In today’s episode, we chat with Elsa Waite Smith, founder and CEO of Law Offices of Elsa W. Smith about her journey from solo to CEO of a thriving estate and business planning law firm in Annapolis, Maryland.
Elsa shares her passion for empowering other women to take control of their businesses, assets and legacy planning.
She also speaks with us about her inspiration for becoming an attorney, her transition from a successful career as a litigator to transactional attorney, and why she’s excited about 2020, as well as…
- Empowering herself and others through the law
- Her passion for working with women and individuals in diverse communities
- The importance of systems to control the chaos
- The biggest challenge in running her solo practice
- Overcoming personal roadblocks
- Why she highly recommends business coaching for attorneys who want to be successful
Mentioned in this episode:
Davina Frederick: Hello and welcome to the Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast. Our mission is to provide thought-provoking powerful and practical information to help you in creating your own sustainable wealth-generating law firm without overwork or overwhelm, so you can live your best life. I’m your host, Davina Frederick, and I’m here today with Elsa Waite Smith of the Law Offices of Elsa W. Smith, with offices in Annapolis and Laurel, Maryland.
The Law Offices of Elsa W. Smith provide estate planning, business law services to startups and family law. Elsa has been a featured guest on radio, television and internet programs and she hosts her own YouTube channel. So welcome Elsa. I’m so glad to have you here today on the Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast.
Elsa Waite Smith: Hi Divina. It is such a pleasure to be a guest on your show today.
Davina: Great, we’re going to have a lot of fun today. I just know it. I always enjoy talking with you so this is going to be fun. I’ve been looking forward to it. So why don’t you start out telling us a little bit more about your law firm and the clients you serve and how you serve them?
Who Does Elsa’s Firm Serve?
Elsa: Well, our law offices the Law Offices of Elsa W. Smith, as you correctly noted, we focus on wills and estate planning and small business consulting. We do also offer a very defined family law practice and that involves cases involving special Immigrant juveniles. And those usually touch in the areas of custody and guardianship. We also do name changes, protective order, so it’s a very limited family law practice. So just recently, we, you know, regrowing the practice. 2020 is proving to be a year of growth. We’re growing into probate. So we’re now offering that as well.
Davina: You’ve been doing the juvenile justice work for quite a long time, haven’t you?
Elsa: Yes. You know, it’s so rewarding because the, for those who aren’t familiar with special immigrant juvenile status cases, they primarily involve undocumented minors who are seeking legal status in the United States. And what I do in the family court is secure what are called predicate orders, because in order for these juveniles to eventually, you know, be eligible for visas to remain in-country in the United States, they need what are called these predicate orders from a family court judge making findings that they do qualify under the laws of Maryland and other federal law, or special immigrant juvenile status.
It is truly one of the joys of my practice because the population that I serve, at least at this point, are Hispanics. And I am Afro Cuban. And I love representing Hispanic families before the courts in Maryland and showing them that in spite of the trials and tribulations that they have suffered in their home countries and in getting to this country when they arrived, they’re thriving. So it really is a personal sense of pride for me. And a service that I enjoy rendering. You know, I truly have a servant’s heart. And to do this kind of work, you really need to have a servant’s heart.
Davina: Right. So let’s go back and talk about your, how you became a lawyer, why you became a lawyer and what you’re, the first years of your practice were like before you went into business for yourself?
Elsa: Well like with most entrepreneurs, you know, my journey has been one of evolution. And where I am now resembled nothing where, you know, how I started as a practitioner. I was originally licensed in the state of Florida. So I’m, I was born in Puerto Rico, but I was raised in South Florida. Went to law school in Florida and worked in private practice, worked for myself, and basically did a number of things.
The area of law that I focused on for the longest time was in criminal defense. I absolutely love working with people and criminal defense specifically serving as an assistant public defender. And the early years of my practice gave me the trial experience, gave me that confidence in court and it also gave me the exposure to people from all walks of life.
