Erika Ferenczi On The Balancing Act Between Business And Personal Development

TTD 32 | Personal Development

 

If you want to advance in your career and business, sacrifices are inevitable. But neglecting your self-care and personal development is only counterproductive to your journey. Joining Dr. Patty Ann Tublin is Erika Ferenczi. She is a business mentor, dynamic speaker & loving mom. She is the Director of Programs at How To MANAGE A Small Law Firm and author of the book Beyond The Lies ~ The Ways Women Sacrifice Freedom by Relying on Others. In this episode, Erika shares her entrepreneurial journey and how she emerged successful in the male-dominated corporate industry. As a working mom of three kids, life has always been a balancing act for her, and every day can be a different ordeal. It’s all about knowing how to prioritize and when to start investing back into yourself. Learn all about her journey and get valuable advice on how to achieve not just success but fulfillment.

Listen to the podcast here

 

Erika Ferenczi On The Balancing Act Between Business And Personal Development

I have an incredible powerhouse woman guest for you, but before we go any further since I know you’re going to love this interview, make sure you like, comment, share, and most importantly, subscribe to the show. We have a woman who is beautiful, has brains, is married, and has four children. She is an author. I don’t think there’s anything that this woman cannot do. She is a tested business leader with years of sales, marketing, and finance experience. She is a business mentor and a dynamic speaker. She is known for her unapologetic entrepreneurial free spirit. She is all about financial freedom because her mantra is, “It’s your life, live it on your terms.”

She has worked in Fortune 500 companies and in the entrepreneurial world. She is the author of the book called Beyond the Lies: The Ways Women Sacrifice Freedom by Relying on Others. She is now the Director of Programs for a company called How to Manage a Small Law Firm. If you ask me and probably most of the people in the firm, this is the brains behind the success of this firm. Without any further ado, put your seatbelt on because Erica Ferenczi is about to take us for a ride. Welcome, Erica.

Thank you so much, Patty Ann, for having me. It’s such an honor. I admire you so much. I’m looking forward to the time that we’re going to spend together.

Thank you so much. It is a privilege and an honor to have you. Erica, there isn’t anything that you haven’t done. Maybe you haven’t slipped the atom, but short of that, you’ve pretty much done it all. Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about who you are, not just what they can find on the bio, because they’re going to read up about you, but what makes you tick and how did you get here?

I grew up like any other woman. Going to school and thinking about what career I’m going to go to. I decided to study Business Administration and have a Master’s in Finance and then started working in corporate. I started working for a pharmaceutical company, a Fortune 500 company. I was hired for the finance department, but the person that hired me when I began was around marketing. That’s how I started in marketing because initially, I didn’t like marketing at all. I wanted to be in finance. Typical corporate career in a sense and directing groups of marketing and sales at a very young age.

One day I was interviewing a person because we hire at least 5, 6, or sometimes 7 people in the company every single quarter. It has always been a thing of mine that the majority of people that I am hiring, I’m always way younger than they are. Back then, I was 24 or 25 years old and I was leading groups of people. Some of them are men that are in their late 40s, and here is a woman who is 26 years old. It was very interesting. That’s how started in a normal life.

Here you are, a young woman, 24 years old, working with men that are seasoned, 40 or 45. How did you negotiate that?

I did not negotiate. I walked in and I did what I have to do. I started working as a marketing analyst in the company. After eight months or something like that, I got promoted to a manager, and then I got promoted again after eight months to another level of management. In the pharmaceutical industry, they have different pharmaceutical products. Usually, each one of those pharmaceutical products is their own business unit.

What I was doing is I was responsible for one of those business units that have its own marketing force and salesforce. That’s where I was leading these men, some of them in their 30s, most of them in their 40s. What was more interesting is that this was a cardiovascular product. I was working with cardiovascular surgeons. I was traveling the world with these surgeons, work with them, and most of them with very few exceptions were men. They were in their late 40s, 50s, 60s, and plus. That’s what it was. I don’t know exactly what you mean about how did I negotiate that, but that’s how I got the promotion because I was always excelling in what I did.

