The Undeniable Tour Day 7 – Hustling Pays Off

Gorgeous View of the Bay Bridge

Gorgeous View of the Bay Bridge

The slogan for The Undeniable Tour is “Hustle Your Face Off.” This is a quote from Gary Vaynerchuk and it’s both a message I want my audience to hear and it’s my mantra for this trip. I’m trying to reach and meet as many people as I can. Although I only have 5 speaking engagements during this 14-day road trip, my days are filled with meetings and activities.

I want to give a hat tip to Brand X Custom T-shirts in Tempe, AZ who made my “Hustle Your Face Off” t-shirts for me. I’m wearing one of these at each of my tour stops. I’ve had several people tell me they love them, ask to take photos of me when I’m wear one,  and Jacob Sapochnick of Enchanting Lawyer (one my sponsors) asked if I brought a shirt for him.

To me, hustling your face off is about making things happen. You don’t wait for opportunities to come to you; you go after what you want. As long as you are appropriate and mostly professional, I encourage you to push the limits and take strategic risks to get what you want.

I want to give a shout out to Scott Goering. He’s a lawyer/mediator who specializes in juvenile dependency cases. He saw me when I first spoke at the Bar Association in San Francisco in 2012 and has been keeping tabs on me since then because he was impressed by how I use social media in my professional life.

My Hustle Your Face Off Shirts, made by Brand X

My Hustle Your Face Off Shirts, made by Brand X

Footnote: When I say “keeping tabs” I don’t mean he’s been stalking me. He’s simply paid attention to what I publicly post online. It’s part of networking and it’s not creepy.

Scott is based in San Francisco and he’d reached out to me to say that he was looking forward to my presentation at the Bar Association of San Francisco during The Undeniable Tour and the he hoped we could get together while I was in town. I filed that away with all my other tour emails and didn’t give it much thought.

About 6 weeks ago, I was in San Francisco for the Dad 2.0 Summit. The conference and my participation in it was public information – so Scott came by to say hello and to say that he was looking forward to The Undeniable Tour. I was impressed by his tenacity and that sealed the deal for him that I would make room in my schedule when I came back to town to have lunch with him to talk about his ideas for using social media in his career. I don’t consider myself an expert in personal branding or using social media but I was happy to share my thoughts and give him some recommendations of people I follow when it comes to entrepreneurship and marketing including Gary Vaynerchuk, Peter Shankman, Katy Goshtasbi, and Ari Kaplan.

One thing I’ve learned about being successful professionally is you have to go after what you want – whether that’s a job, awards, connections, or opportunities. They won’t come to you through hoping for them, you have to work for it. I encourage you to take strategic risks and be bold about what you want.

If you are interested in connecting with me while I am traveling please follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments about The Undeniable Tour, please shoot me an email.

The Undeniable Tour would not be possible without my amazing sponsors.

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The Undeniable Tour Day 6 – Know Your Limits

Beach along Highway 1

Beach along Highway 1

While the rest of the world got up and went to work today, I hit the road in the Maven Mobile (courtesy of my sponsor Web3Mavens) and drove from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco. I treated myself to the gorgeous drive up Highway 1. I loved seeing the ocean and periodically pulling off to stare at the waves and seals.

I probably spent six hours behind the wheel today. Originally I intended to take Highway 1 all the way to San Francisco, but around 2pm I found myself getting really agitated and decided it was in everyone’s best interest to jump over to the freeway for the remainder of the drive. I didn’t want to get to San Francisco and be super pissed off in that traffic. When I was a kid, my mentor Rocky taught me “Anger robs thought.” I knew I needed to be clear headed until I got to my hostel.

Picture from my Walk in San Fransicso

Picture from my Walk in San Fransicso

After I settled in to my room (I’m in a room with 24 beds for the next 3 nights), I still had excessive energy coursing through my veins so I grabbed my jacket and headed out for a walk. I figured I was probably getting hangry (hungry + angry) so I stopped for a slice of pizza. I tried to walk around Fisherman’s Wharf but the crowd of tourists and the noisy street performers made me feel bat-shit crazy. I abandoned my plans and started wandering the streets of San Francisco, burning off my feelings by climbing the hills. That helped take the edge off.

