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Ep 44 The Tracksuit Economy

by Jacqui Brauman
November 25th 2020

This episode, Jacqui speaks with Emma Heuston from The Remote Expert. In 2011 Emma Heuston was on the traditional lawyer corporate path with an office job in a boutique law firm on the North Shore ... More

Welcome to the I. Q. Mixers EQ podcast. I'm Jacqui Brauman, principal solicitor at T. B. A. Law and ceo of legally wise women and as always I'm here with Ush Dhanak, former corporate lawyer, then head of HR and now an emotional intelligence coach. Good morning Ush morning, Jackie, how are you going? Really well, thank you yourself? Good, very good. The downhill slide towards christmas. I know I've already, I've had my tree up for like two weeks, like we'll put it up on the last day of october going, it will just help us feel a bit festive. So you already feel a bit christmassy already? I think we ended up doing Halloween and christmas together. It's a good mix. Yeah, lots of candy and like, I don't know what do you do for christmas pudding pudding. That's right, very good. And you've been busy? Yes, busy week actually. Still just getting all the, those induction of those two clients and then we've got one more that has come one for a three month pilot actually, which is called a line Tech.

So they do the Invisalign braces, okay, we're doing a three month pilot with them which kicks off in two weeks. Okay, great, it's good. That's going to keep you busy then. Yeah, I know, I know it's really good bunch of people and yeah, it's just so good to get this message out. So yeah, busy with that. Really? Yeah. Fantastic, well done. Um yeah, just the usual business full days, trying to implement some of the things on the wish list that I had that arose from that staff day, we had a little while ago. Um and just trying to get staff to settle back into a similar routine, You know, there's a few little niggles with people coming back and having to work closely with each other. So just ironing those out and I guess, you know, your sort of Eq stuff would be very relevant for all of that. Yeah, there are some that have formed a little cohort because they have sort of spoken much more to each other while they haven't been in work and now that they're back in more often they're sort of excluding others and little becoming a bit cliquey, probably unintentionally.

Even what's your strategy, they're just gonna have a word with them. Yes, I am. And I've also organized one is getting some extra individual training on some leadership stuff because she will be a future leader. Um So trying to get some perspective back in about team and and how she shows up and all that sort of stuff and the other, I think, yeah, I'll just talk to directly. Um and then um the two on the periphery of that, you know, I've been engaging with about what's going on and it will happen a Tricky one because it almost borders on, you know, you can't tell me who I can talk to. It is a tricky one, I think, you know, the best thing in these things is to raise the mirror, so it's all about perception. So this is not about you doing right or wrong. It's about the perception is creating the divide. It's creating, Yeah. And they might be completely unaware. So. Absolutely, yeah, Yeah, but just slowly slowly.

So Joy's about leading a team. Yeah, Yeah, that's right, yeah. And well you're leading a small team now too. How's that going? You know what, it's been a really eye opening. So I've got two guys now and they're not in Australia. So just for the time zones and this has been interesting but they're great. They're just like so keen, so eager and it reminds me of back in the old days of leading of just, you know, the structure, the tasks and the time that you invest in coaching and mentoring them, so and you know, finding different ways to do that as well, so on the phone or just on quick little voice notes and, and I think my big lesson this week is you know how much he gives them is what you're going to give back. So if you just expect to go, yeah, I've now hired you, here's a list, go do it. And I don't want to speak to you until it's done. Ain't the way um as much as part of me goes, ah that'd be awesome if we could just do that. Um And then the eq part of me kicking and going, no, no, I need to mentor and coach and teach. Yeah.

And it's been, it's been good. So we've now actually got three on board. Yeah, it's really exciting. And it's um, yeah, just to see where that's going to grow and how they're going to develop is going to be huge. Yeah, mm hmm. That's amazing. Very good. So yeah, all this remote work. Um, it's sort of a really good thing for today's guest, isn't it? It is. Um, so we're going to listen to the beautiful tones of Emma Houston. Um, I just love her musical voice. Yes, I'm glad you said that. I was like, oh my God, her voice is just awesome. Um, she is the remote expert. So another lawyer, she went down the traditional paths, starting in regional New south Wales and then working in a boutique firm on the north shore of Sydney. Then she had her sea change back. Um, she wrote a book called the tracksuit economy a couple of years ago, which I suppose was really good timing. So she was set for the pandemic and she'd been booming since rebranding to the remote expert as well.

