Attorney Beth McDaniel founded her own practice in 2002 after years of working— first as a volunteer mediator, and then as an attorney in a firm so she could support her growing family.
It wasn’t until she became seriously ill that she realized she needed more support in her business.
She shares several takeaways that any attorney who wants to start a business (or somebody who wants to grow a business beyond themselves) can learn from, including…
- The job you really have… when you’re looking for a job
- What she did when faced with serious illness – and clients had concerns
- An extra step she took to separate herself from the local competition
- The importance of managing your business – not just doing the work
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
Davina Frederick: Hello and welcome to the Solo to CEO podcast where we provide a mix of powerful thought-provoking and practical information to assist you in your transformation from solo to CEO of a high impact wealth-generating business. I’m your host, Davina Frederick and I’m here with Beth McDaniel, attorney, and founder of the Law Offices of Beth A. McDaniel. The Law Offices of Beth A. McDaniel are located in Renton and Bellevue, Washington, and are focused on providing probate, estate planning, wills and trusts, guardianship, and elder law services.
Welcome, Beth. I’m so happy to have you here today on the Solo to CEO podcast.
Beth McDaniel: Thank you to be now. It’s a pleasure being here.
Davina: Good. So tell us a little bit more about the Law Offices of Beth Mcdaniel.
Beth: So we were founded in 2002, and our primary focus is estate planning. As you mentioned, we do a lot of probates so helping families navigate the court system after a loved one dies. guardianship for adults, a lot of parents have a development-disabled child who petitions for guardianship when the child turns 18 or elders who need a guardian for whatever reason, and then also trust administration and elder law for Medicaid plans.
Davina: Give me an idea of the size of your firm. Is it just you or you have other people working with you or?
Beth: You know, it’s funny, sometimes I have to kind of count bodies in the desk with a number. But right now, we have there, there’s six on my staff. And so that consists of a part-time office manager, full-time receptionist, a full-time guardianship paralegal, part-time probate paralegal, a full-time estate planning/elder law paralegal, and then a part-time legal assistant.
Davina: Okay, so you’ve been, you’ve been doing this quite a while and you’ve grown to pretty substantial size firm. So since 2002. How long have you been practicing?
From College, To Law School, To Owning A Practice
Beth: Well, I became a member of the bar in June 1995. And my intent then was that I was going to be a mediator and that’s why and when I was in college, and there was a working women magazine, I don’t even know if that is working mother or something magazine. I don’t even know if it’s out there anymore, but had the 10 hottest careers for that year and media was one of them. And I said, this is me, this is what I’m going to do. And so I did a lot of informational interviewing and everything kind of pointed towards law school. And so I went to law school and then down in Malibu, California, at Pepperdine, came back to Seattle. And it’s like, okay, here, I am going to be a mediator. And it turned out to be a little bit more tricky than I anticipated. At one point, I was volunteering for six different nonprofits who did mediation. And if I could have made a career out of that, you know, they’ve been great. I worked for a mediator, who’s still in practice. I also worked for a nonprofit that did mediation, but around or actually, there was an act that went to effect in Washington in 2000. It was a trust and estate dispute resolution act. And under that act, you know, you could be a mediator if you had five years of experience.
So I thought, Okay, I need to get five years substantive experience in order to do this, and so I quit the resolution firm, not having a job in a very poor time of the economy at the time, I was a newlywed and had the support of my husband to leave. But I didn’t realize I would be it takes 11 months for me to land a position. And so my job at that point was networking. You know, it’d be informational. interview someone and say, you know, hey, do you know three people I had talked to you that I talked to them and asked the same thing. And so one of the fellows who I had interviewed, had a small estate planning firm. And I talked to him and he said, “Oh, you know, shoot, I just hired someone. But talk to me in 10 months, you know, I’ll be ready probably to add another attorney.” And so I finally got the courage to call him back. And the attorney that he had hired hadn’t worked out. She apparently liked looking at shoes more than she did practicing law.