Here you are working with surgeons. What did you do? What was it about you that were you able to influence these physicians that they would listen to you? What was it about who you are and how you brought your professionalism or yourself to the work environment where, one, you were not intimidated by these men and two, you were a respected member of the team? I know enough about pharmaceuticals to know the pharmaceutical person and the physician have to be a team for it to work.

Part of it is that I never pretended to communicate or imply that I knew more than them. They were the experts in their fields and I was the expert in my field. I always respected their knowledge. I always try to engage with them and I was always looking at how I could deliver value for them and how I could help them and how could I add to their practices to their professional lives. When you engage with people in that way, and you are in integrity, meaning that you don’t promise something that you can’t deliver and you do deliver what you promise, you get the respect of men.

You are authentic and genuine. You said what you meant and you meant what you said. That’s awesome. When you’re flying on these planes, are you flying all over the country?

 

Pouring your whole self into whatever it is you do is always a good recipe for success.

 

All over the world. Sometimes I went to Greece for three days and then to Spain for two days. I was on a plane once or twice a month.

There must’ve been some interesting stories you can share where here is this young professional 24, 25, 26-year-old, do people mistake you for one of the physician’s daughters or girlfriends?

No, they didn’t. They were respectful. Most of them, not all of them. They knew who I was. It was unusual to have a woman and such a young person to be in charge of a franchise or a product. They knew who I was. Since they were cardiovascular surgeons, it’s a small community. Everybody knows who is who. What was interesting is that they were a few of them, especially, you go to the symposiums and then they want to drink and go to a bar and stuff. A few of them try to be a little bit funny and go where they shouldn’t go.

It was interesting because there were 2 or 3 of them that were a group that they made it their mission to always shield me from this guy. Whenever we went out, they were always there and they were the ones that would say, “Back off. Leave her alone.” They’re like paternal figures. I felt flattered by that. That never worried me or I would say, “I can take care of myself.” I allowed them to be men. I was who I was.

You had your own little posse that protected you. That’s awesome.

It was very heartwarming.

In the field of medicine, surgeons are at the top and then you have cardiovascular and neurosurgeons. Those are the top of the top. These type A and hard-driving men that you are able to get to be your colleague in a way, whereas you brought your own expertise because you had value add and integrity. I would imagine that that’s a theme that has followed you throughout your career. How did that play out as you moved on?

It’s part of who I’ve always been. I didn’t know I was like that until several years later when I get to know myself a little bit more. I’m very passionate. It’s hard for me to be in the middle. I’m 100% in or I’m 100% out. I give my whole self to whatever I am doing. As I moved on, that has been a theme in my life, whether I am being one of those franchise managers, a mom, a wife, or being whatever in my own business. I opened my own business and did the same thing. Certainly now, with How to Manage a Small Law Firm and working with RJon Robins, it’s the same thing, pouring your whole self into whatever it is that you do. It’s always a good recipe for success.

My guess is that you’re always open to learning.

I can’t be without it. My husband always mocks me because I don’t watch TV. I’m always listening to a podcast or reading a book, or several books. I’m always very hungry for learning.

 

TTD 32 | Personal Development
Beyond The Lies ~ The Ways Women Sacrifice Freedom by Relying on Others

 

If I may take it to the personal side overlapping, how did you manage to be 100% all-in with your career and 100% all-in with your family? You have four children. I have four children. I can remember literally being exhausted where I thought I could not put one more foot in front of the other and it probably wasn’t that late into the evening. How did you do that? Where does self-care come into place?

I was talking to another woman and she was telling me the same thing. She’s like, “I’m exhausted. Being a parent is hard.” Kids need a lot of you. When you love them as much like we normally do, you want to give them everything. When you are an employee of someone else, it’s a little bit easier. When you’re trying to grow your own business and then raising small children, it’s very exhausting. My mom laughs at me because I can fall asleep anywhere at any time in 30 seconds because I’m so tired.

