We’re excited to welcome Lauren Boyd to this week’s episode of the Wealthy Woman Lawyer® Podcast. Lauren is an attorney, entrepreneur, podcast host, speaker, and mother to be who started and scaled her own 6-figure boutique law firm called Guide My Business. Guide My Business is a relationship-based firm driven by helping entrepreneurs own their brand and their day. Lauren’s first passion is entrepreneurship. She says, “I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. I think I always knew I would own my own business. I just never knew it would be a law firm.”
Listen as she explains how her passion led to her perfect practice, as well as:
- The #1 secret to building a relationship-based law firm
- 3 key strategies for creating a high-performance team culture
- How to make sure the right information gets to your clients every time (while keeping your boundaries solid)
- How to transition your clients to working with your team (instead of always wanting you)
- And much more…
Mentioned in this episode:
Davina Frederick: Hello and welcome to the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast. We believe all women lawyers deserve to be wealthy women lawyers. 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 so excited for you to meet our guest today, so let’s get started. Lauren Boyd is an attorney, entrepreneur, podcast host speaker, and a mother to be who is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs gain confidence in their legal foundation.
Before venturing out on her own, Lauren worked in a in corporate law, negotiating more than $3 billion in international contracts. In 2018, Lauren started and scaled her own six figure boutique law firm, Guide My Business. Lauren is driven by her passion for helping entrepreneurs own their brand and their day. So we’re super excited to have Lauren here today on the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast. Welcome, Lauren.
Lauren Boyd: I am so excited to join you this morning.
Davina: Great, we have a lot to talk about, because I really, I love your business model. And I want to get into all of that. But before we go there, let everybody get to know a little bit about how you got here, right? So if you could tell us, did you always want to be an attorney? Was this something you knew as a kid, this is what you wanted to be or where you like some other folks, and you just sort of like wandered into this path later in life.
Lauren: I think I’m like some other people where I do not know that I wanted to be a lawyer. Instead, I actually was in undergrad pursuing dual degrees in finance and entrepreneurship. And it wasn’t until my senior year. So nothing like a late decision. But my senior year of college where we had mock legal counsel from third year law students. In our entrepreneurship program, we had these venture ideas that we were launching with a team.
And going through kind of the whole, the whole process of understanding what it would look like to launch a business. Write a business plan, get in front of investors, and pitch. It was a really a great experience. But most of all, because it actually led me to kind of find my passion for how, you know, a business attorney could support a business. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. So I think I always knew I would have my own business. I just never dreamed it would actually be a law firm.
Davina: Wow. Well, that’s wonderful. It’s interesting, you say that you’ve got a dual undergrad degrees, one in finance and one entrepreneurship. And I think that’s so fantastic that they now have degrees in entrepreneurship. It was not a thing when I was going to college, and I’m so jelly, every time I hear somebody say that, and I’m like, I wish I had that. How awesome. Because you probably learned so much that helps you prevent making some of the mistakes that others had to make along the way, because we’re trying to figure it out on our own. Then you said that that was really something that led you to law school and becoming an attorney. Tell me kind of what your thought was around that. I mean, you’ve had some exposure to business attorneys, or, you know, did you did you have other people in your family who influenced that? Or was this something that you just learned and going through school that it looked like kind of a fun thing to do?
Lauren: You know, I, my parents were both entrepreneurs. They owned their own business my entire life. And I’d seen them work with attorneys over the years, you know, for their needs here and there as advisors, trusted advisors. So I kind of knew a little bit of what that relationship looked like. But when I was actually associated, I’m like, surprised that this is this is how I did it. But I think we used to function on less sleep. I had dual degrees, I was preparing for the LSAT and I decided to you know, go intern at a friend’s uncle’s law firm, where I was going to school. He happened to have you know, an uncle and aunt who were lawyers. And they actually did you know, nothing that touched the the business world.
They did construction defect, personal injury, but it was really nice, because they had a very small firm. It was three lawyers, they had a paralegal, it was a really good experience to kind of see what it would look like to be in a firm. Whether or not it was the right, you know, area of law, you know, didn’t really matter to me. It was really nice just to see like what it could look like. And so I actually interned there while I was prepping to take the LSAT and submitted my kind of my app my application for early admission and was like, you know, I’m going to take a year off because no way I’m going to get in. I just barely decided to do this. And I’ll take a little bit more time, you know, and maybe kind of, you know, go back up to Phoenix and you know, intern someplace else.