But anyway, so keep, they were very careful, I think had about five interviews with them. And so I interviewed with that firm, I’ve got a position. And then I was there for just under four years. And basically, we parted ways. And at that time, I had already… another attorney and I at that point, you know, because things were a little bit uncertain at that firm, and he and I were talking about going out on our own. And so we had set up a lunch with an attorney to kind of, you know, pick your brain about that. And so I went to lunch alone. And she said, well, you know, come office with me for the summer, and which I did. And then a month later, I ran into an attorney at a continuing legal education program. And, and he made a snarky comment about my firm and I said, we’re not I’m not there anymore.
So long story short, we had breakfast the next morning. And he said in my book, you know, I have a book for my wife in case something happens to me. And she said in that book, it says, called Beth McDaniel. And so he said, “You know, I want you to the office with me, I’m going to retire in five years.” And so that seemed like a really… he was an estate planner. in Renton that seemed like a really good opportunity. And at the time, it was less than two miles from our home. And I’d like to say that at that time, my husband and I were really into the show Survivor. And so I could leave the office at eight o’clock at night and still be home in time for Survivor.
Davina: That was the goal.
Beth: Yeah. And so as I mentioned, he was said he was going to retire and so initially, and so I went through the motions of setting up my own firm, and I asked and he gave me permission, you know, to kind of use this logo. Because I thought, you know, if I if he’s going to retire, you know that way they’ll be consistency for the clients. And I, I used his, you know, the same billing software he used. And initially, I was using his paralegal. And when he found out I was billing my clients for that same work at a higher rate, he increased the rate. And at that point, it was, you know, prohibitive. And so I ended up hiring a paralegal. And then she said that she was, you know, too busy, and so they hired a legal assistant. And then I took on a professional guardian who had about 25 cases and I brought on a part-time paralegal to assist with her cases, and they didn’t have space, so she worked out of her home.
In the meantime, you know, the five years came around and I asked my office mate about his plans for retirement and he just kind of laughed at me. And so he’s to still practice to this day.
Davina: Oh wow.
Beth: Yeah, and he’s, you know, speaking about that my daughter is 11. And, and at his 60th birthday, you know, I had a sonogram picture of her. So he’s into his 70s yet. So, but then we were in a building that was not elder-friendly. And there was a, instead of a ramp, there was a lift. And so we had to tell clients, you know when you get to our office and your wheelchair, you know, call us and then we’ll come back down and operate this lift for you.
So, you know, it rains a lot in Seattle, and so that’s not practical. And there was no signage for the lift. And so, you know, there are two entrances to the building, you know, the only handicap restroom was in the basement, you know, on and on and on. And so I really had a tag that I wanted to buy a building for my practice. And I’ve looked at this. I want to raise I had my eye on this little house with the picket fence that went on the market and I toured it and realize that it was impractical because the largest room in the house was a kitchen. And it didn’t really work.
But then I hired a realtor and I found an office building that was less than a mile from my office building. And it had been completely updated by the prior tenant who’s a real estate agent and her husband’s a contractor. And so we ended up buying that my husband I, and it was great because we just had to clean the carpet to do touch up paint. And so we moved into this building. Nine years ago this month.
Davina: Oh, wow.
Beth: And at the time, I was going to just you know, that oh, I was saved the expanse and not have a receptionist. But my first job, a job at a college I took a two-year break between college and law school, the receptionist and just from watching the receptionist and are sharing offices, you know how important that role is. And so, out of the gate, I hired a receptionist. And we haven’t looked back.
Davina: Wow, wow. So that is quite a journey and quite a story. You know, and I see that you have really in, once you started practicing in this area, you have really gone all-in on this. In this area of your practice, you are. And you’re actually certified as an elder law attorney, through the National Elder Law Foundation, which is a national organization that certifies practitioners and elder and special needs law, and you’re also accredited through the Veterans Administration.
So you really are all in as an elder law attorney, special needs attorney. And so it’s not like you just kind of started practicing in Syria because you were hired. You know you found the job in this area and you were hired in it, you really found the passionate love for it. Tell me what it is that you really like about doing this kind of work?
