PoP 173 | Business Attorney and Entrepreneur Writer Nina Kaufman Talks About Leveling Up

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Level up in your business

Today we’re talking about leveling up with Business Attorney and Entrepreneur Writer, Nina Kaufman.

Podcast Sponsor


Great tool to help you become a better therapist by placing you in peer consultation groups to discuss your most challenging client cases. They have a HIPAA Compliant video conferencing system that is fast and efficient. New members can get 2 months for free at www.theravue.com/joe.

In This Podcast:

5 steps to building a business that is bigger than you:

  1. Seeing differently
  2. Clearing your plate
  3. Automating revenue
  4. Leveraging who and what you know
  5. Exiting with a plan

Nina’s book, “Get Off The Hamster Wheel,” is available at www.BusinessExponential.com/hamster. It discusses 10 common ways that small business owners are “stuck” in their business and what they can do about it.

Meet Nina Kaufman

ninakaufman-headshot_currentNina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an SBA Small Business Champion and Entrepreneur.com legal expert—not just your ordinary business attorney. Forbes Magazine calls her “One of the 25 Most Influential Women Tweeting about Entrepreneurship.”  A Mets fan by marriage and former stand-up comic, she is a sought-after professional speaker and frequent media resource who has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Crain’s NY Business, Mashable, HuffingtonPost.com, MSNBC’s Your Business, and Fox′s Good Day NY.  Nina also learned the hard way that growing a real business is about more than just making good money. That’s why, as host of the Cash Out BIG podcastNina shows owners of service businesses how to stop feeling stuck and design a company that can functions like a well-oiled machine. That can run itself, instead of running your life. For more, visit www.BusinessExponential.com and. www.AskTheBusinessLawyer.com. Twitter: @NinaKaufman. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BusinessExponentialPage/

Meet Joe Sanok

consultant headshot JoeJoe Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is one of the world’s leading private practice consultants. He is the owner of the Traverse City counseling practice, Mental Wellness Counseling. Joe helps counselors to start private practices and grow them.



Podcast Transcription

Pop 173 | Business Attorney And Entrepreneur Writer Nina Kaufman Talks About Leveling Up

[0:00] Hey everybody go santa back here i want to let you know about a really cool new resource called there of you its a great tool to help you be a better therapist that putting you into pure consultation groups to discuss your most challenging client cases,
i know when i was working the upper peninsula of michigan i was really far from other clinicians that were doing the same to work is me in this would have been the perfect resource of the time.
They have him but complaint video conferencing system it’s fast and efficient in right now new members will get two months for free as a bonus to all of my practice of the practice listeners,
headed over to theravue.com/joe that’s theravue.com/joe also willing to show nuts thanks for being a sponsor of their view.

[0:45] Music.

[1:08] Welcome to the practice of the practice podcast i’m just saying i could host and i am so excited that you are here,
so many fun things coming up in two thousand seventeen but you know this last month beers a big going.
And as and strong so let’s do it together.
Really save on gas today we’re gonna cover all sorts of things including how to stop just changing and changing exchanging your time for money instead find some ways to level up your career.
Ashe is genuinely done that she’s gonna go super in-depth and how that happened in a coffin is an expert in so many different areas outside of her in a minute,
does honey carried you in this last month i hope that you just keep pushing forward i know there are holidays and lots of distractions but,
really block out times of the year and your final fourth quarter two thousand sixteen strong it’s still one twelfth of your year so,
push through get a lot done see new clients level and then in two thousand seventeen we talk about some really awesome things that can help you launch including.
Hey can you announce yeah i can announce that were so that really fun coming out in early january that.
Bunch of people of helping me that is gonna be cool resource so sorry leave you hanging high pressure thought that before i give you a little teaser but that’s a guess what it is there is he alright.

[2:32] Music.

[2:41] Podcast giving a cough meds she’s a self-confessed bookworm and a small business champion i’m not just your ordinary business that.
Forbes magazine actually called her one of the twenty five most influential women that’s twenty about entrepreneurship and the us small business associate administration,
named her the regional women in business champion of the year,
who created approaches to educating and advocating for small business her website business exponential is just awesome and we did a podcast swapping out on her podcast using mine we’re just.
I know it really come from that were cut from the same cloth might be the word sony i think so much for being on the practice the practice podcast.
Let’s go yeah but that you bro manse.
Romance yeah we’re just talking on your podcast and it’s just amazing how we’re teaching things there’s very similar to each other and just really say that introduce you to practice of the practice audience.
Happening yet one start with so business attorney tell us a little bit about your just career story and then we’ll talk a little bit about kinda your new venture and some tips for concerts and private practice.
Absolutely so i started going to law school because i thought well-known numbers are boring so i don’t wanna be a and i’m sweeny when it comes to needles to medical school is out.
I mean after several years of working in other firms where frankly wasn’t c and a partner.
I wasn’t seeing people have the opportunity to develop more higher level skills i was litigation firms and i wanted to try to work but they kept me pushing papers.

