Season 1, Episode 018
In this episode of Legally Blissed Conversations, we are joined by Davina Frederick, an attorney, law firm growth strategist, and founder of Wealthy Woman Lawyer®, LLC. Using the skills she developed in her career as a professional services marketer, she built her own successful law firm straight out of law school. Now, after coaching other women law firm owners and teaching them how to scale to $1M or more in their law firm businesses, she’s developed systems to help more women do the same.
Davina is on a mission to help women leverage their economic power.
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases, it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Suzi: I would like to welcome everyone to the legally list conversations podcast and I would love to welcome my friend Davina Frederick today Davina is a Florida licensed attorney he started and operated two law firms before she decided to become a law firm growth strategist and business coach for other women law firm owners in 2013. In the past eight years, she’s helped hundreds of women law firm owners scale their law firm businesses to and through $1 million with total ease. I like that second part. Davina is also the author of two books on scaling law, your law firm business and she’s the founder of the popular wealthy woman lawyer podcast so make sure you go check that out. So welcome again, Davina. I’m so happy you’re here. So how are things going today?
Davina: Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for going well, today, I have to say in Florida. It’s beautiful. It’s sunny, warm day we’re already moving into. We’re skipping spring going right to summer. It looks like and but it’s wonderful. Wonderful. I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to be here. It’s it’s interesting to sit through an introduction like that. And you’re like, oh, yeah, I guess I didn’t do that. Awkward.
Suzi: No, but you you do have quite the resume. So let me ask you. I’m curious. Why did you decide to go to law school,
Davina: So I did not. I have a whole other career. Before I went to law school. I did not go to law school at size in my late 30s. And I time I graduated law school, I was 40. So it definitely very much was a second career for me. I had a habit, my undergrad degree was in journalism. And I really had dreams of being you know, a traveling foreign correspondent traveling around the world. And you know, writing for newspapers and world war torn, torn countries and all that. But it was just kind of hilarious for anybody who knows me because I get motion sick if I walk too fast. So the idea of me being on planes, trains and automobiles is ridiculous. But I wound up instead. Staying in Orlando, I married my first husband. And he and I, there weren’t a lot of journalism games in town, there was only one newspaper in town, and I really wanted to work for a newspaper. And that was the Orlando Sentinel. And so the odds of me as a fresh grad getting a job fair, were kind of slim to none. So I started looking for other types of writing jobs. And I got a job as a technical writer for an engineering firm. And that what that meant to them was really marketing, because they had to write a lot of technical reports, to respond to requests for proposals. And so they needed somebody to translate engineer speak into sales speak marketing speak for the people preceding their proposals. So that launched me into career in marketing, and I was in marketing for about 15 years, I worked for the largest law firm in Central Florida. I worked for an ad agency. And I really my favorite job was really at the ad agency because I went from being a support person in a company to the one he was the money generator because I was a copywriter and an ad agency your graphic designers that are copywriters are the ones who are, you know, the billable people once you’re making money. And I really found my people and I absolutely loved it. But the things changed at that company. It was started by a couple of really young guys and I was a little bit older, and I had other needs and wants, benefits and things like that, that I wanted to make more money and all those things that we want at that age. And so I wound up by then I had already divorced my first husband a few years before, and I met the person who eventually became my current husband, my career and hopefully last lesson You’re right. We just celebrated our 90 day anniversary. Yeah, we was told to go there that last week for the night team, we didn’t know if we were going to make it there. But we did. So, because of that, I had an opportunity to go to law school because a couple of it was like a several things just sort of fell into place. One, Orlando finally had a law school it take it take a year for it to get accredited. By the time I went, it was accredited, and fairly newly accredited. And, and he also was doing quite well in his career. And so it was the first time in my life I’ve been working since I was 16. And it was the first time in my life that somebody said to me, you know, you don’t have to worry, you just like, do whatever you want, go figure out what it is you want to do. People do something different. And the marketing career had sort of evolved, it wasn’t anything I sought to do. So I thought, well, you know, I can be intentional about this next phase of my life in this new career, what do I want to do? And I actually had, like, you know, a whole matrix, a chart, I looked at multiple careers, I looked at, do I want to be a teacher? Or do I want to be, you know, a psychologist who I want to be an attorney. And I had a cousin, I’m very close to, who loved being here become a lawyer in his career later in life, and he loved it, and still loves it. And so he said, you know, you really need to go to law school, you’re gonna love it, and blah, blah, blah. So I checked into law school, and I said, Yeah, this is what I’m going to do. And I had kind of it was something that had always sort of been, he had always been an influence on me, even when I was young, and he was going to law school. So it already planted that seed, and it just sort of everything aligned. And I went to law school, and I went to law school with the intention of starting my own law practice right out of law school. So it’s very intentional. It wasn’t because I couldn’t find a job or anything like that. I have a lot of contacts, having been in marketing for so long. But my husband was an entrepreneur. And it really, I’d loved his lifestyle as an entrepreneur, and I really caught the bug. And so that was my, that was my intention from the get go. And so that’s what I did. When I graduated law school, I started my own law firm.
