We had the good fortune of connecting with Janelle Sam and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Janelle, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I grew up with a skewed perception of what risk was. To me, risk was not getting a perfect grade because that meant I wouldn’t do well enough to be able to make it to college and then get a good job. I thought that risk meant not going for the “safe” job, the one that came with excellent medical, dental and vacation benefits. I also believed that it was risky to travel alone for pleasure as a woman because that meant dining alone and being miserable. My idea of risk was making decisions based on what I knew at the time. Therefore I played it safe and lived a life that was not an intentional construct of my own until I got divorced. That’s when the real change started happening. An awareness that there is greater risk in not challenging beliefs I held as true. I took that solo vacation to Europe and had such an amazing time that traveling solo at least once a year is a must. I went back to school and applied to one of the top schools in the country, Cornell University. I did not let the belief that “someone like me” stop me from trying and I graduated with an MBA. I took the risk to launch a start-up. It failed. But I have learned that it does not mean that I am a failure. I learned much more about what not to do than anything a book could ever teach me. I took the risk to put myself out there to inspire others to do more than they ever thought possible. Today, I work as a fractional CEO helping solo law firm owners manage and grow their firms profitably while living more meaningful lives. Risk is construct that we have the power to reframe. To not do so will leave you with regret of what could have been.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There is a six to nine month waitlist to work with an advisor like myself at the company I work for. On the surface, it looks as though we work miracles. We help the owners of law firms in all practice areas grow in ways they never thought possible. There is a pervasive doctrine of sacrifice that permeates the legal industry where the belief is that if you are not working 100 hours a week, you are not going to be able to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only does that have an immense toll on you mentally and physically, it ruins relationships. We teach a different way and the magic of what we do lies in the mindset on how to approach the technical aspects of running the business of law. I am not an attorney, but have worked in the legal industry since 2015. I understand business. More importantly, I understand how our internal perceptions affect how we perform both professionally and personally. My own journey to getting where I am today was not an easy one. I had to learn to change my own internal stories of who I am, what I want and what I am capable of. This knowledge, coupled with the training I received in grad school and the company I work for today, revealed my abilities to help others go where they were unable to go before to accomplish more than they ever dreamed.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have a girlfriend who has not yet visited Houston and we are long overdue for a girls weekend. The first place that I would take her is a walk along the Bayou as I live right on it. This little oasis of greenery is wonderful for being reminded that even in an expansive city, there are gems that feel like you’re in a different world. The food is amazing, and so is the music, so I would take her to a place where there is live music and good food, such as Eddie V’s or Fireside at the Moran. It’s hard to choose so will most likely take her to some of the other fabulous dining establishments downtown and midtown. I absolutely enjoy going to the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Museum of Natural Science so it would be a must visit. I’d take to Galveston to eat… getting away from the city to enjoy the ocean air for the day. Her visit would not be complete if I did not take her to an event at NRG, or the Minute Maid Center or the Toyota Center. There is so much to see and do that one week would not be enough time to show her everything!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The company I work for, How To Manage A Small Law Firm, places a great deal of emphasis on personal growth. Without it, it would be impossible to experience growth in any other area such as professional or financial. This is true not only for our clients, but for us as the team working with these clients. They introduced to me the books of a phenomenal teacher, Don Miguel Ruiz. One of his books, The Four Agreements, is required reading for everyone who they hire. I went on to read The Voice of Knowledge and The Fifth Agreement. These teachings give great insight to what we hold in our hearts and minds that limit our ability to grow beyond where we are. I am grateful for having been introduced to them.

Instagram: @ms_janelle_sam

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janellesam/

Other: TikTok @ms_janelle_sam

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