35. Melissa Lamore, Velawcity — Nurturing Community: Cancer Survival and The League

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Melissa Lamore is the Senior Vice President of Communications at Velawcity, a legal advertising network. Her superpower lies in building relationships that are deep-seated and wide-reaching. For Melissa, the lines between personal and professional are blurred. When she battled breast cancer, much of her support network came from the legal industry. As a result, her rapidly expanding network naturally led to co-founding The League with Carson Bayer.

Melissa explains how leaning into your vulnerability can help build an authentic community. And why complimentary values can be just as important as shared ones. How The League is elevating the ‘whole woman’ and how the simple action of journaling daily can help unlock your future.

What’s In This Episode?

  • Who is Melissa Lamore?
  • How did Melissa transition from event production to SVP of Brand and Communication?
  • How did her experience with breast cancer make her a more effective communicator?
  • Why are complementary core values just as powerful as shared values in personal and business development?
  • What is the League and how does it help build women up?
  • How can brand position be communicated effectively both internally and externally?
  • What journaling practices can help you identify your why?

Transcript

Melissa Lamore:

We’re only here once. So let’s take who we are and what we have, and what we have to offer the universe, and then let’s do it.

Sonya Palmer:

Help everyone in your network shine and as your community grows, so will you.

Melissa Lamore:

You need to know their why. Really, why did they choose you? I think that it’s just as important for the employer as it is for the employee to find the company that has the right culture for you.

Sonya Palmer:

In 2021, women made up over half of all Summer Associates for the fourth year in a row, yet equity partners and multi-tier law firms continue to be disproportionately white men. Only 22% of equity partners are women. We would like to see that change.
Hello and welcome to LawHer, the show where we celebrate the trailblazing attorneys and entrepreneurs who are changing the game for women in the legal field. Be inspired by their stories, learn from their mistakes, build community, and look forward to the future they’re helping build for the next generation of women in law. Hi, I’m Sonya Palmer, your host, and VP of Operations at Rankings, the SEO Agency of Choice for Personal Injury Lawyers. This is LawHer. Melissa Lamore is the SVP of Communications at Velawcity, a legal advertising network. Her official role is to connect internal team members with external clients in the most effective way possible. But her superpower comes in the form of building relationships in deep-seated and wide-reaching communities. For Melissa, the lines between personal and professional are blurred. When she battled breast cancer, much of her support network came from the legal industry. As a result, her rapidly expanding network naturally led to the co-founding of The League with Carson Bayer.
Today, Melissa explains how leaning into your vulnerability can help build an authentic community, why complimentary values can be just as important as shared ones on a team, how The League is elevating the whole woman, and how the simple action of journaling daily can help unlock your future. Melissa spent 15 years in event production and consultation. Hear how she got into the legal space. Let’s dive in.

Melissa Lamore:

I actually met Tighe and Phil, who owned Velawcity, as an event producer. I met them working with them on contract, producing events for them, working with their clients and scheduling small retreats, and doing smaller events. And then that grew and evolved to when we were doing really smaller conferences and larger meetups and a lot of complimentary events that followed a lot of the conferences and gatherings in the industry. I fell in love with their clientele. I fell in love with the company. I fell in love with the whole industry, really. While I was initially working really in every industry, all across the board, it’s been the last three years that I’ve worked solely in the legal industry.

Sonya Palmer:

Yeah. We love working with lawyers. They’re so passionate and so ambitious and really, really care. And then what drew you to Velawcity?

Melissa Lamore:

Velawcity really was Tighe and Phil. I actually had no idea coming into the industry what mass torts were. No, really. I mean, I knew class action vaguely.

Sonya Palmer:

Yeah.

Melissa Lamore:

I mean maybe any layman would really, but I didn’t really know that much about what they did. And as I really learned about it and learned about the why and learned who we were representing and what we were doing, and then I really got to know a lot of the attorneys in the industry that were doing these things and how they became more involved. I really became impassioned by it. I really can’t even imagine myself not being in this industry now. Any other event now just feels a little empty to me. It gave me the purpose behind what I was doing. And then it gave me sort of a community to become really fundamentally involved in.

Sonya Palmer:

Yes.

Melissa Lamore:

So really, I mean when I learned what their mission was when I learned that they were connecting people that need help with those who can help, that was really fascinating to me how that worked. And it was also just, I mean, I don’t know how else to explain it other than it just gave me the real purpose behind what I was doing.

