Steven Burkhart: Well, Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of the digital hustle Show. Today I have Lauren and she is a lawyer. And she just has like a lot of good small business insight into a world that To be honest, most of us avoid. Nobody wants to do the legal stuff, because it’s confusing. It’s crazy. And thankfully, she’s the one that’s the expert in that area. And so you don’t have to be. And so yeah, so I’d love to hear just go ahead and introduce yourself and just talk a little bit about what you do and what, what you help out with.

Lauren: Ruiz: Sounds great. So I yes, I am a lawyer. I actually started in business school. So I have degrees in finance and entrepreneurship. And it wasn’t until I was forced with the decision about graduating that I decided, I think I want to stick around in school a little bit longer. And I was actually really interested in law and how it related specifically to entrepreneurship. So that was really where I decided to kind of take a further step into the business world. Really from the legal lens, and it’s been a great experience. Since then I have worked as in as corporate counsel for a fortune 100 company, and really got my feet wet, got the negotiation experience, worked hand in hand with some of our international clients, and then realized I had zero roots in our community. And I was just itching for some connection. So I started my own firm two years ago.

Steven: Awesome. So what was it about the law stuff that really caught your attention?

Lauren: So when I was in my entrepreneurship program, we had mock legal counsel, they were third year law students, and they were helping us deal with kind of all of the legal issues that would come up with these ideas, these concepts that we had, and they were assigned multiple teams. Needless to say, my team’s idea did not launch was not was not a viable concept, but you started to kind of see insight into how that worked. And I like to say, to be quite honest, I’m probably always been a little bit nosy, growing up. And this gave me the ability to have my hands and multiple projects to experience kind of write a wide range of businesses by having one. And I really enjoyed that it allowed me to represent and speak up on behalf of my clients, and really learn kind of a wide set of industry. So I loved it. I thought it was, you know, a really great approach and much better than using my finance degree into kind of staying connected with the business world but having a specialty.

Steven: See if I was nosy I would definitely want to know someone’s finances instead. But that’s just me. I’ll give

Lauren: You just a little hack as a lawyer, you learn it all.

Steven: All fair enough. like yeah, I think I need to see your p&l sheet for some reason.

Lauren: I’ve seen it all. So it’s really I mean, there’s so many incredible businesses. You know, and we lump it in the word small business. And sometimes I think that doesn’t give any everyone credit, enough credit for the impact that they’re making and really the ability to scale. So it’s it’s been a fun process of it’s much my law firm is that much better than corporate law? I have to say,

Steven: yeah, so that must have been a crazy transition to you. So talk a little bit about like, what was like, just even like your experience with actual clients themselves going from like these fortune 100. So now it’s like, so and so they’ve got like, three coffee shops, like will like, that must be an intense transition. So talk a little bit about that. Yeah.

Lauren: Yeah, it absolutely was. So I, one of my main major clients when I was in corporate law was actually American Airlines. Very different from, you know, some of my clients and the industries that they’re in as far as scale. American Airlines never forgot to tell us that they were the biggest airline in the world, when I was representing them. I still seem to get like delayed flights when I was like negotiating with them, I still ended up with delays. So I didn’t get any special treatment, that’s for sure. Oh, but it was great experience. I really enjoyed working with the larger clients, seeing how it like seeing the scope. And to be quite honest, at the heart of it contracts, negotiations, they’re all the same. And to be honest, I really, I really don’t think that the stakes are lower on a $50 million contract and someone’s livelihood, it doesn’t matter. To be honest, it’s more important to represent someone’s livelihood than it is to represent the interests of these kind of $500 million contracts. Because at the end of the day, the loss of a few million here or there is expected. And that kind of nonchalance was something that bothered me that yes, we took it very seriously. But at the end of the day, you know, what impact is that going to have? As growing up with entrepreneurial parents, I know that if something’s going wrong in your own business, you lose sleep at night. Yeah, you lose the ability to possibly put food at the table, make your mortgage, that’s the type of stakes that we’re dealing with. And it makes it that much more interesting. Because you build a personal relationship with your clients, and you want to do everything you can to have them succeed. So

Steven: Yeah, that’s definitely true, I think. Yeah, is that those effects are just so much more immediate, you know what I mean? It’s like, you know, and you know, something like an American Airlines, it’s not even just the fact they just have like, so many assets to, you know, I mean, it’s like, they can literally sell a plane and like pay, you know, how many people’s like your salaries. Not that that that’s what they do, but they have so much more to like hedge risk and stuff like that, compared to small business owner. It’s like, even if they’re making great money, it’s still like, sometimes close.

