Steph Tuss is an extraordinary woman who took advantage of every opportunity she was given because she was able to live by the mantra, “just say yes.” She has a vast knowledge of business even though she didn’t come from an entrepreneurial background, and didn’t even major in business courses. Yet, she is now the CEO of a hugely successful company, Life Is Now, Inc.
In this episode we discuss:
- How people will be smooth when they have an agreement.
- Being able and open to experience whatever you need to experience knowing that whatever happens, you’re going to be okay.
- The importance of beginning with a framework to face difficult conversations.
- How to manage vulnerability as a leader
Successful Mind Podcast
About Steph Tuss:
Steph Tuss is the CEO of the multimillion-dollar global coaching company Life Is Now, Inc, helping thousands of entrepreneurs, experts and self-employed professionals gain the confidence and find the right mindset to increase their revenue, turning their endeavors into seven- and eight-figure ventures.
Prior to her work with Life Is Now, Steph was a school teacher turned entrepreneur, who built and sold her first business by the age of 33.
She has a passion for helping others create their vision mixed with the nuts and bolts of solid business strategy.
SEE THE FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW
Allison Williams [00:00:04.859]: Alright step past welcome to the crushing chaos with la for a mentor podcasts.
Steph Tuss[00:00:09.809]: Thank you for having me.
Allison Williams [00:00:11.849]: So this is like such an honor I am like fan girl in here, because you have been such an instrumental part of my own growth journey, and when I tell people about the fact that it took kind of getting to the right place.
Allison Williams [00:00:24.570]: and finding the right message in the right way, I talked about David nagel but you as a CEO we’re very much a part of not just.
Allison Williams [00:00:33.360]: ushering me in but also a part of coaching me and you also gave me some very, very powerful moments that just transform the way that I look at things, so thank you for agreeing to do this i’m really excited to have you here and have this conversation.
Steph Tuss [00:00:47.370]: i’m excited to be here super excited.
Allison Williams [00:00:50.010 ]: All right, so why don’t we dive in with introducing you to the world for anyone that doesn’t know you other than the fact that you are the CEO of life is now tell us about you and tell us about what you do from like this now.
Steph Tuss [00:01:02.040]: So i’m really the CEOs kind of a big overarching term and really kind of the operator so within life is now david’s very much the visionary.
Steph Tuss [00:01:12.150]: And it’s my job as the integrator which I think is more appropriate like makes more sense of what my role is I take his vision and I make it so.
Steph Tuss [00:01:22.980]: So i’m kind of the puppet master behind everything managing team, making sure we’re on track with sales, looking at the finances like I really i’m really I really am the integrator of life is now and.
Steph Tuss [00:01:35.940]: I also have a love of teaching so i’m also involved with the teaching and coaching of our own clients because.
Steph Tuss [00:01:43.290]: mindset will only take you so far, you also need the nuts and bolts of how does well you know this, how to set up systems right how to and how to manage people how to be a leader so.
Steph Tuss [00:01:52.710]: We we we really balanced each other nicely, because you need the foundation of what a successful mindset looks like what a what a successful business needs in terms of a mindset and also you need the nuts and bolts of how to use and that’s really where I I come into play.
Allison Williams [00:02:10.980]: yeah so the nuts and bolts that’s that’s, of course, the fun part for me I love the I love the spreadsheets and all of the all of the stuff there.
Allison Williams [00:02:19.080]: But you know, I think that one of the things that I love.
Allison Williams [00:02:22.500]: about you, is the fact that you were not always the nuts and bolts person right you had to go on your own growth journey to get to the place where you could leave this eight figure company, where you could manage 25 plus employees.
Allison Williams [00:02:35.430]: talk to me a little bit about what that was for you like what was your pathway to get to the leadership mastery that you have right now.
Steph Tuss [00:02:44.790]: So I started were with where I was.
Steph Tuss [00:02:48.330]: You know i’m not from an entrepreneurial family, I have, I do not have a degree in business i’ve never taken any business courses.
Steph Tuss [00:02:55.470]: My degree is actually in education i’m a double major in education and music and I started off my first career as a teacher, I taught music at an elementary school and I also taught.
Steph Tuss [00:03:06.090]: middle school for 10 years so really at my core i’m a i’m a teacher and leader like I love leading anyone who who wants to listen and I love teaching people new things.
Steph Tuss [00:03:17.730]: But in order for me to keep teaching relevant and important things.
Steph Tuss [00:03:22.050]: I had to learn, I had to keep learning myself and through lots of different things that have happened over my life my life was from my birth, the birth of my first child that really.
Steph Tuss [00:03:31.770]: got me to step out of teaching and into my own business, and then it was in the growing of that business that I really became aware of.
Steph Tuss [00:03:40.170]: Life is now and David was just a solo on his own at that time and the power that mindset plays in your ability to achieve anything, whether that’s your own business, whether that’s your own life goals It all starts with.
Steph Tuss [00:03:53.820]: how you think about things so, for me it really was my big rule is i’m going to say yes.
Steph Tuss [00:04:01.470]: If it scares me i’m going to say yes, so I started just by managing a small group of of clients like support coaching.
Steph Tuss [00:04:09.000]: That I stepped into sales, then I stepped into director of sales, then I stepped into marketing and curriculum development because I have that background, as well, and I just said yes to everything that I was.
Steph Tuss [00:04:19.260]: I was asked, and with each of those yeses came an opportunity for me to learn something new and also came an opportunity for me to teach something new.
Steph Tuss [00:04:27.150]: So you know I started with life is now in I believe it was 2008 2007 I was coaching with David 2008 2009 I became an actual member of his team, and then in 2016 I actually became.
Steph Tuss [00:04:40.800]: CEO so there was a long like growth learning curve, where I really learned every aspect of the business, which I think.
Steph Tuss [00:04:49.500]: makes me so great, for the role i’m in right now, because I know exactly who to hire and what they what the expectations are of those roles, because.
