Episode 149 – Unstoppable Man of Many Talents with Lawrence Eichen
Our guest on this episode is Lawrence Eichen. Among other things, he is a self-employed attorney, a speaker, and a coach. While he has been successful he endured internal conflicts he will discuss with us.
He has over 25 years courtroom experience dealing with civil and criminal matters. He also is quite skilled at conflict resolution as you will discover. Wait until he tells us about his negotiation formula, E=MC5.
We learn that Lawrence became plagued by Imposter Syndrome. He tells us why he came to have this syndrome in his life as well as how he came to overcome it. As he explains, Imposter Syndrome is not a mental disorder, but rather it is truly a phenomenon. He will discuss why he would describe this condition as a rash and he talks about the “ointment” he created to address it.
Overall, I very much loved my time with Lawrence. I hope you will find this episode relevant and interesting as well.
About the Guest:
Lawrence D. Eichen, Esq. (Pronounced “Eye-ken”)
Lawrence Eichen is a self-employed Attorney, Professional Speaker, and Coach. He has over 25 years of courtroom experience handling a wide range of civil and criminal matters. Mr. Eichen is also a highly skilled Mediator adept at conflict resolution. Mr. Eichen’s litigation and mediation experience led him to develop a winning negotiation formula E=MC5 , which is a proven method to obtain excellent negotiation results. He has resolved well-over 1,000 cases during his career. Lawrence’s resultoriented approach to success, stems from his experience inside and outside of the courtroom, including his own journey of self-discovery. Although he had substantial outward success practicing law, internally, Lawrence often found himself experiencing Imposter Syndrome (a phenomenon whereby one fears being exposed as an “Imposter” for not being as competent or qualified as others think). By addressing chronic doubt and rethinking internal messaging, he developed the ability to defeat imposter syndrome. As a result, he became a more confident attorney, a better business owner, and a more peaceful person. He now engages audiences by delivering inspirational speech presentations, which include providing practical advice and techniques on the topics of Mastering the Art of Negotiating and Defeating Imposter Syndrome . In addition, as a certified Rethinking Impostor Syndrome™ coach, he provides individual and group coaching to professionals, executives, and small business owners. Mr. Eichen is a licensed Attorney in New Jersey and a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, National Speakers Association; and Association & Society Speakers Community. He is also certified in EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and a member of the Association of EFT Professionals. A lifelong all-around competitive athlete, in his spare time “Ike” (as his sports buddies call him) can be found playing golf, tennis, or ice hockey.
Ways to connect with Lawrence:
My website is www.FirstClassSpeaking.com
LinkedIn profile is ,https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrenceeichen/.
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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**Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
**Michael Hingson ** 01:25
Thanks for joining us today, we get to talk to Lawrence Eichen. And he’s got a great story. He’s an attorney. And we will say away from the lawyer jokes I mostly promise. But but you never know. You know, if you want to tell some you can, Lawrence , I’ll leave that to you. But he’s got a great story. He’s a negotiator. He’s a speaker. And we get to talk about a lot of things including imposter syndrome, which is something that I find pretty fascinating to to learn more about. So we’ll get to that. But Lawrence, welcome to unstoppable mindset. Thanks for being here.
Lawrence Eichen 02:00
Oh, my pleasure, Michael. And I’m really looking forward to our conversation.
**Michael Hingson ** 02:04
Well, so let’s start. And as I love to ask people to do why don’t we start by you maybe just telling us a little bit about you growing up and in all the things that younger Lawrence was?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 02:15
Okay. Well, let’s see, I grew up, I’m the youngest of four children. So I have three older sisters. I grew up in Rockland County, New York. So um, you know, still feel like a New Yorker more than somebody from New Jersey, even though I’ve lived in New Jersey probably for over 30 years now. And I grew up, basically, I guess, typical stuff that you did as a kid back then was, you know, you go to school, you come home, you put your books down, and you go outside, and you play sports. And that’s really what we did growing up. And I was lucky to grow up in a neighborhood where there was about eight of us. And we played everything, you know, every every day and on the weekends, really, whatever sport, you know, season was, was going on, we did it and we made up our own games like Well, kids do. And basically, you know, that my childhood was, you know, was a little bit stressful at times, because there was some real dysfunction in my family growing up. But, you know, for the most part, I’d say it was a typical, like, you know, middle class, suburban, family upbringing, you know, school and sports was really what I what I did as a kid growing up.
**Michael Hingson ** 03:33
As a kid, did you get to spend much time in the city? Did you guys go there very much. Did you go any games or just spend any time in the city?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 03:42
No, I really didn’t get into the city as a kid, really. Our family didn’t do stuff like that. I didn’t get into see too many games. You know, I grew up was a Knicks fan, and a Rangers. Rangers fan. I’m still a Rangers fan. Very much these days. I try not to be a Knicks fan. It’s hard to watch the Knicks. But actually, they’re doing halfway decent this year. And I was a Mets fan. But I didn’t really get into too much into the city as a kid growing up at all. So I was really more relegated to the television, watching sports. And just as a family, we never really went into New York City. So it wasn’t until later on in my life, you know, more college years and post college years that I took advantage of the city because we were only about you know, 45 minute drive, you know, without traffic. And you can get into New York City, which was you know, a phenomenal experience once I did eventually get into this city.
**Michael Hingson ** 04:44
Did you take the train in?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 04:47
Often I would take the train in. I actually eventually was working in the city at 1.1 port one port early in my free law career and used to commute by Train into the city, which is not a fun experience for anybody who’s a commuter into New York City knows that.
**Michael Hingson ** 05:07
Yeah, it can be a challenge. Although I’m amazed that when we lived back in New Jersey, and I would go into the World Trade Center and into the city, I would often meet people who came everyday from Bucks County, a lot of the financial folks and so on would come from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and they had two hour train trips. And either they had discussion groups or cliques that that communicated and spent all their time on the trains together, or people were in working groups, and they did things on the train. But it was a way of life and they didn’t seem to be bothered by two hours on the train each way at all.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 05:44
You know, it’s funny, you do get into a routine, so I can identify with that, because you become numb to it after a while. And back when I was doing it, and I’m sure a lot of people that you were talking about doing it, you know, there were no, you know, iPhones and iPods and things that are so convenient now to take advantage of listening to a podcast and all this other stuff, you basically read the newspaper, or you read a book. And you did as you say, you know, you get acclimated to it, and I kind of think of it as just becoming numb to it. But looking back, you know, for me, it was sometime when I first commuted in, it was door to door about an hour and 45 minutes. And both ways. And it really does take a toll after a while on you because you realize, you know, you really spending a lot of time and energy commuting. And I didn’t have like a group of people that I was commuting in maybe maybe I would have enjoyed it more. I was just like your typical commute or just taking a seat and trying to make the best of it. So for me, I don’t miss it at all. I don’t miss the commute into the city by train at
**Michael Hingson ** 06:59
all. Yeah, I can understand that. I know. For me, it was about an hour and 20 minutes door to door unless there was a train delay. But I took a car from where we lived on trails in court and Westfield to the New Jersey Transit Station, which was part of the Raritan Valley line, then we went into Newark, to the past station then took the PATH train in. So it was broken up a little bit. But for me, again, as you said, iPhones, were starting to exist a little bit, but not a lot. So I really didn’t have access to a cell phone a lot when I was traveling into the city. So I did read a lot, and spent a lot of time doing that. And I enjoyed it. But still, it it was a lot of time that you couldn’t spend doing other things. But with the fact that for me, it was broken up with a couple of trains that everything else, I guess, you know, I survived it pretty well and can’t complain a whole lot.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 08:01
You know, you’re reminded me I can remember muting in 1986. And the Mets were in the World Series and being on the train. And when I took the New Jersey Transit, there was no Midtown direct from where I was taking it from, you had to go down to Hoboken and then catch the PATH train to the World Trade Center. And I can remember being on those commutes when the Mets were playing. And you could just somebody had a radio, you know, somebody on the commute had a transistor radio. And that would be the only way that you knew what was happening in the game. And like he could almost, you know, overhear those what was going on by somebody else’s radio. But it was it was just so interesting. Looking back now how limited access was to immediate information that we take for granted today. You know, there was no Internet, there was no as I said, No iPhones No, none of the stuff that exists today. But you know, like anything else, you just kind of you didn’t know what you were missing? Because you were just living it at the moment.