Suzi: So I love that you went to law school intentionally. And there was also another word that you said in there, I thought was really interesting was, I had the opportunity to go to law school. And I don’t always hear that in relation, like a lot of people are like, I don’t really know what else to do, or it No, of course, and they were like, Yeah, I wanted to go to law school since I was eight years old. So it was kind of a path already paid for them in some ways. But, but that really just resonated that you said that, like I had the opportunity. So you approached it very intentionally, I think you said that.
Davina: And Then when I said had the opportunity, I grew up. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and my immediate family. So my parents worked work, I mean, worked very hard. And they’ve done very well for themselves, but their parents before them, didn’t. All of them did graduate high school, and my parents graduated high school. And I just grew up in a working class family. And for us, we didn’t I paid my way through college. And, you know, I paid for my wedding, I paved the way for college. So a lot of times people have, you know, those advantages, and I didn’t have that advantage. Fortunately, I had parents who really taught me the love of learning and the value of education. And when I was young, you know, they would they would say, going school is your job, just like going to work is our job. That’s your, you know, that’s what year you’re, you’re supposed to do, right. And so it was, it was never that a privilege that was available to me just because of how I grew up and what I grew up in, and I really credit them because they, they made they’re such avid readers. And then my sisters and I, as a result of that have always been really added. We’ve always had this love of learning. I think that’s what continues to be a thread throughout my whole life. And I always am in the third iteration of my career, probably the fourth more than that, but it’s really that curiosity and that love of learning, but it really was an opportunity and and you know, I I am appreciative of my husband for being able to provide that opportunity for me for somebody to say you know, you you because when I was in undergrad, I worked and put myself through school and so it was a real challenge. It took me a little bit longer than it took some other people but you know, I kept doing delay Got it. Right. And so yeah, I really do view it that way. I don’t I don’t believe that. You know, I think it’s important to recognize our opportunities when they come to us, and I don’t do not believe that we get anywhere without the village of people around us to provide things for us. Right. Whether it is whether it is just, you know, living, living here in this country where we have infrastructure, and we have, you know, schools and roads and all of these things, like I just think, I think, you know, nobody gets where we’re going alone, that it does take give you other people involved in your life.
Davina: Yeah, well, I would, I would say, though, I really struggled with when I married my husband, this is really getting into like, personal relationship thing. But I really struggled when I married him because he was doing very well. And he was, you know, pretty wealthy. And I have like a side, I’ve worked since I was 1613. Before that, if you count things like babysitting, and whatnot, and I’ve had an actual job since 16. So here I was in my late 30s. And I had never not worked in support of myself. So for me, it was a real struggle for a while before I decided to go to law school, I was kind of working part time, I was trying to figure out what it was that I wanted to do. And I would feel guilty, because I had always and so I, I have a very firm belief that one man, one should be responsible for oneself. So I really, I do believe that. And I and I know in it for traditional roles for men and women, oftentimes, in the past and traditional roles, women sort of always think it’s a little bit of an option to work or not, especially if they have kids. And I have a kind of a different view on that. Because I think we don’t, we don’t look at men the same way. Men Men don’t approach life would be well, I have an option of working once I get married. But oftentimes women do look at it that way. And I know that’s changing some a lot of a lot of my clients. Now younger women are the breadwinner winners in the family and their husbands are staying home. But the way I grew up was a very traditional kind of thing. So I struggled with that. And when I went to law school, and then started my practice, and then from there,
Suzi: let’s talk about starting your own practice straight out of law school. So you had worked in a law firm, but it was sort of at a capacity as like you were in. You were in their marketing department, I suppose.
Davina: So it was the marketing manager.
Suzi: Yeah, okay. So you were not in the department. You were managing there. I worked in the department. You were the department. So yeah, so what skills did you learn from that? You know, were there any skills from that experience that helped you with starting your own practice? Or did you really feel like you’re kind of starting from scratch?
