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Preparing for Maternity Leave w/ Elise, Emilia, and Lindsay 439
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In today’s episode, Jim and Tyson chat with, Elise, Emilia, and Lindsay! They dive into the journey of preparing for maternity leave as a law owner. If you’re interested in learning more about what this looks like, what needs to be figured out, and addressing various concerns, check out this week’s episode.

1:03 powerhouse

4:13 concerns

8:00 where’s the money coming from

12:08 ups and downs

16:37 it can still continue to evolve

20:10 maternity policy

25:25 absolute flexibility

Jim’s Hack: Check out Best’s Buys totaltech membership. Having the Geek Squad and other benefits available is fantastic!

Elise’s Tip: To stop using the word busy. Instead use the word full. Think about your life being full and full of things that you’re choosing. 

Lindsay’s Tip: Reflect on your customer or client experience and ask, why does this suck and how can I make it better?

Emilia’s Tip: Think about hiring a coach to prepare you for maternity leave. As a business owner having the many conversations that need to be had with someone that understands is invaluable.

Tyson’s Tip: To create a maternity/paternity policy and get the necessary feedback from your employees and put the policy in place.

Watch the podcast here

Join the Guild: www.maxlawguild.com

Jim Hacking:   Welcome back to The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. I’m Jim Hacking.

Tyson Mutrux:            And I’m Tyson Mutrux.

So, Jim, I don’t know if we’ve ever had three guests at one time. I know we’ve done other live’s, but I don’t know if we’ve ever had three at one time. Do you?

Jim:                  No. But I’m really excited. And why don’t you go ahead and introduce all three of them so we can get this party started?

Tyson:             All right. I’m not doing full bio’s–

Jim:                  Nope.

Tyson:             –just full disclosure. I’ll let you introduce yourselves. We got Emilia Coto. We’ve got Lindsey Covalt. We’ve got Elise Buie. And it is a powerhouse. That’s what we’ve got. And we’re going to talk about law firm owners and preparing for maternity leave is what we’re going to be talking about. It’s something that Jim and I know nothing about but it’s something that we’ve got three people that are experts at it so it’s going to be– it’s going to be a fun conversation.

Jim:                  Thanks, everybody, for coming on. Let’s go ahead and get started with Elise.

Elise, you’ve had children. Obviously, you’ve been a long‑time law firm owner. And I know that, you know, this is not at all like guys don’t have anything to do with raising of children or anything like that. But Tyson’s right, I’ve had conversations with Lindsay. I’ve had conversations with Emilia. They’re both at varying stages of preparing for maternity leave while opening a law firm and I thought, “Boy, who better to get on the show, and maybe to just sort of brainstorm a little bit to help them out and anyone else out who’s going through this.” So, Elise, thanks for being with us.

Elise Buie:       Oh, thanks so much for having me. I mean, getting ready to have a baby is a huge job much less owning a law firm while you’re getting ready to have a baby. So, I think it’s awesome that we’re talking about this.

Tyson:             So, this is– it’s funny. So, Jim and I normally have like a routine where like one of us will ask a question, another one will ask a question. So, what I will probably do is we’ll have a question, we’ll pose it to all of you, and then let you take turns at answering that question, so.

Before we do that though Emilia, just really quick – we’ll do you, Lindsay, and then we’ll go Elise, just introduce yourselves for the people that don’t know who you are so that they can get a little bit more information about you.

Emilia Coto:    Sure. So, my name is Emilia Coto. I’m an immigration attorney. I do Canada and US immigration. And I’m based out of Troy, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. And, in terms of my pregnancy, I’m about ready. The baby can come anytime. So, it’s a fun topic conversation because it’s something that’s definitely on my mind on a daily basis. And, yeah, I’m really looking forward to talking to Lindsay, Elise, and Tyson, and Jim about, you know, I guess, how we prepared and then the things that I’m kind of still trying to figure out as well.