**Michael Hingson ** 09:06
Yeah, and of course, the real question is, was that a blessing or a curse? And I’m not convinced. Either way on that because we are so much into information and so much immediate gratification. Is that a good thing? And I think there are challenges with that too.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 09:21
Yeah, I would agree with that too. Not to mention, it’s very difficult to have a conversation with certainly with younger people that are glued to their phones like 99% of the time. It’s like if you get somebody make eye contact with you. It’s almost like a moral victory sometimes. So I agree with you that the access to information can you know get out of whack and out of balance and I think there is a real loss certainly in interpersonal communication with people that are just looking at their phones down, you know, they’re looking down you see pictures all the time. If you see photos or just the even videos on the internet, you’ll see a group of kids, you know, walking home from school together, and there’s like 20 kids all walking together. But every single kid is just looking down at their phone, there’s no interaction between them, or they’re even at a sporting event, right. And you see people like looking at their phones and not even watching the live sporting event that they’re at. So
**Michael Hingson ** 10:21
go figure. And, you know, for me, I, I like to interact, although when I was traveling into the city, you know, I just had a seat and my guide dog was there. And I read a lot. We weren’t part of a group. But if anyone would ever wanted to carry on a conversation, I was glad to do that as well. But I, I’m amazed, and I actually said it to somebody on one of our episodes of unstoppable mindset. I said, I was amazed at how kids in the back of a car would be texting each other rather than carrying on a conversation. And this person said, Well, the reason is, is they don’t want their parents to know what they’re talking about. Yeah, that itself is scary. You know?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 11:06
I can understand that. And it’s kind of funny. And texting, you know, look, people text right in the house, right? You take somebody else has downstairs, you know, there was a lot I will say texting, there are some really amazing benefits of texting. There are no it’s not, I’m not against technology and the advancement of technology. It’s just, you know, in the right place in the right time. It’s,
**Michael Hingson ** 11:28
it’s it’s communication. And that’s an issue to deal with. Well, so where did you go to college?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 11:36
I went to college, SUNY Albany, in the beautiful town of Albany, New York, which is really known for cold winters. So I can still remember walking home from the bars back then, you know, the drinking age back then was 18. So when you went into college, you know, you were it was legal to drink. And the bars would stay open till four in the morning. And I can remember walking home when I lived off campus, you know, at four o’clock in the morning, and literally just the inside of your nose freezing, the mucous lining of your nose would raise on the way home, it was that cold and windy. So yeah, that would I don’t miss those cold winters. But College is a whole different store.
**Michael Hingson ** 12:25
Well, yeah, there’s a lot to be said for college. I’ve spent time up in Albany, we visited Lockheed Martin up there and some of the military facilities where we sold tape backup products. And I remember being at one facility, and we were talking about security. And the guy we were talking to reach behind him and he pulled this hard disk drive off of a shelf, and there was a hole in it. And I and say said, Let’s see this hole. He said, This is how we make sure that people can’t read discs, we take discs that have died or that we want to get rid of all the data on and we take them out in the in the back of the building, and we use them for target practice. And the trick is to get the bullet to go through the whole dry. That’s funny. Yeah, the things people do for entertainment. I’ll tell you, Well, what, what did you do after college? I gather you didn’t go straight into law.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 13:24
No, I didn’t actually I started out as a computer programmer, because my degree was in computer science. So I worked as a programmer for a few years. And then, you know, long story short is made, made some stupid decisions, quit my job when I really shouldn’t have and then did some other jobs in the computer field, like selling computer software. But I wasn’t very happy doing that. And ultimately, that’s when I decided to go back to school full time and go to law school. So I worked for about four years after college before I went back to law school.
**Michael Hingson ** 14:07
**Lawrence Eichen ** 14:10
Hey, hey, I’m still asking myself that question. Why? Well, there you go. No, really, it’s one of those things for me it was my one of my older sisters is an attorney. So I think there was that connection to law. And my aunt was a judge in New York In New Jersey also. So there were some family, you know, connections. I probably had some other cousins that were attorneys also but I think I honestly for me, it was like I really didn’t know what to do with myself. A friend of mine was studying to take the LSAT, which is the entrance exam to get into law school. And no, I think I just thought to myself, You know what, maybe if I go to law school, I can sort of like salvage my career. I really didn’t know what to do with myself. And, um, you know, I came to find out that many people that end up in law school really are ending up there because they don’t know what else to do it themselves. I’m not that person that went to law school, like with this dream from childhood to be a lawyer and all that. It was more like, I don’t know what else to do. And it was a way for me to rationalize, well, maybe I can do something and still salvage a career. And so I just took the exam with the idea that well, let me see how I do. If I do well on that, you know, then I guess I’ll apply. And if I apply, I’ll see if I get in. So you know, one thing led to another, I did do well on the exam. And once I did well, on the exam, I was kind of guaranteed to get into law school based on my score on the entrance entry exam. And so I applied to a couple places got in and then you know, that I ended up going to law school. Where did you go, I went to Rutgers law school in New Jersey. And the reason it worked out for me was that by that time, I had moved to New Jersey. And the reason I moved coming and really coming full circle had to do with the commute that I was doing into New York City, which was so long that I had decided, even before I was going into law school, I had decided to move closer down the train line, so it wouldn’t take me an hour and 45 minutes to get into the city. So I moved into New Jersey and my commute into the city was like less than an hour at that point. And the fact that I was a resident of New Jersey allowed me to go to records, which was a very good law school, but it was a state school. So you could get a very good tuition, and a good bang for your buck. And so that’s why I chose Rutgers.
**Michael Hingson ** 16:46
And besides you wanted to root for the Scarlet Knights, right.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 16:51
Well, I can’t say that I was thinking that at the time I it’s funny because I you know, I think of it as like, you know, the devils came into the I think a bit more like the devils came into the New Jersey and started to win and won a Stanley Cup even before the Rangers Did you it was really hard to swallow that pill. And when I mean when the Rangers did, I mean, the Rangers hadn’t won a cup and like 50 some odd years, but then the devils come in as an expansion team. And then I think they won three cups before the Rangers finally won a cup in 1994. But I was still even though a New Jersey person. I was still always rooting for New York teams.
