The start of the new year can be very inspiring and is full of opportunity just waiting to be unleashed, particularly after the tough last few years. Now is the perfect time to reset and refresh your business for 2023 and beyond.
Ask yourself this. What do you want to achieve? What lifestyle do you want to have? What does a meaningful career look like for you? What flexibility do you need? By being clear on what you want, you can design a business framework to help you achieve that.
I recently spoke to multi-award-winning Managing Principal of Legalite, Marianne Marchesi, to discuss the importance of designing a business that’s tailored to work for you. She shares her insights with us below.
Don’t wait, make 2023 your year to love what you do. Consider these core elements when refreshing your business.
- Design a Vision for you
Your vision is the legacy you want your business to have – what lasting impression will you, and your business, make on the world? It is the point where you will focus your attention, your effort and energy. So why not make that direction one you love?
When I started Legalite, I wanted to shake up the legal industry. I set out to disrupt the status quo by creating a business that valued clients and lawyers, and one that integrated with my lifestyle. At the time, I was burnt out, was suffering from anxiety, and simply knew that there was a better way to practice law.
I was clear on the vision and now have a framework that gives not only me more flexibility, but my team. I’ve created an environment that offers a meaningful career that still truly integrates with our personal lives.
Designing your business or your career is integral to finding time for the things you love. I’m forever grateful for the freedom that my business has given me, and that I now extend to my team members. For example, going through the physical and emotional journey of IVF a couple of years ago may simply not have been possible in a traditional environment. I’ve made sure that Legalite has extended this supportive and nurturing environment to all, having realised just how important this ‘work-life’ integration truly is.
- Surround yourself with the Right People
Now you’re clear on your intention, you need to surround yourself with people who have fresh and different ways of thinking. Build a team who will challenge you, who bring a diversity of opinions and ideas to spark creativity.
A key member of my team is Shevonne, Head of Business Strategy & Innovation. She is an essential part of the creation and delivery of our service and business strategies, and we complement each other. I’m the big visionary and she’s right in the “engine room” doing all the things. Since hiring Shevonne, I’ve been told time and time again that Legalite is “too small” to have a role like that. In reality, having the right people is an investment in your future.
- Learn from your Clients & create innovative Solutions
Don’t just service your clients, build meaningful relationships with them. If you listen to them and truly understand their pains, you can build an incredible amount of trust. Seek their feedback in all areas, constantly question how you can do things better, identify their problems and create innovative solutions out of those problems.
Our service, Legalite Counsel, came about because a key client of ours was instructing us frequently, and rather than stopping and starting (to quote and so on), I developed Legalite Counsel as an outsourced in-house counsel solution at a fixed monthly price. I piloted Legalite Counsel with this client and was able to refine and tailor for other clients as well.
We also created the offshoot service Legalite Counsel Continuity as we could see businesses were struggling to recruit inhouse lawyers in this tough candidate market. We now provide whole team support as a plug in for a period of time when they’re trying to fill a resource gap, like recruiting, parental leave, annual leave and project-work.
- Create Emotional Space and be Vulnerable
Flexible working environments aren’t just about fitting in personal activities, it’s also about emotional space you provide yourself and the team. Often, it’s taboo to talk about your wellbeing and mental health, but environments that nurture and encourage people to bring their whole selves to work support them to become more resilient, adaptable, and driven.
It’s equally important to role model behaviour and I’ve always been very open about my own mental health and struggles with anxiety and IVF. Even if I’m just having a bad day, I’ll open up to others. These are the things leaders don’t often talk about, but you cannot expect team members to open up to you without creating a safe space for them.
This article was originally published in the Law Institute Journal, as a part of the Leaders in Practice program – a collaboration between SEIVA and the Law Institute of Victoria. Learn more about Leaders in Practice here.