The Gen Why Lawyer: 5 Things I Learned from Launching a Podcast as a Young Lawyer
By Nicole Abboud • December 05, 2016•Writers in Residence
Almost 2 years ago, I launched my podcast, The Gen Why Lawyer. At the time, I was a 3rd year associate, I was feeling utterly unfulfilled with the practice of law, and I was questioning my career choice. I decided to reach out to other young lawyers across the country to hear their stories and find out how they were finding fulfillment, happiness, and success in their careers. Just like that, my podcast was born. Now that I have spoken with over 100 lawyers on the show, I’ve discovered a few interesting things about myself that I believe any new or young lawyer could benefit from hearing.
1) What I have to say matters, even as a young lawyer
Podcasts are very different from blogs, with the biggest difference being that I had to actually speak into a microphone as opposed to write words on a page. When I was brainstorming what my subject matter would be would be, I encountered many of the fears new and young lawyers have: I'm going to have to record and hear my own voice. I don’t know enough to make any real contribution. Who am I to start a podcast? I have nothing to say. Who would actually read it?
I was my own biggest critic. I put myself down before I even gave myself a chance. But then, when the angel on my shoulder won out over the devil and I launched my podcast, I quickly realized that I have just as much a voice as any seasoned attorney. What I had to say mattered! Perhaps it didn’t matter to everyone out there but it mattered to some. I discovered that even as a young lawyer, I could create something that would affect others positively.Creativity doesn’t require years and years of practice or experience. All it requires is a passion, a dedication to that passion, and the willingness to put in the hard work.
2) Chances are, others are thinking it too
My podcast was born out of a desire to answer some burning questions I was asking myself: why did I become an attorney? Is this all there is? Am I the only one experiencing these feelings of lack of satisfaction? Did I make a mistake by going to law school?
They were tough questions to ask considering I was facing a six-figure student loan and lack of experience in any industry other than law. They were questions I believed others were asking themselves as well. And I was right! I wasn’t the only one. After I started podcasting, I had young lawyers across the U.S. reach out to me with their stories of similar experiences and questions. They thanked me for sharing my experiences so openly because it made them feel like they weren’t alone either. That solidified my belief that if you think you’re the only one with thoughts, feelings, or struggles around a specific topic, chances are, you’re not.Others are thinking it and experiencing it too.
3) If you help others, they’ll be more inclined to want to help you
Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker, is known for saying, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want." I wholeheartedly subscribe to this belief of helping others as much as you can. Sure, it’s altruistic and makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside but truthfully, by helping others, you’re really helping yourself too. Through my podcast, I’ve discovered that by providing a platform for other lawyers to share their stories, offer their advice, and often promote their businesses and projects they were working on, my guests were more enthusiastic about helping me whenever I reached out to them asking for some help.Thus, when you help others get whatever it is they want, you will get everything you want as well.
4) Your network is only as strong as how often you nurture it
We all know how important our networks are. The point of networking and participating in bar associations is to meet colleagues, make friends, and establish business relationships. Well, for me, my networking of choice was done through my podcast.I was able to spend an entire hour with a complete stranger, get to know them really well, and become acquaintances. However, all that would have meant nothing had I not continued to nurture the relationship beyond the podcast. I made it a point to constantly stay in touch with each guest, periodically checking in on their lives, and celebrating their professional wins along the way with them. This taught me that having a strong network is important but it takes work to strengthen it. Simply connecting with someone on LinkedIn or sending one follow up email after meeting them initially won’t do.
5) First, people ask you why you do it, then they ask you how you do it
I’m lucky in the sense that I didn’t have a lot of naysayers around me when I first announced the launch of my podcast. For the most part, people were supportive (judging from all the positive comments on Facebook). But in the early stages of the podcast, whenever I would tell older attorneys that I had a podcast, I would receive a lot of questioning stares and snarky remarks. Now those same attorneys are asking me how they too can tap into the power of content creation to grow their practices. They noticed how much growth and attention the podcast has brought into my life and they realized that content creation is a powerful way to build a community, gain industry recognition, and develop business. Lesson learned: if you’re convinced that what you’re doing is going to help others, then don’t let any negative comments stop you.
I’d love to hear what lessons you’ve learned from taking up any new activity or content creation effort (like starting a blog). Tweet me @nicoleabboud
Write a comment
Please login to comment