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The Power of Community, Coaching, and Not Doing Everything Yourself

Elizabeth Milian graduated from law school in her thirties, as a new mom, in the middle of the 2008 recession. 

Her plan was to go into asset protection, but the job market turned everyone’s lives upside down. The only opportunities she could find were litigation-based. 

One interviewer told her, “Your resume is great. We want you to go get an LLM in taxation, and when you come back, we’ll pay you $20 an hour.” 

The program itself was $65,000. Clearly, she needed a different plan. 


Sometimes you go into life with one idea, and then you adjust to whatever the reality is. 

So she went to work for a firm doing litigation. She tried a couple of different areas including real estate, family law, and being a volunteer guardian ad litem with the foster care system. 

Even though she didn’t originally set out to be in court, she’s grateful for the valuable experience she gained there. 

Last year, she and her husband decided to open their own boutique law firm. 


Today, they’re quickly building a multi-6-figure business within their first year of operation. 

Aside from being a dedicated IP attorney and entrepreneur, Elizabeth loves encouraging women to find their voice, embrace challenges, and transform setbacks into opportunities for success. 

I wanted to know what she would tell people who want to build their own business or law firm. 


Just start. 

Don’t overthink it or get in your own way, just start. Nothing is set in stone. You can iterate. You  can test things out, especially with marketing. It’s all part of the discovery process. 

Just have that fire to keep going, even if things aren’t building as fast as you want, or too fast. 


It’s okay to go slow. 

You can make your business whatever you want it to be. You don’t have to grow really big if that’s not what you want. You’re in charge. 

In a lot of ways, Elizabeth and her husband are still battling those external expectations of what “success” looks like. It’s a mental hockey game of saying, “This is actually what I want,” and then going out there and creating it - without the pressure of having to meet everyone else’s expectations. 


Everyone’s journey looks different. 

In the online space, it’s hard not to compare your journey with other people’s journeys because you’re only seeing their highlight reel. 

Elizabeth is a big believer that the stage you’re in personally and professionally is the stage you’re supposed to be in. It was meant to be different, it would be different. Trust the process, and be okay with everything developing at its own pace. 


You don’t have to do it all yourself. 

You’re not supposed to be good at everything. It’s okay to hand things off.

Before getting a coach, Elizabeth was holding herself to a ridiculous standard. She was telling herself she needed to do everything. She would spend hours creating miserable graphics on Canva. Working with a coach helped her learn how to delegate. 

Which brings us to #5….


Get a coach. 

When you’re first getting started with something, a coach is an amazing amount of support. In the times you feel like you want to give up, your coach and community will help you ride out any storm you’re facing. 

For Elizabeth, being with a peer group that absolutely understood what she was doing, could answer all the questions she was facing, and then having the mentorship of a coach was an absolute game-changer for her. 


Legal Protection. 

There are different ways to start strategically planning so you’re protected down the road. That might mean getting a trademark for your name or protecting an internal trade secret or process you have in your firm. Trademark protection takes time, so you want to start thinking about those kinds of things early. 

You also want to have clear communication in your contracts so people understand the scope of what you’re providing and the expectations around things like payment especially. 


Set up systems that fit who you are.  

Do this early, before you get too busy. Learn what you can automate. At the beginning of her practice, Elizabeth was researching technology very heavily. They’re now a tech-driven firm. Everything is virtual. It makes things seamless. It’s convenient for clients and it makes their lives easier too. 

If this isn’t who you are, that’s okay. If you’re more traditional and you need an in-person office, then give yourself permission to go down that path. If you’re tech-forward and you want to be location-independent, then a virtual firm might be great for you. 


Listen to the episode now


Where to find Elizabeth: 

Instagram: @brandbuilderlegal


LinkedIn: Elizabeth Milian 

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