Davina: No, it’s, you’re interesting, because when I say I wasn’t department, they actually hired three people when I left, because it took that many to replace me. And that was an error. Yeah, right. So it was, it truly was something where and that’s typical, I think a lot of law firms as they’re growing, you know, you, you’re relying on one person, and they do and they do and they do and when they’re gone, they’re like, Oh, crap, this person, we really need divide this out into multiple jobs. Right. So it was hugely, that experience was very influential, not so much you wanting to be a lawyer, but in, in what I learned about the inner workings of a law firm, because this law firm was what most people would say sort of a mid sized law firm, but it’s a it’s a large law firm, largest law firm, single office law firm in Central Florida, in your later area. But it’s not a national law firm with offices all over the country or anything like that. But it’s where a lot of law firms serve aspire to get to that sort of well. And I learned so much about the infrastructure of a law firm and head of our law firm because I was one of a team of five admins not I’m not talking about paralegals and legal assistants and things like that. I’m talking about managers, administrators, the way it was We had a firm administrator. And under the firm administrator, there was the accounting administrator, the HR administrator, the marketing administrator, and then the technology illustrator. And so we all sort of manage these different operations areas. So being in that team really taught me a lot about the operations and management of a law for business. So it was really influential in that way in what I do currently. It also, you know, I have, it helps me some when I started my firm, but when I started my firm, it was a completely different animal, because I was a solo, as solo is very different from a firm with, you know, 50 partners, and 100. Workers, right. So it, you know, it helps me now, but when I started out, not so much, not so much.
Suzi: So what area did you practice when you first came out of law school?
Davina: Well, I, I did door law is what I so whatever crossed the door, through the door, whatever came through. And the reason I did that, I know a lot of people say, oh, you know, what do you grow? Well, I do think a lot of solo start out doing door law. And the reason I did is because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. When you go through law school, you really don’t know what the different practice areas are going to be like, you know, unless you sort so most people sort of fall into a practice area based on what their first job is. For me, I didn’t know why I had kind of an idea of things that I would like to and things that I probably wouldn’t like to do. And I know you’re sort of limited as a solo, you’re, you know, you’re not going to get big corporate clients right in that capacity. So I, I was really kind of doing family law, estate planning, and I did some business law. So contracts, you know, formation contracts, a lot of contract work. But then, within a month of starting my practice, so this was kind of my idea. This is sort of what I was going to work in. Within about a month, it was the end of 2007. Now, if you guys remember, think back to November, December 2007. What was coming up, what was coming up was a whole wave of foreclosures. Recession. And in Florida where I practice, the we were along with California, we were like the leading foreclosure states. And so what happened was, is I had a colleague, who was a friend of mine, and we were walking Monday after work, and she said, You know, I was at the courthouse today. And the chief judge was really mad. He came storming out, she was down in Orange County Courthouse, I’m in Seminole County. So I practiced in three counties at the time. And Orange County is the main one. And so she says you can store Yeah, he’s really upset because all these attorneys from down south are calling in and doing these foreclosure hearings. They’re representing the lenders. And so today, he came storming out, and he said, I’m gonna go write an executive order requiring local counsel for these these lenders out of Miami, Miami law firms. And so I called the JA the next day and I said, Hey, who are the Who are some of these firms that are coming up here, and I got a list from a ja, who was in Orange County, of about six or seven firms that were sort of leading the charge on representing bankers in foreclosure actions. And I cold called them. And I asked to speak to the person in charge of their foreclosure department. And I said, you know, I just found this out, and it’s going to be coming in the other counties here. I’d like to be your local counsel. And that really became my bread and butter money to grow my firm. So when I talk about when I tell people that about opportunity, meeting, preparation equals success, it’s that if that idea that there was again, there was an opportunity, and but had I not acted on the opportunity, it would not have happened. That opportunity led me to bring in a partner, hire staff attorneys grow, the practice, moved to a different location, all of that that really was the thing that kicked off my practice. And I also learned how to litigate, how to have a motion practice and litigate and all of that. And I did all of that. I didn’t love it, but I did all of that. So that it would allow me the time to learn how to become a good divorce lawyer, estate planning lawyer, good business lawyer, all of those things. things, I was able to move at a slower pace because I didn’t worry about having to pay the bills, because we were making money doing this. And that lasted for quite a while I actually wound up leaving the firm. And my partner continued to do that, for many years, she still does local council stuff to this day. And it was. So it was a very fruitful opportunity for us. And one of the things I always tell other lawyers is, we all have those opportunities that are unique to us and sort of advantages that are unique to us. And it’s a time and place specific thing, we’re in the right place at the right time with the right people or we know somebody, or we’re connected to somebody that will provide an opportunity that will only work in this time, place and circumstance. And I’ve seen it over and over and over again, when I go through a SWOT analysis with my clients, I ask them about their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. I always go over with them, what are the unique advantages that are, you know, the advantages that are unique to you, that other people don’t have from you member of this organization? Have that are you do you know, these people are, you’ve been in business for two decades, we those are advantages, there’s a lot of advantages and opportunities that we have that we don’t see we take for granted. So we don’t take action. Right. And so that for me, that really was the thing that that catapulted my law firm and career.