So yeah, let's have a listen Emma, welcome to the podcast. How are you? I'm good thanks. How are you really well. So we had a great little bit of a chat beforehand and I'm always like, oh, better record before we get too much into it. But I'm really looking forward to getting to know you because I've watched sort of the growth of your new brand Quite interesting over the last 12 months or so, so excited to get into that, but before we dive too much into it when you were little, what did you actually want to be? So when I was about 13 I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. But before that I really just wanted to work in an office because my parents owned a passion fruit farm, so we'd always be out picking passion fruit in the heat with the snakes and getting up really early and I was like when I grow up I'm going to work in an office, that makes a lot of sense.

And you're one of the few people that actually wanted to be a lawyer Over the last 20 years. I've questioned that a few times and I really want to be a lawyer, you know? Yeah. Just thinking that's what I wanted to be and I didn't kind of change off that path. I did consider teaching and social work as well. Yeah, but kept coming back to the law. Yeah. Okay, that's really interesting. So in terms of your career path from, from high school, you went straight into a degree for law, did you? I did, yeah, double degree. So five years. And then two weeks after my final exam I got a job as a graduate, so I regret now not taking a gap here. Yeah. Yeah. Have you ever had some time off? It would have been really time off when my son was born. Yes. No, give my brain a break from law.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You're definitely using different parts of your brain I guess, aren't you? Yeah. So I suppose a very linear path in some respects like straight to study, Where did you study? I studied at any in our model, very regional. Yeah. No, I do know the university, my sister, we've actually had her as a guest on the podcast because she was a postdoc at our Madail for a little while. So yeah. Um, so that was great. So five years there. Did you get to work in a office while you were studying? No, I actually had to pick passion fruit during the holidays. Really ready for an office by the time, By the time I finished. Yeah. So did you do articles then after doing your degree? No, I got a job as a graduate lawyer and I did College of Law by distance and at that time, which was in Early 2000 it was the distance program was very new and technologically advanced and it was on cd Rom.

Okay. And the lecturers were filmed and they were talking on this Cd Rom and that was pretty cutting edge. And and if you compare that to the advances in technology to now, it's pretty amazing to think about. Yeah, but that's really innovative of them to think that they had done that back then I suppose to open it up to regions as well because not every one of us can slip into the city can we too? That's right. Otherwise because I was able to take a job and work and do it part time while I worked and did my practical experience at the same time. Whereas otherwise I would have had to have been accepted into bond university which we lived on the border where I grew up in Queensland and south Wales. I was going to go there and I would have been a full time student but not have a job. So it was actually really good to be able to be doing the practical side learning that because it was so different to law school, isn't it?

It's just a whole new learning curve. Absolutely, yeah. Yeah. So was it general practice that you went into, what was the sort of firm you got your first job was? So I was in for the first few years I was in general practice in scone in the upper hunter in New south Wales and it was actually pretty lonely time in terms of being single and small town. I'm not a horsey person. So the horsey click were quiet and I think my employers was kind of like a sink or swim sort of attitude. So now I think that's helped me, but he was really tough at the time. Um, so you were doing all sorts of court work I suppose as well. I was and I was sort of doing what the other two partner, what the two partners didn't want to do. So which was litigation and court work. And that's how I found myself sort of fallen into the family and I really thought I did want to be a family lawyer.

And so for the first eight years of my career I did family law litigation court work. Yeah. Yeah. Child protection. Yeah, a little bit, a little bit over the years. Yeah. Yeah. It's hard to sort of work, isn't it? Um Were either of the partners you worked for? Female one was um and she, you know, she she sort of taught me what I know about conveyancing but wasn't at all involved in the litigation and that was the male partner who was sort of more concerned with, taking photos on Fridays and working four days a week. And um yeah, so it was an interesting kind of, yeah, I can see how isolating that would have been particularly managing that heavy load. The emotional load you get in those sort of matters if you haven't got someone who wants to give you the support and the guidance is to dealing with that side of things, let alone the practical. Absolutely.

And at one point they thought I was getting too friendly with the secretaries who were the only people I knew my age and they're like, oh, it's almost like you're one of them stop stop doing that. It's like who do I need to talk to? You're not introducing me to other young professionals or making that effort? Yeah. So it's very it's been really interesting to think back on that time. Yeah. Yeah, but as you say, certainly developed the person that you are. Yeah. So in the period that you were there, you know, some of the moments when you questioned about being a lawyer actually know that they're not. Um So from there I went to Tamworth for five years and I worked mainly and family law and court work then. Um and there were more young professionals there, which sort of friends with quite a few of them and that was a lot more social, but I had quite a difficult colleague there who I think, you know, felt a bit threatened and clearly we didn't want the same things.