Sonya Palmer:

And then in your current role as senior vice president of brand and communication, what areas do you oversee?

Melissa Lamore:

So I work a lot with internal marketing. I work a lot with company culture. I work a lot with the clients directly, finding out what they need, what’s working, what’s not working, and how we can be better. And working internally really with helping the people within the company understand what our purpose is. That whole, those who can help or those who need help with those who can help. Really connecting that purpose with those in the office that maybe don’t have access on the face-to-face with our clientele to really kind of see their passions. It’s really me communicating it internally too because I believe super strongly that if people don’t understand the why behind what they’re doing, it kind of gets lost. And one of the things that I have really been working towards this year especially, and we can kind of get to this later, but especially after battling breast cancer this year, it’s that the people that we’re helping as a community, as an industry, I have such a direct appreciation for, compassion for, I relate to them very differently than maybe I had prior to.
And it really became fundamentally essential for me to connect the attorneys, our office personnel, and our entire leadership team to the person behind the packet. This is not just a number, this is not just a case. This is a person with a real family and real issues and real problems and real struggles. And so my real core role within the company now is making sure that I’m connecting those internally with who we’re helping and those externally, making sure that we’re helping those externally with what exactly they need in order to be the most effective and efficient possible.

Sonya Palmer:

You mentioned that after having fought breast cancer you relate to them more. Can you expound on that a little bit?

Melissa Lamore:

It’s really once you get on the other side of that infusion center, once you are on the other side and you meet people of all different backgrounds, I mean cancer does not discriminate. It’s everyone back there, young people, old people, healthy people. It’s every one of every walk of life. And you hear their stories and you get to understand their experiences and how their lives have been affected and how their family has been affected. It’s profound. It’s all sorts of cancers. So I know not everybody that we’re representing necessarily is a cancer patient. It’s just overall it’s the tow truck that you just got hit by.

Sonya Palmer:

Yeah, I think there’s something about struggle, like a real struggle, and how that joins humans together. And then I think also just the common denominator, someone who needs help.

Melissa Lamore:

And I’ll tell you that not only did going through cancer helped me really connect with those who were helping, but it also solidified the community that I had within this industry. As an event planner, as somebody whose literal job is in hospitality and making sure that I’m predicting everybody’s needs. My job has been in service, my profession has been in service, and my business has been in service really my entire life. And this was the first time that I was knocked down and I couldn’t be there for anybody. And as a true extrovert, I really struggled with that because what I enjoyed the most was people. And so I kind of reached out to my community and the community and really the community within the industry really reached out to me. I mean, I’m not kidding. Daily I had something showing up on my door, text messages, calls, FaceTimes, and emails. I mean, the amount of outreach that I received from the community within this industry was incredible.

Sonya Palmer:

That makes me really happy to hear.

Melissa Lamore:

So it really flipped the script for me. It really allowed me to see for the first time really how my relationship with our clients, with my colleagues, with my friends within the industry, that none of those things were dependent on what I can do for them and what I can produce for them, and what I can create or how I can galvanize people For them, it really was about an authentic relationship and authenticity is my core value. And so when I got that outreach of love and compassion and understanding and just love and support, it was overwhelming.

Sonya Palmer:

I loved to hear that you reached out so that you recognized this was like you said, it flipped the script for you. You were finding yourself in a place you hadn’t been before and you reached that first step. You took it, which can be very intimidating and very scary for people when they’re feeling very vulnerable. But you did it and then you got it back tenfold. A hundredfold.

Melissa Lamore:

It’s so true. I work with cancer survivors now and those who are battling cancer now. And I work just sort of as a coach or as a mentor, as a guide of sorts through Stanford actually. And I tell them constantly, I mean as a true extrovert, that’s what worked for me. I took my in case of an emergency group text and I asked them… I gave them my chemo schedule. I asked them to show up for me to pick a date and show up for me. And I turned every chemo into a gathering. Something I almost looked forward to because than days prior to chemo is traumatic. There’s no other way to put it. And so I created an environment that made me excited and that gave me energy, truly, fundamentally gave me energy. I had a shave day party, and I’ll tell you, out of the 12 people that came to shave day, nine of them were in the industry.

Sonya Palmer:

That’s amazing.