I remembered one day I was attending one business conference. The founder of Dermalogica was on stage and she was talking. One of the things that she was saying is, “Balance is BS. It does not exist.” Once you stop striving for perfection and you understand that sometimes you’re going to be exhausted and then you need to have more self-care, sometimes you’re going to try to do your best. It’s about waking up every single day, grateful for what you already have, and then doing the very best you can in each moment that you’re in. Also, be aware that self-care is important.

I remember when my children were little, at least once a year, if not twice, I can remember very consistently once, occasionally twice, my husband would ask me, “What do you want for your birthday? What do you want for whatever?” Sometimes it was a week, sometimes it was four days. “I want to go to a spa or a retreat alone. I don’t want anybody to talk to me. I don’t want to do anything.” That’s how I kept my sanity. Exercise, self-care, and do the best you can every single day while being present and grateful for what you already have.

They say gratitude is the key for so many different reasons. Do you have a morning routine? Has that changed as your family’s gotten older? Please share.

This particular morning routine I uncovered or started probably a couple of years ago. It seems like a while, but it hasn’t been all of my life. I didn’t know until one day I was exposed to this great business mentor. I respect him a lot. His name is Craig Ballantyne. He has this book called The Perfect Day Formula, which is a great book. The idea of that book is that you wake up anywhere between 4:30 to 5:30. My preferred time is 4:30 AM, but to be honest, it’s hard to get there because I can’t go to sleep early enough to have enough sleep.

Most people reading are thinking, “Did she say 4:30 to 5:30 AM?” As a mom of four children, I hear you loud and clear, but prior to four children, I would’ve cringed over that, but I get it.

The first time that he mentioned that, I was like, “What time?” There’s something magical that happens at 4:30. Usually, I try to wake up between 5:00 and 5:30 anywhere there. In the morning is always self-reflection. That’s what I called self-care. For at least an hour is journaling, reading, meditating, reading books, not business books but books that are going to feed my soul, reflecting, awareness, silence, peace, and then immediately after that, it’s exercise.

At around 6:15 or 6:30, depending on what time I woke up, I run an hour or an hour of exercise that I can’t live without. If I don’t exercise, I have a crappy day, not if it’s one day, but if it’s too many days. I’ve had two intense days and I haven’t exercised in two days and now I’m cranky. Exercise then breakfast, and then shower and all of that.

Now, my kids are already in high school. I see them for fifteen minutes in the morning. I’ll see my kids and then start working and trying to end up working at a certain time, usually between 6:00 to 6:30 PM, and having dinner with them. That’s basically my morning routine. There are days when I’m too tired. I can’t wake up because I had whatever or something at night. On those days, I begin the day behind the bowl. I’m trying to catch up with my day. That’s what I do. That’s what works for me.

That’s interesting that you say that because I have somewhat of a similar routine pre-COVID. I would be up at 4:30 and at the gym at 5:00. Now, I’ve gotten a little lazy because I bought a Peloton. I get up and have coffee, but what it’s given me is the time that I used to commute to the gym, I now use to read. It’s invaluable. I’ll go work out, shower, and start my day. To your point, I can miss the reading. I can’t miss the coffee, but if I miss a day of exercise because life has gotten in the way, I don’t feel like myself. There’s an addiction there. When you exercise, it releases hormones similar to addiction. It’s a feel-good hormone. Where does your husband fit into this? He’s probably in the same bed with you. Is he getting up at 4:30 too?

 

External results can be a manifestation of who you are at the core of your being.

 

No. What it is for me about exercise is it makes me feel good, but for me it makes me still successful. I did something successful in the morning.

I gave a leadership training with making your bed to a company.

I started the day with something that is not easy because exercising is always hard and painful. I don’t exercise, I train so I train a little bit harder, but I do not feel that I conquered my day. That gives me confidence and peace, and then I can be in this chair sitting for ten hours or whatever the time is, or sometimes twelve. It’s fine because I already did that and I conquered that. That’s more about it for me.

My husband is not a morning person. He’s not waking up at 4:30. For the first 3 to 4 years, when I started waking up at 4:00 or 4:30, there was a lot of conflict between us because he didn’t like that I left so early. What we’ve agreed is that therer are certain days in which I do my thing, and then we spend some time together in the morning, either we’ll have breakfast or we do something in the morning together. We’ve agreed that there are certain days of the week where we have this date in the morning. That’s how it works and that’s how we have been able to make it work.