I didn't want to become a partner of that firm. And um and in fact at that point I think the family Lord had just, I've reached that point where I was like, hang on, I actually don't want to do this, I'm sick of people winching at me, which is awful. But I think when you can't take anymore you're just like, no. Yeah, yeah, that's right. You sort of um You almost you go out of your way as much as you can to do everything that you can. And then it's still not enough and you've got potentially 50-80 people and it's always the ones that complain, the ones that you remember and yeah, it does add up, doesn't it? And I was still young and single and I think to, you know, you'd have other lawyers sort of remember a male lawyer with Children of his own, he was negotiating christmas kind of time with kids and be like, oh you'll understand when you have Children, you know that kind of being and you just kind of and I was actually thinking I keep doing this, I don't think I want to get married and I wanted to do that.

So I really needed just to find something that was more compatible I think with with me and where I could make a difference without burning myself out. Okay, so now you start making some changes then what Was next? So in 2008 when I turned 30 actually I decided I was going to leave and I ended up in Sydney for about six years. Okay, so that was really interesting because that was the first time I've lived in the city. Um but it was really good and I was in a smaller boutique firm commercial and estate planning after a few months in a firm that isn't on my resume because it was, he was a bully and it was really just not, that wasn't for me. So yeah, it was actually a good thing because it prompted me to apply for a job. I thought I wasn't qualified for estate planning and commercial yeah.

Area and that's actually been where I found my strength. So it's interesting how it all works out. That's right. Things I suppose in hindsight happened for a reason. It's hard to hear it at the time though, isn't it? But yeah I've got one of those gaps in my resume to it's only three months so it's not really. Yeah I can tell. Yeah but I'm just saying no that's not going on. They're not that it matters now because now you are self employed too. So it doesn't matter what they can. Yeah. So ultimately um you have moved back to the regions and work for yourself. Which is another huge step. Two huge steps. That's right. Not at the same time though. Um so we sort of had my son in 2012 and when I was pregnant with him I had some health issues. And then when we had my son it was sort of Sydney just wasn't compatible with having a child.

That child care was difficult and expensive. My boss at the time was quite flexible but everything else in our life wasn't childcare costs, that kind of thing. We also wanted to buy a house but we didn't want an apartment, you know two hours from Sydney with a reasonable mortgage. We would have wanted something that just sort of stretched us financially, you know, and tied you into that treadmill of getting on that hamster wheel of working and doing all of that. And I had grown up in the finals and area of New South Wales and we have family up here. So we decided to make the move in to my son was about 18 months old. So at the end of 2013. Mm hmm. Yeah. Well you pushed for long enough. That's for sure. I completely understand all those struggles to and particularly if you don't have family that lives close by in Sydney.

Um, and just the lifestyle, it's so fast, you don't even have a chance to take a breath. Sometimes it is. And it's hard to even going to the beach in Sydney. It's such a nightmare trying to get a park and then you pay for parking and busses and just getting anywhere with the baby was really, mm hmm. It shouldn't be that hard. You know, it shouldn't be this hard. No, that's right. And again, I suppose you realized what you were prepared to tolerate and what you weren't. And as you said, you knew that it didn't have to be that way and you weren't so worried about impressing a whole lot of people just for the sake of impressing them. Yeah. And one of the consultants who was a senior managing partner of ebs with um, we're at the boutique from where I was working, he was like oh that's great, you're moving, but what about your career? And I'm like oh there's lawyers where I'm going and it's interesting. I often think about that now because of the turn that my career is taking, its, I run a virtual firm so I could be doing it from anywhere in Australia.

Yeah. Yeah. And as you said before we started recording, you went completely remote before we then all had to go remote. So you certainly got a head start and then you you sort of proved the point as well, like you can work from anywhere and we've all realized that and I think that certainly clients are far more now realizing it themselves to like I don't need to pay a lawyer a lot of money to have a Collins street or a Sydney office address and pay their overheads when I can get really good service remotely. Absolutely. And as a business owner it means so the bottom half of our houses office now plus a spare room. But it also means that we don't have to make that that extra money each month, it's not such a grind just to pay the landlord. So yeah, it's interesting and interesting way to do things but I think a good way and I actually saw an article yesterday which had talked about, you know a lot of new law firms are lifestyle firms but you know, they're not growing like we are and I still like, hang on, I have been growing over the last six months.