So that, you know, that’s like the beginning of my practice. I also, when I was no longer with the PDS office, I did, had stints with personal injury, med now insurance defense, and, you know, like I tell people, it was a process of kind of whittling away the areas that I didn’t like that weren’t a good fit with who I was at the time and who I am. Fast forward to, like, the fall of 2006. I got engaged. I moved to Maryland. We’re in Maryland. Became my home. I got married a year later. And I worked in DC, doing contract work, e discover work with very prestigious firms on K Street in DC.
But soon, I got that entrepreneurial bug again. And the difference was that I didn’t have the network that I had established in South Florida. So I was looking at, you know, reinventing myself. You know, single, well, no, actually at the time, you know, I was a newlywed and no kids. So, I just, I jumped, you know, to quote you know, Steve Harvey and his book, you know, Jump, I took that that leap of faith having no networks really, here in the, you know, Maryland DC area. I jumped. Why? Because, like so many of the things in my life, they’ve involved the step of faith. And I did. And I volunteered, I shadowed people. I started out with having a virtual office.
And that’s the Laurel Office. And I’ve kept it till this day. And I saw people by appointment, doing, again, doing lots of, you know, criminal defense. And I needed an office to see, to meet my clients. So the virtual situation worked for me at the time. But as with all things business, you have to be nimble.
And as you want to grow, and if you want to serve more people, you need to, you know, adjust your business model. So, fast forward again to 2012. Actually, no. Just three or four years ago, I decided to launch or open the Annapolis office. Why Annapolis? How did I come to Annapolis? Funny enough, the power of networking. I had a very good girlfriend who does immigration work.
And she had just moved her office to Annapolis and said Elsa, you know, there’s opportunities here to, you know, really have a footprint and really serve the Hispanic community. You know, I’m a native Spanish speaker. And I said, interesting. But what I discovered was that there were other communities that I could serve. Just in touring Annapolis I liked the feel of it. I love the fact that everything was so accessible. So I took yet another leap of faith and opened the Annapolis office. And I decided to keep the Laurel Office. So now I have two. I have two offices.
Davina: That’s fantastic.
Elsa: Yeah, no, it’s stretching myself and I spend most of my time actually in the Annapolis office. I see clients in both offices by appointment. But the step forward and adding that Annapolis office really opened me up to just a whole network of other folks in different parts of Maryland. And it’s provided me sources of referrals, new clients from different parts of Maryland. And I absolutely love it. I love it here. And I’m always, and I’m still looking to grow.
Now how I came to the estate planning side of things, there came a time when, you know, I wanted to scale back what I was doing criminal defense, because quite frankly it got a little exhausting going to different places all around Maryland. You know, you’re going to not only meeting clients, but you’re also you know, as part of the practice, visiting, you know, penal institutions. And it gets kind of tiring and I wanted to change the pace of my practice. And I wanted to, frankly, improve the quality of life that I had.
So I thought to myself, how can I best serve people but still, you know, earn a living, because at the end of the day, it’s a business. And you want to find a practice that’s a good fit. So I looked at estate planning and I took the lead. I talked to other practitioners and what I discovered was that, much to my surprise, that it’s more than just, you know, drafting documents for people. The more I studied, and the more I got into it, I found that not only was it a source of empowerment for me, but for the people I served, and then I had that epiphany. I went, Aha.
You know, you have, Divina, you, in business what motivates you in spite of, you know, all the trials and tribulations that a business owner has, what keeps you going is getting in touch with your why. And at that moment, I went, Oh my goodness. I can empower people through estate planning, through the advice. I’m in, and specifically and then that when I got that more defined by empowering women. Now why women? Because while I was getting myself acclimated, you know, to the Annapolis community, I got connected with the American Businesswomen’s Association. It is a national professional development organization for women. By women for women.
And I connected, I tapped into what I call a power source. And there’s nothing like being in a community of like-minded women to really, you know, just motivate you and like supercharge you. And I said, wait a minute. Now, though hundreds of women all across the country, I said, aha, I can use my years of experience, my love of the law, my wanting of, my desire to empower women through wills and estate planning, but I also can empower them. Why? Because for so long traditionally, you know, women have always delegated, you know, finances, you know, all the heavier stuff too, you know, fathers and spouses and male significant others and we’ve taken a backseat.