Lauren: And when we were looking, you know, when you look at the lens from corporate, we’re forecasting out 10 and 12 years, sometimes what we’re dealing with with a client is like immediate, like it will affect them tomorrow. And we were talking like a 12 year revenue project. It looks it just looks so different. And I mean, I would be interested to see what how that’s shaking out right now. You know, I feel for them. And, you know, at the end of the day, yes, they feed other people’s livelihoods. It’s just like you said, your results are less immediate. In that case, there was definitely always pressure to make sure we were meeting our numbers. But yeah, this is so much better. I, I have I feel like I’ve really grown roots my community and that’s really what’s fulfilling less of the driving to work to hop on Skype calls and I could pass someone in the grocery store and would never know the difference,

Steven: Right? Totally. So we’ll get back to your story but that this kind of is I feel like it’s a good launching point to talk about like the the podcasts and everything because I know for us one of the reasons we did the podcast was to be able to build that community to be able to just make those connections like because I come from the wedding world when it comes to video, and I know that like when I showed up to like a venue, especially my shot there before, and there’s like that camaraderie and stuff like that. It’s just like, such a different experience. And especially as like, each of those vendors just like go home to their house. And I mean, it’s just like, let’s just like how we are right now. Like, we’re just like at our home office, like, we don’t have like our buddy POW next to us or like, go grab lunch with, you know, unless we like call someone up. And so we really have to build a community for ourselves intentionally. And so that’s a lot of reasons why we started the podcast, we had to reach out and the reason we have this conversation today, and so you’ve done kind of something similar to that that really plays into the values that you just mentioned right now, as far as building those roots. So tell me a little bit about like, how you ended up starting the podcast, what it’s kind of like meant so far because it’s new. And so that’s, that’s, that’s pretty exciting. So tell me a little A bit about that.

Lauren: So my quarantine project was the decision to launch a podcast. And it’s really was a way to build connections. I want to make legal concepts approachable. So they’re 15 minute episodes, you should be able to listen to a bite size episode while you’re driving to go run an errand and kind of get an overview. It’s not meant to be this like in depth conversation where I’m gonna bore you to tears. It’s meant to give you red flags. It’s not it’s it’s meant to give you kind of bite sized tips so that you can implement them into your business. And the reason I did that is I get the same questions often like and no question is a silly question because I guarantee I’ve been asked the same thing five times. And so I wanted to be able to speak to those concepts in a way beyond the Instagram caption move beyond that, and I thought by having people hear my voice, you know, speak on concepts that could be a little bit more fluid and responsive to the things that are coming up. They would feel like legal wasn’t scary, it was something that they could implement into their business and use to protect themselves.

Steven: Right? I think that’s super smart. Because like, I’ve even one of the podcasts I’ve been on. We were talking and having a discussion about like, video and why that matters and stuff like that. And it’s like, the idea is that that, that people are doing so much research ahead of time that you that for you to actually be able to give them a chance to, like, get to know you a little bit and like, get a feel for you and see if they like you. Or if you’re cool or nice or kind or rude. You know what I mean? Like, they actually get a chance to find that out, which I think is huge. So that’s so cool that you’re doing that because and you’re right, like you’re not preparing them for the bar exam. You’re just like, making sure they don’t accidentally take their business, you know what I mean? which is super important, but at the same time, it’s kind of scary. So, yeah, so that’s super exciting. So are you going to do like guests, or is it going to be mostly you or how are you going to end up structuring it.

Lauren: So we’re going to do Solo episode for every other episode and then bring on a guest. The guest will honestly their people have poured into my own business. So they’re gonna highlight topics that I find important as an entrepreneur, I didn’t want everything to be solely illegal, because, you know, we’re all well rounded. And you know, I do have a finance degree and entrepreneurship degree, and I’m wearing all the hats like, yeah, I’m in it just as much as my clients are in it, dealing with the QuickBooks issues, or whatever it might be. So I wanted to kind of give some color to what I’m experiencing as an entrepreneur as well. So through guests and some of those old episodes, we will branch away from completely legal topics and kind of cover the full look, I think legal does kind of sneak in there a little bit because I look at a lot of things with that in mind. Yeah. So you know, I can talk about systems and naturally you’ll see a conversation about contracts and where to implement them in your systems. So it’s kind of that I want people to see it as a wider question. process, not only like this one box that they check,