**Michael Hingson ** 17:31
Well, yeah, and I rooted for the Knights just because they usually were doing so poorly. They needed all the support that they could get. Yeah. And I understood that but one year, they did pretty well. But there they definitely have their challenges. And you mentioned the Knicks. And of course we are are always rooting for the Lakers out here and I’m spoiled i i liked the sports teams. I like for a weird reason. And it’s the announcers. I learned baseball from Vince Kelly and the Dodgers. And I still think that Vinnie is the best that ever was in the business of basketball. I learned from Chick Hearn out here because he could describe so well and he really spoke fast. Other people like Johnny most and some of the other announcers in the basketball world, but chick was in a, in a world by him by itself in a lot of ways. And so they they both spoiled me. And then we had Dick Enberg, who did the angels for a while and also did football. So I’m spoiled by announcers, although I do listen to some of the other announcers I listen to occasionally. Bob Euchre, who, you know is still doing baseball, Chris, I got to know him with the miller lite commercials. That was a lot of fun, but still, I’m spoiled by announcers. And so I’ve I’ve gotten loyal to some of the teams because of the announcers they’ve had and learned a lot about the game because the announcers that I kind of like to listen to really would help you learn the game if you spent time listening to them, which was always great.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 19:07
Yeah, you’ve rattled off some real legends of the announcing world. I certainly Dick Enberg you know even in the in the east coast with New York and New Jersey. He got a lot of thick Enver just because he was a national guy, but I grew up really to me. So you say? I think you said Vin Scully. You thought it was the best in the business? To me more of Albert was the best in the business because I grew up with him doing Ranger games doing NIC games. He was the voice of the Knicks and the Rangers right and he was just great. And he you know, his voice is great. And so to me, he was like the the guy you know, everybody always tried to imitate
**Michael Hingson ** 19:46
motivate dude. And I remember listening to Marv Albert nationally and he is good and it was a good announcer no question about it. Vinnie was was a different kind of an announcer because one of the things that I really enjoyed about him was when he and originally was Vin Scully and Jerry Daga. And then Jerry died and some other people Don Drysdale for well then partner with me. But when Vinnie was doing a game, he did the first, the second, the fourth, fifth and sixth, the eighth and the ninth innings. And then he was spelled by whoever is his co host was, if you will, but he did all of the announcing it wasn’t this constant byplay. So they really focused on the game. And I’ve always enjoyed that. It’s amazing to listen to TV football announcers today, because they’re all yammering back and forth and plays can go by before they say anything about the game.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 20:42
Yeah, there’s a real art to that. And the chemistry for sure, when you get a really good team and a really good broadcaster, actually, what’s coming to mind is, I forgot his last name. He just he retired maybe three or four years ago from hockey. He was like the voice of they call them doc. I forgot. I forgot. Yeah, I
**Michael Hingson ** 21:00
know who you mean, I don’t remember his.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 21:02
Yeah, I forgot his name. But when he would do a hockey game, and you notice, I’m always bringing things back to hockey because hockey is like my favorite sport. But when he would do a hockey game, and he would only get him like it was a national game. It was such a difference in the game, because he was the best in the business just the best. When he retired, if, you know, like I said, maybe three, four years ago, I guess it’s been it was like a real hole, you know, in the in the, in the announcing business, not that the other guys aren’t good also, but he was just so great at it.
**Michael Hingson ** 21:39
Yeah, well, they’re always those few. And it’s pretty amazing. Ah, the fun one has, but even so, there’s still nothing like going to a game and I would take a radio when I go to a game or now I probably would use an iPhone and listen to it on some channel, but still listening to the announcer. And also being at the game, there’s just nothing like that.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 22:05
Oh, yeah, by the way, here’s the beauty of technology when we were talking about technology, right? There’s never a reason I always say this, there’s never a reason for two people to have a conversation where you stop not remembering anything anymore. Right? Because what you know, while you’re talking, I’m just Googling who that announcer wasn’t It’s Doc Emrick. His last name right? It was Mike, Doc Emrick Mike doc being his nickname. And, you know, that’s where that’s where that’s where technology’s great, right? Because this is the way you know, usually when I get done playing, I play tennis during the winter. And we after we play, we usually have a beer or sit around. And invariably the conversation turns to sports and you start talking about stuff. And nobody can remember anything, you know, for 9070 or 80. Or 90, you know, it’s like who won this, who was the most valuable player? And like, you know, usually you sort of like kinda like say, I know, I can’t remember then somebody remembers to look at their phone. And then next thing, you know, the conversation continues because the information has been supplied. whereas years ago, you just sort of had to leave the conversation. Like that was the way it is like everything was left in the air. Nobody could remember. Now this is no no excuse for that.
**Michael Hingson ** 23:13
Yeah, absolutely. It’s it’s kind of amazing the way the way it goes, I’m when I go to family gatherings, there are always people looking at stuff on their phones. And there’s discussion going on. And the bottom line is that people are talking about one thing or another and somebody’s verifying it or getting more information. And I can’t complain about that. So that that works out pretty well. And it’s good to kind of have that well for you after going to college and going to Rutgers and so on. What kind of law did you decide to practice since there are many different ones?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 23:49
Yeah, when I first came out of law school, I went into personal injury law. I took a job as a defense attorney. It was known as being in house counsel for an insurance company. And the reason I took that job is I always felt when I eventually went to law school, my mindset was, I envisioned myself as being somebody who would go into court. So there’s when you come out of law school, there’s really a couple of different positions that you can get, we can get very good experience early on in your legal career. So for me, it was either going to a prosecutor’s office, you know, somewhere and prosecuting or being a defense attorney and working as an in house counsel for an insurance company, because there’s just a volume of litigation in either way. I chose to go the route of the defense insurance position. I just didn’t see mice. I just never visioned myself as a prosecutor for some reason, so I just never even explored that. So for me, it was really just a couple of choices and that’s the one that I It shows and it gave me the opportunity to just defend cases where if somebody will either got into a car accident and you were sued by the other driver, you know, as part of your insurance policy, you were entitled to a lawyer who would defend you. And so I was that guy that would take on the defense of cases where other people were being sued as a result of car accidents, or slip and falls that might occur on a commercial property. I was also involved in those type of cases. And so let’s say you were a contractor or something, and you were sued for some kind of negligent condition on some property somewhere, somebody fell, got injured, they sue everybody, then your insurance entitled you to have an attorney, defend, and I would do that as well. So that’s really what I started out doing.
**Michael Hingson ** 25:57
So that is a, you know, the whole issue of Defense’s fascinating course, what did your aunt the judge, think of you going into defense? Or did you? Did you ever get to talk with her about it?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 26:10
No, actually, you know, here’s the thing is, I really probably would have went a totally different direction in my career is that when I was in law school, I had a chance to work with a very prominent New Jersey defense attorney, criminal defense attorney. And I could have worked as his law clerk or intern, I can’t remember it while I was still in law school. But the problem was, he appeared regularly in front of my judge, my judge, my aunt, who was so there was this apparent conflict of interest, not that I would, you know, not that anything improper would occur. But my aunt was very concerned that how can she be in a courtroom deciding cases? Even if I wasn’t in the courtroom, and he was the one in the courtroom, I was at his office? How could it happen? You know, if somebody ever found out that I worked in his office, then there’s this appearance of a conflict. So I couldn’t take the position with him. And I really wanted to because at that time, I found criminal defense. Very interesting, because criminal law in itself is very interesting, the issues, evidence and criminal procedure and all that stuff. So to answer your question, or about what am I and say, it really was, like, not even a discussion about it, you know, just something that I chose to do and just went a totally different direction.
