Elizabeth Tresp: Scaling and Growing Your Firm Creatively

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Elizabeth Tresp discuss:

  • How Elizabeth started her law firm (and manages her other businesses as well).
  • The secret of work-life balance.
  • Managing workload capacity and workload ability when hiring.
  • Understanding your core competencies and trying new things.

Key Takeaways:

  • The work-life balance will change throughout your career and will look different for every person.
  • Knowing when to hire is going to come with experience, but you need to be in tune with your employees, what is really happening, and if the work currently can support someone else.
  • Always be recruiting (even if you’re not currently hiring). You never know what conversation is going to be had and what that will turn into.
  • Be willing to take the risk on things you enjoy and make you feel good. You never know what you will learn or how your business will grow.

“Don’t be scared. Take the risk. Invest in yourself. Invest in your goal and what you have to offer, own it, and feel good about it.” —  Elizabeth Tresp

Get a free copy of Steve’s book “Sales-Free Selling” here: http://www.fretzin.com/sales-free-selling

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Episode References: 

About Elizabeth Tresp: An attorney, business owner, investor, philanthropist, and mother, Elizabeth A. Tresp, JD, LL.M. founded her law firm, Tresp Law, APC in 2013 as a solo practitioner but quickly grew the firm to a successful mid-sized practice with several attorneys practicing under her direction. Elizabeth has a national client base consisting of thousands of clients from all walks of life in virtually every State.

In 2019, Elizabeth purchased the nationally-revered law firm of Day & Associates, Inc, which has practiced continuously in Solana Beach since 1992. Today, Elizabeth is the principal attorney and owner of both law firms, with offices in Solana Beach, California; San Diego, California; and Kemmerer, Wyoming. Elizabeth is a respected volunteer and major donor in the non-profit community, and an angel investor and small business owner in numerous ventures throughout the United States. Elizabeth also owns or is a partner in several businesses from professional services to retail and food service. Her unique perspective informs her law practice, enabling her to design the right legal solutions for every individual client’s needs.

For the past six consecutive years, Elizabeth has been awarded Super Lawyers Rising Star. Awarded by the San Diego Business Journal, Elizabeth is also an honoree of the 2021 and 2023 Women of Influence in Law and the 2022 Business Women of the Year. Elizabeth earned her Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Laws in Taxation (LLM) at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Connect with Elizabeth Tresp:  

Website: https://www.tresplaw.com/

Website: https://www.trespday.com/

Website: https://www.normandysolutions.com/

Website: https://www.trespcs.com/

Phone: 858-248-2779

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethtresp/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/tresplawapc

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/trespday

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/normandysolutions

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fossilfuelwy

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: [email protected]

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey, everybody, before we get to the show, just want to mention, we have a business development workshop coming up on November 16th at noon central. All you need to do to sign up for that free workshop is to go to Fretzin. com slash events and sign up today. And I know you’ll get a lot of takeaways from it.

[00:00:16] Steve Fretzin: Hope to see you there. And enjoy the show.

[00:00:22] Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author, and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:44] Steve Fretzin: Well, hey everybody, welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. I’m so happy that you’re here today. Thank Another exciting episode of Be That Lawyer, trying to help you to be confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. We have another wonderful show today. If you’ve been paying attention, we’ve done, I don’t know, 330, 340 shows.

[00:01:03] Steve Fretzin: Don’t be afraid to go back and listen to some of those classic episodes. Larry the Lawyer, episode 200. I think I may have had Jerry Mattman back at episode 300. He’s a 30 million dollar superstar. So lots and lots of great episodes. Go back and check the Be That Lawyer live episodes. We got, uh, the Marketing Mavericks, we’ve done the Coach’s Corner, all kinds of fun stuff there.

[00:01:22] Steve Fretzin: And we’re going to have some fun with Elizabeth today. How you doing? I’m

[00:01:25] Elizabeth Tresp: fantastic.

[00:01:26] Steve Fretzin: How are you, Steve? Oh, my back.

[00:01:29] Narrator: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Played

[00:01:31] Steve Fretzin: pickleball. Too much, too much paddle sports. I will tell you, I went fishing with my son, uh, over the weekend and we’re bass fishing, but he caught a 43 inch muskie. And if people don’t know what that is, that is like the great white shark of a lake.

