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July 5, 2019 42 min

Are you reaching your full potential? What does this even mean? How do you find your flow and feel more fulfilled? Sheila Murphy spent a really long time in Corporate America. She was a senior legal counsel at a Fortune 50 company. She trained teams, built leaders, and knew what clients were looking for in their lawyers and their law firms. 

Today, she is a coach and career consultant specializing in working with lawyers and law firms to help them reach their full potential. Which means building a book of business, developing their networks, and their reputations. She is also the founder of Focus Foreword, LLC. Sheila shares her story and we talk about how it’s possible to find a career that you really love.

Show Notes:

  • [03:45] After years in the corporate world, Sheila felt like she wasn't being challenged anymore.
  • [04:01] She started talking to her network and thinking about what she was good at and what she loved to do.
  • [04:38] The core of her being was to help people develop and empower them to reach their full potential.
  • [05:15] As she was contemplating her career transition, she kept telling herself to focus on going forward. This is also how she came up with the clever name for her coaching and consulting business.
  • [05:57] She was strategic about thinking about what her next chapter would be. She was also strategic about where she spoke and how she branded herself and her use of social media.
  • [06:11] When Sheila launched her business, she had certain people lined up from her network. She also had a plan to grow.
  • [07:07] It's not as easy for women as it is for men in law firms. The pay gap with women is getting worse. 
  • [08:11] The overall way that women are treated on a macro-level could be improved and then individual coaching on a micro-level could help women equalize the pay and respect they receive in law firms.
  • [09:12] Sometimes women don't sell themselves, and they just stay behind the desk and do the work. Selling yourself is important in the corporate world. The biggest indicator of success is your network.
  • [10:04] A mentor is someone who gives you advice. A sponsor is someone who moves you forward and speaks for you when there are opportunities.
  • [10:46] Having a sponsor can really propel your career especially for women and people of color. Someone has to believe you're going to go in a 120% to sponsor your career.
  • [12:18] It's really critical to find a sponsor, because it will make such a difference in your career.
  • [13:02] Networking doesn't have to be that scary, it's just a conversation with another human being. Networking is also about giving value to the other person.
  • [15:26] It takes 7 to 20 contacts in the legal field to convert somebody from meeting them to doing business with them. 
  • [16:28] As soon as you meet someone send them a personalized LinkedIn invitation. Also respond when something happens on their profile like when they post an article or get a reward. 
  • [19:21] Social media can give you amplification and help you do some of the lighter touches without meeting in person. So, it can be very helpful.
  • [21:16] One of the most important skills a leader can have is to listen to people with an open mind.
  • [23:15] Challenges Sheila faced when she switched to being an entrepreneur included losing her corporate title and not having an assistant. She always strived to be a better leader and better communicator. 
  • [26:04] Having someone do administrative tasks helps you focus on what you need to focus on as an entrepreneur.
  • [26:49] Blocking time allows Sheila to fit in important things like going to the gym or meeting with friends or just sitting and thinking.
  • [30:08] Sheila loves finding her purpose and being happy. People often think they can't control their career, but they can. It's really about finding your best place that makes you the happiest.
  • [34:22] Early in your career path, talk to other people about what the journey is like.
  • [36:53] The stresses of being an entrepreneur are much more self-imposed.
  • [39:01] Sheila's corporate legacy was giving the company very strong employees that were engaged and effective. Making an impact on these people's careers to her was a success. This is what she hopes to have in her new business. 
  • [40:06] Push yourself out of your comfort zone and believe in yourself, and you can have a healthier, more fulfilled career. 
  • Links and Resources:

  • Focus Forword Consulting
  • @SheilaMurphy_ on Twitter
  • Sheila Murphy on LinkedIn
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