And when women are, you know, just getting, you know, going through a divorce, they’ve just gotten out of, you know, gone through a divorce, or they’ve lost their husbands, you know, they’ve died, they find themselves alone. And now they’re having to deal with, you know, all these things that they didn’t have to deal with before. Finances, you know, asset management. And this also applies to younger women. Younger professional women who are just entering the workforce or they’re just starting a family.
And they’re starting to accumulate wealth. So the women that I focus on, my target market, if you will, ranged from young professional women who are starting to accumulate wealth to women who are either changing careers or in some sort of transition that have accumulated a certain amount of wealth, but need guidance.
And that’s where I come in. You know, I, and my marketing now is a lot more tailored to women. It’s a lot more focused. Even, you know, I am on social media. You know, as you know, I’m on Facebook, I’m on LinkedIn and Instagram, and I have a YouTube channel. And the videos that I’m putting out there, everything about that content is more and more focused to women, because
Davina: It’s wonderful that you have found your, you know, real passion with working with women. What, was there some catalyst to this? Was it being a part of this group that really made you hone in on that vision?
Strength in the Collective
Elsa: It really did. I have to give them a lot of credit because, for years, I was a bit of a loner. I was very independent and thought that, you know, I could just do things on my own. And, you know, I never was a part of a, you know, a sorority or, you know, or any other like women’s group on a large scale. And I just said, you know, it was just not for me, because I wanted to be independent. Well, what I found was that there is strength in the collective. And that was a powerful discovery for me.
I can still be who I was, who I am in a community of women who value diversity, who value entrepreneurship, who value professional development. So I’ve really thrived. And if you know that aha, that inspiration has really, you know, manifested itself in different parts of my life. Increased my confidence, you know, tenfold. And you think, you know, oh, you’re an attorney, you know, you should be, you know, you should be confident already. I am.
However, it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone and brought home the fact that you know what, there, is, A it’s okay to ask for help. As businesswomen, you know, a lot of times, you know, we’re, that’s one of the in that if I had something to convey to women who are starting out or women who are, you know, who are looking to find a way to to improve their businesses, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s out there. I have been so blessed and so pleasantly surprised at the number of people who are willing to help me. All I had to do was ask. And once I did, it’s like the doors open. You know, like the heavenly gates open. It’s like, you know,
Davina: It’s amazing how difficult it is the asking part, though, to get to the point where you, you know, can open yourself up and just say, you know, I really could use some help here, you know?
Elsa: You know what Davina, like, I really think I mean it for, you know, if we’re really going to be honest about it, part of it has to do with our ego, right? And I had to, you know, acknowledge that. It’s like, you know, what, you really don’t know everything and it’s okay to say that you don’t know. And that to acknowledge that you need help, and in to be committed learning. Constantly learning and admitting that you don’t know. That was so freeing to me.
Davina: Right. And, you know, we just simply cannot know everything. You know, when we’re entrepreneurs, and we’re learning how to grow a business, put that on top of learning new practice areas. I mean, there’s a lot. There’s a lot to learn. And so it’s wonderful that you found such a great network of people that could be there for you to help you and continue to help you I’m sure. And I’m sure you do the same for them, you know, in so many ways with the work that you do. Tell me about your practice today. You have a team that works with you?
Elsa: I do. I do. I have an administrative assistant who I recently promoted to senior administrative assistant. She’s just absolutely phenomenal. I also have a virtual paralegal who works with me. And I also have a team that assists me in my social media content generation and management.
Davina: Right. Now was, did you have a challenge with your, because your practice is, your bilingual and your practice is bilingual. Did you have a challenge finding the right people to work with you, to work with your clientele?