Steven: Right? Yeah, that makes sense. It’s like integrated with like literally everything. It’s just part of the DNA of having a business which is, it’s like I remember man years ago when I was like first starting to do like wedding stuff. I was like, man, if I knew like all the other stuff you had to do to like have a business, I probably would have done it like, but now a minute too deep. I just got to keep going. So it’s like you’re sitting there like coding a website, because this is like way before Squarespace. And so you just like we’re miserably working through like WordPress on your own with no HTML knowledge. And I’m like, I can’t believe believe I’m doing this right now. I’ve spent like six hours trying to move ahead or a little bit down. I’m just like, screw this. So yeah, it’s there’s a lot to running a business, as you well know. And certainly, there’s a lot connected with the legal aspect. So yeah, so So anyway, so let’s jump back into your story. So you start up your own business. You’ve transitioned in these different small business clients. What kind of Have you? Have you seen as you started, you know, growing and working with those clients? What’s been some like commonalities that you’ve seen with people?

Lauren: Well, right now, I have to say one of the biggest pieces is people are very price sensitive right now. So I think we’re seeing that come up in multiple ways, not only just like, are they buying, but are, they’re more vocal, if they’re unhappy, they may not actually be unhappy, but they find reasons to be unhappy. So we’re seeing a lot of that and it’s unfortunate, but I will say, you know, making sure that people have and, you know, you reference the wedding industry, and I’m also a COVID bride, I will say, Yeah, um, it’s, you know, cancellation policies and having people reevaluate their payment terms that is so universal across industries, that we kind of get into this kind of like rut, where we’re okay with, how we how we’re doing things, but we get burned and we don’t, we’re not willing to maybe think of our businesses. Kind of like the living, breathing, you know, entity that it is, and willing to make some changes. And so I think, you know, really empowering a lot of my clients to think about what’s best for them. And what works with their process is a universal problem.

Steven: Totally. I mean, it’s certainly, I’ve heard stories as well people’s cancellation policies, and they’re just like, not willing to give money back. And it’s just like, you know, is is holding on to $1,000 like worth having your reputation trashed for something that literally no one can help? You know, it just doesn’t make sense to me. But you know, and of course, it’s written in the contract. But like you said, it’s a living, breathing thing. And I think, as a small business owner, I would hope that most people are looking at it, like, like, I could do whatever I want. Like, I can, like, shut down my business tomorrow. I can charge a million dollars an hour like I can do whatever I want, doesn’t mean I’m going to get it. So it’s like people are writing their own You know, the, you know, they’re having you help them write their own contracts, they can change them. You know, I mean, like, they can decide, oh, you know, I’m a small business owner, so I’m going to give back the money. And it’s not a big deal, because I’m allowed to do that, because that’s what’s best for everyone. Yeah,

Lauren: I really do think that what I like to remind people is, in the worst case scenario, what do you want to happen? That’s what you need to put into your contract. Like the the hardest line you want to be able to draw, but that, like you said, you have the decision at the end of the day to be more flexible when the situation warrants it. So there might be times where you say, I know that I have the rights to do this, but this isn’t how I feel. And I like to remind people that you know, you have to weigh all those trade offs, right. I mean, I’ve had some wedding clients that had some really unfortunate reviews with all of this. They already had bent over backwards, they did more, they gave back more than they were supposed to, but they had done a lot of pre work. And they did a ton for these clients and really tried to be the better person, and people just got nitpicky. And there also comes a point where you have to, you have to advocate for yourself and be willing to take on the bad review. I will say you can challenge bad reviews and they don’t always stick around. So not letting you know also not letting people hold you hostage is that part it’s like this. It’s this very delicate balance and, you know, as a, as a covid bride, I will be honest, I am a lawyer and a bride and I did not read my contracts for a pandemic. Yeah, I that’s not something I read them for. I read the risk is like, Okay, what if we, you know, we realized we hate each other and something comes up and we don’t get married. That was the risk I was taking on. Like, what is the risk of this wedding doesn’t happen? I was willing to accept that risk, because I thought that the you know, the likelihood was low. So I was fine with all the contracts I signed. I did not realize what was you know what was in there, and the event of a pandemic. And to be honest, I got so lucky because my vendors have been fantastic. Everyone’s showing up as human beings. And we haven’t really been referring to the contract but at the end of the day, I also think I understand them as small business owners that they have revenue that they want to count on. And, you know, I always try to remind people that like, we have to look at the other, you know, see where the other person is coming from, like, how is that going to affect their business and try to find really something collaborative?

Steven: Yeah, totally. Yeah, because absolutely because I mean, like as I don’t I don’t do weddings as much anymore certainly not right now. But like that, that that like 50% down payment is like how I pay for insurance and my website and everything else like that. It doesn’t like just sit somewhere just waiting for the wedding to happen and it goes to work immediately. So it’s like, some people don’t even have that money to give back.

