Today I’m talking about OUR purpose as a company and how that ties into having fun at trial.
Are you having fun at trial? How about in your life?
If not, you’re doing it wrong. BUT you can turn that shit around. I will show you how in this episode.
Give it a listen.
❤️ Love, Sari
H2H Fun-damentals™ masterclass is here! This is the only online trial skills training that will let you have more fun, feel less stress, and never worry about winning again - I swear.
⬇️ ⬇️ And, scroll down to register for the free LIVE training I'm doing! ⬇️ ⬇️
EPISODE 175 TRANSCRIPTION
Sari de la Motte:
The doors are opening soon to our brand new masterclass, H2H Fundamentals. I am super excited to finally be sharing the fundamentals of the H2H method since you all have been asking for it. And guess what? Like the name says it makes your job and the trial process fun. I swear. Get on the waitlist at sariswears.com/fun. Sari as in my name, S-A-R-I Swears.com/F-U-N. There's a special early bird bonus for wait listers who end up enrolling in the class. So go do that now. The link will also be in the show notes if you are walking or driving.
When you are up against a hostile room of people who don't want to be there, you need real strategies to get results. Welcome to From Hostage to Hero, the show that gives you practical advice you can use right now in the courtroom, boardroom, or classroom. Learn how to move your unwilling audience to one that is invested in what you're saying, eager to participate and engaged in the process. Learn from the attorney whisperer herself, your host, Sari de la Motte.
Sari de la Motte:
Welcome to another episode of From Hostage to Hero, Sari de la Motte with you today talking about "If You’re Not Having Fun at Trial, You’re Doing it Wrong." Yes, you're doing it wrong. And I know when we think about having fun at trial or fun and trial, like don't go together. But if you listened to last week's podcast, we talked about the brand new website. Have you seen it yet? Have you seen it yet? Sariswears.com. It's awesome. I think it's awesome. It's totally awesome. It is awesome. I'm deciding it is awesome and we're having so much fun over there.
And we talked about branding and what your brand is and so today I want to continue with that and share with you a little bit more about what came up in the branding process and how we decided as a company that having fun was a top value for us. In fact, it's called play. We like play and how, if you're not having fun at trial, that you're doing it wrong and why that is and why you want to consider changing that, because we want you to be happy and want you to be having fun.
So as we're going through the branding process, we started to decide some very important things. For example, our purpose. I'm going to tell you what our purpose is, to free people from the need to win so they can love themselves into a better life. Okay, how awesome is that? Totally live in our purpose because we believe in the transformative power of self love and why we believe that because our clients deserve to believe they're good enough, regardless of the size of their verdict. And I'll be talking about the size of your verdict and how you're measuring yourself by the size of your verdict and it's going to be all about that and dicks in three or four podcast episodes.
Kevin is trying not to laugh as he is. Yeah, I'm talking about dicks. I'm telling you I'm going to do it. So tune in three podcasts from now. So they get to decide, meaning you not the dicks, what winning means, not the jury. Here's our vision, to change the way law is practiced by helping people replace fear with fun. And our mission is to help trial attorneys stop measuring their worth by the size of their verdicts. There it is again, through skills training, mindset coaching, and community building.
Now when we decided on all those things, isn't that a cool mission by the way, I just have to say, it's a pretty damn cool mission, and all my H2H crew, you're in on that mission, loving you back there. We came up with some values that were really driving all of that. And so the four values we came up with which really tie into today's podcast are these. And I want to put them out there publicly, because this is what you're going to be seeing in the brand, in me, in the team, and hopefully have already been seeing again, as I said last week, it's all about just this idea of getting clear on what it is you're doing.
But the first one is love. We believe that loving ourselves is the key to having a better life. You're not broken, I'm not broken, you're not broken, and nothing is wrong with you, period. That's our first value, is love. As I said last week, I'm going to tell you I love you, because I do and I believe in the transformative power of love.