[4:22] They would hire the people with in-house training and the third and perhaps the most important piece was there is absolutely no training or legal way to develop a client base.
And one of the things i saw very very early on is that given the change in the market mrs or early nineties that you really captive.
If you didn’t have your own clients and that was gonna be your ticket to freedom is gonna be your ticket to power to take it to leverage so.
Five years in i said they don’t give it working for her for other people and starting from how is so.
Is so much we just said just feels like people that are in agency work working for somebody else that they’re not getting that training,
the parallels between attorneys and counselors are pretty pronounced so how did you start finding those clients if you didn’t have the training.

[5:17] It’s a great question and i will say one of the things about lol which may be similar to other professional practices that they’re so keen on giving you that the substantive.
But they don’t teach anything about the business of running a law practice and that’s where you’re podcast so valuable just what does that mean to run a business.
Product is counseling services or legal services people talk about that’s the one thing i did know was i needed to let everybody in new,
no that i start this new for that was a very old-fashioned thing at the time and we spend a lot of money answering it business partner then and we went to the stationery store and we got these engraved announcements.
Or very common at the time and said tell we have opened our products and this is what it’s to.
I mailed to everyone that i was kind of in touch with at the time i think i have a network of them hundred fifty people.
Well if it out so if you to be opening a practice right now in your own what would you use like working updated version so that would you still use that same approach.
Is that a purge all it.
Certainly not use the first i think it’s more than that the first thing and it was something it took me a while to figure out was really what is the market that i’m really working with because they were number of years for cancer trial and error.
And it’s where i had differences of my business partner but there’s the share your breathing you could be a client.

[6:50] Yo you got a pulse great and i want to be a little more strategic because i know they can’t be all things to all people.

[6:58] Yeah i’m in summering counseling if you know about working with children you may not have that same your made of using tools he used to work with the elderly and sick.
You also want because there are so many lawyers accounts is around you also wanna be known for something you want to be to go,
set on a particular area so that the first thing would be if i were to do it all again would be to focus much more tightly,
on the small business market that i ended up eventually servicing.
Yeah so how do you really identify your specialty and then market to that specialty i would say the first thing is,
thank god a whole bunch of things that i really dislike that,
i love that when i was little pause you there leaks often people feel like especially grad students are first getting out the listen to my podcast,
they’re like i need to know right away who might mitch is a specialty and i love that you tried some things and you suck at.
It’s a and sometimes i do i can sit here and tell you.
But there’s something to be said for going through it having said wow that was awful i hated the people i hated the work i remember when we were doing,
a little more tenant stuff and we thought i was kind of small business because we’re representing the landlord and for him,
having the residential tenants was a small business well you know what it is a completely different world.

[8:29] It i know it’s gonna mars it is so strange so arcane and you really have to have it in to know the judges and the procedures and we didn’t you know we were first timers this and we have bossing,
every second we just have to keep redoing the work of course we’re not gonna charge client for that because our learning curve but it took so much more time.
Whatever profit margin there was assuming you were profit margin was at the time it was got.
So you do you and then you start to look at well it is it are these people the people that i am like to work with two when like these issues.
I knew for example i was not gonna be happy to be a divorce attorney i just i find the area of fighting over the cat catching kids were really.
Difficult and i could not be a compassionate counselor in that situation,
so is their something don’t be afraid to try some of these other areas to dip your foot and whether it’s through internships or rotations are things like that because,
it lets you know what you don’t like and that’s can be just as valuable.
As what you wanted to like in the first i was working and what i was really klara was the things i did not like that were going on in those firms and that help me build my business and a better way.

[9:59] So then at what point did you start to kinda transitioned a business expense actual.

[10:04] That was a real eye opener for to talking about stories that the business partner that i had started with him we had a good run for ten or twelve years and it,
disorder became clear to me this is not gonna take me where i want to go.