Lauren: Yeah, I’ve seen that with with some of this. That’s come up. I happened to have this was like literally not this is performed my wedding. I had a lot of wedding based clients. What I liked To tell people to when you’re thinking about your cancellation, not only do you think about it from like, like I said, the hard line, like what’s the, you know, worst case scenario, what is the what protections Do you need, you can always be more flexible, but like have the stronger position in writing. I also like to remind them, you have to write it with, you know, knowing that each person is each client is going to behave differently. So, whereas I might just push through with my wedding date, someone else may move their wedding date, and someone else may cancel altogether, because maybe they realize they can’t be in quarantine together. And that, you know, maybe gave them some flood you never know, right? So you have to write it for if you want people to, to really like move their data, if that’s the flexibility you want to give, you have to write that with an in mind because if someone just cancels, that’s going to affect your income differently than someone who is just going to reschedule and postpone the other half. So keeping all that in mind and you know, I think this is demonstrated, unfortunately I wish this wasn’t the case, why people need to maybe strengthen their contracts a little bit. And, you know, go back through and maybe give everything a little bit of a refresh?

Steven: Totally. Absolutely. Well, like, you know, like we talked about earlier, before we hit record, it’s like, no one would have guessed this would have happened. Certainly, there’s no way of predicting it just like most any tragedies, and so, yeah, just trying to be as prepared as possible for the inevitable surprise is always a good idea. So, so outside of like COVID, what were some other things that like you saw it has come up over and over again, with or just commonly come up with clients as far as like, common missteps from small business owners, pre COVID.

Lauren: I would say number one, if you have a business partner, not getting something in writing as to what we call your operating agreement, how the partnership is going to work, what’s going to happen? If the person wants to leave, who gets to make the final decisions, what a voting rights look like? Who gets gets what? contemplating not only profit, but also loss. And that’s a common thing. We get into a relationship with our friends. And we go, this is great. We have this amazing idea. And we’re developing the website before we’re really thinking about some of the foundational elements. And I like to remind people that those are going to protect the relationship. At the end of the day, that if you if you really value the relationship, something like that is is really important. So that’s a common thing I see. Or I see people saying, you know, I’m just not I’m not a business yet. So I don’t mean my LLC. I don’t mean the next step. And I like to tell people that the IRS gives you five years to make a profit, you need to give yourself the same benefit of the doubt. And really, if you’re going to stop start operating as a business form an LLC, we’re so lucky. In Arizona, it’s $50 one time fee to get an LLC and that gives you a separate entity to run all of your business through. You can go get an Ei n, it just creates this totally separate entity and protects your personal assets for $50 It’s like he stuck, you can’t skip. Yeah.

Steven: Yeah, it’s crazy cheap, and it’s just like, You’re, you’re kind of crazy not to like it for 50 bucks. You know, I probably can even buy an hour of your time for $50

Lauren: I mean, unfortunately, it’s not you know, not that inexpensive in other states. So if you have listeners in Texas and California, I mean, it’s different everywhere so they can check with their secretary of state or corporation commission to see what it looks like but it’s it’s a step that’s worth it. Because I will say it’s like your it’s like getting into an accident with your car. No mistake ever costs you $50 you know, it’s there’s no scratch in the world that they would charge you 50 bucks to get It’s like Same thing with label usually when something goes wrong, it goes wrong and makes a makes a pretty good debt.

Steven: So that’s pretty fair. Cool. So um, so let’s see here so as far as like because like we always want to talk a little bit about like building the business the actual act of you growing what are some things that you’ve done? You know, since when did you launch by the way when did you officially do your own thing?

Lauren: I officially launched my own business in September of 2018.

Steven: Okay, so it’s been a little while so yeah, so since then what what different things have you tried what things have kind of worked out as far as your marketing as far as like, you know, has for you hasn’t been networking has been going to things has been advertising like what kind of marketing Have you done and what’s kind of worked out for you?