Steph Tuss [00:04:56.820]: i’ve been in those roles, but I think the key for me was just you know I didn’t know if I could do those things, or if I would be good at those things, but the opportunity presented itself, and I just I said yes and I grew into.
00:05:09.930 –> 00:05:11.970
Steph Tuss: The expectations of each of those roles.
00:05:13.020 –> 00:05:18.930
Allison Williams: yeah so the just say yes, that is a very powerful mantra right it’s kind of like just believe, which is.
00:05:19.770 –> 00:05:34.230
Allison Williams: One of the one of those pillar comments that I remember before he actually became one of your your foundational principles, I remember David saying that at a an event just believe, and I was like yeah just believe right so for you, it was just a yes.
00:05:34.860 –> 00:05:37.320
Steph Tuss: It was for me it was just say yes yeah.
00:05:37.980 –> 00:05:41.040
Allison Williams: So we know that just saying yes is easier said than done.
00:05:41.910 –> 00:05:50.400
Allison Williams: We know that when you when you know to say yes, when you have a coach or a mentor or a trainer or a guide or an inspiration saying just say yes.
00:05:50.640 –> 00:06:04.470
Allison Williams: You want to, but we also know that that know is going to rise up at some point so talk to me a little bit about some of the resistance that may have that you may have encountered on the way to becoming the CEO over the 16 year journey of time with life is now.
00:06:05.220 –> 00:06:16.920
Steph Tuss: Well, my first major role other than just managing a handful of clients was in sales and I honestly think there’s no better opportunity for personal growth and learning sales because you’re.
00:06:17.220 –> 00:06:23.130
Steph Tuss: Like looking at yourself in a mirror every single day you’re up against all of your core your core fears.
00:06:23.640 –> 00:06:34.770
Steph Tuss: Are they going to reject me, am I going to seem pushy you know, am I going to be too much like all of the the one for me, we were really middle class mindset values.
00:06:35.190 –> 00:06:43.620
Steph Tuss: of you know don’t ask that question that might be that might be seen as an appropriate don’t you know don’t say too much don’t fry in this area.
00:06:44.610 –> 00:06:57.330
Steph Tuss: That was my first point of resistance is really like I dove headfirst into sales to the point where, when I was doing my training I would record my sales conversations and then immediately send them to David and say.
00:06:57.600 –> 00:07:03.750
Allison Williams: For worse right and it’s horrible it’s the most like you have to be so willing to be vulnerable because you know.
00:07:04.110 –> 00:07:12.090
Steph Tuss: You know you messed up somewhere so it’s admitting that like it’s more important for me to learn a lesson here than it is for me to protect myself.
00:07:13.260 –> 00:07:15.870
Steph Tuss: Because protecting myself isn’t going to get me closer to my goal.
00:07:17.130 –> 00:07:20.550
Steph Tuss: Learning this thing is going to get me closer to my goal yeah.
00:07:20.610 –> 00:07:29.580
Allison Williams: That that first time that someone listen to a recorded sales call I literally was I was, I was sitting white knuckling it through, and it was so painful.
00:07:29.970 –> 00:07:39.420
Allison Williams: And i’ve given that exercise to my clients before and I remember having to like wait wait wait there’s eight of you here, why do I only have five sales.
00:07:41.550 –> 00:07:44.790
Allison Williams: and three of those people that says sales calls and more than one.
00:07:46.770 –> 00:07:55.290
Allison Williams: So, clearly and it’s something that a lot of us have resistance around looking at ourselves and you have to do a lot of that work when you are growing into the realm of leadership.
00:07:56.850 –> 00:08:04.680
Steph Tuss: You really do and it’s the it’s the leland then belle de la quote that we’ve got on our wall right like you’re what is it like.
00:08:04.740 –> 00:08:06.360
Allison Williams: The degree to which.
00:08:06.450 –> 00:08:11.580
Steph Tuss: A person can grow is directly proportional to the amount of truth, they can accept about themselves without running away.
00:08:12.300 –> 00:08:20.910
Steph Tuss: And, in truth, I needed to accept about myself, was that I wasn’t great at sales on I need help, like I didn’t have it all figured out right and and I had to be on to be okay with that.
00:08:22.170 –> 00:08:32.880
Steph Tuss: was my very first point of resistance was just like that’s a really that’s a very vulnerable thing to do, and then also just calling people.
00:08:33.930 –> 00:08:35.280
Steph Tuss: Like bugging people you know.
00:08:36.240 –> 00:08:49.500
Steph Tuss: Like I don’t want to be a bother the just getting over all the noise and the head chatter and everything else that that went along with it, and then the second point was actually hiring other people to work under me and then training them, who was I to do that and.
00:08:50.520 –> 00:09:01.410
Steph Tuss: The points of resistance, are all around old limiting beliefs and patterns right like Am I good enough, am I going to be in my in my lovable enough, am I going to be abandoned, so it was just being able to.
00:09:02.760 –> 00:09:09.900
Steph Tuss: It basically just comes down to a willingness to experience whatever you need to experience, knowing that whatever happens you’re going to be okay.
00:09:10.620 –> 00:09:17.910
Allison Williams: yeah the knowing you’re going to be okay part is I think we’re a lot of people stop like they have this belief that they’re going to do this.
00:09:18.210 –> 00:09:23.130
Allison Williams: they’re going to push themselves past the moment of resistance they’re going to step into a difficult conversation.
00:09:23.460 –> 00:09:36.300
Allison Williams: And then they’re going to have some awful consequence and it’s almost never as bad as you think it is in fact almost invariably if it gives you insight that is so much better for you than had you just kept yourself quiet.
00:09:36.690 –> 00:09:44.610
Allison Williams: Correct yeah so let’s talk a little bit about difficult conversations, because as a leader, you have to have a lot of them right, and I know that.
00:09:44.820 –> 00:09:53.970
Allison Williams: You and David coach lawyers across the country, just like I do so when you are encountering and you’re talking to a business leader and their mindset is.
