A conversation on multi-passionate entrepreneurship with business attorney, speaker, author and mom, Keren de Zwart.
[1:54] Keren's personal background
[3:42] Keren's professional background and corporate dropout story
[8:30] Transitioning from a corporate job she loved to entrepreneurship
[10:00] Primary gains of entrepreneurship
[15:30] Crafting a plan to leave her job
[20:00] Leaving corporate was "messy and emotional" because it felt like a failure
[23:20] Advice for multi-passionate entrepreneurs
[34:38] Getting the kids involved
- [1:54] Keren's personal background
- [3:42] Keren's professional background and corporate dropout story
- [8:30] Transitioning from a corporate job she loved to entrepreneurship
- [10:00] Primary gains of entrepreneurship
- [15:30] Crafting a plan to leave her job
- [20:00] Leaving corporate was "messy and emotional" because it felt like a failure
- [23:20] Advice for multi-passionate entrepreneurs
- [34:38] Getting the kids involved
What is The Corporate Dropout Podcast?
Are you ready to unlock your golden corporate handcuffs? If so, you're in the right place. Consider this your energetic and tactical guide to leaving the 9-5 grind with swagger.
Your host, Alessia Citro, is a corporate dropout on a mission to free others from the shackles and stress of the corporate hamster wheel. If you're remaining an employee due to fear, or because you lack a plan or vision, this show will empower and equip you to quit the corporate world with swagger. Our goal: FOR YOU TO BE A BOSS!
The Corporate Dropout Podcast will share business and mindset tips that are crucial for entrepreneurs and those wanting to level up and create the life of their dreams. Join us to gain inspiration and ideas as Alessia interviews a variety of corporate dropouts who have found massive success through entrepreneurship.
Dare to dropout!
Alessia Citro 0:01
salary is a drug they give you when they want you to forget about your dreams. Welcome to the corporate dropout podcast. I'm your host Alessia Citro. After successful career in tech suffering from burnout, stress and anxiety. I walked away from a multiple six figure career to chase my passions and purpose as a coach and entrepreneur. This show is going to inspire, equip and empower you to do the same. Let's get it. Hello, friends. Today I'm interviewing serial entrepreneur and corporate dropout Karen Dysport. Karen is revolutionizing the way you work with a lawyer. She is a flat fee, business attorney and the founder of not your father's lawyer, as well as co founder and CEO of a digital marketing firm. In addition, Karen is also a speaker and writer. She's an absolute delight, a jack of all trades, and she also happens to be my lawyer, Karen, welcome. And thank you so much for coming on the show.
Keren de Zwart 1:00
Thank you so much for having me.
Alessia Citro 1:01
It's kind of funny, like having this interview with you now. Because when we've had our conversations like lawyer to client, we always end up talking about entrepreneurship and like talking way longer than we intended to because we always have so much to talk about. So I can't wait for people to be let in to one of those conversations and learn from you because you're a wealth of knowledge to be sure.
Keren de Zwart 1:23
Oh, thank you. I know I love talking about business ownership and entrepreneurship in general. So that's probably why we do that a lot.
Alessia Citro 1:29
Yep. Yeah. It's like our passions for sure. Absolutely. Oh, I'm glad you're here too, because I feel like you're incredibly relatable to the listeners. You're multi passionate, your wife, your mom, you're a badass business owner, you're balancing all the things. So before we fully jump into the professional and entrepreneurial side, can you tell us a little bit more about you?
Unknown Speaker 1:53
Sure. I mean, you kind of touched on all the important pieces, I guess I actually historically never really introduced myself as a wife or a mom first. So I will start with that, because it has been a pleasure to be less afraid to talk about that part of my life. So I am, um, my husband and I are coming up on our 11 year anniversary. But we've been dating since I was 20. So we're like 16 and a half years now we have a daughter, that is eight, and my son is five. And we live in Southern California in Orange County. I was pretty much raised here my whole life. My husband actually grew up in Paris in France. So he's living a very different suburban life than he did, you know, in France, but he likes it and he golf's a lot. So he won't complain. But golf helps a lot, right? I think that's how I got him. I convinced him he lived in the bay area all the time that we were dating, and I got him down here with golf. So it's true. It's true story. But yeah, so So I obviously am an attorney. I've been a practicing lawyer for about 12 years now. And I've had kind of a funny journey, which I'm sure we'll talk a little bit about, because I kind of like left the law and came back to the law and doing a couple of other things in between. So I think that what I have learned is that there are a lot of different paths that your career can take. And it was definitely not what I expected. I will say that.