Overcoming the Challenges of Finding the Right Help
Elsa: You know, at first it was but I read, there was a great book called Who, the A Method of Hiring. And that, reading that book enlightened me to the need of having a system in hiring in my hiring process. A clearly defined system. My hiring process begins with, you know, like a 15 to 20-minute video chat on Zoom. That’s where I do my you know, after they answer initial questions on like a platform like Indeed for example, I call that list and then invite people to a video interview on Zoom.
I can’t recommend Zoom or similar video platforms enough because you get so much more data to use. Body language, how prepared people are, how adept they are with technology, which is a part of my practice. So I mean, if they can’t even, you know, figure out Zoom, you know, that’s going to call that list, you know, just
Davina: Right, right. If they’re reluctant to get on a video call with you, it’s going to tell you a lot about them, right?
Elsa: Absolutely. And then I have, and then based on that, I, you know, I asked for writing samples. I scheduled them for a longer video interview and then after that, then I have them come into the office. And then once they’re in the office, I have them do several exercises. I have a laptop for them. And I give them timed exercises. And then based on how they respond to that, you know, I’ll make an offer or not. But gone are the days of just having, you know, heard the people coming into the office and wasting, you know, precious time, you know, time that I don’t I have. No. Not at all.
Davina: Well, that’s terrific. It sounds like you have a really good team helping you now. So I imagine that you have been growing quite a bit then in the last year. So tell us about that. Tell us some of the changes that have happened since you opened the doors.
Elsa: Oh my goodness. Since I opened this office, and like I said, the Annapolis office is really like my home office and where I spend the most time. I for a long time actually early, you know, early on in this entrepreneurial process, you know, I had to get over the fear of hiring. The fear of adding one more person. But I realized that I can’t grow, I wouldn’t be able to grow if I didn’t have a team. So one by one I started, you know, adding individuals screening them and it freed me up to do what I really want to do which is network and bring in more clients. And even as we speak I’m planning to bring on, the goal for this year is to bring on an attorney. I don’t know what that
Davina: Well, that’s a big exciting step.
Elsa: It is. And, you know, I’m still crafting the job description and I haven’t decided what that relationship is going to look like. But that’s the next big goal for me in 2020 is adding an attorney because I know that’s going to bring me, that’s going to bring more revenue into the firm. And the other major goal is to really add more systems and refine the systems that I currently have because I do understand now that you have to have systems in order to control the chaos, you know, that can come, you know, in a business.
Davina: With growth.
Elsa: Yeah, absolutely.
Davina: Yeah, yeah. So what do you think your biggest challenge, your biggest struggle has been in being a solo?
Elsa: Oh, my. Let’s see, the biggest challenge, trusting the process. You know, understanding that entrepreneurship is really not for the faint of heart. One of the biggest things actually now that I think about it, was recognizing the need for coaching. You know, every, you know, and the more I did research, you know, because for a time I wasn’t aware of coaching services and, you know, different services that were offered. And it wasn’t until, you know, I took a step of faith and had my first, you know, business coach that I said, aha, all right, I do need someone to hold me accountable.
I do need someone to push me, to help me clearly define goals. And really, the value of coaching is that it not only helps you from a financial standpoint to get your goals and whatnot on paper but also from a, I mean nothing at all woo woo or anything but, you know, from a spiritual side it really, for having a coach really forces you to look within and confront the story that you’ve been telling yourself. The reasons why you tell yourself, and women, we’re so guilty of this as women, particularly professional women, you know, that the, I’m not good enough.
You know, the imposter syndrome. Getting past that and having someone by your side saying, you know, that you can do this and here’s why, and forcing you to look within. There’s some work that you’ve got to do yourself that the coach can’t do for you. And you’ve got to do that work yourself. And for me, it, you know, I’m still in a process of evolving but I’m nowhere near where I was years ago. I am more self-aware. I have looked at the issues, the concepts, the ideas that I grew up with. And, you know, some of the personal things that have happened in my life that have been stumbling blocks for me.
And not, I guess it diminished my confidence in certain areas. But having a coach and of course, you know, doing your own work and, you know, reading. Reading about people who have excelled in your area. Reading about the stories of other businesswomen really gave me the confidence and, you know, the awareness of you know, what, hey, everybody’s gone through something. But in spite of they’ve persevered and they thrived. They built successful, you know, high revenue-generating businesses or, you know, businesses that gives them the life that they want to have. And those are the women, those are the people that I am modeling myself after.