But I got in and I said, well, I guess I’m gonna go to law school and see how this looks. And then I was just, you know, during law school, I was really intentional to take the business classes, mediation, contract drafting, negotiation. Anything I could take, that touched the realm of business, is where it was at. And then to make it a full circle moment, when I was a third year law student, I was in the entrepreneurship program supporting the entrepreneurship students next door at the Business College.
Davina: Wonderful. That’s wonderful. So you really, you really dove into it from a business perspective, right at the beginning. I know a lot of people go go to law school, and they, they aren’t really sure where that’s going to lead them as far as a career as an attorney. And sometimes we find the places we never expected we would be. But since you have this background and kind of in business, you know, in entrepreneurship, you you went with that intention. And it sounds like it’s really worked out well for you. Now, when you got out though you didn’t start your firm right away, did you?
Davina: Okay, so tell me about that journey. What did you? What did you do? Where did you go?
Lauren: Gosh, I can’t imagine starting a firm. Anyone who start started a firm right out of law school, kudos to you.
Davina: I was one of those. I was one of those people.
Lauren: Oh my gosh, you did? That, to me, that’s so impressive.
Davina: But but yes, it is. It is I’m not sure if it was a terribly wise decision. And I wouldn’t advise people for me, I was in my 40s when I did that. I’d already had a previous career. So I had some business experience, you know.
Lauren: Yeah. And then the know how, because it does take a lot, I think to you know, to start to start a firm. So for me, you know, I actually I was very, very headstrong in kind of, you know, making sure I continued to make decisions that would lead me kind of towards the path of business. And so instead of, you know, going the clerkship route, or, you know, the more traditional applying to law firms, I actually found myself an internship going into my third year of law school, working for a Fortune 100 company in house. And so I was supporting kind of their, their general counsel staff, and I found it really interesting. And I actually stayed on there, while I, when I graduated from law school, and I worked there for several years, and that’s where I negotiated these large contracts, they were all commercial contracts, you know, this global corporation.
And so I got to work internationally. I got to travel for work. I got to negotiate, you know, many of our contracts would be 500 million plus contracts, and I would be the lawyer representing this fortune 100 company. It was really trial by fire. But it was a wonderful experience because it was you know, not only in drafting, in the complexity of drafting such you know, large contracts. And they were long term contracts usually 10 plus years. So you knew what you were preparing was going to have long term effects. But also the being in a room and learning how to negotiate real time across the table, oftentimes from people who they had children my age.
And so to learn that dynamic, and to really be able to not only you know, prepare the language but to back it up, you know, when challenged by you know, the other side and build a relationship with them, but also draw, you know, a certain be able to draw a certain line and a level of respect in the room as well so that, you know, we were being collaborative. And it wasn’t that I was only just, you know, compromising because, you know, the youngest person in the room, I was often the only female in the room. It was, you know, honestly it just it priceless experience. And after a few years of that I you know, I looked you know, kind of at the department that I was in, and even though it was actually a very strong female department, I really, you know, felt like I had a really great mentor is there. And I didn’t want anybody else’s job.
Like I didn’t want to grow into you know, another position there. And I had this little calling on my heart, sitting at dinner across from my now husband, then boyfriend. And I said, I think I want to quit my job. And I know I could go work in house because I knew that we were kind of I was competitively placed by you know, have been worked working there. A lot of people had left and gone to in house tuition, you know, elsewhere here in the Phoenix area. So I said I know I could go someplace else if I had to, but I think I want to quit my job and try and start my own law firm. So I like to tease, he said yes, to my crazy idea.
So I obviously married him. Because he, I know, he was, you know, and he grew up in entrepreneurial home too. And I had kind of shared with him. For me, it was about building, you know, this work life balance, it was about building a life. And, you know, he was very supportive of that. So I actually own my own home at the time. He moved in to help me pay the mortgage, and kind of support my wild dream. And that was now three years ago. And, you know, now we have, you know, attorneys on our staff. And it’s just, it feel it feels like it’s a mix between it looks like it felt feels like 10 years. But it also went by in the blink of an eye.
