Achieving Your Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal with Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert
Jennifer Gore has always been on a mission to improve in everything she does. Whether it’s parenting, mentoring, or running her law firm, Jennifer strives to be the best that she can be.
Early in her career, Jennifer was working as a paralegal while attending night school, eventually becoming the student body president. And her success didn’t stop there. She went on to found her own law firm, earning titles such as “Legal Elite in Personal Injury Law” and “Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Lawyer.” But how did Jennifer thrive all throughout her career?
The truth is, you don’t need to be student body president or found your own firm to feel accomplished. Whatever your big, hairy, audacious goals are, Jennifer has a few tips to achieve them.
As someone with a futuristic perspective, Jennifer knows just how powerful vision boards are. She creates digital vision boards with her biggest goals and uses them as her computer background. Why does she do this? Jennifer says that your subconscious mind is looking at your computer background every single day. And when you’re looking at your vision board every single day, you’re training your mind on what to expect in life.
By creating vision boards, Jennifer is able to map out her most revolutionary goals and train her mind to work towards them. And Jennifer isn’t the only one who’s seen success. After teaching others how to create vision boards, Jennifer has witnessed how vision boards truly work in others’ lives as well — no matter how big the goal.
Listen to this episode of The Judd Shaw Way Podcast with Judd Shaw featuring Jennifer Gore, founding attorney and Owner of Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore. Jennifer discusses the early days of her career, how her partners and coworkers help ground her, and the benefits of vision boards and law firm visits.
In this episode:
- [0:36] Judd Shaw introduces his guest, Jennifer Gore
- [1:01] How Jennifer avoids “mom guilt” and creates a great environment for her kids
- [6:45] Jennifer and Judd talk about what it’s like running a law firm and being futuristic
- [9:43] Jennifer describes how her firm has changed since the pandemic
- [12:24] How Jennifer’s accident helps her empathize with clients
- [13:18] The do’s and don’ts of vision boards
- [16:28] Why Judd visits so many law firms across the country — and why intentionality is key
Welcome to the show. I’m your host, Judd Shaw. I’m here with Jennifer Gore of the Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group in Georgia. Jen, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me. Thanks for having me.
You have three children and I read somewhere that you take a hard position against mom guilt, right?
I guess it would be considered a hard position. I just think it’s useless.
Yeah, tell me about it.
I just think that your job as a parent is to transfer all of your life skills to your kid and to live your passion and purpose because they’re modeling, they do more of what you do than what you say so there’s really no space for having guilt about living your life.
But a lot of people have that because, ultimately, it’s a confidence issue, right? When you have mom guilt, you have confidence. And I found what was interesting about your approach to that, which is address that confidence, raise your game-
… get better at what you do.
So I hired a parenting coach, me and my husband were involved with it, so I have still a parenting coach that I talk to once a month and we troubleshoot issues and I get super confident on my parenting. So like you said, if you are not sure if you’re doing the right thing then you can feel insecure. This is across the board in everything that you do in your life, right? So a lot of us do parenting based on how our parents raised us. And so I was like, “There’s got to be a better way. I got to get a coach-”
“… and I don’t want to do some of the mistakes my parents made,” because everybody makes mistakes as a parent-
… even the best parents. And so I started figuring out a lot of what I believed and what I stand for and I wrote down a list of what I think it takes to be a great mom. And it’s very different, my list, than maybe someone else’s list. And as long as I’m living in integrity with my list, I’m good.
Yeah. But the fact that you can hire a parenting coach, the fact that you can do that, a lot of parents will think they have failed to have gotten to that point, right?
Why? But there’s no blueprint, there’s no direction book, and it’s just like what we’re doing here. We’re trial attorneys at a trial lawyer conference, learning to be better trial lawyers from trial lawyers who have done it before better than we have.
My go-to in life is I want to get better at everything. I have a personal trainer for fitness. I think the day you lose is the day you think you know everything.
You need to hire people that can help you get better because look at the top athletes in the world, they’re still working with coaches, mentors. So how I got into the parenting coaches, I just started researching, “I don’t think what I’m doing is a hundred percent getting me the results I want.” And this coach had videos and I was like, “They’re doing something right.” And really what it comes down to is just… there’s no such thing as bad kids, there’s a bad environment you can create.
It’s like there’s no such thing as bad dogs.
… it’s a bad environment you can create. So you have to understand, as a parent, you’re creating an environment, and it’s how you talk to your kids, what you allow, it’s just so many things.
Yeah. And repetition helps, right? By your third child, you have a little more experience in dealing with some of the issues.
Well, I think with my third child, I’ve had an opportunity to do things a little differently-
… than I did with my older kids. But I have an amazing relationship with all three of my kids and every day that I go to work or I’m here, I tell them like, “Oh my God, I get to live my dreams. Isn’t this amazing?” I don’t say like, “Oh I have to leave and I’m not going to see you,” that’s a very shame and guilt type of mentality.
How you sell the story of your life to your kids matters.
Yeah. It’s very empowering. But you do that generally, I think, from what I know, with women in general, right? You’re a big proponent about building women up, both as being entrepreneurs in business through vision boards.
Yeah. I lead a bunch of different things. I have coached a bunch of different people, but I think the world would be better off if there were more women making a lot more money, and women tend to sell themselves short by this mom guilt. It keeps you very small and our world would be very different if women had more financial power.
You went to law school and you went at night school, you were working at a paralegal during day, school at night. You’re the first night school student to reach Student Body President.
Have you always been an overachiever?
Yes. I went to night law school because I wanted to work. I was accepted into the day program but they told me I couldn’t work.
I intuitively knew you’re going to learn more on the job.
Because I had been working since I was so young, you pretty much always learned more on the job, right? So I thought-
… “If I don’t work during law school, I’m going to be at a disadvantage when I graduate because I’m going to have to begin my work experience now as a lawyer.”
So that was just a strategic decision. And then becoming the Student Body President, it was just I wanted to make a difference in the school. The school had a lot of things that were going on that I didn’t agree with and I thought, “You know what? This is the only way to make a difference is if I get involved in the student body.” And we made a lot of changes and we did a lot of things that I’m proud of. But I was friends with everybody in the school so I knew so many people-
Of course you were.
… that’s how I was able to get elected.
Right. And then no surprise, to me at least, that the minute you graduate, you’re hanging up your own shingle. I mean you’re like doing your own thing.
He’s really pumping me up now, right?
You were doing your own thing. Well, in nine years you’ve built an amazing law firm.
I still to this day walk in every day and I’m like, “Man, we have so far to go.”
I know that feeling.
You feel that worry, right?
I know that feeling. Every day somebody will come to the office and we have thousands of square feet, many, many people working and they’ll say, “Wow.” And I look at it and I said, “This is just a startup in my head.” It’s like, “I have so far to go. I feel like a startup.”
Do you ever come in and you’re like, “Where’s the other 40 people that are supposed to be here right now?”
Yes. All the time.
Why am I tolerating this?
Right. But I’m also seeing it. I’m also seeing like, “Okay, it’ll be 80-” I’m seeing that.
But that is what a visionary does, it lives in your head and you’re pretty much always living in the future.
It’s funny you said that. I took a Gallup stronghold test 2.0 and one of my top five was futuristic.
I was as well.
I could see that.
Mine was futuristic. And I think it’s so normal for me to live that way-
… but then you realize other people don’t live in the future. Me and my COO were having a conversation the other day and she was like, “What are you thinking about?” And I was just like, “I’m thinking about where we’re going to be in two years from now.” And she’s like, “I’m thinking about where we’re going to be tomorrow.”
Right. Right. Right.
And I literally don’t think that way.
But whatever you do, that’s just your normal.
So part of the issue with being futuristic is that I find that there’s just constant thoughts about vision and you have to control those thoughts too because sometimes they can-
Oh yeah. And I found things for me, meditation, quiet time, routine at night, those things really help calm those things. And in fact, a lot of times when I can calm those thoughts, that’s where the real creative side comes out.
You have a COO or a person in your firm that’s kind of like your implementer, right?
I feel like working with somebody who has the opposite talents as you is what has kept me… like she’ll say, “You got a lot of— we’re only going to do these three.”
Yes. Yes. She’ll call it my parking lot.
“Do you want me to put that idea in the parking lot?”
“Or do you want me to do it now? If I do it now I got to put this other one that you wanted me to do in the parking lot.”
And you have to have that person that keeps you kind of from doing bright, shiny object…
But I also like to embrace the fact that having all those ideas is partly what got us here where we are today. So I don’t want to crush that either.
You just have to surround yourself with the right people that you respect because you don’t want to feel crushed.
I need to have that creative space.
Sure. Tell us about the firm.
What do you want to know?
Where’s the headquarters?
It’s in basically North Atlanta, Roswell.
And we have other satellite locations but we kind of have taken a approach where, since the pandemic, we went virtual that day-
… like in one day.
So we’ve kind of gone back to half in the office, half out.
So people kind of have flex schedules. I don’t know if you guys are doing something like that, but I do think that the landscape has fundamentally changed since the pandemic, and people wanting to work more remotes.
Yeah. I was just saying this on another podcast that I had done at… Now part of the benefits, they’ll come, they’ll say, “You have healthcare, you have 401, and do you have flexible scheduling?”
It’s now just one of these…
One of the expectations. And I do see a lot of firms that are being super rigid, especially in my market, where they want people to fully be in the office five days a week, and we’re getting tons of resumes where people are like, “I’m leaving this job, I love it, but I don’t want to do…” In Atlanta, we have crazy traffic-
… an hour and a half commute.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s certainly a challenge. So you’re running injury victims from the gamut from motor vehicle, motorcycle, truck accidents, things of that nature.
All of those. Yep.
Are there any other areas that you’re going into?
Not as of yet, but we have some strategic plans for the next three years. I think a lot of PI firms need to think about being diversified in some different ways. I think that’s something we’re looking at futuristically.
Yeah. Yeah, there’s a… Who Moved My Cheese is a great book about it, right?
Yeah. I think a lot of firms are vulnerable.
Tort reform and autonomous vehicles and things of that nature. I mean eventually, yeah.
So what do you do to relax?
I like having a lot of plates spinning-
… that’s just my nature.
I mean, people that know me know I’m huge into fitness. I love fitness, that’s like my escape.
What kind of fitness?
I lift weights four days a week-
… and then I do about 30 minutes of cardio. And I have a trainer. And it’s been an amazing evolution working with a trainer because she’s changed my life. I had so many underlying things I didn’t realize that were going on that were preventing me from really being healthy, and if you don’t work with someone, you don’t know. I had some issues from being in my car accident. Your body, you have to get this body to take you to 95. If you’re not investing in your health, you’re crazy.
Right. You had that accident in college.
I broke my pelvis in three places.
I had a fractured tailbone. So I always tell my clients, “If you’re injured, you have to take better care of your body than the average person.”
I wonder if that experience has helped you in not only empathy but connecting with your clients, right?
“I know what you’re going through. No, I really know what you’re going through.”
I absolutely can actually close my eyes and put myself… I don’t know if all people feel this way but I can feel people’s pain.
I can close my eyes and transform myself into that person’s experience. And I have to be careful because it can be very draining.
But I think that’s an important way that I connect with my clients.
A lot of strategic thinking going on in your head, right? Big visionary. Do you use a vision board for yourself?
I do. And I lead vision board workshops every January. I was doing business coaching a while back and we were attending vision board workshops and that’s how I got into it. So I now teach people how to do them.
And it’s really, really fun. I have people text me and email me all throughout the year like, “Oh my God, Jen, I was in your workshop and I just got this thing that I put on there,” because vision boards truly work. What we do is digital ones.
So I have three monitors that I have on my computer. I have my vision board on one of my monitors as the back screen.
Wow. It’s like your background.
It’s my background.
And then I have some mantras on my other screen, and then I have… it’s very strategically done. But we teach people how to do visual ones because your subconscious mind is watching that every single day and you’re training your mind what to expect in your life.
Yeah. I know what I’m doing in January, you’re going to help me with my vision board.
And you know what’s funny? We troubleshoot people. First, people are blown away at the idea of it.
And then they don’t make visions big enough, that’s our biggest challenge with people.
They put something on there, I’m like, “Hold on, you already booked that cruise. That’s not even a…”
Right. That’s a task.
What’s something audacious?
What’s something that…
Where’s your BHAG?
Yeah. And then if something’s not on there that kind of scares you, you’re playing too small. And it’s funny because usually we get to July and most people have already done everything on their vision board.
Right. Then you didn’t go big enough.
No. And also, here’s another thing, if you put two things on your vision board that are conflicting, it’s not going to work because you’re confusing your mind.
Wow. What’s an example of that?
I had someone say they wanted to get in a relationship and they wanted to stay single. They put things on there that were not really… they’re opposite.
So what do you want?
Or I had on mine I wanted to move and put in a pool in my house.
But which one?
Right. Right. Right. That makes sense.
And the moment I took one of them off, the other one happened immediately.
I also believe in the secret-
… all of those things, your subconscious mind, you’re constantly basically setting the tracks for what you’re going to do.
You a big reader?
I am an obsessive reader, but I’m now more on Audible.
I like to listen.
I’ll be like on the treadmill listening or at night I’ll listen. My car is my mobile-
… education stage.
Yeah. Right. Of course, it’s where you pick up your… I mean, I think you love podcasts too, right?
I love podcasts because podcasts, you can consume them in-
Audible, you have to commit, this is going to be a few weeks.
Or a week or you could get something really good out of a podcast in 40 minutes.
Sure. Have you gone to visit other law firms?
Obsessed with that. Love it.
We’ll have to visit each other’s law firms.
I think that’s where I’ve picked up… I’ve visited now 64 law firms.
In the nation, in the country, 64 of them.
How did you start that idea?
So I was in a conference in Nashville and I met a guy who is a PI attorney in Texas.
And I asked him, I saw his growth, it was so fast, and I was just darn jealous of this guy. First of all, I mean, he’s so damn good looking and he’s got a southern draw and he sounds better no matter what he’s… Right? And I thought to myself, “I’m going to approach this guy, say, like, “What if I want to be where you are, what do you recommend?” And he’s like, “That’s the easiest question I’ve been asked.” He goes, “R&D.” I go, “R&D? Research and development, I always do research, I’m reading…” He goes, “No. Rip-off and duplicate.” He goes, “Go visit law firms.”
I swear. So true.
“Go see a law firm and ask to visit it and then, obviously, extend the offer, and when you do that, there’s always going to be something, whether it’s a core values on the wall, whether it’s the way they do an intake, whether you like their swag bag that they hand out, whatever it is.” And so I went to this… I said, “Okay, then I’m coming to your law firm.” And he goes, “You’re very welcome.”
Nobody will ever say no.
No, they don’t. Right. Because…
Unless they’re in your same market, maybe.
Yeah. I wouldn’t ask somebody because I don’t want them coming to my law firm, right? But for the most part, it’s paying it forward. You’re fighting for the same cause, we all have the same insurance giant bully on the other side. I mean, they’re strong together, so we are too. But going to those law firms and say you don’t know what you don’t know and you learn. And I always come… my law firm… “I’m going to this law firm now.” They’re like, “Uh-oh. Uh-oh. He’s coming back tomorrow…”
With a bunch of ideas.
Right. And a bunch of ideas. And I do. And it’s been so rewarding. I think half of the things I do now I have learned from other people.
Are you in any mastermind groups?
That’s another rip-off and repeat or whatever-
Yeah. Rip-off and duplicate.
I went up to Mike Morse’s law firm in Detroit-
… and I spent a whole day and I was just like… you get the vibe of the culture that cannot be-
… explained. Even if they explain it to you, it’s going to be a different experience if you go and see it for yourself because some of the things that they think are completely normal stood out to me so they wouldn’t have even told me that fact.
You know what I mean?
And I’ve been to Darryl Isaacs firm–
… in Kentucky. I’ve been to Jayvon’s office. I’ve been to a bunch. But I like the idea that you’re making it a thing to… have you been to anyone in here in LA?
In LA? I have. And I’ve also gone up Northern California to another law firm. Part of that vision for me, that vision board-
… in the beginning of January is: what law firms do I want to visit this year?
I think that is a great takeaway from this. I could add that on to be more intentional because the way I’ve been approaching it is just like it’ll kind of spark me like, “Oh, I want to come see your office. I’m in town.” But to be more intentional.
I’m very intentional about it.
I like that.
I set the date, I love that word too, being intentional is important, and I pick the five law firms, and then some of them will be a repeat. I’ve seen a law firm five years ago and I’m hearing they’re doing great things and they’re growing and I go, “I want to go back there. I picked up so many ideas five years ago, where are they now? They must be doing stuff. I’m already doing that stuff. I want to know what they’re doing now.”
And so I pick five law firms and usually it ends up 10 law firms because sometimes then I’ll go to a law firm and let’s say it’s in Florida, and I’ll go to this other law firm and I’ll say, “Wait, but I remember I met Jimmy at Jimmy’s Law Firm in Miami, if I’m going to be in West Palm, I’m going to contact Jimmy and see if I can stop by in West Palm.” And usually, it’s 2 or 3 law firms now that started with one, and by the end of the year it’s 10 or 15, and I only had 5 to be intentional about.
That’s a great tip. I really like that. I’m glad that you brought that up because I don’t think a lot of people are doing it like that.
Yeah. And then we have a couple of law firms visiting us and we now have process for it. There’s an agenda and we’re very intentional about the guests that we have because I want them to walk away with something.
“Did you learn something? I hope you learned something.”
Yeah. That’s great. That’s great.
Well, you’re going to have to come to New Jersey. Go down to-
I’m going to have to come to New Jersey. Well-
You know Atlanta, there’s so many conferences so people are always coming to Atlanta.
I love Hotlanta.
Whenever you’re in town, come visit.
Do you go to the W Rooftop there?
Yeah, we have, we have. But they’re hosting a lot of events now in Atlanta-
… so anyone who wants to come, shoot us an email.
I’m there. I’m doing a vision board in January with you.
And I’ll be seeing you in Atlanta before that time.
This is the power of the mastermind.
This is how it works though, right?
You get ideas, you vibe, you take something someone else is doing, and you’re like, “Oh, that’s great.”
I love it. Jen Gore, thanks so much for coming on my show. I really appreciate it.
Thanks so much for having me. This was such a fun conversation.
You’re very welcome. Thanks.
🎙️ Meet Your Host 🎙️
Name: Judd B. Shaw
What he does: Judd founded Judd Shaw Injury Law (JSIL) and serves as the firm’s Brand Chief. He founded the firm on the premise that clients come first. Over the years, the success he attained for his clients helped JSIL grow significantly. Judd’s clients are not just another number to him or his law firm.
Company: Judd Shaw Injury Law
Words of wisdom: “At Judd Shaw Injury Law, it’s all about high-quality representation and excellence in client service. Our clients are counting on us to win and the stakes are high. Our endless pursuit for awesomeness through our core values, the ability to WOW our clients, is in our DNA.”
🎙️ Featured Guest 🎙️
Name: Jennifer Gore – Cuthbert
Short Bio: Jennifer Gore is the founding attorney and Owner of Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore. Based in Roswell, Georgia, the firm represents victims of vehicle collisions, drunk driving collisions, slip-and-fall incidents, and wrongful death cases. Jennifer has received several prestigious awards and recognitions, including Avvo Top Attorney and The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys’ “Rising Star in Personal Injury Law.” In addition to building a successful law practice, Jennifer mentors younger attorneys on topics such as personal injury law and business management.
🔑 Relevant Resources 🔑
- Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson
- “The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One”
This podcast is designed for general information purposes only. Nothing on this podcast should be taken as legal advice for an individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Those with legal questions should seek the advice of an attorney.