I know what you really want…

While this blog is clearly all about helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses from the Hawkes Law Group perspective, I would like to introduce you to the person behind the wheel- me! If you have read a few of my posts, you know that my name is Priscilya Hawkes and that I am the Founder of Hawkes Law Group, and that a large part of what I typically write about is pretty much based on my experiences and opinions as a lawyer and business woman.

Today, I’d like to introduce another side of me. I’m also a singer/songwriter/entertainer when I am not practicing law. Although I’ve been singing for many years, I’ve never put out a project. This year, for the first time, I will be releasing an album. While this blog is all about the corporate/business law side of my practice, I also have an entertainment side where I represent artists, producers, management companies, entertainers, etc. So, the entertainment side is not mentioned much in this blog, but it is a large part of my life as a lawyer and an entertainer myself. I’m bringing this up because recently I’ve gained a new level of respect for the process of creating an album. I was already aware of the process, but actually going through it myself has been very humbling.

Creating an album is essentially creating a new business. There’s the actual product (the music) and there’s all of the other moving parts, which are necessary so that the actual product ends up in homes other than my own. When I first decided that I wanted to release an album this year, I had a very clear vision in mind. From the title of the album, to the image I wanted to have, to the distribution model I wanted to utilize, and even the timeline of events from Day 1 in the recording studio to the “final day” at the 2015 Grammy Awards where I would be crying and giving my acceptance speech for the 4 Grammys I’d be winning that night in the “Best New Artist”, “Record of the Year”, “Song of the Year”, and “Album of the Year” categories. Yes! I had it ALL figured out and laid out. Some of you probably already see where this post is going. Lol. Blame it on the overachiever and the Capricorn in me…

While I have not necessarily changed my goals, what I have done is shifted my focus on making undeniable and legendary music. This shift happened when I found myself panicking because things were not going according to this perfectly structured timeline I had created. When I was in “panic mode”, I was no good creatively. I would get writer’s block. I’d reschedule studio time because my energy just wasn’t what it needed to be at the scheduled time. In panic mode, I was basically useless. I realized that I was, in fact, responsible for much of the “delay” because my energy was on the timeline and not on the project. So, I took a day to really reconnect with my purpose, and I recalled that this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl. During those moments of recollection, I asked myself whether the timeline really mattered in the big scheme of things. The answer was an obvious “no”. I mean, does it really really matter in the BIG scheme of things if I miss the cut off time to submit a song for consideration for a 2015 Grammy nomination if in fact I can simply submit it for consideration in 2016? If I win in ANY year, wouldn’t that still be one of the best days of my life?? Clearly, it would.

I am sharing this story because I’m about to give you a piece of advice that I hope you follow. My story clearly shows that I need this advice as well. So, it’s not just for you- it’s for US! And the advice is this: Focus On Progress! As entrepreneurs, we naturally are visionaries. We see what we want, we go after it, and we’re relentless about creating that EXACT vision we have in our minds. While this is actually a good thing, it becomes a bad thing when we try to control HOW that vision is going to come about. We want to control what time it happens, who’s involved in the happening of it, what color shoes we’re wearing the day that it happens, and oh yeah…I want to have pancakes for breakfast the day before it happens! Wait a minute! When did we become God?? We don’t control the HOW. Whether you believe in God or not, that last statement is factual. We DO NOT control the HOW.

So, what does this mean? It simply means that because we don’t control the HOW, there’s no need to focus on it. All we should be focused on is the process of becoming. Period. What I’m talking about is “Progress”. If I focus more on progress, I get excited “because I just finished recording a dope record!”. I don’t even say things like ” well I still have a long long way to go before this album is finished”. That’s irrelevant. What about the one I just completed?? Maybe the process would go faster if I cheered up a bit about the one I just spent 16 hours recording! Hopefully you see the danger in the mindset of the second of the two statements. The second statement is depressing, and there’s no productive energy behind it.  If you are thinking right now, “oh does this mean I have to change my goals?”. Nope- that’s not what I’m saying. I’m proposing that you actually keep your goals- however lofty, BUT release them. In other words, have goals but  focus on allowing them to become reality by doing YOUR part. In all of your life’s moments, YOU are the common denominator. Therefore, you can control YOU. Do that and acknowledge any and all progress you make toward a goal, and I believe you will actually end up achieving it faster.