Davina: Right, right. There’s so many questions I have that spawn from all that. So I’m going to go back just a little bit, and I want to ask you, when you were working in that environment, I can imagine even even someone who’s an experienced attorney would probably feel intimidated and anxious, you know, about being in a room full of successful CEOs and negotiating these, these long term contracts worth millions of dollars. Can you, I mean, what was that experience like for you? You touched on it a little bit. But did you have any experiences with people, with older people, men, women, whoever, who reacted to you differently, because of your age, and your, you know, being a baby lawyer, any of those things? And how did you cope with that? Like, did you find other mentors to help you sort of get through that? Or, you know, did you, are you just confident innately, or what? Is there anything in particular, you remember?
Lauren: You know, I do think I happen to have a little bit of a level of kind of innate confidence, and kind of this, this ability to just say, well, you know, I’m just, I’m going to just prove myself. Luckily, I feel like the, a lot of the rooms that I would negotiate in it, they would, we’d get to know each other. So we started to kind of build this relationship. And so when I, you know, I feel like I would, you know, I’d show up my best every time, then they started, there started to be a level of like, well, you know, she actually, she actually does a pretty good job at this.
You know, so there was, I did have to, you know, kind of, I feel like work a little bit harder to gain the respect. There was a few rooms that, you know, if I’m being honest, you know, I had, you know, there was one particular deal where it was kind of the largest one that, you know, I had led. It was, you know, kind of a big contract for the company. And I had to bring in, you know, one of our IP General Counsel, specifically to kind of work through a few issues. And she was a female, and she joined the call with, you know, the opposing counsel. And I remember, after we got off the call, she goes, well, he really doesn’t like women, does he?
Davina: Oh, wow.
Lauren: And she was such a strong woman, she had that at this for years, she was, you know, head General Counsel, you know, one of our VPs, who had joined this call, and for her to say, acknowledge kind of that that feeling with someone that I negotiated, actually, with for years, and mostly on my own. It was kind of good validation that that was a unique experience. That, you know, and I found that to be true, there was other you know, clients that I worked on other you know customers of ours negotiating deals, and it was that relationship with that customer was, you know, I always felt that way. But sometimes you almost wonder if you’re, you know, you’re being a little too sensitive, or you don’t want to make up a story that that goes kind of that direction. And it was really good confirmation that I wasn’t the only one that felt that way.
Davina: Yeah. Yeah, it’s so important for for others who are to validate. For others who are experienced around you to validate that that’s what’s really going on. Because sometimes it can feel very isolating, you know, if you’re, if you’re the only one who’s you know, let’s you’re sitting here going, okay, I’m the only one who’s dealing with this, maybe it’s a me thing. Right? And to have someone validate it’s not a you thing. I appreciate you sharing that. Yeah. So let’s move on to the wonderfulness of starting your own law firm. So you knew you wanted to be business lawyer right out, right out the gate because you prepared for that. Right? What, tell me about your business model and what you think makes it kind of unique.
Lauren: So actually, what I, what I like about having your own firm is a feel like you get this level of, you know, permission to kind of evolve. So when we started, you know, I didn’t have much time. It wasn’t like I had the side hustle that I, I really literally circled a date on the calendar when my 401k had fully vested at the company that I was at. And that was the, you know, within a few days of that is when I actually, you know, put in my notice. And when I completed, you know, my two weeks, and you know kind of opened my computer the following Monday, I was like, alright, how do people start law firms? And I started the work at, you know, what would it look like?
So I started looking at other people’s business models, you know, I started to see, you know, I wanted to kind of break the mold. I knew that I had to gain trust, and I needed to kind of, you know, grow roots in this entrepreneurship community here in Phoenix. And I’m very lucky, because I actually do believe here in Arizona, we do have a very strong entrepreneurial community. And especially for women, there’s a large presence of female entrepreneurs here. And so I started looking at what would be approachable, what would make legal services approachable to this particular group. Now, I will say like, I don’t, obviously only we don’t only have females as, you know, clients.
But that was a large base of, you know, kind of where I felt comfortable starting because I felt like I could go network inside those groups. So I actually looked at other people’s models, and I saw a lot of flat rates. So I actually gave flat rate a try, you know, predominantly kind of, you know, contract drafting and, you know, a few items. And I saw pretty quickly that that alone wasn’t going to serve the clients that I was actually getting. That they needed more support, they needed customizable support, you know, that it didn’t always look like a transaction. I don’t want it to look like a transactional experience, in flat rate, that just happened to not be my particular client base. And so I started to shift over time.