Melissa Lamore:

And they all flew from across the country to San Francisco to be by my side for that. I mean…

Sonya Palmer:

Yeah. That’s incredible.

Melissa Lamore:

It really is. It was probably the most pivotal day. And it’s so essential to ask for what you need. What I needed isn’t the same as what everybody else needed, right?

Sonya Palmer:

Oh, I think that’s what I was trying to point to so often, especially as women who are feeling vulnerable, the last thing we want to do is reach out. And that’s what I wanted to underline, that you did that. And like you said, as an extrovert, it was necessary for you, but just that you took that first step and that it was valuable to you. And then I love the gatherings as well because like you said, the chemo, all of that’s very jarring. It’s very hard on a person. So to be able to extract a good thing from that with the people that are around you, I have to imagine that’s very healing.

Melissa Lamore:

Cancer really, and treatment and the way that I was supported through the treatment in the most, in such a vulnerable way, and the way that it was received and the way that it was fulfilled, it really helped me heal from a lot of my life’s trauma. I mean, this cancer’s not the first traumatic event I’ve ever had and it may be the most traumatic event that I’ve ever had. But I really think that it came to me with a purpose. And the purpose really ironically, was in healing my whole body, my mind, my spirituality. I mean all of those things.
And all of those things really healed my communities. The people that showed up, I created a sort of a makeshift sorority cause I was a single mom in college and we were all single moms. And we just created this incredible network that now we’ve, like one of my girlfriends from that actually systemized that and created that structure and that organization within the college so that it exists now for other women coming up. But I mean they came out and supported me for one of my chemos. For every stage of my life really from childhood all the way until now with friends that I’ve just met in the industry in the last few years. It’s really, I mean, the way that the entire community came together. And it shows that if you reach out and if you really build that authentic community based on real true friendship and connection, that it will fulfill you.

Sonya Palmer:

Absolutely. So you’re a living ambassador of culture. I wanted to go back to what you said because culture is something that gets tossed around in the business world a lot. You got to have your core values, you got to get the culture. But from what I’m hearing from you, that perspective of you guys is acting the way that it’s designed. You’re practicing what you preach. I’m tying that back into what you were talking about at the beginning, something that you authentically believe and have experienced. How do you then translate that or impart that to the rest of your team?

Melissa Lamore:

Well, I think you have to know your team. You have to know who they are as people and what they value and what fulfills them.

Sonya Palmer:

That’s simple but profound advice to be effective as a leader that you need to know your team.

Melissa Lamore:

You need to know your team. You need to know what drives them, what fulfills them, and what they value. You need to know their why. I mean really, why did they choose you? They could work in a lot of places, especially in this market. So why you? I think that it’s just as important for the employer as it is for the employee to find the company that has the right culture for you. Because if you’re not aligned, you’re bound to be unfulfilled in some states because money can only buy so much. And I just believe really strongly in that. And I think that there needs to be a balance. Not everybody has to value exactly the same thing or has to be the same core values.

Sonya Palmer:

Not everyone has to share the same values to be effective. Sometimes they can be complementary. Melissa co-founded The League with Carson Bayer. Melissa met Carson at a conference and the two became fast friends. Their differing core values help build each other up.

Melissa Lamore:

Carson is a really vulnerable, genuine, just fundamentally kind human. And she really taught me how to be vulnerable. She really told me well before I was even on the struggle bus, well before I was going through mastectomies and having reconstruction, and even started chemo. She kind of just gave me the heads up and she goes, “You are used to being so strong and so energetic all the time. It might happen that you don’t feel that way. It might happen that you can’t do all the things that you normally do and that you need to rest more. And all these things.” She really taught me that it was okay to not be okay all the time.

Sonya Palmer:

Isn’t that amazing how having a trusted friend gives us permission to experience things like that when we won’t ourselves?

Melissa Lamore:

Totally. And when I asked her what her favorite part of our friendship was, she said exactly the opposite.

Sonya Palmer:

Oh, the opposite.

Melissa Lamore:

She said, “You know, what you taught me is what I’m capable of and how strong I am and how successful I absolutely can be.” When we both asked each other what our favorite parts were, I told her that she taught me that it was okay to not be okay all the time. And she reversed that for me and said, “You taught me that I was okay and that I was strong and that I could do it.” It’s, it was just this magical moment that we both realized that it was so simpatico, it was so compatible. And it just explains so much about our friendship. It’s just understanding who each other is and what drives you and what fulfills you and what is compatible and how you can balance one another out. I mean, I think that that’s the key, honestly.

