Questions: Kindly give us a brief description of yourself..
Answer: I’m a lawyer, entrepreneur, and homeschool mom. I started my business I’ve been practicing law for over 20 years but took the leap and went out of my own in 2021. I received my undergraduate degree in criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and my law degree from Saint Louis University. I began my practice in downtown Saint Louis in workers compensation insurance defense in both Missouri and Illinois until I met my husband and moved to Kansas in 2013. Here, I’ve expanded my experience in all types of law and have recently focused down to my favorite areas of law, business and trademarks.
Questions: What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Answer: When COVID hit, like many, I was stuck at home with two small children and made the realization that I really enjoyed teaching them. I knew that a conventional 9 to 5 practice would not be conductive to both educating my children and allowing me to continue my practice of law, which I wanted to do. I determined I would go out on my own and have not looked back since.
Questions: What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Answer: Many of us who are entrepreneurs are first generation and do not have a mindset or education necessary to run a successful business. Therefore, the first few years can be much harder than necessary. Get educated on business and especially the financial piece of what it takes to run your business before stepping out on your own. Invest in coaching or educational resources that can help you get farther faster. Give yourself grace and don’t give up.
Questions: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful
Answer: Determination, flexibility and the ability to learn from your mistakes.
Questions: How many hours do you work a day on average?
Answer: I do 4-10 hour days.
Questions: To what do you most attribute your success?
Answer: Clear goals, my amazing paralegal Molly Turley, my more experienced colleagues who generously and freely give advice, my two sons and husband who inspire me every single day, my supportive family and an amazing mentor (Dr. Alok Trivedi) who has given me the tools to master my life.
Questions: How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Answer: I have a blog, working on a video blog and networking. My most successful is networking, probably because I enjoy it the most and I’m a people person!
Questions: Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Answer: I had about $7k saved to start the business.
Questions: What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Answer: To Keep Going.
Questions: Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Answer: With a larger trademark practice, servicing most of Kansas and with a team of attorneys to help me do it. I want to be able to help Kansans protect their intellectual property, keep business in the state, and GROW!
Questions: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Answer: Any business that serves the hell out of their customers and their community. Businesses that innovate daringly.
Questions: How important have good employees been to your success?
Answer: There is no measure on how my team has been integral to the successes of the law firm. Without my organizational manager Dani Williams and my paralegal Molly Turley this firm would not have gotten off the ground.
Questions: How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Answer: Depends on the idea.
Questions: What motivates you?
Answer: I’m inspired to create a better world for my kids, to keep learning and evolving with the times. To me that starts at home and then with service to your community, your state and out from there.
Questions: What are your ideals?
Answer: I don’t use the term “ideals” but instead I call them values. My top values are my two sons, business, teaching and learning.
Questions: How do you generate new ideas?
Answer: By collaborating or seeking opinions from people who are smarter than me, who have been through it before, who think differently than me, or who are where I want to go.
Questions: How do you define success?
Answer: If try to fill my value buckets every single day by serving my family, clients and community. If I can do that, that’s how I define success for me.
Questions: How do you build a successful customer base?
Answer: Great customer service
Questions: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Answer: Bing able to make the rules and innovate, being an example for my kids and other mom lawyers, building something to see if I can build it.
Questions: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Answer: I don’t think there is one moment. On the client side, when my clients express that I have taught them something that they didn’t know about the law and I can take some anxiety or pressure away, I love that! On the business side, I feel most satisfied when I have a challenge and I’m able to work through it or pivot and come out the other side.
Questions: What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Answer: Mindset. There’s a uncertainty that comes with being an entrepreneur and you have to be very comfortable being certainly uncertain.
Questions: What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone? and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Answer: Open door, collaborative innovation, and family values. I want my staff to be able to talk to me anytime they feel they have an issue or they can improve something. Often those in other positions have insight on what might work better or more efficiently and so staff always has the go ahead to run with an idea that they think might work. On the family values front, on my paralegal recently went on paid maternity leave for an undetermined amount of time. I think in this country it’s ridiculous that we do not have paid maternity leave like so many other countries, and I think it does our children, the future of our world, a disservice. I Put my money where my values are and led by action. The only way too change policy or culture is to enact it and live it yourself.
Questions: In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Questions: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Answer: I would not do anything differently. We are able to learn from ALL our experiences. Our lessons come when they are necessary for our growth. I wouldn’t change the lessons or the timing. If I take those away, then I am not here. I don’t believe in failure. Even the back of my business card says “Failure is a Lie.”
Questions: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Answer:I’m able to spend more time with my kids and homeschool them. Being able to set my own schedule as well as my own processes and procedures in order to make my office more efficient lets me spend that time with my kids. It’s invaluable.
Questions: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Answer: I think that fear is a regular part of not only entrepreneurial life but life in general. Being aware That I’m in a fear state is the first step and then I often ask myself whether the outcome I fear is real or if I’m lying to myself. I will also ask myself what I can do to prevent the feared outcome and actually write those action items on a piece of paper and then try to execute them.
Questions: How did you decide on the location for your business?
Answer: Convenience, mostly. I’m in the same building on the same floor as when I was still employed in a W2. I’m located only 10 miles from my home.
Questions: Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Answer: Learn grow pivot repeat
Questions: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Answer: My kids are undoubtedly my greatest inspiration because in their young eyes I can see possibilities. I’m acutely aware that they learn not by what we say, but by what we do. My greatest wish is for them to live full, inspired lives according to their own values and not to subordinate to anyone else’s (including mine), but in order for them to do that they need to see me do it as well.
Questions: What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
Answer: I read a lot, so that’s a hard one! $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi was exceptional. Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Fair Play by Eve Rodsky. The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi is not to be missed.
Questions: What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Answer: How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control? If we are defining “mistake” as “an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong” per Oxford (lawyered up that question didn’t I? 😊) then I think most of my mistakes can be attributed to my failure as a person to respond with enough patience, love and grace when the situation called for it. Mistakes in business, especially when you are starting something new, is to be expected. For me, to mitigate the chances of making a mistake, I become educated on whatever I am doing if it’s new. If it’s something I’ve been doing for a while, I don’t stay complacent, I try to keep updated and keep learning about how others might be doing it differently. Seeking out the advice of those who are more experienced than you helps every time
Questions: What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Answer: I homeschool my two kids, currently 4 and 6. I do a lot of reading, mostly about health and business. We also have a family farm and cow/calf operation. That’s a family we are outside a lot and like to spend time together. I have a small unsuccessful garden, run, listen to EDM and have dance parties in my living room with my kids. I’m involved in several community and business organizations, love going to community events, and traveling.
Questions: What makes you happy?
Answer: Waking up in the morning. Chocolate.