Lauren: Oh, gosh, you’re gonna hate me. So I, I remember when I built my so I built my first website, and I can attest to the struggles I bended, get smart and have someone that professionally knew what they were doing kind of really kind of refresh it. But they were telling me you need to do SEO, you should start a blog you should. And I was like, No, no, no, no, no, I don’t need SEO SEO is not important to me. Right. Um, and you know what, to be honest, it probably was, wasn’t important to my law firm. It’s now something that with the podcast and the products, you know, the my legally aligned website launching that I’m thinking about, so I feel like I was very delayed on that journey, recognizing the value of SEO and some of that marketing. But I really did lean into social media and that was something that you know, is untraditional for law firms to lean into. Right. And they really tried to make it relationship based and I tried to show up to networking and I picked networking communities that I resonated with, I didn’t go to all the things I went to the things that felt like a good fit for me and I kept showing up Didn’t go once and just pepper myself out and hand out business cards, I went with the mindset of building relationships. And that from a marketing perspective, and a referrals perspective, really made a huge impact on my business. Because my law firm, it is just me. And it doesn’t take very much time to fill up my week. So the amount of business I need, because I’m not supporting a team looks very different. I think I would have had a different mindset if my goal was to onboard a team underneath me, but I think I always knew that I would open some other type of business that could have some kind of gross scalability factor beyond by time and it wasn’t going to be related to my firm.

Steven: Right? One, I think two I think one thing that makes you unique because of the fact that you’re the business owner and the person posting online, is I mean, you know, I have not personally worked for a lawyer but I know that When I go on, like the Facebook groups and they talk about it, like there’s all these hoops, they’ve got to like, double check and have this person approve and have this person approve because they can’t like say this or they say that and like, then they become legally responsible for something. And it’s like, it’s a little tricky, and there’s a different expectation for you then there is even for me, you know, so if I say something, and they’re like, oh, like, well, you said this, I’d be like, I didn’t mean that like, but when you’re a lawyer, you kind of have to, like, you can’t make that excuse. I don’t feel

Lauren: It’s true. It’s totally true. And that’s where I like to remind people, every business should have disclaimers. Yeah. So I did just record one for the podcast when I have a legal episode run when I’m talking more legal facts. It’ll have a lovely disclaimer right in the front end. But at the end, you know, at the end of the day, I’m asking my clients to model good behavior, I’ve got to do the same. So, you know, it’s, we’re learning the industry as a whole is learning to become more flexible and more responsive to entrepreneurs. We’re just making sure that no one has the misconception that I’m not their attorney. I’m attorney and attorney but I’m not your attorney unless you hire me. So a passing remark on a social media or on a podcast isn’t something that necessarily is going to fit the situation of that particular business. And so that was something that I was scared. I think I found it took me a while to find my voice on social media, where I felt comfortable showing up as myself what was what was the professional version of me, but what was the like life version of me that I felt comfortable putting out there into the world? outside of my business page, like I’m not the person, I don’t take selfies. I don’t, that wasn’t me. But when you’re an entrepreneur, we all know that you’re willing to become a different version of yourself to support your business and to serve your clients.

Steven: So that’d be the authoritative version, but not the like, I’m giving you actual legal advice right now. Yes, and I definitely see some selfies on your business page. But you know, what can I say? Yeah, people got to know who you are.

Lauren: Yeah, you got to learn I mean so I learned that I’m also my fiance is not willing to take photos of me and I am terrible at it. So hire someone that knows what they’re doing so thank shout out to Carly clean for her amazing help she tells me where to put my hands

Steven: Which is surprisingly difficult to do, actually. Now that’s super good know your stuff is super polished and so good for you for having that. Well done. Certainly there are so many poor husbands and fiance so you get sucked in. I feel bad like all the Instagram model like boyfriends and it’s like, you just you must just hate your life. just posting like you’re the one taking pictures of your girlfriend in a bathing suit that other guys are looking at. Like, that doesn’t sound good, like a good time to me. So that’s just my personal preference. But yeah, no, that’s super cool that you’re doing that. Certainly You know, let me ask you this people like because it’s like an age old question like authenticity versus professionalism and all this other stuff, you have a very polished look to a lot of what you do, like very polished. And is that because like you feel like you have to because your lawyer is that just how you felt like it presented you well, because then there’s other people that are like, oh, like, I don’t need to do that, like, I just need to talk to my phone and like have it out there in front of me and like that’s, like authentic and it’s just like, Well, sometimes it does feel more authentic, but at the same time, like you also want people to take you seriously. So like, Where did you Is that something you consciously thought about? Is that something that like just kind of happened like walk us through that your presence online?

Lauren: Yeah, I think I’m just to be honest, and we’re really boring, intentional person to begin with. So that shows through in my social media. No, I Am I’ve always been careful even when I have like a private page, I just wasn’t someone who didn’t post without some kind of intention. Without thinking about how people might feel or how people might think about it. It’s always been really cognizant of that. wanting it to be a welcoming atmosphere where people trust me, I think comes with having some polished piece to it. Then also showing up on stories and getting comfortable with taking a selfie. I mean, I’ve literally never had so many photos of myself until I started my Instagram page, because that, you know, I was never that person. But for me, it was about showing up for my business, putting a face behind the business and serving my clients and community and making legal feel approachable. 