Suzi: I think that’s so enterprising as well, like, you are definitely you definitely had your like radar on right. Like you’re, you’re open to opportunities, you were listening to what people were talking about, you were paying attention to what was going on, right? Like we were what at that point, like, a few months from the away from the recession, right? Like you and you were putting yourself out there. So like, in addition to, you know, this, you know, preparation equaling success, having to have that opportunity element, the opportunity element really means putting yourself out there, right, like, we can get really comfortable sitting behind zoom, especially like over the last couple of years, you know, it can feel pretty good to have the yoga pants on and not put or, you know, put our face on and all this stuff that you know really putting yourself out there in situations to help that, you know, increase those odds of those opportunities.
Davina: Coming up. Well, it’s funny that you say that too. Because I have this little philosophy about 15 minutes of courage. I didn’t invent this, I don’t know where I heard it from, but 15 minutes of courage was what I am a I’m an introverted person. And even which is even though I’ve been like in marketing as career, I’ve been to all the rubber chicken dinners, and you know, all of that throughout my career. But so my marketing background came in handy in that regard. But picking up the phone and cold calling, you know, something you don’t imagine an attorney doing, but I was calling other attorneys. And I was telling them about something very specific that they would find helpful. And that, that, but that took me to like, Okay, I’m just gonna like for, I’m just gonna do this for 15 minutes, or I’m just gonna do this for half an hour or just an hour, and then I can go do something else. Because cold call, it can be scary, whether we even even if you’re cold, calling other colleagues, you know, especially being a new attorney, but I just was I kind of employ I deployed that 50 minutes of courage strategy. You know, often, if it just, you know, let me just take 15 minutes to do this thing that is emotionally challenging for me. And, and I’m going to release the outcome, I’m just going to release my responsibility for the outcome, I cannot control the outcome, but I can control the action that I take, because really, all the intentions and the ideas in the world are nothing unless you apply some action behind them. You have to you have to take action. And I will credit my partner too, because she took that even further. When we when we became partners, she went to the courthouse and she looked up all the recent cases in our local courthouse and found more law firms and she went after those law firms. So, you know, I chose a partner who also was very willing to do the work, really willing to work and and face the fear. You know, we didn’t know we were both green and we didn’t know you know, but we had to face you know, we just face the fear of the challenge and said, Let’s go do this. And there were areas where we also chickened out. So like I’m not saying like we’re not we’re not special or unique. Even some special superpowers. Never other things that are like, you know, that’s a little too scary for me, I don’t want to go down that path yet. You know, like, I don’t know that I’m qualified or capable enough. So we had our own, you know, self doubts, but, and we had each other and then in the beginning, you know, the first the first year I was on my own and then I then I teamed up with her. So it was it she had, she had only worked, she worked what other job beforehand. So it was a we had each other as if we were friends who had stayed in touch from law school, and all of that. So I do think your community is very important connection, your connections in your community are very important.
Suzi: And see now you have that experience that you can kind of bond with her over like, do you remember we kicked ass back in 2007 and 2008? Like
Davina: we did those funny news 2009 all that so well, it was funny is that we I did wind up splitting from her. And but it’s for personal reasons. And it wasn’t it wasn’t her. And it is we are still friends to this day, it’s been going into our 15 year practice, are still friends, we still get together. And both of us are like, Yeah, I don’t ever want to partner again. No. I don’t know if he has anything to do with either us not liking each other. It’s just both of us are very love for both Mavericks who likes to do things the way we like to do that without consulting other people.