How late does he go to bed? What time do you like to go to bed?

If I had my way, I would be in bed by 10:30, but the reality is that probably be in bed by 10:30, but not asleep before 11:00 which is far. My preference would be to be asleep by 10:00 or 10:30. He usually goes to sleep depending on the day, but between midnight and 1:00 AM. That’s the moment when he decompresses like he watches his TV, lays down, tosses around, and allows himself to rest. My quiet time in the morning is his quiet time in the evening because the kids are asleep. I am sleeping and he has peace. It’s just a different time of the day.

Was there a time when you were a night person like that?

Never in my life. I’ve always been a morning person.

Me too. I feel the same way. Not that it’s right or wrong, but in that early morning hour, it feels like peace before the world wakes up and the craziness starts. Quite frankly, you’ll probably never be alone again the whole rest of the day.

Never. It’s back-to-back meetings, back-to-back clients. There is always someone that needs something. I’m never alone. Sometimes my husband laughs because my alone time sometimes is just to drive. Sometimes I need to go somewhere and he says, “Do you want me to go with you?” I was like, “No, I want to be alone,” because that’s my moment of silence. It’s interesting for sure.

 

TTD 32 | Personal Development
Personal Development: Stop striving for perfection and understand that sometimes, you’re going to be exhausted and need more self-care. Sometimes, you’re going to just try to do your best.

 

I wonder if it’s a commonality of hard-charging working moms because I remember when my kids were little, I used to also love being in that car, dropping off, picking up, and the time alone. I felt like I’d blast the radio or I would think of nothing. I found it therapeutic and calming. We have so much in common, but I suspect there are a lot of women reading that feel the same way as well. For the men that are reading, the women in your life need these things. It’s important to listen to it. At what point did you go from being corporate to an entrepreneur and now back to corporate/entrepreneur?

I worked for several years and then what happened is that I met my husband. I was born and raised in Mexico City. That’s where I met him. He was working in Mexico City and he got transferred to Ecuador. At that moment, we have to decide whether to get married or not or to break the relationship. We dated long-distance for almost a year because I didn’t want to leave Mexico or my career, or anything like that.

At some point, he came back and said, “I can’t do this anymore. If you don’t want to get married, that’s fine but we need to break off.” At that moment I said, “Let’s get married.” We got married. In my book, I say, “I changed the high heels and first-class tickets around the world for changing Pampers and breastfeeding.” That’s what I did.

I had to leave my career, my country, my family, and everything, and then I got married and started literally following him around the world because he’s very good at his job. He would go to a company, fix the company way too fast, and then off he went to the same company, but in different countries within the same company. They would promote him. We moved ten times during the course of eight years. That was a lot.

You didn’t have children in those first eight years?

No, we did. We got married for the first three years and a half. We then started having children and then we would relocate with this baby. That is part of what got me to become an entrepreneur because I would travel and relocate so much, but I couldn’t get a job. There are a lot of women that don’t want to work. They are happy to have a husband that keeps them or maintains them, and that was never me.

I always wanted to work and have my own freedom and my own life. It was painful not to have it. Although I had amazing children, I was going insane. Some people are going to laugh at me or maybe criticize me, but it is not that being a mother wasn’t enough. I love my children, but that was not enough for me.

This was before you could do the remote work and work from home. It’s so funny that we feel like as women, we have to qualify and say, “I love to work. I love my own identity. I love making my own money. That doesn’t mean I don’t love my children.” I don’t know if that’s changed that much. If you don’t need to work from a financial perspective then people are like, “Look at you,” and a little bit, “What’s wrong with you?”

For women that don’t work, it’s a little bit challenging to understand this. When I interact with working women, that’s not an issue at all because they all understand. It is the mothers that don’t work that look at me like, “She’s a little bit crazy possibly,” and they look at me like, “That’s a little bit dangerous. I don’t want to go there.” That’s what got me to think about if I want to be able to have a job or do something with my expertise and my passion that it needs to be my own business and it needs to be location independent. I need to be able to do it from anywhere. That’s what got me into coaching and mentorship and then opening my own business and then the rest of the story.