And what is that? Why does it have to be one or the other? I think that's a really patriarchal and really traditional view actually, even though it was purportedly coming from a new law. Mm hmm. Trying to make a point of difference between themselves and perhaps everyone else in the field. It's quite interesting, isn't it? I read something recently as well. Again, focusing on the legal industry and how self satisfied they tend to be with themselves and hence they haven't really driven all that much innovation. And I don't like the phrase new law generally because I sort of think we should have been doing that all along. Like I've been doing that since I opened my firm and I've never really bragged about it. I just got on and done what needed to be done and people appreciate it. But maybe maybe it's a bit of a marketing fault for not claiming the new law thing. But I don't know. I think new law only means something to other lawyers, clients don't care.

They just want you to do a good job and be available and talk to them in a language they understand they don't care if you knew more than just a job done. Yeah, that's a great point. Fantastic. And it sort of comes back to what I said before that in moving and realizing you just didn't want to have the the unit with the huge mortgage just to impress other people. You knew what you wanted. And it's the same thing like we know what our clients want I guess and we, we don't have to impress other people in the legal profession. Yeah, that's right. It's not about and that's what I struggle with linkedin. Sometimes it's you know, beating people beating their chest about awards or this or that, which is different and it's quite different to other social media platforms. Yeah. Yeah. But it's been lovely during the Covid, one of the positives is to see a bit more humanization and linkedin. Yes, I think linkedin has changed a little bit over the last six months like you say.

And it's certainly where I've started noticing you more and more to and as you said, you've certainly noticed growth over the last six months too. So tell us tell us about the branding and about what you do and why you do it. And yeah, I'm really keen to know It's good. So in March 2019 I started the remote expert and the year previous had written a book called the tracksuit economy and how to work from home productively and effectively. And that got a lot of attention and what I realized is that there was no one looking at these helping people who worked differently. And when I went to start I had colors of my brand and then they were similar to the colors I have now. But then a couple of people said, oh, they're very feminine, you might not get mail, we might alienate male clients. So I ended up with this charcoal gray and this bottle green and white and it looked okay, but it wasn't really me.

And then I was like, we helped remote teams and I got some work, but it didn't really gel. And, but then what happened, I was starting to get a lot of women coming to me who knew I did work and they were probably a bit like me left the corporate wife because it just didn't suit what they wanted for their own life and their families. Um, and then I was just like, hang on. Well, their remote home based workers to that, they're mostly people like me got their business. Um, from home probably myself. Most of my clients are professional women who have decided, look That 9-5 working for someone else isn't for them. And some of them do have remote teams or they've got an office, but they have contractors or remote people. So there's very much that element of remote work. And since COVID that's even more the case, but there's also an element of a small business and online business.

And that's been the real key, especially with Covid most to my clients, they were online, but I've got so many more clients who have gone online because they had to, they've been putting it off or they haven't had much of a presence and then all of a sudden they have to start doing things online. But they're not quite sure how or they need. Online courses has been a huge growth area during Covid and that's been really interesting to watch and help people because it's not about, okay, there's a course that there's all these things, it's a contract, but there's also, you're really tricky things that you don't own the platform, you're likely using to deliver it. What happens if that disappears all these other intellectual property things? People copying courses because the online space is getting really crowded. It's not so much Wild West that I think was, but it's still people still don't really stick to the rules, do they know?

And I think it's easy when you're sitting behind a keyboard to just something you wouldn't say to someone's face, which I think is a lovely test to think about. Even an email when you're a bit grumpy to just sort of sit back and say, hang on, would I say that to their face and often if there's an email that I get, you know, I will keep it in my drafts. Look at it the next day, would I say that? Yes, I probably would. Yeah, that's a good tip. So other than one on one services, What sort of other products and things have you gone into in terms of having online legal services? So I've got some templates, some remote work templates, but I've also got the first of my supercharged templates and that's supercharged for lawyers and the lawyers wanting to start up their firm. It's a template handbook with resources, some consults with me and some videos as well to implement, but I'm rolling out over the coming weeks.

Supercharged for online courses, supercharged for online memberships and all employing something called the supercharged method, which is about growing that business in the online space and not just, it's sort of looking at, I suppose what we're talking about earlier that you can have it all, but not necessarily do it all and growth plus lifestyle and having that work life balance. So it's about, I suppose working smarter rather than harder and looking at your business systems, making sure you've got all the legals behind them, making sure your brand is protected and looking at how you grow. So a lot of Michael, They might go from 1-1, consults to one too many um, online courses or group, that kind of thing. Yeah. So that's um, that's the concept behind all of these really specific packages that are starting to pop up like mushrooms on line shop.

