Kate Curler: The Power in People

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Kate Curler discuss:

  • The power of people’s networks.
  • Finding mutual advantage in your networking meetings.
  • Redirection during connection conversations.
  • Keeping at the front of a networking partner’s mind.

Key Takeaways:

  • When you are networking, give your networking partner something they can work with to help you even as you are helping them.
  • Going into a networking meeting with the plan to sell is not going to work for you for long.
  • Be a giver, but also stay top of mind when you’re networking. Reach out when you refer clients and make yourself known as a rainmaker and key networking partner.
  • You don’t have to do it all yourself, you don’t have to know everything, and you can be wrong. Be willing to be vulnerable and human and people will more to you.

“Business coaching has been just keeping track of the numbers, delegating, and, regarding networking, once you have an opportunity to send somebody a client, I do that, but I make sure I get credit for it as well.” —  Kate Curler

Connect with Kate Curler:  

Website: https://www.curlerlaw.com/

Email: kcurler@curlerlaw.com

Phone: 312-952-1077

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-curler-84a72413/

Thank you to our Sponsors!

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Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

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Email: Steve@Fretzin.com

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Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

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



people, meeting, business, lawyer, attorneys, clients, practice, curler, story, day, meet, helping, talk, solo, law, mom, networking, christmas, network, spend


Narrator, Steve Fretzin, Kate Curler


Kate Curler  [00:00]

So yeah, delegating, keeping track of the numbers. And also just regarding networking is just also once you have an opportunity to send somebody a client, I do that, but I make sure I sort of get credit for it as well.


Narrator  [00:16]

You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer, coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.


Steve Fretzin  [00:38]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I hope you’re having a lovely day. I am at the tail end of a Tuesday, and I’m pretty worn out. I’ve had nothing but meetings all day today. And my new book is out called legal business development isn’t rocket science. So if you thought that legal business development was Rocket Science, I’m here to tell you, it isn’t easy, but it also isn’t rocket science. So it’s okay. And you have a shoulder to cry to. And it’s me. So I’m happy to take your emails. If you have questions about business development, if you want to evaluate what you’re doing, not doing, happy to chat and spend some time with, you know, just as a friend, no worries at all. And listen, part of what you want to do every day is to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker. And if you’re lucky, you can also have some fun doing it. And my guest today is a curler who is nothing but a ball of fun, she’s great. And I love her. And I’m so happy that we finally got her on the show. But before I introduce her, I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to our sponsors, legalese, marketing, and money, Penny, they are awesome partners. For me, they’re great at helping me get business and get my name out there with my branding and marketing and all that jazz. So thank you to those two. And K was kind enough to send me a wonderful quote from our friend, Gandhi. And that quote, is Be the change you want to see in the world. And I will tell you, that’s a great quote. Because if you’re not doing something to leave this place better than you found it, I don’t know what your point is. You want to try to figure out how to help others how to just make the world better case. Why did you submit that quote to me? What does that mean to you? And welcome?


Kate Curler  [02:13]

Well, that was a lot of, and thank you so much for this opportunity. So it was a lot of kind of my story of how I came to start my practice was I used my personal experience, and I turn it into my life’s work and something that I really, really believe in. What happened for me is that my mom got sick. And I reached out to attorneys, and I reached out to people that I thought could help and I really couldn’t find somebody that would kind of that would address all the different issues, the legal issues, and otherwise that were coming up. And so I saw a gap in the market. And I became the lawyer that I wish I would have had during that period of time when she was sick.


Steve Fretzin  [02:48]

Yeah. Well, sometimes we you know, I’m finding this with legal tech people and others that sometimes when we realize there’s a problem in the world and or problem in our lives, that we just have to step up and fix it, we have to be the change. We have to be the makers of that of that for ourselves. And so solving problems for others, right?