To Making Progress,

Priscilya

Performing Is Progressing...

Priscilya Marie (My Artist Name)

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Readers Are Leaders

A friend of mine recently told me about a guy named Kevin Trudeau– an ex- secret society member who was taught things about the universe and how our minds work. He is basically sharing secrets the super wealthy use daily to build their empires and make their wildest dreams come true.

Without getting too much into who he is and some of the surrounding controversy whenever his named is mentioned, I’d just like to be very transparent and say that I’m a fan of his teachings on the Law of Attraction.  After listening to his CD Set: Your Wish Is Your Command, much of what was said resonated with me more than anything I’ve ever heard about the Law of Attraction and other Universal Laws.

That said, whether you like the guy or not or care to look into who he is will be your decision, obviously. I did want to share, however, a book list that he shared at the very end of his CD set. I’m always a fan of reading, so that one may come to his or her own conclusions about a subject matter. So, if you’re a reader like me, and enjoy personal development, law of attraction, and success oriented books, you’ll likely appreciate this list.

Happy Reading!

The Magic of Thinking Big (David J. Schwartz)

See You At The Top (Zig Ziglar)

Ask And It Is Given (Esther and Jerry Hicks)

The Secret (Rhonda Byrne)

Psycho-Cybernetics (Maxwell Maltz)

The Law of Success in 16 Lessons (Napoleon Hill)

Think & Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill)

The Magic of Believing (Claude Bristol)

How to Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie)

The Go Getter (Peter B. Kyne)

The Power of Positive Thinking (Norman Vincent Peale)

The Game of Work (Charles Coonradt)

Rich Dad Poor Dad (Robert Kiyosaki)

Hung by the Tongue (Francis P. Martin)

The Tongue: A Creative Force (Charles Capps)

What You Say Is What You Get (Don Gossett)

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To Partner or Not to Partner- THAT Is The Question!

Recently I received a phone call about an opportunity to purchase a turn-key business. After receiving several texts with the pertinent details, I called someone I thought might be interested in buying the business. After a short conversation, it became clear that we both really liked the deal based on what had been disclosed so far, so we discussed the possibility of partnering and sharing the risks involved. A short while later after more had been disclosed, our conversations quickly jumped to percentages and responsibilities.

This scenario is fairly common among entrepreneurs- particularly those that are always on the lookout for their next investment. So, what I want to share with you is what I believe the focus should be whenever you are even thinking about partnering with another individual. The following is a list of considerations for you to ponder before partnering:

1. With or without another individual partnering with me, do I actually like the business opportunity? If the answer to this is no, then perhaps you should keep it moving. I’m not sure that a partner is what you need as much as a different set of business investment options to consider.

2. Why am I interested in partnering on this deal instead of going at it alone? Be clear about what value you offer as well as what value you are looking for a partner to bring to the table. Whether its experience, money, influence, or perhaps a combination of the three, YOU need to be clear about why you want a partner. There’s nothing worse than someone attempting to negotiate without first being clear on what their ideal end result looks like. As one of my older mentors used to say, “Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”.

3. Is the person I’m thinking about partnering with the RIGHT partner? There is no formula for determining who the right partner may be. What should be high on your list of priorities, however, is trust and reliability. If you can trust this person and you know that they will do what they say they will do, I believe most issues that pop up from time to time can be worked out. If you can’t trust the person, then I think we both know there’s not much to discuss there. And, if your potential partner does not even value their own words by doing what THEY say they are going to do, then this is just a disaster waiting to happen.

4. Assuming you have found the right partner for this opportunity, do you have a partnership agreement in place? I don’t care if the person you are partnering with is your first born child who you KNOW loves you dearly and would happily change your diapers when you’re old and wrinkled. You NEED a partnership agreement! Each person has their own reasons for being interested in this opportunity, which is fine. The way to make sure that a win-win is created, however, is to put in writing such things as:

a). What happens if one of you wants to retire? What happens to your partnership interest?

b). What if someone wants to sell their interest in the partnership? Can they sell it to whomever they want? Must the other partner approve?

c). What if one of you dies? Must the surviving partner now be in business with the family of the deceased (who may or may not be business savvy)? Yikes!

d). How do you go about distributing profits in the partnership? What if one person wants distributions more frequently than the other partner?