It’s so important to know where your breaking points are and to cut yourself so slack when you’re feeling excessively angry, tired, anxious, sad, or in physical pain. You can’t produce your best work in that state so don’t even try. Do the best you can, take a deep breath, take it easy, and if you can, take a break to relax and regroup.

I’m hoping for a somewhat quiet night in my hostel tonight. There’s a youth group staying in the hostel tonight and I’m praying to the travel gods that they are staying on the other side of the building.

If you are interested in connecting with me while I am traveling please follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments about The Undeniable Tour, please shoot me an email.

The Undeniable Tour would not be possible without my amazing sponsors.

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The Undeniable Tour Day 5 – Stay Open

From the Farm in Avila

From the Farm in Avila

The fifth day of The Undeniable Tour was an adventure. It started with a jog in Santa Monica followed by a drive to San Luis Obispo via Solvang. Solvang is city in central California that is trapped in a Danish time warp. It’s a delightful place to visit to see windmills and eat ebelskivers. Ebelskivers are round friend Danish pancakes that are served with powdered sugar and jam. They weren’t as good as I expected but I’m glad I got to try them.

After Solvang, I headed north in the Maven Mobile towards San Luis Obispo for my first couchsurfing experience. Yes, I voluntarily stayed with strangers. I did some searching on couchsurfing.com and found Erik. From reading his profile, I realized I already knew of him – he’s the guy from the Reverse Homeless Experiment.

Erik invited me to stay with him, his roommates, and a massive great dane named Hayley. As I was driving towards San Luis Obispo, he started sending me suggestions for beaches to visit and farm that had animals and produce. It was a great way to fill the afternoon. Being a desert-dweller, it was so wonderful to see the ocean and smell the salt-filled air.

Erik kept giving me suggestions of things to see in San Luis Obispo and on my drive up Highway 1. I saw a lot of things that I wouldn’t otherwise have known was there. Hanging out with Erik reminded how important it is to stay open to new possibilities and adventures. You never know what you’re going to see and who you’re going to meet.

I’m so glad I got to couchsurf with Erik. (Note – I did not die, nor was I killed.) Connecting with a local, particularly an awesome one made my experience.

If you are interested in connecting with me while I am traveling please follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments about The Undeniable Tour, please shoot me an email.

The Undeniable Tour would not be possible without my amazing sponsors.

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The Undeniable Tour Day 4 – It’s All About Connections

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Day 4 of the tour has probably been the best day of this trip so far – not that Days 1-3 weren’t awesome, but Day 4 surpassed them. One of the gifts I gave myself for The Undeniable Tour is that I get the weekends off from professional networking and I just get to do whatever I want to do.

What made Day 4 so amazing? I got to see my friends.

Ruth and Clinton

Ruth and Clinton

When I left Oregon in 2004, I felt like I was leaving all my friends behind. I knew it was time for me to move on, but I wanted to take them with me. Since then many of them have scattered to different parts of the world – Michigan, Washington, Ireland, and California. My good friend Clinton lives in Hollywood and it was uber important to me to see him while I was in town. We met for coffee and caught up. We didn’t do anything spectacular – just two friends reconnecting in a way you can’t do on social media.

Ruth and Erika

Ruth and Erika

I left LA and headed west to Santa Monica – beautiful beach town – and met one of my gymnastics teammates for dinner. We hadn’t seen each other in a year and there was much to catch up on. We ate Thai food and walked along the Promenade watching street performers. It was a perfect night.

One thing I’ve learned in my professional and personal life is that it’s all about connections – not making acquaintances but forming real relationships with people. That’s where real opportunities for awesome come from. That’s why there’s no difference between my professional and personal lives. It’s all me and it’s all about creating a lifestyle that works for me.

If you are interested in connecting with me while I am traveling please follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments about The Undeniable Tour, please shoot me an email.