Kate Curler  [03:07]

Yeah. And it sounds really corny, but they said, you know, if you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life. Which is sounds really corny. That’s kind of how I feel about it, too. Like, I really like this work. I know, I’m good at it. I know that I actually get to help people and and all those flowery things. Yeah, yeah,


Steve Fretzin  [03:22]

I actually changed that, quote, I wrote an article recently it was it was don’t wave it was, I gotta remember what it was. It’s, it’s not Do you know, like, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I said, love to do what you do for others, and you never work a day in your life. So for example, if I am a chef, and I’m cooking the same food every day, I may end up kind of like falling out of love with cooking, if I’m making the same stuff every day. But if I can teach people to cook, and I can help them be better cooks and they enjoy their lives. Like that could be a really like even a more rewarding way to go. So I think that’s kind of you know, another take of it. But I think you’re you’re doing some noble work in helping others to, you know, make their lives better their families better in the work that you do, which is primarily and get help me if I’m wrong, but it’s elder care, and helping people with their states and all of that correct.


Kate Curler  [04:17]

Yeah, I mean, it was kind of traditional Elder Law, which you’d say is guardianship, state planning, Medicaid planning and all that. But there’s a lot of other legal issues that come up when people get old or they, you know, have trouble with their memory or they become disabled. Sometimes it’s just advocacy, hospitals, nursing homes, I look at contracts, I help get them to professional social workers or professional nurses, just kind of look at the whole situation and how I can best help sometimes as a lawyer, and sometimes that’s just as somebody who’s been there, and I kind of just try to listen and I try to take my clients where they’re at, which is caregivers sometimes is remarkably stressful.


Steve Fretzin  [04:53]

And it was was the passion for the area based on the situation’s kind of story, your backstory with your mom and all that Was that what was made you passionate to want to go out and build this practice? And what got you excited to get up every morning? Or how did you get like off the ground to really make this thing? You know, kind of hum? Because you’re, you’re a leader in the space?


Kate Curler  [05:13]

Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, I just I kind of, I’d love people that again, sounds super corny, but I love people. And I realize the power of people’s networks. And when I started doing what I’m doing now, and trying to do it differently, and really be thoughtful about it, I didn’t really know anybody. I didn’t know anybody in the space, I was working for a firm, I was an associate, I wasn’t very well networked. And I just knew there were certain things that I knew about myself. I knew I was good with people, I knew I was a good storyteller. I knew I had a compelling story. And so I literally when I decided to, I was working, doing document review, which is kind of miserable, when you really know how to run a case. And I just sit down with myself one day, and I took up my checkbook. And I figured out that if I didn’t have any income, I could live for six months, live very lonely for six months, and I just kind of became a professional networker. And I did meetings every single day, I had a meeting at 910 30, I tried to do a lunch 133 And I did a happy hour. And it was that level of dedication that I think you got to do that sort of push, you got to make yourself available to people. I know it’s very different in the COVID world, but just meeting people and just kind of talking about their practices, but and also just genuinely listening when they talk about what they do and try to see how you can best help their business and how they can kind of fit into your story as well. And then just kept moving that forward. It’s snowballed.


Steve Fretzin  [06:33]

So it sounds like it was initially sheer force and effort to kind of get out there, build your network meet people. Sometimes we need to just do that, right? Because it isn’t just about getting business. It’s also about building your internal brand within the community of people that do things different than you. So you become known for something right?


Kate Curler  [06:52]

Yes. And it’s also giving people taglines to, like I tried to, like I said, I told some of my personal story about my mom. And also, you know, kind of trying to figure out like what your brand is. So one of the things I say in meetings is I help seniors and their families with the challenges of aging. And so that’s kind of catchy, it’s resonates with people, it gives them a visual, give them something that they can take away from that coffee, that made an impression on them. And then they can also help to market your business as well as you do the same for them.


Steve Fretzin  [07:19]

And then the other piece of it, you mentioned is you know, helping others. And I think that’s an area where a lot of especially newer networkers, newer lawyers that are out on their own, they really haven’t had to do any, quote unquote, formal networking struggle with because they would say, look, like you said, I don’t know anybody. So what am I going to give? How am I going to help? How did you figure that out, because that’s the piece that that’s missing for many.