Davina: Right, right. What are some of your favorite books that you like?
Elsa: I like one of them, like I said is the one I mentioned Who, the A Method of Hiring. There is their other book by, oh my goodness, the name escapes me. I know I should
Davina: I threw that one at you out of the blue. So you may have to think about that for a minute.
Elsa: But both having to do with professional development and leadership. I realize that in order to grow your firm, you don’t have to just understand business but you have to understand leadership and what that means. And leadership and management are to completely different concepts. I know when I, in this transition that I’m you know, that I’m on from being the attorney that, you know, works on most of the cases to being, you know, a CEO and being in more of a managerial capacity, you know, requires you to have vision.
And leaders communicate that vision to their staff, to their team, as I like to call them, you know, I have team members. Because they really are. They, without them, each one of them has a clear function in the practice. I communicate that to them and I also communicate to them that they are valued. And that’s really important to me as a leader, as a human being, communicating to other people that they matter and that they have a purpose in the firm. And you’d be surprised that, you know, sometimes that even goes a longer way then, you know, bonuses and other things. You know, people need to know that they have a purpose bigger than themselves.
Davina: Absolutely. And you remember, you probably remember so clearly what it was like when you were, you know, by yourself struggling trying to get things done and needing some help and, you know, that’s vivid in your mind. So when you have people come in, especially good people, for any attorneys out there who have, own their own practice, I’m sure everybody’s had the experience of hiring somebody that didn’t work out or wasn’t a good fit, you know, initially when you’re first trying to figure out how to do this. And that really, so when you get people who are a really good fit, you value them so much, don’t you?
Elsa: I do. I do. And if I may, you touched on a point, you know, on, I had an experience last year where I actually had to let someone go. Yeah, I did. And that’s something that as business owners, you know, we’re going to have to deal with. And surprisingly, when I made the decision to let this person go, because, you know, she just, her work product was just not up to par. And I was losing money. Let me be quite frank. And I did not let this situation fester for a long time.
And I made a decision. Of course, you know, I had counseled this person and offered tools to help them, you know, be the best at their role. But those things were not helping. So I had to make a decision. And surprisingly, I felt a sense of relief when I let the person go. And it was for me personally, because I pride myself in really, you know, developing a relationship, you know, connection with my team members.
So this, to me, constituted a severing. And it was different for me. It was the first time that I’d actually had to let someone go. And I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle that. But I put my, I took the feeling out of it, and then started thinking about the business. And when you look at the numbers and you start seeing that, wait a minute, this person is costing me money and this person is not getting me closer to my goal, you have to make the hard decision. And I did. And like I said, I felt relieved and I’m glad that I didn’t let the situation linger.
Davina: Right. You know, I know you to be such a heart-centered person, that every person that you invite into your world is, you know, a special relationship, right? So that taking that step and really working through and saying that business is separate, it’s a separate entity from me, and this is about the business.
That’s, you know, that’s the challenge that a lot of women attorneys have. Not all, but a lot of them have that challenge of saying, you know, it feels so personal when you start the business and it’s your business and it feels like it is you, right? And being able to separate that, you know, it’s wonderful that you were able to move so quickly and separate that for yourself and not take it, you know, to heart.
Elsa: Yeah. I mean I, you know, I’m a member of like different women’s groups online and stuff and I read about, you know, people that have employees that have lingered on, you know, a person’s staff for like months, you know? And they know the boss knows that they’re not doing well. The employee’s not doing well and they just allow this condition to fester and I’m thinking to myself my gosh you know how many nights of heartburn and, you know, headache? Just deal with it already.
Davina: Some people make it easier than others to let them go too. But you’re in a really good place right now with your business and you’ve added, you’re adding probate services. So that’s going to be a very exciting part. So you’re gonna really combine your love for the estate planning, your passion for that and with your litigation excellence by doing some of the probate work, right? What made you decide to move into that area?