[10:21] And when i went to business valuation experts o’clock here’s the situation here are numbers yours clients the plans that it but it.

[10:31] Just give me a thumbnail ballpark that were you wanna go back to my partner happen by me out what’s it worth.
No never goes a morning meeting see papers all of the desk and have a steaming hot cup of coffee can still see the steam coming off.
And he picks up this sticky chocolate glazed dunkin donut thing and he says with his new york and see the field so not i said yeah he said well what you got is the whole.

[10:58] I said what.
What was that even mean and that’s when it first yard for smacked me in the head like a like a brick it was that my business was all about me.
Take me to the start take my partner out of the equation we don’t have a business we have bills to very good jobs but two jobs.
So there really was nothing and also because we were lawyers and in a regulated industry you can’t search cell clients as easily could you can hold him captive.
My at the right to go wherever they want to go.
So then you get into technical terms like what marketability discount and transfer and all that so he said if you want to get out and that’s your priority the quickest and fastest way to close your doors and move on.
So after twelve years that was my best option and i thought oh no i’m not.

[11:55] And i can’t be the only one whose gone through this and that’s where the seed of business exponential kamen and have now been forcing.
So if you to go back to try to build a firm that you could’ve sold to something about counselors that are starting a group practice or starting a practice that i guess um id like to sell it that’s a goal.
What would you have done differently to add value that was beyond just yourself well i think one of the things that i would have done would.
Have been to find ways to serve clients on a more on going basis instead of project to project.
Cuz that’s one of the things a small business owners and its way is also very important to understand the market.
The micro businesses that we were working with full size on after they didn’t have a regular enough budget to.
Be willing to really bring an attorney like a strategic partner.

[12:56] So i would have looked for a different level of this is the have some more discretionary cash flow and really.
What is your for the kind of strategic insights that i can an attorney to provide and i think that would have.
May the business certainly more valuable and also giving us more leverage to bring in more people because we were so afraid of that income roller coaster and new york is very draconian.
When it comes to employees and.
But i’m off and personal liability for wages and things like that so that’s we were always the little scared sure after.
At matt to bring those people in because necessarily have the.
The ongoing cash flow to support them right well i think it’s important thing to look at is to what are you getting out of three and an employee here to ninety nine contractors that cash flow in the risk and what are you comfortable with.

[13:55] So with his ex financial toast little bit about what that project is and can it what are some tips the counselors can can learn from you around that.
Absolutely and am part of what i have learned from that is from the whole experience as an attorney and dealing with the law firm is that when you’re when you get out of,
the stuff you,
that’s regulator which your licensed you have a lot more freedom turn on tell me about it when i do consulting with people vs counseling it’s left it’s nine day.
That’s it and you can still be working with people who are life long learners so business exponential really is an education and training company that helps.
Bb service businesses,
build and grow in a way that they have the option to sell that the owner can live there life and really create a wealth so that they can leave a legacy.
Weather that’s in the form of their business in the form of money that they’re giving to projects that are important to them but so that really the business service or wife doesn’t run your life.
Yeah so tell me about some of the training site what are some key elements that most counselors would probably do wrong in their business.
No for from those who are eager to build a business that is bigger than them we have our five step scale formula and not that there’s any genius to the word scale but it.
You know if you take over the counter works unit.

[15:28] Hello that my acronym and scale stands for first seen differently and that’s really having where the ceo mindset as opposed to a how much can i get done mindset.
Very very different if you’re thinking about running a business because ultimately it has to be able to function without you.
Join you talked about these things on your podcast on an hour podcast is what i call clearing your plate.
And that’s when looking at what is all of the stuff that you’ve taken on because you were the start of sold perhaps and you keep doing but really is not the highest and best use of your time.
So what can you eliminate what can you automate what can you delegate.

[16:13] Hey is for automated revenues as i talked about creating more of a recurring revenue stream.
L is leveraging who and what you know and that’s an opportunity for people to create with same information products do group sessions or group events.
And also do things that are more than just the one on one time for dollars equation.
Either piece that is often missing from a lot of programs is exciting with the plan where do you wanna go how long do you really wanna do this.
And is your business really going to become the vehicle to get you there set.
Alright that you should tell me little bit about the automating income how exciting display area from the five counselors might get most stock.
Well that’s a great question and it is a talent one what are certainly has an attorney someone would come to me and say no read it i have a business deal.
I’m give you put together all the documents of the contract new to the business deal and then.
The deal was done the light goes off in every way and they’re doing business they don’t need you to keep looking at the contract was done.
So in thinking about working with clients and i know that there are some counselors who made also working in the corporate realm what can you do so that your providing on going value on going.