Kate Curler  [07:42]

I was lucky in that the first few people I met introduced me to a few people, and then I but I kept them in mind. So what I did is I brought a little notebook with me to meetings, which I thought was really helpful, because sometimes, you know, it’s tiring to meet people, it’s hard to remember everybody and taking notes sometimes is a way for me to pay attention, or sometimes just seemed like I was paying attention, because that’s a long attention span all day long. But what I would do is, I would always offer to introduce them to somebody, and I would do it in such a way, with a certain level of enthusiasm, like, oh, my gosh, from what you just told me, there’s somebody that you really, really need to meet. And even if you only have like 10 people in your network, introducing them to each other, and talking about how great they are like who doesn’t want to open their email, and hear somebody talking about how great they are and how it’s so excited, they are attended to do some to somebody else. And I think that’s just the kind of, you know, serotonin rush or whatever we get, and people saying, you know, this person is amazing, and they should be networked. And then doing those introductions, I think that has a tremendous amount of value that we don’t really we discount. Today’s right.


Steve Fretzin  [08:42]

And I think I think you start off that way. And then eventually you you get better and better. For example, everyone that you meet is that’s wonderful. If you’ve got unlimited time, right? Like you don’t have, you don’t have any work to do. But when you get really busy, I always teach people like you got to start getting really specific, right? Like you’re willing to take meetings with people. However, there are lawyers that are better for you than others. So there might be two or three categories of lawyers that you find generally need your help more than others. Right. Yeah. So then it’s really more about meeting with them versus meeting with everyone. So you start to get more refined as you go. Correct?


Kate Curler  [09:20]

Yeah, I mean, definitely, I found you know what it gets people called Power partners, I found people going forward that some people didn’t get it. Some people just disappeared from my network. There were other people that got it. They understood what I did, how was different and how, quite frankly, I could help maybe them do a better job for their clients as well. So that took a little while I’m in the beginning, I take a meeting with anyone and then yeah, after a while you do. You can get clients all of a sudden it just took off and all of a sudden I had work to do I couldn’t spend all day in a coffee shop. So


Steve Fretzin  [09:48]

Alright, so let’s I’m gonna throw it put you on the spot. I’m going to tell you mine and you’re going to tell me yours. Okay. It’s like show me yours. I’ll show you mine. Yeah, it’s it’s I went into a meeting with a guy this was like my third networking meeting I ever went to. And I think I met him at the Northbrook chamber. And it was a two and a half hour meeting, where he tried to hard sell me PR services. So keep in mind, I have no money. I have no connections. I’m in business for a week, two weeks. And this guy’s trying to sell me five to $10,000 a month public relations firm for this business. I haven’t even done yet. And he wouldn’t let me out of the meeting. And eventually I had to like, be like, Come on, man. Let me go. So yeah, that was the meeting that I use as my sort of like, you know, baseline of like the worst meeting I ever had. And knew that from that point on, I didn’t want to get like trapped into some kind of sales meeting with someone that I was trying to network with and try to find mutual advantage. Any meetings come to your mind of just like total disasters?


Kate Curler  [10:46]

What Yeah, you do


Steve Fretzin  [10:48]

something that and name names.