Lindsay:          So, I’m Lindsay Covalt. I am an estate administration, estate planning, and a real estate attorney. I have a smaller area in central Pennsylvania which makes me able to do those things. I am expecting our first– this is our first pregnancy. We went through a very long infertility journey which I’ve been trying to be open about because I think we don’t talk about it enough and women need to kind of stand together and men who support them on that journey. But we’re expecting twins because of that. They’re fraternal. And I am 24‑weeks’ pregnant. And with a twin pregnancy, the average delivery is 35 weeks, but we could go 30 weeks and have to be in the NICU, so I’m anxious and I’m trying to keep it together.

Elise:                That’s awesome. I’m Elise Buie. I am older. Not pregnant. I have a law firm – a family law firm in Seattle. But I am a mom of four, stepmom of two. So, um, I feel yah, like this is not an easy thing.

Jim:                  All right. Well, let’s get started with Emilia.

Emilia, you and I spent a lot of time talking these last few months about the impending birth of your child and we’re excited about that, of course. Why don’t you walk our audience through sort of some of the concerns that you had, some of the thought processes that we had to go through as we worked our way through that?

Emilia:             Yeah. I– I started with a really different idea, I think, than what’s actually I think how it’s actually playing out. But, originally, I was just really concerned about maintaining the growth of the firm and I didn’t want– you know, like I didn’t want to slow down. So, I was really concerned about what hires I had to make, what I had to do for marketing, how I could get ahead of things so that everything could continue sort of business as usual. And then, throughout the process, as we started getting ready, you know, like as the pregnancy progressed, I kind of felt that I would be missing out on like some of motherhood and time with the baby if I had to do that. And I also struggled a lot with finding the right people. So, that’s kind of what we worked through it. And– yeah, I won’t give everything away yet but– yeah, basically things aren’t going to be business as usual for the next few months.

Tyson:             Lindsay, do you want to answer that question, too?

Lindsay:          Sure. I am really thankful that I’m part of The Guild. And Emilia is, too. And I know Elise is too. I fan girl on Elise all the time. But I was panicking, to be honest, I– you know, initially I thought, you know, this is definitely real, and we feel very blessed but we’ve had losses. So, I kind of had this interior, “I don’t want to get too vested, maybe I shouldn’t change my behaviors too much just yet.” And then probably around 16 weeks, I thought like, “This is– this is real. Like, there’s two little hearts in there. They’re growing. They’re moving. And I really need to get serious about them, and about my clients, and my firm.” And so, I talked to some local folks that I had near me that, unfortunately, aren’t in Maximum Lawyer, but I’m trying.

But I reached out to the Guild and I kind of just had this like, I’m going to ramble and tell you everything I’m afraid of and what should I do. And, of course, I got tons and tons of people that responded. And I’ve been talking to a couple of them and kind of working through that as I adjust. And at first, I thought, “I’m going to take 12 weeks. I’m going to take FMLA.I have short term disability, like finances are covered. But what about my firm? Like, I’ve spent so much time working on this, and growing this, and I’m finally moving at a really good clip where I feel like we could hire another person, or we should hire another person. But for this big event coming, what do I do?”

And so, what I decided, I think it’s kind of a work in progress, but, so far, what I’ve decided is I’m going to cut back on the things where people need me immediately. So, like when someone– and especially in the real estate market, right now, when someone needs me, they need me, and I’m not going to give you that, like I’ve decided no.

And then estate planning is kind of easier because, you know, I think I’ve built a practice where people know. They’re coming to me, for me. They’re coming for a genuine experience. You get what you see. I’m going to care about you. We’re going to talk about your family and really get to know each other. So why don’t I let them know me? And so, I’ve kind of been working on a script for my paralegal who does our intake too, to say, you know, that we’re really excited you contacted us, but Lindsay just had twins. You know, we’re looking to schedule new clients out. And I think I’ve accepted that, if they’re down with that, awesome. If they’re not, they’re probably not going to be a good fit for me anyways. And so, I’m going to push them out.

