Steve Palmer from Yavitch & Palmer Co., LPA

Episode Transcription

00:00:00 – Glenn

Ok. Hi, this is Glenn Harper from Harper CPA Plus, and we’re joined at the table with Steve Palmer, Entrepreneur Fellow, going out, selling it every day, attorney and Julie Smith, practice manager at Harper Plus. And we’re here to talk about how to make an entrepreneur’s be the best they can be and help them get out of their own way to achieve the success that they want. Steve, how are you doing, brother?

00:00:25 – Steve

I’m doing great. Well, if you want all that information, I think you’re probably in the wrong. You’re in the wrong poll.

00:00:29 – Glenn

I’m in the right spot. I know I am. So, Steve, talk to me about why you decided to become an attorney in the first place.

00:00:35 – Steve

Well, the decision to become it’s really sort of the same. You know, why did I and I think this is probably true of a lot of people who start their business. So go to that first and I’ll go back. So it’s because I couldn’t do anything else. And you know, you

00:00:49 – Glenn

Default unless you’re an attorney, you can’t do anything else.

00:00:51 – Steve

Or I’m saying that when I graduated from college in 1992 with a degree in history with a liberal arts background, I just didn’t see a lot of job postings for that. So once a painter? Yeah. What was the next step? Well, after I shook off the graduation hangovers, I decided I probably had to do something and I applied to law school and I got in, and that’s why I became a lawyer. Frankly, there’s nothing else in front of me.

00:01:17 – Glenn

Is it true that law school takes anybody or do you really? Is it really hard to get in?

00:01:22 – Steve

It depends. You could probably find almost anybody could find a law school that would take them. Meaning if you’re shooting for the upper tiers, if you think you’re an Ivy League law school guy or Michigan or even Ohio State, now, you better have top notch grades and you better have a high percentile LSAT because otherwise you ain’t getting in.

00:01:45 – Glenn

When you go to law school, did you vision being saving the world kind of guy attorney working for a big firm? Did you want to push paper or did you want to help people? What was your thought process when you did that?

00:01:57 – Steve

You know, I can’t even say that I had a thought process. I remember thinking and maybe in my youth thinking, Well, I’ll be a prosecutor, which is ironic because I’m a criminal defense lawyer now, and I couldn’t even imagine

00:02:07 – Glenn

What are the odds?

00:02:08 – Steve

Yeah, I couldn’t imagine doing the other side. But no, I think when there’s a misconception about law school and that is you can specialize, people think that you can go into law school and think, All right, I’m going to be a corporate lawyer or I’m going to be a an environmental lawyer, or I’m going to be this that type of law. It’s a general education. You get your three years, they cram into you everything they want to cram into you, which is really what you need to pass the bar exam. And then typically your career path is established by your first job.

00:02:37 – Glenn

Did you did you say, like some you know, attorneys are like, I want to save the world, I want to help people. I want to be on the other side of the island and other people are like, Hey, I just like going in the field of battle, in the courtroom, in a courtroom and trying to win. We don’t really care if they’re guilty or innocent. I just want to go mano a mano against the jury in the box, against the judge, against the prosecutor and try to bring my case to fruition. Is that what your mindset was?

00:03:02 – Steve

I don’t think so. I think some people probably did. Some people probably thought they were out to save the world, and I’m going to guess that very few of those people are actually saving the world. They’re probably not in there. You know, those those types of legal jobs because the reality is you get out and you need to find a job to pay for it. And then as far as doing battle in the courtroom, man, I was like the the least likely to do that. I think I mean, I wasn’t a real outgoing people person and never have been but in a courtroom.

00:03:31 – Glenn

Well, how did that happen? How did you find that?

00:03:34 – Steve

I think it’s just all. It’s sort of like acting in a lot of ways. You find what’s true and I’ve always been able to to objectively evaluate truth, and then I can reiterate that I can do that with confidence once it’s in my head, that it’s true in my soul, that it’s true, then I can explain it to anybody. I don’t care who they are. I think people run into trouble and law. Probably an accounting too, is when they’re making it up or they’re faking it. And as soon as you start to fake something, probably in business, probably in life, probably in any personal relationship, it inevitably it’s going to implode and sometimes with catastrophic outcome.

00:04:07 – Glenn

So when you came out of law school, your first. Did you have a job where you religiously working for yourself? Did you work for somebody? How did you get your first feet wet

00:04:15 – Speaker2

During the deal? It’s sort of the same kind of thing. I didn’t know what I was going to do. It just turned out that I got a job after my first year in the summers as a law clerk working for two criminal defense attorneys, highly regarded criminal defense lawyers. Sort of the big guns in town. And I just thought, Well, that’s as good as anything. I loved the underdog mentality of it. I love the sort of the big picture problem solving that went into it. I was enamored by the two people I was working with, you know, sort of

00:04:46 – Speaker1

I can tell you’re an attorney using big words.

00:04:48 – Speaker2

Wow, you know, I shouldn’t use big words as a lawyer, too. That’s why we should keep it simple. Good, it’s all good. We should simplify it. As my new motto is, I like to make things simple and almost anything can be made simple.

00:04:58 – Speaker1

What’s scary is actually under. What you’re saying, so that’s good.

00:05:01 – Speaker2

Yeah, well, you know, I’ve been doing this for a while, but no. Again, I think my career path was sort of dictated by my personality. And I think maybe that’s what we’re getting into here is that I I finished law school and I did OK. I mean, I did actually well, I mean, I got good grades in law school. For the first time in my life, I thought, All right, I’m going to go to law school, and this time I’m going to read it if they tell me to, if it’s homework, I’m going to do it. If I’m supposed to be there, I’m going to be there. And, you know, about 80 percent of that I kept and then, you know, the other 20 percent I was out screwing off.

00:05:35 – Speaker1

But I would say that’s definitely a key to success is to kind of finish what you start and commit to it, right? And if you do that, you’re probably going to be at least a better chance to be a better position to make have good opportunities.

00:05:47 – Speaker2

Yeah, I think so. And you know, I think from an entrepreneur standpoint, the people I’ve met, actually a lot of them through you and your business, a lot of us have this sort of ADHD scatterbrained approach at things where I just don’t think I was going to fit into a law firm. I don’t think that I was going to be able to show up clock hours, eight, 10 hours a day and then do that for the better part of 20 30 years.

00:06:12 – Speaker1

So you didn’t when you came out of law school, you didn’t actually work for anybody right away. You kind of just

00:06:16 – Speaker2

I have never, you know, it’s ironic. I look back. I’ve never had a job. Aside from that law clerkship, I’ve never worked for anybody. I bang nails in high school, in college to get through. I was working for construction crews, but quickly that became my own deck building business. You know, it’s just that’s sort of how I am.