There is lots more to consider and include in a partnership agreement, but the above is just a snapshot of what to think about. The bottom line is this: don’t get into partnerships lightly. Sometimes after doing your due diligence, you’ll realize that it’s best to simply walk away because the potential partner just won’t allow you to experience the win-win you were hoping for. Walking away is fine- especially when you shift your mindset from lack to abundance thinking. You’ll realize opportunities are everywhere. There’s no such thing as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Commerce exists, and it always will. Claim your piece of the pie, but just be smart about it.

Happy Partnering,

Priscilya

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Wanna know how to overcome your fear of public speaking?

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Photo Credit: Promise Studios (www.promisestudios.org)

Hey!

So, you’re in your community doing positive things. People know you. People like you. They trust you. Then one day, a lady from your church asks if you could be this week’s speaker for her weekly women’s group meetup of entrepreneurs. What do you do? Should you go? Should you respectfully decline? Is your brain even working right now because of how fearful you are the minute she uttered the word “speaker”??

Relax. I got you on this one:-)

Ok, so I know there are TONS of books on this topic and how to get over your fear of speaking publicly. There are books telling you how to stand, what to think about, how you should structure your talk, etc. I’m not going to get into any of that. I made a promise to myself and to the world for that matter a long time ago that I would only give advice that I knew from experience had actually worked. If I’m not sure, I simply don’t speak on it. That said, in my opinion, the way to overcome the fear of speaking publicly is to (drum roll please)… SPEAK PUBLICLY! It’s one of those skills you get better at by doing- not training for it or reading about it. I’m not saying training or reading is bad, but in my experience, the quicker you jump out there in the water, the quicker you are able to gain the confidence necessary to hold someone’s attention.

For some reason, I have a “jump in” spirit. I tend to jump in the water because I know even though it’s cold, it will feel better in just a little while. I remember one of my first speaking engagements after becoming an attorney was for a group of film makers in NYC. I was sitting on a panel with another attorney who had much more experience than I had, and she was a lot more polished in her presentation (in my opinion). To say I was nervous and intimidated would be a huge understatement! I was horrified. I held myself out as an entertainment attorney when meeting people, but at the time most of my experience was on the music industry side of things. I don’t even think I had a film client back then. The moral of the story is that I certainly did not feel “ready” to commit to being on anyone’s panel, but I remember at the end of that night receiving “thank you’s” and comments like “great insight” from quite a few people. True- perhaps I did not have as much experience as the other panelist. However, I learned 2 things that night:

1. There is always someone in the room who knows less than me, which means whatever I’m sharing (regardless of how remedial it may seem to me) is actually helping someone and is therefore relevant; and

2. It’s not always what you know, but rather how you share what you know. I recall instinct kicking in that night and during my speaking I went off on this tangent about “what if” this happened in film and “what if” that happened. I was proposing alternative business models to distributing films. By going with this “what if” scenario, what I accidentally did was ENGAGE the audience I was speaking to. So, what was supposed to be me speaking TO a group of people became me speaking WITH a group of people. And, since we were all throwing ideas out there anyway, who’s to say my ideas were wrong? After all, I said “what if”…

In closing, by accepting invitations to speak very early in my career, I quite naturally became better at learning the craft of it all, but also at learning what I like to call the “language of people”. I’m not talking about the English language either. I’m talking about that energy in the room that tells me when I’m dull or when I’m being too technical or when I need to appeal to their emotions. I gained all of this knowledge by simply jumping in. Today, I’m still not perfect, but I’m better and not really nervous at all when I address a room. So, my advice to you the next time Ms. Sally invites you to speak to her weekly book club…is to jump in! Say yes. Everything will be ok in just a little while:-)

Happy Jumping,

Priscilya

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Photo Credit: John Cunningham

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Fun: The New Normal in Business & Life

Hawkes Law Group was founded in 2008- not too long after I had passed the NY Bar Exam. Early on my goal was simply to make money. I had a NYC lifestyle to support, student loans, and now business expenses. While I’m grateful for every experience I’ve lived through between 2008 and the present day because it made me who I am today, I’ve always felt like something was missing. It seemed like no matter how much I improved professionally, there was this emptiness at my core. I discovered in late 2013 that what was missing in my business and life was FUN. Now there had certainly been some fun moments during all those years, but fun was no longer normal for me in a given week. It had become the exception rather than the rule. “What about vacations?” you might ask. What’s that??? Haha.