What type of coaching are you doing? Share a little bit of your wisdom with us.

 

Get out of the doing in the business and start being the CEO.

 

There were several parts of the story, but basically what happens is that I went back to school. I became a professional certified coach and I loved it. When I was looking at my background, what was my expertise? It was always marketing, sales, and finance. What I did is that I was helping people with that. I was helping, working, and growing their own businesses, how to attract more clients, make more money, run their finance, and run and build a location-independent business.

There was also a big component of personal development because I’ve always been super passionate about psychology and personal development and everything that has to do with a little bit of what I called and Martha Beck called the magical world. Not only the ordinary world, the numbers, the strategy, but also the magical world where we manifest things and when we tap into the divine, and all of that world.

What I did is I brought these two things together with the strategy, wealth mindset, money mindset, overcoming your fears and beliefs systems, and changing who you are from the core of your being, so your external results can be a manifestation of who you are in the core of your being. That’s how I did it. I did my business. I started my business when I moved to the United States. Several years ago, I started from scratch. I didn’t know anyone in the United States. I grew that business to over $1 million in around three years. I was happy doing all of that, although I was very busy. That’s how it happened.

Were you doing one-on-one or group coaching? How did you find the time to have that many clients?

I didn’t have that many. I did begin with the platinum coaching program. I started with one-on-one at a “high price” at that time. I was charging $25,000 for a year of coaching. That’s what got me started. I feel that first, go call on people. What I did is I started launching the mastermind and then leveraged programs that are less expensive, but you need more volume in order to make it work and that’s how I did it, but I started with the one-on-one.

I always kept a little bit of one-on-one, but never more than 10 to 12. That one was the elite mastermind. I would talk to them one-on-one. I had the mid-range mastermind that it was all group, and then a service in which there’s a community, but I had a bunch of prerecorded lessons. They have a group call once a month.

Is it subscription-based?

Yes, subscription-based. We’re around 800 people in that community. It took me probably a 90-minute call once a month, and then whatever time it took me to record a new course every month. It was great. I had those three things going. It was a great model.

At one point, you will live in the dream and then you switched back into corporate. What happened there? I’m fascinated by this one.

That was very interesting. I always wanted to get to the place of crossing the million-dollar mark. Everyone wants to get it, then I did. When I did, I looked around and I say, “I don’t want to stay here. I want to keep on growing.” The next level for me to grow into would require to do live events. I needed to start doing live events to bring more people into the community.

 

TTD 32 | Personal Development
Personal Development: Whatever they desire, it’s absolutely possible, but they need to pay the price and work hard and, more than that, work really smart.

 

Let me remind you, my kids are 7 or 8 years old, and my husband is a corporate person. He’s traveling two weeks out of every four. I have help, but when my husband is not home, I’m alone with these kids. The prospect and the idea of me starting traveling around the country to do all of this networking, and events, it was a no-brainer. I was not going to do that. I was very conflicted.

One night, RJon and I have always been very good friends and his wife, Alejandra. We were having dinner, the three of us together. I started telling him, “I have this great program. It’s subscription-based. I was super happy, but I’m thinking what is the next step and I need to start doing these live events, but I don’t want to do these live events.”

It coincided that at that moment, his business was going through troubled times. His business has always been great, but he needed help with some parts of his business. He said, “Why don’t you go come and work with us?” I was like, “Are you crazy RJon? No, I’m an entrepreneur. I’m not going to for you.” He said, “You’re not going to work for me, you’re going to work with me. We’re going to work together. We’re going to be partners in this thing.” I was like, “No, I can’t do that.”

That was one night, but it stayed in the back of my mind. I saw him again a few months after that. I remember he called me and he said, “Would you do a project for me? I have this issue. I need you for two months. Can you do this?” That’s how he is. I was like, “I’m going to do it.” I did that and I fell in love with his clients. It’s a phenomenal community.