[00:01:46] Steve Fretzin: is muskie.

[00:01:51] Steve Fretzin: And uh, we didn’t have a net so he grabbed down and grabbed its head and pulled it into the boat and it was massive It was one of those beautiful father son moments. I just uh, I’ll have to post the picture on facebook or on uh linkedin at some point, but that’s okay Okay, how are things going on in california?

[00:02:07] Steve Fretzin: Beautiful california,

[00:02:08] Elizabeth Tresp: beautiful california. We have some clouds today little misty It’s nice nice way to start the day cooling off. Fantastic. Okay.

[00:02:16] Steve Fretzin: All right well, listen, we’re gonna jump in and we’re gonna always start as we do with the Famous quote of the show. And we’ve got an Eleanor Roosevelt special.

[00:02:24] Steve Fretzin: Uh, and it is a stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping stone to the optimist. And I am an optimist. So talk to us about that quote. I love it.

[00:02:35] Elizabeth Tresp: I love it too. And I love Eleanor Roosevelt. I really love the spirit in her. I think that as a business owner, as an attorney, as a human, there are so many things that come up in our way.

[00:02:46] Elizabeth Tresp: I talked to a lot of people that. They get frustrated and delayed and give up sometimes a little bit too easily on something that if they’re just tenacious and they hang in there is going to benefit them in such a big way. So I live by that also

[00:03:03] Steve Fretzin: Well, not only that but I think that life is a series of mistakes and mishaps and in situations that We can either take personally or take it and cry about it or we can say well look I don’t want that to happen to me again, right next time someone throws a punch Maybe i’ll duck, you know something that’s going to make us smarter and better and faster than we were yesterday And I can tell you as a coach of business development The most important thing is not necessarily just teaching lawyers how to do business development and sales free selling is kind of my jam, but it’s about trying it, making a mistake, learning the mistake, and then getting, doing it better, and then learning, and better, and learning it better, and it’s that kind of life, isn’t that how we just, that’s how we evolve and become the person we become.

[00:03:46] Elizabeth Tresp: I agree 100%. Honestly, I think one of the reasons why I’ve been successful and the things that I’ve tried is I know I’m going to fail sometimes. Yeah. And that’s okay. Yeah, that’s okay. I can remember times when I first started going to court as an attorney and I was so scared and you realize you’re not gonna die.

[00:04:08] Elizabeth Tresp: Whatever happens, you’re gonna come out on the other end and you’re gonna be stronger for it. And I think that I love what you said because that’s definitely how I live my life. I’m not scared of a risk. And I know that I’m going to survive it one way or the other.

[00:04:23] Steve Fretzin: So like my teenager, he does, he cannot learn from me.

[00:04:26] Steve Fretzin: He can only learn from mistakes, right? So like when he plowed the car into the garbage cans in the garage. Now he knows. Maybe don’t get so close to the garbage can. I could tell him, watch out for the garbage cans. It doesn’t matter. That will never sink in with him. But him hitting the garbage cans and causing damage to the car.

[00:04:45] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, that rings a bell. My husband and I have one of those. Garbage cans?

[00:04:51] Elizabeth Tresp: We also, one of my stepdaughters is definitely a learn the hard way. And I, I actually can appreciate that because I had a lot of that in me as

[00:04:59] Steve Fretzin: well. Yeah. I, I a hundred percent agree with that. I think that, you know, I’m all, you know, I think I evolved as a person to listen and take in advice and things like that.

[00:05:08] Steve Fretzin: But learning the hard way was, was definitely my jam at that age. Elizabeth Tresp, you are the principal attorney at Tresp Law, and you are also the Uh, principal at Trust Day and Associates, and I think you have like a dozen other businesses I’m not even going to name, like you are like a serial crazy

[00:05:26] Elizabeth Tresp: entrepreneur.

[00:05:27] Elizabeth Tresp: I’ve been working it. Yeah, no, I’ve

[00:05:29] Steve Fretzin: been working it. No dust under your shoes, that’s for sure. Um, you have to give us the background because that’s just, that’s a whole lot of stuff. And most attorneys are just trying to keep their job and stay partner at the firm they’re with, not. You know, try to run the world.