And so, you know, wanting, you know, being kind of a new firm, I wanted this, I wanted some reoccurring revenue, I wanted that kind of safety net, to scale my firm, knowing what money might come in each, you know, each week each month. And so I kind of built out a membership. And I’ve always been very specific, when I build out, when I build out anything that it always looked back to protecting my time and honoring my time. So nothing was ever unlimited. You know, it was like unlimited emails. But I actually, you know, track my time, and they got to know two hours of my time each month at a little bit of a discount and then they would pay my hourly rate for anything over that.
And it got lot of people in the door and allowed me to build trust, with, you know, a base of people here in the valley. And many of those clients are still with us today, we no longer do membership. Instead, we just focus on hourly work and and we do do flat rates for our trademark, because those are so process oriented. But what we found is when it came to contract drafting, or, you know, some of the more complex issues that we deal with, there wasn’t a one size fits all price. Some people needed a few quick revisions, some people needed extensive, you know, changes or a full new contract.
Some people have tons of questions and have very specific asks, and others, you know, are, you know, a little bit more, you know, I’ll call it boilerplate. And so there was no like, one size fits all and we started to just slowly as a firm have evolve, the way that you know, and I’m saying we, we, it’s a we now but before it was just me. I started to slowly evolve, you know, how we were building our clients and focus on at all times what would help me establish a relationship with them. So I felt like my membership encouraged them to talk with me, which was, you know, I really enjoyed much more than the flat rate, which felt more transactional. And then moving fully, almost fully into hourly.
Like I said, with the exception of trademark services, it all felt felt very relationship based. So I really geared my firm, our client journey, every touchpoint around building a relationship with our clients. And I think that paid off, you know, in the long run with strong referrals, very aligned referrals. Because people know our firm, they know how we operate. And I think that they, you know, the people that are led to us tend to be the right fit.
Davina: Right, right. You know, several things I love about your story. One is that you just started, like you started with an idea. And you said, let’s start, let’s put it out there and see what happens. And then you let your let your business grow organically. You went where it led you, right? So some people fight against that. They have a vision in their mind, and they say, this is what, you know, this is what I want to do. And this is the thing, right? And other people are more open to sort of seeing what are the what are the prospective clients telling me that they need. And it varies, and one of the things that’s actually come up lately, in a lot I’ve been reading about the great resignation, where people are quitting, leaving and getting jobs other places, is that what employers are starting to do or need to start to do is tailor the experience of the employees to their particular needs.
In very much in the same way you describe you’re doing with your clients. You let your clients tell you, you know, I have a need for a greater, you know, relationship, something where it’s an ongoing thing where you’re available to help me do things, and you you grew your business that way around relationships. And it’s interesting, because we’re seeing that a lot happening now, with teams. When we start to develop our teams, there is no cookie cutter, one size fits all. And so you have a variety of ways people can work with you. You don’t make it difficult for people to work with you by saying this is the only way I do a thing. Right?
Lauren: Right. Absolutely.
Davina: Have you found I mean, have you found that to be that, that that is something that’s really helped you scale?
Lauren: I think so I think, you know, knowing, giving ourselves permission to know that our firms are going to change and evolve over time, is crucial to really building a successful firm and one build that, you know, your clients kind of feel a part of. So I had actually no intention of, you know, launching trademark services in our firm, when I first started, it was not an area that, you know, I felt particularly comfortable in when I started. But it was an area that I soon learned, like, I would have clients that I’d say, great and I think you need to go to a trademark and you know, you know, you need to apply for a trademark. Here’s a you know, here’s two really great attorneys that I’ve met with that I’ve really enjoyed.
And I think that they’re incredible at their skill, I’d love, you know, to have you go and work with them to trademark. And they would go and they’d have a consultation. And you know, of course I’m not in the room, but they’d come back to me and go, are you sure you just can’t do it for us? Like, I’d rather you just do it for us. Because, you know, it was the element of they were working on other things with us. So they felt like, you know, they wanted kind of that full service piece. You know, I think often attorneys can get caught, it’s very easy to go, well, if you don’t do this, and you know, it’s very consequence fear base. And we’ve never operated our firm that way.