Kate Curler  [10:50]

Now I will not. People do it all the time where people send meeting on your calendar. And what I do get a member, I’m here to talk about my business and what I do. And but I also don’t mind helping, if you have a situation with your mom or your dad or something like that, obviously, I spend a lot of time at Christmas cocktail parties talking to people about oh my gosh, I wish it would have known me three years ago, this would happen to my mom. But I did have a situation where I planned lunch with somebody who would then put it on my calendar for an hour and a half. And then we proceed and then proceeded to do the same thing kind of just I was trapped there for about two hours almost before I finally was able to escape. So you know, yeah, there’s definitely people that don’t kind of understand. I mean, there are people that try to sell to you, then there are some people that seem to have a lot of a lot of times. So yeah, that that does happen. And you know, and I haven’t really mastered how to get out of that situation. So since I didn’t do it successfully that time. So and I


Steve Fretzin  [11:39]

think it’s less prevalent now than it was I’m talking back in like the early 2000s, mid 2000, you know, 2005 2004. And I think now people that go into, into networking meetings with the idea that they’re going to sell somebody, you know, they’re not going to last, like they’re not going to last in the market very long. Right? They’re going to they’re going to be caught off fairly quickly. So yeah, we have to go into it. But I will say like the idea of of walking into a meeting and you’re improvisers with me, we can shout out to advisors. Like, there isn’t a lot of structure in troika is, which are the three way meetings, networking meetings that we have, after we have events and they’re in then there’s one on ones. And I try to I always try to insert a little bit of an agenda or some structure into it. Have you found that tightening up the reins a little bit to make the meeting more structured? Is your thing? Or do you like it loosey goosey where you guys just kind of go wherever the feeling takes you?


Kate Curler  [12:32]

Well, I mean, it just depends on what I found about pro visors, which I’m also very happy with that group. But other groups too, is that you have to be smart to be funny, and engaging. And so most of the time, if I get lucky, you end up at a meeting with somebody who’s just fine. And you just get to know them, you know, providers or anywhere else such as Starbucks, when you meet with somebody, I did find some structures in the meeting. Sometimes there are people you have to redirect them to not talk about themselves, you know, or it but sometimes I would also redirect them in such a way that I people do this with demented seniors too. So that’s one way to kind of just send me but sometimes you have to redirect people and redirect them as well to you know, so tell me, who are the people that you want to meet? Or where do you get most of your business from? You know, that kind of thing, something else that I did, especially if I got across the table with somebody that I was really impressed with their business, or they just, you know, just highly intelligent or an interesting person, especially the beginning is I would always ask them, What is the one book I should be reading right now. And I took that seriously. And I found some amazing business books. And that helped me to grow my business, but also kind of get in that mindset that so many people that are ambitious and successful. Have you know, somebody listed just come from books, you know, and then you can talk about those books, the future meetings as well if the conversation starts to get boring or dull?


Steve Fretzin  [13:46]

Yeah, and I think a good segue is to talk about this book called legal business development isn’t rocket science. This author not only very much buys not only a good looking person that wrote it, yeah. Also modest. So yeah, it’s part of the charm. Yeah, no, yes, I get apparently it’s self promo, self shameless self promoter. Anyway, let me ask you this. Because you, you, you know, decided to start a solo practice. And I think now, the environment is just ripe for people that are unhappy with firm culture, they’re unhappy with in house, whatever it might be. And they’re opening up solos. And by the way, it never been, like easier to open up a solo practice with low overhead and virtual and all the different benefits that are now available that maybe people weren’t so aware of, you know, when you started, what some of the things that they should be considering as a new solo to get the word out to build the brand to start doing the things that you did, but today


Kate Curler  [14:42]

Well, I’m glad you brought it up, because we can segue back to you. i Oh, well, so I mean, I found I found coaching to be amazing. So if I was trying to do you know, looking back I would probably have some sort of a career coach or somebody you know, that would have helped me to kind of guide look at the finances somebody who could kind of tell me Do you know how much it would really cost to set this up, because I think you’d be if you’re willing to live lean, and you’re willing to really live your dream, you can do it anyway. I mean, I can do it. And it was funny, because I’ve had a lot of friends who started their own practice. And I just get so excited, like I tell them about, you know, some of the tips, some of the ways that I did it as well. But also, um, you know, it’s personal relationships. You know, that’s the kind of thing I know, not everybody has a lot of time. And it’s hard with with COVID, you know, we’re so separated, but I guess you can do it doing, you know, with Zoom, and, but I mean, like, I tried, I tried, you know, putting my card at senior centers I tried, you know, buying an ad and this and that and doing it, it’s really just especially if you do the kind of law I do that’s so emotional, like, you know, family law, or even a foreclosure bankruptcy talking about people’s money, people’s houses, people’s businesses. So I guess, most attorneys, if you’re dealing with emotional issues like that, people have to know you, if they’re gonna, they get to know you, they got to trust you. So you just, I think you got to put the timing, you got to put the time in, and you got to, you know, build a network of people and get them comfortable with you, and then it just flows you just get in a zone and other work just flows,