Yeah, great. It's all very innovative. I love the concept of supercharged too because you're right, there's so much leverage and power to be gained from internet and being able to sell to anyone in Australia or the world that it can supercharge you and your business, can't it? Yeah, absolutely. And if you think about my business, I have clients all around Australia, but if I went down to bologna and put a Shop front up, I might just get people around that local sort of 50 km, right? Yes mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah, it's um, it's certainly the way to go. Do you have any more insight I guess, into the way people are going to continue working business, you know, over the next shorter term as we're coming out of Covid? Do you think that there are so many changes we're going to keep? Yeah, I think that I think the cat is out of the remote work bag now, I don't think it's going to go back in and slowly seeing companies announced bigger companies like Microsoft.

And I see him saying we're giving people the choice and you're seeing other companies, bigger companies say, well we'll have our hub. I think office works, I read the other day they're going to have a main office hub, but it's going to be for getting together meetings, but they're going to let people work from home some of the days and that's also going to be a cost cutting exercise because at the moment I think this Covid, it's really put costs into the spotlight and I used to do a lot of commercial leasing in my last role and the lease, you know, the rents are pretty high. So I can imagine, and especially if people don't want to come in hundreds of thousands a year that some companies are saving by downsizing, still having a presence, but not having the same. Everyone's got to sit here, we've got to be able to see you all and sort of working your cubicles and mm Yeah, I I completely agree.

I think that, you know, if we're going to have to be forced to go back and commute and sit in our cubicles, I think there's going to be a big push back. So Time will tell when I was promoting my book, I was on the today show with Mark Mark Rendall Social Researcher and he was actually saying at that point, so this was in 2018. The best research then was that people actually benefit from a mixture of in person and face and at home. So the best mixture is say three days at home and two days in the office. So you get the best of both worlds, you get that productivity, but you also get the social connection and the team building. And I think that's probably a really good thing to look at. But I think we've also learned, you can build teams through zoom and it doesn't have to be sitting there or it could be, you know, you have a weak team building week, but then you can, so there's all sorts of different ways to do things.

True. Yeah, options have certainly opened up, which is great. I tend to agree that there's all these little chats that you can have when you are face to face that you wouldn't have otherwise because you can't really do it via zoom and they're beneficial. But as you say, they're not necessarily productive. So it's, it's sort of flip side. But certainly from a legal perspective, you know, with a lot of hearings happening remotely. I think that again, it's going to be a bigger push for the legal industry too because a whole lot of discussions happened outside the court door, face to face and settlements happen that way, which I think we're now missing out on. Yeah, that's a good point needs to be reconsidered as well. Having said that if parties were committed to having it might actually push parties, why wait until you've run up tens of thousands of cost on the day of hearing, when you could actually commit to that process months earlier, completely completely agree.

But it's illegal. It's still illegal. Industry change, isn't it? Because the parties don't necessarily know that you can do that or that your lawyers are guiding you in this direction. Yes, very interesting chicken or the egg situation a little bit there, isn't it? And I think in years to come. I think it was probably coming, but I've read a couple of people actually have had the opinion it's 10 years, it's pushed us forward and I don't, I don't know how they've said they just probably 20 years behind. So whenever I think that's right. And I think as the baby boomer generation retires that we naturally progress a bit more with that to generation X my generations of sandwich generation, we have parents with issues, kids with caring things that we are going to be stretched for time and it's a perfect way to get some balance. That's right. Yeah, absolutely. So knowing everything that you know, now, what would you go back and tell your, well maybe not 21 year old self, maybe more like 24 or 25 year old self once you're you're out in the workforce, um, I would say a couple of things and that speak up if you don't like something, don't just put up with it, speak up in a, an assertive way.

You don't have to be aggressive but to be assertive. Um, and look at a personal brand. I see so many millennials now coming through and they've got this and there's law students starting podcasts and there's all these people on linkedin with, wow and I think social media has really helped that because we just didn't have anything like that. We we didn't have mobile phones were bricks when I was at university. Yes, but it's so good because you, you know, I think you kind of get that job, but then you when you're looking for another job, if you've got a personal brand, it's so much easier. I think you don't sort of, well I didn't realize and I was probably quite naive that I'll be working at these places but actually their jobs and I might really enjoy some places or meet some great people, but at the end of the day their jobs and you know, if things were going not well in recession like this, that unfortunately I might be out of that job because they're protecting themselves the business first and then the employees as well as you can treat your employees, they maybe aren't always doing going to be the best fit for the organization for whatever reason, so and to then go and then be able to start my own business and to get clients yourself.