Beth: Well, I think a couple of things. One is, you know, really enjoyed my wills and trusts course in law school, I remember it and you know, I’m very family-oriented. I think a lot of people in this area have had close relationships with relatives, that was certainly the case for me. Both of my grandmothers lived well into my, into their 90s. And so, you know, just those close relationships and part of it, you know, I’m not gonna lie. Just knowing Have you heard the term silver tsunami?
Davina: Yes, I live in Florida, so…
Beth: Okay. Oh, yeah, you are. That’s that, okay. There are these baby boomers, you know, they’re going to you know, get old and they’re and they’re older, they’re going to age and like we all are, god willing. And so they’re going to need services. So, so yeah, I think it’s very important that you’re passionate about your area of the law. And of course, I chose to area of law, we need to know a lot about several, you know, different areas to be effective. But, you know, that keeps me on my toes and keeps me challenged. And yes, with the certification that my former office mate, and I, ironically, I think are the only attorneys in our county have gotten that certification, and there are many, many attorneys in our county. And that was just a goal of mine. And I kept putting it off, kept putting it off. Well, first, again, it needs to five years and so that seemed like such a lifetime, but then, you know, life just gets in the way. And so a friend of mine, who was the president of national of law foundation, he finally just kind of said, you know, pay your money and study. And so that’s what I did. And thankfully, five years ago, I did attain that certification.
Davina: Yeah. And how has it benefited you in your practice?
The Benefit of Mediation Experience
Beth: That’s a good question. I mean, there are some very reputable elder law attorneys in Washington, I think, if I looked only eight or 10 of us are have gotten that certification. So I think the main way that it’s helped me has been, you know, with regard to referrals from out of state and also I think, you know, because like for me when I if I’m looking for attorney in Florida, and if I don’t know anyone, I do know some attorneys in Florida Of course, but if I don’t know anyone, you just like, okay, you know, anyone can pay their dues, you know, to the National Academy of Elder law attorneys. That’s a directory I use, but by a certified lawyer. You know, you’re serious about that profession. And then I think to a lot of my clients find me online and so I think, hopefully, that gives them confidence that I am, you know, competent with regard to, you know what they need?
Davina: Right? Right. So talk to me about your, your law practice and having your own law practice and what that is meant for you. I, you going back to your journey from mediator to lawyer, I want to explore that a little bit. Because I find it interesting that you sort of fell into being an attorney, you thought you were going to be this mediator. And I find it particularly interesting that you started out being a volunteer mediator, because volunteers don’t really make any money, or very much. Right. And so making a career of that it’s kind of difficult. It’s kind of hard to pay the bills on, you know, volunteer work. And so when did you know, you had that moment where it was Light Bulb came on and you’re like, Okay, this really isn’t working. And we need to do something different. What was that like for you?
Beth: Well, you know, I knew that I wanted to, you know, get additional education. I just didn’t know and what? And, you know, I, I got it. I mean, go to law school. I mean, that was always, you know, on my mind a little bit. I not to date myself. I was really young at the time, but I read somewhere that there was a bump in law school applications because of La la, that show, right. And so, I mean, that might be part of it. And of course, you know, growing up, you know, especially for my mom, you know, you know, she’d say several times do you need to go to law school because you’ve never lost an argument. And so it wasn’t beyond the realm. But I did. You know, when I was doing voluntary mediation, I did a fair amount of parenting plan mediation. You know, we’re trying to negotiate at 11 am on Christmas Eve vs noon on Christmas Eve, and I go home, I tell my husband when we have kids, you know, we can’t be divorced, I hope you know that. It was, it’s very, I don’t know, it took a lot out of me. And so and I kind of see that if I were to go into private practice that I would probably be doing a fair amount of that. Granted Now, that’s not very important work. But and so, I, of course, have participated in several mediations, as you know, representing a party. But I to me, I kind of feel like I use those skills every day. You know, because, like most every attorney, you know, you’re doing a lot of active listening. You know, you know, that’s, that’s what I do and you know, asking the right questions and spotting issues. And so, even if I’m not a, you know, a full-time mediator, I feel like I am using my skills.
Davina: Right, right, and so you don’t, you still are functioning, you still are using a lot of your mediation skills, the thing, you’re still you still feel like you’re able to function get the same joy that you would get out of being a mediator, doing this practicing this kind of law.
