fbpx

Ya Gotta keep’em separated: Vision vs Mission (Ep. 22)

Just like a Mission, a Vision Statement is not just a lofty bunch of words that make people feel good about you. Your Vision Statement is a direct result of your Mission, and more than that, a Vision Statement is about your driving force.

Today’s episode takes you one step closer to clarity, and I will walk you through a mini-exercise at the end for how you can start to implement this stuff today!

In this episode, we’re covering:

  • What I see as the core difference between a Mission and a Vision (and how too many people get them both wrong)
  • How I believe you can use both your Mission and Vision to your advantage
  • Why I think you should have BOTH a Mission and a Vision (and how to use it when you’re making plans for the future)

Y’all ready? Let’s do this!


The following is an imperfect transcript of the Episode (we’re all human!)

Hey, y’all, Sheila Wilkinson here and welcome back to a new episode. Thank you so much for listening!

So last time we talked about your mission statement and today in Episode 22, we are diving even deeper into starting or changing your business or your career. That could be a thing. So you can understand more deeply what you need to know when you’re planning everything out.

And making sure that the people in the projects and the pay that you’re attracting into your life and career and business, if you have one, are the right people, the right projects, the right pay. And to make sure this is happening. You need to know who you are, right. You know this, you need to know who you are, what you want, why you want it, and you must have that clarity.

And as I said, last time, your mission is more than just a pitch that you tell others, but your vision – that’s where the love lives.

So today I’m going to walk you through why I believe that you should keep your mission and your vision separated and how you can use both of these to your advantage. We are going to talk about what I see as the core difference between a mission and a vision and how people get it wrong. Or at least I believe that they get it wrong. Um, we’re also gonna talk about how I believe you can use both your mission and vision to your advantage, but also why I think you should have both a mission and a vision and how to use it when you’re making plans for the future.

And at the end of the episode, I’m going to leave you with a couple of questions for you to ask yourself, that’s going to help you to start to reflect on these things. And if you get stuck and you need help, I’m here for you. Just reach out. y’all Ready? Big takeaways are coming. As always, I appreciate you and I am so glad you’re here. Let’s do this.

All right. So today we are talking about your vision statement and we’ve been talking about the real reason that I think that businesses do not grow or scale or last past, just a couple of years. It’s something that no one in the mainstream media influencer, celebrity coaches, nothing that they talk about, because if they talked about it, you wouldn’t need to buy their services for years and years and years and rely on them and get co-dependent.

And that’s what they’re hoping for. They want you to be codependent, right? My goal is to help you know, that you don’t need me forever to make your life work the way you want it to. This is like radical thoughts. Y’all like a lawyer who doesn’t want you to continue paying them forever. It’s not to say that I’m not going to continue supporting you, but I’m not going to just keeping, taking your money for no reason, right? I want you to have the foundations that you need to feel confident and courageous, but what you’ll have, which is more important than anything is clarity.

People who hold themselves back and they sabotage themselves and they believe those lies that society told them. The stuff that we talked about last time, the lessons that they learned over the years, that they believe that they’re not good enough or smart enough or savvy enough or quick enough, or they think that no one wants them or wants their services. Most of the time, that is a very, very far from the truth.

And, if you’re trying to convince everyone that, you know, all the answers are you trying to have all the answers to everyone’s questions, you’re going to be attracting the wrong kind of attention. All right. You’re going to be putting yourself in a position where everybody comes to you for the answers, which is different than coming to you for guidance, for services, for doing something for them, and then sending them on their way.

If you’re fixated on finding love or direction and holding on to things and people that are not good for you, then you’re attracting the wrong people, the wrong projects and the wrong pay. And if you’re all go, go, go, go, go, do, do, do, do do. Then you’re putting your head in the sand and you’re avoiding confrontation and the truth that you have to say goodbye to the way you’ve been doing things, the way you’ve been showing up in the world and start doing your life, the way you want to do them, you have to know that you are your own secret sauce.

And if you don’t know how to let go, and you never know when enough is enough, you’re just gonna waste your time and energy, trying to prove yourself to get approval, right? The acceptance and the validation and the love and respect.

But you are your own secret ingredient. That is why having a mission is so important. And why having a vision is even more important because where the mission is, the what that you do, the vision is the why.

In a mission, you’re telling people who you are, what you want, but the vision tells them why this matters to you. And if you’ve always been afraid of selling your services or of the, uh, you know, quote unquote sales call, that’s because you don’t have clarity and you don’t have a real mission, you don’t have a real vision.

You’re just doing what you think you’re supposed to be doing. Sales is easy. Marketing is easy when you know who you are, when you know what you want, when you know why you want it. And that it’s for the right reason. It’s both the most exhilarating and scariest part to figure all of it out. And chances are, you know, what your mission and vision are, but maybe you’ve never thought about it quite like that.

Tell people the truth about yourself and what you will and will not stand for. And see what happens. And remember, we talked about this last time, a mission is supposed to make people walk away from you. We want people to go away, y’all. A mission is your guiding light and your beacon of, Hey, this is who I am, and this is what I do.

And if you don’t like it, suck it right. Look the other way. Keep walking, keep going. We talked about this last time. It’s what you do, but who and what are only two pieces of the puzzle. The why is the important piece. That’s what gets people to trust you, because they connect with you, understand you, want to be in your circle, in your support network, they want to be your friend. They want to be your cheerleader. They just want to be sitting at your feet going, tell me more, tell me more, your why is arguably more important than your who and what. Your vision is what motivates you. Whereas your mission is how you activate the vision.

And this is scary stuff for a lot of people, especially people who think that they don’t know what they’re doing. They just threw something together one day and got a hair up, got a hair up their butt. And they were like, oh, I’m going to start a business. Or they think that just because they’ve never taken a business class before that somehow that means that they’ll be less successful or wanted or trusted or respected. And that’s not true. It doesn’t have to be true.

And if you’ve ever thought that, or maybe you’re thinking it right now, I want you to know this is all in your head. You know, we have been told our whole lives to keep the peace. Don’t rock the boat, be polite, stay in your lane. The customer’s always right. And what I want you to do is ignore that.

And I want you to forget everything you learned because it’s wrong. We have been socialized to not stand up for ourselves, just to keep the status quo, to give people whatever they want. Right. And just be grateful. So I have to say that you can’t be grateful, but just grateful for any business at all, any job at all, any pay at all.

And that’s like a double ugh for me, because I don’t want you to just have any business, any job, any pay, any clients. I want you to have the right ones . And you’re never going to find that fulfillment at work and your life and your relationships and yourself. And you’re never gonna reach that level of achievement and self-esteem and confidence that you want.

You’re never going to have the courage to really live your life, to really run your career, to really run your business, to really be on the path that you want, unless you scare some people off.

And we talked about this last time, right? And your vision. Friends your vision is how you scare people off. So your mission is one thing, your mission’s like, oh, maybe they’re not right for me.

Maybe they’re not the right person to, provide the service to me. Your vision, however, the vision is where people run away, where they run away screaming when they go, oh, uh, that’s not for me. Or, oh, you’re dreaming kind of big there, huh? Or, uh, I think you have your hopes too high in humanity. You can know that those people are not your people.

And I want you to let them run away from you, but I don’t want you to let them pull you down. Don’t prevent yourself from getting what you want because other people are afraid. Your vision is about your why, what you see for yourself and your career and your impact on the world, in the longterm. Your mission’s purpose is to explain how and what you do, but your vision is the reason why you do it.

And they can guide you to know where you’re going in the future. And that’s going to be really important when we get to the planning piece of our episodes. I don’t know whatever number that is in the future. Y’all remember, I’ve got two years worth of episodes are already mapped out for you.

So y’all know that I have multiple pieces of me, right? Attorney, coach, social worker, educator. My mission is the same across the board: to empower others, to be their best selves each and every day, by helping them tap into and discover clarity and who they are, what they want and why they want it. And for me, that’s easy; for you that might not be your mission and that’s okay. But that’s just who I help and what I do, but my vision is about why I do that.