Having that personal brand would have just made it so much easier at every step along the way. Yeah, great advice. It really is. Um and as you say, you're you're also building your network along the way to if you're doing it more consciously like that to rather than just sort of head down doing the work and letting the relationships in the world pass you by. And I used to say, oh I hate, you know, I used to be, but the guy, I hate networking, I'll do it like, you know, but you used to think that in that sleazy real estate agents or recruit away taking hands and drinks with really awkward conversation. But I think things like linkedin and other social media has actually changed the way that people do that type of thing. And I suppose conferences a bit like the retreat, Clarissa's conference, it's sort of taken a bit more humanness to the law rather than we don't just have see leaves about technical legal things which we need to do because that's our that's our sort of requirement there.

But there are other ways to interact with people and colleagues. Yeah. Yeah. No, that's a great point talking about them. The retreat as well and particularly Clarissa's focus on happiness and well being in the workplace, do you have your own check ins and rituals that you do to make sure you're okay? Yeah, look, I keep you know, I'll keep a watch on how hard I'm working. I do try and officers downstairs for a reason so I will try and just shut that often, go upstairs and have that separation between home and work because otherwise it's quite difficult, which I know a lot of people found during Covid to have that separation. Um, and also self care is important, whether that's some time out by yourself for a massage or or that kind of thing. But also some real talk just saying to yourself, well what's, well, I care about this tomorrow and what's the worst that can happen if I do this, I tend to notice a lot of my clients, but a lot of colleagues, I know, you know, they'll they'll agonize over something.

And my theory, my check in I suppose is just do it, you can always fix it later. I try not to worry too much about that kind of thing and I think that's really helpful in terms of not tying stuff up in knots about decisions. Yeah. Yeah, no that's fantastic advice. Um it's a way of giving yourself perspective, isn't it? How important is it? Really? Yes. Yeah, brilliant. Good. Um so if someone wants to ask you questions, continue the conversation. Um you are the remote expert, where can they find you? You're online. I've got a website W W dot the remote expert dot com um or email. Hello at the remote expert dot com. But I'm also on linkedin is Emma Houston um Not Houston, we have a problem with an O U T O N. And facebook and instagram as well, all the places.

Fantastic. Yeah. Yeah. Um so excellent. I would love for people to connect with you and particularly check your website out and see all those bits and pieces that you're doing and particularly the super charge. I think that that will be exciting to watch those as they develop. So look, thank you so much for your time. I think that, you know, it's so great what you've been able to do and I think, as you said not only your day to day perspective, but I think your you've generally been able to bring a lot of perspective to your life overall and really create something wonderful, so well done. Thank you. Alright, what do you think? Yeah, she's, she's great. I think the branding change was such a smart move timing, such good timing and I think, you know, that just really shows where everyone hates the word pivot, but you know where you can really pivot, even if it's not a business change or career change, just literally a pivot where it's sort of, you know, stop what you're doing, look around that basketball analogy right before you check that ball as Adam Markle and his book pivot says is, you know, that's that's what she did.

Um and I think what's really good is how she's gone, you know what, I've got all of these skills, I've been doing this already, how do I now market this and packages and let people know about it. Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think she took the time to get it right as well because she didn't speak about all the input that people try and put in and you know, you should, you might exclude people, you should have these colors and blah blah blah and it ends up something completely that she didn't want and so she brought it back to where she intuitively knew it needed to be. Um and I think again, she's another person who has been really insightful or at least been able to really think about what she wanted the whole way, hasn't she? Yes. Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think you're right. I mean that story, that part of the story around, you know, just the branding colors, it may seem something small. But if it's not in alignment with who you are or what you feel, I find that you don't then perform right at your best.

And then that really shows and it affects the people around you and the people who want to work with you. So, and I think they also attract the right people when you are true to yourself. So it may not okay, you might be driving certain people away, but maybe that's okay too. That reminds me of, you know, Rasheeda when we had rashida on. Um, and she was doing my sort of website copyrighting. She's like, because I just had this really epiphany working with you. And I'm like, what's that? And she goes, I just want to copyright for women. And and she goes, you know, before I was too scared to admit that because I thought, oh my God, I need the work of other people. And You know, potentially men and I'm closing off to 50%, you know what's going to be available to me. But it hasn't impacted her business in any way, shape or form negatively. So no. Yeah, it's made it clearer for those who need to find her. Yeah, exactly, yeah. Um talking about Emma's insight, I really liked that she worked out that her life is not about impressing others, which is something that I've been conscious of for a long time as well or you know at least the last four or five years, you know that the path I've taken has probably been more about impressing and improving, improving myself to others and I've ended up in a place which is all about that rather than something that I wanted.