You know the community a little bit, it’s called How to Manage a Small Law Firm. We work with lawyers. I fell in love with the community. I finished that project and I continued with my business. He didn’t reel me in yet. A few years after that, one day, he calls me out of the blue. He says, “What are you doing?” “I’m working.” He says, “Can you come to my office? I need to tell you something.”

I phoned his office and he says, “Sit down.” I was like, “Okay.” He said, “Tell me everything you need to come work with me.” I was like, “What do you want?” He said, “Just ask.” I was like, “No, because what I’m going to ask you for is not realistic and rational.” He said, “Tell me.” He started writing and I said, “I need this and that. I want this and that.”

When we were done, he looked at me and said, “Done. You can have it all.” I was like, “What is this? I can have it all?” He said, “Yes, you can have everything. If you come to work with me, you can have everything you asked me for.” I was like, “Okay. Here I come.” I then started working with him and it’s one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life.

How long have you been with him now?

A couple of years.

To be clear for the readers, you are friends with RJon who’s the owner of How to Manage a Small Law Firm, and his wife. Is that correct?

 

There’s nothing more important than what you want.

 

Yes.

Was your husband in on this?

What happened is as I was growing my business, I belong to a mastermind and RJon was also part of that mastermind. I would go to the events with my husband and he would go with Alejandra. We were two couples and we were very good friends. It turns out that we live 10 to 15 minutes away back then. Now, we live 5 minutes away. When we learned that, then we would meet in between the masterminds here in Miami to go over our notes and all of that, and we became good friends.

Are there ever times when you feel like it’s hard to have that difficult conversation because you’re concerned that you’ll lose a friendship or vice versa on his end?

Never. He is one of the few people that I can come to and tell him anything. Sometimes he gets mad at me and I said, “Don’t get mad. I’m telling you what it is.” He’s like, “I’m still mad.” I say, “It’s okay.” It then passes, but not with him. I would be concerned with other people, but not with him.

How many hours are you putting in?

You don’t want to know. Depending on the week, I would say never less than 60.

When you look back now on what you asked for, did you not ask for enough, or you’ve upped the ante since then?

No, he gave me everything I asked for. I love what I do. He wants me to work less. It doesn’t feel like work. There are some days I hate it. There are some parts that are never fun, but I absolutely love what I do. I have a lot of flexibility so sometimes I do this and I do that. I do a lot of things inside of the business. It’s not like I am chained to our computer for 60 hours a week. I teach courses. I travel, I do group sessions, I work with the members that we have, and I teach different things in workshops. It’s very fulfilling.

I don’t know if you can answer this, but what would be next for you? Sooner or later, this will sunset for you.

 

TTD 32 | Personal Development
Personal Development: People need to decide they can’t do business development when they are cooking the burgers in the kitchen.

 

I don’t know. I know what you’re saying and sometimes I think about it, but if there’s something that happens in this company is that it changes and expands so fast that I am always sharing responsibilities. I do run the largest team in the company. I’m always sharing responsibility and delegating and promoting the people under me and then taking on more things that fulfill me and make me happy. I do work with RJon one-on-one on a bunch of initiatives that we’re going to do together. He teaches and I teach. It’s so fulfilling that I could do this for many more years.

Sometimes I think that there’s something else. Somehow, the way that we work together is at least once or twice a month, we meet for a breakfast to throw out ideas or after one of the Genius Network events. We debrief and we start creating this idea and there’s always a net within what we’re doing. That’s how we’re growing right now. Maybe one day it gets old, but it’s not going to be now.

I’m not even thinking it will get old because it sounds like it feeds you in so many ways which is great, but I was thinking maybe there’d be another adventure where you’d be working together again.

He wants to start more companies. The way that HTM right now is structured, the team that I lead is responsible for 85% of the revenue of the company. The way that I do is I say, “I’ve got this. You go and build the next company. You go play and do whatever you need to do. I’ve got this.” I’m taking care of this so he can go play. Sometimes I go play with him a little bit. When we have another thing that he’s ready to leave this other thing, maybe we will transition, but not at this moment.