My vision is that when every single person I help has that clarity, then they can be happy and they can go out and they can make the world a better place. You know, I sign off with my mission and my vision every single episode, but I’ve never said it to you like that.

Because you being happy matters to me because life is too short to be living someone else’s version of ourselves. So many people are walking around disconnected from who they are intellectually and emotionally. And I want to change that. And I know that by helping people get clarity that I can actually change the world.

That’s my vision, a world where people are connected and cared for and happy and joyful. So it doesn’t matter if I’m acting as an attorney, acting as a coach, acting as a social worker, acting as a, an educator, my mission and vision matter. And I bring that to the table in every single thing that I do, with every single person I meet.

And so for you, you need to determine what that looks like for you and everybody does this part, wrong. They draft up some fancy language and then they post it on their website and then they never look at it again, they get sucked up into the doing inside of their careers, their businesses, their lives, that they forget why they went on to that path in the first place.

Your mission and vision are what you do, who you are, why you do it.

So if you help struggling creative entrepreneurs build businesses that work for them in the way that they want their life and their quality of life to be like me, because you believe that life is short, we should live it to the fullest every day, like me, that’s a mission and a vision. And lots of people think that a mission has to be something aspirational. Like we want to create change in the community and bring awareness to whatever, fill in the blank. You know, what a very generic, boring mission looks like. It can be aspirational in that way, but what you need to know is how you’re going to achieve it.

And you need to have a place where you can say, am I achieving this and is this opportunity in front of me going to help me get to the thing that I say that I want and for the right reason that I want it. So when we say mission, what we mean is your purpose. But we also mean more than that. We mean who you are, what you bring to the table, why you do what you do and what you do, knowing who you are and your right reasons for that.

So what you do every day is your mission. Vision is about the impact that you want to have. And maybe you don’t know what your mission and vision is yet, and that’s okay. Right? You don’t have, it’s not like we were born with this stuff. I mean, this takes time. You have to sit down and figure this stuff out. So if the mission is to help struggling creative entrepreneurs build a business that works, that’s a mission, but the vision attached to it, so that they can have the quality of life that they want so that they can truly enjoy their time on earth and to live the life that they feel is best for them. The key there, the key piece that winds up going missing is why does that matter to you? You’ve got that so that they can, but why does it matter?

And so really your vision is about your impact. And we’re going to talk about values next time. But what I can tell you is that out of all of the businesses that I have helped, all of the businesses I have built, including the multi-million dollar ones, it’s all about showing up as you, showing up as who you are and being authentic.

Being transparent and saying what your line in the sand is, what you will and will not put up with and saying, this is why I do what I do. This is what I do. And this is who I do it for. And if you don’t like it, go the other way. Showing up in your business and your career and your life as yourself with your mission and your vision, whether that’s personal, professional, business, whatever is what’s going to make people want to be around you, to work with you, to partner with you.

And this is where your mission and your vision and your values come in, because unless you’re clear about who you help, why and that it’s the right why, and you know what you want your impact to be on others and what you want them to take away from working with you and being around you. And then you attach all of those things to the values of what you’re willing and not willing to put up with and where your lines in the sand are, which we’re going to talk about next time; you can have the people and the projects and the pay that you want. That’s the truth of it. That’s a universal truth, but not if you’re not clear. Your mission and your vision helps you get clarity.

When I’m working with clients, we’re actually creating this together, even though they don’t realize it. I don’t call it that if I did, that would be boring and I don’t want to be boring. Right. I am not boring. And I don’t want people to work with me with preconceived notions of what they’re going to do.

If I said to you, all right, today, we’re going to do your mission and vision. You’re gonna be like, oh, and you’re gonna put on your corporate hat and you’re going to get real stuffy. And then you’re not going to be able to answer a question truthfully, creatively, authentically. Right? I know how to get the answers that my clients need without asking them the question directly, because if I asked you directly what your mission is or what your vision is, I mean, you might put that corporate hat on. Right. But most of y’all would probably just shrug your shoulders and immediately say, I don’t, I don’t know Sheila, but you do know -somewhere inside of you, you do know.

And that is the work that I love doing with clients. Helping them tap in and listen and pay attention and see patterns and connect the dots. And if you just say, oh, I just help people make logos and brand themselves. That’s a service. That’s not a mission. It’s not even a vision. And it has absolutely nothing to do with values, which we’re going to talk about next time. So the pieces of the puzzle that we’ve been talking about, the who and the what and the where, and the why, and the when and the how, asking those questions will help you get to the bottom of that.

And that’s what I’m here to help you do; to help you figure out and tap into who you are and what you want. And the direction you’re going in is the right direction for you. To help you stay the course, despite what everyone tells you, you could do or should do. Your mission, your vision. And next time, when we talk about them, your values, this is your life, your goals, your path.

And remember that you are the person doing the work inside of your life and your career and your business if you have one. The first step is to slow down, remember, and to figure out all these pieces before you jump in.

Because what I don’t want to happen is that you build something that creates stress for you in the long run. We don’t build complicated lives that run us into the ground. And then when it’s something that you’ve built yourself, it’s that much harder to extricate yourself from it and to be able to separate yourself from it.

If that’s the case, I’m your girl to rein it back in, right? If you’re not clear about who you are and what you want and why you want it, and you did not have that clarity, you will never get what you want. And I want you to get what you want and deserve and dream about.

That is why your vision is your why and why your mission is the who and the what; together those two things together, help people to understand who you are, what you want, why you want it and why it matters to you. And then in exchange that they understand that you are the person for them, because your why and their whys are aligned, right?

This is where your mission and your vision comes in your why must permeate everything you do in your personal life, your professional business, career, everything. And your mission is your guide to every single decision you make going forward. You will always come back to your mission. You have to. Always to re-center yourself, to make sure that what you’re doing is what you set out to do.

And you’re only going to make decisions that are aligned with your mission. You’re going to be able to say no much more easily, much more confidently, much more courageously because you know, on the other side of that no, is actually a yes, just waiting- a hell yes waiting for you. But your vision, your vision is all about your future.

What you want to see happen. And that’s where the strategy can start to play a part in your planning, which is a conversation for another episode. So before you start up or change your business or change your career, start looking inward, your why, who you are, what you want, why you want it. When you start to look inward, you can start to know your why, which will bring you to your mission and your vision.

And it might take a while to sort through it all. All right. And relearn how to live your life, listening to yourself and no one else, but that’s what I’m here for. And if you want a coach or a lawyer, an educator who will tell you what’s real, and what’s not, I’m your girl because who you are matters to me, what you want matters to me, why you want it matters to me; because when you are at your most happy, your most joyful, most fulfilled, most successful, most clear, most competent, most courageous. You make your world, our world a better place. Helping you find yourself helps me, cement myself, even deeper into who I am. And we talked about this last time, right? If everyone is doing what everyone else is doing, no one’s doing what they want to do.

And that’s where your mission lies. Inside of that gap between who you think you are and who you want to be and who you actually are and the impact that you want to have on the world. So remember to listen for the messages that you’re getting; sort through the ones that matter to you, ask yourself why they matter to you and then determine where did you come up with this idea? Is it yours or is it someone else? What kind of people and projects and pay do you want to receive? How could they be the most aligned to who you are and why you do what you do and with your values, which we’ll talk about next time, you all of the pieces of you. So yes, clarity in your mission is imperative, but it takes time.

Once you take the time to know it, to actually listen to it, to ask for it, your mission becomes clear. Your vision will reveal itself. The chances are, you already know what your mission and vision are. You just aren’t listening your purpose, your values, your goals. They will show themselves clear as day, slowing down, can get you that clarity that you want.

So my mission is to help you reconnect who you are, to what you want to help you reconnect your intellectual self to your emotional self. To help you get the clarity you don’t even realize that you need so that you can have the confidence and the courage to live your life the way you want to, to run your business the way you want to, to have the career you want.

