All of the ghosts and goblins of Halloween are behind us and the time is here for us to address the rezoomers ‘inner demons’ that keep us small. Rezoomers often wonder if anyone will want to hear what they have to say or want what they have to offer. We have been out of the legal game or are changing the focus of our practice; who will want to hire us now?
The answer to this question for some of us may be found in a great book I recently read. The book is, Winning From Within , by Erica Ariel Fox. It addresses, pragmatically, our inner demons. Ms. Fox offers the results of her experience over the past 20 years and the study she conducted to define the different ways people approach problems and challenges. As rezoomers, we grapple with our own inner questions involving the sanity of this decision; addressing the issues of where or how to begin, or begin again, as well as the taming of our own insecurities.
In Winning from Within (Amazon), Fox discusses how different parts of our personality react to change, stress, challenge and dreams! Fox explores how, by recognizing our personal strengths and weaknesses in individual identities, we can successfully mix the best of each or our personality parts for a successful transition back into the legal business. She engages with Fortune 500 CEO’s in exploring their inner Warrior/Thinker/Lover and Dreamer. Why not enable the rezoomer to do the same? It helps them; why not let it help us!
Relax, this may be a little out there for my left brained lawyer-types, but trust me, once you read Erica’s book you will be a believer too. I confess, I’ve drunk the Fox WFW Kool-Aid. When she defined the “Performance Gap” between what you want to do and what you end up doing, I knew it was a topic I needed to bring to my rezooming audience. It is this process we need to learn and implement in order to get back in the game. It’s a case of recognizing Why, How and When you are getting in your own way and don’t even know it! What we allow to go on within our core decision-making brain-space dramatically affects what is going on outside in our rezooming endeavors.
We create our own reality from within. Outside forces then rise up to fill in the performance gap. Do you get it? Let me make it a bit easier. Erica quotes Daniel Goleman from his book, Emotional Intelligence, as saying, “we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels.” For the rezoomer the feeling mind often overpowers the thinking one. In fact, Fox quotes mythologist Sam Keen who wrote, “Few of us know the fantastic characters, emotions, perceptions and demons that inhabit the theaters that are our minds. We are thus defined more by neglected possibilities than by realized ones.” After reading Erica’s book you will be in touch with your inner negotiator. The one who helped you initiate your rezooming challenge or now hinders you by raising reasonable doubt. By knowing this piece of your own puzzle you will be able to use the strengths and skills you may never have known you possessed, and which Erica outlines in this fantastic ‘how-to’ book.
The book is 352 pages long and is an easy read. It speaks to the core of who we are and who we’d like to be. It is difficult to put down. In this post I am only reviewing her initial premise, both for the sake of word count and so as not to spoil your enjoyment of the book.
She outlines, “The Big Four” which provide the reader with the most manageable way to describe our live-in inner negotiator. Once we gain mastery over these inner negotiators we will be able to close the “Performance Gap.”
The “Big Four” are
The Dreamer she describes as the Chief Executive Officer.
The Thinker she describes as the Chief Financial Officer.
The VP of HR is the Lover.
And finally, the Chief Operating Officer is the Warrior.
I loved her analogy because, like you, I know these pieces of my personality puzzle. Some of them hold me back and others push me forward, still others confuse the heck out of me. When they are all working together I am at the top of my game. When two or more are at odds, I can really have a rotten day!
Now lets look at how Fox describes these, “Executive[s] in your Suite!”
When you are working with your inner CEO, the Dreamer, you see all the possibilities of rezooming your legal career. They are laid out neatly before you. Strategies on how to implement these possibilities and reach these visions come easily.
The voice of your inner CFO, the Thinker, helps you see your rezooming endeavor in perspective. It clarifies and analyzes the data being given by experience. It helps you manage the risk of rezooming. It helps you bite off just what you can chew at this moment in time and no more. Finish this bite and the thinker will set up the next logical bite from your rezooming apple.
Your Inner VP of HR, the Lover, respects your true feelings. It allows your emotions to be part of the process and helps you “manage your relationship[s].” Networking is key but how much and how many people do you really need to meet? If you are in overdrive you will meet everyone and only authentically connect with a few. If you are at equilibrium you will be in a position to meet those you are destined to meet, make meaningful connections and follow up for long-term relationships.
Finally, your inner COO, the Warrior, who for the most part guides the journey of we rezoomers, is the part of our personality puzzle which gives us the guts and gumption to get out there and ‘get ‘er done!’ Our warrior propels us back into the fray, encourages us to take action and fosters the persistence to reach our goals.
Make your rezooming decisions using one or all of the “Big Four,” Take a moment to check out who is in control. We often let doubt and uncertainty rule our thoughts. This can lead to false starts, missed attempts or failure to execute. Are you making a balanced decision? Have you considered the outcome fully? Will this end well for you? We always have this inner voice assisting us in implementation. Fox has simply identified it. After reading her book and understanding her study you will be able to focus on and listen closely to the positive input from your minds eye. It allows you to flawlessly implement after checking in with the ‘Big Four’ crew rather than a single segment that has caught your attention.
This article only scratches the rezooming surface of this wonderful study by Erica Fox. Her book expalins how these inner navigators of our rezooming ship help us succeed or stop us dead in our tracks. This book will help you identify who you are in this process, how you can strengthen your weakest link and foster success in your rezooming endeavor.
We are coming to the end of 2013. Some of us have been enormously successful in our rezoomer’s journey. Others did an honest job and are continuing on their positive trajectory. Still others are frustrated by the fact success continues to elude them. Being stuck may simply mean you need to identify which of the “Big Four” is working with you and which is causing you to doubt your rezooming process.
Solo Practice University is respected for providing its students with the practical ‘How To’ of solo entrepreneurship. The courses given at SPU on solo-preneurship work beautifully for the Warriors or Thinkers. Yet for the Dreamer or Lover, they can overwhelm us. Sometimes no matter how hard we try it just doesn’t click. Erica Fox now provides us with a guidebook for those of us who may need a little more help navigating solo practice success. Buy yourself an early holiday present and start 2014 mastering the “Big Four” for your own success.
Enjoy and keep rezooming!
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.