And so she took the time to go, well I don't want the hamster wheel, I want the family with a country lifestyle with the beach close by. I don't need the huge overheads just to have a fancy office to impress others. I don't want to waste the time in my day with the commute, all those sorts of things and was strong enough when a senior solicitor said to her, what about your career? You know? Yeah. Well more fool him. Exactly. And I think it's a great point. Um you know, I think we just, I think we're conditioned into that trap of wanting to impress others. I don't think, you know, we consciously, you know, wake up in our careers and I'm doing this to make other people happy. I think it's just you know, if you imagine how we are when we go through school and uni, it's it is a little bit competitive. It is a bit about, you know, but when I finished, you know, my law degree and was, you know, starting the bar is constantly the conversations were about where you're gonna go, you're gonna work with, you know, where's your pupil?

Ege, where's this? Where's that? And you naturally fall into the habit of, oh my God, I've got to do it. But everyone else is doing it and it takes a hell of a lot of courage to stop actually stop what you're doing and what actually is this what I really want to do um or am I just doing it because I have to and I want to impress other people. Um hmm. And maybe throughout your twenties you sort of doing away because you haven't worked out yet what your definition of success is, you're just following the script in a way, aren't you? So like competition. Yeah. Actually, I put a post up yesterday, I was reading something in a book and it was about, you know, how people say to you, oh, you've changed, you know, and it's great to hear that with a positive tone. Yeah. And I've had it a lot throughout the last five years. Trust me and honestly it's not been said in a positive ways. It's almost been like that. Oh, you've changed and you know, just like little sinister being undertone Under under said thing and I was reading something yesterday, someone blogged about and they were like, you know what I would bloody hope that I've changed because if I was the same person I was at uni or the same person I was when I got my first job, I'd be really concerned because I haven't grown, I haven't pushed myself and we constantly do need to change who we are in terms of our attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, values.

So, you know, my post yesterday was all about next time someone says that and it feels negative, you just got to smile back and thank them too because actually letting you know that you've done something good. Yeah. Yeah. And it's really noticeable. It doesn't mean that matter if it makes them uncomfortable. That's and I think that's what it is. It makes other people uncomfortable. They want a version of you that they're used to and I've done it, I've done it with my friends, remember leaving the UK and you know, noticing the change in them once I've moved and I'm like, I don't want you to change, are you to say the same person you were when we did uni together, but they're not they're not the same person. But it's my grief and my loss that I was feeling. Yeah, it's and it's a grief and loss of almost A time you want to try and hold onto it, you can almost draw a parallel between immigrants and wanting their home country to stay the way it was when they left, you know, 2030 years ago and in fact it changes to? Yeah, that's right because it's the, you know the comfort and it's it's what our brain wants, it wants to stay.

You know, there's a saying that also our brain wants to stay in the discomfort because it's more familiar, okay. Even even if it's not, we know logically it's not helping us for our growth, we just want to stay there. Yeah, yeah, we do look on things with rose colored glasses, don't we? We yeah, yeah and we say to ourselves, we know this should change, but we're like, oh no, it's fine. Yeah, so I mean I think really feel like that's the theme from Emma is just really self awareness and just not giving a shit about what others think of you and she is just I think she put out an article recently saying that um she's earning far more than she ever did in the traditional role now and so um stuff what everyone else thought about her career and now with her new packages that she's coming out, you know, she's introducing lawyer services and helping other lawyers do a similar thing.

So good on her. Yeah, it's like that saying, isn't it? When you first do something different, people go why are you doing it? And then after you've done it, they're like, oh how did you do that and that she is a classic case of that, You know, what are you doing that? What about your career? Why? Why? Why now she's teaching the, how now she's teaching the success of what she's done. Mm And starting to define in your own way. Although I can feel that she doesn't like being labeled by the industry clients. Don't care what we label ourselves as. No, it's true. I think she nailed it. Like when she said all they care about is a service and what they're going to get. And you know, as long as you tell them what they need and it's in plain language doesn't, doesn't really matter what method is. Um or what way it is. Right. And I think we get hung up on that stuff more. Mm hmm. Yeah. And it's it's the hangover, isn't it? Of still we've been impressing others for so long. And even when we go out and do something a little different, we still want some kind of external validation from our peers.