[17:43] Monitoring liken it to what the it services business is done really well you can come in and deliver high and service.
One time or you can have hosting and maintenance that you check in every month.

[17:59] Get silly for attorneys but what is that look like a man who can extract with that look like for counselors.
So for turkeys with that can look like is there may be the one time you know i’m doing a strategic partnership when i need an agreement.

[18:18] But the ongoing could be you.
Let’s check in to make sure that you’re on the right footing and your meeting all of your obligations under that agreement every month.

[18:32] What is that look like that’s more saying we fix can this first thing that and what is that look like an ongoing basis.

[18:41] It may be just been prevented when considered preventive health like that what.
Look up to make sure you stay on track sometimes it’s being an accountability partner to make sure that the people are there on.
Or if they’re if the people are looking to hire others.
Checking in on a regular basis to see okay how are your on boarding documents looking are they working what kind of feedback are you getting to the higher work out for you if not a.

[19:15] Yeah i know some of my consulting clients from individual consulting in the master mind group what they’ve done is they’ve looked at when they have group.
When a group so ca depression group and eating disorder group whatever the group as.
Ask themselves well what’s that on boarding process what are the first three sessions like typically,
and then they create a video series and the training series to catch on board people,
where the payee to do that can on boarding but it’s not based on that clinicians time and so then they don’t have to have,
a group start you know every quarter and we go to the same first three sessions instead it can be kind of a maintenance group,
the first you have to go through this kind of training so we’re on the same page and so then they’re getting more of a consistent referral source into the group but they’re also the not spending that time with,
can i start easily and at same concept over and over and that’s a great way of serve the overlap of.
Clear your plate automating something having the automated process so that the revenue can keep coming in and also leverage.
Get your let your time thereby creating something of innovator in video form yeah yeah won’t go back to a couple of questions and just kinda businesses me a business attorney.
With counselors a private practice are there any things that you think here’s like the three things that you really need to quickly assess to make sure that you’ve got things on track or liabilities are.
There’s anything that you see stand out in canada this type of business that people should look out for.

[20:47] Yes there is an i would say one of them deals with your goals but thinking about your business and we may sell it to because i know certainly in new york there are a lot of restrictions around.
Help him practices can be sold.
And also how they are formed incorporated so it’s very very segment it in terms of who can be an owner.
Based on the background and training so is an attorney could not also be an owner of a therapy practice cuz that’s not my license.

[21:22] Gotcha so really working with an attorney to make sure that if your selling or starting that you’re doing a correcting your state.

[21:31] Yeah absolutely because that’s an area that can run you it’s not just a legal issue but it’s also and can affect your license as well.
So you wanna make sure that that’s done properly and everything also get does come into and it happens to so many small businesses that difference between.
What’s a w two and what’s a ten ninety-nine employee i’m not sorry i hope limit.
W two employee vs a ten ninety-nine contractor so i will say for the record there is no such thing as a ten ninety-nine employee it does not exist.

[22:06] Awesome you got people that are paying like they’re independent but hey there working in your business nine to five,
and as the law stands right now that is a big red flag.
Yes maybe give a quick bullet points and bad ten ninety nines like this is what’s so they’re working nine to five you know if their contractor what should they be doing where should they have autonomy what should they not be doing.
That is a really great question i will say that.

[22:37] If there’s one word i can use the word is control how much control do you have over there what when where how.
A person is dying work because really want them to have their own independent business so you’re looking at do they have their own clients that they’re bringing in or are you the only one who’s feeding them.

[23:04] That’s an issue because it goes to the issue of how much financial control and risk are they taking in their business if you say yes i want you in my center from nine to five.
You’re using my email my phone my business cards.
And all that you’re really starting to look more and more like an employee because you’re using their tools.

[23:32] Have the option to use your car the option to use your email and they have the autonomy to choose not to does that help so it’s better.
Is sherbet so they’re usually isn’t one factor that says aha you got w two vs ten ninety-nine it’s a whole package.
After looking at says they are they also do they have their own independent clients,
is there any other training are there certain ways that you are requiring them to should do i had a situation recently where the client providing.
Continuing education courses.