Alessia Citro 3:24
So I have to I have to just tell the audience that's listening. Sometimes in a rare case, someone will ask for the questions beforehand, but as a practice, I do not because I like to get people's unrehearsed answers to things. But you just teed me up perfectly for the next question. So as I was preparing for this, I'm peeping your LinkedIn, I already knew that you were interesting because of the conversations that we've had. But you're more interesting than I even realized there were a few things that struck me but the one that really was the most prominent that I thought would make for great conversation today is not only the breadth of your career path, but this range of experience and expertise. So So let's maybe start with like the crop, the corporate dropout story and kind of work back from there. So tell us a little bit about what led you to lead your job at this legal firm that you were working at?
Unknown Speaker 4:18
Yeah, I actually had two corporate dropout stories in my career so far. The first one was when I left the law firm, which kind of goes I've actually heard a lot that similar sentiment from a lot of lawyers, which is you know, you get into law school. I said, I wanted to be a lawyer since I was a little kid. Nobody really knows why my parents are not lawyers. My siblings are not lawyers. But I wanted to be a lawyer and I studied political science, and I loved it. And then I got to law school and I kind of started thinking, This isn't really what I think I might have signed up for. But of course, I'm type A and I'm a perfectionist, so I can't be a law school dropout. So I charging forward and then I got to the end of law school and I told my family that I was thinking about not taking the bar, because I felt like if you take it and you pass it, you become a lawyer. That's what you do. And so I was trying to find a way to kind of veer off the path. And my family kind of said, well, that's kind of a silly door to close on yourself, why don't you just take the bar, and then go from there. But of course, I took the bar, I pass the bar, I started practicing law. So there were a lot of terrible things about working in the legal industry. You know, it's a, it's definitely an old boys club. But I felt comfortable in it, I was, I grew up a tomboy, I was always kind of one of the guys, I felt like I could succeed in it, until I became a mom. And then it became very apparent that I had two competing interests in my life and my ambition. And my commitment to who I was, as a professional was always kind of hindered by the fact that I was a mom, it was very much I was the only female attorney in my firm, it was like, don't talk about the fact that you have a three month old baby at home when you come back from maternity leave. So that was really ultimately what led to my first corporate drop out. But I actually didn't leave to run my own business at the time, I went to a commercial real estate company, a large landlord developer, I was committed to not practicing law. So I kind of use similar skill set my operations, brain and negotiation and problem solving. And I took an asset management role for this landlord developer in Southern California, and I loved it. And it was so exciting, and it was so rewarding, and I and the pay, you know, was that fast paced that I loved, but kind of, you know, time went on, and I had another child and that was a much better experience to then my law firm experience with kind of being pregnant maternity leave, but then I, you know, I kind of would take a took a nother position, I had an opportunity for a promotion. And I got really bored and started a blog about working motherhood because why not when you're bored, and all this time I was already working on this night, your father's lawyer on the side. So now I kind of had like a bunch of things in motion on accident. And what ultimately, and and in the meantime, I still took another promotion with another company. And then finally, in, it was only an April 2019, that I was like, something's gotta give I mean, I was working 90 plus hours a week, because I effectively had multiple full time jobs on my plate. And actually, my husband was like, something's gotta give and I was like, You're right, I should drop the side. hustles. And he encouraged me to drop the corporate gig. But honestly, I was not somebody I know you and I have spoken about this, that it's, a lot of people were like, I was never built for the corporate world. You know, I need to be my own boss. I was like, the golden employee. I was like, you say jump, I say how high you need somebody stay late. I'll do it. You need somebody to take on an extra project. That's me. So it was a surprise to me to make the decision to leave the corporate world that was really outside of my comfort zone.
