Niching Down, Setting a Goal, and Living in the Moment with Melissa Shanahan

You probably built your law firm to escape the constraints of working for another person. But the truth is that you need limitations of some kind, especially if you're the one choosing your objectives. This isn't a bad thing!

Setting your own constraints is freedom.

In this episode, we have a wonderful chat with Melissa Shanahan, founder of Velocity Work and host of the Velocity Work podcast. She explains the importance of niching down and setting a goal. We also give valuable tips on how you can honor your plans. Planning and taking care of yourself are essential in choosing a goal and following through.

If you want to know the ins and outs of setting a goal to constrain down and achieve freedom, tune in to this episode!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Find out why constraint is freedom.
  2. Learn how Melissa went through the process of niching down and setting a goal, and how you can too.
  3. Discover actionable tips on how to plan and follow through. 


Episode Highlights

Melissa’s Backstory and Niching Down

  • Melissa used to work at a consulting firm for dentists and doctors.
  • When Melissa went out on her own, she had a hard time. Learning the ins and outs of all the different businesses she worked with was difficult.
  • After meeting her first attorney client, she decided to niche down and focus on helping lawyers.
  • Once she made that decision, her business accelerated. That’s because she did not have to start from scratch with every client. 

Melissa: It's the best thing I ever decided. Had I not made that decision, who knows where I'd be right now. But everything sped up. My business lifted off the ground.”

  • When you niche down, you eliminate the need for everything to be manual. You can create systems and processes which will accelerate your growth.

Importance of Constraint and Setting a Goal

  • If you want to build something great, you have to set constraints, pick one thing, and go all-in on it. 

Setting a goal can help you constrain down. If you don’t, you may end up as a watered-down version of your initial vision.

  • Melissa believes in continuously working towards simplicity. It’s easy to build something complex, but it’s not easy to create something simple.
  • Constraints are counterintuitive to why most start their own business. They most likely wanted freedom, which is the opposite of constraint.

But if you have all this freedom, it’s impossible to make a plan and honor it. Constraining down by setting a goal is a must. 

Moshe: “The secret to success is to have the discipline to put yourself into a box, even though that’s exactly what you were taking yourself out of, to build your business.”

Being Comfortable with Discomfort

  • The reality is that it takes time to get to success and reach your goal. You have to get there incrementally.
  • For most people, achieving goals takes more time than it needs to. Either because they don’t honor their plan, or they quit. 
  • You have to be willing to experience the discomfort that comes with honoring your plan.

Melissa: “Developing ourselves in a way that will create the results we want to create only happens through discomfort. And it only happens through putting one foot in front of the other and not quitting.”

  • If you take baby steps every single day and consistently continue moving forward, you’ll eventually find yourself at your goal.

Following Through

  • You can stay committed to your goal by using tools such as a calendar or planner. 
  • You can also use Parkinson’s Law to become more productive. Tune in to the full episode to find out how!
  • Only list down realistic goals that you can complete.
  • The trick is to manage your mind, master yourself, and build a trust relationship with yourself. This process will take time: it doesn't happen overnight.
  • Most people stall by finding the perfect plan or groove for themselves. When you do this, you don't address the problem, which is not showing up for your goals.

Melissa: If you didn't really like the method, change the method... Find your groove, but don't not honor your plan.”

Focus on Yourself Upon Setting a Goal

  • You also have to take your health and well-being into consideration when you’re making plans. 

When setting a goal, consider all of your life domains and not just your business. Figure out what matters to you and make time.

Moshe: We allow our businesses to ever consume us like it is the thing that is going to define us, it’s the thing that is going to find our future, like, we cannot have a happy life if we're not successful in our business.”

  • Stop and think about what you want to be known for. What do you want people to say about you when you’re no longer there? 
  • There are only so many of you to go around. You have to figure out where your priorities are.

Melissa: “We got this one wild and precious life…what are you going to do with it? Do you want to be that person that at the end of the line, you’re looking back and saying, ‘I wish I spent more time with those things that I loved the most in my life’?”

Live in the Moment

  • When you’re in a hurry, you miss out on your wins in life because you’re always already on to the next thing.

Melissa: I do want to shoot for that next thing, but it's not better there than here and I don't need to be in a hurry.”

  • Celebrate your successes and be present for them.
  • There are always going to be bad days, no matter how much success you create for yourself.

About Melissa

Melissa Shanahan is the founder and facilitator of Velocity Work, a law firm consulting and coaching company. She started her own company after several years at a consulting firm. There, she helped grow private practices across the US, coaching over 350 doctors, dentists, and lawyers. 

She is also the host of the Velocity Work podcast. Her show helps listeners shift how they operate to achieve the next level for their firm and life. From numbers and business strategy to discipline and mental health, Melissa's approach provides sustainable success.

To learn more about Melissa, you may visit her website.

Enjoyed this Episode About Setting Your Goals?

If you did, be sure to subscribe and share it with your friends!

Post a review and share it! If you enjoyed tuning in, then leave us a review. You can also share this with your friends and family so that they can gain more insights about setting goals and following through.

Have any questions? You can contact me through Facebook and LinkedIn. To request a show topic, recommend a guest or ask a question for the show, please email [email protected]

For more episode updates, visit my website. You may also tune in on Apple Podcasts.


50% Complete

Please join our mailing list to be updated.