Lauren: And there’s all of you know, I did a lot of research and it was people respond better to photos. So we really focus on photos and shareable content, so that we can focus on serving and educating and I try to make it We’ve recently converted away from necessarily a law firm page to more of a personal page, so that it can be a little bit more authentically me, I’m getting more and more comfortable every day showing up. But also, so that can be kind of an umbrella for all of my interests, I didn’t want to only be showing up under like the law firm umbrella, because I want my business to grow and want to be able to grow what I’m involved in and what I can speak on. So I made that kind of intentional shift. And you know, that was part of launching the podcast, and launching our new website that comes in August. So I think it’s going to be a week from when this will air we’re going to launch a blog and a podcast, it’s gonna have all of our show notes on there. And we’re also going to have contract templates and wanting to be able to speak to those and really branch away from both of my businesses and make it clear like where, what hat I’m wearing, when was something that we had to kind of get Little intentional on.

Steven: Yeah, totally well, and the thing that I’ve talked with a couple people about is like, you, you spend most of like your, at least your adolescent life, like trying to fit in and like, not stand out too much, unless you’re like that kind of person, which I definitely wasn’t. And then you become an entrepreneur. And then it’s like, you got to be like, hey, look over here, like, I’m awesome. And like, you know, you got to be like your own best cheerleader. And it’s like, that’s literally like, not how you ever want to be for most of your life. And it sounds like that kind of looks like a little bit of a struggle for you, too. It’s like, you’re like, anti selfie. And then now it’s like, people have to see you and get comfortable with you and like, get acquainted with you. And so now you’re taking a bunch of selfies, like, was that weird?

Lauren: Yeah. Oh, yeah, it was so odd. And like, I still get embarrassed, even like around my fiance. I’ll be like, I need to record a story to talk about something like it’s like on my mind, I’ll be like, go in the other room, like out of here. Like I don’t want I don’t want you hearing what it means when you talk to myself, but I’m getting better. Like, I’m getting better. Listening to myself speak on my podcasts and getting better showing up on stories. I think quarantine has been excellent for everyone to show up authentically, I don’t wear makeup anymore. Like I don’t worry too much. I mean the filters are super helpful. But I just kind of set some boundaries that felt healthy for me. And then I focused on when I did want to show up trying to do so you know, with a with a little more, a little more personally, and just starting to get comfortable and I kind of made goals for myself okay, I’m going to have five stories a day during the week that’s like my thing. I don’t care what the content is, but I’m going to show up and then you start to that becomes a habit and you start to be a little bit more comfortable. So yeah, it’s it’s a process I was I was really, you know, raised to like not make a wave to not be boastful to not be that way. And so it was different. It’s like you feel like the person on this, like the corner of the street like flipping the sign like looking My business like what I’m doing. So it’s, it’s it’s definitely weird, but I will say, you know, if it serves and it makes an impact one person, it’s worth it.

Steven: Yeah. It’s like yeah, it’s like the art of the humble brag where it’s like, Yeah, because like you’re doing something you care about, you do it as best you can. Eventually you get to the point where, like, you look around and you’re like, Okay, like, I’m actually doing this pretty well. Like, I, you know, I, you know, I shouldn’t be like, ashamed of the work that I’m making. And then you’re like, Okay, like, but then I have to, like, say that out loud to other people and then like, not look like a douche or something. You know what I mean? It’s like, yeah, like my works really great. You know, you’re over there patting yourself on the back. But that’s exactly kind of what you’re doing as a business owner where you’re like, like, Hey, you should you should pick me like, I should actually be your choice because I’m going to do a great job for you. And it’s like, people want that confidence from the people that they’re hiring. You know, they’re spending good money on someone like you they’re spending good money on someone like me, like they’re not gonna pick like anybody who holds a camera or you know what I mean? Like, it’s gonna be someone that can actually believe They do a good job and it’s a weird transition. Like, I don’t know if you’ve ever watched like, Gary Vaynerchuk like, he’s always walking around like he does like all these like vlogs he’s walk around in New York City like talking to people with like a whole camera crew following him around. I’m like, like thinking about having that much attention. Like literally like makes me queasy inside of like, everybody like, Who is that? Who does that guy think he is? Like, have you have you done like a story in a public place yet?