So I’m not exactly sure what the reason is, but I had so many people come back and go, but can I work with you instead. And so, you know, I had to, you know, I had to take classes. I had actually, that was the motivation to hire. I hired somebody that had expertise in that area. And, you know, we built that out under the in the firm that we could provide trademark services. I personally dove into it to learn the practice area, because that was something that was asked by our clients. And I would have never, I would have never gone that direction. I didn’t know that that’s something that they needed, until they kept asking. And that has now grown to be one of our, you know, largest, you know, practice areas. And honestly, one that I most enjoy as well.
Davina: Well, I love how you your immediate solution wasn’t, you know, I’ve got to run out and be the one to provide all the things to all the clients. But instead you said, how can, who can I hire? Who can help me do this? Instead of how do we do this? Right? You’re like, your thought was to hire someone. I think that’s so key in scaling a law firm is to is to not fall into that trap of, okay, my clients are asking for this. So I guess I need to go learn this whole other practice area, and be proficient in all the things you know, the quickest way to get there is hire someone who already does it. And then you can learn if you’re inspired and interested and all of that. You can learn as you go along, but it takes the pressure off. Did you find that was the case with when you hired?
Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. And, and I really feel like it’s, it’s so much about what you speak about on this podcast, about, you know, letting us you know, really design a business that supports our life. And so for me, that was really how I felt but, you know, if the reason I started this firm was in order to find balance in my life. I needed eventually, you know, there was a part of me that, you know, that had that tug of war between, well, if you start to hire and you become a leader, you’re you know, is it you know, how is that gonna look? How is that going to impact you every day? And the more I started to, you know, look into it, the more I felt like, that was the right decision to keep that balance that I was I was looking for. By hiring the right person that, you know, if I could empower them, they could empower our clients.
And that, in turn, would actually allow us to scale the firm, would allow me to work less, allow the business to be more profitable. But one thing that I’ve actually been very specific on is, we’re not open on Fridays. We are not the firm that checks, emails all weekend. And we know that and we are upfront with our clients from the very beginning. And those boundaries were so scary to really launch when we started because you want to be like a yes, yes, that’s what we’ll we’ll do that sure, of course. But I actually found that being really specific with our boundaries, and not working on Fridays, not emailing past office hours, actually gave a lot of our clients, because they’re entrepreneurs as well, permission.
And they would come to us and they would say, I love how you have a no texting policy, how can I do one of those. And it was a big permission piece. But then also from me, you know, company culture standpoint, I now have attorneys and we specifically hire part time attorneys to, you know, really help kind of bridge that gap. But I feel like it’s still so present in the traditional like legal industry, where you almost, you’re almost forced to choose. You’re forced to choose between being present with your family, or having a career. And I wanted to create an atmosphere where they could do both.
Where they could work 20 hours a week, in our firm, four days a week, support our clients, show up for work, do their craft, but then also unplug and be present with their family. And it’s been such a rewarding experience, to work on building out a team with this vision in mind, and allow an end really having them see that it’s possible. I’ve had people and every time we’ve opened up applications, and we’re looking now, so anyone in that kind of Southwest area. Anytime we’ve opened up applications, I’ve had people apply that said, I didn’t know this type of position was possible. And, you know, I think it’s just not, it’s not done enough. It’s not spoken about enough.
And so for me, it’s it’s really nice to know that there’s more of a legacy piece there, that it’s not only about the legacy that we’re, you know, helping build with our clients, as you know, they build these incredible businesses. But also, you know, the impact we can have on our team is something that I, you know, don’t want to take for granted. I want to create a culture where they feel supported, and that it makes you know, something in their life, you know, easier, something that you know, that balance possible in a way that they didn’t know that they they could have.
Davina: How did you, I want to get very specific and dialed in on that, because I think a lot of people, so I advise all of my clients, all of my women, law firm owner clients, to create a communication policy. And I and I discussed the critical importance of establishing the ground rules for your relationships with your clients right from the beginning. So that everybody’s clear on it. I think where a lot of people wind up getting into bad situations with clients is because they are too vague, not clear, to set the expectations right at the beginning.
And so I imagine with your clients, there are some methods that you use to set some communication policy, some term in your contract as you go over with them that specifically says this is how we’re going to communicate. Here are the expectations. Here’s when the office is open for business, here’s when it’s closed. And if you email, don’t expect a response, or what mechanism do you use to do that? So that you’re very clear. And have you had pushback from clients? Have you had any client along the way that is, you know, gotten upset because they emailed you on a Friday or a weekend or tried to call the office and haven’t got anybody. And how did you handle that?