The Undeniable Tour would not be possible without my awesome sponsors!

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Functional Coziness at Casa Bella Sera

Casa Bella Sera

Casa Bella Sera

My greeting at Casa Bella Sera

My greeting at Casa Bella Sera

I had the pleasure of staying at Casa Bella Sera in Temecula a few days ago. It’s a home stay which means it’s like a bed and breakfast, but you’re responsible for your own breakfast. They have a Keurig and they put out fruit and breads, but it’s up to you to make your own meal. John and Valerie started renting out their rooms on Airbnb but then took it to the next level.

The house is in a delightfully quiet and lush neighborhood filled with little parks. As I arrived at the front door, I was greeted by Coco, a little fluff off a dog that keeps her bangs tied out of out her eyes with a bow. She’s so sweet.

My room at Casa Bella Sera and Coco

My room at Casa Bella Sera and Coco

John and Valerie rent out two bedrooms in their home, each with a private bathroom. My room came with a queen bed, a TV, and had French doors that led to a little table and chairs in the backyard – perfect for morning writing. My room also had a little fold down desk which made my aspiring minimalist heart melt. My room had charming decorations – I loved the architectural prints in the room. Everything in the home was so warm and inviting, cozy without being cluttered.

My bed was super comfortable – probably one of the bed night’s sleep I will have on The Undeniable Tour. The blanket was as velvet soft as my basset’s ears and the bed had 4 pillows – each with a different level of thickness to accommodate all sleepers. I usually have trouble falling asleep in new places but I was out like a light. Here’s what I looked like after a night at Casa Bella Sera:

My inner nerd loved the front door key they gave me for my stay. It doesn’t look like a traditional key – it’s more like car keys that you don’t have to put in the ignition. All I had to do was put the key in my pocket and tap the door knob to lock or unlock it. It’s a brilliant idea – keeps guests from making a copy.

Many times I feel like I’m a bad house guest. I often feel like I’m intruding, but I never felt that way at Casa Bella Sera. The guest rooms are in their own wing so I felt like I had space to work and write as I wanted. John and Valerie are the perfect hosts – you’re welcome to chat with them and get recommendations about the area, or not. They seemed happy to have company and left guests to their own devices.

I feel lucky that I got to spend a night at Casa Bella Sera. If you’re looking for a place to stay in the Temecula area, I highly recommend staying with them.

The Undeniable Tour wouldn’t be possible without my awesome sponsors.

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For full disclosure, I got to spend the night at Casa Bella Sera in exchange for writing this post. (Always happy to sing for my supper.)

The Undeniable Tour Day 3 – 1 Blue String

1 Blue StringWhen I realized I was going to be in the vicinity of 1in6, I knew I had to meet with them while I was in southern California. I was so happy to meet with Martha Marin in Pasadena today.

1in6 is an organization dedicated to bringing awareness and providing resources for male survivors of sexual abuse. Many people don’t know that 1 in 6 men have an unwanted sexual experience before age 18. There is a tremendous amount of shame and questions related to masculinity and sexual orientation for these men.

I got to sit down with Martha today and hear more about 1in6. The organization was started over 10 years ago, but they’ve become more well-known through social media in the last year. They definitely serve an under-served population. I was shocked when Martha told me that most men wait 40 years from when they were victimized to when they make their first disclosure. That’s crazy! And for many men, there aren’t services available to them. I’m pleased that 1in6 is validating these men’s experiences, raising awareness, and working with schools, the military, and other organizations to provide much needed training and resources.

1in6 has a campaign called 1 Blue String that I absolutely love. They are raising awareness about the prevalence male childhood sexual abuse by asking musicians to put a blue guitar string on their guitars. It’s an absolutely brilliant idea. When I met with Martha, she gave me my own blue guitar string and some 1 Blue String guitar picks. It made me want to learn how to play guitar in part so I could join the movement (plus it would be awesome to know how to play). If you’re a musician, please join the movement.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month so it’s a great time to follow 1in6 and other organizations that provide awareness and support for sexual assault survivors. I was very impressed by 1in6 because of their dedication to providing competent support and clinically sound information. I’m pleased that I had a chance to get to know this organization better as part of my trip.

