In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Leslee Cohen discuss:
- Building your own book of business to have freedom, including in a large firm.
- Finding what makes you unique and differentiates you in the market, then understanding how to communicate that difference.
- Joining and being fully involved in organizations.
- Giving leadership roles to those who may not yet have a book of business.
- You need to believe in yourself and understand that you are, truly, bringing value to the table.
- It is all about giving – you just have to help others and you will always get something back. People remember a giver, they don’t remember a taker.
- Law firms can benefit from amazing women lawyers, even those who want to work part time.
- Your job is more than just being a good lawyer. You have to keep business development and relationship building in mind from day one.
“Without your own book of business, you only get so far within the ranks of a larger law firm.” — Leslee Cohen
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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, lawyer, women, firm, leslie, business, book, thought, north shore, built, work, years, leadership roles, dinners, helping, chicago, day, law firm, charity, meetings
Narrator, Leslee Cohen, Steve Fretzin
Leslee Cohen [00:00]
You know, without your own book of business, you only get so far, you know within the ranks of a larger law firm.
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 [00:33]
Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. And this is my best, best voice for recording a podcast. This is the one that I use. It’s my announcer voice anyway, I hope you’re having a lovely day. We’re just getting some changes here in Chicago with the weather. And and also it’s it’s continually getting more and more interesting in the legal space, what’s going on. Just the just the differences in how lawyers are handling the work, how they’re handling the stress how they’re handling, building their law practices in kind of unprecedented times. And I just think it’s so important to continue to look for good content, whether it’s my show or others in talk to mentors, talk to people that are in it and continue to find better and faster ways to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker, and I’ve got an amazing, amazing guest today. I’m gonna introduce Leslie in a moment, but I want to give the quote of the day, and then we’re going to talk about it. And the quote of the day is a lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want. And that is from a very famous person, Madonna, if you can believe that. So Leslie Cohn is the principal at all rise legal counsel. And to me, I think it’s all about asking and making the ask and getting comfortable with with with realizing that if you just stand back and don’t ask, you’re not going to get you got to go after what you want. When you hear that quote, Leslie, what does that bring up for you?
Leslee Cohen [01:56]
So interesting. First of all, thanks for having me, Steve, very much. What that brings up for me is actually when I was I started up my practice on I was on Wall Street for six years. And I grown up here in Chicago. So I moved back, I really just reached a point where working all around the clock, seven days a week, which was on the coolest deals, best training, it was all great, but I wanted a family so and wanted to be near my family. So move back here. And I, when I first hit graduated from law school, I thought that I want this the little little divergence, I thought that I wanted to be a diplomat. And so I spent my summers during law school with the UN and the federal government, and turned out not to be for me at all. And so when I first graduated from law school, I was one of the few people that didn’t have a ready made job. Because, you know, it was a, you know, it was a you interviewed for your jobs going into your second year of law school and your third year law school. So I graduated without a job, and I’m just, you know, looking for anything so that I can repay my loans. And you know, I need to work. And I ended up at a securities firm on Wall Street, and I had taken a couple securities law classes, I love them, but but it was a real lot of work to get a job. So fast forward six years. And you know, I’m coming back to Chicago, as a woman, having spent six years on Wall Street, doing IPOs really high powered deals, really incredible experience. And it was like a delusion of firms in Chicago calling me to, you know, to try to recruit me, which was very cool. But what I thought you know, was, what that quote makes me think of is that I ultimately, I went to one firm, it was a mistake, except that I met my husband, so it wasn’t a mistake at all. And, and then I was looking for my next home. And I just put it all out on the table and said, I want to I’ve just met the love of my life. I’m 30 years old, I want to be pregnant, like tomorrow, I want to be a partner in your firm, I want to work part time. And I want to be paid what I what I deserve to be paid. And they gave me all of that. And I said you know and and do you mind putting it in writing because I had all these job offers, you know and so for the first time the tables had turned in I had some you know, say and what was going to happen and lo and behold they did all of that for me. And so my attitude going into it was like I am so lucky and I’m going to make sure that they get back all the value that they’re giving me
Steve Fretzin [04:33]
Yeah, well and it’s just such a such a reality in life that you have to step up and know what you want and go after it. That’s sort of the American way the American dream and obviously that’s you know, any country I guess they could you know, have that dream. But people either do it or they don’t you know people either step up and make the ask and go after what they want or they sit back in the in the in the in the shadows and do their work and keep quiet So it’s a wonderful, you know, story of Wall Street to, you know, to take in charge of your career here in Chicago and getting what you want. How does that then move into starting your own firm at all rise.
