? Like one minute you're feeling in control, grounded and moving forward. Something triggers you or someone with the wrong attitude says something and you're thrown off course, feeling small, unable to access your inner power and take a stand for yourself and your brilliance?
Those moments suck. They're part of the human experience. Until they're not.
Inner power or inner strength exist in a location.
Imagine there are coordinates for this location- your source of inner strength. When you know these coordinates and you anchor them with a feeling or sensory movement in your body- and practice accessing them when you're actually feeling powerful, in alignment and good, you'll be able to call on these reserves, access your power spot, and melt away the daggers that take you off your game.
Would you like to give this a try?
Take one minute and do this exercise with me now. First read through the 4 steps then do them.
Step #1 - Find your coordinates
Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and release and tension. Squeeze your shoulders up to your ears and HOLD. Then exhale and release your shoulders (dramatically) and let everything go.
With your eyes closed, lift your chest up and head up- like you're wearing an 'S' on your chest (Superhero). Deep breath in again and exhale.
Picture in your mind a time when you felt powerful and felt yourself influencing others- in a positive way. Smile a little. Just KNOW you're powerful. Remember people DO look up to you. Feel that for a minute. Let it sink in. If you're an athlete, litigator, martial artist, arbitrator, executive, dancer, team leader, healer, teacher- whatever you do where you FEEL important and powerful, think of that and hold it in your mind. Smile, Where do you feel a good sensation in your body? In your chest? In your stomach? In your forehead? This feeling may or may not come easy for you. But if you focus - give your attention, you will notice a feeling of 'good' somewhere in your body.
Place your hand there. This is your coordinate.
Step #2 - Anchor your coordinates
Stand up and hold your body in a powerful way with good posture (not slouching). Deep breath and exaggerated exhale. Ok there you're anchoring that feeling of power. Notice how you feel.
Step #3 - Practice when you're feeling good
Now when you' re feeling good, grounded and in empowered, practice this exercise again. 1. Close your eyes, 2. Puff your chest and lift your head (good posture) 3. Smile and remember a time when you felt super powerful, successful, influential, on your A-game, 4. Place your hand on the spot in your body you feel that power sensation 5. Stand up and take a deep breath to anchor it in.
Step #4- Practice when you feel the dagger
This is the 'easy' part. (Just believe it is). When you anticipate a tense situation, do this exercise before. When you're blindsided, just place your hand on the spot you located, take a deep breath, puff your chest, and exhale. Let it roll off you. You're untouchable. You've done nothing wrong and you've got this!
Rainmaking with Poise
You've met those people with a spark in their eye, a curiosity with no agenda.They carry poise and somehow being in their presence feels like you're looking in a mirror. Those with embodied poise are grounded in assurance inside and out because they're self-aware.
Everyone is a mirror for us to gain a deeper level of self awareness as to how we show up in the world. What do I need to learn about myself here? Doing an honest self assessment personally and professionally allows us to see how we show up in the world.
When you're clear on your value system and how congruent you are with your beliefs and actions, a self assessment tells you when you're on the mark. When we don't take time to reflect here our inner hidden conflicts fester into the Shadow.
How do you know if you're going deep enough to pull out the real blind spots in your self assessment? If you're familiar with Carl Jung's work on the 'Shadow,' he explains the shadow as the unconscious part of ourselves we do not identify with. In essence it's the annoying part of the other person we see who is really reflecting a part of ourselves we don't realize we've pushed far into the subconscious recesses of our minds-the parts we don't want to see or admit exist.
The person with embodied poise has a healthy relationship with their Shadow parts.
How does this happen? They take responsibility for their lives and are willing to look at the not so great parts and improve on them.
So what does taking responsibility for your results have to do with Rainmaking with Poise?
Those who take responsibility for their own results thrive. When you blame the economy, blame others, or blame your team or the weather, you shift responsibility which means you are no longer in control of your own results.
Establishing Inner Poise
Inner poise comes with empowered self responsibility. Inner poise wilts with a lack, victim, or scarcity mentality. Inner Poise is certainty that you are showing up and doing the best you can with what you've got while being committed to self-observation and personal growth.
Authenticity and Intention
Inner poise is authenticity. So how can you practice and be authentic at the same time? Intention.
Your intention -your agenda- has the power to make manifest where there was nothing before.
When you walk into a room with the intention to exchange with curiosity versus the intention to GET and persuade, you exude an energy people want to be around. Fully listening versus thinking, "how can I get them to be a referral source/client?" is not authentic and does not exude inner poise.
I was recently at a networking mixer and someone went out of their way to introduce me to a law firm partner who happened to be speaking to someone else. It was awkward for me and the whole thing felt strange. I did my best to be friendly and work with the energies. The conversation persisted.
I was being ignored. I was curious about their conversation and sensed the attorney was 'trying' to close business. I wanted to be respectful. Leaving felt as awkward as staying. I had to work with this situation- ever been there?
Here's an example of 'NON' Inner poise: For name's sake, let's call the law partner Sally and the potential new client Linda. I was introduced to Sally. Sally smiled and did her best to continue her conversation with Linda.
I was listening and asked questions with curiosity and due respect while assessing whether I was welcomed. Sally ignored me and didn't turn her glance off Linda. I sensed a pounce going on. If Sally had inner poise and was confident that Linda would become her client, she would would have comfortably done one of two things.
1. Hi Stephanie, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'd love to learn about you and connect and Linda and I are just wrapping up our conversation here in about 10 minutes, can I come find you when we're through?
I would have felt acknowledged, released, and positive about Sally and how gracefully she held her boundaries.
2. Hi Stephanie nice to meet you, Linda and I were just talking about her start up and the necessary legal implications of proceeding without cetain intellectual property protections in place and I was letting her know how our firm helps businesses like hers all the time. She has an interesting company. Linda ...
I would have felt included, welcomed, and certainly lit up about Sally's business. My ears would have perked up and immediately I could have thought of 5 people I know who need an IP attorney in a firm like Sally's.
Inner Poise and Boundaries
It's undisputed that we put off a vibe. A vibe consists of subtle energies. Someone with authentic inner poise is able to manage these energies, sense how to gracefully handle a situation without fear of lack or loss.
In the example above Sally was putting off a vibe of fear that she would or could possibly lose a potential client.
When you're grounded in poise and certainty, you manage people, expectations and situations with grace. It's not always easy but done tactfully, you will make an impact that will not go unnoticed.
If Sally was sufficiently committed to carrying on a conversation while ignoring me (when someone took the time -inappropriate or not - to walk me over to introduce us for Sally's benefit as well) she could have asserted clean boundaries as in the first example. I would have had a ton of respect for her.
If your desired outcome is to grow your practice, be a successful rainmaker, and build solid relationships, growing inner poise must be a goal. Self assessment, self observation and objective assessment -sometimes hired help is better- is essential to personal growth and inner poise.
Sally may not have known this but had she made a great impression on me -while making a great impression on Linda- I may have sent over a million dollars in business her way and she would also have Linda as a new client. She would have modeled excellence in front of a prospect which in and of itself carries value.
When you grow the seed of inner poise authentically from the inside out, you never have to worry who's watching. Just show up intentionally and be yourself and you'll gracefully manage energies while building relationships that grow your business and produce your desired outcomes.
Have you noticed the poise in people of influence? Have you noticed people who could use some tips on tact? Please share your comments below. We'd love to hear your experience as well...