Alessia Citro 8:11
I so funny, like so much of what you just said resonates too. Like when I was in the corporate world and loving it, like doing all the same things. And then one day, it was just like, wait now, like, my mental health is struggling? And I just need to like, not answer to anyone. So So kind of like piggybacking off of that. Tell us now as your own boss in this full time entrepreneur, even though you loved being in the corporate world, like what does that transition been? Like? Do you ever miss it sometimes,
Unknown Speaker 8:39
the only thing I do miss in some aspects is it's nice to be around a big group of people and to, you know, have a lot of resources. And they're certainly I would tell you that my biggest kind of weakness is the imposter syndrome. And it's easier to feel that when you're working solo, because you don't have all the support and the resources. But I was just telling somebody the other day, if you had seen me, my husband tells the story all the time, because it was like day three of my life as an entrepreneur. And I was and I'm not a crier at all. And I was like on the stairs crying. What did I do? This was such a mistake. I'm not going to be able to do this, you know, I'm never going to be able to make the same income, is it going to be rewarding? And not a week later, I came to him and I was like, I'm so busy. I can't keep up. How did this happen? And so it happened a lot faster than I expected it to. But I do think that today now kind of with enough in the rearview mirror, I could never go back. And there are a lot of reasons for that. But whatever I miss in the corporate world is not worth what I have gained running my own businesses.
Alessia Citro 9:55
So let's talk about that a little bit. What are some of the main things that you think you've gained from entrepreneurship? because there's so many people listening to this that want to do it, and just can't quite like, you almost need to be pushed out. Yes, something needs to happen. It's like, okay, like, message received, I'm doing this. That's what happened to me, like two weeks after we met, by the way, and your story was part of what encouraged me just so you know, oh, yeah, what are some of the things that you've you've gained from entrepreneurship, oh,
Unknown Speaker 10:23
one that may not resonate with everybody. But that was really important to me is an, you know, people kind of know women as like women who are really focused on their family or women who are really focused on their career. But there are a bunch of us who find both roles equally important, and I can't sit here and say that my children are more important than my career, they are both very important parts of my life. And it became very apparent, especially as I continued to climb the corporate ladder. And, and I took on these senior roles, that there wasn't really a place and, and there are in certain businesses and in certain industries, but there's still the unicorns of the corporate world, there wasn't really a place for me, where I could be the kind of present mother that I wanted to be, and the successful professional that I wanted to be. So that was, by far and away the most important piece for me. But there were a lot of other things that I don't think I really realized at that time, but I can understand now, which are, you know, the, the ability to take on only the types of work and clients and services that you want to do, you know, not being forced to take on projects or clients that that are not an ideal fit for you to hone your brand, and the person that you want to be both professionally and personally, to challenge yourself in ways that you maybe wouldn't have had the opportunity to, or that you wouldn't have, you know, put yourself up for in in a position where there are, you know, a lot of teams that are kind of supporting the same end client or end user. So those are kind of unique opportunities to grow as a professional that I don't think I realized it was going to have, but when it's just me, and these projects come on, and, you know, a lot of times you're working with somebody and you're kind of in your comfort zone and you're doing you're kind of you're in your zone of genius, you know, doing something for them, but they're a good client of yours, and they need something that's maybe a little bit outside of your comfort zone, but you're not going to turn them away, you're gonna, you're going to find the resources, you're going to get the answers, and you're going to do the work. And I think that I was definitely a comfort zone worker in the corporate world. So that's been a really exciting piece that has been added to my repertoire in working for myself.
Alessia Citro 12:46
I agree with all that so much, even like the imposter syndrome piece, right? I mean, I was just on a call before this with another entrepreneur. And we were having this conversation that like the imposter syndrome is like this daily battle. And I think it is to some degree to in the corporate world, depending on what you're doing. But if you're a perfectionist like we are, I'd like to say I'm in recovery, although someone was challenging me on that last week. So yeah, I might need to examine that a little bit more. But if you're like us, and you're a perfectionist, like there's usually someone else that's in a similar role that you're like achieving more than so it kind of helps you to not feel like an imposter, right? Because you have people to benchmark when it's you as the entrepreneur. It's like, there is no benchmark, it's like you just either doing it or not doing it and finding a way to make it happen. So I think that's my favorite part is just the personal development piece. Absolutely. And not hating working late, like I was working at 1130 last night, getting my website up to snuff. And I love that I would have never worked until 1130. For anyone else.
