EPISODE 70 — Michael Cowen — Play to Your Strengths and Unlock Your Firm’s Potential
Michael Cowen, acclaimed trial attorney and host of the Trial Lawyer Nation podcast, joins the show to talk about what it takes to become a thought leader in the legal industry, the importance of mindset when it comes to your success as a trial attorney, and how doubling down on your strengths will take you further than focusing on improving upon your weaknesses.
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8:41 – Focus on your strengths — not your weaknesses. “I used to beat myself up over my weaknesses and try to overcome them. Then I realized I was spending more time and energy on the things that I wasn’t so good at rather than focusing on what I’m already really good at. I’m over 50. I am who I am at this point, and I’m really good at certain things. I want to spend most of my life doing those things, so I found people who are really good at the others. I strongly recommend spending time identifying and hiring those people and treating them very well. They’ve made my life a lot better.”
12:47 – Exude an aura of confidence. “Becoming a better attorney isn’t just about getting experience. I’ve had to work a lot at it. I’ve worked with coaches and a therapist on getting past my insecurities and my lack of trust. If you go into the courtroom thinking that someone might screw you over, that’ll be felt while you’re talking to the jurors. If you haven’t had a date for six months, it’s harder to get a date. But if you’ve been dating, everybody wants to date you because you’re not desperate. There’s a different aura, and it’s the same with jurors. If you go in there scared, that’s going to come off and make you seem desperate. If you go in there thinking these are good people whom I trust to do the right thing, then your non-verbals will make your message better received.”
14:14 – Invest in yourself. “There’s no better investment than the one in yourself. In this profession, you are your most valuable resource, so I really suggest trying different things and seeing what works for you. There are lots of different ways to succeed in life, but it’s a multi-decade process. It’s constantly going back to the well, and it isn’t a straight line.”
21:49 – Becoming a thought leader builds business. “You’ve got to make yourself an authority. You can’t just wait to organically become an authority…you’ve got to make yourself one. I wrote a couple of smaller self-published books which I gave away for free. That was a very intentional decision to start becoming an authority, but I also just have an abundance mentality. There’s plenty out there that should be freely shared. It’s been the best way to not only build myself as an authority, but also to get work. Instead of telling people that something is too complicated so they should bring me in because I have the secrets, I just share what I know. It has been a much more effective way to get work.”
40:10 – Live the life you want to live. “Being a game changer to me means choosing the life I want to live and living it. I’m no longer going to try to be the things that I don’t like or am not comfortable being. I’m going to find the things that I have talent doing and that I love doing, and I want to focus on those so that I can have a life that I love. I’m not going to let other people choose what I do with my time and keep me from having the great life that I want to have.”
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