Beth: Absolutely. And, you know, I mean, I, my practice is not without complex, you know, whether it be between siblings between a mother and a sibling, you know, between, you know, other parties. And so, yeah, there even if it’s not, you know, pyramid mediation, per se, you know, there’s, you know, negotiation and, you know, collaboration, you know, going on all the time, so, yeah, it definitely was a beneficial background for sure.
Davina: So, how did you have any hesitation about having your own about starting your own practice and any, any fear around starting your own practice and being responsible for creating your own income? I know you mentioned to me earlier that you were kind of a master networker at this point, by that point.
Beth: Yes. And that’s certainly helped. Especially because my, even though, you know, things were up and down with my last, you know, prior law firm, you know, we have enough to make payroll, we don’t have enough net to make payroll, you know, just, you know, and I tried everything I could, you know, to contribute financially to the firm. I was naive in the sense that I did not have a client list that I maintained. What saved me was I had the spiral voicemail log. And so you know, if anyone left me a voicemail message, I would, you know, write that down a log and so those were invaluable to me, you know because then I could go back and call people and tell me, you know, tell them where I was. And some clients with me, you know, which, which gave me some confidence because, and I’m sure this happens all the time. But, you know, people would call my firm, my former firm and ask for me and they’d say, Oh, she left suddenly, we don’t know where she went, which, which is very disappointing that they would do that.
But so I did have, you know, a small book of clients initially, which gave me confidence. And, you know, I didn’t really see it as going to practice I thought it was kind of a temporary gig, you know, because then I would absorb my office mates, a practice and I think, ultimately, that worked out for the best because I ended up to be too busy, you know, to have had to handle his clients. But, you know, it’s funny, I never took a business class. Even though I grew up, you know, in a family business, I never took a business class because, you know, I was going to practice law, you know, or be a mediator I was going to go into business. So I have, you know, made some mistakes, you know, along the way. That because, you know, as you, as you talked about a show, there’s working in your practice and on your practice, right. So, so yeah, but one thing that that I mentioned I office at a firm for.
So I left my firm on May 17, 2002. And then on June, July, and August of that year, I officed at a firm, and then it was a husband and wife, co-owners and the husband made the comment, you know, after a month, you know, you’ll be so busy, you know, you won’t look back. And so even though it’s a little scary initially, you know, it’s anyone going to call me what he said was true, you know that I think I became busy. And I haven’t looked back. Well we have it’s, it’s humbling, you know, when people drive, you know, from a, you know, fair distance to see me in a lot of our clients don’t want to get into Navigate, you know, downtown Seattle. But yeah, I feel really fortunate because although I did a lot of, you know, marketing and networking next month, and I’ve been inconsistent about that, and so it’s just a privilege, you know, that I have, you know, being consistent, you know, with regard to come to the firm.
Davina: It’s wonderful, that’s wonderful. And that truly is a, you know, that’s a wonderful success story to have had that, you know, pretty much within a month of opening, you know, the clients are coming and that you’ve had that sort of steady business. So, that’s, that’s fabulous. Tell me what, what are some of the challenges you’ve experienced in growing your practice? What are some of the things along the way that you in growing your business that you think been the most challenging?
Cancer & Running A Business
Beth: Well, definitely staff. I mean, that’s the most wonderful thing and that’s the hardest thing you know because you have to have a good team who, you know, they give them a task and they say I’ll do it, you know that you have to be confident, you know, they’ll follow up. And that would be it. And I’ve had some personal challenges. It’s my goal to go on to a person and you know, if one door shuts, you know, you know, okay, let’s try the next door kind of thing but I’m having children took a little bit longer than it’s been anticipated but about a six-year process. But you know, I was thankful that you know, had I amazingly that I was able to, you know, pay my expenses and you know, pay my paralegal you know, doing the, you know, I took about a six-week maternity leave you know, with both kids, but and then also, I, I’ve heard this expression and I tend to believe it.