Second, freedom. We value being free to be who we are meant to be, by releasing the bullshit beliefs our brains throw at us. So much of that freedom is first releasing ourselves from the jail that is our brains. So we spend a lot of time in the crew doing that.
Play. We don't take anything too seriously around here. We value play and want you to have fun at trial. Yes, really, which is what we're talking about today.
And finally trust. We listen to our own intuition above all else. We trust ourselves, we trust others, we trust the process. And by others we include in that the jury, we're trusting the jury.
I may have shared this with you before, but when I was at Cayan Ranch for my 50th birthday, I went to a hypnotherapy session, which I'd never done before. And we were talking about how to change anything in your life and she was like, this is not about me putting you under and then you're barking like a dog or all the things that people think about hypnotherapy. It's really about a really deep visualization. The way that I thought about it is really about rewiring your brain at a very intense level so that you are creating habits and thought patterns that you want instead of doing the things that we're not even aware of that sending you on a trajectory that you do not want to be on.
But one of the things that she said that just, I'll never forget this, she said if you want to change anything, you know what the most powerful motivator to change is? And it wasn't a really great time map, which you know I love my time maps. It's not to be really strict with yourself, it's not to have a great trainer, or any of those things. She said the number one way, and this is research based, to change anything in your life, to put yourself on a new trajectory, a new path is joy. Joy.
And I have to believe that when you are, very closely connected to joy is having fun, when you are having fun at trial and in life, that is going to change things for you, for your client and for the jury. So this isn't just, I hope you're having fun, because I love you, because I do, and I love you, and I do hope you're having fun. This is serious. But it's funny that I use that word that this is serious, because I'm about to tell you not to take it all so seriously.
But before we get there, let's talk about trial and how it's like life. So trial is exciting, it's also frustrating, and maddening, and surprising, and awesome, and not awesome, and life is good and bad, and it goes well and sometimes it's disastrous, and sometimes people die or get cancer, but also people get married and have babies. This is life. And like I've said before, I love how Rick Friedman says that trial work is personal work. They so mirror each other in that trial is so much like life, is that here's where I see you going wrong in terms of this whole having fun with trial business, is that you're taking trial so seriously that you're not allowing for all of the other things, right? Trial is serious.
My podcast a few weeks ago about emotion and opening and how you're not emotional enough and how you guys are acting like you're ordering a cup of coffee when you're talking about someone's death, right? We do talk about death. We do see mangled bodies, broken families, grave injuries. Yes, so it is serious, but it is also a hell of a lot of other things too.
When I got cancer and I was in cancer treatment for a year, that sucked. Did my entire year suck? No. Because this is where we get stuck. We go into this myopic thinking of thinking it's only one thing. I always remember a great pianist who came in to work with us at music school on performance anxiety and how to manage performance anxiety. Also something else I will never forget. When we tend to think about performance anxiety, we tend to think about how to be more confident in court, or how to not be so scared. What most of us will do, or people have maybe even told you to do, is to just tell yourself to not be scared, to be in a mindset where you're not fearful. And here's what she said.
She said that is the last thing that you want to do. You do not want to tell yourself, don't be scared. There's nothing to be scared of, because your brain's not going to believe it. And your brain is going to tell you, or going to receive that message, as a warning. Like, Oh my God, you're telling me to calm down, there must be something really crazy that I need to calm down about. It's like when I was going through cancer and I would say to Kevin or my coach, "I'm so afraid I'm going to die." And Kevin of course wants to come in and be like, "No you're not. That's not going to happen." And my coach was saying, "You know, really that's not helpful." Because again, your brain overrides that and thinks, Oh my god, I am going to die. Where you would think maybe. Maybe. You might, you might not. Could go either way.
Now on the surface that seems like, wow, that's cold. But you know what? It's also fucking true. And when our brain can recognize that, it can recognize the truth. So she said, instead of telling yourself, just calm down, don't be scared, be scared, but also be all the other things. So be scared, but also be excited to share the piece you're about to play, but also be present with the music you're about to perform, but also be whatever, all the other emotions that you're having, proud over all the work that you've done. We don't want to shut down one emotion. What we want to do is let all of the emotions play.