Lauren: So all the things is the way that we approach you know, communicating our communication policy, because, you know, I want to make sure that not only is it in our contract, you know, our office hours, that we communicate with clients via email, or scheduled phone call. For any calls that aren’t scheduled. It’s just purely subject to our availability and we’ll call I’m back as soon as possible. We actually is an online calendar to have clients schedule their calls, they can log into a client portal that we have and schedule their calls. So it makes it really easy and to kind of on demand for them. But it kind of prevents. And I thought, at first, I was a little nervous to do that, does that make us look like we’re not accessible?
If there’s an emergency, I have no doubt they have our phone number, they will call us if they need to. And if we’re available, we will answer, you know, and even on a Saturday. I’ve had some client emergencies pop up, they’re few and far between, because I really do think that they respect our boundaries. And so we’ve found clients that are aligned with that, and I’ve just recognized that we can’t be everybody’s ideal firm. And we want to find people that that that resonates with. So we actually start our communication policy. From the moment we have, we have a very built out kind of workload customer journey to get make sure I really love workflows, canned emails, because it makes sure that the best information gets to every client every time.
So when they’re starting with us, they get an email that says, you know what our communication policy is, even before they click to view their engagement letter, because I want to make sure that they’re seeing it in multiple places in multiple ways. That they can start to kind of, you know, they become familiar with the policies that are important to us. And then, you know, we make things available to them, like, you know, when we make the client portal available, hey, like, this is where you can schedule phone calls. And we start to kind of remind them, of all of the tools that we’ve made and kind of self help for them, to communicate with us. And then I think most importantly, you know, the texting thing, I didn’t think I would ever have to say, but I started to realize when they get comfortable with you. And it’s so easy.
They pull out their phones, and they want to text you. I’m personally a terrible texter. Second, you can’t, you can’t forward it, you you know, can’t say that it’s really awkward, I think to have text communications with clients. So we have you know, I have a shorthand at my phone that if I type in a text, it’ll populate a message. But thanks them for reaching out. But asked them, you know, to send it to my email, because that allows our team to better serve them. And, you know, I and I just found that finding tools, you know, to not only setting the expectation early and often, but then finding tools to enforce those boundaries, enforces communication standards, and making it easy to use those tools.
Easier than breaking the boundary. Right? If it was to look at that message, you’re like, it would just be easier for me to text them back. But if I make it easier for myself, to keep the boundary solid, then they’re more likely to conform. You, you ask about, you know, and I have clients of all types of industries, all ages, all experience. And everyone truly has been so respectful. Because I think that they, what they want out of their business is, is boundaries is respect. They want to infuse some of those elements into their own business. So they’ve been very respectful. But I did have a consultation when I was very early in my firm. I think at the time when I was still working on Fridays, and he said, well, what if I email you on Sunday? Will I get a response? And I said, and I thought about it, you know, like, I’m like, wow, this would be a really great client. And I said, no, actually, you know, and, you know, we’re very strong.
And you know, I’m very strong in my office hours, you know, Monday, you can expect a response Monday through Friday. And he didn’t ever become a client. But he actually has referred many clients to us. So I’m not sure if he didn’t become a client because he was launching a business venture. I’m not sure what happened with the business venture to be quite honest. You know, I hope it launched and was very successful, and he found support that he needed. But he actually, you know, it didn’t it didn’t keep him from referring people to our firm that you know, did in fact become clients. And so I think it’s just, you know, willing to do the uncomfortable thing and kind of stand up for those boundaries because you may only have to stand up for them a few times.
We’ve definitely had clients that like to text me and they’re really good client and you’re like, should I just text them back? But I found that again, using that shorthand message, enforcing the boundary has always worked. And you know what I, I feel like they truly respected it. And now moving into this, you know, stage where I’m about to go and step back a little bit for maternity leave, of course, it looks a little different. When you have your own firm, you still want to be present and empower team, you know, it’s going to look a little different for a period of time. But you know, I am going to be stepping back. And I feel really comfortable doing so because during that time, I’m not taking on new clients, my firm will. My my, my associates will.