00:09:54.210 –> 00:10:02.640
Allison Williams: it’s too challenging to risk the relationship with this person to have the hold accountable conversation or to ask the difficult questions.
00:10:02.970 –> 00:10:12.480
Allison Williams: And they are struggling with that, how do you coach them through one having the conversation and to dealing with whatever the ramifications of that might be.
00:10:13.170 –> 00:10:23.280
Steph Tuss: So I like to dial it back to the very beginning, because a lot of times, people are at the point where they’re in resistance to a difficult conversation because they didn’t do the work.
00:10:23.670 –> 00:10:29.130
Steph Tuss: To set everything up right from the beginning, so i’m a big fan of agreements.
00:10:29.460 –> 00:10:37.890
Steph Tuss: I think life works so much more smoothly, when people are in an agreement with something, because then, if a difficult conversation has to be held.
00:10:38.220 –> 00:10:47.610
Steph Tuss: it’s not you versus them it’s, how can I help you meet this agreement that you agreed to that we both agreed to, so I really like to switch people out of that role of.
00:10:48.330 –> 00:11:02.430
Steph Tuss: New versus them and into the role of us as allies all all heading toward a goal together, so what we do is first of all, we establish agreements.
00:11:03.390 –> 00:11:13.500
Steph Tuss: Those agreements are set up in in terms of measures of success So how do I know that i’m successful in this role and that’s a combined effort so.
00:11:13.920 –> 00:11:20.580
Steph Tuss: I set up what I think what someone in a successful role would need to accomplish and then they also set up.
00:11:21.420 –> 00:11:31.440
Steph Tuss: for themselves what would cause them to be successful and the interesting thing is is usually people have higher expectations for themselves than I even have for the role.
00:11:31.860 –> 00:11:43.350
Steph Tuss: But the idea is that you come together in a meeting of okay well let’s take some of yours and take some of mine are we are we in agreement that these are the measures of success, these are the expectations for the role, yes, great.
00:11:43.920 –> 00:11:56.610
Steph Tuss: Then, when those expectations aren’t met the conversation is very simple it’s hey we agreed on these measures of success and I see that that’s not being hit, how can I support you to hit this so it doesn’t happen again.
00:11:57.840 –> 00:12:14.490
Steph Tuss: So you then become this ally, rather than this dictator that saying you didn’t do this and what’s wrong with you and what’s going on here, the idea is that you’re on the same team, and you should all be aiming for the same goal, therefore, there should never be this this US versus them.
00:12:15.810 –> 00:12:25.560
Allison Williams: yeah so I love that I love the way that you characterize that, because what it really sounds like is that you are ultimately coaching the person to the best self.
00:12:25.590 –> 00:12:30.330
Steph Tuss: Right hundred percent there you know it’s interesting to me because someone said.
00:12:31.380 –> 00:12:42.000
Steph Tuss: A business owner, said to me, you know i’ve just never been never been comfortable with authority and I, I said to them, you know i’ve never considered myself an authority, yes I have decision making, but.
00:12:42.660 –> 00:12:52.470
Steph Tuss: My job is to make to make my team members, the best that they can be so that everyone wins, not to be this like pinnacle appear like i’m and.
00:12:52.860 –> 00:13:04.050
Steph Tuss: i’m all for a meritocracy but right not not a dictatorship, so I think it’s really interesting that you know business owners bring their own kind of.
00:13:04.590 –> 00:13:11.820
Steph Tuss: Their own filter to what leadership looks like based on their past experiences, or what they’ve what they’ve seen in the past, but it actually doesn’t need to be.
00:13:12.330 –> 00:13:20.940
Steph Tuss: That way at all, having a hard conversation should be something that’s actually pretty rare in you know, in a company that has open communication.
00:13:21.750 –> 00:13:32.280
Steph Tuss: Where we’re difficult conversations become hard is when there is a lack of communication is a lack of agreements, there is a lack of trust and there is a fear of conflict.
00:13:32.850 –> 00:13:41.280
Allison Williams: Right, well, I think that that’s just it, though I think a lot of companies have that, especially in the law right because we learn as lawyers, we learn the hierarchy.
00:13:41.550 –> 00:13:48.840
Allison Williams: Right there’s managing partner of there’s equity partner there’s partner there’s senior associate there’s associate there’s counsel there’s.
00:13:49.230 –> 00:13:57.960
Allison Williams: there’s a there’s a line of authority, all the way up, and I think jockeying for position to get yourself to the top of that hierarchy.
00:13:58.200 –> 00:14:08.970
Allison Williams: is something that’s ingrained in you, as you become a member of this profession, so when somebody is talking to you about how to shift their culture to be one that has that open communication.
00:14:09.210 –> 00:14:19.230
Allison Williams: i’m sure they have a lot of questions about even how to begin that when they don’t even have a framework for how to have that kind of conversation without a fear of taking something away from themselves as a leader.
00:14:20.310 –> 00:14:22.170
Steph Tuss: Right and that’s where.
00:14:23.190 –> 00:14:26.940
Steph Tuss: that’s where I think the most important thing for leaders to be is vulnerable.
00:14:28.620 –> 00:14:29.010
Allison Williams: Oh yeah.
00:14:30.270 –> 00:14:36.570
Allison Williams: What does that mean what exactly are we doing, are we showing up at the at the holiday party in our Bikini are we.
00:14:36.990 –> 00:14:43.650
Allison Williams: Are we Oh, and everybody all of our deepest darkest fears like what does vulnerability mean in this context.
00:14:43.710 –> 00:14:49.440
Steph Tuss: vulnerability in this context means that you’re not hiding anything that when you make a mistake.
00:14:50.010 –> 00:14:55.140
Steph Tuss: You do you sunshine it so you bring it out to the open and say wow I really missed the mark on this like.
00:14:55.410 –> 00:15:07.200
Steph Tuss: I made this mistake, and this is what I learned from it, and this is what i’m going to do, going forward and that really shows your team that it’s Okay, for them to make a mistake as well generally a breakdown being breakdown happens when people start hiding their mistakes.