**Michael Hingson ** 27:48
I’m fascinated by what, what’s going on now with Clarence Thomas, in the Supreme Court. Are you keeping up with that whole thing?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 27:58
Actually, I just read an article on that yesterday. So yes, and interesting, absolutely disgusted about what’s going on, even before that article came out, that talks about a conflict of interest. I mean, here there’s
**Michael Hingson ** 28:14
no there’s no ethical guideline, apparently, for the the Supreme Court Justice is like there is even for lower federal judges or federal, federal people.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 28:24
Yeah. But you know, Michael, here’s the thing. That doesn’t need to be in that particular there. What I’m what I’m saying is, yes, it would be better if there was some real, strict enforceable guidelines. I’m not against that. What I’m saying is, the judge himself should recognize just how ridiculously inappropriate that is. That’s why even without actual laws, the judge himself ethically should be thinking, You know what, this probably doesn’t look too good that I’m going on luxury, all paid vacations with one of the largest donors, who’s, you know, a conservative minded individual. And now I’m ruling on cases that ostensibly might be certain areas of the law that are very favorable to these positions. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing things like this, because it looks like a conflict of interest. And that’s the thing about the legal profession, that doesn’t have to be an actual conflict of interest. It just has to be the appearance of a conflict of interest, and then it becomes unethical and inappropriate. So even if nothing nefarious was going on, because there’s no proof of that, right. Nobody has any proof that it would definitely happen. It doesn’t even have to reach that level. It just has to reach the level of this doesn’t look right. And for doing this for 20 yours, right? Is that what I think I heard are in the article for 20 years. Yeah. It’s disgusting. It’s absolutely disgusting.
**Michael Hingson ** 30:08
Well, what seems to me is even more interesting is he never reported it. And that’s where I think it becomes even more of a striking dichotomy or paradox, if you will, because even if there’s not a conflict of interest, even if he wanted to do it, why wouldn’t he report it?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 30:26
Well, that’s the that’s, that’s, that’s what makes it even more revolt, revolting and disgusting. Yeah, he’s sweeping it under the carpet. And why would you be sweeping it under the carpet? Like, what are you afraid to disclose?
**Michael Hingson ** 30:39
I have grown up, especially as an adult, with a great respect for the law. I’ve been blind and a member of the National Federation of the Blind, which is the largest organization of blind consumers in the country. And the founder was a blind constitutional law scholar Jacobus tenBroek, who was very famous in the 50s and 60s for being an innovator with tort law and other kinds of things. And I’ve read a lot of his writings. And the law always fascinated me. And then I’ve been involved in actually in working with Congress and working with state legislatures, when, for example, we were trying to get insurance companies to insure blind and other persons with disabilities, because back in as late as the early 1980s, insurance companies wouldn’t insure us. They said, We’re high risk, where we have a greater and a higher mortality rate. And somebody finally asked the question, where’s your evidence? Because you do everything based on actuarial statistics and evidentiary data. And they were told, well, it exists, can we see it Sure. never appeared. Why? Because it never existed. They weren’t doing decisions on persons with disabilities based on evidence and statistics. They were doing it based on prejudice. And so we did get to work with state and and then and well, not so much the Congress I’ll but state legislatures, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and finally, now there’s a law in every state, you can’t discriminate, but it’s just the it always has fascinated me to be involved in the law in one way or the other. And I’ve done it in other kinds of places as well. And thoroughly enjoy it. But it is very frustrating when something comes along like this, where somebody’s playing games that they don’t need to play.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 32:36
Yeah, that’s, you know, there’s just that’s why the whole that’s why honestly, you know, without getting too much political conversation, because we could go down a rattle. Yeah, we
**Michael Hingson ** 32:46
don’t want to do that. Yeah, I’ll
**Lawrence Eichen ** 32:48
just say that. That’s why people get so outraged when they see things that clearly show something’s unfair, right, or something is just inappropriate, it touches everybody’s inner sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. Yeah. And when things look clearly inappropriate, clearly unfair. You know, everybody gets incensed about it, or should get incensed about it, because we’re all trying to live, we all seem to live with an internal compass of what’s right, what’s fair, you’re born with that, you know, they they did a study, I remember reading about this years and years ago, and I will butcher this a little bit, but I seem to recall, there was a study on like, I’m gonna say, one year old, or two year old, something like that. And maybe it was even younger, I don’t remember, but it was very infant or toddler type study. And all they were doing was like giving one infant or toddler like three balls, and then giving another one too. And then or they both start with three, and then they take one away from the other one. And the whole study was just showing that even these babies or infants or toddlers who can’t speak, they knew they had the sense of something was not fair. You know, and that’s what the conclusion was. And again, I don’t remember the study. But the idea is that it’s just that it comes with each of us. It’s like part of you the hardware that you’re wired with is a sense of fairness, and justice, even at the earliest parts of your existence. And that’s why when we see things as adults that are so unfair or inappropriate, it just triggers a natural reaction with us. of you know, something should be done about this. This isn’t right. And so that’s where I’m coming from.
**Michael Hingson ** 34:51
Well for you, you did personal injury, Injury, love and how long did you do that? And then what did you do?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 34:58
I did that. Probably We are at that particular place for about two or three years, after a while you’re like a hamster in a hamster wheel, because you have so many cases to handle at one time. And like I remember a friend of mine once telling me like, the good for you, like when you win a case, as a defense attorney in that situation, you know, it’s not like you make any money for yourself, right? You’re a salaried employees. So it’s not like you, you know, you, you feel good that you won the case. But a friend of mine, I’ll never forget, he said to me, the good feeling only lasts until the time you get to your car in the parking lot. And then you close the door and get into your car to drive back to the office, you start realizing about how many other cases you have to do tomorrow and the next day. And so you’re like a hamster in a hamster wheel. Because even if you resolve a case, or settle a case, you get a couple of more, the next day to replace the volume of cases that you have to always have. So it’s sort of a little bit of a burnout, or canvio. For at least for me it was and so I went on to I switch sides and went to a plaintiff’s firm, and did personal injury from the plaintiff side, and also did some workers compensation, and then got into some other areas like municipal court or minor criminal matters. So I did all that probably for about, you know, I’m guessing, you know, looking back maybe 10 years in those areas of the law.
**Michael Hingson ** 36:29
And what did you do?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 36:32
Oh, yeah, what did I do after that? Well,
**Michael Hingson ** 36:34
I took let’s see, I took a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 36:38
Yeah, I have an interesting story. Because I took a little turn. After I did, I worked in a firm for a lot of years, I really became disenchanted with practicing law, and I decided to try something completely different. And it’s a long story. So I won’t waste the time how I got into it. But I did end up becoming a financial advisor. While I while I had my attorneys license, and became a financial adviser, and I worked for a couple of financial firms, one happens to be one of the largest ones, that you would recognize their name. And I did that altogether, probably for about, I’m gonna say maybe four or five years. And I you know, even though I was relatively successful at that, a really became like, clear to me, after not, not even that long, I realized, like, this isn’t really for me, but I was trying something different to see if I would just enjoy it more than practicing law. And so I didn’t eventually, then that’s when I went and just decided to practice for myself and opened up a shingle and went back to practicing law.