That is so great. What do you say to the people that are reading that are like, “How can I have some of what Erika has?” What are the pearls of wisdom? What are the secrets? What do they need to know?

What they would need to know would be different depending on their situation. I would speak this only to a person that’s already an entrepreneur and maybe the problem is they don’t know if they can grow their business. For example, a stay-at-home mom is thinking, “What could I do?” It’s depending on who we’re talking to. We do work right now with about 800 law firms. We manage and around 820 law firms across the United States and Canada. There are always entrepreneurs. They are law firms that are starting and making $2,000, $3,000 a month and we’ll have ones that are making $45 million a year.

I would say everything that you want is possible if you’re willing to pay the price for it. You do need to be willing to work smart and for a few years, way more and way different than most people work for so you can work the rest of your life that most people never will. Whatever they are desiring, it’s absolutely possible, but they need to pay the price. They need to work smart and work hard, but more than hard, really smart. That’s what I would say.

Since this is a show on building trust and relationships, it would probably be somebody that’s an entrepreneur or a business person as opposed to a stay-at-home mom that would be interested. The joke for entrepreneurs is you have the freedom to work any 25 hours a day you want to work. Initially, you do have to work hard, but you also have to work smart. In the corporate world, there’s so much fluff. You can hide behind a couple of people around you. In the entrepreneurial world for the most part, we’re lean and mean. There’s no hiding. You have to pull yourself away because if you don’t, nobody else can because they’re busy pulling their weight, which is not to say that you’re not a team player. What you’re saying is it’s the mindset of you have to work for it.

I like to use the analogy of a hamburger restaurant or a burger joint. When you’re an entrepreneur, your main goal or job description should be to grow the business or the business development. If you were going to a restaurant business and you were selling burgers, you would have a person cooking the burgers in the kitchen, which is the technician. You would have the person charging the clients in the cash register. You would have a person on the drive-through lane and you, as the owner, would be coordinating all of this and doing basically business development, the marketing, sales, and all the strategic part of the business.

When we start working with lawyers, they went to school for legal work, it’s so easy for them to hide in the legal work. We see that when I’ve worked with coaches. They just want to be coaching and they don’t remember to be doing the business development. With architects, they want to be drawing blueprints. People need to decide, they can’t do business development while they are cooking the burgers in the kitchen. To the extent that they keep on cooking the burgers in the kitchen, this business is not going to grow. It’s going to go bankrupt.

 

Put yourself as a priority. Go after your dream.

 

The first thing that they need to think about is, “How do I replace myself in the kitchen? I can be the best chef ever and make the best burgers, but that’s something that I can delegate and train. How do I stay in my lane? I’m the owner, the strategies, and the business development person.” That’s what I would say to everyone. Get out of the doing in the business and start being the CEO. Your business can be $50,000 a year. You can still be the CEO of your business, but if you insist on doing all the fulfillment, the business is going to grow so much in a year.

What you’re saying is you can’t be a control freak. It’s the whole Ben Hardy and Dan Sullivan Who Not How. Also, you can’t read the label if you’re inside the jar. You want to be working on your business, not in your business. That is great advice. Two more questions. One is, what is the most important thing you’ve learned about life that you want everybody on this show to know?

There’s nothing more important than what you want. There are so many people that have been indoctrinated for years to self-sacrifice. Sometimes they desire something or want something, or they get to a place in their life or to whatever life they have, it’s working for them. They get stuck in that life forever because they feel guilty, shamed, or believed that they are doing it for the kids, husband, or wife. They just don’t sacrifice. That’s not a way to live.

There’s nothing more important in life than what you want as a human being. It is the greatest tragedy to sacrifice your life in the service of other people because you can’t give people what you don’t have. If you don’t put yourself first and you don’t put the oxygen mask on yourself first, you can’t save anyone. Put yourself as a priority, go after your dream, you’re not alone. Trust yourself and step out in faith, even if it’s with one tiny little step that you can do right now in the direction of what your heart is telling you, that is good for you.