Suzi: So right, which helps them to have your own law firm, right? Like you don’t have to necessarily go talk to, you know, five layers of partners above you. If you want to implement a policy. You just say hey, Nina, I want to do this thing. Davina Yeah, sure, let’s do it. So you just have this little conversation with yourself. And you just boom, you implement this policy. And that can even be challenged when you’re partnering with someone. Ye
Davina: Yeah, it can be I’ve had partners and generally my my coaching clients, our solos, I do have a couple of people right now who are partners, but they’re also sisters. But generally speaking, I don’t work with partners for that reason, because what I will find is one partner is wanting to do this, you know, they’re wanting to grow, and they have ideas about it, and their other partner doesn’t. And so they’re there wanting to talk to me to try to help persuade them, you know, I don’t do that. I see that a lot with partners or some partners that work for partnerships or work out great. And then other times, you know, one partner tends to be more dominant than the other. And you see a partner who doesn’t always bloom for that. So I do think people need to be very careful about getting into partnerships. And one of the things that I often see women do is out of fear, they they gravitate toward a partner, because they’re afraid of doing it on their own. And they say I have somebody it’s very much like how women always like to go together to work out or go together to go to you know, women are sort of, you know, a lot of women are very group oriented. And so they think I’m going to get a partner, and that’s going to make it easier, right? Because I have somebody to share the decision making the emotional burden with and all that. And I say if that’s your reason for doing it, don’t do it. Go work on yourself. Because I think that’s a mistake there. Oh, my gosh, I would I do it all the time in in small ways. And big way might be sending an email to somebody it might be reaching out to somebody and how you might be in one of the things having uncomfortable conversations. I think as we start growing, and we have, we’re dealing with clients, we’re dealing with hiring people, oftentimes we have to have uncomfortable conversations. And many times I see people avoid uncomfortable conversations I have one year I actually had like every year. So people have like a word for the year. expansion in our current one year, my word was courage. And I decided that that year, I would not shy away from uncomfortable conversations that I would have them head on. And it’s very challenging. And I think one of the dangers of that is I think when you ask for when you say that you’re kind of asking the universe to send you uncomfortable conversations. So you can test that out, which I didn’t want but but I have but over the years that’s how you develop skills. And I think one of the things that I see a lot of people do now is they ghost you They avoid, they say I want this thing or I want to do that. And then they have second thoughts. And rather than say, I don’t want this, they ghost. And that happen in social situations, it happens in work situations. I was just seeing an article today where somebody, you know, said, Oh, this is a picture of my birthday party a year ago, nobody came, I have 15 people invited and you know, nobody came. And, and it was, and I, I’ve had that experience where I’ve, I’ve thrown us work at it. And I have a lot of people say they were going to come and it rained that night, and people just didn’t come. And so they so I had paid for all this food I had paid for, you know, music, I had paid for all the decorations and everything. And it was a networking event for women lawyers. And a lot of that, oh, yeah, I’m gonna be there and be there. And then they didn’t show up. So I had a few you know, and so there’s a couple of things out of that. One is what my philosophy of love the one you’re with, so pay attention to the people who do show up, right. And the other thing is, though, is that note to self, you know, I won’t be doing a free event where I’m paying for the booze and the food and everything, again, I’ll be charging people, because they’re, you know, cost me a lot of money. And I see this happening where people ghosts, and what they think is that they won’t notice, other people will be there, they won’t notice, whatever, instead of just saying, you know, I don’t want to do that. I can’t come you know, or whatever, I’d rather go home and be with my family. You know, it’s uh, but what I see that it works situations too, you know, with with people. It’s happening right now I’m reading all kinds of articles with this great recession, where, where people who are representing employees are out there talking about how, as a companies, these companies are ghosting people, they apply for a job, and then you’re not responding back to them, and shame on you. And it’s funny, because on the other side of it, I hear that women law firm owners say, I’m trying to hire people. And I’ve had two clients recently say, I hired someone and on the day they started, they were supposed to start, they didn’t show up, they called said I’m not gonna do it. So it is, or they just don’t show up. But I had some I had one, you have somebody who left and never came back. And she she actually says if I do a wellness check on her, because she said, we’re trying to call her not responding or worried. And this and then they go find her. She’s like, Yeah, I’m just I’m gonna come down. And so I think, the fear around having conversation with people and just say, just being honest, and just saying, you know, this isn’t for me, or I didn’t like it, or, you know, it’s just not the right fit, it’s not gonna work or whatever. What I mean, then you put it behind you, and you’re gonna have to carry the guilt or the shame or, or, you know, the bad reputation that you’re creating for yourself. All those things that come out of that.