Leslee Cohen [05:14]
So I spent 13 years at a large firm here in Chicago, it was great, wonderful, 13 years, I reached a point. And I think we’ll talk more about this probably throughout the, the show, I worked part time, and that was fine. And the deal was, you don’t have to bring in your own business. And that was such a gift, I thought, at the time, raising two kids being a partner in a law firm, it’s a lot. So I felt like and I wanted that to not have to have the pressure, quote, unquote, bringing in business. But what happened was, you know, without your own book of business, you only get so far, you know, within the ranks of a larger law firm. And so I reached a point where both of my boys were in school full day, I wanted to work full time. And I wanted to, to gain a position of you know, power and authority and leadership within the firm. And I didn’t know how and the only way to do that is to have your own book of business. And I had no idea how to go about building a book of business at a large firm. The people who were at the firm I was at really did it through playing golf, and going to charity dinners. And that’s awesome. It worked great for them, it was never going to work for me. I don’t love golf to begin with. I didn’t want to be away from my kids on the weekends and at night if I was working full time. And so that just wasn’t going to work for me. And I was sort of thinking about like, what’s my next career move. And I wasn’t even sure that I was going to continue practicing law because I didn’t know how I would ever be able to bring in a book of business. And, and then one of my partners at the firm walked in one day and said he was leaving to start his own firm a variety of different personal reasons and always wanted to control his own destiny. And I was just at this turning point. And I just was like, Do you think we could do that together? You weren’t company? Yeah. So so we started
Steve Fretzin [07:12]
the firm. Wow, that’s just amazing. How many years ago was that?
Leslee Cohen [07:16]
That was 11 years ago, okay. And we did a rebrand. We rehearsed Ben Cohen for 10 and a half years. And we recently did a rebrand to all rise legal counsel, because we really wanted our name to reflect our values instead of our ourselves. And that was, you know, we really, we have a large startup practice to end. You know, for me, it’s personally important now that I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten to help other women. So it’s kind of that concept of start helping startups rise, helping small businesses rise helping women rise, all of us rising together.
Steve Fretzin [07:49]
Yeah. And so it’s kind of a little bit of a play on words, too, which is kind of fun. I like that
Leslee Cohen [07:53]
stuff. Yeah. And it came from when someone told me when I was trying to think of a name to think of a person who I admire most in the world, and look at their quotes. And so I went right to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And, and I was looking at all her quotes. I couldn’t think of anything. And then one day, it just kind of popped in my head all rise for the honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And that said, that was the beginning.
Steve Fretzin [08:15]
Oh, that’s so great. I actually just quoted her in my last episode. So for those of you who missed that, quote, that was my last episode. And of course, I don’t remember what it was, because that was all of a day ago. And, you know, I guess, yeah, I’ve just, it’s, it must be Friday. So so your background is amazing. And obviously, you and I Not obviously, you and I know each other for many years, and we’re actually in a networking group together, providers shout out to providers, nationally, and you’ve been sort of like the superstar of our group. I mean, when we people talk about who’s who’s like the top referring person in a networking group, and your name keeps coming up every you know, month after month, it’s Leslie, Leslie, Leslie. So there’s something that you’re doing that is that you figured out that’s really working. And I want to get into that in a few minutes. Let’s talk about this. So why do attorneys? Or why are they having challenges in building books build a growing business, and you obviously had some struggles at the big firm level? And I could speak to that, but But just now that you’re on your own, and have been for many years with that partner? What are kind of the challenges that you faced and that you feel like women in general face as it relates to building that book? And, you know, I think there’s gonna be a number of answers dealing with balance, right?
Leslee Cohen [09:32]
Absolutely. It actually no, it actually doesn’t. That’s interesting. It doesn’t it doesn’t come down to balance in the end. I thought it did. Okay, but it would until I started doing it. What it comes down to is it’s to me, and this is such a generalization. So there are many women I’ve met who are very comfortable going back to your quote, making the ask right making things happen. I think it’s culturally, it’s for us. It’s taught to us from a young age You don’t want to stand out. And, you know, I have two boys and I and I always go back to like watching them play together and watching the play with their friends. And it was always like, I can run faster than you Google, you know, and girls, when they run into each other, and they go, Oh my god, I love your necklace, it’s so pretty. Because it’s, it doesn’t feel good to say, I’m better I can do this, I can do that. As a woman, it feels it feels uncomfortable. And I think you know, that’s why making making the ask means one truly believing in yourself. I mean, to me, you know, and believing that you’re bringing, like some value to the table, which is also a difficult thing for women. And then to once you know about that value, being willing to say, don’t use someone else use me, I’m great. And this is why it’s a hard place to get to, for some reason. And I really think it’s like just built into us growing up in our in our roles in our, in our families in school. And I’m not faulting anyone, I just think it’s a reality. But it’s what it
Steve Fretzin [11:03]
feels like. And I’ve observed that your style of how you’re kind of running things is just being a giver, and being selfless and being open to helping anybody and I think does that is that play a role in how business gets generated and how business just happens? Because you’re you’re putting yourself out there in a in a positive way.
Leslee Cohen [11:24]
That’s 1,000,000% how I did it, I had no idea how to even begin, I was 42 years old, and all of a sudden, I had to develop business, I had no idea how to do it. And I started going to different networking groups. And and I would just, you know, who are you? What do you do? And in the beginning, I would just talk about, you know, that I was would be a great outside general counsel for a company that needs, you know, this too small to need in house console. And and I quickly discovered that there were four other people sitting around the table saying the exact same thing. Yeah. And and then there were so there were two keys that kind of came into play. And the first ones, the first one simple, I had to think about, like what made me unique and differentiated me in the marketplace. And I had years and years of securities law experience. So I talked about that. Until someone said to me one day about two years in, oh, you’re a securities lawyer, you keep companies safe. And I go, No, I represent companies that are raising money. And she said, Well, why don’t why don’t you tell people that no one understands what you do. And that that was key. Number one, I mean, floodgates open, all I had to say was, I’m Leslie Cohen, I, you know, I’m an attorney, I represent companies that are raising money. It was something it was a big differentiator, it was simple. People understood it. But the second realization was 100% of what you’re saying, I someone sent me this book called The the Go Giver. Yep. The Go Giver. Yeah. And I learned from that book, and many other since then that is, it is all about giving. And it doesn’t, you don’t have to go to charity dinners. And you don’t have to play golf. You just have to help other people. And they will always give back. And I don’t know if that’s, you know, karma and you don’t do it to get anything back. It’s it just happens that way. So, you know, and a lot of people say to me, like, Well, what did you really have to what do I have to get, like young lawyers will say like, Well, what do I have to get? And I said, one of the first pieces of business I got through networking was a guy I had a one on one coffee with and you know, he didn’t need my services. And we just were chatting, and something came up about, you know, at the end about, you know, oh, your kids, what are they into Oh, my kids into playing guitar, oh, my son plays guitar, too. And he said, Oh, my son is so stuck. He just he reached a certain point, you can’t get him to practice. And I talked about how my son had gone through the same thing. And then we found this amazing, amazing teacher who puts kids in bands really young. And that, like, once my son saw that, you know, it was a possibility to be in a band. He said, Oh, then then I’ll practice and he would let let this guy teach him to the point where he could play in a band. And this guy was talking to was like, That sounds amazing. Who’s that teacher gave him the name, kid, you know, is like thrilled, put in a band. And the next thing I know, the guy sends me a piece of business. Yeah. That’s how it works.
Steve Fretzin [14:22]
It’s not people always think and it’s such a misnomer that you have to be able to network you have to be able to give business is that you have to be able to feed everybody work. It just isn’t the case. It’s how do you add value for someone in any way shape, or form personally, business or the like? And that’s, that’s what you need to start thinking about. And your story is exactly right. And the more of that you can do the better and it does help to have a network, right. It helps to know a base of people, because then you’ve got people to draw from to make connections. And the bigger that gets the better. It’s in some instances, but I think That’s really those two points, knowing that what you’re saying, and we can call it an infomercial, elevator pitch, whatever, so that it’s simple and easy to remember. And then to be a giver where you’re putting yourself out there, I mean, those two things are maybe most maybe the two most important things a lawyer needs to do to to ensure that they’re memorable, and that there may be memorable on two levels, right for a great infomercial. And because people remember a giver, they don’t remember a taker. Yep. Yeah, that’s really cool. I love that. So women, so you have a different style, meaning note you golf and charity and going out and glad handing right and I think that’s kind of, I don’t want to say come and gone, because it’s still out there, maybe a little less because of COVID. But there’s a lot of different ways to build business. What What have you done to sort of, sort of be in your own style to have your own style of how you built that book?