Unknown Speaker 13:49
Totally, I mean, in that you kind of touched on that in a specific way. But that's something that was really important to me is that mean, we've all been there working kind of working for the man and it's like, you know, three o'clock in the afternoon and you're kind of like finished with one project and you can't get another one done. And you're just like, I just want to leave, but we can't leave so we just sit at our desks and look busy but we're not doing anything and I thought I was always a proponent of the kind of like, go to the four o'clock yoga class and maybe it was a little different for you obviously in the in the tech industry, certainly a little less old school then the law and commercial real estate I said like you couldn't pick two more old school industries to work in their suits and ties and everything's old school and professional and certainly they like butt in the chair was a very important piece of that.
Alessia Citro 14:39
Right? Yeah, even if you're writing on your working mother blog, right? Like you're
Unknown Speaker 14:45
just look busy and even if I'm doing all my work and it's all you know, net I've never missed a deadline. I've never, you know, nothing's ever kind of got fallen between the cracks but people you know need to be in their chairs for certain amount of hours to, I don't know, validate their salary, I guess.
Alessia Citro 15:04
Yeah, yeah, totally. I think it just goes back to people who really value freedom, whether it's, you know, time or financial or otherwise, I think that is what is the best part of entrepreneurship just outside of all the other things that we've talked about. So let's talk a little bit to you about the exit plan. I remember when we had talked, I think it was maybe one of our first conversations you had put a plan in place, before leaving, I kind of had a plan, and then it really got accelerated. So like, maybe if you're listening, like don't do what I did, and like, you know, drink tea, I was on a plane with your seatmate and decided to quit your current job the next day. But tell us about what you put in place to know that it was like time and Okay. And, like, quote, unquote, safe to leave?
Unknown Speaker 15:49
Yes, I Oh, say I'm like the risk averse entrepreneur, I, my plan was a very lengthy plan. With a long timeline, I needed a really long runway, I needed a lot of certainties. And so maybe it wasn't the best version may I think, was somewhere between your version and my version is probably the ideal version. Mine was like, I need X dollars in our savings account, I need, you know, to have x, you know, average monthly revenue from my, what was then my side hustles, to feel comfortable. And I think that also came with a big kind of that those golden handcuffs are hard to let go of, or hard to unchained yourself from except that and I had a real epiphany, it was only on my last day, but they, you know, the HR exit interview was giving me kind of my information, and oh, you have X hours of PTO at X dollars per hour. So you're going to get paid out X amount of money. And I was like, what, it's only that hourly rate, like I make a good salary that's very low. And at the time, and I do everything flat fee, so it's obviously not hourly, but obviously, it kind of all equates to an hourly rate. And I was like, wow, I could work a third of the time I'm working right now and make the same amount of money. So that was a real epiphany for me that I didn't really think through at the time. And so I actually achieved my financial goals. Much earlier, I gave myself 18 months to to basically make the same amount of money I was making in the corporate world, before I would reconsider rejoining the corporate world, but it only took me six months to to meet those levels. And and really you exceed them. Because obviously, when you're a business owner, there's a lot of bottom line that comes back to you and in a much nicer and easier way than as a W two employee. So but I did, I scheduled primarily financial goals for myself, because and I always say this, I think it's really important to be transparent. At the time, we didn't think we could but we have since learned that we could have lived off my husband's salary without mine. But I I say that because especially there's a lot of kind of, if you're in the online entrepreneur, world, like on social media, and you follow them, there's a lot of like, take the leap, and it's worth the risk. And I'm more like, whoa, like, make sure you can pay your rent or your mortgage first and put food on the table. And because a lot and I've seen this with my own clients that, you know, they jump, but they don't have enough runway. And so even though they could have had a business that was going to be successful, and it could work out, they didn't give themselves enough time. And three or four months after starting, they're back at a job. And obviously, when you're working a full time job, you just can't put the same effort into a business that you want to take full time. And so that is primarily why I think it's so important to make that plan primarily financially. But obviously, some of the other things we've already kind of touched on, like, you know, do you need to work in an office, like a lot of people just work from home, and it's great, and it's obviously cheap to work from home. But if you are not going to be kind of self driven, if you need people around you, maybe a shared workspace is going to be a better option. So I think really spending time kind of assessing what is important to you what your personality needs, you know, what were your major likes and dislikes in the professional world and how that can translate into entrepreneurship, that is going to be really helpful to make sure that you kind of give it the most the best effort so that you can succeed.