Steve Fretzin  [16:02]

something I would add to that is, is, yeah, there’s a lot of things to kind of get set up. And I think that, you know, I’ve got a number of resources for people that need help just getting set up, because you’re not the first person to do it. Right. You know, you know, there’s other people that that you know, written books or that or that would give you 30 minutes or an hour to just help, you know, here’s what you need to do for a web site, or here’s what you need to do for your LinkedIn profile, here’s how you get a brand, you know how to say you get your logo set up, or whatever, or just your bookkeeping, or whatever it is, like, there’s all that that’s there are people that can just lay that out for you. The other thing that I’d say is, is to write a little plan, I spend a lot of time with lawyers, whether they’re at a firm or or on their own, just helping them figure out like, how should they be spending their time efficiently, because you could just figure it out on your own, and I’m just gonna go hit up all my friends, and that might be uncomfortable, or I’m gonna go, you know, just talk to attorneys. I know. But I think it’s, you know, what, what are you really trying to accomplish. And so, development of those strategic partners, trying to get some at bats with some new prospective clients, try to get some revenue in the door, you know, and so that plan might have to be a little bit more tight for people that want to just use their time efficiently. And again, if you have unlimited time, you can you can go out and just shock on it. And, you know, just kind of meet with everybody, and just hope for the best. And, you know, usually if you meet with enough people, you know, good things will happen, just in the sense of like, now everyone knows, you, you may, you know, run into something that you no need that someone has at that time.


Kate Curler  [17:31]

And I thought it was kind of hokey in the beginning. And I pushed back into this idea of writing a business plan. You know, I just felt like I was rushing ahead. But in a business plan, so many of the templates that I found, it really does help you to figure out what your personal brand is, and what your what your offer is to people. You know, so you So you do know how to like how to close, but it’s your ask, you really kind of understand, you have a better understanding of by going through that practice, and also kind of what sort of income I was going to need to just keep sustaining myself, you know, in the business plan helped me to do that in the beginning.


Steve Fretzin  [18:00]

And then since you you’ve been doing this a while, I mean, are there are there things that you’ve learned that that you you that you use to leverage in to grow and sustain and build every year?


Kate Curler  [18:14]

Yeah, I mean, definitely, business coaching has been just keeping track of the numbers paying attention to the numbers. Also delegating, I think that’s important, like I have a bookkeeper, because I would sit in my living room with my receipts for hours, putting them into little Excel sheets, trying to do my taxes. It’s such a waste of my time. So yeah, delegating, keeping track of the numbers. And also just regarding networking is just also once you have an opportunity to send somebody a client, I do that, but I make sure I sort of get credit for it as well. So once you build up that network, if you’re sending a client to somebody, you it takes two seconds, send them a text, send them an email, you know, I just send someone so to you, they have a question like these people, and then keep them daily, you keep in the front of somebody’s mind, you know, they’re constantly seeing you, they’re seeing you as an influencer, oh my gosh, there’s such a buzz about Kate. You know, she’s she’s bringing in cases she’s bringing me clients, that kind of stuff. So any opportunity, I have to kick work to somebody and talk them up to a potential client and then to make sure they know that that came from me, that’s, that’s really, it’s just in that kind of energy, I really believe it creates sort of an energy with a snowball effect. And my business has grown 25 30% Every year since I’ve been doing this