[24:14] And why they only wanted someone to come in without an hour here an hour there to deliver the course they were providing all the materials.
They were essentially giving them both script.
So yeah maybe their pay because by another employer because i have a full-time job elsewhere but if you’re handing them the tools that they need and you’re doing the videotaping and all of that.
Even if it’s a tiny little sliver of time it may be safer to consider them a part-time employee gotcha.

[24:47] Other traps to the businesses fall into reviews are awesome if you could go on for hours maybe it one last can a big trap that from a business attorney standpoint you see.
Sure does it well i would just say you’ll business is.
And i’m gonna sound actually found another from my it’s really knowing your numbers there so many of us um i have my hit my both hands raised here i went along because i wanted to help.
I want a lot because i wanted people’s lol to breathe easier and i think it’s a why a lot of people go into the counseling profession and it’s a beautiful and wonderful gift that you want to give to others.
But it’s also important you feed yourself and the way you do that is by understanding what is the cost to live what is the cost to run this business.
What is the cost to bring in these other contract if you want to grow.
And that’s not often how old some of us were trained it is a new language.
And it’s very daunting but when you don’t know your numbers there’s a whole ripple effect of ills that can happen.
Because you may default on some of your contracts are your loans or credit cards or things like that because you don’t have the cash flow if you don’t understand the numbers.

[26:12] Awesome will neither kaufman one last question if every counselor in the world were listening right now what would you want to know.
Fetch a question on what i would say is no.

[26:28] We know we want to go.
The if the song from hug me which is really old diana ross do you know where you going to do you like the things that life is showing you.

[26:42] And if not don’t leave you and two to take another path to change it was.
It would have it not a once and done thing it is a living breathing organism so if it’s not working don’t be afraid of see that is failure see that as an opportunity to make it better.
That’s awesome in common with the best way for people to connect with you if they want to connect more.
Okay best way is to reach out to me through my businessexponential.com site again at the businessexponential.com and can’t was right there awesome and you also have a giveaway about hamsters.
Will do have a not strictly answer me off the hamster wheel and people like little furry animals so series are you on the hamster wheel in your own business so if you go to businessexponential.com/hamster.
Easy to remember there’s.
Report that outlines some ten ways that small businesses gets stuck and what you can do about it that’s awesome and leveling to that the show notes as well mean i think you so much for being on the practice of the practice podcast.
Thank you for having the light.

[27:55] Music.

[28:02] It’s not working don’t see it as a failure see as an opportunity to make things better i love that quote that mean so that the and that approach to.
I guess that approach to running a business where you’re experimenting and trying just pushing yourself to innovate.
Has really been one of the cornerstones of how i have run practice of the practice and mental illness counseling and when you do that it takes a lot of the pressure off could you see as an experiment.
And you’re giving information that even if something doesn’t launch well doesn’t go well that.
Your still gathering information that can help you grow in the future help you expand in the future and have your best financial years we have tree income but you’re also improving influenced ultimately have a gigantic impact on the world.
I recently as a podcast getting interviewed.
And they are asking about the money the money the money and i just stepped back and said you know for me like making more money is great having a life saver usually work three days a week is great.
I love that i love having more influence to be able to help counselors in private practice.
The impact on the world to me be on the influence and the overall income.
Is just the biggest part because if we’re not impact in the world for not making the world a better place as a result of us being in business as a result of us.
Being here doing innovative things i feel like this world needs more kindness and more love more compassion and the ways that i do that in my life are different ways that you do in yours but.

[29:35] Ultimately the impact on the world to me is why do what i do and i encourage you to find new ways to make an impact in your world as well.
Thanks for letting me in two years and into your brain you are incredible people every day i get multiple emails hearing about the really cool work you doing.
Are implementing learning here to action you’re not just consuming and sitting on the couch of you getting up initiating action with practices and it’s so inspiring so.
Have a great week next tuesday with another awesome guest next tuesday we have joan,
so i can and she has a really interesting story about how she gave everything away,
wait after she was diagnosed with depression and she reveals all sorts of things that she learned.
On to that can disappearing it’s a great story so talking next week.

[30:26] Music.

[30:42] This podcast is designed for accurate thirteen information regarding the subject matter covered was given to understand that is,
posted publisher is surrendering legal accounting clinic or other professional information from your professional you should find one,
and thanks for the music in our intro silences sexy you guys are.

[30:58] Music.