Alessia Citro 19:35
Such good advice. And yeah, I mean, it would be really sad to take this leap that really I mean, you have to get a lot of a lot of gumption to do that, right? And then you didn't calculate it right? Or you blow through your cache too fast and you know, because you didn't calculate burn rate or whatever it was gonna be and now you got to go back with your tail between your legs. And you're like that would be really sad. Yeah, yeah, that's really good advice. So you had recently just commented on an Instagram post I put up, I was talking about doing like business and corporate exit coaching. And you said, Gosh, that's such a needed service, because like, it was a messy and emotional experiences, I think how you put in you tell us a little bit about that, like you did all the planning and everything but like, like, yeah, tell us what that was like.
Unknown Speaker 20:23
Yeah. So I, this is how I describe it. And it sounds so dramatic. But leaving the corporate world to start my own business felt like a huge failure for me. And people don't always understand why like, why would you do that you it's I didn't get fired, I didn't get demoted, I had this very good position, I was great at what I did, I was well respected. But it was basically admitting to myself, that I wasn't going to be able to be successful in the corporate world, the way that I had anticipated, and the only way to succeed was going to be to kind of step off of that path and forge my own path. But that felt like failure. And then speaking in a kind of in the same analogies with the paths, I felt like, I was always great, like, you can give me two or three paths, and I'm happy to kind of assess them and, and make a decision and go, What I felt like was I was standing kind of at the edge of a desert, and there was no path. And you could take literally any direction. And maybe a lot of them would make me happy. But maybe some of them wouldn't. And it was like somebody just don't like just give me the first step. Just tell me the first thing to do. And then I'll make a decision from there. And so that was really hard for me. And I, you know, I guess I joke that it's like, almost like a therapist, but a business therapist, because sometimes you need that reassurance, but not from somebody that you know, helps just with general like mental health crises, but really, in the business world, there are very, sometimes you have to make very big and important and quick decisions that can have a lot of impact on your business, on your future on your personal life. And having somebody help navigate that kind of the beginning of that desert, and forge maybe that first few steps into that new path could have been really useful for me at least
Alessia Citro 22:20
Yeah, no, I think I, that point is well taken. Because, you know, you almost want some type of Sherpa to kind of at least, like set you off in the right direction. Because you know, when you just start, like even the ventures I'm doing, it's like, I have a general idea. But it sure be nice if there was a Sherpa that could like, Okay, well, here's like the things you need for the journey. And like I think I know, but I don't really so I think having a mentor is really, really critical.
Unknown Speaker 22:48
Alessia Citro 22:51
So I wanted to touch on the multi passionate side of you. I mean, with some of our conversations, you have so many irons in the fire, I don't think I've ever met another attorney that is also involved in digital marketing. And that also is a writer and a speaker. And I love that because so many of the people I talked to and then I know are listening to this are multi passionate, too. And like my rational brain thinks, wow, I'd probably be better off if I just really stuck to one thing, but then I get bored like that will never work for me. That's just not who I am. So I would love if you could maybe give advice to the fellow multi passionate entrepreneurs that are listening to this that have so many things they're interested in and feel that maybe they could be at odds are competing, like what would you say to that person?
