Loving wife, amazing mom and successful entrepreneur would be the best way to describe LaDawn Blackett Jones. LaDawn is the sole proprietor of LBJ Law Group, LLC which is Atlanta’s only law firm that provides holistic counseling to its clients.
LaDawn was raised in Atlanta,GA where she attended Westlake High School. She received her B.A. in English at Tennessee State University and her J.D. at Tulane Law School in New Orleans.
I got the opportunity to interview LaDawn to talk about the courageous steps she took to form her very own legal practice. You can access our interview by clicking on the subtitle above or scrolling below.
Most attorneys find comfort and security within a large law firm. What inspired you to push your fears aside and start your own law firm?
LaDawn: I started my own firm out of necessity. I was interested in running for public office, something I couldn’t do from my position as a Chief Assistant District Attorney for the Atlanta Judicial Circuit. I searched several months for a position within a mid to large size firm during a time when hiring was down.
I didn’t know it while I was applying, but it was God sent, that I had to take the chance of starting my own business. It took several different consultations with friends, family and others to convince me to step out on faith, but it was the best decision I ever made.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced getting The LBJ Group started and how did you manage to overcome those challenges?
LaDawn: I am a planner. Not knowing what to do first, second or third was a problem for me. I wanted a perfectly organized plan laid out for me. I didn’t get that. But in my search for a plan I made connections with friends and mentors that helped to guide me down a path towards business ownership.
I still heavily rely on others for advice and support. It is hard knowing if you are making good decisions. But the enjoyment of having my own business far outweighs the fears I had in the beginning.
So let me get this straight, you are a full time mom, wife and entrepreneur. As of March 19th you will also add “Author” to your resume??? What inspired you to write this amazing book I keep hearing about?
LaDawn: I was inspired by a conversation in my role as an assistant DA. I listened to an Atlanta Police officer discuss the role of gangs in Atlanta. Then my mind began working. I feel very strongly about my faith and from there I think God put into my mind a book he wanted me to deliver.
It took me three years to write “Manipulation” and it will be available March 19th on my website www.manipulationbook.com! If you love books filled with suspense and drama, you will LOVE Manipulation.
As an entrepreneur how do you use fear to work for you rather than against you?
LaDawn: I am paralyzed by fear. I don’t function well when I am afraid of the outcome. So to avoid fear, I plan. I think, write down my ideas (or record it on my iPhone), talk it out with my husband or someone in the business, and then execute.
In my mind the worse that can happen is that I fail, so what. I’ve failed before and I’ve rebounded. It doesn’t hurt as bad as one would think. Fear makes me more organized, likely to an obsessive point, but it is the way my mind functions and it has worked.
Is there a certain book, movie or song that inspires your work?
LaDawn: Lately I have been quoting the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. When I first read the book, I thought it was stupid. But after experiencing a little more of life, I realized that my goal is the lessons taught in the Alchemist. I want to both reach my goals and enjoy life at the same time.
Enjoying life being the most important of the two. My two children are the most important thing to me and I want to give them all the things my parents provided for me and more.
What advice would you give someone that was sitting on a great idea, but lacked the confidence or skills to get started?
LaDawn: Be like Nike and just do it! Start small with a discussion with another person to bounce your idea around. Then write it down! Write it down generically, like a goal in life. But also write it down in a detailed fashion. Decide what you want to do first, second and third. Then do it. The great part is, it’s your idea.
If you could go back and do one thing over, as it pertains to starting your business, what would it be?
LaDawn: I would have studied business at Tennessee State or while in law school. Finances, taxes, and marketing are a huge part of my business. I spend more time on that than I do on practicing law. If I could turn back the hands of time I would have spent time understanding the detailed theories rather than taking the crash course I am on now.
What do you luv most about entrepreneurship?
LaDawn: Making my business be what I want it to be is my favorite part of entrepreneurship. I decided to have a “holistic”law practice. I am able to choose to provide services that other firms do not. Many attorneys tried to tell me it would be a waste of time. But I was able to see in short time that providing extra services is going to make me stand out in the future.
If I joined another firm I am certain that my ideas of providing wrap around services for my clients would have been shunned and discouraged. I feel like I will change the nature of the practice of law with my “holistic counseling” and I couldn’t have done that under someone elses’ umbrella.
You certainly are representing for the women in the world that are not afraid to push their fears aside and make their dreams a reality. I heard you had a SpreadLuv exclusive for us for our viewers!!!
LaDawn: Yes! SpreadLuv will be first to know that I will be running for State Representative in Georgia for District 62 which makes up parts of south Fulton County and Douglas County Georgia.
All the things I have prepared the last few years have laid the groundwork for one of my other passions and service to my community. The stars have aligned to allow me the opportunity and I plan to take the opportunity by the horns.
How does The LBJ Group SpreadLuv?
LaDawn: In addition to providing “holistic counseling,” I have spent the last 7 years working with the Women of Westlake. Westlake High is my alma mater. I feel the need to make the world a better place by preparing the young ladies of my community for life. I teach them all the things I wish someone would have told me at their age.
I have a passion for teaching life skills so I spend ten percent of my hours a week and my financial income on these students. It is my hope that my work with these students will spill into my undergraduate alma mater and my law school. To be clear, this is a selfish passion. That is, I do it solely because I love it. I enjoy the time.
I strongly encourage anyone who is feeling something is missing in their lives to go to their neighborhood school and become a mentor. It will change your life, the students’ lives, and in some small way the world. Your viewers and subscribers can check out out Facebook Fan Page for more information. Thanks SpreadLuv for this opportunity! We really appreciate the love and support.