Let’s start with a joke…
A lawyer died and arrived at the pearly gates. To his dismay, there were thousands of people ahead of him in line to see St. Peter. But, to his surprise, St. Peter left his desk at the gate and came down the long line to where the lawyer was standing. St. Peter greeted him warmly. Then St. Peter and one of his assistants took the lawyer by the hands and guided him up to the front of the line into a comfortable chair by his desk.
The lawyer said, “I don’t mind all this attention, but what makes me so special?”
St. Peter replied, “Well, I’ve added up all the hours for which you billed your clients, and by my calculation you must be about 193 years old!”
Let me preface this by saying I dislike lawyers a lot! Sorry to my family (many of whom are lawyers) but I’ve had bad mojo with lawyers and let’s just say I keep my distance J My husband told me when we met he’d been considering law school, let’s just saying that luckily he became a CPA (wink).
So one of my clients who is in law school had a session this week. She calls every few months to fill me in and we consult the guides and she’s good for a few months and so forth. This week she was filling me in on school, boys, roommates and classmates. Several things came up in the reading and self-esteem is something she’s struggled with, as most of us have, for a while. Boundaries are key when it comes to self esteem. If you cannot say no or are “shy” to say what you need to say for fear of hurting someone or not being liked then this is a sign of low self esteem. So my client goes out one night with her school friends and one girl is dressed inappropriately. The girl turns to my client and asks, what do you think about my outfit? My client says well, it’s inappropriate for law school, my suggestion is to do so and so…the girl gets mad, barges out and refuses to talk to my client again. My client, as most people with low self esteem suffer from, worries, feels guilty, should I have, what if? Etc…you never hear a lawyer second guessing what they said or how they won a case. They do what needs to be done and YA! Lawyers say what they have to say, whether their client likes it or not. They get paid to say what the client NEEDS to hear not what they want to hear. If you are being honest and coming from a place of love, say what needs to be said (if solicited) and move on. If you stay stuck in that place you’re depleting your energy.
One of her boyfriends is a bit possessive and all-consuming. She’s embarrassed to tell him that she needs to study and just wants to be alone. The guides said her life/time needs to become like “billable hours”! Lawyers charge for everything! Sent an email, charge! Make a phone call, charge! Dream about your file, charge! Why should any of our lives be any different? Our time is money but most important it’s energy! Our energy shouldn’t be given to just anyone, anytime. When we have difficulty with boundaries and we don’t limit who and where we waste our energy we are basically working for free and giving away or time, money and energy. If you think of your life in terms of billable hours you will be more focused on who and what you spend your energy on.
Charge a lot for your time, you are worth it!