Elsa: Well, you know, it’s a, you know, a natural progression, you know, from estate planning and legacy planning. You know, I want to not only craft the estate plan for an individual, but I also want to be that lifelong partner for them. So when, unfortunately when people pass away, then you know, the probate process is activated in many cases.
And I want to be that person that they, that trusted resource, that individual tab that they can come back to and know that, hey, we entrusted you with our estate planning, you know, we need your help again with the probate process. So I’ve already planted those seeds. I’ve developed those relationships. So it was a natural progression. I also have a wonderful paralegal with lots of experience doing probate work, which is, you know, another reason why I ventured into this area.
Davina: Tell us what are you excited about that you got coming up in 2020?
Elsa: Like I mentioned, I, you know, the big thing is, you know, the bringing on a new team member, a new attorney. That’s going to be a big thing for me. I’m also looking at expanding my current office space. We’re quickly outgrowing our space, even though I’m doing my best to use virtual staff as much as possible. I know that there’s going to come a time when I need to grow. So that’s something
Davina: That’s very exciting.
Elsa: It is. It is. It is. And, you know, you have to, you know, weigh the needs of your firm you know the needs of growth. People, you know, need more room. And a lot of times you have to expand even before you get the individuals in to fill the space making room for that growth. So that’s what I’m looking forward to in 2020. I’m also looking forward to increasing my social media presence. Doing more appearances like this. It’s funny, my husband says that I’m, you know, I just love being on camera or on, you know, online.
Davina: You just line up when they turn the camera. Well, you know, you’re beautiful so you’ve got that wonderful face for being on video. You actually, and I do want to talk about your thing, some of the things that you do on social marketing-wise because you have a really terrific, you have a wonderful newsletter that you put out. You have a YouTube channel. Tell us what that was like for you to, when you first started doing all of that, did you have any issues with being visible and putting yourself out there? And what made you decide to do those things?
The Decision to Step Out Into the Spotlight
Elsa: Well, let me talk about more than video, the video aspect and then I’ll touch on the newsletter. I got connected to a networking group of other professionals who, think of Toastmasters but for people who do video blogging. I got connected to them. We meet on a weekly basis. And it’s, you know, it’s a safe space for people from all different walks of life, all different professions, to come in and market their services, you know, and you create, you know, a short video that you can use on your website or however, you know, other platforms on social media.
So, one of the things I, you know, have to get past was, you know, being the perfectionist. You know, everything had to be just so before I got on camera, and when I realize is that that the things, the minutiae that I worry about, people don’t really care. They care more about the content of the message, and they just want to have a connection with you.
So I got, I love doing videos. And even though, you know, I’ll look back and go, Oh, well, you know, that lighting could have been, you know, tweaked a little and I should have had this angle. You know, that’s just me. Quite frankly, I get feedback from people going god that was great tips on, you know, wills and estate planning or that was a great video on, you know, small business tips and they’re not even paying attention to the minutiae that I was paying attention to.
Davina: No. No one cares about lighting and
Elsa: No. Whether this potted plant was in the right position or whatever, you know? People really don’t care. So I really embrace that. And video really, you know, just being on social media in general. But video, blogging is an avenue that I really want to dedicate more time to in 2020 because I realized that people consume information differently. So I have a blog on my website, elsawsmithlaw.com. And, you know, where people can, you know, read content if they wish. But they also can view videos, you know, on the go.
I’m trying to reach as many people in as many different formats as possible. Now, the newsletter is called The Weekly and I’ve been doing it now for about a year. You know, it’s tough at first to generate all that content. But I found that it’s important to be top of mind to the people that are following me and, you know, people who are interested in wills and estate planning and business issues. They get just little tidbits. Just enough little bite-sized bits of information each week.
And my image is on that newsletter and it goes out. And that mailing list is growing. It’s free and it’s content that I want to share with people because are scouring the internet for content, valuable content. And the newsletter, The Weekly newsletter is the way to do that in a way that keeps people connected. I want as many ways to keep people connected with me as possible. So I’ve got the YouTube channel, I’ve got a blog, I’ve got The Weekly where I am on other social media platforms. So, you know, it’s very competitive.