Unknown Speaker 23:39
Yeah, that's so great. I mean, part of this is I'm talking to myself, because I have this conversation with myself daily. But the first thing I would say, and you kind of I laughed when you did the intro, because you called me a jack of all trades. And for so long, I had seen myself as the, you know, the Jain of all trades and the master of none. And that was a weakness for me. Because, you know, we've talked about this now, this is a theme in this conversation, I'm sure you have that with a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs that we're very perfectionist, we want to be an expert. And so it felt like a weird weakness to not be just the expert, right? The foremost expert in whatever corporate law or and that was never going to be me just like you said, I get bored doing one thing I have a lot of passions. So the first is to embrace that as a feature, not a flaw. And the second would be to really hone within those passions, because I do many different things, but each one is very niche. So my flat fee legal services are very niche to my expertise. This is what I've always done corporate and securities laws, my background. I don't do any of the securities work anymore. I only do the corporate stuff. I have very specific requirements for what I will and will not do. And then the digital marketing is I work in the waste industry, which is like people were like, What is that about? But yeah, that's, that's for a different time. So it's very niche. And and some of the other things I kind of projects in the in the making are also very specific and very niche. So I think that you can have, and that's such like a buzzword, right to like niche down. But I do think that if each of the things you are working on are very specific, then you can still tolerate the breadth of what you're doing with the, you know, with multiple irons in the fire. But I do think that, and this is something I'm still working on the context switching is very challenging, and I still don't have a perfect system. You know, in a perfect world, I'd love to do like from, you know, eight to 12, I work on this business and from 12 to before I work on this business, but it's never like that because somebody needs something or there's more projects on this side than this side. So finding a way to operate in multiple businesses. And I mean, when you're an entrepreneur, and either a sole like a solo worker, or in a small team, you're wearing a lot of hats in each of those roles. So it's not just like, Oh, I've got these two businesses, it's like, well, I've got this business, and I'm wearing six hats in this business. And I've got this business, I'm wearing four hats in this business. So there's a lot of context switching happening. So I think that really, systems and processes are like so Golden, and trying to find those at the outset. And obviously, they change over time, and you have to adapt, and workloads change and deadlines happen and whatever you know, might occur. But to really have kind of a foundational system that allows you to make sure that nothing's falling through the cracks. And that you're, you know, delivering, especially in service based businesses that I'm like, customer service is paramount to me. So I'm always answering emails on time, nothing's ever falling through the cracks, like oops, sorry, I forgot to respond for a week. And that takes a lot of mental space. So finding systems that work is, is my best advice.
Alessia Citro 27:19
The context switching is so interesting to me too, because I've got a lot of irons in the fire. I've got a network marketing business, that's context switching, for sure. But then the rest are all dovetailing. There's the podcast, there's the coaching. There's this business masterclass, which I'll share more details about here soon that you know all about Karen, and then also writing a book. But all those things are on the same types of topics. So it like scratches the creative itch, but like working on one actually helps me with the others. So, I mean, I would be so curious if you could give. And normally, these interviews are a little more like tell me all about you. But like there's some really good tactical advice here. I think, like how do you go from corporate law to like, waste digital marketing, which I started laughing with the waste thing because I'm Sicilians, like when people talk about like being in like, the waste management business, like that's, you know, that's like code for something else.
Unknown Speaker 28:16
I was laughing, I'm not part of the mafia.
Alessia Citro 28:20
So how do you how do you switch between corporate law, digital marketing, like what tips and advice for systems and operations would you give? Because that's like, majorly making mental shifts to do those things? Yes.
Unknown Speaker 28:33
So that's a good question. Sometimes I don't even know how I do it, or what I'm doing. I live and die by my checklists. And I am like, I mean, I, you would laugh if you see if you could see my desk, because I'm, it's very neat, and very organized. But I've got my weekly plan. What me, I have my weekly planner, where, you know, every day I and I do all in pencil because things shift. So I have my like, on my computer, I use a Trello board for not your father's lawyer. But actually Trello is really not working for me and my team for the digital marketing business. So we're actually kind of in transition where we're moving away from that. And I think that's important to tell yourself, like I wanted everything to be like, I've got everything in one platform, and it's so streamlined, but if it's not working, it's not working. So but it works really well for not your father's layer. So I'm not. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So that's living there. But the digital marketing is kind of in flux. Right now we're moving into a different system. I have a notebook that I keep, like a kind of a weekly running list of all of my work for both businesses plus kind of the other things that I that I have going on. And then I have a master calendar that I have I use almost exclusively you'll love that. Google I use almost exclusively Google.