Lauren: I think I have I think I’m, I’m probably a little more subtle. Yeah, I think I probably have, um, I you know, it’s just hard. I will say like, you know, what we have to we also just have to release ourselves from thinking anyone cares. No one really cares what we’re doing. And if they resonates with them, however, we’re showing up, they’re not gonna care. They’re gonna be happy we’re showing up and that way that resonates with them as authentic and I never do things my my filter As always, what am I willing to do consistently, if I’m not willing to do it consistently, I’m not going to keep I’m not going to start. So like, for example, webinars, I, that’s like supposedly the best. That’s that’s the funnel, right? That’s the funnel to sell some kind of product, digital or otherwise. And that’s like a really good way to launch these things. I am not going to do it. That’s not my thing. I’m not going to show up authentically, I’m not going to show up consistently, so I’m not going to do it. So I would just tell people do what resonates with you, because your audience was meant to resonate with you will resonate with whatever that is. But you have to get yourself out of your comfort zone like unfortunately, you know, no one’s gonna resonate with you if you never post any anything. So you have to pick something and stick with it. It’s just like how I approach networking. I pick a group of people that I believe in and that I enjoy being around and then I keep showing up so that they know where they can find me.

Steven: Totally. So as far as like what’s like, what’s next For you, like, are you planning on growing a team? Are you going to keep it you and just like, try to make that as awesome as possible, like what’s kind of future you look like?

Lauren: Let’s see, um, hopefully married this fall. And that’s, you know, to be honest, we were both both myself and my family were raised by entrepreneurial parents. So for me, that’s the family aspect. And that balance is probably my number one driver. That’s just always probably going to be how it is. So for me, I’m looking at ways to be more efficient with my time and to make it scalable. So with my firm, I do see scaling into I’m getting really close to not accepting new clients. I you know, I have a few amazing attorneys that I refer out to for things when it’s better, more in their specialty, but yeah, looking at leaning into that more. I want to focus on legally aligned which is the podcast and my product website. Because I really do think that that’s an approachable way for people to get what they need in their business. So that’s something I want to be putting some effort into. And I want to give myself room. I’m, you know, just like the rest of us. I’m like a multi passionate entrepreneur, I want to give myself room to kind of create and imagine, you know, what else might be available, you know, not assume that this is the only thing I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life. And yeah, and you know, really look at scaling my my weeks, so that we can grow a family and I can be around I mean, my fiance does not have that flexibility to like, you know, be at home and, you know, and make money. So I need to kind of be inventive with how I want that to look. And, you know, I’m very lucky, he’s very flexible. We’ve always approached this business together and looked at this as a way for us to craft the family that we want and so you know, it’ll just be kind of I think him and I will play it, play it by Here, but I’m committed to really supporting some of my foundational clients and growing kind of my online presence and resources through legally aligned right now. 

Steven: That’s super awesome. And that’s neat that you have those, like personal goals that are really driving your business goals. Because I think sometimes, you know, people will get successful and it actually it was actually a worse thing for them because then they end up getting like they end up growing something that ends up controlling them and runs their life when the whole purpose of having their own businesses that they run in their life, but then it doesn’t. Yeah, it’s really unfortunate. That’s really cool. Yeah,

Lauren: yeah, that’s exactly sorry. That’s exactly what I The goal is to not let this get ahead of me and to not fall to other people’s version or definition of success. Yeah. For some people, it might have been rolling affirm. For me, that wasn’t the case. I have a intern? No, she does all the things it’s like hard to say call her an intern, to be honest. But I want to bring on my first full time employee next year and and scale that way. But really more, like I said in the legally aligned space. Yeah. And really focused on like the strong relationships with with a few select clients. So I’m excited.

Steven: Yeah, no, that’s awesome. So since you brought it up, because I forgot to bring it up earlier. You mentioned a couple products. And certainly, like we mentioned before, before we hit record, you know, it’s like, everyone’s, especially in the service industry. What does it look like to sell products, especially those like more entry level products, when people are really you know, counting the pennies that they’re putting out there in the world? What made you end up deciding to launch into doing products in general? You know, how is that going to work out for your business? What what’s kind of your plan with that?