[00:05:42] Steve Fretzin: So I’ll, I’ll give us a background leading into your be that lawyer tipping point. You got

[00:05:47] Elizabeth Tresp: it. So being a lawyer was a second career for me. I did something else for 10 years prior and I went to law school in my thirties and I loved it. I worked full time while I went, I started trust law 10 years ago and it was scary.

[00:06:01] Elizabeth Tresp: I had, when I took the California bar, I just found out I was pregnant. I had just gotten married. It actually helped me because it’s taking, taking the bar and I knew I had to stay calm. I had another reason to stay calm, so it actually helped me through that past the bar on my own shingle. I’ve got some really good mentors that are like family to me today and just.

[00:06:25] Elizabeth Tresp: Started working very, very hard. The, I have multiple attorneys now. I have trust and probate litigators. I have attorneys that do estate planning, trust and probate administration. That’s all fantastic. The tipping point on that firm really was when I first started that firm, I didn’t know if I wanted to have employees.

[00:06:47] Elizabeth Tresp: I actually felt like I didn’t. I thought I was going to be a solo practitioner and I would have my nice practice. Build it up and have that work life balance that that quickly changed Yeah, I

[00:07:01] Steve Fretzin: know that changed. Is that is that a myth the work life balance people keep talking about some people

[00:07:07] Elizabeth Tresp: have it I try to give it to my employees.

[00:07:09] Elizabeth Tresp: Okay, I Struggle with that. There’s just so much to do. There’s so much to do and and I want to do it I

[00:07:17] Steve Fretzin: think part of it but part of it for me I I get work life balance and I like to think I have a really good And my wife would say that she agrees. I do have that. However, I think it’s, um, it’s because I love what I do.

[00:07:30] Steve Fretzin: It’s because I love what I do in working that with that. It doesn’t feel like work. So what’s work life balance? If you actually enjoy what you do, it’s, it’s more life balance because it’s even though I work hard every, like I’m talking to you and I’m having a blast or I’m working with a client or I’m talking with a new perspective client about what, you know, about their future.

[00:07:48] Steve Fretzin: And that’s exciting. And like, I don’t know, that’s. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if that’s a big part of, of how we get work life balance is to enjoy that side of it. You know, it’s

[00:07:55] Elizabeth Tresp: interesting because… And I’ll talk about this in a little bit about when you’re scaling and how the life balance changes. So when I first started the firm, seven days a week, all day, I used to, my husband and my son would be in the, the court, the courthouse parking lot with scanner, portable printer.

[00:08:15] Elizabeth Tresp: I mean, I, I was just really working it and about, I started out as a planner, as an estate planner and about a year in realized. Actually, probably 6 months and I realized, you know, I really want to do some litigation and I was thrown into my 1st trial and I was lucky enough to win and that that gave me the confidence.

[00:08:35] Elizabeth Tresp: Talk about a am I going to live through this? That was an am I going to live through this moment? That was that was pretty terrifying. That’s a new attorney and I won and that was a that was a life changing moment just for me personally because it I got through it and I was successful even though I was scared to death.

[00:08:53] Elizabeth Tresp: Yeah. I didn’t start hiring actually until about 6 years ago. I mean, I did the first, first few, first 4. By myself and

[00:09:05] Steve Fretzin: just know, cause you had your, you had your husband in the car with your, with your doing copies

[00:09:11] Elizabeth Tresp: and I did it and I first hire, it’s pretty terrifying as an attorney when you are hiring someone because you train them and you get them up to speed and you’re mentoring them.

[00:09:24] Elizabeth Tresp: But at some point you have to trust the work and trust their expertise and. My first employee is, he’s still with me and he’s amazing and we, we came through it together. I learned how to, learning how to be a boss, it’s sometimes it’s something that you, you just don’t instinctually know. And, and he, you know, we really did it.

[00:09:48] Elizabeth Tresp: I used to interview in the courthouse because we just grew so quickly. I mean, once I hired him, my husband came to work with me full time doing my marketing. We just took off and, and now this firm is incredibly successful. I mean, we’re, we’re, we’re very prominent in this field and I, I couldn’t be happier.