I had an issue with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which is a cancer of the follicular system. And I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I gave myself cancer.” And I think that was probably true to me. You know, it’s 2013 was a really stressful year for me. I had an issue with a client that was trying to wrap up a contract with a state and it wasn’t a good situation because the state really wanted this gal to lose her license and it got sent to a commissioner and you know, she did not like my client and subsequently did not like me. So, she had about 25 cases that we’re trying to get rid of, and my staff said, you know, get out of it. Oh, no, no, no, you know, I can do it and And I got to care for these, you know, people that need, you know, new guardians, etc.
And I knew I was on a stressful path. And I thought, you know, the worst thing that can happen is I’ll get an ulcer and I’ll stop. And I didn’t understand inflammation and cancer and you know, because I, I’ve been pretty blessed and haven’t been direct, you know, I’ve had a few aunts that have had non-Hodgkins or breast cancer, but really haven’t directly been affected by cancer, even though a lot of my clients have it. But I’m now in remission. That’s good news.
But anyhow, so because of my health, which, and I’ve heard that that’s the ultimate wake up call. And I truly believe that and I was kind of an autopilot a little bit. And so I, you know, had an office manager that I was pressing to get things done and now you know, here we are three, three years out, and we’re seeing that things you know, didn’t get done. You know, like to do some accounting improperly in some guardianship cases and now we’re gonna have a meeting to fix those on our nickel. We just got to something from the IRS from, you know, three years ago, you know, when for $600, one for $1000 that some things that weren’t filed properly. So I don’t know what, how I could have done that in hindsight differently other than I should have listened.
Davina: Yeah. sometimes we take on, we, we, we get into that place of, we’re, we’re just going to power through it. I mean, it’s the curse of high achieving women. It is the cause of high achieving women. We just think that we are superwomen. We’re going to power through it. And, you know, we don’t listen to all of the clues that are there. You know, and until we’re, we’re just worn out from you know, until our body says to us “you don’t understand, you’re stopping now.”
Beth: Exactly. That was my case. And, and that’s another lesson I when I think back like I’ve ever got to a new attorney, and that is that if you start to feel sorry for a client, you need to get out. Because Sorry, it’s not going to pay your bill.
Davina: Right. Good. And this comes from the woman who was like, formerly defaulting for how many nonprofits at one time?
Beth: Six. Yeah, yeah, right. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, I was getting experience.
Davina: You’ve learned to be a business owner, you know?
Davina: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s incredible. That’s incredible. But it’s interesting that what you said though because it brings up a real challenge that solo practitioners often have, even when you have staff, right, is that if you’re the key person and you don’t have you haven’t built out enough, you know, attorneys, you don’t have attorneys working other attorneys working with you/for you, and your firm, then you may not win-win situations happen in your firm, you may not have built up a situation where you can step away if you need to, because you mentioned a couple of different things with you with with the birth of your children, you know, and going through that process and then also an illness. And, you know, it causes an issue when you’re the one who’s doing is the biller? You know, you’re the one that meant you’re the one who’s got an attorney in the office, you know, and, and your staff can only do so much in those situations. If you don’t have another lawyer, you know, That is a big challenge for solos, you’re not alone. And that is something I hear a lot and a lot. A lot of solo lawyers don’t really realize it. You know, we think oh, I can build a firm you know, with me and a bunch of staff and they don’t really realize it until something happens. And it’s like oh crap, I didn’t think about this. You know, it’s not uncommon.
Beth: No totally and I didn’t Yeah, I do have like a contract attorney and that’s been really helpful you know, that she could take uncontested matters you know to court for me in assessing really big and help staff you know, review things, you know, becauseI don’t let anything go out the door that, you know, hasn’t had an attorney dies on it. That’s been really helpful. But yeah, and I, I do have a group of colleagues, and it’s been several years now you know, that we kind of you know, we’re all fellows are, I think, one of them, you know, as partners and third husband, and we, you know, bounce off issues, you know, off each other and so that that’s been, you know, really helpful too. Because Yeah, it can get pretty lonely, fast. And, you know, when, when it’s when you’re the buck stops with you. I mean, that’s, that’s, you know, pretty lofty and so proud to have, you know, systems in place and, you know, set it up so that you can, you know, getaway so that you’re not tied to it. And I hear you. I think you’re speaking to me, Davina.