Alessia Citro 29:57
Yeah, if it's my Google Calendar, it doesn't exist. Yeah, so
Unknown Speaker 30:00
and I love Google calendar because I have G Suite for for all of my businesses. And so everything's overlapped. So like when my Calendly, when people want to book with not your father's lawyer, I needed everything to be in one calendar, but I can't manually update that. So on G Suite, I just invite all the calendars so that all of my busyness is on, including my personal calendar. So like, people can't book over my daughter's soccer practice and stuff. So that was really imperative. And then my husband and I share, we have a family calendar. But for the most part, we just invite each other to any personal things so that we are kind of in you know, good communication for our family life. And I actually we have invited because he works mostly in G Suite to we have invited each other in the past, but then our calendars get so messy with each other's meetings on it. So we, we don't do that. And but I have the ability to kind of click on it if I want to see it. So that is really big for me. And then the the kind of the lists, and then the sub lists, I kind of joke, right? It's like my overall list for the week. And then my sub lists of like, what am I doing today, and if something doesn't get done, it gets moved to the next day. And that's a strength because I'm very organized, and it comes naturally to me. But it's also a weakness, because if it's not on my list, I don't I'm not even thinking about it, you know? So every now and again, this happens to everybody that it was like, Are you gonna be in this? You know, whatever meeting are you going to do? You I was waiting for X, Y or Z document and you're like, oh, yeah, that never made it on my list. So it completely slipped my mind. It wasn't in my brain, it was not something that was needed to be done. So I think that finding, again, a system that works for you, because obviously everybody's personality is different. Some people especially I mean, I'm very type A and, and like, analytical. So everything's like systems and organization. But a lot of creatives are like, yeah, that's not for me. So I don't think any one system works. But I do think that there are so many cool platforms out there. And a lot of them like the free version, you know, there are a lot of them are freemium models. So there's a free version, and then you can pay up, you know, to upgrade. And a lot of the free models work perfectly for people's needs, especially if you're not working with teams, that's usually kind of when those become paid services versus the free. But you can try them all out and kind of see what works for you and what flows easily for you. And I think that that's just kind of acknowledging what works for you is so important, because obviously everybody has like their their things that they're so passionate about, like you have to use G Suite or you have to use Trello you have to use Monday COMM But people have their own opinions and their own personality needs. And so kind of working out what you need and what works for you and not being afraid to like walk away like we did. I was like, but I really wanted this Trello thing to work, but it doesn't work for that business's needs. And and we're not we don't have a solution yet. We're still we're still looking.
Alessia Citro 33:04
i There's so many things that you said in there that I liked. Yeah, I think not being afraid to pivot and admit when something is not working. And the other thing you said to you didn't say it this way. But what I heard was, needs to be on paper or in a program somewhere because if you're just thinking about it, a it'll slip, but also the amount of mental computing power that it takes to try to remember all these things. I realized I was wasting so much time and mental energy because I didn't have like a full on list. So Asana has been working great for me. But um, anyway, as a side note,
Unknown Speaker 33:43
yeah, no, but you touched on it, that the kind of freeing up the mental space to be able to focus on the actual business instead of kind of the operations of the business. And that's why I mean, there's like organizational psychology is an entire, you know, field in the professional world about, you know, how teams are set up and how systems and processes happen. And you don't have to, it doesn't have to get so complex when you're running a small business, but to find that version that works for you is important.
Alessia Citro 34:13
Yeah, great advice. So one of the final questions here for you. One of the greatest things that I'm really hoping to impart on my young daughter is being capable and chasing your dreams and going after your passions. And I really want to try to cultivate the spirit of entrepreneurship and her. Can you tell me if and how you're doing that with your kids?
Unknown Speaker 34:39
That's a great question. I am actually building an entire business around that. So we'll talk about that.