So when I say to you, have fun at trial, I'm not saying go in there and put on some clown act and act like the whole thing is a big joke and ignore the seriousness of what it is that you're doing. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying let fun be one of the emotions, one of the experiences that you have, because there is so much fun to be had at trial.
Michael Cowen, who I adore and love and is the host of the Trial Lawyer Nation, not to mention and incredibly fantastic trial attorney, he says that his life was changed once he learned how to trust the jury and have fun at trial. And he's getting great results, as are so many of our trial attorneys. Because when you really let go and you start to allow all of the things to come in and experience a range of emotions, this is where trial becomes fun. Because part of the fun of life, if not trial, is the fact that it is such a fucking roller coaster. I mean, let's think about why do people go on roller coasters? Because they're scary, and they're invigorating, and they're exciting, and they're all things at once. That is the human experience.
See, we want to tame it down, and sanitize it, and make sure that nothing hurts us. You know what, life is about living, fully. That is what fun is. We think of fun as jokes and lightheartedness and just not really taking anything too seriously. Fun is actually in my mind, partaking in life 100%, really being in it and not blocking out all of the things that you will feel during trial. You will feel like you don't know what the hell you're doing. You will feel such pride when your client testifies. You will feel like you want to strangle the defense. You will feel anger and sadness and frustration and all of the things. That's what makes it fun, if you let it.
That's the part that you really need to get from today's podcast is that you need to be in it and welcome all of it into your life and into your process and into where you are at trial. Because it is all of those things. It is tiring. It is all of the things. That's what we mean when we say you're going to have fun at trial. Part of it's going to feel the fun that we talk about where you're like, Woo, this is fun. But I want you to see the bigger version of what I mean by fun. I mean by actually really being in trial like I want you to be in your life, where you're experiencing all of the things.
So I've got some takeaways for you after saying all of that, my first takeaway for how to have more fun at trial, is to don't take it too seriously. There are serious things about trial, as I have said, but you all tend to approach it with such seriousness, which we're going to talk about why when we get to the dick podcast, I'm now going to be calling it the Dick Podcast forever. But you take it so seriously, you're just like, there's so much at stake and what if I screw up and you're going to screw up, you're going to lose some. This is it. This is the life of a trial lawyer. Get used to it. Hello, this is what you chose. Don't take it too seriously.
It was a great story, I probably told it already before, but it's one of my favorite stories of all times. So I'm going to tell it again, which is all about rule number six. So these two Prime Ministers, they're talking and one person comes in, bursts in the office and starts having all this big tantrum about something that's wrong and how the Prime Minister needs to fix it. And the Prime Minister looks at the person and calmly says, kindly remember rule number six. And the person calms down immediately. They go, I'm so sorry. You're absolutely right. And they leave. The second Prime Minister watches this, is like, Oh, that's interesting. They're talking a little more. Another person burst in the office, another tantrum, another fire to put out. The first Prime Minister says again, kindly remember rule number six. The person calms down says, Oh, you're right. I'm so sorry, they leave.
At this point the second Prime Minister is like, Okay, what the fuck is this? I don't think that's actually in their real story, what the fuck, but I'm adding that for emphasis. What is this rule number six? And the first prime Minister says, Oh, it's very simple. It's simply, do not take yourself so God damn seriously. And so the second Prime Minister thinks for a minute and he think that's a very good rule. What are the other five? And the first Prime Minister says, There are none. That's the rule.
I know there's a lot at stake. I know you want to do right by your client. I know that you are measuring yourself by the size of your verdict. I know all that. And I also know that you need to stop with taking it too seriously. You are one person. You are limited in what you can do. And this job is awesome and fun and exciting and frustrating and all the things, but it does not deserve your happiness and your sanity. That is not something we are going to sacrifice to this job. So stop taking too seriously. You have the most amazing job in the universe in my mind, besides my job. My job is most amazing. Yours is second in my mind and have fun. Have fun with it.