[00:10:10] Elizabeth Tresp: I’ll talk about how I scaled that in a little bit. Yeah. The other firm, there was a gentleman that I have known for a very long time and he’d been doing asset protection work since the Hague convention was signed in the early 90s. And I’ve referred to him, he’d refer to me for ages and ages and ages.

[00:10:27] Elizabeth Tresp: And five years ago, he came to me and said, Hey, I’ve been doing this grind. I really want to go do speaking. I want to go do some other type of work. And so I took over the law firm and I own it and run it now. I’m growing it. And it’s, it’s been, it’s been fantastic. So that’s, that’s the law firm experience.

[00:10:48] Elizabeth Tresp: I have us all here. I have a bunch of people working, working for me. We’re expanding. I’m licensed in Montana now, soon to be Wyoming. And so that will be the next venture for the law firm.

[00:10:59] Steve Fretzin: Okay. Fantastic. So running a couple different law firms at the same time, and I know that when hiring and managing staff, there’s challenges there.

[00:11:10] Steve Fretzin: And how do you find the balance between workload capacity and workload capability?

[00:11:15] Elizabeth Tresp: That is a very difficult balancing act sometimes. Hiring, currently right now, hiring is difficult, I think, for everybody just because of the current, the current climate that we’re all in, just trying to, trying to make it all work.

[00:11:28] Elizabeth Tresp: But I try to find people that believe in the same work life culture that I do. And in an interview, sometimes it’s hard to find, but we do our best, and we’ve been able to cultivate a family based environment. We try to say no drama, no drama, no egos, team, collaborative. That, that’s the way that I try to make this environment.

[00:11:52] Elizabeth Tresp: It’s open door, attorneys aren’t scary, everyone can go to each other. And it’s like that for both firms. I think that the hard part is knowing when to hire. And that’s something that I have learned through experience. There have been times where, because in the legal field, it ebb and flows. So sometimes you’re going to have cases in the litigation department where there’s tons of trials.

[00:12:18] Elizabeth Tresp: We have a ton of trials right now. My lead attorney is drowning in trials. He’s got tons and tons going on. And other times it’s just discovery deep. And so you have to really, everyone always feels like they have a lot of work. And so you have to, you have to really be in tune with your employees and what’s actually happening to determine, okay, do we have enough work to support somebody else?

[00:12:40] Elizabeth Tresp: And we don’t, I haven’t grown because I necessarily wanted to grow. I grew organically. So I didn’t just hire and then try to get the work. The work would come in. It would get to be too much. I would hire somebody else more, more, more work, hire somebody else, more, more, more work, hire somebody else. That’s what helped us be successful.

[00:13:00] Elizabeth Tresp: I don’t have, I think sometimes as a business owner, when you feel the pressure, Oh, I have to bring this much work in, or I have to bring these many people in to support. A, B, or C. And that pressure sometimes, that stress, makes it not enjoyable.

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[00:15:05] Steve Fretzin: Well, right. And so I have a client right now who’s also kicking ass and taking names and they’re, they have the capacity to bring someone, they’ve already got a team, but bring in one more person that would take the pressure off the managing partner. And he’s like, but we just don’t have that, you know, it’s not that much work.

[00:15:22] Steve Fretzin: And if it slows down even a little bit, we’re not. And I said, and I, I jumped in, I said, look, I make the hire and focus your energies on business development because if you’re focusing on business development marketing and you’re on the cost, you know that you’re doing nothing towards that very little towards that.

[00:15:37] Steve Fretzin: Now, if you ramp that up, the likelihood that all that business is going to come in and fill that plate. Is going to be there and he, he, he agreed, but I don’t think he, I don’t think he really, you know, took it all the way there, but I feel like, um, like that’s one part of it. And the other part of his, I was almost think like you should always be recruiting.

[00:15:55] Steve Fretzin: You don’t have to hire, but you should always be recruiting and meeting with good candidates, even if you can’t hire at the time. Because you just never know, you know, that who you might run into or be thinking about or talking to, you know, with someone that’s across the aisle from you or someone that, you know, in court with you or whatever that you think is a really solid player, you know, this is the way I do it.

