Episode 207 – Palms up and palms open with Iffy Ibekwe
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This week I went across the oceans again for Happy Lawyer Happy Life the international edition and had the chance to speak with one really wonderful woman lawyer, Iffy Ibekwe. Iffy describes herself as an entrepreneur who just happens to practice law and I can see from our chat that this really is true. Her love of entrepreneurship began with a baking store and has fast moved into her innovative wills and estates practice.
This conversation has it all- motherhood, happiness, mindset, taking chances- all the stuff I love to hear and more. Iffy has such passion and energy for life and it is contagious. A mother to 4 young children I so enjoyed picking her brain on how she does it all. Iffy describes her approach to life as being ‘palms up, palms open’ and I have taken that to mean taking the opportunities as they come and giving things a go, even when you are not sure what it might mean. I am hoping I might entice Iffy to Australia post Corona madness as I sense she would be such good fun to hang out with!
In this interview, Iffy and I also chatted about-
- If Iffy was not a lawyer she would be an entrepreneur who just happens to practice law (which, incidentally she is!)
- In 2011 Iffy opened up ‘Iffy’s sweets and treats’, a home bakery, which was the start of her entrepreneurial adventure.
- A child of an ex-pat, Iffy was born in Nigeria and moved around the world a lot in her early years where she finally settled in Texas, USA at age 11.
- Iffy’s upbringing was multi-cultural heaven and gave her a good foundation for her future.
- Not defined by her job as a lawyer Iffy has a ‘Palms up and palms open’ approach to life.
- How studying medicine, the economy, 9/11 and a turn in the market, and some wise words from her brother led Iffy to pursue the law.
- Iffy’s approach to goal setting and how this has changed as she has gotten older.
- Creativity, the law and choosing to find contentment in all you do.
- Iffy describes the Bar exam as ‘like Survivor – it’s a 15 hour 3-day hell show’
- The comparisons of law in the US and Austrlia, and the practical elements missing from education.
- Only 5% of lawyers in America are black and the inherent bias’ built into the law.
- Iffy’s first role in the law was as an education law clerk and quickly realising this area was not for her.
- Time-based billing and the problems Iffy sees with this system.
- Her time working for a Teachers Union, and how this role showed her that you can be helpful and a lawyer.
- Iffy was asked if she completed Wills – she said yes – and that’s how she got into Wills and Estate planning. She says ‘I was presented an opportunity, palms up and open, and I took it’.
- Setting up her practice with the goal to help regular people do up an Estate Plan and pass on intergenerational wealth, with someone who relates to them.
- Iffy aims to activate women and help them set up their wills and trusts and normalise estate planning all to protect their health, decisions and finances.
- Iffy is intentional about the language she uses with her clients and has created a client-centred service.
- Iffy is a mother of 4 and shares her experience of lockdown.
- Community and support from others is a part of growth.
- Finding ways to be content despite the circumstances.
- Iffy’s concept of exercising the right to change your mind, as a woman, is what helps us grow.
- Iffy’s tips for innovation so we don’t become entrenched in the past.
- Iffy’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Iffy Ibekwe.