**Michael Hingson ** 37:54
For me, was that more rewarding? Because you are now doing it for yourself? I would think so.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 37:59
Yeah, it was it was a that was something somebody had suggested to me that I should try that before I totally give up on the practice of law. So and I would say that it is a lot better working for myself as an attorney than working for other attorneys that I will definitely tell you is much better, because it’s the feeling that whatever you do is going to go into your own pocket, and being able to control your own time and all that stuff. I mean, there’s added other stresses that come with working for yourself, for sure that aren’t there when you work for a firm or company. But the trade off for me was I didn’t have to worry about anybody else telling me what to do. And I’ll just figure it out and do it myself. And so it was sort of more of an entrepreneurial endeavor working for yourself than working for a firm or company. And I
**Michael Hingson ** 38:53
think you told me that you you practice in Morristown. I do practice in Morristown? New Jersey. Yes. So did any of the dogs from the seeing eye ever come and say we want to see we want to sue our trainers or anything like that?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 39:06
No, but I did I do. I do see those dogs routinely walking around. And in fact, there’s as if I don’t know if you’ve been there since they put up this statue. I’ve heard about it. Yeah, there’s a there’s a statue like right in the green the center of town of, of a seeing eye dog with somebody leading, you know, the
**Michael Hingson ** 39:28
dog leading buddy and the original CEO, original seeing eye dog. Yeah.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 39:33
Yeah. It’s a great, it’s a great it’s a really nice, nice statue. And it’s it’s definitely symbolic of that institution that is, you know, world renowned and has done really great things with their
**Michael Hingson ** 39:44
own hands. Oh, absolutely. It’s the oldest guide dog school in the United States. Alright, did not know that. It’s been around since 1929. I think it is. So it’s been? Yeah, it’s getting closer to 100 years old.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 40:00
Yeah, I’ve met people over the years when I used to have a Labradoodle. And we used to take it to a dog park in Morristown, and there have been times, I’d say, I’ve probably met three or four people over the years, that had labs that they owned, that had failed out of the Seeing Eye Institute, you know, so you know, not every dog that goes to become a seeing eye dog makes it makes the cut. And eventually, these dogs, they’re still phenomenal. The thing about the person that ends up getting that dog, you know, gets a phenomenal pet, because dog is probably better trained than any other dog around. But for some reason, it didn’t make the cut as a seeing eye dog. But I’ve met several other owners with their dogs, that were what we used to say, you know, the ones that didn’t get make the cut, but they were really beautiful dogs and very friendly. And
**Michael Hingson ** 40:56
I don’t know, I don’t know where the concept was created. But what I think we’ve all learned over the years is that the dogs that don’t make it don’t fail, because just not every dog is cut out to be a guide dog, or in specific case of seeing is seeing eye dog, the the generic term is guide dog and seeing eye dogs are seeing eye because that’s the brand of that school, but they’re they don’t fail. What what they do is they get what people now call career change, which is appropriate, because it’s just not every dog is going to make it as a guide dog. In fact, the percentage is only about 50% Make it because the reality is there’s a lot that goes into it. And it’s an incredibly grueling and demanding process. So the ones that that don’t succeed it that oftentimes go find other jobs are there, other jobs are found for them. Some become breeders, but some go on to do other things as well, which is, which is great. But you’re right. Any of those dogs are phenomenally well trained, and are a great addition wherever they go.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 42:06
Yeah, and I like the way I’m gonna think of that from now on going forward, and it’s career change for them. It’s good.
**Michael Hingson ** 42:13
So what kind of law did you start to practice? And do you practice now?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 42:19
Well, I started to get more into initially, when I went into practice for myself, I did a lot more Municipal Court type cases, and Special Civil Part type cases municipal court, meaning, you know, minor, anything from like traffic tickets to DWIs, those are all handled in the municipal courts in New Jersey. So that could also be like simple assaults, harassments, some temporary restraining orders, things of that nature, and special civil court cases or more like, you know, matters that are like, typically, people might know that as small claims court matters that were traditionally $15,000 or less, now they’ve raised the limit. But those are quicker cases, you know, so you can get more volume, the idea for that, for me was I could get, get my hands on a lot of cases, get some experience, doing some new things. And get, you know, I was never somebody who liked to have cases that lingered for years and years. And so I came from having a lot of cases that were in the file cabinet for two, three years. And it’d be like, I can’t take looking at these cases anymore. So for me, I like, you know, if I had a case, I have it for a couple of months, and it’s done. And then there’s something fresh and new. So that just appealed to me. And Municipal Court work. What was nice about that is a whole different feel of that to where you’re just kind of going in, you’re negotiating most of those cases are just resolved through negotiating. And so I was always a pretty good negotiator. And the idea was, you know, what, it’s, it’s sort of like a personality or, you know, just just being able to develop a good relationship with a prosecutor, let’s say, or the municipal court system. And so they’re all different to that. The other thing about municipal court, which is probably shouldn’t be this way, but the reality is, you know, every municipal court and in each town right, every town basically has their own Municipal Court for the most part until there was a lot of consolidation. But generally speaking in New Jersey, most towns have their own Municipal Court, but you go into one town, it’s a whole different field and if you go to another town and so kind of kept things fresh, in a way it was it was like always new and different. The cases were always being new, relatively speaking, because they’re turning over a lot. So that’s what I did for the most part, and then I got myself over the years into some other stuff, some commercial litigation matters. A couple of matrimonial things, and guardianship matters and a bunch of other stuff I’m probably forgetting. But for the most part, I was doing mostly Municipal Court work and Special Civil War work.