Sonya Palmer:

I agree. So tell us more about The League.

Melissa Lamore:

So The League is, oh my gosh, The League is an incredible network and community of women in the industry. The League is us creating a platform of what sort of Carson and I had created just amongst ourselves. Carson and I working in different parts of the industry, had this incredible network of women that she and I together were friends with that was just the most empowering, invigorating, energetic, and energizing group of women I mean, you could honestly ever imagine. And she and I were talking one day and she actually reached out to me and said, “It would be great if there was a women’s organization that was designed for all of us.” I mean, there are so many women’s organizations that are very particularly designed to support certain sectors of the industry, which are all incredibly essential and beneficial for those in that particular sector of the industry.
But this is an organization that’s designed for the whole woman, for their personal growth, for their professional growth, for their independent financial management skills, and for their why. So it’s designed for the whole woman really solely. And then by supporting the whole woman, you support them in whatever role they play in the industry. We’re going to start with the industry, but every single woman in the world needs it. And I firmly believe that when we all have that, if we’re all really interconnected, we all elevate.

Sonya Palmer:

Yes.

Melissa Lamore:

Everywhere, where we work elevates who we work with, elevates who we support in our homes, who we support in our families, and who we support in our offices. All of that elevates when our whole person is being fulfilled.

Sonya Palmer:

Completely.

Melissa Lamore:

So that’s really what The League is, and it’s really based on those four pillars, personal development, professional development, individual financial management, and philanthropic celebrations.

Sonya Palmer:

Fantastic. When I first heard about The League, one of the things that I really liked about it was that it was encompassing all women in the industry. Because even when you stack organizations for female lawyers up against what’s maybe available for everyone or what is available for typically male lawyers, there wasn’t really anything for paralegals, people in marketing, trying to support our female lawyers and female business owners. So that was the one thing that really stood out to me is that this is really for everyone that’s a part of the industry, and now having heard your story, it makes sense why you would want to tap into that and just bring all those women kind of like together. We’re already showing up for each other so we can formalize it.

Melissa Lamore:

Exactly. Really. I mean, you really create the platform that for what we’re already doing, there are already all of these amazing women’s organizations out there. The League wants to support them.

Sonya Palmer:

Oh yes.

Melissa Lamore:

The League wants to bring all of them into the fold and then also incorporate vendors, incorporate paralegals, incorporate law students, incorporate administrative personnel, incorporate every single… The backbone of this industry as well as the phases of the industry.

Sonya Palmer:

Yes, yes. I’m very excited.

Melissa Lamore:

Me too.

Sonya Palmer:

So backtracking a little bit with The League and your role at Velawcity, how do you feel like your experience in events is translating to your current role and now your new role as founder of this organization?

Melissa Lamore:

As we talked about in the very beginning that when I went from running my own business and working with Tighe and Phil at Velawcity sort of on contract, something shifted in terms of I really gathered more purpose working in the industry. I created more of a connection with the clientele and with what everybody was doing and who was interconnected and who wanted to be interconnected. And it really became about way more than curating an event. I can curate an event, I can put together a conference or a meeting or a brunch or a retreat, and I can make it look beautiful and make everybody feel loved. That’s what I’ve done forever. This is different because it’s taking all of that. But then it’s also knowing who we’re connecting with and why, and then knowing who to put them in the same room with. Who do they want to do business with?
Where are their exposures and how can we close them? Where are other opportunities and how do we expose them? So it’s all of these things that it takes everything that I already know how to do that Carson also, especially from an operationally, not only can we galvanize all of these people, but we can galvanize all of these people with purpose and empowerment. The opportunity and the potential are literally endless with this. This is a way to connect paralegals and law students and administrative personnel with the right companies, vendors, law firms across the industry from a cultural perspective, making sure that they’re finding the right fit, making sure that they know what to look for. And I mean from both sides, the employer and the employee, it’s really taking both, not both ends because they’re not really on a spectrum like that, but it’s really taking all aspects of employment and all aspects of purpose and all aspects of belonging and really kind of bringing them all together.