[00:16:16] Steve Fretzin: I say, you know, if you ever run into someone that, you know, like you, that has these skills, you know, I’m really looking for someone to join my team like that, you know, someone like you, Bob or whatever. And Bob walks away and goes, Wait a second. Was that, was that, was that what I just think it was? But, but you didn’t say it outright, right?

[00:16:32] Steve Fretzin: So that saves you a little bit.

[00:16:33] Elizabeth Tresp: I agree. I actually, we are always recruiting. We’re always looking because there’s so many different roles to fill and it’s hard to find people that are going to fit in culturally in the firm that have the expertise or even if they don’t have the expertise that they’re going to be looking at the long game and investing so much time into training someone that’s an investment.

[00:16:51] Elizabeth Tresp: Yeah. You’re educating. And I think For my other, for the other parts of the team, when they’re having to spend their time training, and, and it, and it, and it doesn’t work out for some reason that I could have prevented, that feels terrible. So the recruiting,

[00:17:05] Steve Fretzin: yeah, recruiting is good. But what about, what about the fear of, I just, you know, put all my time, energy into this individual, train them up and they may, they’re going to just leave.

[00:17:16] Steve Fretzin: They’re going to take all this great stuff and they’re just going to leave and go somewhere else because it pays more or whatever. Is that, is that a concern? Is that something lawyers shouldn’t be concerned with? It’s just life. I mean, what’s your take on that?

[00:17:28] Elizabeth Tresp: Definitely. It’s a concern. I have learned that the hard way as well.

[00:17:32] Elizabeth Tresp: I, I had a very good friend and I paid for them to go to paralegal school thinking, Oh, this will be great. And paid for the paralegal school. I got about six months of, of work after that out of it. And then they were, they were scooped up by, uh, a really big law firm. Yeah. So that stinks. That’s hard, hard to swallow, right?

[00:17:54] Elizabeth Tresp: Loyalty. It’s different for all kinds of people. And I think that, um, when you’re looking at the long term, so when, for attorneys, it. Depending on what role you’re hiring them in, for me, what type of law I’m hiring them in, it’s different. So, litigators, partnership program. You know, we’ve just implemented…

[00:18:17] Steve Fretzin: Get them on that, get them on that track.

[00:18:18] Elizabeth Tresp: Get them on the track. Yeah, yeah. Let them know that there’s somewhere to, to move to. The type of law that I practice is, is not, it’s kind of a niche actually. I mean, there’s not a ton of trust and probate litigation attorneys. And so, it’s, we bring in a lot of people that, that weren’t even in this field before.

[00:18:35] Elizabeth Tresp: And so there’s a ton of, a ton of investment me. I just make the work environment the best I can, I pay as much as I can try to cultivate that team environment, that collaboration. So it feels more of a, more of a personal investment, not just a work investment for everyone involved and it, and it’s worked out.

[00:18:53] Elizabeth Tresp: Sometimes it hasn’t. That’s part of it. You’re, you’re gonna, you’re not ever going to have win, win, win, win, win. And sometimes in my experience, what I’ve discovered is when it hasn’t worked out. It’s always worked out for the better.

[00:19:07] Steve Fretzin: Well, I think there’s that. And then the other side of it, and this is something that sometimes lawyers forget when when an attorney leaves and goes to another, hopefully they don’t take a bunch of clients of yours, but if they leave on good terms and they go to a different firm, there’s still the likelihood and the chance that they have such great vibes and feelings about their experience with you that they can, maybe they go to a bigger firm, they throw down the small stuff to you, which would be great for you.

[00:19:30] Steve Fretzin: And you can throw bigger stuff up to them and get, you know, either get paid on that or not. It’s up, you know, again, depending on the agreement, but I don’t know. I think that there’s sometimes some good that can come from it in the relationship and in the, in the give and take. Um, but I think, you know, it’s not about a hundred percent or perfection.

[00:19:45] Steve Fretzin: I think you just have to, to your point, do the best you can best culture. Try to develop loyalty, try to give them a track, know what their motivators are. If you know what their motivators are, and you can work towards those motivators and, and keep them engaged, that’s, that’s, you know, probably half the battle.