Since integrity is of the utmost importance to me as a person and as the Founder of a law firm, I will not say that I have completely figured out the “science of fun” in business and how it ultimately turns into dollars. What I will point out, however, is that I’ve closed a sizable amount of business this year while being away doing something fun. In some instances I was paid while I was away via PayPal. In other instances an appointment was scheduled and I had money waiting for me as soon as I got back to NY. I believe it’s due to being in a relaxed state of mind free of anxiety or worry. Whenever my state of being is carefree, things in my business and life seem to fall into place, and problems seem to fix themselves.

I can’t prove that you will actually make money from doing this, and I’m not even claiming to be an expert in how all this works, but I am officially a believer in incorporating “INTENTIONAL FUN DAYS” in the work week. Every business is different so there’s no formula but the point is to be intentional about having fun. In the same way I would carve out 3 or 4 hours to work on a client matter, I now carve out anywhere from a few hours to a few days of fun time. (Yes, I said days). I’ve taken mini 2 day vacations on a Tuesday and Wednesday and returned to NY first thing Thursday morning. It’s all still new for me, but I’m loving my results so far and I’m excited to see where this new habit takes me. If you try it, let me know how it goes for you!

To Intentional Fun Days,

Priscilya Hawkes

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Happy Spring!!

Don’t you just love this time of the year?

I know I do. I’ve already had a delicious brunch with fresh fruit, and now I’m headed to the beautiful Central Park for an afternoon stroll. I’m pretty sure that stroll includes a stop at YogurtLand for some frozen yogurt:-)

Before I go, I wanted to offer you the opportunity to fall in love- with your business that is! Not with me- although I do love you anyway…even if we’ve never met in person:-) This is for you if you feel unorganized and “all over the place”, and want to know what you should be focused on when you wake up in the morning. I mean it’s one thing for you to run your business, but it’s a completely different ball game when you run your business with clarity, purpose, and desire. You start to actually LOVE what you’re doing as you should! I find that many people have no clue what they truly want out of life. So, they create these business models that they actually HATE! They basically create JOBS, which is not why you go into business. Then, there are some people who are not clear about why they are doing any of this. It’s the whole “why was I born?” dilemma. Finally, I meet people who have essentially stopped dreaming. They think imagination and dreaming are for children under the age of 7. THIS way of thinking is the downfall of mankind. It’s a direct contradiction of who we are, and how we are designed to BE here on Earth.

Anyway, not to get too deep on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, but if you are looking to fall in love with your business again, or perhaps start something new, you may want to take advantage of my Business Spring Cleaning Teleseminar. Details will be revealed soon. For now, just giving you a heads up that it’s on the way!

In the spirit of transparency, just want you to know that you haven’t heard from me in a while because I had to fall in love with MY business all over again. So, I’m honored to share my journey and walk you through the same process that I went through, so that you can start seeing the results YOU want in life- not the ones society says you deserve…big difference.

Happy Saturday!

Priscilya

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Attention All Bloggers

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you are enjoying your 2014 so far. As of this year, the Hawkes Law Group blog is getting a total makeover. Without giving away all the goodies, I’ll just say that the goal is to make the blog more of a “resource center” for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial types in the entertainment industry- meaning we will still feature law related content, but also many other areas that are useful for entrepreneurs.

That said, we would like to offer you a spot on our new site if you: (1) are a blogger who regularly contributes to your blog at least once a week, (2) your content currently already helps entrepreneurs and/or entrepreneurial types in entertainment, and (3) you are interested in getting in front of a new audience.

If this sounds interesting, please send an email to Priscilya Hawkes. The address is phawkes (at) hawkeslawgroup (dot) com. In the subject, please put “Blogger Opportunity”, and in the body of the email please include a link to your blog as well as a quick introduction about yourself (2-3 sentences is cool).

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!

Sincerely,

Priscilya Hawkes

Founder

Hawkes Law Group P.C.

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