I talk to Brooks Derrick a lot about that and he was like, “You know, you don’t have to stop the faucet,” because I was also worried about if I shut down everything, what do I do after– now, 2 out of 12 weeks, I’m going to have another two months of, “Where’s the money coming from?” So, I didn’t want to stop completely.

And I think for estates, you know, most of my clients can turn into estates, too. Unfortunately, it’s just the natural progression of life, if you will, or they refer folks to me that have– because they have a loved one that passed. I think I’ll take ‘em on a case‑by‑case basis based on what they need and “Is it profitable for the firm for me to take myself away from my boys?”

Tyson:             I was going to ask Elise to comment on this because, Elise, you’ve been there before, so I want you to comment on it.

Elise:                Well, I actually did not have an infant as a law firm owner. I was actually working as an associate. But, obviously, as a law firm owner, I have managed maternity leaves in my firm for members of our firm, other attorneys, and paternity leaves. So, one of the things that I think of, listening to Lindsay and Emilia, that I think is important is to think of this in terms of a business succession plan and really figure out– I mean, I think, Lindsay, you hit the nail on the head when you’re talking about like how do you message this to your potential new clients and how do you package it in such a way where they can wait for you and they can do things because there’s so much that, depending on your team and the size of your team, they can help you and they can—

I think turning off the faucet completely is very scary. Like, you know when you’re looking at building a firm and that’s a big inertia point. You know, you get to a point and the faucet is actually running but also realizing that– I mean, as somebody who has had a bunch of kids, worked through all of them and dealt with that, I actually went back to work clerking for a federal judge at two weeks. So, like I literally brought an infant with me in a bucket seat to court. That’s a whole long story. But, that being said, you would be surprised at how much easier it is in the beginning than it is later. That first year is much easier to contain the children and do your work around them. You’re literally going to find your bigger, you know, ex– oh, you know what, I don’t think I can curse on podcast but, you know, those—those—

Tyson:             Go for it.

Elise:                Those moments [laughs]. Those, “Oh, shit!” Those moments come later. And, I mean, when that child starts running all around and going places. And then, even worse, when they are older and you’re driving them a million places. So, it is surprising how much you can navigate that zero to one.

And I really encourage you. I mean, you know I’m all like these fair play. I am like an absolute evangelist about fair play. But I mean, you have got to get fair play. If you don’t have it, get the card game, get your husband or partner on board, because if you can start this, you know, new family routine in a way that is equitable in your home, it is going to look so different than if you started where you’re the only one doing all the things and then you’re trying to pick back up your business and carry that. I mean, I really encourage you to bring in fair play as soon as possible. I mean, if I was y’all, I’d be reading it now. We’d be playing the card game. You know, I’d be all over that.

Jim:                  That’s awesome, Elise. You talked a little bit about, you know, here, both Emilia and Lindsay have put a ton of energy into getting, you know, lift off from this law firm that they have going. And then, all of a sudden, it’s almost like a gear shift change. Can you talk about the emotion of it and sort of like, what advice do you have mindset‑wise for them? Like, I think Lindsay’s point of, you know, if they’re not down with me being gone for a while, because I’m having a baby, is a good one. But what about the psychological, I would say, sadness of having to put the law firm on hold while you still have the joy of the of the baby or the babies?

Elise:                Yeah. Well, in my mind, it’s you don’t have to– and that’s kind of what I’m saying. You don’t have to put it on hold.

I mean, I know we probably all think about this differently. Like, I think of my law firm as one of my babies, you know, like it is something you grow, you birth. You, you know, go through all those ups and downs. And I don’t mean to sound– I feel like I’m going to sound almost trite but, I mean, you’ve got to learn to navigate this now. Like, if you want to stay a law firm owner, through raising children, you have to learn to navigate and juggle, and you have to think about it in cycles like your baby needs certain things, you know, zero to one, one to three, you know, three to six and it’s going to always be looking different.