00:15:08.370 –> 00:15:25.380
Steph Tuss: I mean i’ve experienced this with TEAM members, I think I remember you experiencing this with some TEAM members very, very early on, where you know the team Member gets let go and you realize there this there’s this whole like hornet’s nest under the surface of mess that they’ve created.
00:15:26.670 –> 00:15:27.270
Steph Tuss: Because.
00:15:28.290 –> 00:15:40.530
Steph Tuss: You just didn’t know right, so the idea is that you create a culture where it’s safe to make a mistake it’s safe to admit that you don’t have all the answers, whether you’re in a in a leadership role or you’re.
00:15:40.890 –> 00:15:48.330
Steph Tuss: You know the person posting on social media, for you know $20 an hour, that the whole culture is based around.
00:15:48.660 –> 00:16:01.440
Steph Tuss: it’s Okay, for you to make a mistake, the idea is that we’re all learning together and again we’re all on the same team and we’re all going in the same direction, but the key with making a mistake is that you learn something from it, so that the mistake doesn’t repeat.
00:16:02.520 –> 00:16:09.150
Steph Tuss: If you show if you as a leader show that it’s okay that you’re okay being vulnerable that opens the door for everybody else.
00:16:09.630 –> 00:16:13.740
Steph Tuss: To be okay, if you as the leader think you need to be perfect and have this decide.
00:16:14.130 –> 00:16:28.830
Steph Tuss: that’s what your team reflects back to you and that’s when you get blindsided where all of a sudden, you have an employee that just quits and doesn’t show up to work, one day, and you have no idea why where, if you if you create the cult that culture that doesn’t happen yeah.
00:16:29.010 –> 00:16:35.010
Allison Williams: Well, I love that we’re talking about culture, because culture is probably you know, culture, of course, is built on the people.
00:16:35.430 –> 00:16:47.880
Allison Williams: And people issues are right on up there with sales in terms of the challenge that you cannot engage in the process of managing or leading a person, without having to you know shine a light on yourself and really look.
00:16:48.240 –> 00:16:53.310
Allison Williams: very clearly at how you are showing up and how you are communicating and how you’re being perceived.
00:16:53.730 –> 00:16:59.820
Allison Williams: And I know that that is a major point for a lot of the lawyers, that I coach and certainly i’m sure for those that you do as well, so.
00:17:00.030 –> 00:17:05.760
Allison Williams: talk to us a little bit about that, like when you are working with a law firm owner on their leadership capacity.
00:17:06.090 –> 00:17:15.510
Allison Williams: And they want to grow, a better team, and they want to have that open culture, but they keep running into that wall of I can’t find the people that can do the work.
00:17:15.750 –> 00:17:20.610
Allison Williams: And then they find the people that can do the work, so they say all right i’ll tolerate the crappy attitude.
00:17:21.000 –> 00:17:30.780
Allison Williams: i’ll tolerate the secrets just because i’m so happy to finally have competence that resistance, I know, is something that we have to really, really fight against So how do you help people with that.
00:17:31.200 –> 00:17:33.930
Steph Tuss: So we take a little bit of a unique perspective.
00:17:34.860 –> 00:17:45.960
Steph Tuss: The idea is you know we’re big proponents and teachers of universal law, so the idea is that, in terms of the law of polarity is that there can’t be a desire, without the way for that desire to be met.
00:17:46.350 –> 00:17:54.030
Steph Tuss: So if you have an idea of a of an employee that you need higher than that means that that employees out there you just need to create.
00:17:54.960 –> 00:18:02.610
Steph Tuss: Excuse me the right environment, the right job description, the right everything to attract them, so the idea is that.
00:18:03.060 –> 00:18:11.430
Steph Tuss: You, you can have you can have it all, if you create the right environment and there are certain things that a players look for when they’re looking for.
00:18:12.090 –> 00:18:17.340
Steph Tuss: A job when they’re looking for a role right and the a player kind of checks, all the boxes, there are a culture fit.
00:18:17.670 –> 00:18:25.140
Steph Tuss: they’re hungry they’re super humble there they have high emotional intelligence they’re great fit for your team and.
00:18:25.500 –> 00:18:34.560
Steph Tuss: Big key thing that I think la farmers always forget, is to lead with the vision, so they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and what I see law firm owners doing.
00:18:35.310 –> 00:18:39.720
Steph Tuss: The most frequently is focusing more on the work than on the work.
00:18:40.380 –> 00:18:48.000
Steph Tuss: they’re focusing on the little things that need to be done and they’re missing the importance of why they’re doing what they’re doing and the impact that it’s having on.
00:18:48.270 –> 00:18:59.940
Steph Tuss: people’s lives, whether that’s an immigration attorney that’s working to change laws, whether that’s an estate attorney that just helped you know, a family avoid some major catastrophe.
00:19:00.510 –> 00:19:08.220
Steph Tuss: law firm owners don’t always share those big wins with their team they don’t they don’t, in my opinion, share their big vision of what they.
00:19:08.430 –> 00:19:17.190
Steph Tuss: What they see their an impact being to their employees and that’s really what starts to build culture people want to work they don’t just want to show up.
00:19:17.910 –> 00:19:26.040
Steph Tuss: So some people want to show up just you know check checklist check the boxes on a list and go home, but an employer wants to be a part of something.
00:19:26.670 –> 00:19:32.970
Steph Tuss: Right and I, if I could give one piece of advice, a law firm owners it’s speak about your vision every single day.
00:19:33.540 –> 00:19:48.240
Steph Tuss: Talk about the client your client wins allow your team, even though, even though the lowest paying least important role, I think all roles are equally important, by the way, but in like every single person that has touched.
00:19:49.770 –> 00:19:57.840
Steph Tuss: That client gets to share in those in those wins and that just creates that creates momentum it creates the feeling that people.