**Michael Hingson ** 45:13
But you got involved somewhere along the line and resolution conflict and doing a lot more negotiating, which is a little bit outside regular law practice, but still a fascinating thing to get into.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 45:24
Yeah, I did, I did some work as a mediator. And I still volunteer, actually, as a mediator for Morris County. Most of those cases that I would handle these days, on a volunteer basis is handling disputes that come out of the municipal court system, where sometimes you get these crazy fact patterns between neighbors give you a classic example, there’ll be a lot of, you know, the dog is barking, or the neighbors, one neighbors parking in the spot of some other neighbor, or there’s ex girlfriends with the same boyfriend, and everybody’s fighting, and there’s harassment. And there’s all sorts of crazy stuff that comes out of municipal court. And some of these cases, you know, they kind of farm it out to mediation, and say, maybe this can be resolved through mediation and avoid going on to the main calendar. And so they give it a chance to resolve through mediation. And so I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in that regard, and just trying to help people resolve it amicably and be done with, done with whatever the dispute is, and draft up some paperwork to make everybody stay accountable. And so that’s sort of like a give back that I’ve done, you know, for the community, so to speak. And it’s been rewarding in the sense that a lot of these disputes, even though they seem minor, from, you know, from the outside, if you think about it, and I think we’ve all been there, you know, where you have a neighbor, or a tenant or roommate, then it’s not going well. And it’s incredibly stressful to live through those times when you got to come home every day. And it’s either your roommate, or your, your immediate neighbor, upstairs, downstairs, or even across the street, or whatever the case may be. It’s incredibly stressful to have to live through issues that are unresolved that get on your nerves every day, right? It’s hard enough to live your life working and raising kids and all that stuff that most people are doing, and then to have those added disputes lingering out there. So they may seem minor in nature, but when they’re resolved, every single person feels a sigh of relief in those situations as they can just get on with their life,
**Michael Hingson ** 47:47
do you find that you’re able to be pretty successful at getting people to move on? And so you negotiate and you come to an agreement? And do people generally tend to stick with it? Or do you find that some people are just too obnoxious to do that?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 48:03
Oh, actually, I’ve actually been very successful on that, at least the case is, I can’t speak for anybody else’s doing it. But from my experience, I had been very successful. In fact, they used to refer the hardest cases to me, because I had the reputation of being able to resolve these things. And so yeah, I would say, my track record in those disputes, I’d say was very high to get people to resolve only a couple of times I can remember, you know, where it was just like, there was just no way this thing is gonna get resolved, then we gave it our best shot. And they were going to have to go into court and just try to get it resolved that way. But most of the time, you know, over 90% of the time, they would actually resolve it. And what I would do is I would really make, I would take the extra time to make it known to them that they’re signing a document, you know, that we’re going to draft up that is going to hold them accountable. Now, I you know, I think there was only one time that I had them sign off on a document that later on one of the parties violated it. And it had to come back to court for some other reason, you know, for that reason, but most of the time, once they really go through the process and recognize that it’s in their best interest to resolve it. It gets resolved, they sign off on it. And that whole process seems to work because they don’t really break that promise. At least. I never became aware of more than one case since I was doing it. I did it, you know, for 20 years. So it’s a lot of times that I’ve done mediations and I think there was only one case that came back after we resolve it.
**Michael Hingson ** 49:49
You developed a process I think you call it E equals MC five.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 49:55
Yes, my formula for negotiation excellence. Yes.
**Michael Hingson ** 49:57
What is that?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 50:00
Actually, that is a formula that I came up with several years ago really based on my experience negotiating. And I designed it and modeled it after Einstein’s theory of relativity, right, which is equal MC squared, you physics
**Michael Hingson ** 50:15
**Lawrence Eichen ** 50:16
know, I’m not a Pinterest guy, I’m not, I wasn’t, I did like, Man, I did like math, for sure. And that’s why I went into computer science actually, probably because it’s the same logic, you know, and solving problems. But physics, even though it’s interesting was never my thing. But I did remember that formula did stick in my head for some reason. And when I used to talk about negotiating, and just, you know, talking to other people about a client’s other attorneys, whatever you get into these conversations, I realized that I had a lot of the same initials as the Einstein formula. And so I thought, You know what, I think I can make this work by coming up with something simple, to say to that’s memorable. And so equal MC to the fifth is really, it stands, the E stands for excellence, with the idea in order to get the results where we’re shooting for, right, we’re shooting for excellence. Okay, so that’s the thing we’re shooting for getting excellent results. But we’re shooting to get excellent results on a consistent basis. Because the idea is anybody can show up and get an excellent result once in a while. And I’ve done that many times, I’ll show up into court, I get an excellent result. It’s not because I was doing anything fantastic. It’s just the happen to ask for something. And you know, the prosecutor or the other attorney, or the judge, granted, whatever I was asking for, it wasn’t because of anything great I did, or any kind of great negotiating I did. So you can get excellent results. Once in a while anybody can do that. It’s about getting it on a consistent basis. And that’s what the formula is really designed for, because the M in the formula stands for mastering. And we’re going to master the five c, core components. And those five C’s stand for commitment, confidence, courage, compassion, and calmness. And those five core components, all starting with the letter C, if you can master those five, you will get exponential results. That’s the idea of having it to the fifth power, you get extra exponential negotiating results. Because if you think about it, if you’re negotiating in front of somebody, and you sit down at a table, or conference room, or wherever the hallway or on the phone, and if you have a mindset where you are committed to your position, right, you’re confident, you have the courage to ask for what you need to ask. And sometimes it does take courage to ask for things. And you have compassion, meaning whoever you’re negotiating with, right, they can say whatever they want, they can be obnoxious to you, they can be insulting, it doesn’t matter, you’re going to stay in a position of compassion. And you can be calm, as you’re handling objections, and push back. If you have all five of those things working for you. Just imagine your mindset when you’re negotiating, you’re gonna get excellent negotiating results. And so that formula is something that I talk about when I give presentations on mastering the art of negotiating. And I apply that formula, I go through each of those components, obviously in more detail and give examples and strategies and tips how to improve in each of those particular areas. And again, the concept is by mastering them. And you don’t even have to master all five to see dramatic results. If you just, you know, master one or two of those and improve a little bit on the other ones, you’ll see tremendous, tremendous results. So it doesn’t you don’t have to master all five. But the goal would be to be mastering all five of those and then you really see excellent results on a consistent basis. That’s where their formulas
**Michael Hingson ** 54:20
and I would think to a large degree calmness, as you point out, is not only one of those, but would probably in a sense be the most important to get some of the emotions to die down and get to really look at what’s going on.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 54:37
Yeah, I mean, that’s a very good point. And you know, I I fluctuate between which one is the most important but the reality is, you know, they’re all important. Yeah. being calm. Absolutely. There’s times in a negotiating situation where calmness is so effective because as especially when you’re negotiating, and you know, you don’t want the other side to, you know, see you getting all anxious and nervous and stressed out, right, you want to be calm, just because you don’t want to tip your own hand necessarily. But also, you don’t want to fuel a potentially explosive, a volatile situation, depending on what you’re negotiating about, right? Because we negotiate about all different things. And we could be negotiating, as I was talking about earlier about disputes between neighbors, those are certainly highly charged, very emotional. There’s a lot of resentment and bitterness and anger and a lot of those types of disputes. Or you could just be negotiating on a very, you know, straightforward contract dispute, that may be so emotionally charged, but there’s a lot of money involved and you want to be calm. When somebody’s saying no or giving objections, you might be thinking internally, oh, my God, I really need this. To settle I need this deal. You know, I need to close this deal, I but you don’t want to let that on, you want to be able to sort of like playing poker, right? You know, when you have a great hand, you don’t want to let it on. When you don’t have a great hand, you don’t want to tip your hand either. You need to be calm at all times. And so to your point, yes, calm this is very effective. I like to think of calmness as a trait of leadership, right? Because when you’re calm when you’re negotiating, I always like to say that, often times, whether you’re negotiating with a client, or customer or your spouse, business owner, anybody that you’re negotiating with many times during a negotiation, the other side needs to be led to the conclusion that you want them to reach. So being calm is a position of leadership. And if you have very good points to make, and you have a lot of good reasons why whatever they’re objecting to your position meets those objections. When you’re calm, you’re going to be way more effective in presenting your side, and you’re going to simultaneously allay their fears and their concerns that they’re raising with their objections, by your calmness, it’s an energy, that if they see you not being all stressed out and bent out of shape, about their position, and you’re really calm and effective in presenting yours, it can help persuade them into arriving at the conclusion where you’re already at. So it’s it’s leadership, you’re you know, that’s why objections are really an opportunity for you to be a leader, it’s an opportunity for you to lead that person back to where you want them to go. And, you know, it’s like sports, right? Who do you want taking the the last shot of the game? You want the guy who’s going to be calm under pressure, not the person who’s going to be reacting and stressing out so much.