So, having that entrepreneur mindset of being willing to experiment, and being up for change, and up for that, you know, what you’re doing now, what’s been working for you may be beautifully over the last 12 months might look totally different. I mean, maybe you’re going to be doing work at funky hours or maybe your partner is going to take like a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday and you’re going to get like a big hunk of time to do that, you know, on your business work that you’ve been doing now, different times. But, again, with little ones, you will be– I mean, itty bitty ones, that is the time you can get more done and, you know, you’ll still I think fine, there’s a lot of downtime. Babies sleep a lot, you know, and they—like– and, you know, obviously, you have to sleep, too, though like—and, you know, there’s whole issues – if you’re nursing and—

I mean, one of the things that I did, every time I had a baby, that I found really helpful, I just like got myself completely wrapped around the idea that my schedule was no longer my own, like I was going to have to run with whatever the baby’s schedule was. And so many moms spend so much time trying to get their babies to sleep and they’re literally like here. They spend so much time in anger.

I literally decided I was going to just like love the dickens out of this time. So, I got every single book on tape. I mean, I’m aging myself like– I mean, I literally wore a Walkman and I would nurse the baby, listen to books on tape. We had VCRs. I would tape soap operas so like, if I was up at 3:00 in the morning, I could watch like The Young and The Restless, be perfectly happy, did not worry for a second that the baby wasn’t sleeping because– I mean, this is your only time to like have that time with your child. And you don’t want to spend that first year being angry. You know what I mean? So, like really embracing it for what it is. And I think, as an entrepreneur, you have like a leg up because you’re used to experimenting, trying things, maybe they don’t work. And you can do that with your baby and your work, too, and, really, embrace this time.

Jim:                  Emilia, I’m wondering what this is bringing up for you, hearing Elise share such great advice.

Emilia:             Yeah. It’s, um– I really look up to Elise, as Elise knows. And something that– because I did experience feeling that sadness that you described where you worked so hard to get it to a point when you’re not worrying, you know, like every day, where your next client is coming from. And so, then, thinking about turning people away or now having this obstacle for people to hire you is very difficult. But seeing how like the different seasons of life don’t have to be the same. And now, I’m kind of at a point where I’m more at peace with maybe this– like this pause in my business kind of will allow me to almost create something that’s better than what was before because I’ll be able to build it around this new life and around kind of like the life that I want to build but also, you know, continuing to help the types of clients I want to help.

And I think what Lindsay mentioned about maybe now different people will be your ideal clients or different people will be wanting to work with you because of you understand, you know, this that I didn’t understand before because I know that– that is like part of the reason why people want to work with me sometimes is because I’ve gone through the process myself. So, now, I’m thinking, it’ll change. And so, I definitely relate with what you were saying about feeling like I’m missing out.

And I think, Jim, in a lot of our conversations, you know, how much I struggled with that and how much I struggled to really let go. And I still struggle with it. And even now, like today, I met with someone that was an ideal client, but I know that it would mean changing the plan again and I’m kind of just at peace with it with how it’s played out and just knowing that it can still continue to evolve into something better than it was before.

 

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Elise:                Emilia, have you thought about at all like taking this time that you’re away from your business, you know, with your baby. And really, I mean, I think of Jim a lot in this like, I mean, a fru fru to the max, like literally make your– I mean, you could do videos. You could do so many things to bring your authentic new mother self to your marketing and to what you’re doing and literally just use this time in a way that would actually propel your business forward when you’re ready to step back in in a more, you know, more time?

Emilia:             Yeah. I think that’s part of the– one of the really nice perks is that I’ve never been in a position where I feel like I can do only the things I want to do.

Elise:                Yeah.

Emilia:             Like it’s never been like that. And so, I am really excited to explore what I feel like doing and what kind of things I want to work on for the business and, yeah, how to incorporate kind of this new phase in my life into the business because I can already sort of tell that it has changed some things and it has changed. Even over the last year, I’ve really focused even more and more on the types of cases and clients. So, yeah, that’s one of the things that I’m actually really looking forward to is having– having the space to focus on only the things that I want to be doing as opposed to everything that comes with law firm ownership which is, you know, [inaudible 00:19:34] of everything.