Davina: And I do think our society, the way it’s set up right now has caused a lot of people to feel like they can hide behind their keyboard and your computer, and people won’t notice. But people do notice, people asking you notice. So that is a place for 15 minutes of courage, you know, I just speak my truth. And I, I learned that because my husband and I went through a difficult time in our marriage, and a lot of it was because I was wanting him to be happy. And I was wanting to be careful about what I said, to indicate. And then when I started speaking my truth, we had a much better relationship, but it was painful, and it was difficult, and all of that. But now, by creating that, and also creating that space for him to do it, you know, then we were able to, you know, have hard conversations, and still be standing on the other side, whether you’re together or you’re not together or whatever is going on. And you’re still standing on the other side. And you’re like, see what was so not that difficult to use your words? Right?
Suzi: So that’s what I was your wordsaying on the other side stronger than you were before. Right? And like you said, you’re either be together or not. It’s the same thing like with any, any hard conversation, and I do think that people shy away from having those those hard conversations.
Davina: But we have people listening to this right now who have employees that really suck and they’re scared to death to have a conversation with them because they’re afraid they’re what and then they’re not going to find anybody else to replace them. And really what they’re doing is they’re they’re holding up that person from seeking a better fit and a better opportunity. And they’re holding up the the opportunity for somebody ALC is a better fit for them. In those two incidents, instances that I told you about where people call the day up, both of the employers found better fit employees with a very short period of time. So don’t be afraid of the consequences just screw up 15 minutes of courage just to say, say what you need say, right,
Suzi: you can get there 15 minutes, right, like you can do this.
Davina: Yeah, I had a client at one point who a couple years ago, who was dissatisfied with me. And she had the courage to say something about it. And I reacted completely in a different way than she imagined I would act. And, and we went on to have a wonderful working relationship after that, because she was able to say, you know, I, this bothers me. And I was able to look at it and go, Oh, yeah, I could see why it would. Right. You know, it’s not like, it’s not about you. It wasn’t meant to be, but I could see why it would feel that way. And I apologize for that. Right. So, though, that is that is the thing, I think we give up on relationships with people because we’re just too chicken.
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Suzi: You’re saying, you know, people giving up on relationships, and you’ve you know, you have to, like conjure up this 15 minutes of courage. But I can tell from you like you, you are brave, like I know you are brave. So when did I want to hear about sort of your transition from having a law firm and then ultimately starting, wealthy woman lawyer? I think that that I would love to hear like, how that how that works. Because I know like bravery came into play here. You have to then brace?
Davina: And my friend seeing me do that she goes longer to go to and then we did, that coaching program did not turn out to be what I thought it was going to be. There was a lot of information there. But really, the truth of the matter was is I was not I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So there was limitations on what I could take away from what they were teaching. Because I didn’t really know, I wasn’t really thrilled with what was going on, I just knew I didn’t like being in adversarial situations in for all that kind of stuff. Right? So that, but I kept sort of pursuing that coat. And I never really did, I knew about coaching, but not really to that degree. And then that, that experience led me to hire my second coach and my second coach was a one on one coach, so I paid more money than ever for that coach. And she is the one who really helped me start changing my mindset. And it was it was a monumental task on her part to take me on because I had a very fixed mindset, I have very fixed beliefs, you know, black and white, and but I also was open to hear what other people have say, right, you have to be open minded. You know, she helped me realize that I was trying to do everything myself, that I was holding on so tightly to try to do something but I couldn’t open my hands to receive anything, you know, like everything was based on my own willpower instead of this idea of the universe helps us along, you know, if we open our eyes to it. And so I was real as a I was a tough nut to crack. But that probably was most the most profound relationship in helping me change my mind between that. And my my therapist I had had for a number of years, I finally got a really great therapist who would help me because I just grew up with a very I grew up with, with parents who were very sheltered and the world their worldview was this, you know, and so I was trying to learn and grow and and it didn’t fit who I was anymore and who I want it to be. That was really what it is is nothing wrong with them and what they did, it just didn’t fit The current times and like for me as a woman in that period of time, you know what I mean? So I had to her learn new ways to be to think. And I think that’s where a lot of it came from, is that sort of opening up and realizing that I don’t have to have all the answers myself, it’s very interesting because I, this is the this is the mistake that people often make is we think that we’re going to do one thing, and that’s going to change us forever, and life is going to be set up for that. And it’s really a journey, right? So everything that you’re doing is leading you to the next. So it’s, it’s elevating your vibration, it’s elevating, it’s opening your mind, it’s elevating the way you think. And that leads you then to somebody else. So when they say when the when the student is ready to teach or appear, right. So my next teacher was a man who was very business oriented, you had a strong business background, and he was very methodical, strategic. All that. And I’m really looking for that because the coach I have before that I absolutely loved her, but