Janelle Christian: Built A Six-Figure Side Biz And Left Biglaw (TFLP 077)

In last week’s episode, Janelle Christian shared about how she learned to prioritize herself over her job.

In today’s episode, she shares about how that included moving from a big firm in D.C. to one in Atlanta to make more space for her life, and ultimately, building a six-figure side business that enabled her to leave Biglaw.

what do i do with all this free time?

When Janelle started at her firm in Atlanta, she was using about 30% of her capacity. She loved that she had time to workout and develop interests outside of work.

However, she shares that a “toxic” part of her didn’t think it was okay to “just” watch TV, workout, or read in her free time. She felt like she needed to be doing something productive with that time.

HeyJNicole Is born

During the month off that she had negotiated to study for her new bar exam in February 2019, Janelle started sharing on Instagram (@heyjnicole) about the changes she’d made to create more margin in her life, and to encourage her friends and other young professionals to do the same.

Later that year, she started a website, and in December 2019, she hired a business coach to help her build HeyJNicole to the point where she could leave her Biglaw job in one year.

Janelle smashes her one year goal

Janelle hustled to grow her business and was able to quit her biglaw job in July 2020, five months before her intended quit date. By the end of 2020, HeyJNicole was officially a six-figure business.

In this episode, Janelle also shares about:

  • Realizing that work and errands do not make a whole life.
  • The power of the scripts that we believe in the legal profession (and why they’re mostly wrong).
  • Feeling jealous when people sneered that people who left the firm would be bored.
  • Calling her dad after her first week at the firm in Atlanta: “You mean to tell me that everyone else in the world has this 4 hour block of time after work?… I felt angry that I hadn’t realized I was missing 20 hours a week.”
  • Losing two lawyer friends to overdose within a month of each other, and realizing “we’re not well.”
  • Pivoting her business from wellness in all facets, to coaching people out of bad jobs, to helping people build side businesses to get them out of their bad jobs.

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