Second thing, celebrate the good stuff. I can't tell you how many times you all will win or get a great settlement or you'll totally nail defense on some motion or something and it just is like boop, and it's done. I mean, you'll spend hours, you'll spend six bourbons talking about your losses and wallowing, but something you do great, you don't even pause. It's like, Oh, yep, great. Stop that shit. You want to have fun at trial, start celebrating all of your wins. Even the smallest ones.
In the H2H crew, we have something called non verdict victory. It's on Tuesday. It's like we want to hear about what you're celebrating in life, in trial, something that has nothing to do with the verdict. We're all about celebrating back there. That is somehow another way to have fun at trial. My client loved my opening. Even if you won, that's something to celebrate. I mean, even if you lost, that's something to celebrate. Your client liked your opening. Great. My opening went really great in front of my staff when I ran through it. Awesome. Celebrate the shit out of that.
On the flip side, when you lose, if you lose, feel that shit. Really great trial lawyer, you know who you are if you're listening to this, called me up once and we didn't even know each other. And I did a mini coaching session and it was on a loss that he had suffered that he could not get over. Was eight months later and he could not get beyond this loss. And he wanted some magic formula. And I said, you know what the formula is? He said, What? I said, We got to feel it. You have been pushing this away. You haven't wanted to feel it. You wanted to move on, just like from the celebrations. There are those of you actually that don't wallow. You're just like, Okay, I lost fine. Go. And you don't give yourself the moment to process that and be with it and be like, that fucking sucked. After all the work I put in and I lost.
So we felt it, we cried. We sat with it in silence. He went on just a short year, maybe 18 months later, to win a nearly $50 million verdict. In fact, that particular case is now up on appeal and probably is going to have another chance to try it. Magical shit happens when you actually feel the bad stuff. Celebrate the good stuff, feel the bad stuff.
And really what I want to leave you with, is this concept of being in your life. And we're talking about having fun at trial. What that means, is just accepting and being present to everything that's happening, good or bad. If you're a parent, you know what I'm talking about. There are moments where you're just like, Oh my God, why did we choose to have children? And there are moments that are just such bliss that you can't, like you never thought you'd feel that way. They're both two sides of the coin. You cannot have one without the other. We cannot have love without fear. We wouldn't know what love is, right?
I remember Six Feet Under, one of my favorite shows, if not my favorite show at all times, and it's all about people who run a funeral home and someone was crying about someone who had died and then she says, Why do people have to die? And he answered something to the effect of so that we can understand what it's like to love. If we don't lose people, if we don't have the opposite, we don't have the good stuff either. We don't have white without black. We don't have love without fear. We don't have good without bad. So having fun isn't about the lighthearted, it's just a jolly old good time the whole time. It's fully being in trial and fully being in your life and knowing that everything is temporary.
The good stuff is going to go away. So enjoy it while you have it. And the bad stuff is going to go away, so know and hang on because it won't be here forever. So if you're not having fun at trial, you're doing it wrong. Be in it, all of it. Have fun, love you all.
I am beyond excited to announce that the doors are about to open for H2H Fundamentals. You've been asking for this exact method, so I'm giving it to you, step by step. This masterclass teaches my proven method for voir dire, opening and closing so that you never have to worry about winning again. I cannot fucking wait to share it with you.
Because this is a brand new class, whoever gets in is going to get all kinds of extra bonuses, including a month of access to yours truly. Visit, sariswears.com/fun. Sari as in my name, S-A-R-I swears.com/F-U-N to find out more and to get your ass on the waitlist. Get there. Hope to see you.
If you liked this episode topic, check out these others:
- Episode #33 – Trial is a Transfer of Energy & Power
- Episode #43 – There are Really Only Three Questions You Need to Follow Up
- Episode #109 – How to Recover (From Objections, Memory Slips, and Other Mishaps) at Trial
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