In A Lawyer’s Guide to Creating a Life, Not Just a Living, Paula Black says professionals can have it all–just not all at once.
CORAL GABLES, Fla., July 12, 2018 – Forget trying to balance your personal and work lives, says author and business coach Paula Black. “Work and personal lives are never in balance,” she asserts. “You can’t compartmentalize your life … but you can work it so that the two exist in harmony.”
Achieving fulfillment at work but not at the expense of one’s personal life is one of the themes of Black’s new audiobook, A Lawyer’s Guide to Creating a Life, Not a Living. The audiobook features the voices and real stories of lawyers from public defenders, solo practitioners, judges, professors, and corporate and government attorneys.
One of those voices belongs to attorney Suzanne Ferguson of Hotwire Communications. Ferguson loves practicing law but prioritizes spending time with her special needs daughter. How can she possibly have it all?
Ferguson decided to look at what she loves about her work through the lens of what is best for her entire family. She set priorities. She loved managing people and thought she would like to be managing partner of her office—until she realized her daughter was likely to suffer the consequences of Ferguson’s added responsibilities.
As it was, Ferguson was already commuting an hour and a half each way. But then she found a new job where she could work on the kind of matters she loved and was good at and moved the family to a neighborhood where her new job was located. The three hours she was spending commuting were now spent with her daughter.
Although Ferguson’s story is only one of many in the book, Black uses Ferguson as an example as she offers these tips to individuals who want to ensure that their lives are satisfying—not merely a career success.
Tip No. 1: Find Your North Star. Take the time to look inward to find what fuels you. What gets you up in the morning? Who is the most important person on the planet to you? The answers can inspire you to find your true calling. Ferguson knows her north star is her daughter.
Tip No. 2: Tell Fear to Take a Hike. When people consider making changes in their lives the voice of fear can creep in. “I can’t do that,” “I don’t know enough,” “I’m not good enough,” it may insist. This fear is normal, Black says, but it is what we do in the face of fear that matters. “It takes enormous courage to experience something new in the face of fear,” Black says. Ferguson had the courage to look at the things she loves about her work through the lens of what is best for her daughter.
Tip No. 3: You Can Do It Your Way. If something doesn’t fit with your values, stop doing it. Don’t listen to the naysayers who say you can’t do things your way. Black adds, “No, you can’t sit in your office and will it into being. It takes hard work and unwavering commitment.” Ferguson did it her way.
About the Author
Through her coaching business, Paula Black has advised lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, media professionals, real estate professionals and small business owners on finding harmony between work, family, and play. She is the award-winning author of the Little Black Book series, which includes A Lawyer’s Guide to Creating a Life, Not Just a Living.
SOURCE Paula Black