[00:20:01] Elizabeth Tresp: Yeah. And learn from mistakes. I’ve made a ton

[00:20:04] Steve Fretzin: of mistakes. And we’re back to the beginning, right? The stumbling blocks. A hundred percent.

[00:20:09] Elizabeth Tresp: I mean, I’ve made a lot of mistakes there. I look back and some of the employees that I’ve had, and I, and I think, you know, I could have handled that differently, or I could have, maybe I could have foreseen a workload issue.

[00:20:20] Elizabeth Tresp: Quicker or, or something and I, and I genuinely hear the learning process and having everybody have it. When I started this firm, I wanted it to be a place that people wanted to come. We all have to work. I mean, most of us have to work. And if you have to work, I wanted it to be a place for everyone to feel comfortable, to feel supported.

[00:20:43] Elizabeth Tresp: And through experiences, I feel like I’ve gotten there like everybody else. I’ve made mistakes.

[00:20:50] Steve Fretzin: So, like, what’s, what’s your balance of jobs? Are you not only the, you know, managing partner and managing people, you’re also still doing a huge caseload. And then on top of that, you got to do marketing business development.

[00:21:03] Steve Fretzin: On top of that, you got to do HR. I mean, where, where does your, where do your hats, how many hats and how many things are you delegating and how is that playing out?

[00:21:12] Elizabeth Tresp: So I have already begun scaling. And when I started scaling. I didn’t know if I would ever want partners at this. I’ve been living and breathing these businesses for a long time, just part of my life.

[00:21:26] Elizabeth Tresp: And so I, I never knew. And actually, 1 of my attorneys who I recently promoted to partner has said, had said numerous times, I don’t know if you’re ever going to be able to let go. Are you ever going to be able to let go enough and it actually took it took some health issues. I mean, it took some, it took some health issues of just really working too much and too hard for me to realize what am I doing?

[00:21:51] Elizabeth Tresp: Yeah. These people I have with me are amazing. They can, they can handle some of this. I don’t have to. And, and actually, just through experiences with other entrepreneurs, and I’m in a couple mentoring programs where I’m mentoring some entrepreneurs, understanding that you can’t, it can’t be single threaded.

[00:22:09] Elizabeth Tresp: Once you’re single threaded and it all is coming through you, you’re stunted. And so once I made that realization and I decided, okay, I need to start delegating and I just, I have some key employees that I trust implicitly and that are either now a partner or on the partner track where I could start saying, okay, this is, this is your job.

[00:22:32] Elizabeth Tresp: This is your job. This is your job. Having someone handle all of the HR staff, the, the, the marketing is. My husband and I started our own marketing firm, so we did my marketing, digital marketing, and we decided we want to do this for other people, so we started, we have a digital marketing firm, and so I, both of my law firms and a couple of my other businesses that I could talk about in a little bit, also our clients of the marketing firm.

[00:23:01] Elizabeth Tresp: And so that and we’ve scaled that business as well and so as you kind of as you’re building and you have these other pieces that that you’re that you’re overseeing, your growth is exponential because each if you’ve made the right hiring decisions and you’ve been able to educate and support the employee that you’re dealing with in that certain role.

[00:23:26] Elizabeth Tresp: That frees up so much more of your time and it’s like that for all of the firm. So I still I like to do speaking. So I do a lot of speaking engagements or speaking events. I still do consults when certain referrals and things like that come in. I’m intimately involved in the pleading process and and drafting and things like that.

[00:23:47] Elizabeth Tresp: So I still have a lot of hats, but I would say the hats have changed because we’re going to going to different jurisdictions now So I spend a lot of time in Wyoming in a small town in Wyoming My husband and I started a coffee shop there fossil fuel coffee company. Mmm, if you’re there

[00:24:05] Steve Fretzin: you should check it out

[00:24:06] Elizabeth Tresp: Yeah, really good and has a bakery So, and then I’m expanding my law firm there and we have a couple other businesses that, that we, that we run there too.

[00:24:16] Elizabeth Tresp: So did you honestly, did

[00:24:17] Steve Fretzin: you know that you were going to be this, this type of entrepreneur just like running all these coming? That’s not, that’s not for most people. No,

[00:24:25] Elizabeth Tresp: not at all. I just, I really love the process of starting a business and each time we’ve come to a crossroads where I’ve said, okay, this is something that I need.

[00:24:37] Elizabeth Tresp: If I haven’t been able to find, if I haven’t been able to fill that need outside of Myself, then I’ve created a business that I can grow to fulfill the need that I have at the level that I need it done. And sometimes that’s hard. That’s hard to find, but I feel strong about my skills as a business owner and managing a business and it has.

[00:25:04] Elizabeth Tresp: I’ve proven that that’s the best way for me to function. Yeah.

[00:25:09] Steve Fretzin: I mean, I, I’ve also run a number of businesses at one point. I had like four at one time, 13 employees, three offices. My overhead was 35, 000 a month before I took a paycheck and I didn’t lose badly on anything. I won one. I lost a little bit on, but I think what it did talk about, like learning from mistakes was that I was just being pulled in too many directions.

[00:25:30] Steve Fretzin: I wasn’t delegating or able to delegate to the people that I had under me. They were just more like worker bees, they weren’t really able to lead and run something. So I had to run it all and I had to manage it all. And what I realized was, you know, a little bit of shiny penny syndrome, like something that looks good and it’s good.

[00:25:48] Steve Fretzin: It does correspond with my core, you know, business and deliverable. It’s a side, you know, niche or whatever, recruiting or executive coaching or marketing or whatever. Ultimately, I just came back to like, what makes me happy. And how do I stay focused on what makes me happy and what I’m, where my value is in the world and to the community and to the legal community in particular, and that’s business development coaching.

[00:26:11] Steve Fretzin: So it’s, it’s okay to try things and sometimes they’re super successful and you can scale and you can grow and you can develop the way you have Elizabeth, but I just want to let people know it’s also okay to try things. And get out of it and go back to what you love and what your core is. And at least you can say you tried and it didn’t work.

[00:26:31] Steve Fretzin: Hopefully it’s a smaller mistake, not like betting your life savings on it. Right. I didn’t do that, but I definitely feel like it helped me under like when I got into legal marketing, cause I know you’re in that game too. I did it for two years and I couldn’t run away from it fast enough. Because what I’m doing.

[00:26:48] Steve Fretzin: All right. So there we go. So I’m, I’m hit a nerve. I’m hit a nerve. You know why? Yeah. Okay. Because, because when I work with lawyers on business development, the level of commitment that they have to demonstrate to me that they’re gonna execute needs to be ironclad. And we work together so well and so often and so in, you know.

[00:27:07] Steve Fretzin: In such a cooperative, collaborative way, but when I was helping people get their websites together and do social media and all the stuff that was all that, it was like pulling teeth to get them to do anything or just to send me things or to like, I just need a picture of you, something to play out and it was like dragging out for a year, year and a half.

[00:27:25] Steve Fretzin: In some cases should have been a three month project. So I just. Again, I, I, you know, I’m, I’m kudos for you for sticking with it, but I’m sure it’s because your, is your husband, the primary on that marketing. Yeah. So that helps. That’s someone that could run it.

[00:27:40] Elizabeth Tresp: I have, we are an absolute team. Yeah, absolute team.

[00:27:43] Elizabeth Tresp: And I really like what you said about it’s okay to exit. That’s so true. And we, I mean, I do an analysis myself every year. Okay. How are the numbers? How much time am I having to put into this? Is this worth it to me? And, and I’m okay. Exiting at some point with certain things. I don’t, I can’t imagine ever doing that with a law, but with other types of businesses.

[00:28:10] Elizabeth Tresp: I agree with what you’re saying, and I also think when you talk about the marketing, so marketing, in my opinion, when it comes to legal services, it can’t just be digital. I mean, we do I do a ton of digital, but I firmly believe in that person to person relationship. We spend a ton of time setting up meet and greets relationship building with other professionals.

[00:28:34] Elizabeth Tresp: All across the United States, because we deal with, we deal with professionals all across the United States, but in particular, the in person coffee and lunches locally where I, where I live and, and these businesses are, and it’s, it’s priceless.

[00:28:49] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah, I mean that’s that’s but then that’s my jam, right?