Lauren: I wanted to give more in depth support. And make legal approachable. I kind of contemplated workshops, online courses, what would be the best way to do it. And when I really started thinking about putting myself in my customer shoes and thinking about what they needed, they needed something that was unbundled that was kind of they could grab what they needed and keep moving and do it quickly. And so very quickly, I decided, you know what, I think it’s probably going to be contract templates. I had really isn’t that something that was on my radar for a while, but I was apprehensive to do because I didn’t want to do it until I could do it very what I want people to have something that is customizable to their business, but something that they can rely on that gives them enough meat and protection. And I also wanted something that I as part of any purchase they get a video tutorial that gives them some information on how they can go ahead and fill it out. It gives them an implementation guide on my tips and tricks on like how they can implement it into their business. And then they know That if that contract that they purchase that template is ever updated, that they’re going to get an email in their inbox and the new version is going to be made available to them for free. Because I never want someone to feel like they are out of date, I want to be that person tapping them on the shoulder telling them, it’s time to update, things have changed. 

Lauren: So until I was ready to do it at that level, I didn’t want to put it out there into the world. And I feel like I’ve got an amazing team behind me now that made it possible. And we are able to put out we’re starting with 18 products and we have a suggestion box on the website that people can say like, this is what I’m meeting I’m still not finding this resource. And so we want to really be responsive to what people need in their business. We think we have a good base foundational base for online courses, podcasts, guest coaches, any like non disclosures, we we have a full list of products, but I want it to be flexible and grow over time. So it was a big one, it was a big leap to go from pricing yourself in a service industry having client management software, having a process in that to really like the development had of developing a product. But I really do think not only diversifying but having products really allow you to scale outside of your time. Yeah. And make a larger impact. And I’ve talked with several people, sometimes the fear of digital products is that you can’t protect them. We can do our best. But making sure that you can you also feel like you’re able to deliver the level of service that you’re used to delivering on a one on one basis. Being able to convert that to a product can be hard sometimes Yeah. But it’s been a fun experience.

Steven: Well, and like realistically, depending on your process and the product, sometimes that’s what people are. I would say that’s what they’re giving up when they don’t budget for those higher end things. Is that like personal That personal interaction, the personalization of something. And that’s certainly like the same thing that we’re like thinking about too, as we like launch products, where it’s like, Okay, if someone can’t afford to hire us as a team, well, then they’re gonna have to do it themselves. But we can still give them like, knowledge on how to do it themselves. Well, and so the same thing. I mean, like, I know, I’ve certainly have, you know, been on the fence of like, do I hire a lawyer to run a contract? Or do I take the risk and like, try to find one online that’s like, pretty close, and will protect me as best I can. And so at that point, it’s like, at least you have a chance to offer them something like that, which keeps them you know, keeps, hopefully, you’re doing some sort of email thing where you can stay in touch with them and like continue to bring that value to them, which I think is awesome. Because as much as it makes financial sense, that stay in touch with all these new potential customers, you’re able to actually help them enemy which is so awesome. Cuz otherwise, yeah, you know, we’re gonna go somewhere else. And if you know you can do you can serve them well, then that’s awesome.

Lauren: Yeah. And we all start somewhere, you know, we all start somewhere, maybe that contract is exactly what they need. And as long as they keep it up to date that they’ll be, they’ll be fine. Um, you know, so you can only hope for the best and try to serve at that level. And that’s why we, we took one step further and did the video tutorials did the implementation guides. So I just the last thing I wanted was it to be like a little like zip file or like little piece, you know, Word document that drops to the bottom bar. I wanted it to feel like a process and it no like the there was some kind of level of continued support from our team.

Steven: That’s awesome. Because people need that. People hear. That’s what that’s what good service is all about. Yeah. That’s awesome. Well, I’m super excited for you. It’s certainly going to be really cool to see the podcast launch and see the blog and certainly those things, if you’ve never done it before. That is a mountain of work. And so I know that you’ve been probably slaving away daily on that, and so good for you for doing that, because that’s no joke. And it’s super great value. So I think everyone who’s listening, certainly check it out. If you’re listening to this, you know, fairly soon, August 10 to the 16th, you’re going to do a little little discount giveaway. And so can we get out some some great prices for that? So that’s super exciting. And for those of you listening after the 16th, definitely check it out. legal stuff is definitely something you don’t want to get caught lacking in. Because, like you said, most mistakes cost more than 15. So it’s worth it. It’s worth it. You’re going to keep yourself out of a lot of trouble. So thank you so much for being on the show today. And just sharing you know, your heart on your journey and it’s also just the little tips along the way. Certainly super helpful for any small business owner listening To be able to just know like, Hey, you know what? It’s okay to try some things, experiment with some things do a little pivoting action, you know, I mean, so that way you continue to bring value and, and make money. So

Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. Well thank you so much for having me. I love what you’re doing and I really think the people kind of investing in themselves and connecting here is a great resource.