Alessia Citro 34:44
Unknown Speaker 34:47
Yeah, but so I do. I mean, my kids are pretty young, not as young as your daughter I know, but eight and five. So they can't really be involved in the business in any substantive way. But they have sat I mean, first of all, they see me working a lot, especially because I'm at home and you know, evenings and weekends bleed into my work week. And they ask what I'm doing. And I take the time to explain when they ask or we do a family at night, when we have dinner, we do like highs and loads of the day, everybody goes through kind of their highs and lows. And, you know, my husband and I obviously talk about work a lot. And so sharing kind of the trials and tribulations of running a business and then involving them where I can, so you know, if there's filing to be done, or if my son is who's five, just he loves to just play on the computer. So can I click that? Can I hit print, oh, you're going to move that document cannot? Can you show me how, and, you know, substantively, he's not learning anything about entrepreneurship, but understanding kind of getting comfortable using the computer. And those are things that I think are important, and then really just fostering creativity, because really what I believe, and this is true of entrepreneurship, but also even just being a worker in a business, you know, still requires entrepreneurial skills, which is, you know, creativity and innovation and guts, you know, and so fostering those in any number of ways. So my daughter has already had, she's got all these business ideas that she's always talking about, we kind of let ask her questions, and let her kind of marinate on on the issues. And one thing that she really wants to, you know, that she's interested in pursuing, we said, like, put some stuff together and put a plan together. And we'll, we'll see if we can let you kind of go out there and try it out and take something to market and see if it works. And I think that that's, there's so many cool ways you can involve kids in the entrepreneurial process and just fostering their creativity and not shutting them down, you know, not shutting down their, their excitement about things, even if it's like something that's totally crap and won't work,
Alessia Citro 37:04
you know, or something that's highly inconvenient for us. Yes, yes. Yeah. Which that's easier said than done sometimes, but absolutely. Nice. So yesterday, I interviewed Taylor, shoop, the co founder of Stan's socks, so his episode will drop a week before this one. And he was sharing that growing up as a kid, they only got presence for birthday. And for Christmas, I think he said, so he would always ask for something that could produce something else and allow him to make money so that he would have like spending money. So he was talking about I think he's mentioned like a snow cone machine and like a cotton candy machine like, yeah, just always looking for ways to produce. So that I thought was something that's another interesting way to encourage your children to like, make things and they love that value in a way. Yeah, that's
Unknown Speaker 37:51
so cool. Well, I'm
Alessia Citro 37:53
so grateful for you coming on the show today. And I'm excited for the mini episode, we're going to record right after this with your tactical business tip. Do you want to share a little bit of what you'll be talking about?
Unknown Speaker 38:05
Yeah, I mean, I think that the if there's a thesis for the tactical business tip, it's just to not be afraid of what you don't know. And we'll talk a little bit about kind of the different elements to consider Legally speaking, when running a business,
Alessia Citro 38:20
as you always put it in your in your email newsletter. You call it being legally legit. Yeah. I love you should you should trademark that have you yet?
Unknown Speaker 38:29
I have not.
Alessia Citro 38:30
I think you should we could get like shirts made or something. I like it. So Karen, where can people find you? Where can they connect with you? How can they work with you? If they need a business lawyer?
Unknown Speaker 38:42
You can find me My website is not your father's lawyer calm and my Instagram and Facebook handles and mostly on Instagram is at not your father's lawyer. And that's where I am. Or you can email me it's my name is spelled funny though. It's Karen k e r e n at NYFL dot law. So it's like not your father's lawyer dot law.
Alessia Citro 39:05
And seriously, any of you listening to this? Well, would they need to live in the state of California out of curiosity
Unknown Speaker 39:11
or? No? That's a great question as well. Yeah, that's a great question. I work with clients all over. I mean, as you know, businesses, their business has no borders. So I work with clients all over the country and actually internationally as well. And you know, here and there, there are certain things I can't or won't do outside of the state but entity formations and contracts. And most of what I do trademark is federal anyway. So ever. All of that is, wherever you reside in the United States.
Alessia Citro 39:36
I cannot speak highly enough about you too. We were connected through my wonderful insurance agent. So shout out to Chris Ferrara is the best network. But yeah, I mean, you've just been such a joy to work with. And it's helped me so much and made it so simple. So if any of you need entity formation or anything like that, you need to hit Karen up.
Unknown Speaker 39:54
Thank you. Well,
Alessia Citro 39:55
thanks so much for coming on. And thanks to all of you for listening. Be sure to join us after this, too. borrow our mini episode with Karen on a business tipple drop and you'll want to make sure to tune in. Thank you so much for listening to the show. If today's episode added value to your life in some way, please subscribe, leave a five star review and share it with someone who needs this. I'd love to connect with you on Instagram and your other show has inspired you. So tag me or slide into the DMS. Find me at corporate dropout official or Alessia Citro. That's ALESSIA CITRO and two underscores, until next time, remember that you're a badass, stay focused, stay hungry and dare to drop out