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Melissa Shanahan

#237: Melissa’s Wish for You in the New Year

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Here we are, closing out another year, and Melissa has some important reminders for you this week as you look ahead to the new year.

For most law firm owners, this is a time of year where there tends to be a self-critical voice at play pretty consistently, and it’s easy to lose sight of exactly how far you’ve come. Even if this year hasn’t been as deliberate or as fruitful as you’d hoped, there’s a lot to be proud of yourself for, and Melissa is showing you why.

Join Melissa this week as she reminds you of important truths that often get lost in self-criticism and the pressures of life, and why letting yourself be with these truths is key as you reflect on and take stock of everything you’ve accomplished in 2023. 

If you’re a law firm owner, Mastery Group is the way for you to work with Melissa. This program consists of quarterly strategic planning facilitated with guidance and community every step of the way. Enrollment will be opening soon, so join the waitlist right now to grab one of the limited seats!

Show Notes:

What You’ll Discover:

• Important reminders to keep in mind as you look to the New Year.

• How to create a new normal for yourself in any realm.

• Why the challenges you’ve faced have helped you make progress this year.

• How to use this time between the holidays and the new year.

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Full Episode Transcript:

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I’m Melissa Shanahan, and this is The Law Firm Owner Podcast Episode #237.

Welcome to The Law Firm Owner Podcast, powered by Velocity Work, for owners who want to grow a firm that gives them the life they want. Get crystal clear on where you're going, take planning seriously, and honor your plan like a pro. This is the work that creates Velocity.

veryone, happy holidays. My wish is for all of you listening to this podcast are with those you care about the most, and surrounded by love and have the ability to take a breath before we start an exciting new year. Before we get too ahead of ourselves with starting an exciting new year.

I want to take this opportunity to applaud your hard work and dedication this year. You've accomplished so much. If you're listening to this podcast, I know that that's true. I know that for most of the people that I'm associated with, most of the law firm owners that I have the privilege of working with, there is a self-critical voice that's at play pretty consistently.

I want today's episode to provide and be a reminder to you of the truth that sometimes gets lost in the self-criticism and in the pressures of life. The pressures we put on ourselves, the pressures that we feel from those around us. And sometimes we get lost in it all. I really wanted to record an episode to express how I think about you all. That's for members and clients, and that's for people I get to interact with that aren’t members and clients.

If you're listening to this, there are some truths that I'm going to share on this episode. I want you to take them in, and let yourself just be with those truths for a bit, without any other voices, without any other noise.

I'm going to start here by reminding you of a few things that are true, unequivocally true. The first is that small wins, equal big impact. Small wins over time, small wins consistently stacked is what creates a big impact. You have had a bunch of small wins this year.

My hope is that you take stock of those and you recognize that those small wins do stack. Maybe it isn't perfectly, I'm sure that you have a critical voice on how it could have been better, it should have been better, it could have lined up differently. But that's not the place for today.

So, I want you to just set that down and think about the little steps, the turtle steps this year that you have taken, and how that has put you in a different place than last year. The beauty of that is that you can keep stacking. And now, because you have these small wins that you've taken this year alone, you now have a new vantage point because of those.

That allows you to stack more, and create new normals for yourself. That's what I mean by all this, it’s just creating new normals. You create new normals through small wins, through stacking, turtle steps, one after the next after the next after the next. That's how you create a new normal for yourself in any realm.

You have done that this year. Even if it wasn't deliberate; if you feel like this year hasn't been a deliberate year and it hasn't been as focused or as intentional as you could have, should have, would have been. If you take a moment to think about the turtle steps that you've had, those small wins that you've had, the progress that has been made, you will understand.

And you will have a point of view that allows you to see what that's given you to enter into the next year. And, be really thankful that you are now where you are. This applies even if you find yourself in a really tough spot right now.

I think about with hiring, for example, you do a lot of work to hire someone and it's a big investment of resources, money, time, etc. And if that person doesn't work out, for one reason or another, and you find yourself back into this place where it's like, “Ugh, I’ve got to start this process over again,” it would be very easy to just be stuck in that funk.

This opportunity… I want you to use this podcast as an opportunity with anything tough that you're facing, to recognize that this was always going to be a part of the journey and so it is progress. You have gone through and made the hires that have taught you certain things, that got you to this place now where you're better equipped to make a hire in the future.

Maybe it's because you're going to ask better interview questions. Maybe it's going to be because you onboard better. Whatever it is, now you know something because of an experience you didn't know before, and that is progress. That is stacking one small step after the next. It may not feel like a win in the moment, but it's a small step.

It is worth acknowledging that that stacks, and the small steps that you've made in the face of challenges and barriers. Maybe you've had periods of flow where it felt really easy, but the small steps you've taken have made you stronger, more adaptable, and better equipped for what lies ahead.

Use this time and this space, this special space, between the holidays and the new year to acknowledge all that you're doing RIGHT, Not where you’ve fallen short. There's a time and a place for that. There's a time and a place for self-evaluation, that there's some scrutiny on the steps that you've taken. Do your actions line up with your values, and with where are you say you want to go?

But listen, this is not the time for that. This is the time to just allow yourself to sit in the truth that you have made progress this year. And acknowledge that for yourselves. Acknowledge the small steps that you've taken; some have felt like progress, some haven't. But they are all progress. Really allow yourself to sit in that and own that fully.

As someone who thinks about and works with law firm owners every single day, every single day, I am thinking about you as listeners, about my members, about my clients. I am thinking about what could propel you, what I wish for you, what I hope you understand. The excitement that I get from watching the journey unfold for each person that I get to interact with.

I say all that to help you understand, and to be able to communicate to you in the best way I know, how that I believe in your potential. I am really looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you in the upcoming year. Because I know for a fact, it has taken you to this place that you are now. That you have the results that you have created. You have the experiences now, that you have cultivated.

Here we are closing out a really beautiful year. Despite how hard it may have been, I hope you feel a sense of pride. Because I am proud of each and every one of you. Not in a weird mom way, but I feel a sense of pride for you.

As I witnessed journeys, and even if I don't know the stories of everyone, like listeners that I don't get to talk to, I know you have your own story, your own journey, that you are on and you have taken steps of progress. And now, you're here. It's the perfect point to begin the next year.

My wish for you is that you feel that. That during this holiday season, you remember to take moments for joy and for relaxation and for gratitude and appreciation. All of this contributes to your wellbeing. Your wellbeing is essential. And all of this, that we've been talking about, this is what fuels future success. It's just taking a moment to take stock.

Alright, everybody, have a beautiful week. See you next Tuesday.

Hey, you may not know this, but there's a free guide for a process I teach called Monday Map, Friday Wrap. If you go to velocitywork.com, it's all yours. It's about how to plan your time and honor your plans. So, that week over week, more work that moves the needle is getting done in less time. Go to velocitywork.com to get your free copy.

Thank you for listening to The Law Firm Owner Podcast. If you're ready to get clearer on your vision, data, and mindset, then head over to velocitywork.com where you can plug in to Quarterly Strategic Planning, with accountability and coaching in between. This is the work that creates Velocity.

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