00:06:32 – Speaker1

So you would probably suggest that getting a real job, you just weren’t programmed for that

00:06:37 – Speaker2

No chance

00:06:37 – Speaker1

In. And the reason why is, is it because you want it to be a freewheelin? Do it your own way. You want to be told what to do. I mean, there’s a there’s a lot that goes into the psyche of somebody of an individual to recognize, are you going to work for somebody? You’re going to work with somebody or are you going to run your own show?

00:06:54 – Speaker2

Well, I think here again, you have your own goals sort of merge with your own abilities. And it’s not necessarily that I thought, I don’t want to work for nobody. It was more that I thought, I don’t think I was either too scared and I think I was scared because I don’t think I could do it. I don’t think I could just show up and do and just be there every day in the normal. I’m just not normal. I don’t think I don’t think entrepreneurs are.

00:07:19 – Speaker1

We already know entrepreneurs are definitely programmed and wired differently. But again, the self-awareness that you are not traditional normal career path. Like, I mean, you knew that probably at a young age, but that’s a big deal. When you come out of law school, you have no money, you got to get a job or you got to figure it out and you’re like, Well, I could do the easy gig, go get a job. Or to heck with this, I’m going to go over here and try to start my own thing.

00:07:45 – Speaker2

Yeah, I guess what I’m thinking is I didn’t give it that much thought. And if I look back and I’m watching it on my own sons now, I was never good at getting my homework done on time. I was never good at having all my stuff in order and organized and but when I did focus on something, I was really good at it and it just is. I think again, sort of necessity in my own capabilities made it clear, even subconsciously maybe, that I didn’t. I just had to hang my own shingle and do what I was doing.

00:08:18 – Speaker1

Would you feel like if somebody’s telling you what to do, you kind of had a little rebel in you? Or was it more like you’re doing it because you want to do it because it was a challenge for you?

00:08:28 – Speaker2

You know, on the one hand, it is sort of comforting when people just guide the ship for you, but I can never do that for very long and I don’t know that again. I think it’s it’s a mix of my own ego. It was a mix of my own inabilities and shortcomings, and that sort of comes together. I think for entrepreneurs is like, Well, I just have to do it my way. And there isn’t, you

00:08:50 – Speaker1

Know, there’s no other option.

00:08:51 – Speaker2

I don’t fit into this other mold, so I have to do it my way. And you know, I think if you look at really successful people you included, I think it’s like it doesn’t work. I mean, I still cringe when I hear this. Well, this is the way we always do it. I cringe when I hear that it’s like, I don’t give a crap how we always do it, what’s the best way to do it? And I’m not going to be stuck in some mold that it’s the way we always do it.

00:09:14 – Speaker1

In the in the accounting industry, we have a standard joke that goes on when you’re having a discussion on a client and we’re like, Well, what do we do? And the first answer has always been, Well, what did we do last year? We just got to be consistent. Like, it doesn’t matter if it was right or wrong with the people who did before. It’s always about what did we do last year? We want that precedent where when you’re in the real world, it’s always about what’s better, not what we did, but what’s better. Yeah. And I think that mindset is a really big change for the average person who just can’t comprehend it. So all your entrepreneurs are out there listening about on this, like you just got to have that self awareness that you’re like, Hey, if I don’t belong somewhere, take the risk. Take the chance to go, do this other thing. What’s the worst that can happen? Yeah, I mean, what was the worst that could happen when you’re evaluating that? I don’t even know. I’m guessing that you didn’t really look at it like there was a choice that I could possibly fail. You didn’t. I don’t think even that was a mindset when you started to go on your own. I think it was just like, Well, this is what I’m going to do.

00:10:15 – Speaker2

Yeah, and I think there’s a difference here. You know, there are people say maybe the way to look at it is this let’s take, for instance, let’s say I actually did go take a job at a law firm or I went to the prosecutor’s office or the Attorney General’s Office, and I did a decade there, just clocking your time in and out. And then all of a sudden I’d say, You know what? This isn’t my path. I’m going to go start my own law firm. It’s a whole different mindset. Then then I do have to evaluate risk. I’ve already established certain needs that I have. Like financially, I’ve already established maybe a marriage with kids and a house payment and all that other nonsense that you have to keep up. And my old mentor used to say, those people are on the opium. You know, they need their minimum opium every day and they will sacrifice everything just to get the minimum, just to exist and to take the risk and jump. Now the difference is on my side is I never had that, at least not that conscious thought process where I’m going to. I’m taking a risk here because I’ve said it the sort of, you know, sarcastically, I was too stupid to realize how risky it really was.

00:11:21 – Speaker1

Ignorance is bliss. It really is.

00:11:23 – Speaker2

Yeah. Or to ignorant or maybe is a better word.

00:11:24 – Speaker1

Do you think when you first started out and said, I’m not going to work for the man, I’m going to do my thing? Did you think like, Hey, I just want to kind of hang my shingle up and kind of just do some law work? Or did you say, you know what? I think I’m going to build this empire and I’m going to run this amazing business. Did you have any inclination which way you wanted to go initially?

00:11:48 – Speaker2

Probably not. I just sort of like Mr. Magoo, you know, walking on the on

00:11:53 – Speaker1

The big thick glasses.

00:11:54 – Speaker2

Yeah, just walking around and sort of making mistakes and correcting and finding my own path. I think I knew this. My mentor always said it. If you’re. And this is probably not only true in law, but probably everything. If, he said, if you’re a good trial lawyer, everything else will tend to fall into place. And the depth of that is really, really sort of incredible. I don’t even think I really I don’t think he realized how deep that really was, because in order to be a good trial lawyer, you had to be a good. You had to treat people fairly in order to treat people fairly. You had to sort of evaluate situations and take the right side. You had to learn how to be adverse to the other side. At the same time, have a professional relationship. You had to learn how to talk to jurors about a case or a client who is maybe less than likable, forthright. Yeah. And like all of that, like the way he summed that up, and he had a knack of doing that, and he was great at this. That’s probably why. But you know, so I just focused on that, and I just learned my profession sort of ignorantly. And that’s that’s back to the thing. I learned how people always did it. And I always had, you know, from creating my own childhood mishaps had to solve problems. I’ve learned how to solve problems, and I just would find the best way to do it without even really knowing the way it’s always been done.