Steve Fretzin  [19:21]

nice, nice well, that’s whatever, that’s what everyone’s looking for. They’re they’re looking for something that they can count on year after year, they can look at the growth. And so I think it is a lot about looking at where the business came from, what your model is, what your pricing is, and then how are you going to make improvements from year to year so that you can you know not look back with regret, but look back and go yeah, look at what I’ve done, look at how I’ve grown. And and that’s just it’s it’s a challenge, but I think it’s for someone like you you’ve you’ve got it down like you know, I know when I see you at networking events and and we talk like just you know, I think you you’re just so well received in the market. So well received By the because I think you’ve done the legwork the groundwork to help others and you’ve put yourself out there as a giver. And then of course, you know givers get givers gain or whatever the thing is. So is that is that a big that’s that’s a big part of it.


Kate Curler  [20:13]

But I think also, and and I don’t know, everybody can do this. I mean, I’m using my personal story. So that’s something that’s, I got lucky in that respect. I mean, unlucky in that I had a mom who was sick. But I think also being willing to make yourself vulnerable. Like, I’ll just tell you, I’ll tell you straight out, like, if you want to ask me a question about anything, I’ll pretty much tell you. But it kind of leveraging that personal story was, in some ways, also kind of this kind of cathartic for me in the beginning, being able to tell that story. But also, just I think that’s the thing too, being willing to say, because attorneys have a hard time with this, be willing to say, I don’t know, you know, or if you don’t have to say it, but sometimes one of the tricks I use is, I don’t see, I don’t know, I see, well, I think the law just changed, let me look it up, and you give it an a client or any network or anybody, it’s some sort of an impression, because the beginning, you’re not going to know everything, but at least you they understand, Oh, she must be on the cutting edge of all this because she knows all the new law, or just that you don’t know. I mean, you don’t have to know everything at first, you don’t have to, you know, you can make yourself vulnerable and be you know, be willing to be wrong. I’ve had clients argue with me about something and I’m like, I’d love to be wrong about this, you know, give me some time to think about it and stuff. I think that’s very powerful. When you’re willing to be vulnerable like that with people you willing to be human. And then people relate more to you. And that’s what I try to do with, you know, whether it’s that kind of vulnerability or just actually just trying to make things fun. I mean, this should be fun, you know? Yeah. I mean, I just, I feel so lucky to have this life that I have to have this practice to be able to do what I do, you know, so, and I should have fun while I’m doing it. So


Steve Fretzin  [21:37]

yeah, and I do, I do want to go back for a moment to a topic we probably hit 10 minutes ago, but but one of the concerns that lawyers have when they especially when they start out networking, whether again, solo or at a firm, that they just don’t know how to help others. And I think you figured it out. And I definitely have figured it out. And we become known for that. But but I’d like to just go back and forth with you for a few minutes to just talk about, it isn’t about just giving business, like I don’t have business for the litigators I work with, I’m not involved with general counsel’s and CEOs that they want to meet, generally speaking. So I have to go back to what I do have, and that is I know, tons and tons of lawyers. So when someone says to me, who they’re looking to meet as like a potential prospect, and it’s a CEO, I would say, that’s great, you know, I’ll definitely, you know, keep my eyes open. If there’s a CEO, I know that needs to litigate or whatever. Let me ask you this, though, what attorneys are best for referring you. And they’ll say, Oh, well, an m&a attorney, because they don’t do litigation. And maybe they’re not at a full service firm. And then I’ll name three m&a attorneys that I know that are not at full service firms. And I’ll pick the one that’s best for them. And I hook them up. And so again, I’m going from like a top tier referral to a second tier referral. But even that’s a really good way to help somebody, even if you can’t give them business, because it’s just not realistic that we have business to give everybody every day.