And not the one you think you’re supposed to have, just because you’re on a path now. Because who you are matters to me, what you want matters to me, why you want what you want matters to me. And I want it to matter to you. When it comes to your business and your career and your life, you are the one who has to decide. You. Do. You.

So here are your questions to ask yourself, to help you to start developing your own vision. I’m here if you need anything or want to work together to hone this in and get you on your path, the right path, the aligned path.
  1. Number one, ask yourself, what is my mission now, ideally, you did this at the end of episode, 21, but if you need to go back and listen to episode 21, go ahead. Yeah, just pause this here. Go listen to episode 21. Once you’ve got that right. Number two, once you’ve identified your mission. Okay. Which also BTW, by the way, you can change your mission anytime for any reason, it’s yours. And you can change it based on who you’re working with. Right. Generally speaking, your mission stays the same, but how you help or who you help can change. And that’s okay.
  2. I want you to ask yourself, this is your number two question. I want you to ask yourself, why do I do what I do? Why do I help who I help. And don’t forget those four types of expectations, right? Those four types of expectations are going to give you a very clear indication of whether the thing that you’re doing is because someone else told you, you should.
  3. Number three, ask yourself, how does my mission help make my vision a reality? Can it? Does it? Do I need to change the way I do what I do, who I help. So that’s number three. So go back and listen to this episode later, before you sit down and do this, and if you haven’t already, the expectations episodes will really be helpful for you. And those are episodes three through six.

Remember you are human. You don’t know at all, nor are you expected to know at all, life is about navigating the depths of humanity together. Expectations, control, health, wellness, your power team, the right power tools and your goals and your intentions, giving yourself permission to be yourself.

And if there’s trouble on your horizon, overcoming it is often a matter of reframing it. So let’s round out this episode again. As always you’re a human being. You are going to have thoughts and feelings about your business, your clients, your work-life integration, your time, schedule pricing, contracts, responsibilities, everything.

That’s perfectly normal. How you react as one thing, how you respond is quite another. And so what I hope you got out of this episode is that your mission and your vision are more than just words on a website. They are meant to help you get where you want to go. And it is worth it to take the time to really, truly tap into yourself to really take that moment. It’s going to save you a whirlwind of trouble later on. Trust me when I tell you that. They’re meant to help you get where you want to go and to communicate with others, whether they should come along for the ride or if they should get on another car. And this is my job as a coach and as a lawyer to help you build your life and your career and your business, the way it will work best for you, not the way other people tell you how to do you, right?

When you are clear about who you are and what you want and why you want it, the right people, the right projects, and the right pay will come. And if you need help with that, I’m your girl. So I’d love to know what resonated in today’s show. Share it with me, send me an email, DM me, leave a review, whatever, I am here.

You know how to find me. If you liked what we did today on this episode. And then I think you’ll love working with me first step though, is to take one single solitary baby step towards what you want hop on over to whatwouldSheilasay.com. Click on info and resources and sign up. Follow me on Instagram at @sheilamwilkinson. Please share this episode with someone who needs a bit of tough and love today and listen twice. If that’s you. And with that, I’m going to let you get back to your day.

Listen for my mission and vision y’all it’s coming.

Enjoy yourself. Do something nice for yourself and remember every empowered superpower, creative moment that you built for yourself is an opportunity to make the world a better place. And I want you to go out and do that. See you next time.


Show Notes

Thanks for listening to this episode. I hope it was illuminating! My mission is to help service-based professionals figure out exactly what they want, realize it’s 100% within reach, and create a simple, actionable plan that will get them there (without having to burn everything to the ground and start from scratch!), and I’d love to support you.

Here are some ways you can start creating your rich, happy life today:

Tag me, follow me, and DM me with your thoughts and questions:

Rate this podcast/episode on Apple Podcasts here

Learn more about me here: https://sheilawilkinson.comFree Stuff, Fun Stuff, Links & More: https://sheilawilkinson.com/links

The Real Reason You Need a Mission Statement (it’s not what you think) (Ep. 21)

A mission statement is not simply an “I help” statement or something you throw on your website or LinkedIn profile. It’s way more than that. 

A mission statement feeds into your Vision, which we’ll talk about in the Episode 22. But for now, get back to the basics. In this episode, we’re covering:

  • What it means when we make decisions about our mission based on others
  • How your mission should be both a repellant and an attractant
  • How to make decisions that are fully aligned with your mission

Y’all ready? Let’s do this!


The following is an imperfect transcript of the Episode (we’re all human!)

Hey, y’all Sheila Wilkinson here. And welcome back to a new episode! Thank you again for listening.

Today is Episode 21 and the second episode in our next phase of work together, which is about delving deeper. To start start or change your business, understanding more deeply what you need to know when you’re planning or drafting and negotiating contracts recognizing what’s your property, and not. And how to make sure that the people in the projects and the pay that you are attracting in your life and your career and your business, if you have one are the right people, the right projects, the right pay. And to make sure this is happening. You need to know who you are, what you want, why you want it.

You must have clarity, because that mission is more than just a pitch that you tell others; it’s a window into your soul, a window into your personhood.

And no matter what the Google says, a personal, professional, and business’s mission are really not that different. And today I’m going to walk you through why I believe that.

At the end of the episode, I’m going to leave you with three main questions for you to ask yourself. And you can ask those to yourself today, go back and listen again, ask them again. That’s going to help you to start to reflect on these things. And if you get stuck and you need help, I’m here for you. Just reach out. Okay? So in this episode, we’re covering what it means when we make decisions about who we are, what we want and why we want it based on the external, we’re going to be talking about how your mission can be both a repellent and an attractant.

And we’re going to talk about how to make decisions that are fully aligned with your mission.

All right. So today we are talking about your mission statement. And last time we talked about the numbers associated with whether a business makes it past a year, three years, five years, 10 years, and those numbers were staggering. And when we met last, I told you what I believe is the real reason that businesses do not make it.

And it’s not because of money or marketing or specifically who is in charge, right. Or even if they have a business plan. I don’t think that that’s the real reason. I think the real reason is much simpler than that and something that no one talks about. And it’s clarity.

What I talked about last time is the way that people hold themselves back. They sabotage themselves. They believe the lies that society has told them, the lessons that they’ve learned over the years from their family and their colleagues and clergy and friends. And just by watching TV. They believe that they are not good enough and smart enough and savvy enough and quick enough.

And they’re trying to convince everyone that they know all the answers. They’re trying to convince everyone that they have the answers to everyone’s questions. They’re trying to attract the wrong attention. They’re fixated on finding love or direction, and they’re holding onto things that are not good for them.

They’re in a hurry to get free of pressure. So they’re just go, go, go, do, do, do check all the things off the boxes. They avoid that confrontation and the truth, and they never know when enough is enough. And in so many ways, they’re trying to prove themselves to get approval. Acceptance, validation, love, respect.

And you know what all of this means, right? When we’re making decisions about who we are and what we want and why we want it. We’re often guided by the outside the external. Rarely does the advice we’re given, tell us to look inward. And if we are told this, we’re still bombarded with shoulda coulda wouldas.

So that means that people never truly listen to themselves. They make decisions about how they should live their lives. And those are just expectations that others have explicitly told us that they have of us, or they make decisions about how they could live their lives. And those are the expectations we think others have of us. And those are just assumptions. And we all know what happens when we assume . And they make decisions about how they would live their lives. These are the expectations we have of ourselves. So I want you to think back to those four expectations, what’s the one main type of expectation missing in this list.

It’s the one that we expect of others. And this is where having a mission is so important. You need to know who you are, what you want, why you want it. And then you need to tell others this, not in a pitch kind of salesy way. Right. But you need to communicate. And that part’s the scariest part. It’s the part where you realize that if you tell people the truth about yourself and what you will and will not stand for that, they are going to just walk away.

But here’s the thing. A mission is supposed to make people walk away from you. A mission is your guiding light. Your beacon of, Hey, this is who I am. And if you don’t like it, suck it look the other way. Keep walking, keep going. These are not the droids you’re looking for.