Elise:                Yeah.

Oh, and I would absorb every book, every podcast, everything humanly possible. Like my baby would literally think I was born with earbuds in my ears.

Tyson:             So, I want to ask– I want to shift gears a little bit. One of our associates, she’s actually pregnant now and so she’s going through this. And about a year ago we had the conversation about this. So, I said, “Hey, I want you to develop like what you want to be like the perfect maternity policy.” And so, that’s what she did. I said, “I’ll probably make some edits to it but, you know, draft it and I’ll make some edits.” And that’s what we did. And I’m glad because like now we have a plan in place.

So, I want to start with Lindsay. Like, have you thought about that part of it as you grow, as your firm grows, developing it based upon what you’re going through, how you would want it to be if you’re an associate? Have you started that conversation?

So, we’ll go with you, Lindsay. Then, you, Emilia. And then, I want to get some advice from Elise as to what she thinks about having a policy in place.

Lindsay:          To be honest, no. I feel like I failed this part of the test. And the reason only is because it’s me and my paralegal. And I think a part of me felt like I was never going to get here. Like, I had a really long conversation with Jim where poor Jim thought we were going to get on a really productive call and I just started crying. It was awful. But it was great. But it was awful.

So, yeah. So, I think probably I’ll reflect on it. You know, I think that’s where I’m most– I am strongest at is the reflection aspect. You know, I don’t know if I’ll ever really want an associate but paralegals or secretary like, you know, admin’s, absolutely. And it’s probably going to be– I would think it might be scarier for them because I feel like when you’re in an organization, you’re like, “This is my job. I’m part of this team – at least, if you love the team. And it’s always going to be here and they’re going to take care of me.”

Whereas, I feel like, as the owner, I’m like, “How am I going to pay for all this stuff? Like, how am I going to make sure clients keep coming? How am I going to make sure that the firm doesn’t take a hit or I lose my positioning in my market?” And so, that’s really where my focus has been of late. But I think that’s a really good thing to add to my to‑do list. In terms of all the stuff that I want to accomplish, I think that’s going to be really great. That wasn’t on there. So, thank you for that.

Jim:                  I would just say I really like that point that Elise made which is, you know, Gary Vee always says, you know, “Don’t create. Just document.” And you guys are about to embark– I mean, maybe the two of you together should start a podcast or a blog on having your own law firm and being a mom. I mean, like I certainly don’t think we can do justice to it in a half an hour. And, you know, even if it’s just you guys wrapping twice a month or, you know, and you just talk about what you’re going through, I think that would be a real service to lawyers– let me put it to you this way. If I told you there was a podcast like that a year ago, would you have listened to it?

Lindsay:          Yes.

Jim:                  Yeah.

Emilia:             For sure.

I really love the Canadian perspective on the maternity leave. And I think that’s something that has been one of the culture shocks of living in the States now because in Canada, by law, you can take 12 or 18 months, so you don’t– like your employer doesn’t pay you during that time, although some of the bigger law firms do but a lot of the times you just get like a governmental maternity leave that’s about, I think, $2,000 a month. So, you know, a lot of the times people do have to take a hit financially, but your job is there. And that was a question that a lot of people asked me whether I regretted not staying at a Canadian job where I would automatically have that. And so, I think that that’s something that I would like to implement in the future.

And I think, if you’re going to have to sort of add someone to your team for four months to kind of cover someone else, you can add someone for 12 months, and even it might even be like a growth– a way to grow the firm that way as well. But I think I’m also kind of testing it out myself and seeing how long, you know, I– like I’m not putting as much pressure as I was originally to say, “Okay, at this period of time, I’m going to start taking cases.” Like I’m just going to take it month by month and see how it goes. And, yeah, I just have faith that there’s always going to be more clients and that it’s going to be fine regardless of whether I take four months or a year because I’m still going to be doing things to move the firm forward during that time, just not the same as before.