Kate Curler  [23:08]

Yeah. Right. Well, I think you have any you have to, you know, I mean, I tried, one of my personal philosophies is come to somebody with a solution, not a problem. And so I would always just try to put some names out there trying to brainstorm with them. Or maybe there’s some people or some other types of attorneys that they haven’t thought about, that would be a good contact for them. You know, in the beginning, I thought it was going to be financial planners, or maybe estate planners, you know, senior buildings and such, but a lot of times, it’s not, you know, a lot of times for me that those, like I said, I spent a lot of time, it’s, you know, sending out cards or putting cards at senior buildings, but it’s really just this personal relationships of people that have gotten to know me, no matter what area of law that they practice.


Steve Fretzin  [23:46]

Yeah, right. And the other thing is, it may not even be that you need to get someone a name, I have found great success in having someone on my podcast, or interviewing them for an article or having them sit on a panel with me, or inviting them to come to a networking event that I’m running or that I belong to, and then introducing them around. So I think we just have to consider that, you know, the, you know, the box is small, and we’ve got to go outside of it to help others and to engage them in a way that they’re going to find meaning and they’re going to find joy in it isn’t the traditional I have business for you.


Kate Curler  [24:24]

Yeah, and I think that attorneys, especially they like to, they like to be influencers, they like to be smart, they like to be important. And that’s where the book reading stuff came in. Again, you know, you want to stay on someone’s radar, you want to create that kind of energy about you and what you do. So when I would read the book, I would try to send them an email about that, and then pass that on to other people or something. So just kind of just kind of kind of paying it forward. I guess, you know, the energy it goes beyond that meeting or that that experience, you know, and I think being a connector like that bringing other people into the room. I think that’s important. People don’t value that enough. You know, being a connector


Steve Fretzin  [24:59]

And I agree. And so I think being, you know, being someone’s go to person, like if somebody needs a legal tack, or someone needs a connection for a lawyer in a different state, I love when they come to me because even if I don’t know someone, I can ping to three people and have a name within 10 minutes. And they’re like, how did you do that? I go, Well, you know, I know if you need Miami, I’ve got Miami, you need LA, I’ve got LA. So it’s happening all the time. And I think that’s a really great value add for people in your network to know that you’re you’re wired in and in even if it’s just in a certain area, geographically or in a particular practice area, that they know they can come to you. I mean, even mean, right before we got on the call, someone just ping me and he the zoning attorney now I got back to him in one second, like, here’s the guy you want to talk to no problem. So I think that’s all really, really good stuff. And then is there something just kind of wrapping things up? Is there one or two tips that you would share that, that we haven’t covered yet to to the solos out there, or to the attorneys that want to become better networkers or just become better branded, anything else out there that we haven’t hit yet?


Kate Curler  [26:05]

mean that we haven’t hit? I mean, just like, dig into your personal story, you know, I mean, I would talk a little bit about vulnerability, but there’s, there’s probably a lot more that led you to doing this there. Unless you’re really unhappy doing the law you’re doing, then look to pivot, because especially now is the time. You know, it’s not, it’s probably not as expensive as you think it’s, you know, to set up a practice and to just when you like I said, the energy just kind of flows. And you know, there’s a bet if you dig into your personal story, and just if you find an interesting story, or a hook that people are going to remember, that’s just really, really powerful. And you might start out being like, I don’t know everything about everything. And I really don’t even know why I do this area of law. But I think if you actually sat down with yourself, and that’s where maybe writing out a business plan, could really be helpful to sit down with yourself and just kind of figure out like, why do I do what I do? And how do I how do I express that passion to somebody else? How do I take that energy, and get people as excited about this practice as I am about being able to help other people?


Steve Fretzin  [27:02]

Yeah, that’s it. And I would just add that, you know, if you’re looking to tap into your personal story, really think about, you know, how you’re unique in this space. And so the story might be a part of it. But like, for example, I have a client who’s in the divorce space, but he’s a former cop, and firefighter and military. So he’s branding himself around, you know, the fact that he’s a first responder and that he wants to engage in first responders and he’s branding himself around it, his stories becoming his brand, which is then going to be his LinkedIn, it’s going to be his website, it’s going to be everything around him, doesn’t mean that he can’t work with local mon pas that want to get a divorce or a prenup or whatever. But I think it gives him an opportunity to really focus in on something because of his background that others just can’t do.