But that’s scary for people. Because we have been told to keep the peace and don’t rock the boat and be polite and be nice to people, even when they’re hateful towards us, even when they’re abusive towards us, we have been socialized to not stand up for ourselves, just keep the status quo.

And by all means, if you are not happy with your current status in life, and you want something to change, if you do not want to keep living your life the way you live it now, then you should keep listening because I have plenty to tell you, if you want to hear it, you will never find fulfillment and work in life and relationships and yourself, and you will never ever reach the level of achievement, self-esteem, competence that you want. You will never have the courage to really live your life the way you want to, unless you scare some people off.

You heard me scare them off, put on the Halloween costume, that is the real you underneath all the pleasantries and the right words and tell people to shove off. People keep themselves from getting what they want because they’re afraid.

So if you’re constantly feeling everything’s out of reach, then rather than accept that, that is the way reflect back. Look at yourself the way you work with people, the way you work in your projects, the way you accept, pay, or lack thereof. Ask yourself, is this how I want to spend the next 20, 30, 40 years of my life? Even one year of your life? Is this the person I want to be known as is this the person I want to be described at, at my funeral? Maybe instead you want to be known as the person who cared for themselves first so that they could care for other second, that you knew your values and refused to accept anything less than them.

That you knew exactly what you wanted and made the decisions to make that happen, that you set boundaries, set clear expectations for yourself and others and closed doors. closed doors to all, but the most precious, important work and people which led you to be the most wildly successful, the most wildly joyful, the most wildly happy person you’ve ever been.

That you knew who you were and what you wanted and that the direction you were going in was the right direction for you. And you stayed the course, despite what everyone told you that you should do or could do or would do if only blah, blah, blah, your purpose, your values, your goals, they are as much a personal mission as they are your professional mission. And if you have a business, your business’s mission. You know why, because you are the person doing the work inside of your life, inside of your career, inside of your company.

And if you are not clear about who you are and what you want and why you want it, and you do not have that clarity, you will never, and I mean, never ever get what you want.

I didn’t say that you wouldn’t get something. Of course you’ll get something. You might get people, you might get projects and you might get pay, but is it the kinds of people and projects and pay you want in the deepest parts of you. And maybe that feels harsh as you’re listening to this, that I’m telling you that you’re never going to get what you want.

If you keep going down that road and truth be told, you know, I kind of mean to be harsh because if you’re feeling like you’re living someone else’s life, you are, because if you’re dreading to go to work every day and have, you know, the Sunday Scaries or hate Mondays, you are not the one in control of your life.

Because if you started a business or took a certain job to have freedom and flexibility and the funds to live life as you want, but you’re beholden to it and don’t feel like you can walk away or take a vacation or take care of yourself. You are the one standing in your way, not your job, not your boss, not your clients, not your bills, not your time.

You, if you attract the wrong kinds of people and projects and pay. And you feel like you have to keep accepting it because you have to pay bills or living, you know, you’re living payments, a payment or check to check, and you’re not happy with your current balance in life. And I don’t mean just your bank balance and you want to build a future, but you feel like you can’t because you’re too busy and you’re keeping all these external pieces of your life, quote, unquote, alive and going, then you are not living for you.

And this is where your mission comes in. Your mission is about your WHY. Not your who, not your what, your why must permeate everything you do in your personal life, professional business, career, everything. And your mission is your guide to every single decision you make going forward.

You will always come back to your mission always. And you will only make decisions that are aligned with your mission. And since we’re on the subject of sacrifice, living for others is not a badge of honor. Living for others is not a sign of worthiness. Living for others is not evidence that you’re valued. Living for others is not living for yourself no matter how many people and institutions tell you otherwise. Living for you gives you the opportunity to honor yourself, to show yourself that you believe that you are worthy of the right people in the right projects and the right pay. Living for you, shows you that you are valued and loved.

So stop looking outward for your reason. Stop looking outward for your why, of who you are and what you want, why you want it. When you start to look inward and really, truly listen, you can start to know your why -your mission. It might take a while to parse through and unlearn and decondition yourself from all of the message you’ve been taught your whole life.

And that’s what I’m here for. Right? If you want a coach and a lawyer, an educator, who’s going to tell you what’s real and what’s not, then I’m your girl because who you are matters to me. What you want matters to me, why you want it matters to me, because when you are your most happy, your most joyful, most fulfilled, most successful, most clear, most confident, most courageous, you make your world, our world a better place. And if the whole world followed what was in their hearts and souls of what is right, instead of vying what they think they should or could or would be doing with something different when they accept that, who they are and what they want is the truth, their mission in life becomes easily defined.

And we have a world where we do not need to prove ourselves. We can literally just be. Live love, let go and be in peace. And when you start down this road, it’s normal to question, it’s normal to be scared and excited and to want someone to believe in you and make you believe in yourself and that’s me, right?

I’m that girl. I am your girl. if you’re tired of looking for help and not being able to find it, you found it, but the best part is, it’s my job to help you find yourself because helping you find yourself helps me, cement myself, even deeper into who I am.

Your clarity is not out of reach. You might be feeling fuzzy, or you might know that there is more to life than what exists now. But you can’t find that out there external to you. You have to find that inside of you, this is why when you job hop, job hop, job hop, you find a new job. And you’re like, oh, this is a great job. And six months in you’re like, oh God, this is terrible. It’s kind of like my old job. Yeah. Because you were just looking for a j.o.b.. You were not looking for YOU.

You have to find you; what’s going on inside of you. Who you are, what you want, why you want it, these things show up in everything you do, and you have to show up as you, every single day. We’ve been taught that we must actually show up as the people who people want us to be, because that is the quote unquote person who will be accepted and loved and validated and respected, which is a bunch of crock.

And I said last time, that could not be farther from the truth. If everyone is doing what everyone else is doing, then no one is doing what they want to do. And that is where your mission lies inside of the gap between who you think you are and who you want to be. That quiet space, that lingers, when you close your eyes at night to go to sleep, that noisy space, when it wakes you up three hours later and says, you didn’t do enough, or you weren’t enough, or you didn’t say the right thing, and you’ve got a big day ahead of you. So get ready.

Listen for the messages you’re getting sort through the ones that matter to you ask why do they matter to me and then determine where your values are in all of that. And whether the people in the projects and the pay you’re receiving you’re allowing into your life are aligned with your values. You, the real you that is whispering sometimes screaming for you to listen.

People spend a lifetime only doing what they think that they should be doing. And then when they can make their own decisions, they build a life, a career, a business based on someone else’s poor, structures. It’s a cycle, a vicious, terrible cycle. And like I said, last time and I have been saying repeatedly, and I hope that you’ve gotten this message by now, is that the easiest way, the quickest way, the most fulfilling way to get the people and the projects and the pay that you want is clarity.

Clarity in your mission is imperative, brutal, radical honesty, transparency with every single person you come into contact with, even your friends, even your family. Identifying who you are, what you want and why you want it. That’s your mission. And when you’re able to do that, you will know in your heart of hearts, the kinds of people in the pay and the projects you actually want deep down in the depths of your soul.

This does not come overnight. Y’all this takes time. And this is why I asked you in the last episode to slow down because we’re conditioned and socialized to keep going despite the fear, despite the doubt, when in reality, that’s what you should stop. Pause. Sit in it. This is the work I do. This is the work I do with clients, right?

Uncomfortable silences, telling it like it is, sharing love. Even when you don’t feel love for yourself or your life. Because once you take the time to know it, your mission can become very clear your purpose, your values, your goal. They will amble right on up right. Easily up to the forefront, slowing down, getting help, getting someone who can help you tap into who you are, what you want and why you want it can get you the clarity that you want.

And remember. Overcoming anything is often a matter of reframing it. My mission is to help you reconnect who you are, to what you want to help you reconnect your intellectual self, to your emotional self. To help you get the clarity you don’t even realize you need so that you can have the confidence and the courage to live your life the way you want to, to run your business the way you want to, to have the career you want. And not the one you think you’re supposed to have. Because who you are matters, what you want matters, why you want what you want matters. And I want you to dig deep. I want you to know who you are, what you want and why you want it.

