Episode 119 — Jo-Ná Williams — The Entrepreneurial Attorney: Achieving Freedom by Serving Others
Most of us are either born with the entrepreneurial spirit or we’re not — but those who are have a gift.
Jo-Ná Williams is one of those people.
Founder of J.A. Williams Law, Jo-Ná’s passion is protecting what entrepreneurs build, helping others succeed, and pursuing freedom — because she’s been in their shoes before.
On this episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast, she and Michael sit down to discuss:
- Why resilience is an entrepreneur’s best asset
- The delicate balance of a grind mentality and self-care
- How to turn bad situations into fruitful opportunities
Starting off young. “I had my first business at age seven: I would make friendship bracelets for my classmates. While other kids were playing on the playground, I was filling orders. I had order forms. I had colors. I had a whole setup. The kids would pay me, and I would make the bracelets during my recess period and sell them. That’s how I made my first bit of income. I come from a family where I didn’t have an allowance, so my thoughts were I had to have a business if I wanted to buy the things I wanted as a child.”
Getting taken advantage of. “I was working in the music industry, and as I grew up into my teen years, that’s where I focused my energy and attention outside of school. I was told that I would be credited and compensated for my work and of course believed what the adults around me were saying. I realized that that was not the case and that I would not be credited or compensated for my work. That sparked a feeling of being taken advantage of, which felt really wrong. I had this deep sense of wanting to see justice, so this experience made me realize that I didn’t want this to happen to other young people. I felt compelled to go into that field to protect those who were naive and unaware of what decisions were being made for them.”
Being relentless leads to clarity. “I had 71 sales conversations before I landed my first client. Even though it took a while, what I loved about that whole process was that I started to learn more about who I wanted to work with. I gained the clarity I needed to to hone in on my ideal clients. It took a lot of resilience and grit to draw from my own self the belief that I could do this on my own. It was tough, but it was worth it.”
Entrepreneurial expectations. “The entrepreneurship culture is all about the grinding and putting in the hard work to achieve your goals. Everyone supported workaholism. If you aren’t waking up before the sun rises and getting work done before it’s light out, how much do you actually care about your business? That’s what it felt like. By nature, I am a person who works hard, so living that lifestyle fed my addiction to work. Eventually I had to transition because that wasn’t a sustainable way of life.”
Security breach. “There are so many data breaches these days that that’s one of the main issues businesses contact me about. They want to know how they can secure information for or about their clients or protect their assets on the back end of things. Information can be easily found or accessed, so I believe the legal foundation for an entrepreneur is more complex than it used to be.”
The key to finding your perfect match. “I highly recommend referrals. I think that talking to different people in your network and asking them who they work with, who they trust, and things like that is one of the best ways to find the perfect advisor for you and your business. Go through your network of entrepreneurs and ask those questions to help yourself as well as other entrepreneurs.”
Prioritizing self-care. “I’m a huge advocate for setting aside time to nourish yourself, get your mindset right again, work out, connect spiritually to whomever you look to, as well as set boundaries for both your clients and your family. I’m not taking calls at 10:00 PM or later. I don’t enjoy my work when I’m working 24/7. I now make sure I keep an eye on my wellness and am more mindful around what I need than I used to be.”
What makes someone successful? “Success is internal happiness and well-being. If I’m feeling really connected to, happy with, and grounded in myself as well as aligned with my values and my purpose, that feels successful. I’m not worried about what everyone else thinks I should be doing, and instead I’m in alignment with where I am in the world. That makes me happy. If I’m on my track and doing my very best, that’s when I feel the most successful.”
Number one life goal. “My main mantra in life has always been about helping other people succeed. I feel so much gratitude and accomplishment when one of my clients wins something they wanted, being a business advisor.”
What does being a game changer mean to you? “The ability to be resilient is what makes someone a game changer. That’s been my own personal journey.”