she was very woowoo. And she didn’t have a lot of sort of the business skills. And, and I really wanted to learn how to leverage, right. So instead of me trading time for dollars, I really want to learn how to leverage and that business coach was my business coach has been for three years, my business coach in a formal capacity, but he’s still somebody you is a business adviser to me and somebody I trust, and he’s a mentor. And so each of them bring different things to you. And you have to but you have to be ready. Right? You can’t just you I would not have been the ideal client for him when I first started out, because he was just in a different place than I you know, so I think it’s one of those things where when we talk about right fit, and making sure somebody is the right fit for you and where you are not everybody’s going to be right, that client for me, not everybody’s gonna be right for a client for you. And that’s okay. Right? For when I first started my law practice, I would take whoever came in through the door, well, very quickly, that doesn’t work. You know,
Davina: like, I can’t help this person or this person is like, they need a therapist, not a lawyer, right? Or a psychiatrist, not a lawyer, right? And what you don’t know that and part of learning that is taking those back clients and taking that and you learn it. Same thing with a coaching business. When I started coaching, I helped small business owners, I wound up niching down to women want from numbers, because that’s who was hiring me the most. And so I really wanted to just speak to them. But I started out helping other professional services business for that life experience in that. And those, you know, they were some of those were the right clients for me then, but then they wouldn’t be the right clients for me now. So that work, right. It’s a great class for me then. But I, I couldn’t know that unless I had the contrasting experience. Sure, like going through the journey with him and having to have the hard conversations and deal with people not paying or people wanting to quit, or you know, things because you know, and so as you grow, you begin to you know, you attract people who are more suited to where you are at that particular time. That’s where I was at that time swam this time, right. It’s different, right?
Suzi: I think we get better too, at figuring out who, who we vibe with, right and who we don’t. And we were better at almost having like, a sixth sense on that. It could be a female thing. I’m not really sure. Right. But you know, that’s something I talked to other attorneys about, you know, what, the best way to prevent malpractice is on the first phone call right or at the door like they used to say, on the first zoom call, right? You should get a very good feel of that person. And like whatever red flags you have, like keep, always keep that in mind. Like always listen to your gut. And don’t be afraid to say no, or turn away a client prospective clients. So many young lawyers are so they they’re like no, I can’t I’m not in that position yet.
Davina: But you know, the thing about that is when you’re not in that if you’re not in that position yet. That’s okay. But because you learn something every engagement. But I think the key is that experience allows you to learn to ask better questions. Right? So because because then something comes up and you’re like, Okay, next time I brought a contract, I want to make sure that’s in the contract. right the next time I write and so you learn to ask their questions, you learn to ask them, you know, do you, you know, like, Do you have a job like If you’re gonna learn to ask them things that indicate, you know, whether they’re whether they’re a good fit for you or not, and obviously, there’s a lot more to it than just the money piece there, you know, because I certainly had clients who, who absolutely could pay me half pay me. And but they, you know, if if bear, I can’t care about other people’s problems more than they do? Sure, you know. And I do think that’s where oftentimes lawyers we get into trouble is that people come to us with a problem. And we want to go in and save the day and really help them because we know we can help them and uses great knowledge. And but if they don’t care enough to about their problem, to forego something else to come up with the money to pay you to help them solve the problem, then why should you care about it more than they care about it? You know, and I think we often don’t think of it that way. We just think, oh, they don’t have the money? Well, you don’t really know that you just know that they’re telling you that right? Yeah. And And if their problem is important to them, and fortunately, there are services available to people who don’t truly don’t happen. But the majority of people that will knock on your door to hire you have resources, they just may not be readily available to put their hands on them. Right. And so you might have to help them think through how to work that out. But I do think that, you know, those are all of those experiences, we often you know, people look at people who’ve been doing something for a long time, and they’re successful. And they go, Well, how come she’s successful? And I’m not what they’re not seeing is the previous two decades, three decades, decades, that somebody has had the embarrassing conversations and made the mistakes and had to go to court and say, Your Honor, can I speak to you can I approach and confess to something stupid, you’ve done and like, they don’t, you will see that when you’re out there scrolling social media, looking at somebody who’s there a boss, a boss, baby and her suit looking like she’s got it all together? And you’re not seeing that, you know, she’s wearing her fuzzy slippers. And, you know, she just got a shower an hour ago, like we don’t, we don’t see the behind the scenes of things like that, right? You guys see me when my hair is blown out? Actually, you see me a lot of times when my hair is not worn out, but you know, yeah, so you want to wake it up in the morning. And I think that’s, that’s really what we have to keep in mind is that, you know, comparison itis I think is a huge problem had a lot of people have now and so we force ourselves into situations that we don’t really want to be in, because we think we must be in them. You should be and then we should. Because these other people are doing it. And I’m a failure somehow for not doing it or being in or being that person or whatever.