Davina: What I really love about your content, let’s besides, you know, I mean it looks fabulous. The design of the newsletter is beautiful and you got your picture there so people can see that in there. Even if they don’t read it they see you there weekly in their inbox.
But one of the things that I think you do that’s really unique and I’m sure powerful for your prospective clients is your content is bilingual. You have bilingual content and your newsletters, Spanish and English, and you have your videos. And even your Instagram you’ll put out a meme and a quote that you love in English and then you’ll put it in Spanish as well and put it out there. And has that been effective for you? Have people noticed that?
Elsa: They certainly do. And I’m, I have a reason for doing that. Even though the, at least right now, most of my clients are English speakers, but I need to communicate to the Hispanic community that they matter and the marketing has to be targeted towards them. It’s the way, so in my marketing, I’m seeking to inform as well as empower. The first step is informing. And if people who are primarily, you know, Spanish speakers are seeing things in Spanish they’re like, Oh, she’s speaking to me. And then the thought process is like, Oh, so she really cares. Oh, so that may be somebody I want to do business with.
Davina: Right. And even if they speak English, even if you have Spanish people who are bilingual themselves, right? I’m sure that that has a powerful effect because, you know, not many attorneys are doing that, putting out that kind of content in that way.
Elsa: No, no, no. And again, in this competitive environment, you have to do what you can to set yourself apart.
Davina: Right. Absolutely. Well tell us, we’re getting down to the end here so I wanted to ask you a couple of questions. One is if you had advice to give to another woman attorney who may be not quite as far along as you are in your journey, what would you tell her?
Elsa: A few things. One is to understand your why. Understand why you’re doing this. Who are you trying to serve and why? The second thing is to recognize the need for, I’ll call it coaching, but just assistance in general. You need someone to stand alongside you to help you build the business. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. And the, I guess the last thing is to really change your mindset from expenses that you have. So change the mindset to investment. You’re investing in yourself. You’re investing in your employees.
You’re investing in your firm. And that will give you the confidence to grow your firm and to take those steps of faith that you inevitably will need to take in order to grow your firm and take it to the next level. It’s worked for me. So that’s what I would encourage other business owners to do as well. You know, to whom much is given much is required. So I’m, in the work that I’m doing, I hope to empower as many women as I can.
Davina: Right. It’s wonderful when you shift your perspective from, you know, you and your own, you know, focus to saying what kind of impact can I have? How can I impact, like if I grow this business I’ll be able to work with and impact more people, right? And that sounds like that is what you have done is really stepped into your why and thought about, you know, how does my work impact these, the people that I want to serve? And can I serve more of them? Can I create a bigger impact?
Elsa: That’s right. That’s right.
Davina: So tell me how can we find out more about you. If we want to look up and find out more about the Law Offices of Elsa W. Smith, how do we, tell us all about where your YouTube channel is and your website and all that.
Elsa: All that good stuff. Yes. First, my website. You can reach me at Elsa, ELSA W. Smith law.com. And you’ll find my blog there. You can also subscribe to my website, to my newsletter rather, The Weekly on that website. You can connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram Twitter at Elsa W. Smith Law. You can also visit me and subscribe to my YouTube channel at Elsa W. Smith Law. So I’m all over social media so there are plenty of ways to stay connected with me. And I look forward to growing my audience and serving more people every day.
Davina: Right, right. Well, I’m so happy you were here. It’s been such a pleasure talking to you. I always enjoy our conversations and I’m excited to see how much you have grown in the past few years and I can’t wait to see what you have in store in the next several years.
Elsa: Thank you. Thank you, Davina. It’s such a, it’s been such a pleasure speaking with you. And I too, I love our conversations. It’s really been a joy. I was looking forward to this. I’m really glad that we, yeah, yeah, it’s been fabulous.
Davina: Oh, great. Thank you.