I want you to have the clarity and the confidence and the courage to use those three elements together to make the life that’s right for you. And remember when I say right what I really mean as aligned, in alignment, the way you are meant to live your life, not the way you think or thought you were supposed to.

So what does this have to do with your mission? Everything. When it comes to your business, your career, your life, you are the one who has to decide. You have to be different. Be you be unique. You have to show up in the world as you and the right people will come. The right projects will come. The right pay will come.

You have to live your life and navigate your career and run your business in the way it feels most right. Most aligned for you. And when you feel doubts, listen to it, don’t move forward despite the doubt; that is a disconnected way to live. Stop. Pause ask, listen, because when you feel doubt, that’s because your body, your soul knows that the path that you are on is the wrong path.

It’s not fear. It’s doubt. We’re all different, right? We are all raised differently. We have different genetic codes. We have different experiences, different expectations. You have to do, you. Here are your three questions to ask yourself. Then I want you to use to help you start on your path to developing your mission today.

Okay. And know that I’m here if you need anything or want to work together to hone this in and to get you on your path, the right path, the aligned path.

  1. Number one, when you’re feeling all the feels, listen for the messages you’re getting and ask yourself, what am I thinking right now? How does that make me feel? That’s the intellectual and that is the emotional right.
  2. Number two, sort through the ones that matter to you, the ones you want to feel and think and ask yourself, why do these matter to me? And remember your four types of expectations. These are going to be very important when you do the second step.
  3. Third step – number three. To determine where your values fall in all of the things that you were feeling and thinking. And whether the situation at hand, the way you think, how you feel are leading to the people and the projects and the pay you’re receiving- that you’re allowing into your life- and whether those are aligned with your values, you, the real you that’s whispering, that’s screaming for you to listen.

And you can always go back and remember very early on. I said, I recommend that you listen to every episode twice, you’re going to get the first initial gut reaction. And then when you go back and you do the exercises in the episodes, you’ll see it in a different light. So go back and listen to this episode later, before you sit down to do this exercise, and if you haven’t already, those expectation episodes are going to be really helpful for you. If you haven’t listened to them already. , those are episodes three through six. I would seriously, highly recommend you go and listen to them. And if you’ve already listened to them and it’s been a while, then go back and listen to them again.

Okay. Remember you are human. You don’t know it all. You’re not expected to know it all. Life is about navigating the depths of humanity, together. Expectations control health, your power team, your power tools, the goals and intentions, but most importantly, giving yourself permission to be yourself, because that is where your mission lies.

And as I said earlier, trouble on the horizon overcoming. It is often a matter of reframing it. And if you feel like you can’t do that alone, That’s what I’m here for. Reach out. Let’s talk, let’s figure it out for you, because it matters to me that you are living the life that you want to live for yourself, for others, for your family, for your friends.

We’re supposed to live our lives for ourselves, but our people in our circle, they, they feel that they see that and they wanna help. But I want them to help you and support you in the way that is right for you, not in the way that they think that they’re supposed to be supporting you and helping you, because really they’re probably getting in your way.

All right. So we’re going to round out this episode. Next time, we’re going to be talking about vision and how your mission and your vision kind of come together. So we’ll be kind of retouching back on mission stuff. We’ll talk about vision. We’ll talk about values. So let’s round out this episode, though. You again, as always, you are a human being, right?

You’re going to have thoughts and feelings about business and your career and your clients and your work-life integration and balance and time and schedules and pricing and contracts, your responsibilities, everything that’s perfectly normal, right? How you react is one thing, how you respond is quite another.

And so what I hope that you got out of this episode is that your mission is more than just a pitch. It’s more than just a thing you tell others to make them like you or give you work or money. The real reason you need a mission is because your mission is about you and how you feel about who you are, what you want, why you want it.

Because once you know that, you can rest soundly at night, knowing that the right people, the right projects, the right pay will come your way. And the wrong ones will go away. That is how it can be both an attractant and a repellent and that’s alignment. And when you’re aligned with your mission, your life is yours and no one else’s.

And this is my job. As a coach, as a lawyer, to help you build your life and your career and your business, the way it will work best for you, not the way other people tell you how to do it. Not the other way that people tell you how to do you. When you were clear about who you are and what you want and why you want it, the right people and the right projects and pay will come.

And if you need help with that, then I’m your girl. So I’d love to know what resonated in today’s show. Share it with me, send me an email DME and leave a review, whatever I am here, you know how to find me. And if you’d liked what we did today on this podcast, then I think you will love working with me.

First step though is to take one single solitary baby step towards what you want. You can hop on over to https://whatwouldsheilasay.com, click on info and resources. Sign up, or follow me over on Instagram at @sheilamwilkinson. Please share this episode with someone who needs a bit of tough and love today and listen twice if that person is you.

And with that, I will let you get back to your day. Enjoy yourself, do something nice for yourself and remember that every empowered, super powered, creative moment that you build for yourself, your career, your business. It’s an opportunity to make the world a better place. And I want you to go out and do that. See you next time!


Show Notes

Thanks for listening to this episode. I hope it was illuminating! My mission is to help service-based professionals figure out exactly what they want, realize it’s 100% within reach, and create a simple, actionable plan that will get them there (without having to burn everything to the ground and start from scratch!), and I’d love to support you.

Here are some ways you can start creating your rich, happy life today:

Tag me, follow me, and DM me with your thoughts and questions:

Rate this podcast/episode on Apple Podcasts here

Learn more about me here: https://sheilawilkinson.comFree Stuff, Fun Stuff, Links & More: https://sheilawilkinson.com/links

Finding Your Superpower™

It’s amazing what (and where!) a little concerted effort will get you! If you’ve been wondering what coaching with me would be like, but you’re:

  • worried about the cost
  • wanting to work more slowly on yourself
  • thinking that devoting 8 or 12 weeks to one-on-one coaching with me feels out of reach
  • just wanting a “sneak peek” behind the curtain to the foundations that I go through with clients …

Then, whatever is holding you back from coaching with me, or even reaching out to me at all, I’ve got a solution for you! 🎉

This past weekend, we officially launched the Finding your Superpower™ Self-Study and it’s awesome, y’all! 🥳

👀 In the Self-Study, you’ll get:

– 4 In-Depth Modules with videos and activities, taking you on a journey of YOU!
– One-of-a-kind activities that help you create goals and plans for deep insight!
– Resources and Bonuses, which were only available through 1:1 coaching before!
– A Recommended Reading List to help you navigate all the feels and thoughts as you progress!

After you complete the course, you’ll have three clear mini-goals, a concrete plan for each of those goals, and best of all, more CLARITY! CONFIDENCE! COURAGE!

You’ll also get the luxury of mini-videos of me, talking TO you, talking you THROUGH your concerns, laughing and sharing my personal stories so you know I understand, complete with supplemental information to help you apply the lessons you’re going to learn.

It’s time. YOUR TIME. Start this process today.

Contact me if you have questions or comments or concerns… otherwise, it’s time to make it happen! Start your new week (and June!) off with a bang! Ready to register? Visit: https://whatwouldsheilasay.com/p/self-study-superpower

#selfstudycoaching#empowerment#empowermentcoach#ondemandcoaching#selflove#selfcare#intentionalgratitude#nextstepsincareer#career#personaldevelopment#professionaldevelopment#lifecoach#professionalwomen

>>>>
About Sheila: An attorney, a social worker and an educator, she’s unlike any other person you’ve ever met. She thrives on a challenge, loves to solve puzzles and definitely loves helping make other people’s lives better – stronger – more efficient – happier. She tells terribly corny jokes, but maybe, just maybe, if you’re nice to her, and even laugh at her jokes, you’ll get something specially baked, just for you. Yep. For real.
>>>>
I have two goals each day: (1) to make a stranger laugh and (2) to be a better person each day than I was the day before. I meet these goals. Every. Single. Day.