**Michael Hingson ** 58:17
One of the things that you talk about I know and you’ve, you mentioned, to me is the whole idea and the whole issue of imposter syndrome. Can you talk a little bit about that?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 58:27
Yeah, sure. Yeah, imposter syndrome is a very interesting issue. I definitely relate to it personally, because I felt impostor syndrome for so many years, in my legal career. And first of all, what it is if anybody who’s listening or watching is not familiar with it, it’s basically this fear of being exposed, that you’re a fraud or you’re an imposter. And a hand in hand with that is usually this fear that you’re going to be found out to be not as competent or not as qualified as other people think you are. So that’s where this this this concept of being an imposter, right? And a lot of what goes with impostor syndrome. So for somebody who’s experiencing it, is that they tend to attribute their successes, their achievements to external factors, rather than owning their own achievements. And what do I mean by that, like external factors, that could be like luck, or chance, you know, somebody might get a great result. And they might just attribute that success to Well, I just happen to be in the right place at the right time, or I just had the right connection. I knew the right person. And when they say they say things like that to themselves, they’re really disowning their own skills, their own qualifications, and they’re attributing this success to something external from themselves. And that external factor is not just luck or chance, it could also be, you know, their personality, their charm. You know, for me, I can even share an example when I used to go into court and get a great result. Sometimes driving home in the car, or driving back to the office, I should say, I’m replaying what went on. And I’m thinking, you know, I got the result, because I was personable, I was making the judge laugh a little bit that day, I was, you know, I was diminishing my own skill, or my own competency. And I was kind of thinking, the reason I got the result was probably because he liked me more than the preparation, I did more than the arguments that I made. And that’s a classic example of like diminishing your own skills, and attributing your success to that personality or charm. And you can extend that to gender, race, ethnicity, age, even even handicap, you know, why? Why is somebody in the position they are in? Why did they get the results? Well, maybe it’s because let’s say for women, very common, women might think, Well, I only got this high profile position, because there’s no other women in the company that are in these high profile positions. So even though the woman might be completely qualified and skilled and competent, she might be thinking to herself if she’s dealing with impostor syndrome type issues. So you might be thinking, the only reason I got it was because I’m a female, I’m a woman, and had nothing to do with my skills and competencies. And so again, it’s externalizing our own successes, and attributing them to external factors. That’s just what it is. That’s sort of the definition of impostor syndrome.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:01:48
So it sounds like you’ve had to deal with some because you just talked about it when you’re driving back from trial and so on. So is it something that you have had to contend with?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:01:58
Yeah, many times. It started with me, honestly, when I was in law school, I didn’t have a here’s the thing I didn’t know it’s called impostor syndrome. So I only found that out, maybe I don’t remember when, maybe 510 years ago, I’m guessing. But I never heard of that. But I had the symptoms of this stuff without knowing what it was. But when I was in law school, the first way I used to feel like an imposter was because I was a computer programmer. Right? So I was really a programmer. And now I was in law school with all these law students who in my mind chose to be there. Because they wanted to be lawyers. I’m in here thinking I didn’t know what else to do with myself. I’m really a programmer. I’m not really a person who reads books and studies like that. I’m a programmer. So I started to feel that in law school, and then when I was practicing law, even having graduated from law school and passing the bar and being qualified to be a lawyer, would now when I was in court very early on in my career, I’m worried when I’m in front of a judge, like, he’s gonna ask me questions, and I don’t know the answers to them. And I’m going to look foolish and stupid and not smart enough. And it was like kind of bringing back childhood stuff, because my father used to make me feel that way. And it was like, oh my god, now I’m in front of all these older men that are going to be quizzing me and making me feel like I don’t know anything. So there was that fear, like I was going to be found out. You know, that’s that feeling like, Oh, my God, I’m fooling everybody that’s part of imposter syndrome is like, you’re you feel like you’re fooling everybody. And so I was always believing I was getting away with it. When I would go to court, even though I got good results. Those results weren’t being owned by me the way I was describing earlier, they were really being attributed to external factors. So I’m just going along all the time believing that I’m this, you know, impostor, I’m not really a lawyer. So like, when I would be negotiating with prosecutors and other attorneys that have more experienced than me, I’m on guard thinking, Oh, my God, I’m gonna look so foolish. And somebody’s gonna finally go, ah, we are not really a lawyer. What are you doing here? You’re a programmer, you know, or something like that. And like, of course, that would never happen. But I’m thinking in my head, like, there’s this feeling like I’m going to be exposed. So yeah, to answer your question definitely experienced it a long time without knowing what it really was.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:04:28
He regarded as a mental disorder.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:04:31
No, not at all. Actually, imposter syndrome is not a mental disorder. It’s not like in the DSM, which is that Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So it’s not in that it’s really a phenomenon is really what it is, in fact, it used to be it still is, in many parts of the world it’s known as imposter phenomenon. That’s how it first that was the, the phrase that was first coined was imposter phenomenon. is more commonly known as imposter syndrome now, but it’s not a disorder really, it’s really in the dictionary if you looked under like, syndrome, right? There’s a definition of syndrome. One of the definitions is on pulling it up actually is it’s a set of concurrent things, such as emotions or actions that usually form an identifiable pattern. That’s like under the definition of syndrome, right. And there’s other definitions for syndrome, but it’s that particular definition of syndrome. That’s really what imposter syndrome. It’s like patterns. There’s identifiable patterns of, of emotions or actions that, that that that become this phenomenon that I’m talking about.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:05:50
How did you defeat it?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:05:54
That’s a great question.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:05:55
I’m assuming you’re defeated?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:05:57
Well, you know what, here’s the thing about defeating it when I talk about defeating imposter syndrome. Yes, I feel like I’ve defeated it. But I kind of think of it as sort of a rash that comes up every once in a while. And now I have the ointment that I need to put on the rash to get rid of it. Right. So it is not unusual for imposter syndrome, to still sort of manifest at times in various stages of somebody’s career. Because a lot of times, people as they continue to go through their careers, they’re taking on new challenges, new risks, new positions, new things that they’ve never done before. And that’s often the way impostor syndrome can be triggered, because all of a sudden now there’s a lot of doubt right about what they’re doing, because they’ve never done it before. So the very first thing I’d like to say about defeating it is that yes, I feel like I’ve defeated it. But I also recognize that it’s not unusual for this to maybe show up from time to time. And when it does the key now is, I recognize it for what it is. I’m not this imposter, right? I’m not this in fraud. I’m not dissing competent person, or not skilled or not talented or not smart enough, let’s say type of individual, it just might mean that I don’t get the result that I wanted to get maybe at the moment, because I could fail at something or make a lot of mistakes at something. That doesn’t mean that I’m an impostor. There’s a big difference between what I would call typical self doubt, and typical failure or making mistakes along the way. That’s just part of being you know, in life and being in business, you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to fail, people do it all the time. Most Successful people you’ll ever speak to have failed many times along the way. So the difference is, it’s one thing to fail and not get the result you want. It’s quite another thing to think when you fail, you’re an imposter. Right? So that’s the part that I’ve defeated. I no longer think I’m an impostor, I might get feelings of self doubts still. And I might start to feel again, like, Oh, I wonder if I’m really trying to, you know, pull the wool over people’s eyes here. So I might start to go down that rabbit hole or rabbit hole of feeling like an impostor. But as soon as I do these days, I recognize Oh, this is just my imposter syndrome kicking in, and then I just understand what it is. And, and then I can, you know, rethink it. That’s the way to defeat it. You know, just to set the stage if you want to talk a little bit about how to defeat it, but just to give you that framework, it’s defeatable. i Yes, I do feel like I’ve defeated it. But I also know and I’m humble enough to know, that can still pop up, you know, and when it does, I just have to recognize it now for what it is. And as I say, now, it’s like just going in and having the ointment and putting it on and and be done with it. You know,
**Michael Hingson ** 1:09:12
it’s all about changing mindset.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:09:15
One of the ways Yeah, is very instrumental in defeating it is rethinking it reframing issues to yourself. For example, I was just talking about, you know, feeling like you’re faking out people, right. I used to feel that way where I would feel like, uh, you know, I’d go through a negotiation in court, I’d come out of the courthouse, and I think, Oh, my God, I got away with it. I take them out again, you know, I pulled the wool over the the, the the other attorney or the judge whatever the case may be. And so, you know, so that’s how I would start out. I lost my train of thought, what Wait, what did you just ask me?