But I actually feel really comfortable because my existing clients who can be supported by, you know, the attorneys on our staff, they, you know, they know that, I’m going to be taking a step back, and I can trust that if, if it looks a little different for them for a short period of time, that they’re going to be okay. They’re not the type of clients that are going to be upset that I’m having a baby. They’re actually you know, a lot of them, we have such strong relationships with them that they are so excited for us to have the baby. I have a client that we’ve talk to on almost a daily basis, they’re like, so when are you going to bring her into the office? We can’t wait to meet her. So, you know, it’s, it’s knowing that those relationships are out there, if you’re willing to kind of stand up for your vision of your firm, and I think those relationships will come.
Davina: Right, right. And we don’t have a lot of time left, but I do this makes me think of another question that I want to get into with you. And that is that, do you ever have a struggle with shifting clients from working with you to working with your firm. Because I find that it’s one of the things that comes up a lot are women law firm owners, when he started out. Start as a solo, and you build your business based on your personality, and you make all these contacts, and then you start adding to your team to grow the business. And you and then people come in and say, well, I want you know, I’m hiring you, you know, not this associate that you’ve given to me. So how have you bridged that gap for your clients and help them transition? Or was that ever an issue for you?
Lauren: You know, I, I really kind of took the approach that if they trust me, they should trust the people that I would be willing to bring onto our team. So I focused, you know, there was of course, you know, continuity of care. So when, I didn’t just throw someone on and jump off of, you know, jump off all emails or communications. When someone new would transition onto a client, you know, matter or supporting their business, we get a lot of clients or we talked to quite often, I was still on copy. You know, they, they had the comfort of seeing that I was on copy that I knew what was going on. And I think that gave them peace of mind as they started to build a relationship with our associate.
And, you know, I just had to trust that, you know, if they trusted me, they would trust my associates. So I didn’t actually have any pushback. I will say, you know, it’s, it’s a learning curve. But I think being on copy and really being, you know, understanding what’s going on. And even if you don’t have to read everything substantively, you know, kind of having that like omni presence a little bit, makes the attorney more comfortable when they’re starting. Because, you know, they’re jumping into this, and it also makes the client more, you know, a little bit more comfortable as well. And, you know, I’ll be honest, I’ve had to, you know, terminate, and, you know, an associate on our team.
And having been on her communication, it did make it a lot easier, because I kind of could go back through and I had my own record, of course, I had her record, you know, that I can go through, but I was kind of aware of what was going on. So it made it so much easier to take that back on to delegate it out. Because I knew where we were, and my client didn’t feel as though they were ever kind of left behind. And so I would slowly start to redelegate. And I think that was important is being present, but also just, you know, trusting, you know, showing that you trust this new person, and and just allowing them to build their own relationship.
Davina: Right? I find that one thing that is a very one very small tweak that can really help is shifting from me and I to we and the team you know, as you’re, as you’re starting in those initial consults with people just making that shift, so that people understand that you function as a team. Because we first close it’s a lot of you know, I’ll get that for you by for you know, by Thursday or whatever. But just making that shift in your language. And it’s a little hard to do at first when you’re so used to saying me and I, but once you kind of master that, then then you’re starting to really make that and you’re separating, there’s a you and then there’s your law firm which is a whole separate thing, right. And your law firm is separate from you, right?
Lauren: I agree. And that’s completely. We had to look, you know, we had to build out our team on our website, we had to change the language, I went through every canned email, we changed the nature of the way we spoke about it. And then like you said, it comes from you, too. So you caught me in the interview, sometimes when I was still a solo, when I’m referring back to it, I’m still using we, because I’ve gotten so comfortable, you know, talking about this team that’s there to support them. And, you know, for anyone going, making the transition from a solo, to having a firm and having other people there to support their clients, know that there is more people to support them, but they already actually believe they feel more comfortable knowing that there is there’s more people to support them. And just leaning into that.
Davina: I agree. I agree it so because then, you know, they don’t have to worry about if you get sick, my stuff’s not going to get done kind of thing. You know, because you’re a team, right. Right. So I do want to talk about something really fun and not business related. Before we wrap up here and that’s that you bought your in 2017 you bought your first retro 1950s home. So tell me about it. Are you still living in that home? Or have you bought others?
Lauren: No, we we moved this year out of that home. And it was the cutest thing I actually, I mean completely renovated it you know, picked up every I mean, literally I was on such a budget, I picked up every tile for the shower, because it was a lot cheaper to buy the cheaper tile if you pick them all out. I mean, like literally poured my heart into this house. It was beautiful. I made shutters with my dad and hung them on the front windows. Painted the door red. It was the cutest little house when we started to look you know, to move to have a little bit more space. My husband used to tease he was just gonna stay there. And he didn’t really want to move.