Elise:                I love that.

Tyson:             Elise, what are your thoughts?

Elise:                Well, I mean, gosh, how long do we have to discuss all the leave policies in the universe? I mean, it’s a huge deal. You know, from a when you’re a small law firm, having a leave policy and having somebody take off 12 or 18 months, like Emilia mentioned, that’s tough. I mean, that is really tough, especially if you’re paying them. I mean, our leave policy has always been a paid leave. I mean, so I have like an eight‑week maternity paid and paternity. So, people could take off eight weeks paid. And, I mean, that was when our firm you know, had like six, seven people in it. I mean, it was tough. Like it’s a real, you know, stretch when you’re paying somebody their full salary and nobody is doing that work. And I found it very hard. I mean, I’m being just really blunt and honest, like it was hard to do that. And every time somebody would take that leave, you know, I would just be like, “Oh, here we go” like this is really tough.

I think it is very important. And I think there’s so much an owner can do besides just paid leave because I think everybody has very different financial, you know, wherewithal, depending on the stage of their business, but there is absolute flexibility people can offer, kind of like Emilia mentioned, where, yeah, they can take off for a whole year and definitely get their job back. Maybe you’re not paying for those 12 months, you know, but they’re there and they’re going to be able to get their position back, of course.

But I have to say, on the back end of this, the bigger issue is how flexible are employers with people with young children? That is the key. And, I mean, literally, I could talk for six weeks on this issue alone. It is the only way to keep quality women working in the workforce is to offer just unlimited flexibility because, God forbid, they’re married to a man who’s not a fair play evangelist and is not doing anything to help at home, that person is navigating all that invisible labor at home and the labor at work. And, as an employer, if you can offer just untold amounts of flexibility and– you know, but you have accountability built in so that they—

We look at it, in our firm, as we have as much flexibility as humanly possible like all things are fair game in the flexible world. We have a high, high demand of communication to make that flexibility work and we have high personal responsibility. So, if I have a person who’s at the park playing with their three year old because it happened to be sunny in Seattle, once out of 200 days, and they wanted to go to the park, I’m not going to say a word about it. But if they have an emergency arise, in those three hours they’re at the park, I surely do expect them to deal with that sometime, you know, before the end of that day, even if it’s after bath time at eight o’clock at night. You know what I mean? Like—

And I think that conversation has to include leave and the flexibility post‑leave because, I mean, babies don’t get easier all of a sudden when 12 weeks is up and you come to work. I mean, anybody who has children knows. I mean, it requires just absolute flexibility if you really want to maximize your time as a parent as well as your time as a business owner.

Tyson:             That’s great advice.

Okay. So, I wish we had like four more hours to delve into this issue. We’ll probably talk more about this inside of The Guild because this is a massive issue. So, I think this is great. This is great advice.

We do need to wrap things up because we are at time. Before I do, I want to remind everyone to join us in The Guild. If you want a more high‑level conversation, go to maxlawguild.com. And if you don’t mind, while you’re listening to the rest of this episode, where we’re going to have extra tips and hacks this week, so we’ve got multiple guests, please give us a five‑star review. That’d be great.

Jimmy, what’s your hack of the week?

Jim:                  So, mine’s a real simple one. We signed up for Best Buy’s Total Tech about a year ago and we’ve used the crap out of it. It’s– it’s– I think it’s at $100 or $199 a year and it gets you Geek Squad access, and sort of free shipping, and priority customer service. It’s been great for us. So, if you are thinking about not using Amazon, a Best Buy is great. And having the Geek Squad there to help us with tech stuff has been fantastic.

Tyson:             Yeah. I got that idea from someone in The Guild and we use it too. It’s great because you– what’s great about it is you can buy it from the app, go over the store right away, and pick it up. Like it’s not– you don’t have to wait a couple of days for it. [inaudible 00:28:33] great and you get discounts. There’s a lot of additional benefits too, so.