COVID’s Unexpected Gift

NOTE: This article (and the excerpt below) was written with Kim Milone, of Intentional Legal, and written for and published in the American Bar Association’s “ABA Law Practice Today” magazine. To read the full article, click here.

Legal professionals faced extraordinary uncertainties in the pandemic lockdowns of early 2020. With courts closed, trials paused, and clients at literal (two) arms’ length, we hunkered down. Whether it was at a kitchen table with a screaming toddler nearby, or alone in an apartment for months on end, the lockdown and the new “normal” that followed, presented lawyers (and law students) with an opportunity to reconsider their professional quality of life. COVID allowed us to slow down a bit, breathe, and imagine what our life could evolve into, post-pandemic.

To read the full article, click here.

****

About the Authors

 
Kim L. Milone (left) is the founder of Intentional Legal, an online resource for ideas, inspiration and training for non-traditional alternative legal careers, and is COO and vice president of managed services for Decernis, which provides global regulatory consulting for food, consumer, and industrial products companies.

Sheila M. Wilkinson (right) is the Founder of SMWPLC / Law & Social Work, and splits her time between New Orleans and Brussels. As an attorney, social worker, educator and empowerment coach, Sheila helps lawyers reach their goals in their personal and professional lives with humor, transparency, and empathy.

Important Lessons as a Business Owner

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a business owner (lawyer, coach, and educator) is this:

In order to truly empower others, you must first empower yourself.

Sometimes that means taking a stand.

Or saying things others are afraid to say.

Or saying NO to that which does not serve you.

And it always means saying YES to what is truly meant to be in your life – people, opportunities, events, and more.

And, because it always bear repeating: I am proud to partner with BIPOC and LGBTQI+ owned & allied entrepreneurs to help them create, run, protect, and scale their businesses with confidence and grace. As a coach and as an attorney!

Too many business owners (and employees) try to serve everyone.

Here’s the truth: you can’t be everything to everyone. Once you understand this, you can truly show up as you’re meant to be, and help those you want to help.

As an attorney and empowerment coach, I have the unique opportunity to help individuals build the lives they really want. I do this in lots of ways:

  • As a business coach, helping you figure out what kind of business you want and help you build it and create it from the legal side
  • As a career coach, helping you find that job you truly love and don’t have to settle for (yuck).
  • Helping you transition your business or firm to a new system or structure, or a niche that you’ve been wanting to focus on but never seem to find the time to work through.

Whatever it is, I show up as you need me to show up, but the focus of everything I do is you empowering you – and asking the hard questions, giving you the grace and permission and support you need to listen to your intuition about what’s right for you.

If you need help with your business, your job, your contracts, your people – I’m your girl. Let’s chat!

#empowermentcoaching#businessasaforceforgood#businessowners

P.S. Today, I met my new business BFF! She’s everything I hoped she’d be. Thank you, Caitlyn MacMaster for showing up today, and for giving our time the love and laughs it deserved. I can’t wait to collaborate with you!

>>>>
About Sheila: An attorney, a social worker and an educator, she’s unlike any other person you’ve ever met. She thrives on a challenge, loves to solve puzzles and fix things and definitely loves helping make other people’s lives better – stronger – more efficient – happier. She tells terribly corny jokes, but maybe, just maybe, if you’re nice to her, and even laugh at her jokes, you’ll get something specially baked, just for you. Yep. For real.
>>>>
I have two goals each day: (1) to make a stranger laugh and (2) to be a better person each day than I was the day before. I meet these goals. Every. Single. Day.

How Yoga Helped My Business

It’s easy to look at someone else and think they’ve got it all together.

Or think they know what they’re doing.

Or think they know how to be better or more of a badass than we are.

When I got married in 2015 (yep, I’m married, though I thought I was never ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER going to get married), I gave us a wedding present — a yoga intro session with Vera Lester (@verarocks). Vera was the only one I knew who taught yoga at the time. I’d tried yoga a long time ago (like, way back in my early 20s) and I didn’t care for it very much. It was too slow. I was too in my head. I hated it.

Of course, way back then, in my early 20s, I didn’t like myself or my life too much. So, you know. Instead, I was a Pilates girl.

I loved Pilates; still do. I feel like it’s the most bang for your buck if you really want to see a massive change in your body in a very short time. In fact, I actually just finished a 7 Day Back to Pilates Intensive with my favorite Pilates Instructor Julie (@communitypilates). Pilates is all about focus — focus on your core, focus on your posture, focus on your form. There’s not a lot of down-time. I liked that about Pilates. No time to think. Just do.

Back to Yoga.

So, in 2015(ish), we tried yoga, but it just didn’t work. Vera was a great teacher; we were just a bunch of klutzes. And we didn’t know how to be in our mind, alone, quiet, listening, while also not beating ourselves up for not knowing how to do a pose. Even just 6 years ago, that was not on the table. I could be quiet and read a book. I could be quiet and stare at the clouds. I could meditate to Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Challenges, but yoga? Frick. No way.

A lot happened in a short period of time (short meaning 5 years). I was finally grasping and willing to come into me — all of me. Not only did I start acknowledging all of the ways I still wanted to grow, but I accepted all my flaws, too, but not that they were flaws — they were strengths. That isn’t to say I didn’t intellectually know what was up, but emotionally, even after almost 40 years of therapy, I was still growing. I mean, that’s one of my two daily goals: to be a better person today than I was yesterday (the other is to make a stranger laugh).

So, why couldn’t I do yoga?

I kept being hard on myself. Kept thinking that to do yoga, I had to do the poses “right” and “perfect” and that I had to have a certain body type to do it. I always thought of all the ways I thought I was supposed to show up to yoga.

I never realized that doing yoga is literally about just showing up.

Getting there. Sitting down on your mat. And even if you stay in one singular pose the whole class, that’s.still.yoga. Yep. Still. Yoga. To lay in Savasana (Corpse Pose) is still yoga. I’m all about that.

So, fast forward to 2019.

I was in a great job, working at a place I loved, when suddenly, the rug got pulled out from underneath me. Suddenly, my awesome job I loved turned into a super stressful job where I was literally losing hair by the handfuls each day, where people taunted me and tricked me and worse, actively conspired to hurt me (more on that during this weekend’s chat on Instagram).

I needed something to help me re-center. Come back to myself. And be active at the same time, without putting too much pressure on myself.

And it was like a light at the end of the tunnel. The whisper.

Yogaaaaaah.

There was a small studio literally a 30 second drive away from my house. The class times were perfect. They told me to come as I am. No fancy clothes. No fancy mats. No special moves. Just show up.

And then I knew. I belonged there — @yaya4yoga

I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, but I knew if I didn’t schedule the class then and there, I wouldn’t go. So I did. And I went.

And when I walked in, it was strange. But everyone was nice. And quiet. And respected my space. And helped me find mine.

And my life has not been the same this past year.

And I am better for it. My clients are better for it. My dogs are happier for it. My relationships are stronger because of it.

I am beautiful because of yoga.

Joni (the founder of Yaya 4 Yoga) is a great teacher, and through Yaya, I met Dina (an amazing yoga instructor, artist and healer, who is smart not to have social, but happily will connect with anyone in person) and I met Erin (@erinsnowglow, a divinely intuitive yoga instructor, esthetician and founder of Zentilly Cove). I found Yoga with Adriene (@adrienelouise) and Yoga with Sarah Beth (@sarahbethyoga). In fact, I just finished Adriene’s 30 Day Breath Journey. That was fun!

And whenever I need yoga, I ask myself — who and what do I need … then I go to the teacher that will give me that.

There are tons of other yoga teachers I love, like the gorgeous Amy (@amosthemouse, who teaches Yoga for Big Bodies — dat’s me) and my little sister, Cat.

But if we’re being honest, above all, the yoga teacher I love the most is myself.