Sonya Palmer:

Melissa manages communication both internally and externally, making sure that everyone understands the brand positioning. She explains how to replicate this communication effectively.

Melissa Lamore:

If you are communicating a law firm’s brand, who are they helping? I think that’s my first question. Who are you helping and what is your objective? What is your mission fundamentally? I mean, I would kind of take Velawcity as an example just because obviously that’s the one that I’ve worked with the most in the last few years. But taking those who need help or connecting those who need help with those who can help, is our mission statement. It is also our fundamental core value.
So it’s communicating clearly that is exactly what we’re doing. That person is more than a packet. This is a real person with a real experience, with a real life that has been affected in real ways. And we want to connect them with the firm that’s going to help them. So it also elevates who we want to work with as law firms. Making sure, I guess initially that there’s alignment between their core value and their mission statement and really make sure that that’s actually the case, that that’s authentic. Again, that’s what leads to my core value. And once that’s verified that that’s authentic, it communicates almost on its own. It is its own catalyst.

Sonya Palmer:

How do you scale? Everything you’re talking about’s very intentional, what you said earlier, you have to know your people. How do you do that when a firm goes beyond a couple of people, a couple of employees, but I think you just said it, if you can get it right, if you can make sure that it’s authentic, it spreads on its own.

Melissa Lamore:

It does. I mean, your organizational chart has to be solid. And once your organizational chart is solid and the right people are in the right seats and they have the autonomy to build their team with the right people in the right seats, it literally cascades across the board. It’s not something then that the person on top has to sort of micromanage because it’s authentic and it’s fundamental and it’s in your core.

Sonya Palmer:

And today in business, if you don’t take risks, that’s almost riskier. And scaling and growth, always looking for automation and new frameworks, and new tools to communicate things. And what the reality is, the most effective thing is to just get it right, and then it will, like you said, spread on its own.

Melissa Lamore:

Yeah. And then it’s always… The get it right is a really overwhelming concept. But I think if you are authentic in what you’re doing, and …you are intentional in how you’re building it, I really do think that the next right move, whatever that is for Carson and me, it was just filing for the 501C6. That was the next right move. Let’s just get started. Every company and every business has that next right move.
And as you scale, there’s the next right move. So just keeping connected with, again, keeping connected with all those core values and that mission and making sure that you’re communicating those. I truly believe that everybody in your company… Now, granted, there’s obviously going to be outliers and there’s obviously going to be mistakes and people are misled or something, there’s always going to be that. And I think that those things are exposed much more quickly when everybody is constantly connected with what they’re doing and also has autonomy so that when there’s something that goes, it’s easy to catch. It’s also quick to fix. And if everybody has the ability to feel vulnerable also in the office going on that point of it, then they’re not so afraid to admit that they’ve screwed up.

Sonya Palmer:

Yes. Accountability is ownership.

Melissa Lamore:

The biggest issue is that any company I’ve ever worked with has been because somebody was trying to hide a screwup. And frankly, if you’re vulnerable enough to go to your boss and say, “Hey, I really screwed this up and I don’t know how to fix it, or I screwed this up and this is how I’m going to fix it.”

Sonya Palmer:

Happens to everybody.

Melissa Lamore:

Honestly, those things, if you’re in a space that’s safe enough for that. And that kind of taps into my, I was a teacher because that’s where I actually started off as right out of college and it kind of goes into my teacher self where it’s creating a safe space for learning, creating a safe environment for students to learn, for them to engage, for them to participate. The exact same skill operates in the classroom or it operates in the office. Creating a safe place for everybody to take risks, own responsibility, participate, be accountable, and so on and so forth.

Sonya Palmer:

Absolutely. I think you had an important insight right there where we talk a lot about finding your why, find your purpose like that’s easy. Because it’s not necessarily easy. It takes people into their forties, fifties, and sixties to fully understand why am I doing this. So I liked what you said about the next step, the next right step. Sometimes if you don’t have a full grip or view of your why, just take action. Just…

Melissa Lamore:

Right.

Sonya Palmer:

Then whatever the next right thing is action is very, very, very powerful. Even if you don’t know, do something.

