In today’s saturated and competitive legal market, it’s just not enough to be the very best at what you do, sitting behind your desk churning out work day in day out, to keep bringing in new business and to stay top of mind with clients, prospects and referrals.

Your competitors are likely doing more, and


For me, writing is a way to both share helpful content and also to express what I’m feeling. It’s always been a helpful outlet for me to process something, devise solutions to deal with it and then move on from it. I’m trying to use this blog as a way to help others and to share content as well as experiences that I’ve had that you also may have had, which might resonate with you too.

The timing of publishing my mean girls article in the workplace last week was timely as I had yet another experience with one – this time in a social setting (I know many of you know this, but mean girls lurk not only in the workplace but in your personal life too).
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Women can be pretty ruthless to each other in the workplace. Backstabbing, rumor spreading, malicious talking, gossiping, purposely excluding someone from an event or meeting, taking credit for someone’s work or helping to push someone out of a job.

I bet many of you have experienced behavior such as the ones mentioned above at the hands of another woman.

I call this the dark side of working with women.

Those close to me know that I have wanted to write an article on how to recognize a mean girl at work and develop strategies to effectively manage her and succeed in spite of her undermining behavior for a long time. (As an aside, I’ve also dealt with a few “mean guys” too, but that’s for a different article.)

Today, I am lucky enough to work in an environment free of mean girls (thank goodness!), that I don’t come into contact with them from time to time, or carry with me the memory of some terrible experiences of working with some very toxic females. Learning how to navigate them is an important skill to have throughout your career.

Before I delve deeper into this topic, I want to make it very clear that are plenty of amazing, supportive women in the workforce, and I’ve been very lucky to work with a number of them. They aren’t threatened by other women, and instead they go above and beyond to help others succeed. They are true role models. This article isn’t about them. I could have written an entire series of articles about the supportive women who have mentored me throughout my career. This article is about those women in the workplace who do not have your best interests at heart, and how to protect yourself against them. It’s important to remember that while you cannot can’t change someone else, you can change your own behavior, and this article will teach you how to do just that. 
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I recently achieved two major professional successes by putting myself out there and asking for them. I know it sounds a bit, well, basic, but I felt really good about going out on a limb and seizing the right moment to make a big ask in each of these situations.

So often, we are afraid

I can’t wait to speak at the 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference on April 10 at 1:30pm in Atlanta on “Beyond Branding: Aligning Social Media Strategy with Business Development Goals.” The conference is now less than three weeks away, and while I still have so much to do to prepare for my presentation, I

How many of you put off doctor’s appointments and other important items on your personal to-do list because you are just “too busy?” I’m certainly guilty of it, more times than I’d like to admit. I have a list of personal to-do items several pages long that I never seem to quite get to because

Many professionals want to step outside of their comfort zones and try different types of professional branding activities such as public speaking, article writing, taking a leadership role on a committee or joining a nonprofit board or starting a blog, but there’s something inside of them that holds them back from doing so.

Here’s what I say to those feelings of self-doubt and negativity (and what you should say too), “Yes you can, and you will!”

It’s not easy to tame our inner critic, but nothing in life that’s worth it ever is, right? We all have tons of self-doubts in our head that wreak havoc on our self-confidence. It’s so important to believe in yourself, in fact, your career depends on it. A positive mindset goes a long way in determining whether your endeavors fail or succeed. Harsh self-reflections can be very damaging to your psyche and your career. To succeed you must consciously silence these negative thoughts, replace them with proactive thoughts and actions and generally just be kinder to yourself.

I used to be in this category of people who just didn’t believe in themselves and who were overly critical of themselves – let’s just say that I was not the most charismatic public speaker (in fact, I was terrible!) and I beat myself up over it watching videos of myself, critiquing my performance and asking others for feedback where I obsessed over the negative comments. But I kept at it, I strove to improve what I could, I didn’t give up and I didn’t say no to future speaking engagements just because I had a few so-so experiences. And neither should you.

So what if your speaking engagement is only good not great or if your article just receives a lukewarm reception? You’ll learn from each of these and do better next time. After all, practice really does make perfect. If you work hard for the things you want, they will happen.

The next time you hear that negative voice in your head, I want you to promise to do the following: 
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Quite possibly the worst thing about dealing with the loss of someone you loved is the anguish when you forget that you just can’t call or text them to tell or ask them something.

On a weekly basis, I think of things – an impossibly funny situation that happened to me on the NYC subway that morning, a question about a family recipe I am about to screw up, general family gossip or advice – that I desperately want to discuss with my mom, and then I painfully realize that I will never be able to do that again with her.

Three years ago today, I lost my mom Lucille to Multiple Myeloma, a rare blood cancer of plasma cells. It causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, where they crowd out healthy blood cells and lead to a lot of terrible things, such as irreparable damage to the kidneys, heart, lungs and bones.

My late mom Lucille and me

My mom had this awful cancer for many years and responded well to treatment for many years from the best oncologists in New York City – a cocktail of groundbreaking drugs, chemotherapy, even an auto stem cell transplant – but then just when she thought she was in the clear, it came back with a vengeance.

Then there is a dear friend of mine who lost her husband (who was also a close friend) at the age of 35 last summer. She is now a 32-year-old widow. They were married for less than two years. He was an accomplished law professor who graduated first in his class at law school. He was also an opera singer. For months I have been trying to make sense of his passing, and how life can be so cruel and unfair, and then so wonderful sometimes. I am in awe of my friend’s strength and cannot even imagine what she carries around with her every day.

Lately I feel as if everyone I know has experienced a personal tragedy or profound loss of some sort – the death of parent, a beloved pet, a grandparent, a miscarriage, the diagnosis of a terminal illness – maybe it’s our age. Maybe it’s bad luck. Whatever it is, it just plain sucks.

Here’s the thing though – you can choose to wallow in tragedy, or you can choose to make hardships and the worst times of your life teaching moments and turn them into something good. You’d be surprised just how resilient each of us are if we just believe it.

Also, some of us must choose to be happy at certain points in our lives in order to turn the tide around or just to carry on and not to fall into a dark hole of despair. Happiness doesn’t always come easy to everyone all the time (more on that in a bit). Sometimes a tragedy can serve as the catalyst to cause us to reevaluate what we want from our lives.

Unfortunately, time doesn’t stop just because we are going through a personal tragedy. The sun still rises and sets, and we all still must get up and put on our game faces and go to work, and take care of our families, and just keep going no matter how hard it is.

This article is intended to help those who are facing something profoundly difficult in their personal lives and those around them so that those people can hopefully become more understanding and empathetic toward others, because you just never know what someone else is going though. So many successful people are trying to hold it together when inside they are struggling with loss and grief. I just wanted them to know that it’s okay and that they weren’t alone in this feeling.


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