These wonderful creatures opened my eyes to all that yoga could do for me — mentally, emotionally, physically, intellectually — and all that yoga could do for those around me. I swear I haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid. It’s that yoga has helped me find strength to support myself, and to find solace in being present in and for my body, because it deserves it. I deserve it.

And yes, I might still be in Beginner’s Yoga, but the truth is, I plan to be there for a long time.

We are all just old souls traveling through time. Let’s give them what they need, when they need it.

So, today I invite you to celebrate with me. It’s my one year yoga-versary. How do you want to celebrate my day, but for yourself? What will you do today, to make your life better?

Love y’all. Happy Yoga-versary!

And, if you need someone to help you get on the track you want to a happier, healthier, richer life, I’m your girl. Let’s chat!

>>>>
About Sheila: An attorney, a social worker and an educator, she’s unlike any other person you’ve ever met. She thrives on a challenge, loves to solve puzzles and fix things and definitely loves helping make other people’s lives better – stronger – more efficient – happier. She tells terribly corny jokes, but maybe, just maybe, if you’re nice to her, and even laugh at her jokes, you’ll get something specially baked, just for you. Yep. For real.
>>>>
I have two goals each day: (1) to make a stranger laugh and (2) to be a better person each day than I was the day before. I meet these goals. Every. Day.

Is time really on our side?

One of my favorite statements to refute is that there aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m not really sure what that means in the grand scheme of things. We all get 168 hours in a week. That’s 24 hours a day. Yet, still, people feel overwhelmed. Tired. Out of control. On the verge of a breakdown. Angry. Sad. Defeated.

I used to feel like that. I used to feel like I had no control over my life. And, well, it was true. I was a mere child – I didn’t have control over my life. My father passed away when I was 12 and the responsibility of life came on full force. Then, my mother got sick when I turned 14. I was her caretaker. And mine. And my sister’s. And then, my mother died when I was 16. I refused to change schools again; I finished high school with the help of a family friend who let me live with her and pay half the bills. Every weekend, no matter what my exam schedule was like or whether there was a JROTC competition, and regardless of whether I was overwhelmed, tired, angry or sad, I left school, walked two miles to the Greyhound station and took the bus to visit my sister – 90 minutes away. I stayed with her for the weekend, then I turned around and came back … and then I did it all over again. Every. Single. Weekend.

Then, graduation came and I went to work. Then, college. I earned scholarships. I saved. I stayed busy. And then that’s when the responsibility really heaped on – my sister turned 12 and we all agreed she would have the right to choose where she lived. And she chose to live with me. So, I began to raise my sister, eight years younger – all at a ripe age of 20.

I always worked full time, went to school full time, raised a child that was not mine. I volunteered for the morning carpool shift so that I wouldn’t have to leave work early in the afternoons. We woke up at 4:45 every morning and left the house by 5:20. We picked up the other girls and I dropped them off by 6:50. I got to work by 7:30 and stayed until 4:30. Then, if there was a recital or parent-teacher conference, I would go, and then on the other nights, I went to class. My sister would stay with friends or family members until I got home, and then that’s when the real work began: checking homework, making lunch for the next day, paying bills, doing laundry, balancing checkbooks, cleaning house, doing my own homework.

In other words – it was hard, but I made it happen.

When people tell me there aren’t enough hours in the day, I tell people this story. Inevitably, they always say, “I just don’t know how you did it. How did you do all that? I can’t even get all the errands done in a day.” My answer is always the same, “I just did it. Nothing special. You just do what you have to do.” Now that I’m older and wiser, I realized that in reality, that was not the case.

What actually happened is that as time passed, I learned how to work better, compartmentalize, prioritize, advocate for myself and for my time. I learned how to get everything done, still get 8 hours of sleep and live a happy life. I learned this from friends, from advisors, from professors and from reading. And now, I live on two continents, with clients on both sides of the Atlantic. I still make it happen … I keep these lessons with me so that I can achieve my wildest dreams. And somehow, that wildest dream has turned into helping others achieve theirs.

So, when you think there aren’t enough hours in the day, you’re right. There aren’t when you’re trying to shove 36 hours into 24. But, there are ways to make those 24 hours work for you, not against you. One of them is saying “no” to people. Another is planning. Or following up. Or breaking goals into tasks and then scheduling those tasks.

Having one reasonable, achievable goal for the day.* Scheduling time for yourself. Heck, I even schedule sleep!

I love teaching time management. Why? Because I get to tell people all the hard things I did, alone, and let them sigh a big sigh of relief, thankful for their support circle, and then, the best part – they get to take the shortcut. It’s not necessary for you to walk in my shoes to learn from my experience. You do, however, have to care enough to have the quality of life you want – and sometimes, well, that means doing the hard work now, to enjoy life later. It’s all about perspective.

It’s time to make it happen. For you. For your friends. For your family. For happiness. You deserve it. I know I do. If you want to start moving toward the life you deserve, I’m your girl.

>>>>
About Sheila: An attorney, a social worker and an educator, she’s unlike any other person you’ve ever met. She thrives on a challenge, loves to solve puzzles and fix things and definitely loves helping make other people’s lives better – stronger – more efficient – happier. She tells terribly corny jokes, but maybe, just maybe, if you’re nice to her, and even laugh at her jokes, you’ll get something specially baked, just for you. Yep. For real.
>>>>
I have two goals each day: (1) to make a stranger laugh and (2) to be a better person each day than I was the day before. I meet these goals. Every. Day.

These two simple words can change your life

It’s quite simple, really. The concept of appreciation is a common one, rooted in the values of building interpersonal relationships, of increasing personal and professional satisfaction and of growing a community. When we appreciate something, and I mean truly and intentionally appreciate something, that feeling can transcend most anything. Gratefulness can outweigh disappointment and soften the resolve of any hardened heart; this is what we hope to pass on to future generations.

In a recent post, I discussed the veracity of my own personal and professional growth through two daily goals: (1) to make a stranger laugh, and (2) to be a better person today than I was yesterday. Sometimes, in the course of my day, these goals are easier to achieve than others, and while I ultimately achieve them, sometimes the points rack up with only the tiniest bit of effort. It usually starts with a smile, and it always ends with expressing appreciation.

This morning, I was sitting at the light at City Park, at the cross hairs between Esplanade Avenue and City Park Avenue. I was the first car in line and an SUV pulled up next to me. We glanced at each other, stone cold in our thoughts for a moment, and then I read the side of the vehicle: New Orleans Fire Department. I rolled down the passenger side window and he quickly rolled his window down, too. “Hi, you okay?” he asked. Nodding, my response was simple, “yes, I just wanted to say thank you.” He smiled a huge smile, glowing instantly, chuckled a bit, and that warm feeling of appreciation fell over me, too. He nodded at me; “you’re welcome.” Then we rolled up the windows and went our separate ways. I drove all the way to the office with that feeling – the feeling of appreciation – the warmth of knowing I was grateful.

For anyone growing up in the US, the military is a big thing, regardless of whether it’s a positive, or even negative, influence. I don’t discount the fact that there are many in this world who have had negative experiences with the military or law enforcement. For me, though, growing up in a strict Roman Catholic home and within a law enforcement family, and having spent four years in Air Force JROTC in high school, I have a much different level of appreciation for the sacrifices that authority figures, particularly law enforcement and other community service providers, make every day. I know what it is like to watch a family member walk out the door for a police beat and not know whether he’ll return, fearing for his safety, and yet I also know what it’s like to feel grateful to see him again the next morning, knowing he was out in the community doing right by us.

I almost went into the Air Force; I wanted to be a pilot. And, while I did not join on account of my obligations to my younger sister, my heart still yearns for my dress blues, my officer’s cap, my name tag and perfectly shined shoes. I miss the structure, the routine, the giving of myself to a higher purpose – to protect, to prevent, to assist. To be clear, I am not advocating that the military is always good, or that law enforcement is always in the right. It’s not necessary to explore those philosophical and practical concepts to truly embrace what I want to bring to light. What it boils down to is simple appreciation. Simply being grateful of the structure, the purpose, the sacrifice another makes, even if, in fact, you do not benefit personally from the act of sacrifice itself.