Kate Curler  [27:52]

Yeah, and I think and I think clients like everybody else are desperate to be understood and to be heard. And sometimes I have a hard time with trying to give advice to people, maybe sometimes they just need to be heard. So I think something like that, it’s I mean, it’s really powerful. He’s opening himself up to you, everybody loves the military, somebody whose dad was a firefighter, I did my, you know, my brother’s a cop. And so that kind of thing. Once people can identify with you and see themselves in you, I think that’s really powerful. And then you can actually relate to them, and talk to them in a certain way, or listen to them in a certain way that’s going to be powerful for them. Especially when you’re dealing with emotional issues like family law, you know, that’s so important that they have somebody that they can trust. And who else do you know, you trust firefighters? And, you know, first responders and the millions people


Steve Fretzin  [28:31]

people that have put their life on the line for others? Yeah, pretty good person to trust? Yeah. curler, thank you so much. If people want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way to for them to find you reach out to you connect with you? Well, my


Kate Curler  [28:45]

website is curler lod.com. And my email is K curler at Cruller live.com. Or also my phone number, just give me a call. But I definitely, you know, again, I can brainstorm with you and your situation. And if I’m not the right person, you don’t have a legal issue, I will get you to the right resource. So my phone number is 312-952-1077. And, again, if you’re if you’re interested in networking, or honestly, if you’re thinking about starting a solo, firm, and you’re really overwhelmed, let’s let’s do a zoom, I’ll totally sit down and talk to somebody about my experience and see if I can help. So yeah,


Steve Fretzin  [29:19]

very generous, very generous in thinking just before we wrap up, what’s your joy? I know we talked a little bit about this. And I just like to hear what people love to do outside of practicing the law and being on my show.


Kate Curler  [29:31]

Well, my mom was a history teacher. And as you can imagine, she was a huge inspiration to me and curiosity. She was fun. She had a good sense of humor. She really engaged her students in what she did. So one of the ways I do I go to Europe for the Christmas markets, my mom bought 10 years ago passed away around Christmas, and that kind of can blow Christmas for you. So I was like so one day I got on the internet about seven years ago when I Googled most beautiful Christmas market in the world and I found Vienna, which is a beautiful city. Eat amazing people. The food is amazing. But the Christmas markets are just out of this world. So just kind of, you know, being I know that my mom can see me. And so being there for the museums and all that she loved Christmas, too. So yeah, so I just kind of try to connect with her and just connect with, you know, my success with, you know, being able to do that kind of stuff, taking that time off and having the funds to do that. Travel is definitely a priority for me. Well, awesome, Kate,


Steve Fretzin  [30:26]

well, you are that lawyer that I’m talking about someone who’s confident, organized and a skilled Rainmaker, I appreciate you being on the show and sharing your thoughts and wisdom and ideals.


Kate Curler  [30:35]

Right. And thank you for the opportunity, and congratulations on your new book.


Steve Fretzin  [30:39]

Thank you. What’s that book called? Anyway? Let’s say I don’t know. Why don’t you read off the title again? Or maybe I’ll do that legal business development isn’t rocket science. Pick it up on Amazon, grab a copy for my son’s 529 plan. Yeah, money’s Awesome. Thank you, Kate. And thank you everybody for hanging out with with Kate night today. We’ve had a blast. And hopefully you have to and again, the idea get a couple of takeaways, and then you’re cooking. and stick with us. You know, we’re doing two shows a week every week. And hopefully you’re picking up some great tips and ideas. That’s the whole the whole show’s premise. So take care be safe be well, we’ll talk again soon.


Narrator  [31:20]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretzin.com. For additional information, and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes