Lynda Hinkle, Visionista of the Year, talks about leaning in, becoming an author and Petey the law dog

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Congrats to Lynda Hinkle, lawyer, visionary, women’s advocate and Visionista of the Year! I describe the term Visionista in my best selling book, Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl, as a woman who knows who she is, where she’s going, and guides her tribe of leading ladies to the top. In this Q & A, Lynda and I chat about everything from leaning in to her new book, which is based on her personal experience going through divorce (before she became an award-winning lawyer). 

What does being a Visionista mean to you?

“Being a Visionista means owning your power and stepping into the best person you can be.  Women can do anything, be anything, overcome anything…if they are willing to put forth the consistent effort, to be unafraid, and to be authentic in who they are.” ~ Lynda Hinkle

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Team Hinkle Law

As a woman in a male dominated field, you’ve been “leaning in” a long time. How do you feel about the “lean in message” and what advice do you have for women biz owners?

You know, I think the message is a timely one…but not the only one.  The fact is, the book started off strong but degenerated a bit in my mind into how to “have it all” land. Reality:  you can’t. Something has to give. Work-life balance is Snuffaluffagus.  Here’s my advice for women business owners:  stop worrying about being part of a cultural phenomenon. Every single man, woman, child and dog you meet has their own personality, their own set of expectations and issues and dreams.  Don’t try to conform into whatever the expectation of others is about who you are as a woman.  Do what you want to do, what is authentic to you. And if you have haters? That’s a sign you are doing something right. Judge yourself not by WHETHER you have them, but the quality of your haters. If your haters are people you respect, then you are doing something wrong. If your haters are people who are achieving little, gossiping much….you’re on the right track, because they are just mad that they can’t be who you are, even if they don’t want to do the immense work it takes to succeed.

Rumor has it that you’re writing a book. With everything else you have going on, what inspired you to become an author and what’s your book about?

The book is called Breaking Up: Finding and Working with a New Jersey Divorce Attorney. Working with other divorce attorneys and hearing the stories of clients and friends who maybe picked the wrong one, I have come to realize how daunting and scary this whole process is for the average person. Remembering back to my own divorce years ago, I was not a lawyer then and I just stumbled through it. I’m really lucky it went well, because I had no idea what I was doing! I want people to be informed of what they can expect and how to find someone they really can work well with. The book should be out no later than middle of November.

Your Klout score is very high – 68. Do you have a social media strategy for keeping friends, fans and followers engaged?

Because lawyers have a reputation for being unapproachable, I set out to make myself as authentic as possible on social media. Although my personal Facebook page is semi-private, I am very open to accepting friends and I share myself and my activities fairly liberally. I want people to know there is a real person here — whether it be on my Twitter, my law office’s Facebook or Twitter, Instagram or any other platform — one who could understand and care about them as a client. I also use social media to promote causes that I am involved in, and encourage others to really push past their imagined limitations and live a life that is fully engaged. People are always coming up to me and asking if I sleep because I am so busy. I do, but when I am awake I try to be immersed in life — doing, being, interacting, growing, and impacting.

You’re an award-winning lawyer many times over. Congrats! What award are you most excited about? Why? 

All the awards and distinctions are meaningful to me…what an incredible blessing to have people who believe in and want to recognize you! But the awards that really matter most to me are never seen:  the trust of clients, friends, people in the community who come to me for advice and counsel. That people are willing to share their pain with me, their fears about their lives or businesses, their secrets…what an incredible and sacred honor.

Petey, the law dog, has become part of your brand, and even won an award. How would you describe your brand?

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We are approachable. We are modern. We are down to earth. We are authentic. We are problem solvers.

Petey became part of the brand because he is such a part of me…clients, staff and the community love him because he is so open and so full of love, and he makes people feel at ease.  That’s what we try to do. Lift burdens, support people: like Petey. Though I do discourage the rest of the staff and lawyers from sitting on laps and licking faces.

Community involvement is very important to you. What are you most passionate about?

There is so much to do, and we all have to do our part with anything that we can put our hands on and our hearts into.  My number one cause of concern is always domestic violence. We can do so much more to help victims, to stop the cycle, and to help children who are witnesses to it. We have a systemic, cultural problem that we can’t treat with band aids. It takes transformation.

Learn more about Lynda Hinkle, specializing in elder, family and small biz law, at Law Offices of Lynda L. Hinkle.

Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl.  She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media and bloggers.  Like her on Facebook  and follow her on Twitter.  You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.

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