Davina: Yeah, yeah, for sure. Well, I don’t think I mean, I appreciate you. I appreciate you sharing that story and bringing that up today because I think it’s something that doesn’t get discussed enough. And I think there will be a lot of people listening to this that will really benefit from it. So I really appreciate you sharing that because that is a challenge and it is Sounds like you’ve done some things, I’m sure what, you know, once all these things started happening, you’re like, Oh, I need to, I need to, you know, address this and you’ve done that and, you know, some smart ways. You know, I started happening by making some arrangements and all that kind of stuff with contract journeys and, you know, some fellow lawyers out there who are similarly situated, right, and that’s a great way to do that to do some of that, you know, so…
Beth: Yeah, so I can say I had to rewire my brain almost. I was someone who, for a few different reasons, one of them being this Commissioner that was just terrible to other women and some other women may learn how to, even if there’s a tempest inside of a calm exterior, and then turns out that that is not very healthy. And we had had to reprogram myself so that I don’t, you know, keep things in. So either just you know, if it’s not a, if it’s a minor issue to just not internalize it at all, or just you know, positively, you know, deal with situations like that gives me stress. But it was interesting to me that I was with my claws and my health issue. And I don’t think this is unusual that I was pretty closeted about it. Right when I was trying to, and I learned in the journey of cancer that, you know, they tell you this, do this horrible thing. And then it’s a very much like process while they figure out the stage and the grade and you know, just a very, very stressful, stressful Limbo, Limbo period. And I had a client come in, and he mentioned that his dad had died from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And I said, oh, they’re trying to figure out if I have that and he said, you know, do it. Finding a new attorney because you’re going to die, you know, ha-ha-ha. And then I and then within the week I kid you not I had a husband, a wife come in and they kind of smoke some their faces and he said we I just have a question for you– when are you going to die?
You know, because they said, you know, we’ve lost our doctor, we’ve lost our lawyer, we’ve lost our accountant, and you know, so but it just kind of made me feel like okay, I’ve got to be in the closet about this. And so, so that was, you know, a little, you know, tricky, too. But, you know, because clients are very, you know, candid with me, you know, so for me not to be candid and return. But, you know, since that time, especially in dealing with families with cancer, I have been able to be more candid and, and it has helped me ask a lot more questions that I wouldn’t have asked otherwise. It turns out I didn’t realize how many places you can get chemo and greater Seattle. It kind of blew my mind. Everybody’s oncologist is the greatest but yeah, so just ask a lot more pointed, you know, questions about, you know, what people are doing it for treatment and, and having a better understanding of what they’re going through.
Davina: You know, and it’s interesting when you would be talking about these clients coming in, of course, you know, it’s kind of like shocking and appalling what things people say, but it goes back to, you know, so many people, you know, get into this notion that those attorneys give in giving themselves sometimes to the point of to their detriment because they get so emotionally attached to their clients and their clients outcomes. And, and, you know, they begin to look at clients as friends or family or you know, that kind of emotional attachment And then you will hear in a in an instant and a client will act that way, but then you will hear in an instant, just like that client are viewing and they should they viewing you as someone who’s providing a service for them. And yeah, and it’s a really valid concern for them to look and go, Wait a minute, what happens if something happens to my attorney? What happens if somebody happens to my service provider, you know, and that’s especially when you’re dealing with somebody with these really valid you know, these really complex issues that they’re having. Right. And so that does that tells you two things. One is that you definitely need to have some plans and some open communication about a yes, we affirm that extends beyond me. And here’s how that works. And I and then also That’s, that’s a real, that should be a huge relief to you because then that should make you very comfortable in establishing boundaries. Yeah, we’re a firm that extends beyond me. So I don’t have to put my I don’t have to pour my blood into you. You know, there’s there are limitations, there are boundaries for what I do and provide as well. It’s a business. It’s a business.
