Name: Frieda Levycky
Business Name: Braving Boundaries
Frieda epitomizes my absolute aligned client. She’s a woman who knows she’s got an impact to make, she recognises that her talents and experience are valuable in service to others and she’s intent on showing up in the world to share them.
As a fellow explorer of both inner and outer realities, Frieda is well versed in the workings of the human mind thanks to her coaching expertise, and she’s also an avid adventurer externally having lived in several corners of the world, before settling in our beautiful corner of Cape Town with her family of dogs and the love of her life, Justin.
When we first sat down to discuss the possibility of doing a personal brand shoot together, Frieda was in the middle of designing her website and writing her copy, so she was very clear on the direction the photos had to go. She wanted to ensure that balance in life and work was clearly communicated in the imagery she presented on her website, because having been through that process in her own life, she knew very specifically what she could help her clients achieve.
We planned our shoot to in the early morning on Noordhoek beach, before heading into Newlands forest and finally ending off at Frieda’s home office.
It wasn’t initially on the cards, but after our first consultation, Frieda asked if I could do a personal branding video for her too, so we factored the filming of the video into the shoot schedule as well.
As you’ll see below, the video really solidifies a sense of connection with who Frieda is and her ideal clients will know straight away, after watching this video, that Frieda is the coach for her… and this is the sign of a well considered and well executed personal brand.
It’s worth putting in the investment from the start to ensure that all your online assets align, not only with each other and your bigger brand strategy, but most importantly, that they align with who you are as an individual. Given that Frieda does what she does, and that she’s overcome what she has, the foundational work that she’s done on herself is apparent in every touch point she’s created for her online personal brand HQ.
Frieda put so much work into herself and in clarifying her mission that all the pieces have woven together so seamlessly. This is a true testament to the foundational work she’s done on herself and her business!
What do you do? I help to empower legal professionals to be happier & healthier by helping them to create a fulfilling balance between the professional and personal.
What makes your product/service/business different?
I’m a practising lawyer and I coach legal professionals. I’ve reached the top of my game both in private practice and in-house and I’ve done so being exactly who I am: authentic, vulnerable and honest. It’s resulted in some pretty steep learning curves at times, and I’ve had to learn to navigate through tough times, but I’ve survived the myriad of issues which the legal world has thrown at me. I’ve taken big risks and my career hasn’t suffered; my life however has been enriched as a result of taking those risks. And I truly understand the benefits of balance, choice and boundaries.
This is what I coach other legal professionals around.
What sets me apart from other coaches?
- Braving Boundaries is a bespoke coaching programme specifically created for legal professionals by a practising legal professional.
- The core focus of Braving Boundaries is the individual as a whole person (not just you as a lawyer). It is therefore not limited to business coaching or leadership coaching.
- One-on-one coaching sessions are personalised to the individual’s needs and requirements – there is nothing bog-standard about this programme.
- Braving Boundaries provides legal professionals with a safe place to talk about the “softer” issues, without judgment or fear of repercussions. Here they can be truly honest about what they want in their life, and they’ll find the support they need to plan and implement effective change to achieve a real work-life balance.
Why do you do what you do?
Being a lawyer is tough. It’s a challenging job with long hours, complicated work and demanding clients, in a work environment that isn’t always the friendliest. As a lawyer myself for over 15 years, I know all too well how often work spills over into your personal life. As much as I’ve thrived in the legal environment, I also watched the impact that it had on my personal life. I watched romantic relationships fall apart, missed holidays and dinners, upset family members and experienced suffocating levels of stress.
Needless to say, I am no exception to the rule.
There are so many lawyers who struggle with the same or similar issues, but don’t feel that they can talk to anyone about it. Law firms and corporates provide their Senior Associates and Partners with access to Executive Coaches and Leadership Coaches (with the underlying belief that this support will increase the productivity of their business), but there is little support for the lawyers themselves and their mental health. Law firms and corporates are claiming to be implementing programmes to address this, but the reality is that there is still a lot of stigma attached to admitting “it’s all a bit too much” (a sign of weakness) and, even if you are prepared to acknowledge you have an issue, who really is there to talk to about it? Not your boss, HR or your colleagues – that’s for sure! Being a lawyer myself and having walked my talk (and continuing to do so), I aim to give legal professionals the reassurance that they are not alone, that they can talk these issues through without judgment and in confidence, and they can transform their lives and be the person they want to be. And, best of all, they don’t have to quit their jobs to do it!
What has been your biggest challenge on your career/business journey & how did you overcome it?
Funnily enough, my biggest challenge was committing to a date to formally launch Braving Boundaries. I’ve coached for over a year and mentored for over 10 years, but the perfectionist in me really struggled to actually “go live”. All of the insecurities I coach other people around, came to the forefront which resulted in a lot of procrastination and subconscious delaying tactics. I had to switch my mindset back into to the bigger purpose. Instead of concentrating on me (which is what I was doing), I needed to start concentrating on all the people I needed to be helping. By postponing the launch date, I realised I was helping no one. So I pushed my Perfectionist to the side and let my Activist / Visionary step into the limelight, and started to get things done!
What would you do differently if you could start your journey again?
I would have been kinder to myself during the start-up phase. Committing to setting up your business is an enormous decision, but what I didn’t realise is what really goes into establishing a business! The branding, web-design, licensing, plug-ins, marketing strategy, sales pages, templates, niche identification etc. etc. That isn’t even the half of it. And all of that needs to be fitted in with a full time job (in my case), actual coaching, and time with my friends and family. It was exhausting! But, looking back now, I wish I’d just given myself some really big high-fives when I achieved some major milestones e.g. finishing writing the content of the website. I’m pretty amazed at what I achieved in just six months!
How has confidence impacted the success/growth of your business?
Confidence is vital for success. Confidence has its own sought after form of energy, and when you are in a positive confident phase, it radiates from you. People are naturally attracted towards you and your energy and, in my case, it helped to create leads and meetings from the day I started to market Braving Boundaries.Braving Boundaries is still in its infancy, so I will need to update you later on how my confidence has impacted its success.
What advice would you give other women, either starting out or already in their business/career?
I genuinely believe that what I am bringing to the legal world is important. I’ve been contemplating building a business for a number of years, but could never quite work out what my passion was, until I stepped into coaching. I now have a purpose and my purpose is my daily driver and it helps me to overcome the stumbling blocks I face, any negative feedback, any doubts I have about the direction of the business. So that would be my advice. Be deeply passionate about what you are doing. reward yourself when you hit key milestones, and take time out of the day for yourself also. You are the fuel to your business/career. You need to keep it well stoked!
What’s next for you and your journey?
More vlogging, creating workshops, speaking at events and creating an online programme specifically to help legal professionals address some of the core issues faced in their personal and professional lives.
What one thing would you change (if any) that would make you your most confident self?
To stop worrying about what other people think about what I am doing / fear of criticism – I think that is two actually
What does confidence mean to you?
Confidence is when you trust your gut (your intuition) and move forward on that basis.
The whole journey with Abigail has been so wonderful. I never thought I would be able to feel that relaxed in front of the camera (whether on video or on photo) and that is a testament to Abigail (and Shannyn with her beautiful make-up). The brand photos and the video are gorgeous (even if I do say so myself)! Abigail has this incredible way of putting people at ease and it also helps to know that she has walked the same walk, and is still facing her own business challenges. It just makes her very relatable and allows others to show up and be vulnerable around her. I cannot recommend Abigail enough! Such a great experience!