Suzi: Yeah, gotta watch the old should word. When when good word pops up. You need to ask, Where’s that coming from? Says who? Like there’s a lot of questions you can ask about this should work, right?
Davina: I think tripping over yourself?
Suzi: Are you shitting? all over yourself? Exactly. I love that. So let me ask you. Can you talk about how, like, you feel like you’re maybe like kind of on the third or fourth phase of your career. So I’m so curious about like, what’s next for you? Do we have another book coming out like are DC me like.
Davina: So I have two books. This one is brand new, this this book and it’s called the wealthy monolayers guide to building a systems driven Whopper business and their subtitle seven essential systems, you need to take your time, avoid burnout and create lasting wealth. I do firmly believe that a lot of women sell themselves short, when it comes to how much they can create in the world, how much money, how much prosperity, how much impact they can create in the world, they play too small and don’t really step into their full potential. And I think a lot of times, it’s because they don’t really realize how important it is to do that. It’s important for a number of reasons one of which is as we get older, we may not be able the things that we thought we could count on to take care of us may not be there. And by that I mean relationships, spouses, you know, government, Assistant, whatever it is right? The things that we bought, may not be there and so we need to take care of our financial business. The other thing is that you can you can positively influence many, many, many more people in the world if you have the resources to do it. So the people who are most influential in our culture right now this Elon Musk Ring, ring a bell thought the most you know our For a communications platform in the world, don’t tell me he’s not going to influence our world, right? So what can you do to, to be have wield more economic power, because economic power is where you, you’re gonna be able to bring your values and your beliefs and your thoughts into the world, and really leave a legacy, right? So it goes beyond buying a luxury purse, or, you know, buying a bigger house or whatever, even though those things are great, too. And guess what, if you want them, you should be able to have them right? guilty about it. But there’s a bigger, there’s a bigger picture to what you can do if you have more resources. And it has always been the way throughout time that people tribes, communities with more resources thrived more than once with fewer resources, right? We know this. And yet, I think women who are women lawyers isn’t the most highly educated, intelligent, and driven women out there. But if we cap ourselves at making $250,000 a year, or $500,000, a year, million dollars a year or whatever it is, right. And we don’t allow ourselves to reach our full potential. And by the way we do that is by realizing that we cannot, it cannot be by our willpower alone, that we need to start stepping into leadership roles and growing teams to be able to get where it is that we want to go. So we are connecting with people and influencing people are getting that. And I think I think we I see so many women, law firm owners whose self limit, like if I just have enough for this or that there’s a lot of just enoughness. And, and we get comfortable. And we don’t want to step out of our comfort zone because we get just enough to be comfortable. And then we go whoop, okay, you don’t really need a yacht. So I just think that that I think now more than ever, we need more women who are intelligent, educated women who are stepping up as leaders, as you know, especially a more diverse population of women stepping up as leaders in the world and we really are limited unless we have economic power. So that’s kind of my mission. So this new book will be kind of going along with that AI concept. I love that
Suzi: I felt I was like, Oh, she’s dropping little hints right now about what’s in that book. So if you want to know when this other book is coming out, you’re going to need to go follow Davina. So where can people find you like where’s the best place?
Davina: So I the best place is my website, which is a wealthy woman lawyer.com It’s super easy to remember wealth woman lawyer.com. Also, Instagram if you’d like Instagram, then you can follow me there at wealthy woman lawyer. And that could be on LinkedIn. We also have a free Facebook group. That’s the way and then of course always the wealthy woman lawyer podcast if you’re not listening to that. I do think you will. If you love to hear the stories of other women, law firm owners and their journey go to wealthy woman lawyer podcast, download it, listen to it.
Suzi: Great episodes. This has been so much fun to Vina, I’m, I love talking with you because I got to learn a little bit more about you as an individual and sort of what’s impacted your journey, which I think is really cool.
Davina: Thanks Susie brown in the yard enjoyed so much.
Suzi: This was fun. Have a great day. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today on legally bliss conversations. If you love this episode, and you want to hang out with other inspiring and light gold female attorneys, be sure to join the legally bliss community at legally blessed.com And be sure to follow me on Instagram at Suzan Hixon. See you next time.
What Happens When Opportunity Meets Preparation with Davina Frederick