When just like Emma said, it's not about impressing the other professionals? It's about impressing your clients. So when you were listening to her, what what, what came up for you when you felt that you were still doing things that other people? In what way? Well, I'm definitely sitting in a box that other people expect me to be like And I'm over it. And it's a it's a big task to be putting that restriction on myself every day and to show up how they expect me to show up. So it's really starting to grind me. Whereas, you know, I was happy to be in that box for a long time, but I'm so ready to step out of it and actually try and be more true to what I actually want. Hmm. What would be one thing you could do? Well, the expectations Around being a lawyer is that I'm in the office from 7:30 AM until 7:00 PM. Well, no, actually like, and my highest purpose in the business is not billable hours anymore.

Others should be doing that because I am also doing the finances, the strategy, the marketing, the payroll. The process is I'm doing all those and still building the highest. The billables are no longer going to be my priority. Do you? Yeah, good. But yeah, but you know what that expectation I mean? You know, you've got a question as well. This is what I constantly do to myself is are we putting that expectation on us or really are other people? And is it our own limitations and fears that stopping us from doing what we want to do? Yeah, it's a little bit of both. And it's a fear about their reaction as well when I stopped meeting their expectations, but you know, particularly lawyers who don't actually get the concept of a higher value than billables. Like they think that that's the pinnacle. Whereas there are higher value tasks to be done in a business than billable hours.

So yeah, we'll have some interesting changes over the next six months or so. Yeah. And you know what I mean? Even if it means you're going to make small changes so that you're comfortable with them, I think I think that's the key is just start shifting a little bit every time and then you will step back and go, oh my God, I've now accomplished that. As opposed to trying to go, I've got to change my whole way of being at work, which seems like a mountain that you're not going to be able to climb. So. Absolutely, yes, you have to remind me. Yeah. And it might just be like, you know, working from home one day a week while your team are in the office, that's cool too. Or leaving early more days than you don't. Yeah. So yes, some small steps and yeah, I was going to say, you need to remind me in six months because if I ease in and in six months time I've achieved what I needed to achieve. But it has been such a slow process and then I don't celebrate that. I've done it. Yeah. But I mean, you know, look at how far you have come, even remember us talking about the marketing and your course and getting all of that set up and now that's all happening.

You know, you've done it. You know, we're getting your emails and your videos and we've both made a lot of progress and it will be interesting. It was even interesting editing some of the the first episodes that we did and the conversations to where we are now. I know it makes us think where it's going to be in the next six months. Yeah, that's right. So having said all that, what's on then for the next fortnight or so for you. So next week I've got that Queensland Law Society festival thing on. Fantastic. And then a ton of coaching. I think I actually just was looking at it last night that like next week I probably got about 12 hours of individual and group coaching. Fantastic. Yeah. I just really really getting into that next week and then obviously training this this team up so one of them is actually going to be doing some of the social stuff and I'm actually an insta by the way and let everyone know now. Great having a social detox of facebook for a year and a half.

I just couldn't couldn't fathom going back on it. So I thought I'll try and stuff. So I thought you were on yesterday as well. Yeah. Yes, I've got a personal account. I've got the TB a law account and I've got the legally wise women account on there so they just chip away. Yeah. No, that's good. You've got a lot of things to implement your EQ, your own eQ with, haven't you? Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, so one of these guys that come on to join the team is going to be managing that sort of stuff. So yeah, just training, development on the brand, the style of my voice, all that sort of stuff. Yeah, fantastic. Wow. Big leaps forward. Yeah. What about you for the week? So I've also got that law institute panel thing coming up. Yes, because we both have that on here. Yeah. I've also been asked to go on Tracy's Softwares podcast. So we interviewed Tracy nearly two years ago. We do, yeah, that'll be, that'll be good.

And otherwise just, you know, starting to move into december, starting to tell everyone, you know when the office is going to be closed and get that messaging out and send out the corporate merry christmas cards and all those things and then it will be november. Mm hmm That's right. Alright, well, we'd love to hear from people particularly about all the working from home stuff that Emma was talking about. Please help us continue the conversation like you meets eq dot com dot au is a good place. We're both on linkedin or where can people email you direct? Yes. So E Q academy dot com dot au has all my details and insta is underscore EQ good one. Yeah, I was like personal business and I was like, you know what I'm going to just merge the two. So that's what I've done. What a big step even that is just showing your Grossly it is, especially merging the two into one profile.

So yeah, that's, that's what it is, a little bit about me, the real raw meat and then the business side too fantastic. And the main place people can still find me is still to be a law dot com dot au. The whole team has all their direct emails on there, so I'd love to hear from you all. So yeah, we'll catch you next time. Mhm.

Ep 44 The Tracksuit Economy
Ep 44 The Tracksuit Economy
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