I was raised to say please and thank you to everyone, no matter to whom, just as a matter of respect. At some point in my life, I also started to go out of my way to intentionally thank active service professionals in uniform when I saw them. I would yell thank you across a street or walk past someone just to thank them. And generally, I had restricted my extra “intentional” expressions of appreciation to just military personnel. Then, I grew into thanking law enforcement and from there, I grew into thanking community service providers. Now, when I see first responders, I am beyond feeling urged; I feel compelled. Compelled to thank them, show my appreciation, to embrace the feeling of gratefulness and to hope to change that person’s day, allowing them to take a moment to acknowledge their personal sacrifice in being a first responder, and to be grateful for being appreciated. That seems circular, I know. But just think about it. When we appreciate someone, a person will usually acknowledge our appreciation. What I propose is that in that moment, that single moment, where gratefulness knows no bounds – color, race, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sex – we can shift the energy of the world to the positive, if only for a millisecond, if only for a moment. We can change how we feel about our life. We can, actually, change the lives of other people, and in effect, change the world.

Last fall, I was walking with a friend in Brussels. Suddenly, I felt compelled to thank a pair of Belgian army personnel standing near Schuman Circle. As I crossed two streets and approached with tenacity, they braced themselves, pulling their automatic weapons closer to their bodies, ready for defense. I walked right up to them, looked both of them straight in the eyes and I smiled. I thanked them. Their shoulders fell, they softened – and without hesitation, they responded – “de rien.” It’s nothing. You’re welcome. Two simple words in response to two simple words. But in truth, it’s not just “nothing” that others do for us. My friend was floored that I would thank them, or even speak to them. She grew up in a culture that did not see the military in a positive way and that’s okay, because I explained to her that it’s not about what they stand for – it’s about the men and women who stand on that corner, or live on that base, or go to work each day knowing that they might be running toward an emergency, toward terror, toward un-safety, so that we don’t have to. The sacrifice they make is worth a moment of appreciation, just as an expression of appreciation to a parent or sibling or coworker would be.

So, next time you see someone – a fireman, a police officer, military personnel, an EMT, any first responder, or even the person checking you out at the grocery store or your coworker who simply “did their job” – try it: say “thank you” … thank you for keeping us safe … thank you for helping us in an emergency … thank you for being here today … thank you for your sacrifice. It’s easy to do this, takes only a moment, and has the capacity to change someone’s day. You’ll know that you did something for someone else, perhaps on a day when they really needed it, and honestly, you’ll feel better. You will glow at your own expression of appreciation, and not in a conceited way, either. That feeling, that glow, that gratefulness – it will grow. It will change how you look at the sacrifices others in your life make, for you, with you, alongside you. And in that feeling of appreciation, you will find a moment of extra happiness, and together, those moments will transform into a habit of gratefulness and your day-to-day will turn more positive.

When we lead by example, we change our community. And maybe, just maybe, that random person you thank will be the one who interviews you, or picks you up off the street when you fall, or perhaps they will be the one who changes your life somehow, some way … and if we’re lucky, our future generations will feel grateful for others and will feel empowered to change their world, too.

It’s time for you to do the same. So, start by thanking yourself for all your hard work today. Now, thank someone else who went out of their way to help you. Or, frankly, just thank someone in your circle. Everyone deserves a little love. And, if you’re having trouble finding gratitude in your daily life, then I’m your girl. Let’s chat.

>>>>
About Sheila: An attorney, a social worker and an educator, she’s unlike any other person you’ve ever met. She thrives on a challenge, loves to solve puzzles and fix things and definitely loves helping make other people’s lives better – stronger – more efficient – happier. She tells terribly corny jokes, but maybe, just maybe, if you’re nice to her, and even laugh at her jokes, you’ll get something specially baked, just for you. Yep. For real.
>>>>
I have two goals each day: (1) to make a stranger laugh and (2) to be a better person each day than I was the day before. I meet these goals. Every. Day.

How to say goodbye (to practicing law)

It’s January. It’s that time of year when everyone makes New Year’s resolutions and swears they’ll keep them. Most resolutions include better time management, more time for self, more time with family, more gym time, more vacations and less stress. Unfortunately, if the system within which we operate doesn’t change, then it is all the more likely that goals won’t be met. It’s simple logic.

I have a confession that I think most lawyers would agree with: while I enjoy practicing law, and while I love advocating in the courtroom for those who need a voice, practicing law generally sucks. We’re an adversarial bunch. We fight with each other within ethical boundaries (usually) and we zealously advocate for our clients with legally sound and factually based arguments (usually). Suffice it to say that a substantial majority of our time is spent each day trying to convince someone (clients, opposing counsel, judges, juries) of something (name anything) that those people really just don’t want to believe. And personality is key in convincing people. Anti-social and not good with people? It’s likely you won’t win people over. Social and outgoing and still not good with people? Still likely you won’t win people over. Tired of losing and tired of being tired? You definitely won’t win people over. There’s a delicate balance in practicing law and it often requires a great deal of investment – time, energy, emotion – to get it right.

Most lawyers I know don’t want to practice law anymore. They continue to do it because they own a house, own a car, own a boat, owe spousal support, owe child support and/or have a mountain of student loans that got them into the practice of law to begin with. It’s the perfect storm: debt, frustration, fighting on a daily basis and fear of failure. We’re creating a profession of havoc with each graduating class of students who believe that the only way they can be happy make money is to litigate. Forgive me, but I think that’s just wrong. Bill Quigley, a wonderful mentor and fabulous professor, once said to us, “We all are born with one bucket of crap. It’s your job in life not to carry two. When you graduate, don’t buy a car, a house, have kids, get married … wait five years … see if you still like practicing law, and if you do, THEN consider doing all of those things.” He wasn’t kidding. His sage advice echoes in my mind each day and I can’t thank him enough for it. Most of my peers went against that advice. Most of my peers are unhappy.

In case you’d forgotten (though I am not sure how you could have), lawyers are one of the top professions to die by suicide. Depression, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, personality disorders – they are at the forefront of our profession. I attended an amazing LADB CLE recently (“Compassion, Fatigue and Solutions”), during which the speaker told us of his troubles during his time practicing law. He said something that resonates with me still today: “Lawyers are the only profession rewarded for pessimism.” It’s true. We are brainwashed trained to think about every single possible thing that could ever go wrong and to account for it, write it into a contract or settlement agreement and hope that we never get called out for not being able to predict the future. Ridiculous, right? This kind of skill set breeds resentment, sadness and fatigue. We are encouraging people to be fearful of what the future holds, rather than encouraging them to embrace uncertainty in life and to live each day to its fullest. It is our moral and ethical obligation to take care of our peers; they are our fellow professionals. This is just one of the many reasons why Article 8 exists – to maintain the integrity of our profession – to help others when they need help the very most.

Want to know how to stop practicing law? First, you admit you have a problem. (You want to stop, but haven’t yet? That’s called denial). Then, seek out professional help to transition your practice into what you want, not what you think you wanted or what you think you should be doing because you spent a fortune on law school. The time is now. There might not be a tomorrow. Help your community. Help yourself. Act now.

If you’re struggling in the practice of law – personally, professionally, financially – I’m your girl. Let’s chat, because I know there’s a happier life waiting for you. Let me help you get it.

>>>>
About Sheila: An attorney, a social worker and an educator, she’s unlike any other person you’ve ever met. She thrives on a challenge, loves to solve puzzles and fix things and definitely loves helping make other people’s lives better – stronger – more efficient – happier. She tells terribly corny jokes, but maybe, just maybe, if you’re nice to her, and even laugh at her jokes, you’ll get something specially baked, just for you. Yep. For real.
>>>>
I have two goals each day: (1) to make a stranger laugh and (2) to be a better person each day than I was the day before. I meet these goals. Every. Day.