But we actually were able to sell it to friends of a friend and off market. And for me, it just and they’re so excited, they’re starting their own family. This is a home that they picture you know, spending years and years in building their family and to me that you know made me feel so much better. Because you pour so much into your home that you create and we loved it. So we got a few good pictures as we left to make sure we have some mementos. But we’ve passed it off to a new family and we’re actually living we’re still trying to get some furniture because anyone who’s tried to order furniture I’m sure you can relate. It’s been six months since I ordered some furniture and it’s still not here. But we moved into a different home. A little bit more convenient for my husband’s work because I do work from home and it’s a little bit more modern.
So it’s definitely giving us kind of you know, it’s it’s a new project because you know our our furniture that fit and the cute 1950s home was kind of that more traditional I did kind of a mid you know mid century vibe work in that house. And so it’s been a really fun time to kind of refresh and redesign and kind of create a different feeling for the space. So that’s been our project. So we’re crazy people that decided you know, to to move during this time and to also you know, get pregnant, bring in a baby in all of the things, but we’re really enjoying our new space, our new neighborhood, you know, and of course a shorter commute to work for my husband.
Davina: It is. It sounds all very wonderful and exciting and and I love it. I love that story. I have a you know we were very fortunate because we did some redecorating in our new home but we managed to hit like the sweet spot. So we were able to get a lot of the things. And I think you have to do with the shipping issues that we’re having and the supply chain issues we’re having I think you have to be a little flexible too. And I know we certainly had to change our mind about some things. You know we’re looking at like okay, this is our alternative. And I just read an article about the secondhand furniture market like the vintage furniture and secondhand furniture has just gone in and has grown into this huge market and it’s a growing market. And so much of it is spawning out of this issue with the supply chain and being able to you know not being able to get things as quickly as we as we are used to right. So yeah, if you haven’t checked out Chairish. Have you seen that website? It’s spelled like chair, c h a i r i s h.
This is not a legal business site at all. I’m not affiliated with chairish. I just happen to like to go there to browse, but they’re like a they’re like an online consignment for all over the country, and it’s really been fun to go in there and browse if you like if you’re into home decor and all that stuff. So that’s good. It caught my eye that you have that 50s home. And I thought that was so fun. So I appreciate you sharing. And congratulations on the soon to be a baby arriving. Look forward to following you on your socials and keeping up with that. So why don’t you tell us where we can find more information about you and your firm and connect with you. You also have a podcast. Why don’t you give us that information.
Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. So you can find me on Instagram at The Lauren Boyd, b o y d. And you actually also can kind of from there, you can find our law firm which is Guide My Business. And you know, that’s probably going to be a place where I will be spamming people with new baby pictures here soon. But also, I share kind of my experiences, you know, the founder of a firm, and we’re currently transitioning actually to build out a particular Instagram page for the firm. And so we’re currently kind of working on that so soon enough, you’ll be able to kind of see some some content on our firm’s Instagram account.
But you know, until now, it’s really been you know, more of a person, you know, more of a personal account for me. So you can kind of see my experience as a founder and, and link up with, you know, our resources and our team and, you know, our website from there. The podcast is The Lauren Boyd Show. And we talk you know, predominantly about legal topics as they affect entrepreneurs, and we have some incredible guests, you know, that have some, you know, helpful perspectives when it comes to owning small business, or finding that balance in life. So it’s been, you know, really rewarding to be able to connect with people, you know, through the podcasting platform.
And something that, you know, I’ve really enjoyed So, The Lauren Boyd across the board, really easy way to find us. And yeah, I just, you know, hopefully, you don’t mind some cute baby pictures, because they’ll probably be a few of those. But my plan is to give it an honest you know, give an honest look at what what it means to, you know, be a mother and also be, you know, an entrepreneur and the founder of a firm. So, you know, be kind of sharing some of the behind the scenes as we kind of navigate this new season of life.
Davina: Wonderful, so wonderful. Thank you so much for coming on today and sharing your story. I really enjoyed it. Appreciate that. Probably could continue talking to you for another hour, but we need to wrap up. I’m so glad that you were here. And I’m sure we’ll be following you and seeing what you’re up to in the coming years.
Lauren: Thank you so much for having me. It was my pleasure.
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