All right. So, we’re going do tips and hacks. We’ll start with Elise. Then, we’ll go to Lindsay. Then, we’ll go to Emilia.

So, Elise, you do it first. Do you have a tip or a hack for us?

Elise:                So, my tip is not tech, it’s actually mindset. And I got it from somebody else who, interestingly a mom of a lot of children, to not use the word busy in our vocabulary, to turn the word busy to the word full because when– a lot of times busy has a negative connotation. And I think we mom’s tend to talk in terms of busy. And we have to remember that everything we’re doing is our choice. I mean, that’s a kind of timely thing to say in light of the political row. We’ll just not go there. But it is our choice when we feel things in our lives. And so, to think about your life being full and full of things that you’re choosing. And I think, especially when we’re talking about new moms‑to‑be, that is such an important thing to think about because you want your life to be full of all things that you’re putting there purposefully.

Tyson:             Such great advice. Very good. I really like that, so excellent.

Lindsay, what you got for us?

Lindsay:          So, mine came from—obviously, like I said, we were on an infertility journey. And the clinic that I went to was super hands‑on, had all of these tutorials sent to us, like learning all of this new stuff, right? Like the difference between IUI and different types of drugs you’ve taken, shots versus this, versus that, and IVF. It was awesome, right? And then, once we got– we graduated [laughs] from there, because then they send you back to your PCP, it was like whiplash. Like I went in, and they were clueless about the stuff that I went through, and there was no tutorials, no– all this other stuff that, as mom’s, we had to learn about like, you know, genetic stain and all of these– the schedule and all this stuff that I feel like they could have done such a better job.

And so, I was ranting to my husband about it. And I was just– I was like mid‑stop, right? I was like, “Oh, my God, I could apply this to the firm,” right? And so, after that moment, I created all these brochures and tutorials because I kept on getting the same questions like you guys talk about all the time. But then, I like packaged it with my branding and I hired someone from Upwork.

So, my tip, even though it’s super long‑winded, sorry, is reflect on your customer experience or a client experience with someone else and go, “Why does this suck and how could I make it better?”

Tyson:             That is so good. That’s so great. One of my favorite tips I’ve heard. That’s awesome.

Emilia, you’re up next, a tip or a hack for us.

Emilia:             Yeah, those are going to be hard to follow. But one thing that I’m really grateful for that I did, near the beginning of my pregnancy journey, is hired a coach to help me work through preparing for my maternity leave as a business owner. And I think that that’s something that there are so many conversations that need to be had and having that with someone that understands what it’s like to grow a business and to understand where you want to go. And everything was really invaluable. So, if someone is starting to look ahead and kind of trying to figure things out, I think having either a business coach or someone else, another law firm owner that’s going through that journey, is a really good investment.

Tyson:             Such great advice. That’s really good.

Mine is– it’s– I kind of already talked about it, but to have a maternity/paternity policy in place and like get it done now and get feedback from your employees to draft that. Don’t just draft up something that you found on the internet. Draft something that works for your firm, for your employees.

And like what Elise was talking about, we have like a tapered return policy where like you– it’s not like you just have to come back after 12 weeks, like you come part‑time, and then a little bit more part time. And then, finally, you ease your way back into it, so. And that’s what works best for us. That may not work best for Jim’s firm or Elise’s firm. So, develop what works best for you, have that policy in place because, otherwise, if you don’t have it, you’re probably going to hurt feelings in some capacity on one side or the other if you don’t have that policy in place so make sure they’re done. So that’s my tip of the week.

Thank you so much, Elise, Lindsay, Emilia. I wish we had so much more time because this is such a great topic but thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, your feelings, everything else. So, we really appreciate it.

Lindsay:          Thanks for having us.

Jim:                  Thanks, guys.

Elise:                Good luck, guys.

Tyson:             Thank you. See you, everybody.

Emilia:             Thank you.

Tyson:             Bye.

Lindsay:          Bye.

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