Beth: Yeah. So, absolutely a couple of aspects of that, and I and I’ve been asked that. My husband works for Boeing and Boeing is not going to pick out and completely leave the area. So I feel like we’re pretty solid here and I don’t intend to take another bar, but I’ve had clients happen, you know, what, if you quit, you know, what if you move away, you know, that’s those are legitimate questions, you know, absolutely. And kind of the other side of the coin, you know, I do get to know you know, clients, you know, quite well you know, if they’re You know, like a big of one client in particular, we had a lot of issues with his mother and then we had a lot of issues, you know, with, with her mother, or, you know, dealing with their, you know, estate. So, you know, you can deal with the same family with multiple planning and emergent issues. And it’s, it’s really a privilege and you know, yes, it is. It is a practice, you know, absolutely. But you do get, you know, close to your clients as well.
Davina: Well, this has been such an interesting conversation and I went in a completely different direction than I thought it was going to today. But the wonderful direction and wonderful direction in terms of what we talked about because I think it’s going to be so helpful and illuminating for a lot of people and it’s going to give a lot of people food for thought. So I thank you so much for sharing. What for, for you know, I always asked this question. I know if you’ve listened to some of my other podcasts, you’ve heard this, I was asked this question for others who are on the solo to CEO journey, who might be behind you and a little less experienced than you are in growing their practice? What advice would you have for them? As far as growing your business? What would you share? What kind of gold nugget would you have for them?
Beth: I would say for from day one, you know, treat your practice as a business you know, you are you know, at this for the longest time, you know, I talked to a client on the phone and it might take me a few seconds and then I could lock in on who that client was, but you’re not going to do that for much longer, if you plant your for practice grows, so make sure that you are, you know, creating data on your clients you know, so you saw the for example if you wanted to look up how many of your friends I had this particular issue, you know, that you can easily find out, you know, where your referral sources are going. So just, you know, do that from day one, and really seek out a good, you know, bookkeeper, you know, interview, you know, several people, ultimately, you know, that seems like a big expense from day one. Just think about how that will free you up, not only in your free time but just, you know, give you your time to practice. So, yes, think of it as as a business and choose an area, obviously, obviously, there are markets, things that are market-driven, but you know, that you feel passionate about and get involved. seek out those organizations that are reputable that’ll help you grow and just get out, get to know as many folks in your greater community, you know, for lead generation, you know, just to build contacts and to build your name within the community.
Davina: That’s great. That’s great advice. I agree with all of that. And that’s wonderful, wonderful advice. And I think that’s really probably been a lot of when you were talking earlier about your how, how the business has been steady and continuing for you throughout these years. It sounds like a lot of the key to that for us, you know, you, you really are kind of a master networker. From early on, you were just kind of mentioning that you would go out and talk, talk with people and you would ask them, you know, three people, you know, Nate, tell me three other people that I should meet. Yeah, and that’s a really good networking technique and a lot of people struggle with a struggle to do that. And because they’re, you know, uncomfortable asking people to introduce them or to, to tell them, you know, to do something for the ask people to do something for them, you know, but That is a wonderful, wonderful technique. And I bet you met so many people that way that maybe, maybe nothing came of it at the moment. But years later probably really bore fruit for you.
Beth: Absolutely, yeah. Just those planting those seeds am I, you know, I play at my first firm, you know, he was big at, you know, networking as well, you know, you get out there and, you know, two, three times a week and meet with people and yeah, I think you’ll reap the harvest if you plant those seeds and, you know, start to build those relationships. So that eventually you will be top of the line with someone has an issue in your area.
Davina: That’s great. That’s great advice. Beth, thanks so much for sharing. I really appreciate it. So tell us how we can find you on the interwebs.
Beth: So I am on Facebook. I have a public page called Beth A McDaniel. And it’s also on Facebook as the Law Offices of Beth A McDaniel. And then I’m also on Twitter, Waelderlaw, and I also you can find me on LinkedIn as well.
Davina: And you have a website your website is bethmcdaniel.com?
Beth: Bethmcdaniel.com, yes
Davina: Yeah. Don’t forget the website.
Davina: Yeah. So thanks so much for sharing and being here today, and I really appreciate it. This has been a great, great hour together and I appreciate it so much. I’ve enjoyed it. Thank you.
Beth: Thank you. My pleasure. It’s been wonderful.