The Undeniable Tour wouldn’t be possible without my awesome sponsors!

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The Undeniable Tour Day 2 – Making You Work for You

University of La Verne Law School

University of La Verne Law School

Today was my first speaking gig of The Undeniable Tour at University of La Verne Law School. I had a full room of students who were engaged and it was awesome to see that so many of them were interested in starting their own firm.

Speaking to these students reminded me of my bizarre professional journey – I didn’t have a traditional path to follow. I just kept doing what made sense at the time and so far it’s working out. It’s was great to talk with them about how there’s more than one way to be a lawyer and I also told them about the Rule of Two Feet.

One thing I’ve learned in my professional career is that the biggest limits I have are the ones I put on myself. It’s a lot of hard to work to work outside the traditional framework of what it means to be a lawyer, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be involved in blogs, vlogs, podcasts, writing, speaking, or creating a special niche for yourself. A lot of times it’s a matter of deciding what you want to do, learning how to do it, and committing to making it happen.

There have been many times this trip already that I’ve found myself repeating Tim Gunn’s trademark line “Make it work.”

If you are interested in connecting with me while I am traveling please follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments about The Undeniable Tour, please shoot me an email.

The Undeniable Tour would not be possible without my awesome sponsors!

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The Undeniable Tour Day 1: The Importance of Happiness

Visiting the Law Offices of Jacob Sapochnick

Visiting the Law Offices of Jacob Sapochnick

Day 1 of The Undeniable Tour is in the books. I flew in to San Diego, got my rental car which I’m loving calling the Maven Mobile after my Concierge Sponsor Web3Mavens, and drove to Temecula for the night. I had to visit two incredible people before I headed north: Katy Goshtasbi and Jacob Sapochnick.

Selfie with Katy Goshtasbi

Selfie with Katy Goshtasbi

Katy is a former lawyer who is now a personal branding coach, consultant, and speaker. Her book, Personal Branding in One Hour for Lawyers, is an American Bar Association best-seller. I met Katy when she gave a talk at ASU Law School when I was a 3L. She offered a free consult to the first three students to approach her when she was done and I climbed over the tables to get to her.

Katy and I met for lunch and we talked about how we’ve both discovered how important it is to have work that is fulfilling and makes us happy.  There are so many miserable, stressed, overworked lawyers in the business and it’s sad to see that they don’t know that there are other ways to practice law. It will always be challenging, but that doesn’t mean you have to be unhappy in the process. If you’re unhappy, your potential clients are going to see that and they won’t want to hire you.

Me and Jacob Sapochnick

Me and Jacob Sapochnick

Before I headed to Temecula, I stopped by the Law Offices of Jacob Sapochnick. Jacob is the creator and host of the Enchanting Lawyer podcast, which is also a sponsor of the tour. I had the pleasure of being a guest on the show last year and I’m so glad I finally got to meet him in person. Jacob has a very strong practice, without needing to be there all the time. He’s found a way to train and empower his staff in such a way that they want to work their asses off to take care of clients and he’s able to take a 2-month vacation every year and the firm will keep running in his absence. It seems like he has a remarkable team.

One of the things I love about Jacob is that he embodies the idea that every company needs to be a media company. (Hat tip to Gary Vaynerchuk.) He practices immigration law but a lot of the content he puts out isn’t related to immigration. It’s related to building a community. He puts out quality material and leverages his podcast to meet people he couldn’t otherwise have a conversation with that he’s put himself into a position where he will be top of mind when people need his services.

In reflecting on my discussions with Katy and Jacob, the running theme in both conversations is the importance of creating a lifestyle that incorporates your career and your other priorities. If you are miserable in your career, you’re doing something wrong. There are other ways to be successful in the legal industry.

If you are interested in connecting with me while I am traveling please follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments about The Undeniable Tour, please shoot me an email.

The Undeniable Tour would not be possible without my awesome sponsors!