What you’re saying is I think the Bon Jovi’s song. It’s your life. Thank you so much for your time. I could talk to you forever. My last question is what’s the last book that you reread and why?

The Anatomy of a Calling by Lissa Rankin. She is an OBGYN, a medical doctor. She gets to a place in her life where she is very successful as a medical doctor, but she’s absolutely miserable. To use the Joseph Campbell analogy, The Hero With a Thousand Faces is a hero’s journey of transformation from the ordinary world into the magical world, into following your purpose, truly want to do and create, and manifest in your life and understanding that you don’t have to stay within the constraints of this little box that the health system, financial system, or law system have created.

You can truly design your life in a way and in accordance to your values to your brain, to your desires, going back to Life Is Yours, that’s the name of my company. You can do that if you have the courage and the strength to step out in faith and stay on the hero’s journey into the dark forest of the unknown and you will find the holy grail in that journey. That’s what the book is about.

I lied. I have to ask you a question. I’m not sure what the answer is. Are you a rebel or a rule follower?

I am a rebel. In my opinion, the rules are only created as guidelines.

I see rules as a way to keep people under control.

 

TTD 32 | Personal Development
Personal Development: There are some rules that make sense, but there are some rules that shouldn’t keep you in a box.

 

I always talk to my clients and our members in How to Manage a Small Law Firm about writing your own manifesto. I do this exercise which I call Your Manifesto. I call it in my case that The World According to Erica. In that manifesto are the rules that I want to accept and live my life by. One of the things that I’ve done since very early with my children is to teach them to distinguish which rules are okay to follow because there are some rules that are going to keep you safe. Like you don’t cross the red lights, or don’t drive while you’re drunk. There are some rules that make sense, but there are some other rules that, you can send them for a walk because they shouldn’t keep you in a box. I’m a rule breaker, for sure.

How can people find out more about you? Would you like to direct them to your book, a website, or your business?

If you want to know more about me, go to HowToManageASmallLawFirm.com. You will see that we only work with people by referral, but because we have a six-month waiting list for people to be able to work with us. However, we have several leverage ways in which we can interact with people and we can begin the journey.

Go there and you can download one of our free gifts. We do offer a Business Building Bootcamp. We do an event every single quarter where we run one of the largest conferences in the legal industry. We have between 400 and 600 people attend every three months. If you want to know more about me or HowToManageASmallLawFirm.com or RJon Robins, go to that website and we’re happy to interact with you.

I can see why you have a six-month waiting list. You’ll probably have a six-month or a year waiting after people read this and have an opportunity to learn more about you. That concludes this episode. I did not lie because Erica Ferenczi took us for a ride. Thank you so much, Erica. This was eye-opening. I feel like what have I done with my life after I knew everything you’ve accomplished. Probably the best is still ahead. Thank you to all the readers. Make sure you like, comment, share, and subscribe. See you next time.

 

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About Erika Ferenczi

TTD 32 | Personal DevelopmentErika Ferenczi is a a tested business leader with two decades of sales, marketing, and finance experience, as well as over fifteen years of coaching experience, working both for corporate organizations and in the entrepreneurial world.

She is a business mentor, dynamic speaker & loving mom. She is the Director of Programs with How To Manage A Small Law Firm and Author of the book “Beyond The Lies ~ The Ways Women Sacrifice Freedom by Relying on Others.”

Erika is known for her unapologetic entrepreneurs free. She is all about Financial Freedom. Her Mantra “It is Your Life ~ Live it On Your Terms”

She has worked in fortune 500 companies as well as growing her own business in the areas of finance, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and business consulting leading teams and being ultimately responsible for marketing, sales and financial operations.

Her direct, blunt and honest approach delivered with a high degree of compassion and empathy has helped countless entrepreneurs grow their businesses and become professionally and financially free. She has a keen ability to get to the root cause of your issues and help you transform your biggest challenges into money-making opportunities.

Erika is here to tell you that you are not free until you are financially free. She helps her audiences get the mindset, marketing strategies and sales skills needed to get out of overwhelm, achieve clarity and build a business that deliver value and make businesses profitable.

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