00:13:10 – Speaker1

How important do you think surrounding yourself or being around people that were successful that could mentor you and basically give you those couple of words of encouragement to kind of make you believe that you could actually do it? A lot of people don’t get that support. Which is unfortunate because this is a lot of greatness out there that people just don’t even know they have it. They don’t have the confidence. They don’t have the support to do that. Nobody kind of tells them it’s going to be OK and just gives them a couple of bit of advice. We’re not saying that they kind of sit there every day for 10 hours and tell you what to do, but just give you those tidbits. How important do you think that was for you? You know, when you clerked for those those two attorneys when you started

00:13:48 – Speaker2

Out, it was invaluable. I mean, and maybe even broader than that, just I don’t even know if I got tips or advice, maybe except for what I just told you. But I got I watched how they did it and they rolled how they rolled, and then I was able my job working for them was an infrastructure type job. I was the guy along with my partner Eric. At the time. We made the trains run on time at that office, you know, we dealt with the client interaction. I learned how to create a legal file. I learned the sort of the workflow in an office stuff that you would never learn in law school by any measure. And they don’t teach that. No, they don’t. And they probably they probably should, because they don’t teach you how to be an entrepreneur in law school.

00:14:33 – Speaker1

They do not. They don’t teach you about money. They don’t teach about

00:14:36 – Speaker2

Anything, none of it. And I learned that. So just being immersed in that was invaluable, and I don’t know that I could have done it otherwise. I really

00:14:44 – Speaker1

Don’t. Do you feel like when you were clerking for them, do you feel like at that point in time you were having some self-awareness and some bringing some value to that? That firm that you’re working for to be able to kind of like, Oh, this is how this is going, and I know you guys are doing it this way. But what if we did it this way? Did did they give you the bandwidth or the flexibility to go off script and kind of do things better than they were doing it and find those things? Were you able to bring the value of that way? Or you just say, Look, I’m going to plug and play and do what they tell me and figure that out this way?

00:15:16 – Speaker2

It was a it was an evolving process. At first I was just like overwhelmed and they said, here, just read these files. They didn’t have any work for me. I just read the files and I did that, but eventually I did. Eventually, I did start to alter how they did things because I just thought it was better to do it this way. And when it came down to that kind of stuff, I had almost full authority to do whatever the heck I wanted. Now, when it and I’ll even say this, I’ve worked on some huge, high profile cases with with those guys, and I was always included. I was. Here’s another little tip, though I never billed them for the time, I didn’t put it on my time sheet. I would be at their house, at 10:00, at night, at 11:00 at night, 12 and midnight working. And I didn’t put it on the time sheet and it wasn’t really asked to be there because I didn’t. They didn’t need me there. But you wanted to be. I showed up.

00:16:09 – Speaker1

So you’re trying to achieve. I just was to learn more. Yeah, contribute more. Be part of the team, those types of things. You know, it’s funny things. Sometimes entrepreneurs, when they start off, quote with the real job, they sit there and they look at like you were saying about and they’ll bring you in on this one. You know, people look at like, Well, this is how we’ve always done it. This is what we do. All of a sudden, there’s this revelation. We can do this better. And then the question is, well, if I’m going to do it better and I’m going to bring all this value, why am I going to stay at this company? Why don’t I hang my own shingle? Would you agree with that?

00:16:44 – Speaker3

Yeah, I would agree with that. But I also think there’s something to that, you know, being a part of that team, building something better and providing that value. And I think, Steve, you would agree that that value that that provided you and how to interact with those people and how to, you know, create that value moving forward has taught you probably a lot as you went on your own.

00:17:02 – Speaker2

Yeah, it absolutely did. And I think there’s another point here that should be at least made. And that is it may depend greatly on where you’re working at the time, because if I went to work for a huge firm that had this established set chiseled in stone infrastructure and policies and practices, I never would have had any I it would have stifled my creative cross-blue immediately. So I was at a place that was sort of semi chaotic anyway. And because they’re just like, I am, they’re fluid and you know, they just, you know, they didn’t, you know, they just said, rock and roll, let’s get this done. So if I wonder if I would have been at like a prosecutor’s office where they just did it that way, it probably wouldn’t have tapped in anything sort of like, it’s sort of like music, you know, I love the more music I learned, the more I play and the more I get into it. More other parts of my brain open up to solve other problems. And I think unless you use those parts of your brain, unless you actually are forced, maybe to open up parts of your brain like that. And that would only happen if you’re in an environment that is conducive to it. And if it’s not, you’re just going to be stifled and bored.

00:18:10 – Speaker1

Literally, the office?

00:18:12 – Speaker2

Yeah, that’s right. That’s a perfect. That’s exactly what we’re talking about. That’s the

00:18:15 – Speaker1

Opposite. Any opportunity growth, development just come in and do a task over and over. It sounds horrible. Yep. So when you were working with them and then you came out, how did you get to the next? Up where you’re like, Hey, I want to go do this thing, and then all of a sudden at some point you found Eric and you’re like, Hey, maybe we can do this together. What was your mindset for that? What was it a question of you both kind of could help each other. You had some shortfalls on one side. He had strengths, you had weaknesses and you could augment each other. Or was it more of like, Hey, let’s do this together? Why not? How did you come to that conclusion?

00:18:50 – Speaker2

You know, Eric and I, it’s I think there’s a little bit of the old saying Misery loves company, and when you’re when you’re ignorant and floating around in the ocean, it’s better to have somebody doing it with you. And we complemented each other very well. Now we met working for the same two guys and we developed a very, very complementary work flow together. You know, he had a certain role and I had a certain role and it was it just clicked. It worked. It worked well. So when but initially Eric left, he was he was earlier than I was out of law school. He left and left the building. So Eric has left the building. He went over to a different office and I stuck around. Six months later, I set up an office in the same building as our mentors, and I was solo. I had my own shingle, I printed my own letterhead, I had my own little operation, I rented furniture, and that was it.

00:19:41 – Speaker1

I remember coming to your office the first time I met you and Mike had stuff all over. I don’t think he had it all. A bunch of furniture, even. Yeah, you’re like, I don’t care. I’m doing this. I’m like, Hey, that’s awesome.

00:19:50 – Speaker2

Yeah, I mean, I went to Aaron’s rents and sells furniture because I make money to buy furniture, and I rented a desk and I borrowed a I had a little conference table that one of the guys gave me or let me use. He took it back. But yeah, that was it. I just started. I bought a used Compaq Presario from one of my college buddies at the time for like 100 bucks, and I was off to the races, hang

00:20:14 – Speaker1

The shingle and off we go. I remember the the first time that, you know, when you when you meet somebody the first time you try to, you know, my role is to try to gauge where they’re at and their entrepreneurial journey, what kind of skill set they have, what they’re maybe lacking or needing, what that looks like. When you’ve done it for a while, you kind of can just get a feel of that today. It’s a lot easier for me after doing this for 30 years than it was back in the day. But at the time when I met you a few years on on it and I kind of just knew a little bit, and you can just see if somebody has the eye of the tiger and they’re like, You’re going to be OK. And it’s always fun to work with people like that, you know? And Eric, he was such a like, it’ll be all right. No big deal. He’s not going to get his ruffles feathered over anything and and you were like, Hey, I am like, This is how it’s going to be. And I’m like, OK, so these two guys are going to compliment each other really well. So I knew at the beginning you’re going to have something special, which is kind of neat.

00:21:06 – Speaker2

Yeah, it worked great. I mean, it’s odd because it’s not really my strength to to be organized and keep things sort of orderly like that. But on the other hand, it did work. You know, it was he was sort of a carefree shrug it off and I get anxious and stressed over things, and I would I would get it fixed. And so it just sort of separated the roles like I would do the business bigger picture, business planning, I would do the bigger picture, case planning, and then he would just go go to court and and be Eric. And it worked great. And then, you know, just like I said, I was like I’ve said in seminars and people have asked me about this. We were always sort of charmed, you know, it’s like the phones always rang and the business came in and we got good results and we won big trials. And it just sort of everything just sort of laid out in front of us.

00:21:52 – Speaker1

The confidence in one’s ability to deliver whatever is that product or service that they’re trying to do is is a big deal. And to have that, people will follow and believe and jump on board. And you guys, for whatever reason, we call it the it. And some people just have it right. And I don’t know if you know the law any better than anybody else. Would you say, you know, better or worse, do you feel like it’s the same you just like the law? Is the law right? And it’s all your interpretation, how you argue. Perhaps I don’t. I don’t know as an attorney what makes you what made Eric? What made your firm? Why do you think you were successful? You just know the law better? Or is it how you deliver it, how you argue it, your your take on it, your perception?

00:22:33 – Speaker2

Yeah, you know, a lot of it was. It’s certainly not that we knew the law any better. I’m not going to profess to be smarter than anybody else. Probably quite the opposite. I don’t know. Actually, maybe the advice I give clients all the time is probably prudent. It’s like they have to like you. You know, the people like they have to like you. You have to be a likeable person. You have to be you have to be somebody that they want to deliver a not guilty verdict to. And and maybe that same advice would apply to what we were doing. You know, they had people had to like us. Now here’s here’s the rub it doesn’t mean you can give yourself away. You can’t be a patsy. You can’t be a people pleaser, necessarily, and you’ve got to have a values and structure behind it or some sort of moral compass behind it because you got nobody likes somebody who just says yes all the time. That’s not likeable, either. So you’ve got to stand up and have a back. But at the same time, do it professionally and courteously, and I think that probably contributed a lot to it. I think there’s probably was some luck. I think there is. We both had local networks. And maybe this there was some timing to it. You know, it’s like everything has to sort of catch lightning in a bottle at the same time. Back in those days, we didn’t have the internet. We didn’t have this this notion. Well, maybe I should explain what it is now. What it is now is that if I wanted to go out on my own and start a criminal defense practice, I need a web page and I need to be good at search engine optimization. And I got to have good online marketing people working for me. And then the phone will ring. We didn’t have that, you know, we had to

00:24:04 – Speaker1

Have the old fashioned way.

00:24:06 – Speaker2

Yeah, I had to have you referring business to me. So that meant when I made a decision to hire you, partly because I didn’t know what I was. Actually, I thought I did know something about accounting or I was learning it.

00:24:19 – Speaker1

That was a fun time at the time trying to tell you you didn’t. Yeah. In all honesty. But it was great because you wanted to learn and it was fun. It’s always better on our standpoint to work with a client who wants to understand it. You may not end up doing it. You may not know it all. But if they want to learn it, it really is kind of empowering for the client to learn enough to be dangerous. To understand the terms. We can have a conversation. You have to if you’re trying to be all standoffish and like, I don’t want to like, that’s not going to work. You have to want to be engaged in all aspects of your business, the financial, the planning, the tax side and employees, teammates, everybody.

00:24:54 – Speaker2

Yeah. And that was so that was part of it. But the other part of it is I was being a little bit selfish and I was thinking, Well, he probably knows a lot of people. And if Glenn knows a lot of people and he probably has a lot of clients and those kind of clients are going to get drunk driving cases, you used me. Absolutely. Casanova and I, you know, my dad actually used to say this because you need to as a professional, you need a good accountant. You need a good doctor, you need a good lawyer, you need a good barber, you need a good suit guy. You need a good banker, banker. You need you need all these things. And it’s not because you need them. It’s because it’s a you need to round out your network. So when you it gives you an immediate network of referrals, particularly in my line of work. And I’m sure you know, I’ve become the lightning rod. So if you need a you need your driveway down, I probably got a guy. You need your house framed. I probably got a guy. Need an accountant. I got you. You need a doctor. I got a guy. You need this. I got a guy for almost everything now because that’s how. And they’re all guys doing sort of like what I do. You know, they’re all sort of hustlers.

00:25:50 – Speaker1

So when you kind of started off, you kind of recognize that it’s kind of impossible. And this is what I learned a lot over the last few years. I mean, you know it and then you try to quantify it. And the quantified is like, you can’t do it by yourself and you use an external team effectively by your network of people to help you credibility, referrals, those types of things. And then ultimately, at some point you realize you have to build your internal team a little bit. And you know, that was was fun with with working with IS to have that ability to recognize what is that team need to do. How do you build a team? And you know, Julie, I think that’s the key thing. When somebody is doing business or, you know, just doing business, they want to convert to building a business. How do they make that transition right?

00:26:39 – Speaker3

And Steve, you know, how did how were you able to kind of create that efficiency inside? Once you kind of saw that lightning, you had that luck, you had the opportunity to kind of be able to go, OK, I can’t do it all. So how am I going to be able to delegate and create that efficiency where I feel comfortable with it?

00:26:56 – Speaker2

You know, I would love to tell you that I gave it a lot of thought that I had a plan, that I researched it and just lie to us. It’s OK that I was somehow responsible for setting up a very efficient infrastructure, but it was all trial and error. I mean, it was really like, you know, one of the one of the people Eric and I used to work with with our mentors. She sort of helped us run like the three of us sort of ran the show and then another lawyer to Larry, who is still around. We just we called her and had lunch. I was looked at. Eric was like, We should get some office manager because I’m sick of doing this. I’ll bet you. I’ll bet you. She would do it. So we went had lunch with her and she’s like, Well, can I work part time? We’re like, Sure, whatever you need, you can have it. So we just lucked into it again based on people we knew. And then she came along and we had already had a relationship working together. So she helped us sort of set up that that infrastructure initially. And there was there was a couple of people we experimented with before that didn’t work out so well. And, you know, it just sort of was off to the races. And then I think having a good manager who can keep you on track is essential. And the hard part, I think, would be, I’m sort of doing it now because I’m rebuilding and it’s like finding finding that is very difficult. And there’s now I feel like you almost have to actually give it some thought and figure out what do you want it to look like? What’s the infrastructure going to look like? But when you’re young and dumb and just doing it and walking forward, it’s like, we’re going to go. Climb that mountain, let’s go. What’s the pain? I have no idea we’ll find it.

00:28:28 – Speaker3

But I also think you needed that trust, right? Because you had that relationship, you’d already had that trust. And it sounds like when it didn’t work out and there was no prior relationship for whatever, you couldn’t build that trust to create that foundation, to kind of move forward.

00:28:42 – Speaker2

Yeah, no, that’s correct. You have to. It was it was easier for us, I think, because we knew somebody and that’s what helped. And to this day, I struggle finding employees if I could. And I don’t know what other people running businesses do,

00:28:54 – Speaker1

But that’s a never ending struggle. And what happens is a lot of times when you’re trying to build a business defining the roles because as an as an entrepreneur owner, we are generally control freaks and we think we can do it all. But once you recognize that you don’t have to do it all and it’s not what you do and you can make that, I guess the next plunge dropping in the pool and say, Wait a minute, I’m going to hand that off to somebody else who has that skill set. That’s a big deal. And you guys are able to do that back in the beginning. With that, our national manager and we always think as entrepreneurs, well, I’m going to bring in another attorney and I’m going to make that attorney, be my practice manager. Well, that doesn’t work because they don’t have that same mindset. It’s a different thing. So identifying those roles is probably the biggest thing. And as you’re doing this kind of retooling yourself with all the stuff that’s happened over the last 25 years, you’re redefining what that looks like, probably, and what that role is that you’re trying to hire for and bring that team mate in, which is a big deal because it’s you’re basically having to hold yourself accountable to what is you really want. And as an entrepreneur, we always shoot from the hip. But now you’re forced to actually have to make those decisions and set up, who do I want to be? How do I want to do it? And who’s going to help me get there? And that’s a big deal.

00:30:10 – Speaker2

Yeah. And there’s part of that is, I think, being young and dumb, you know, didn’t care. You know, there is something to it, particularly with males. I say this to my juvenile clients. A lot is like, you’re a jackass and you don’t even know it. And there’s there’s a physiological reason for that. Your brain, the frontal cortex of our brains, doesn’t develop as quickly as it does with females.

00:30:30 – Speaker1

You dabble in brain science on the side. I know you do because you’re that guy.

00:30:34 – Speaker2

I have had like I’ve had to deal with psychologists and experts over the years in cases, and it’s abundantly true. And there’s a reason we send 18 year olds off to go fight the wars. You know, they don’t have the same fear that we do when we’re 30 or 40 and now looking back. And the other component to that, I think, was I didn’t really have an endgame. I didn’t. I was just swimming forward. I didn’t or I didn’t even care. But now I’m 51, you know, I’ve got two kids. And so it’s like, now you’ve got an end game. Now it’s like, All right, I got to plan this because I’ve got something to work for. Whereas before it, just like we’re going and it didn’t, it didn’t really lay it out in front of me. And I know that’s probably not. I don’t know that it’s common. I don’t know. It’s it’s what everybody does. But I didn’t. I wasn’t a good planner. I’m still not. And that’s part of the problem.

00:31:22 – Speaker1

But actually, that’s OK because as an entrepreneur, you are willing to take the risk. You thrive in uncertainty, you thrive in chaos. I suspect I don’t know because I’ve never had to really sit down and have you do work for me? I’ve been very fortunate. Knock on wood that I don’t have to use your services for those types of things, but I suspect that you’re probably like most people were. You are so busy thinking about it, thinking about it. You’re not going to actually do the product that you need to do until you’re up against a deadline. I mean, it’s probably a blessing and a curse that most entrepreneurs have that we don’t do it to. We have to because we’re trying to formulate and come up with the best answer we can come with. And most of the time we can’t do that until we’re literally under the gun. The last second. So I suspect you’re probably last minute writing briefs, interviewing witnesses and and doing those types of things. Are you a, you know, when people look at I want to hire an attorney for a criminal case because I think that’s what you specialize in, right? Is it white collar, blue collar or whatever? It doesn’t matter if you do the crime. We don’t want you to do the time, right? That’s right. And so when we try to, a person tries to hire an attorney, what are they looking for? Are they looking for somebody they can lie to? Are they looking somebody they can come clean and get off their conscience? Are they looking for someone they can bond with? What are you looking for when you’re interviewing a client to see if you want to work with them? Do you care if they’re guilty or innocent?

00:32:43 – Speaker2

Well, let’s let’s unpack. You give me a lot to unpack. Oh yeah. So, you know, as a kid, I was disorganized. I was forgetful. I didn’t get my homework done, not because I wasn’t capable of doing it, but either because I procrastinate or forgot or lost my books and thought, Uh oh, so I had to. I created a lot of problems that I had to learn how to solve. And this is with reflection. I’ve come up with this theory and because I learned the hard way how to solve problems that I created for myself, I think I’ve become pretty good at being a problem solver. And, you know, that plugs in nicely with being a criminal defense lawyer because people come in with problems. So I’ve learned to solve problems, and it’s no different now. I progressed. And he sort of now I’ve learned I need time to get this done. And then when I don’t get it done or I don’t start before it’s time, then now I now I really need really done. But in that process, there’s some magic that happens. Like you said, I think I’m always thinking about things. My brain is always on on overdrive, thinking about 10 am right now. And, you know, so there is preparation that goes into it. It’s just not apparent. And then so when I tell people when they come in to talk to me as clients, I say, Listen, if you want somebody who’s going to pound the table and scream not guilty and be the bulldog and do this and do that just out of the shoots, you know you’re in the wrong place. You’re not that guy. Yeah. And if you need somebody and it turns out your case needs that, well, then that’s what we’ll do. But if that’s what you if your perception of what this process is requires this guy, this asshole lawyer to you, see on TV, see on TV and you know you’re mistaken. I am not a

00:34:24 – Speaker1

Successful strategy like, you know, as a as a client, if I was a client, what I would say, yeah, I want the guy that’s going to go there and scream and go crazy in the courtroom. Is that something you would want? Or is that an effective defense tool as a criminal defense attorney? Or is that just

00:34:39 – Speaker2

Like that’s like me telling you what kind of accounting system I want? I don’t know, but I think I do. Got it. There’s a perception of what people think they need or want, and I had a conversation with a client yesterday and you know, this client was all over me and finally just asked, Are you comfortable with this case? I just laughed and I said, Listen, I’ve been doing this twenty six years. I’m comfortable with the case and you’ve come at me now with what your neighbor said. You’re your daughter said your therapist said some friend of a friend said. And the one person’s advice that you’re paying for is me, you know, and you’re

00:35:18 – Speaker1

Not buying into what I’m telling you,

00:35:19 – Speaker2

And you’re not listening to what I’m saying. And and I and I didn’t say it in that maybe came off harsher than the way I delivered it. But the idea is I need to solve my client’s problems and part of that, like you, I’m sure in any professional relationship type business is educating the client as to what their problems are and then what the solution is because there isn’t a cookie cutter solution to most problems in my world. And what might solve your drunk driving problem wouldn’t solve Julie’s or wouldn’t solve somebody else’s. You know, it’s not the same for everybody. It might. There might be a formula that I can plug it into sort of rudimentary in the background, but not not every time I look at everything is unique. Every case is unique. And to be sure, I can go to that little file in my brain and hit play and it’ll go, but it’s not. We have to solve the problem. So do you want a bulldog lawyer? Will only if you need it and do you need a bulldog lawyer? Don’t know yet. We don’t know until we know if you. It’s not always about banging the. I had to talk with somebody last night who called me, and it’s going to be a publicity case. It’s a it’s a it’s a good one. It’s a good case. And apparently the individual looked me up and saw me. He was referring. He was referring one of his clients to me, and his client looked me up, said, Oh man, he looks like a bad ass, blah blah blah blah blah. And I his last. I said, Well, that’s ironic, because the case you just described does not need that. It needs some careful Rico. Suave, smooth. Yeah, it needs some political nuance. Not not bulldog or bull in a China shop stuff. So, you know, it’s like anything you just got to solve the problem. How do you

00:36:57 – Speaker1

Deal with the, I guess, the pressures? You know, there’s two two pressures. One is you have this being an entrepreneur and being in charge of your own vessel, if you will, and all that are touching it, whether it’s family, friends, teammates, colleagues, your reputation, that’s a big piece. That’s a that’s a I don’t know if it’s not a stress, really, it’s just a pressure. It’s just a reality. And we thrive then as entrepreneurs. But the other side of it is, is that you’re trying to execute something for your client. You know, if we mess up, oh, sorry, buddy, you owe some money. You might get audited and here’s a penalty, right? It’s the consequences are not huge. Now extrapolate that it can be Oh, you missed an opportunity and now you’re going to be behind on your goal. There are financial things that happen on this side, but in your side, if you mess up or you don’t do something, you miss the miss crossing, a T, a dotting and I, they’re going to prison or going to the gas chamber. How do you reconcile that reality? Cold, hard reality that if you don’t do your job well, kind of like an E.R. doc. If you don’t write, somebody dies. If you don’t do your job well, somebody go to jail forever. How do you manage that type of pressure?

00:38:07 – Speaker2

Yeah, I don’t know. It’s. And I guess you just have to redefine the terms into something that that you can live with. And by that, I mean, I worry about the evidence. I worry about the case. I worry about what I need to worry about. And then when I need to worry about the client’s individual characteristics that are relevant to the case, I’ll worry about that. But it’s a high pressure job. I mean, and here’s the other thing it’s like I’m not supposed to win the cards again. So I had to redefine to learn that early on, my dad once said to me, he goes, Well, you don’t think you’re going to win every case, do you? And I was like, Well, of course I am. You know, I’m 26. I think, yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t I? And that’s an absurd notion. It just is. Most people are guilty. Most people have done something that warrants a warning that they’re here for a reason. And there’s there’s very few actually completely 100 percent misidentified or whodunit wrong person cases. So I’ve had to shift into my into this notion that I am helping people solve their problems. They are coming to me with a problem. And here’s the rub there may not be a real good solution we might be choosing between crappy and crappy horror. But I’ll take crappy every time in that situation.

00:39:17 – Speaker1

But see, I would think that as a client, my expectation is I’m getting free. Mm hmm. So how do you manage that expectation with that client to say, Look, you’re either your choices are death or life without parole. It’s not. You’re going to get out of jail in three years. Like, how do you get them to understand that if you can keep them from the gas chamber, it’s probably a good deal?

00:39:39 – Speaker2

Well, again, I think it’s not unlike what you guys deal with in your in your relationships, with your. Right, you can be 100 percent transactional and move on, or you can have a personal relationship with your client or a pseudo personal, I mean, you can’t get too close, but there has to you have to develop a trust relationship with your clients and that requires me to sit down, get to know the individual, listen to them legitimately, like genuinely listen to them and give them feedback and give them my thoughts on it. And if you don’t start that in my, this is what I recognize where people go wrong in my line of work. They don’t start that day one. And if you don’t start that day one, then when you get to the end game and you don’t have a good resolution for somebody and you’re choosing between those two options, not well and crappy, you’re they’re going to look at you like you screwed me. You know you. This is I didn’t expect this at all, and managing and setting expectations in what I do is critical to doing this job well. And then you have to be good at what you do as well. I mean, I mean, you have to be able to deliver on on representation. But at the same time, you know, if you start with the premise that if you’re doing criminal defense, you’re not going to win every case, right? You just it’s not going to happen. So then what do you do? Well, you have to redefine what winning is, and that means you’re going to get the best possible solution to the problem. Sometimes that means winning the trial. Sometimes it means all right. You’re just eating this crap instead of that bigger pile over there, and we’ve got to find a way to make that better. You know, that’s just it,

00:41:14 – Speaker3

Something that you said that I think rings really true and it’s all relative throughout. You know, any aspect of life is that you just described transparency. Transparency creates trust, which creates the relationship. And I think that’s a really big thing that you’ve been able to kind of have that awareness and implement into what you’re doing.

00:41:34 – Speaker2

Yeah. And again, you’re exactly right. That’s such a great way to describe it. But I stumbled into it sort of accidentally, like everything else is that is and you know, it’s like it’s almost like embarrassing to share. But there became a time when I just couldn’t remember. I said, I have ADHD. I’m diagnosed with it, but I couldn’t remember, like details about a client’s problem or this or that the other. So I started I to deal with that. I would call people in as their case progressed, and I would say, let’s start over as if we’re in our first meeting because then I have context to it, then I have this discovery. I have the I have some idea and then I then I started to just get to know people. I was like, Tell me where you grew up? What’s this? What’s this? What was your childhood like? What were your where’d you go to school? And then some magic starts to happen both ways. One, I can get directly engaged with that individual as I’m preparing for that trial. And two, they get engaged with the process with me. And there is that transparency, you know, I can share, you know, I legitimately care because I need that information to do what I got to do and then they get comfortable talking to me and we get comfortable sharing personal information. And it’s then you get that, that trust and it’s it’s I’ve stumbled into it. And now that I’m putting words to it, looking backwards, if you don’t do that, then it’s really difficult for people to trust you. That’s the problem. People say I got a public defender and they’re terrible. That’s not. There’s a lot of great public defenders and phenomenal public defenders who try cases and they’re better than I. They’re better than most people. And then there’s a lot of crappy, really crappy private lawyers. So when people come in and say, I got a public defender, a person like, No, but the problem is that person either is not incentivized because of they’re getting paid no matter what or have the time.

00:43:20 – Speaker1

Time is probably the

00:43:21 – Speaker2

One to do what you’re describing, Julie, to say, I want to get to know you. I want to learn all there is to to know about you and have that transparency. So then you’ll trust me. And you can’t just say, do this.

00:43:33 – Speaker1

Now you’ve got you get to pick and choose the case as you take the PD they’re sitting there with. Here’s 50 cases. Deal with this in the next week. I mean, it’s impossible to get that level that you were talking about here, I would imagine.

00:43:45 – Speaker2

Yeah, they can’t do it and there’s no incentive to like. This is why. I mean, look, this is why you need a market to drive business. Because if I didn’t, if people didn’t trust me and they’re paying or they they didn’t have a transparent relationship. Well, they’re going to go next door to somebody who is. And then I’m going to go out of business and you know, you’re going to get this sort of emerging from that a level of of of legal services or accounting services or widget services, whatever it is that that works because we have the incentive to make customers satisfied happy.

00:44:22 – Speaker1

It’s not something like you started out the first time you’ve got your first client and go, Oh, this is what you need to do. Somehow, somewhere inside your brain, you just kind of did it. Maybe you didn’t know why. Maybe you didn’t know how you just did it somehow. And that’s been a core value for you your whole career. Is that do you feel like that’s something you were just, you know, blessed and genetically and you’re just born with it? Or is it something that you learned growing up watching others mentoring or is it just something you just felt like? This is how I want to do this? How did you get to that point?

00:44:58 – Speaker2

I think all that the a lot of it is ego for people. So if I remember early on it was actually just thinking about this the other day, I was very young. I just started out and I had a buddy or like a guy in college two years behind me or something. And he got in trouble up at the College of Wooster, some drinking or something. And I was talking to his dad and his dad was sort of a, you know, his dad was telling me, what for, you know, like, here’s what we need to do and you’re not calling blah blah. And I was like, Well, with all due respect, sir, blah blah. And I hung up and I called him. I sat there. I was like, I didn’t feel good about that conversation, and I called him back and I just said, You know what? You’re exactly right. Like, you were right. And and somehow the light bulb clicked right there where I was like, I am avoiding this conversation because I haven’t done my homework and I don’t know the case well enough. And I’m telling you, like, he’s trying to tell me what I know and my ego’s in the way of that. And that’s like. And I learn. I called him back, and after I hung up, I was like, How do I fix this now? And I thought, I’ll just be honest with him. I’ll say, Listen, man usually works the best. I felt like I was getting accused here or something. And you’re exactly right. I shouldn’t. Your questions are legitimate. Let’s talk it through and it. The result of that conversation was nothing short of amazing, right? He was like, Thank you. You know, immediately he felt good about it. And, you know, I didn’t have experience and I was acting like, I did. You know, he was a he was. He was 20 years my senior. You know, it’s like, there’s so many reasons why I was wrong.

00:46:25 – Speaker1

He was on DEFCON five and you got him down to DEFCON one pretty quick. Yeah, I

00:46:29 – Speaker2

Mean, I was wrong and he was wrong about what he was demanding. But I I was acting like he shouldn’t be asking. Right? And he had every right to ask

00:46:39 – Speaker1

Again, you’re talking to a client about their case and then you’re talking to the people who love, support and are part of them. There’s got to be two very different conversations I would imagine for you as the attorney, because you’re dealing with the support staff that they have, that they have a different level of expectation. They don’t want to believe that that person might be guilty. They want to believe that they’re innocent. And you know, that’s that’s probably a whole different skill set. How long did it take you to master that?

00:47:08 – Speaker2

Yeah, probably still not mastered that, right? That’s that’s just something that that evolves in those situations. The same, you know, sometimes you have a demanding mother, sometimes you have a father who’s pushy, sometimes you have brothers, sisters, cousins or friends or fiances or spouses. Sometimes I just had to say, You know what? This ain’t working. This ain’t working. I can’t do this. And that’s you probably have that in your all the time. You know, you get this situation where it’s like, this is not working. This person is they want things I can’t deliver. They’re trying to pin me into corners that I’m not going to get pinned into. And you know, that is a there’s a careful or there’s a delicate balance there. I think in any business, I can just imagine contractors where you could just brutal the scope, could creep on and on and on and on and on where they want. You available at 10:00 at night on yourself like I have clients now. As for myself, I had somebody recently asked me to drive him to court. And you know, it’s a hard one because you want, you know, you want to help, you know, but if you do that, you’ve let the camel in the tent may be too far and you can’t undo that. So you just have to learn to say no, you just have to say, I’m not doing that.

00:48:14 – Speaker1

Do you think that’s probably a we call in the business, you know, wisdom of when you first start out, you’ll take anybody. You’ll basically do anything because you’re trying to grow your business, you’re trying to get your name out there. Then after a while, you realize that burden that that puts on you and puts on your team and you’re like, life’s too short to get up and go to work and do what we do and deal with this kind of negativity. And then you learn to basically screen a little bit better and choose more wisely and again. You know, a lot more now than you knew then, and you have probably a little more swag where you can pick and choose a little bit better those clients. I mean, that’s a big transformation. When do you think that hit in your career? Was that like in the fifth year, the 10th year, the 15th year where you still working on? I think we’re

00:48:55 – Speaker2

All still working on it. You know, I’ve read that

00:48:57 – Speaker1

There’s no endgame. Oh, son of A..

00:48:59 – Speaker2

You probably have this, too. I read this article one time. It was written by a lawyer. It was like in the ABA American Bar Association Journal or something, and it was like the signs of problem clients. And the premise of it is we all know them when you’re talking to it like, you know, right away, this person is not, it’s the right fit. It’s going to be a problem. And you know, all the signs, you see all the signs and then you do it anyway. You say, OK, I’ll do it anyway. And or this is a classic, too. It’s like, All right, I’ll do it for x dollars and you’re just thinking there’s no way they’re going to pay that. Then they pay, they pay. And you think I should charge double

00:49:33 – Speaker1

Talk about the, you know, you’ve as an entrepreneur, as a criminal defense attorney. Again, we talked about all these pressures, but there’s another big pressure that happens and that. Big pressure, most people probably aren’t aware of that, I would imagine is a true one is that is so you’re out there representing a high profile case. The Court of public opinion is like that dirtbag did this and this heinous crime to whomever the victim is. And then your picture pops up and defense attorney representation is Stephen Palmer. Now all your friends are like, What the heck are you doing representing this guy? And do you ever get that backlash from your like, I guess your, you know, people that support you and friends and family? Do they ever look at you? Like, what is wrong with this guy? Steve, why would you do that? Do they are they judgy or are they like, Look, he’s just doing his job?

00:50:28 – Speaker2

Yeah, both, I think. Just give me, like friendly. How can? Oh yeah, another dirt ball for another. This know that. What are you doing there? I think a more dangerous thing of that, though, is this is this notion of pride, and I think that’s the really tough. I have to fight that where, you know, if I do, I really want to be in the papers. Do I want to be on TV? Do I want to be that person? And what happens is you get proud, and I think that’s a horrible, horrible, horrible thing to be, you know, usually that’s your ego. There’s all sorts of reasons why, that’s why that’s not good. When somebody I know said this, it’s like, we do this for ego. We do it for money and we do it for cause in some degree of all three. And every now and then, one’s more important than the other. A lot of times it’s ego. And you know, if you like to have your picture in the paper, it’s vanity, right? It’s like, it’s that. And I think pride is a really dangerous, dangerous trait to have. And I have to. I think you have to check it, at least acknowledging it, even though we all like it. Like, here I am on a paper. Look, I’m on the news or I’ll do the interview. I’ll be that guy. But I think you just in my line of work and I think everybody, everybody could benefit from this advice and I’m not perfect at it. Learn to recognize when your ego and pride is on the table, and that’s why you’re motivated to do something, because usually that’s when you get that’s that’s when you got the most. That’s when you’re propped up a little bit too high.

00:51:46 – Speaker1

Well, and I think the the the fun part about this podcast and the entrepreneur series that we’re doing here is the fact that, you know, a lot of people don’t realize when you’re an entrepreneur, all this stuff you just talked about, it is exhausting mentally, emotionally time to just do what you’re supposed to do to be the best at your game. And on top of that, you’re expected to run this business and do all these other things. How did you reconcile and figure out the balance to be able to do both because you can’t do one without the other? You can be the best businessman in the world, and if you can’t do your law, work well, that’s not going to work. You can be the best attorney in the world. You’d be a crappy business person and be bankrupt. How did you how do you figure that out

00:52:27 – Speaker2

Just by hook and crook? You know, it’s it’s a seesaw, for sure. And I think that’s what that’s what you do, right? That’s that’s is where, you know, a lot of what I said about my clients. You have done that with us or me. And, you know, I’ve got a trust relationship with my accountant with you guys, and I can I can sort of just say, All right, they got this. I don’t have to worry about it. I’ll get I’ll figure it out later. And at the same time, you know, having somebody you can trust to make that call and say, Look, we need this, we need to do this and just keep you on track, I think is important because it’s it’s a it’s you never stop working. When you run a small business, you never stop working. It is 24-7. Don’t care what anybody says. If I’m on vacation, I’m worried about something. I’m thinking about something. I’m returning calls and I’m doing whatever. You know, you never stop working and to divide the business, plus the service at the same time without help. Good luck. It’s hard.

00:53:17 – Speaker1

Do you feel like that you’re spending on a typical day? Do you think you’re spending, you know, used to do a lot more work, probably working in your business, which would do the day to day activities of what it means to run your business? And then you have your external, which is working on clients and then you have this other one which is working on your business, right? How do you build and do what you want to do? What is that ratio look like, say, 20 years ago? And what’s that ratio look like today?

00:53:45 – Speaker2

You know, it’s weird today after the shutdown, you know, if you end up with short staffed right now. So I’m sort of doing everything again. And I think that has been eye opening in the sense that I think probably most of us who have run businesses over the years sort of take for granted how much you do to tweak it day in and day out and how many decisions you make. How many paper clips do you need? Do I need another ream of paper, whereas the copy machine doing What’s this? What’s this? What’s this? What’s this exhausting? And you don’t you take for granted how much incrementally you have thrown on your own shoulders until all of a sudden you’re exposed and bare and now you’re doing all of it? You realize I. So I think I was doing looking back a lot more than I realized it was like a fish, you know, they don’t know they’re in water, you know, you just I was doing it because it just happened incrementally over time. So it’s at different times. Probably 80, 20 and 2080 probably reverses depending on what’s going on, but both need attention, that’s for sure.

00:54:38 – Speaker1

And what about the working on the business meaning strategy planning? Vision, doing those things that are trying to, you know, determine what that business is going to look like. Like how much time do you spend doing that?

00:54:52 – Speaker2

Probably more than I think, you know, I always have these harebrained ideas. I’ll call you about them and say, I want to do this, this and this, or I want to do this. This and this strategery is fun. Yeah, and it’s but at the end of the day, I think if you’ve got a good business, you’re good at what you do. It’ll find itself, you know, the work will sort of guide you to what you need to do. I don’t know how I would react or respond if I just walked into a business and said, All right, now, you guys, now I’m a widget maker, what do you do? That would be hard for me now. I got buddies who have like, once you sort of conquer a business and build it, you can just plug it in. Duplicate mine. I don’t think I could do that so easily.

00:55:30 – Speaker1

So now you’re kind of a unique skill set at what you do. Well, Steve, appreciate you spending some time with us today and sharing all those thoughts and until next time, this is Glenn Harper. Julie Smith, Steve Palmer. We’ll see you guys later.

Episode Show Notes

We welcome Stephen E. Palmer, Columbus criminal defense attorney, and owner and partner at Yavitch & Palmer Co., L.P.A.

Graduating from college in 1992 with a degree in history with a liberal arts background, he soon found that the job openings were slim to none. He then decided to apply to law school. After graduation, he soon started learning from small law practices. That propelled his journey to starting his own defense attorney practice with his partner Eric Yavitch.

How Steve differentiates himself from other defense attorneys…

I’ve always been able to objectively evaluate truth, and then I can reiterate that. I can do that with confidence. once it’s in my head, that it’s true in my soul, that it’s true, then I can explain it to anybody.

The importance of mentors in Steve’s career…

My mentor always said it. And this is probably not only true in law, but probably everything. If you’re a good trial lawyer, everything else will tend to fall into place. And the depth of that is really, really sort of incredible.

Why having a strong network around you helps you build your business…

My dad actually used to say this. You need, as a professional, you need a good accountant. You need a good doctor, you need a good lawyer, you need a good barber, you need a good suit guy. You need a good banker. You need all these things. And it’s not because you need them. It’s because it’s you need to round out your network.

You can learn more about Steve’s practice on his website.

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