**Michael Hingson ** 1:09:55
I said, it’s very well, I said, it’s all about but it’s in large part. Hey, Gina mindset.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:10:01
Right changing. Thank you. So yes, so the idea is instead of the mindset of faking and fool, that’s why I was bringing up this example, right? Instead of like full, you know me thinking I fooled them, right? It’s it’s just thinking and retreated. Well, look how well I handle that. Yeah, right look how well I handled that, as opposed to look how I fooled everybody, right? Or, you know, reframing things where you think like you’re not qualified or skilled. It’s rethinking and going in and remembering, what are all these other things that I’ve done that I used my skills and use my talents. And one of the ways to do this is to really take the time to reflect and journal out, what are all the skills you have, what are all the achievements you’ve made? What are all the successes you’ve had, and by writing out a list of some of your accomplishments, you’re allowing yourself to do a few things. One is to own them, you know, to really own these achievements, not just writing them out and not owning it, but writing it out. And you got to, there is some time involved in some effort that needs to be spent to own your achievements and own your successes, and writing them out by hand, I recommend doing it by hand, because there’s something that happens, transformative, when we write things out by hand, that extra time it takes, allows you to really own it. And so that’s one of the ways is just to write out your list of achievements. It’s a reminder to yourself, that you do have the skills you do have these talents, you are a competent, because remember, this is the thing about imposter syndrome. It’s not true, right? I mean, you’re not a fraud, and you’re not an impostor. So that’s the good news, right? It’s not your truth. The key here is that we are taking what I believe is a false belief within ourselves. And we’re taking that to be our truth. We’re accepting that to be our truth. Rather than recognizing that, you know, the real truth of ourselves is that we do have these skills, we do have these talents, we do have these qualifications. And, you know, if something is false or true, it doesn’t matter. What only matters is if you believe it to be true. So if you have false beliefs about yourself, that are triggering imposter syndrome, like feelings of feeling like a fraud or an imposter, what you’re doing is you’re taking the false beliefs, and you’re believing them to be true. So to get back to your initial point about, it’s all about the mental mindset, it is because as we think, you know, so we are so to speak, right? So it’s rethinking the messaging, the internal messaging that we’re allowing ourselves to have on a regular basis. It’s rethinking, it’s really training our minds to have a different thought about ourselves or about situations, because oftentimes impostor syndrome is triggered by situations. For example, I’m not walking around when I was dealing with a lot of impostor syndrome, feeling like an imposter. It’s when I would get into court that it would be triggered, or when I would get in front of a more senior attorney in the Law Firm, where I used to work at and I didn’t want to have any questions about what am I doing, or what was the case about because I would be I’m going to be exposed if I don’t know something, or if I make a mistake. So it was certain situations that would trigger it. For me. It’s reframing and rethinking those situations that can lead to the triggering of it. And that is, to your point re, you know, is getting the mental mindset in the right place in order to deal with it. And I just want to add one other quick thing is that not only did I personally work on rethinking the mental thoughts, but I also did what I call excavating, you know, because a lot of the feelings that are associated with impostor syndrome, a lot of the thoughts that we get, in my personal case stemmed from decades and decades ago, right from childhood and young adult life. And so what I did is because I’m a big fan on self discovery, I did a lot of excavating and reflecting and going deep inside myself to figure out where did these come from? Where do these thoughts really coming from? Why am I giving myself these messages, and then working through some of those more difficult, uncomfortable and even painful You know, issues, to sort of liberate myself from being tied down to those, what I would call unhealthy or dysfunctional messages within myself. So it’s not just rethinking on the surface, which is definitely important and helpful. It’s, if necessary, excavating and going deeper within yourself to get to those core fundamental building blocks of where that programming came from. And that’s some of the harder work that needs to be done sometimes may not be in everybody’s case. But in my case, it was necessary for me to really bring it to the surface, crystallize it, examine it, and then come to a conclusion like that’s no longer appropriate, and no longer makes sense, in light of all the evidence and data that I’ve accumulated during the course of my career,
**Michael Hingson ** 1:15:56
and it makes you a better person by any definition, which is great. Well, I want to thank you for that explanation. And for all the time that we got to spend today, this has been absolutely fun. If people want to reach out to you, perhaps to talk to you about being a speaker, or any of the other things. How do they do that?
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:16:17
Well, first, let me say I’ve enjoyed this too. And thank you for the time as well.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:16:20
They can have fun. Yeah,
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:16:23
no, it was very enjoyable. I think we could have talked even longer and I know we could,
**Michael Hingson ** 1:16:27
we could do it again.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:16:29
Okay, so they can reach me really two ways. The simplest ways. Email, obviously, is Lawrence, my first name, which is L A W R E N C E, as you see on the screen, at first class speaking.com. So Lawrence at first class speaking.com is email. And they can reach me by phone at 973-539-2831. And I speak both on impostor syndrome and also on negotiation, as we talked about a little earlier as well,
**Michael Hingson ** 1:17:01
super well, I hope people will reach out, I think that you have said a lot of things that resonate, and that I find fascinating and resonate with me is is relevant that we all really need to consider and I want to thank you again for doing it. And I hope you’re listening out there really enjoyed this. We really appreciate your time. I ask that you give us a five star rating wherever you’re listening to us and love to have you do it on iTunes and so on. But please give us a five star rating. We appreciate that. Love to hear your comments. You can email me, Michaelhi, M I C H A E L H I at accessibe A C C E S S I B E.com. Or go to our website, Michael hingson. H i n g s o n.com/podcast. If you know of anyone else who want to be a guest and Lawrence you as well, if you can think of anyone else that we ought to have as a guest, I would really appreciate hearing from you and appreciate any introductions. We love it. Really appreciate you all being here and Lawrence, especially you so thank you once again for all of your time today.
**Lawrence Eichen ** 1:18:08
Michael, you’re very welcome. And thank you for having me. I enjoyed it very much.
**Michael Hingson ** 1:18:17
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.