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Web3Mavens – Concierge Sponsor for The Undeniable Tour

Origami Figures Turning in to 3-D Animation by Free Press from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Origami Figures Turning in to 3-D Animation by Free Press from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I am excited to announce that Web3Mavens is the Concierge Sponsor for The Undeniable Tour. This is a software development company that works for many law firms and their business clients. Their goal is to help companies succeed.

Web3Mavens LogoI’ve known one of the company’s founders, Fred von Graf, since 2009 and while I love to listen to him talk about his work, I can barely comprehend what he’s talking about. Web3Mavens creates and updates companies’ software to help them communicate and work more efficiently. Their developers create native iOS and Android applications, web-based applications, and they can build cross-platform applications that allow your team to work from their smartphone, tablets, and computers.

If you’re not sure what you need, Web3Mavens can help with that too. They will consult with you to assess your development needs, suggest strategies to streamline or add to your company’s technologies, and can serve as the interim CTO for the project.

Founded in 2008, Web3Mavens works extensively with the legal community – both for law firms and their clients – but I guarantee you’ve never seen them at a legal conference expo. They’ve built their entire business through word-of-mouth and referrals. It’s almost like a secret society you have to be invited to in order to get them to work on your project.

One of the things that makes Web3Mavens so remarkable and wonderful to work with is that they hand select established developers for their team.  They work quickly and efficiently to create solutions that focus on providing a simple and functional end user experience and help you take your work to the next level. Be sure to check out their list of past clients and current partners.

If you are looking for a way to make your company run more efficiently, please check out Web3Mavens.

The Undeniable Tour would not be possible without Web3Mavens and my other sponsors. If you are interested in connecting with me while I am traveling please follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments about The Undeniable Tour, please shoot me an email.

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Less Than a Week ‘Til The Undeniable Tour Starts!

Footprints by marcelometal from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Footprints by marcelometal from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

It’s hard to believe that The Undeniable Tour, a project I’ve been working on for over 6 months, is almost here. I’m excited to see all the planning come to fruition.

My life feels exceptionally hectic right now because I’m trying to tie up as many loose ends as I can before this trip begins and also trying to get as many things set in my schedule during my trip. There are so many things I hope to see an experience and people I hope to meet with during The Undeniable Tour.

I will be blogging and tweeting throughout the trip and also shooting video along the way. My friend recently reminded me to make sure I get plenty of “B roll” footage and he suggested I keep a notebook where I write down what all the footage is because by the end of two weeks I  may not remember what certain clips are.

On the logistical front, things have been busy. Things with my house sitter didn’t work out so I will have to put Rosie in the kennel while I’m away – which is probably a good thing given the number of medication she is on right now for glaucoma. I’ve also been thinking about what I need to take with me, because as an aspiring minimalist, I only want to take things that I will need it, use, and will add value to the experience.

Web3Mavens Logo

I am excited to announce my final to sponsors for The Undeniable Tour: Web3Mavens and the Enchanting Lawyer podcast. Web3Mavens is a software developer and technical consultant that provides services to many members of the legal community. Enchanting Lawyer is a podcast hosted by Jacob Sapochnick that helps lawyers get clients, build a profitable practice, and have work/life balance. I had the pleasure of being a guest on the show last year.

Enchanting Lawyer Podcast logo

Right now my life feels very busy as I’m trying to get ready for this trip and I suspect that my stress level will go down significantly once I get on the road because I won’t be planning the trip anymore, I will just to be on the trip, and able to be more “in the moment.” Here are all of the places I will be speaking during The Undeniable Tour: University of La Verne, Santa Clara University, Bar Association of San Francisco, Lewis and Clark, and the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association. Between each of the stops, I will be trying to meet with as many movers and shakers in the legal and social media communities on the west coast as I can. If you are or know someone I should meet along the way, please let me know!

If you are interested in connecting with me while I am traveling please follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions or comments about The Undeniable Tour, please shoot me an email.

The Undeniable Tour would not be possible without Web3Mavens, Enchanting Lawyer, and my other sponsors.

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