Melissa Lamore:

Right. Taking it one step further, if you take the next right step and you don’t know what that next right step is because you have no idea what you even want to do, you’re so fundamentally confused or lost, I would say start journaling at the end of every day. What energized you and what de-energized you? Just one thing. It’s a quick thing that you can take note of. And then as you look at it over a week, a month, I mean a year, that’s aggressive, but a year and really see if there are any common denominators. And then if there are consistent underlining objectives, missions, or values that you’re finding and what is energizing you, start really intentionally doing those things more. And I truly believe that you’ll find what the next right thing is by doing that.

Sonya Palmer:

Yes, journaling is undervalued. For years, it was just 20 minutes of thought on paper. Stream of consciousness, right? And now it’s very valuable. It is. But recently more structured to an actual diary. These were the events yesterday. And again, to then look back, which is a slightly different way of doing what you just talked about, you can see here’s what I was excited about, here’s what was stressing me out. And it’s a catalog of events versus feelings, and they say different things. They can tell you different things. So very, very valuable.
So you have described some amazing women in your life and you talked about cultivating the sorority people from your past that showed up for you. Relationships are the backbone of any successful business person. How do you create new relationships?

Melissa Lamore:

As a true extrovert and honestly an adventurer I meet new people everywhere. So I just find that there’s always something to learn from everyone. The person next to you on your plane, the person next to you at the bar, the person in front of you in line, the person behind you in line, the person in the desk next to you, the person who you come across on the street. I meet people all the time. And I think that that’s how my web grew so quickly, Understanding your own individual superpower is really key to understanding what differentiates you from other people in the world. And for a long time, I didn’t know what my superpower was. I didn’t know that it wasn’t easy for everybody to meet people. So me learning that that is something that’s sort of unique to me is that I meet people everywhere I go and that I connect those who I’ve met with the people that I start to meet.

Sonya Palmer:

I do think that sometimes it’s difficult to look at non-extroverts and just well just be outgoing. Just be outgoing. Just make friends. But your value, your reason for that is I want to learn. So I think instead of being outgoing, it’s just being curious. An introvert can be curious and then again, kind of choose to act on that or not. So I think that attitude of there is value in everyone, even if I’m just sitting next to them on a plane and there is something I can learn from everyone.

Melissa Lamore:

For a lot of my more introverted friends, the biggest common denominator that I find with a lot of them is that being social is de-energizing, right?

Sonya Palmer:

Yes.

Melissa Lamore:

So that’s sort of the textbook chapter of being, the textbook definition of being an introvert. But I find that introverts also need community, and introverts also need camaraderie, and introverts also need connection. So that connection needs to be really authentic and really purposeful in order for it to be worth it. So I think that for an introvert, it’s finding out really what is their core value and what they value in others, what are they genuinely curious about. And then once they have that, let that be your staple question and then see what you get. And if you get nothing in the first little bit, then maybe you move on to the next person. Maybe there’s nothing there for you. Maybe there’s nothing there for you that’s worth your energy. But I mean for the times that there is, it’s powerful.

Sonya Palmer:

Yes, I’m an extremely outgoing introvert. I love people, I love to socialize. I will make friends with anyone, but it exhausts me. I need a day of quiet the next day. And I do think there are more people like me than people assume, that introverts are necessarily quiet. That’s not always true.

Melissa Lamore:

And you know what I learned from introverts too is that the next day that you retreat, you’re also reflecting. And you know what I’ve learned from the introverts in my life, almost especially the extroverted introverts, is that I also need to take time to retreat and reflect on who I’ve met and what I learned, and what I’m going to do with that information. Because it can quickly become just a butterfly that just collects and keeps…

Sonya Palmer:

Yes.

Melissa Lamore:

Floating, right?

Sonya Palmer:

Yes.

Melissa Lamore:

But then fundamentally it becomes inauthentic because it lacks depth. So it’s really sort of taking that time to retreat. That’s what I’ve learned from introverts. It’s really taking that time to retreat and reflect. It’s been the most powerful tool that I would say honestly, I did not learn until this last year.

Sonya Palmer:

Again, I think there’s some really good insight there because yes, sometimes as an introvert to explain to an extrovert, “Yeah, yesterday I was the life of the party, had a lot to say, lots of stories to tell, animation. I’m different today.” But I do think that extroverts also need to be different that day. Yeah, reflect, think, quiet, even if it’s not your natural, that there’s benefit in that. Just like for introverts to go out and socialize with people.