00:19:59.100 –> 00:20:08.100
Steph Tuss: are helping with the expansion of someone else, and I think the other thing is people also need to see a way for them to expand in the role that they’re in.
00:20:08.790 –> 00:20:17.730
Steph Tuss: So not actually talking to their employees about what their own personal goals are where they see themselves in a year and a half what aspirations, they have.
00:20:19.020 –> 00:20:22.500
Steph Tuss: I think is a really a really big missed opportunity for a law firm owners as well.
00:20:23.310 –> 00:20:29.820
Allison Williams: yeah so I love all of that, I love the idea that a law firm owner should be speaking their vision.
00:20:30.090 –> 00:20:39.480
Allison Williams: All the time right, and I think so much of this goes back to what you said earlier, which is the idea that you have the the thought at one point, like who am I to be managing all these people.
00:20:39.750 –> 00:20:50.100
Allison Williams: I think a lot of law firm owners really struggle with that, like the idea that the ego wants to be big and powerful and typically, that is to overcome some feeling of deficit.
00:20:50.370 –> 00:20:53.520
Allison Williams: That they aren’t aware of, or that they’re aware of, but they’re they’re masking.
00:20:53.790 –> 00:21:05.760
Allison Williams: But then when they start speaking, they like oh God I don’t want to tell people because I don’t want people to know how egotistical I am when it really isn’t about the ego It really is about what the purpose of the work is and a lot of times we can’t differentiate those two.
00:21:06.780 –> 00:21:14.400
Steph Tuss: Right it’s about the meaning right like Why am I doing this like, why are we Why am I coming to work every day doing this, what impact, am I having.
00:21:15.450 –> 00:21:27.930
Steph Tuss: It when a leader speaks their vision it actually isn’t about it isn’t about them at all it’s about the vision of the firm division of the the entity that is the, that is, the firm it’s not just them.
00:21:29.190 –> 00:21:37.230
Allison Williams: yeah so I wanna I want to circle back to something that we talked about just very briefly and I mentioned it, at the very beginning of the episode which is that.
00:21:37.890 –> 00:21:41.130
Allison Williams: You had to go on a journey to get to the place where you are, and you kind of.
00:21:41.430 –> 00:21:53.430
Allison Williams: shared with us that you know from 2008 ish to 2016 you got to see Oh, which means you had been with the company for a long time, and you had gone through various different iterations various different roles.
00:21:53.850 –> 00:22:02.460
Allison Williams: There are a lot of people that I know would love to say I will right away my soul to the devil and sign a very big check if I could just hire somebody today.
00:22:02.730 –> 00:22:06.360
Allison Williams: who’s already established right I want my stephanie now.
00:22:06.630 –> 00:22:16.290
Allison Williams: And of course we know that that is it’s doable right there are people that hire us right into their C suite but then there are a lot of people that have to kind of grow up.
00:22:16.560 –> 00:22:25.950
Allison Williams: Their team and David recently did a podcast episode on the successful mind podcast shout out to the successful mind podcast it’s an excellent show highly recommend.
00:22:26.460 –> 00:22:34.890
Allison Williams: And he talked about you and your journey and the fact that you came in and you were scrappy right, you were learning everything you were paying to take yourself places, you were.
00:22:35.400 –> 00:22:48.780
Allison Williams: soaking up all the coaching that he had to offer so that you could really be his his mentee and his protege and I think a lot of people don’t want to have to go through you know close to a decade.
00:22:49.620 –> 00:22:59.130
Allison Williams: With someone before they get there, so how do you help lawyers when they say I want that second income, and I want that integrator that eos model integrator.
00:22:59.430 –> 00:23:09.180
Allison Williams: But I don’t know how to find them I don’t know how to grow them, how do you help someone even achieve the level of success through another person that David has been able to achieve through having you on this team.
00:23:09.450 –> 00:23:17.970
Steph Tuss: So I think part of it is putting a framework around it right, a lot of people reach out to me and say Oh, I need my own stuff and it’s from a feeling of desperation it’s like I just want someone.
00:23:18.180 –> 00:23:28.890
Steph Tuss: Who can step into my brain and read my mind and do all the things that I hate doing right which isn’t going to happen, like if if there is work involved here like it’s just not going to happen, but.
00:23:29.220 –> 00:23:31.890
Steph Tuss: they’ve worked themselves to a point where they’re so overwhelmed.
00:23:32.670 –> 00:23:45.210
Steph Tuss: They feel like they’re a prisoner to their own business, they got into business because they wanted freedom and they ended up creating a job for themselves where they work more than anyone else that works for them, or they feel guilty for taking time off.
00:23:46.200 –> 00:23:50.250
Steph Tuss: Because what will their team think if they’re not the hardest working person in the firm.
00:23:51.150 –> 00:23:56.610
Steph Tuss: But the idea is to first put a framework around it so to get really clear on the exact specifications of.
00:23:57.480 –> 00:24:04.890
Steph Tuss: Who, they need a lot of people don’t need someone like me in their business, they need a law firm straighter they need an executive assistant.
00:24:05.250 –> 00:24:18.090
Steph Tuss: They need someone that can that can implement and take off some of the 1012 and $15 tasks off of their desk so that they can read and actually start looking at what they can be doing in terms of.
00:24:18.450 –> 00:24:28.800
Steph Tuss: Business Development and law firm growth So the first thing I do is have them in this, this is a big pain, but for like a week and a half write down every single thing that they do.
00:24:29.910 –> 00:24:37.290
Steph Tuss: So you start to get really clear on all the things that you’re doing as a law firm owner, that you have absolutely no business doing, and in fact.
00:24:37.590 –> 00:24:43.140
Steph Tuss: By doing them you’re robbing the company like you’re stealing money from the company by doing those things.
00:24:43.890 –> 00:24:58.140
Steph Tuss: And then we categorize those things into into different roles and then we create job descriptions for whichever role and actually not very often Is it actually an integrator that that they need.
00:25:00.270 –> 00:25:11.460
Steph Tuss: They need someone to just to do the things that they should not be doing so that they can stay in in their genius there’s a really great book i’m sure you know, but it’s called rocket fuel.
00:25:12.690 –> 00:25:23.160
Steph Tuss: And it lays out the differences between the visionary and the integrator now i’m a little bit different because I am both visionary and integrator so I step into the visionary role with David sometimes.
00:25:24.450 –> 00:25:31.770
Steph Tuss: But for every visionary you really need you really need that person that’s gonna that’s going to implement that’s going to manage the team.
00:25:33.150 –> 00:25:43.020
Steph Tuss: So I think the first thing is just recognizing that your desire to have a so embarrassing to even say it to have a staff is really mostly coming from this place of.
00:25:43.590 –> 00:25:53.130
Steph Tuss: Please just I need some relief like I just need some relief and knowing that there is a there is a path forward, there is a way for you to get that but you’ve got to be really clear on.
00:25:53.670 –> 00:26:01.590
Steph Tuss: The specific roles and responsibilities that are required so that you get really clear on who that ideal person is for you yeah.
00:26:01.620 –> 00:26:09.060
Allison Williams: Well, so the idea of people wanting a staff and wanting that freedom oftentimes comes because people don’t want to be leaders.
00:26:09.660 –> 00:26:16.860
Allison Williams: And I would have never occurred to me when I first started law firm mentor and Sir Sir first started coaching lawyers.
00:26:17.160 –> 00:26:25.200
Allison Williams: That someone would not want to be the leader, in fact, for me, I loved being boots on the ground loitering I would love to be in the courtroom.
00:26:25.440 –> 00:26:32.490
Allison Williams: But once I got to the place where I had to learn the competencies and really sharpen the edge of how to effectively communicate.
00:26:32.730 –> 00:26:40.590
Allison Williams: How to see other people through to their success and that then became its own process that became the new High like you know there’s.
00:26:40.770 –> 00:26:49.230
Allison Williams: there’s really nothing like developing another person and seeing them get those wins where you would have been doing it before, but now you’re seeing someone else do it.
00:26:49.410 –> 00:26:58.170
Allison Williams: Through your strategy through your processes through the knowledge that you’ve shared with them, and so it occurred to me that you know you know everyone would want to do this.
00:26:59.850 –> 00:27:09.420
Allison Williams: i’m not lawyers, they were like no, I just want to go to court, I don’t wanna I don’t want to have to manage people I don’t want to have to talk to people I don’t want to leave people have just one assignment checks and go to court.
00:27:09.990 –> 00:27:17.190
Allison Williams: And there are people that have that mindset and I had to learn the competencies of how to coach someone how to be the Dewar.
00:27:17.460 –> 00:27:20.580
Allison Williams: And how to outsource the leadership in the management so.
00:27:20.820 –> 00:27:33.660
Allison Williams: What do you say to a law firm owner that says to you I don’t want to leave like that’s not something that’s in my purview I want to just be over here and be the technician, but I want to own the company and get the spoils, if you will, of having my own entity.
00:27:34.170 –> 00:27:46.560
Steph Tuss: yeah it happens, a lot actually where the, especially in law firms, the law firm owner just loves like that’s something they’re not willing to to give up, they they don’t they don’t have any desire to to manage people and.
00:27:47.640 –> 00:27:55.170
Steph Tuss: I i’m totally on board with that, I think you can have whatever you want, in your business as long as you’re willing to admit what it is that you want, and then.
00:27:55.860 –> 00:28:08.010
Steph Tuss: Do the work to fill the gaps and I think that starts with what your core values are because you’re going to hire based on your core values and your core competencies what your firm’s.
00:28:08.760 –> 00:28:19.020
Steph Tuss: soul purposes, because those are the things that need to be communicated to someone that you’re going to bring in to actually run your business, so that you can do what you want to do within the business.
00:28:19.440 –> 00:28:29.820
Steph Tuss: And I think that’s another area that’s often kind of just a cookie cutter This is my mission statement and it’s way more than than just a mission statement, it is this is, who I am.
00:28:30.150 –> 00:28:40.830
Steph Tuss: This is what I believe this is what I want my law firm to stand for this is what I know i’m good at, and this is what I know i’m not good at so that could be clearly communicated to someone to make sure that.
00:28:41.130 –> 00:28:57.000
Steph Tuss: That First, there is a value match and a vision match, because if there is not a value match, then that is not someone that you want to hire to come and learn your company, because it will be an absolute nightmare, and you will be butting heads the entire time.
00:28:57.930 –> 00:29:03.810
Allison Williams: yeah so I mean I hear what you’re saying, but I just have to like dial down on this a little bit more, because how do you.
00:29:04.230 –> 00:29:07.260
Allison Williams: If you are the person whose name is on the door right.
00:29:07.560 –> 00:29:17.340
Allison Williams: You are the person who ultimately has the highest level of responsibility in the company, you have the duty to supervise you have all of the authority required under the rules of professional conduct.
00:29:17.730 –> 00:29:22.740
Allison Williams: How can you not be a leader, simply by virtue of being the person whose name is on the door.
00:29:23.700 –> 00:29:29.610
Steph Tuss: Well, I think you can use us as a perfect example so David would not say that he is the leader of this company.
00:29:31.170 –> 00:29:37.950
Steph Tuss: He was in that i’m the leader of the company, but it’s actually his company right he’s standing in what he does best which is.
00:29:38.430 –> 00:29:48.210
Steph Tuss: Teaching coaching being on stages, being the thought leader getting his message out that’s what he wants to do very similar to an attorney who’s highly skilled and just wants to go to court.
00:29:48.810 –> 00:30:00.270
Steph Tuss: So the idea is that he’s he’s still an incredibly important part of the company his vision does matter just like someone who’s not the leader, but he knows that he’s not the best person.
00:30:00.690 –> 00:30:08.070
Steph Tuss: to lead the team that the team won’t win unless you find someone that can lead the team does that help.
00:30:08.550 –> 00:30:21.780
Allison Williams: yeah that does help that does help, and I think what you said before about this idea that you know you learned all these different roles in your company right to get to the place where you could effectively hire people.
00:30:22.200 –> 00:30:32.700
Allison Williams: oversee them hold them accountable to the responsibilities of the role, but that is a lot of growth and development, and you know the law, the legal world is so specialized that.
00:30:33.030 –> 00:30:39.240
Allison Williams: I don’t know that you’re going to have somebody who’s going to come in as a file clerk and then be a marketing assistant and then be a paralegal and then being an attorney.
00:30:39.570 –> 00:30:46.110
Allison Williams: I mean, sometimes you do sometimes people can grow through and come more educated and shift, but most times.
00:30:46.320 –> 00:30:57.930
Allison Williams: People are kind of in a lane So what do you say to the person that questions the idea of getting someone who can lead effectively at a high level because they want to be the talent right they want to be.
00:30:58.200 –> 00:31:09.870
Allison Williams: The star on stage they don’t want to be the person who is behind the scenes, with the spreadsheet, but they need that person and that person has to come in really boots on the ground from the outside, in how do you get that person.
00:31:11.790 –> 00:31:22.170
Steph Tuss: Well, I think you need to really look for someone who understands people and who also understands structure and framework right so.
00:31:24.630 –> 00:31:32.010
Steph Tuss: you’re not going to find you’re not going to find a me in a law firm, but you will find people that have different experiences that could lend.
00:31:32.580 –> 00:31:42.960
Steph Tuss: Really really well to your law firm so you’re probably not going to have someone that starts at the very bottom and work their way up, but you will find people who have lots of different experience to lend.
00:31:43.440 –> 00:31:59.610
Steph Tuss: and use their talents to benefit your company, the idea is that the person that you, you find is on board with your vision and motivated by your vision right so you’re on the same page there has a strong people management high.
00:32:00.570 –> 00:32:08.490
Steph Tuss: emotional intelligence, so they understand people they don’t see management as you versus them they see management as we’re on the same team.
00:32:08.940 –> 00:32:22.200
Steph Tuss: They see their role, like a coach sees their role, so you look at a professional sports team that coach’s job is to make sure they’ve got the very best person in each of those roles, so that that team can win a championship.
00:32:22.980 –> 00:32:32.100
Steph Tuss: Right and they take that they take that very seriously, so they have the ability to say to themselves what decision is in the best interest of the company right now and.
00:32:32.640 –> 00:32:36.900
Steph Tuss: How does that relate to our company our company goals and our company values.
00:32:37.470 –> 00:32:47.040
Steph Tuss: That gets picked up in your your reference calls asking specific questions in your reference calls looking at what their past experiences are.
00:32:47.280 –> 00:32:56.280
Steph Tuss: giving them scenarios as to how they would respond in certain instances, so it really is it really is this overall picture of.
00:32:56.520 –> 00:33:06.240
Steph Tuss: Those key components that makes someone that that operator that leader of the company, so the other person can step down, and it also happens gradually over time.
00:33:06.660 –> 00:33:19.830
Steph Tuss: So you hire someone and then you’re just like let’s take this and run with it it’s probably the one of the worst things that you can do to someone coming in right trust is earned so you hand things off, little by little.
00:33:20.490 –> 00:33:25.320
Steph Tuss: They prove they prove themselves through their actions you track performance data.
00:33:25.800 –> 00:33:39.090
Steph Tuss: and eventually they’re completely integrated and you’ve developed trust with each other so that you can say, as the law firm owner, I trust this person to make the make the best decisions for this company and they trust me not to step into their role.
00:33:40.350 –> 00:33:49.140
Allison Williams: yeah so it sounds like there’s quite a process that’s involved in trying to get not just the right person, but get the right person overseeing your company in the right way.
00:33:49.170 –> 00:33:51.450
Allison Williams: Consistent with what you desire as a leader.
00:33:51.840 –> 00:34:02.430
Allison Williams: Yes, yeah so there’s a lot to this, and the one thing that I always appreciate when I talk to you stephanie is the fact that you have not just lived through the process but it sounds like you have not.
00:34:02.730 –> 00:34:09.570
Allison Williams: Only created a process for yourself, but you have a way of helping people to structure, a process for themselves, which is the reason why.
00:34:09.750 –> 00:34:18.300
Allison Williams: You and David makes it to dynamic team right there’s the mindset and the tactical together to help leaders to really create the businesses that they desire.
00:34:18.630 –> 00:34:22.020
Steph Tuss: yeah he’s really the what and why and i’m the hell that way.
00:34:24.150 –> 00:34:29.100
Allison Williams: I love it I love it listen, we need the what why and how and every company and what we’re doing right.
00:34:29.280 –> 00:34:30.930
Steph Tuss: Yes, all right.
00:34:31.980 –> 00:34:38.790
Allison Williams: Well it’s been great talking to you stephanie, as always, you are such a bright light of hope for the business owners out there and i’ve just.
00:34:39.210 –> 00:34:44.400
Allison Williams: i’ve grown so much from knowing you over all these years, and all the things that you’ve done personally in coaching me but also.
00:34:44.700 –> 00:34:52.110
Allison Williams: In working with my clients, you know we do we do tell clients, you know, sometimes you need more than just one coach and we will oftentimes say to them.
00:34:52.410 –> 00:34:59.070
Allison Williams: You know I want you to go to a place where I know that you will also get additional support with some of the things that we’re helping you to create as well, so.
00:34:59.280 –> 00:35:05.640
Allison Williams: With that if someone wants to learn more about like this now getting contact with you and possibly work with your company, how can they do that.
00:35:06.120 –> 00:35:10.170
Steph Tuss: So you’ve already given us a nice little plug for the successful mind podcast.
00:35:10.800 –> 00:35:19.680
Steph Tuss: We put out tons of free material on the successful mind podcasts and some of our best stuff it’s lessons on anything from wealth mindset to to leadership.
00:35:20.430 –> 00:35:31.980
Steph Tuss: Our website right now is under rebrand but our website is David neagle.com and you can follow us on instagram as well, my instagram handle is just at Stephen with a pH toasts.
00:35:33.090 –> 00:35:38.760
Allison Williams: All right, good stuff, we will have all of those links in our show notes, and I want to thank staff again for being a wonderful guest.
00:35:39.060 –> 00:35:46.290
Allison Williams: Thank you all for watching and you are listening to the crushing chaos with law firm into podcast I am allison Williams your law firm mentor i’ll see you next time.
00:35:49.710 –> 00:36:00.060
Allison Williams: bye everyone is allison Williams here your law firm mentor and welcome to another episode of the crushing chaos with law firm mentor podcast where today we have a very special guest.
00:36:00.510 –> 00:36:07.170
Allison Williams: Our guest today is stephanie test now, I have to tell you I have her bio and i’m going to share with you a little bit about her in just a minute, but.
00:36:07.350 –> 00:36:24.510
Allison Williams: stephanie is actually one of my favorite people because she was one of those people that I encountered that got me to continue to say yes, meaning I started down the process, a lot of you know my story right I burned, a law firm very quickly it damn near killed me.
00:36:25.860 –> 00:36:29.490
Allison Williams: I almost died in a car accident, when I fell asleep driving.
00:36:29.850 –> 00:36:38.460
Allison Williams: And I ultimately decided to keep my law firm I originally was going to drop my law firm and go work for someone but I ultimately decided to keep my law firm.
00:36:38.790 –> 00:36:46.170
Allison Williams: And started working with coaches to get a handle on how crazy, it was and all that I had to do and I started working with.
00:36:46.620 –> 00:36:59.940
Allison Williams: A coaching community and quickly realized that I needed something different, I didn’t quite know what it was, but I learned about David nagle and then ultimately I encountered both David and his now CEO staff to us and.
00:37:00.390 –> 00:37:05.940
Allison Williams: I remember the first time that I was like you know this stuff’s for the birds i’m out of here.
00:37:06.480 –> 00:37:20.760
Allison Williams: And I had a very strong reaction to the feedback, I was being given about that I felt very judged, I felt very isolated, I felt very alone and I didn’t know if closing my business was the right choice or if it was just a visceral reaction.
00:37:21.180 –> 00:37:33.270
Allison Williams: And stephanie was actually the person that was able to get through to me because she didn’t proselytize to me, she didn’t start preaching at me from the sermon on the Mount about how it’s my destiny to be successful.
00:37:33.600 –> 00:37:44.790
Allison Williams: She really got to the core of who I was she talked to me, and she had a very authentic conversation with me now i’m not going to share that conversation, it was a it was a very tearful conversation with a lot of stuff.
00:37:45.060 –> 00:37:53.700
Allison Williams: From my child and a lot of stuff from my family that came up in that conversation, but what ultimately resulted from that was that I continued.
00:37:53.940 –> 00:38:01.650
Allison Williams: To stay on my success journey which led to my having a multimillion dollar law firm in three and a half years, and it also led to me, creating.
00:38:01.920 –> 00:38:09.930
Allison Williams: A coaching business that ultimately became a multi million dollar business and also three years, so I have so much appreciation for staff.
00:38:10.320 –> 00:38:20.040
Allison Williams: And I want to really invite you to dial into this conversation we talked about a lot of things in this conversation leadership oriented, but a lot of some of the.
00:38:20.790 –> 00:38:25.680
Allison Williams: Not just the mindset hacks but some of the how to so she actually gives you some frameworks for how to.
00:38:25.950 –> 00:38:35.940
Allison Williams: choose the right people right how to overcome hiring resistance, how to get leaders in your law firm, if you want to be at the epicenter if you want to be the person who’s doing the loitering work so.
00:38:36.390 –> 00:38:38.910
Allison Williams: you’re going to learn a lot in this episode so.
00:38:39.090 –> 00:38:51.450
Allison Williams: Without further ado, let me just tell you that stephanie test is the CEO of the Multi million dollar global coaching company life is now incorporated helping thousands of entrepreneurs experts and self employed professionals.
00:38:51.630 –> 00:38:59.460
Allison Williams: gain confidence and find the right mindset, to increase the revenue turn their endeavors into seven and eight figure ventures and more.
00:39:00.090 –> 00:39:07.470
Allison Williams: Prior to her work at life is now stephanie was a school teacher turned entrepreneur who built and sold her first business by the age of 33.
00:39:07.890 –> 00:39:21.180
Allison Williams: She has a passion for helping others create their vision mixed with the nuts and bolts of solid business strategy and, as I said before, she’s one of my favorite people, and I think you’re going to enjoy this episode a lot so without further ado stephanie toss.
Allison C. Williams, Esq., is the Founder and Owner of the Williams Law Group, LLC, with offices in Short Hills and Freehold, New Jersey. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, and is the first attorney in New Jersey to become Board-Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in the field of Family Law.
Ms. Williams is an accomplished businesswoman. In 2017, the Williams Law Group won the LawFirm500 award, ranking 14th of the fastest-growing law firms in the nation, as Ms. Williams grew the firm by 581% in three years. Ms. Williams won the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. In 2018, Ms. Williams was voted as NJBIZ’s Top 50 Women in Business and was designated one of the Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners. In 2019, Ms. Williams won the Seminole 100 Award for founding one of the fastest-growing companies among graduates of Florida State University.
In 2018, Ms. Williams created Law Firm Mentor, a business coaching service for lawyers. She helps solo and small law firm attorneys grow their business revenues, crush chaos in business and make more money. Through multi-day intensive business retreats, group and one-to-one coaching, and strategic planning sessions, Ms. Williams advises lawyers on all aspects of creating, sustaining, and scaling a law firm business – and specifically, she teaches them the core foundational principles of marketing, sales, personnel management, communications, and money management in law firms.
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