[00:28:52] Steve Fretzin: So like for digital I would want to refer you or your husband or other groups that i’ve infected You know, I get you know, all these great marketing people on my show to talk about their their You know secrets and secret sauce and all that but um, but the business development’s my jam I love that piece of it, but I understand like it’s and i’ve said this before So you guys have heard this before my apologies, but it’s like You need to climb the mountain on both sides.

[00:29:16] Steve Fretzin: You need to climb the business development side and the marketing side, and if you do them both well, you end up at the peak of the mountain with everything kind of grooving in the right way. Your personal brand, how you’re generating leads, the relationships, it all like comes together, but most attorneys Don’t do enough business development and they certainly don’t do enough marketing to get where they need to go.

[00:29:37] Steve Fretzin: So I try to help them do both of that. But again, if it’s heavy lifting marketing that I’m not the guy, I’m going to send them out to somebody. And I want to learn more about your, your marketing as well. Before we, after we wrap up and we close off, we’re going to hopefully take a minute to talk about that or set up a separate time.

[00:29:52] Steve Fretzin: So we got to wrap up a final thoughts on scaling and final tip to people, you know, 30 seconds and go.

[00:30:00] Elizabeth Tresp: Don’t be scared. Take the risk. Risk. Invest in yourself. Invest in, in what, in your goal, what you have to offer. Own it and feel good about it. Yeah.

[00:30:12] Steve Fretzin: Very, very wise. I love that. I love that. We don’t have, um, you didn’t have a game changing book for me today or game changing podcast, but I’m going to bring one up that I think is really powerful.

[00:30:21] Steve Fretzin: 24 Months to Freedom by our sponsor and our friend Brett Tremblay with Get Staffed Up. Um, a great book to say, hey, listen, you got to delegate and it doesn’t have to be someone that you’re paying full time at your office, especially if it’s an outsourced, you know, admin, marketing, something like that.

[00:30:39] Steve Fretzin: There, I’ve got Sergio working for me down in Bogota, Colombia. He’s. Kickin ass and takin names as it relates to getting everything off my plate that I don’t and shouldn’t be doing. I can create content, I need someone that’s gonna do something with it and that’s Sergio. So check out that book and check out Get Staffed Up.

[00:30:56] Steve Fretzin: Of course, our other sponsors, another get company is get visible, uh, marketing, a digital agency out of California. Uh, my friend, uh, uh, Jason there, uh, uh, cement, uh, work in there. And of course, law Maddox, amazing software you can add on to practice Panther and smoke ball and Clio to help run as a CRM and a marketing tool for you.

[00:31:17] Steve Fretzin: Elizabeth, thank you so much. If people want to reach out to you, they want to learn more about your law practice, your marketing, your coffee, your. You know, whatever’s next, uh, how do I, what’s the best way for them to reach you?

[00:31:28] Elizabeth Tresp: Well, they can always call, um, on LinkedIn to Elizabeth Trest, T R E S P. And our main line is 8 5 8 2 4 8 2 7 7 9.

[00:31:38] Steve Fretzin: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much. And I just, uh, I’m just so impressed. I mean, that’s kind of what I’m like, I’m coming off of this, this interview. I mean, I, I knew a little bit about you before we talked to now my head’s kind of exploding. So. Uh, you and I are going to have to continue the conversation off air, but, uh, just thank you so much.

[00:31:54] Steve Fretzin: Appreciate it. Thank you. It was a pleasure. Yeah, good stuff. And thank you everybody for spending time with Elizabeth and I today talking about scaling and growing and marketing and all the various stuff that makes you want to pull your hair out and we’re talking about that you don’t need to, can work through it.

[00:32:10] Steve Fretzin: And again, I think mentors, right, that was kind of a takeaway, like get some good mentors, get some good coaching. Like, don’t feel like you have to do this alone, uh, and by yourself. I think that’s a kind of a misstep. Um, and again, it’s all about helping you to be that lawyer. So it was competent, organized, and a skilled ray maker.

[00:32:25] Steve Fretzin: Take care everybody. Be safe. Be well. We will talk again very soon. Bye.

[00:32:34] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out Today’s show notes.