Melissa Lamore:

Absolutely. And it’s part of my taking the gauge, what energized me, who energized me, what de-energized me, who de-energized me and really making sure that I’m being intentional on where I’m focusing my attention and who I’m focusing my attention on.

Sonya Palmer:

Yes. A third of your kind of time should be like draining. You can expect it to drain you. Another third of that should just be neutral. And then that last third should energize you. And that’s expected. And when those get out of balance is when you can create trouble. When they de-energize… Not that you’re never not going to feel de-energized, it just can’t eat up the other group.

Melissa Lamore:

Yeah. Agreed, I don’t know if it’s the same source, but there’s one of Dan Sullivan’s sort of forums basically, and coaching tools and they talk about that a lot. Finding your unique ability, really focusing your attention on those unique abilities, and really trying to eliminate as much of what’s not your unique ability and delegate it to those who that is their unique ability and that’s what drives them.
It’s sort of going back to the culture piece. It’s really understanding who your people are and who you have on your team and who you need on your team, who you can delegate those tasks to that drain you so that you can really focus on the tasks that energize you. And I think that slowly, the more you do that, the more hyper-focused you become on that third that really counts. That’s the third that in this next chapter that I’ve been sort of gifted, I’m unapologetic about how I am going to chase that third that you’re discussing, and I’m going to try to make it as much of a whole as possible. And because we’re only here once. So let’s take who we are and what we have and what we have to offer the universe, and then let’s do it. Let’s let other people do what they’re really great at and then let’s do what we’re really great at, unapologetically, unequivocally. I just think that that’s fundamentally the secret to fulfillment.

Sonya Palmer:

I think it’s a short definition of leadership as well.

Melissa Lamore:

Oh, 100%.

Sonya Palmer:

Bring out the best in other people and then you focus on how you can contribute. That’s a good leader.

Melissa Lamore:

Yes, absolutely.

Sonya Palmer:

You have a lot going on, starting The League and your role at Velawcity. How do you decompress? Take some time for yourself. Do you have any rituals or routines? Tea? So you’re a tea drinker?

Melissa Lamore:

Yes, I am a tea drinker. I am an all-day tea drinker too, from hot to iced, and I’m a big mug person. My daily mug, it’s a different mug every day. It’s something that I connect with every morning. I turned my office into a place that truly keeps me at peace. I created the whole flooring as grass and it’s all sort of these neon colors and textures and it’s just energizing for me. So I’ll come here by myself. This isn’t a place where my kids play, it is my own space. There’s not one toy in here, and it’s sort of a memory room too. I have lots of swag in here and pictures from places that I’ve been to all over the world and with different friends. And so when I need to really decompress, if it’s not maybe letting off steam and going to the gym, it’s really coming in here, listening to an audiobook or I am a big stoic reader. So journaling or sometimes literally just sitting here in silence.

Sonya Palmer:

So I love that because I feel so often women especially are tasked with separating work from decompressing or healing or taking time for themselves where I love to work. It’s something that I get excited about. In my downtime, I want to listen to an audiobook. So I love that this place that you have created to come down is also where you’re going to gear up and you’re going to get stuff done. So I love that.

Melissa Lamore:

And because nobody ever comes in here, it’s never messy. As a mom, I’m a mother of three, because nobody comes in here this is sort of an off-limits room it’s never messy. So there’s never anything that I have to do when I come in here. And so I can shut the door, I can lock it. Also, I think it essential as mothers that we can shut it off. That’s okay to take a minute. It’s like you are safe, This is my safe space.

Sonya Palmer:

Yes.

Melissa Lamore:

Whatever we need it to be that day, whether it’s to come down or to gear up.

Sonya Palmer:

How do you find what you really want? Pay attention to your energy levels. If a third of your time should be spent feeling energized, what and who help you get there? It can take years to identify what your why is. In the meantime, just take one next action that will move you forward.
A big thank you to Melissa for sharing her story and unbelievable insights with us today. You have been listening to LawHer with me, Sonya Palmer. If you found this content insightful and inspiring, or it just made you smile, please share this episode with the trailblazer in your life.
For more about Melissa, check out our show notes. And while you’re there, please leave us a reviewer or a five-star rating. It really goes a long way for others to discover the show. And I will see you next week on LawHer where we’ll shed light on how another of the brightest and boldest women in the legal industry climbed to the top of her field.

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