Leslee Cohen [15:54]
Well, one of the things that I think is really important and and maybe more comfortable for women, is that I joined organizations and got really involved. So like, I’m on the board of directors of the Small Business Advocacy Council SBC. I’ve gotten a huge amount of business from that organization. I have never once. I mean, yeah, people know what I do. But I’ve never asked anybody for business in that organization. It’s just that I, I’m active on the board, I thought about like, what, what is it that I can do that can help the SBC and helped my practice and came up with the idea of running like Shark Tank events. And so I do those we did, I didn’t quarterly for a long time. And now it’s, you know, after COVID, it’s kind of that we have one coming up December 2, but I was able to, I formed a committee. And so I get to work with, you know, five or six very closely with five or six other people really, really closely, they get to see that I’m competent, you know, and then and then, and we get to like each other form a relationship. And then you know, you’re doing the work together, and you’re chatting, and, you know, all of a sudden, it’s like, you know, oh, I have this crazy client experience, say, and you talk about that, then, you know, three weeks later, they’re like, Oh, I met someone who actually needs a lawyer, and you were telling that story. And it’s exactly what he needs. Do you mind helping with that? You know, can you give you a call? So instead of like that, ask it’s, it’s working really closely. And I don’t think you’ve joined 50 organizations, and it’s an NGO, as a as a member, it’s, it’s picking two or three, working real. And that’s, that’s how I feel about providers. And I’ll give a shout out back to providers as well. Because, you know, it’s about getting to really know people and so that who you are, that they like you and who you are, that kind of sticks in their mind. So they remember you for when you know, and very often it’ll be, I’ll get a call from someone like, Oh, do you? Are you divorced later? Again? I’m like, No, I don’t do anything like that. But those calls are also music to my ears. Because the more referrals I can make to other people, the more they’re going to think of me in the future. So yeah,
Steve Fretzin [18:06]
and you’re helping people out I mean, when you can, when you can put I do this all the time to have constantly connecting people to do business together, and it has nothing to do with me. It just has to do with with two good people that are know, I know, we’re gonna be able to leverage each other in a positive way. And I’m the guy who did the matchmaking. I’m the I’m the person on the sidelines. And in Do I like credit and Nevada boy, yeah, that’s okay. I like to be thought of and I like to be involved in it. But it’s really about how they’re going to, you know, enjoy each other’s company. But I want to go back to something that you said, that’s so critical, because you can attend networking events, you can attend charity boards, you can go to things, but when you’re running it, or you’re engaged in it, you’re on the board you’re in, people get to see you solve problems, they get to see you run a meeting, they get to see you in a leadership role. I think that’s who they want to refer. Right? Is that is that sort of the game? Absolutely. Yeah. So just a message out there for people that are just kind of showing up for stuff that you may want to consider stepping up and taking a leadership role solving problems putting pieces together, and even though Yeah, it might be a little bit more work, I don’t think it’s a ton more work, you’re gonna get a lot more out of it on a number of levels. And so that’s just just a thing to put out there. And I’ve actually found myself running things like like I could be involved and I could be on the board. That’s fine. I’ve been running networking groups for 20 years and I just love the fact that two things happen number one is I’m the leader so I’m I can people can watch me go like you know, see how I coordinated organize. But the other part of it is I know it’s going to be run well not because of my ego Leslie right the egos in check. I think my wife helps me helps me with that. But the but it’s the it’s knowing that I have experience running things in an efficient way in a way that people are going to get value. And I want to be a part of Something where I get value. So if I’m running it at least I have the knowledge that I’m getting value in that others will to at least I hope
Leslee Cohen [20:06]
that’s the case. Yeah. Oh, great. Anyway,
Steve Fretzin [20:09]
so let’s talk a little bit about the law firm atmosphere right now. And what’s going on, whether it’s at your firm or other lawyers that you know, but how can law firms really help their their women attorneys advance in their career, their profession? What can they do to better support them, then maybe then what’s happened in the past?
Leslee Cohen [20:30]
Well, you know, I think that, first of all, the opportunity to work part time and still be respected, and, and treated as part of things and given difficult work is so critical. It’s so crucial, it’s just, you know, it’s just impossible to be superwoman. It doesn’t it doesn’t exist. And the truth is, like, we all it again, this is a vast generalization, but I think in most families, even if the, if the work is being done equally, in terms of, you know, emptying the dishwasher and doing the laundry, worst sort of thought, usually the CEO, like I always know, where the kids are, my husband has zero idea, you know, not zero idea, but very little, you know. And I think, you know, that’s, that’s a lot to keep in your head, all that stuff. Even if you’re sitting at your desk, and totally into drafting a contract, like you’ve got this in the back of your mind, you know, what’s, what time is dinner tonight, who’s eating where, you know, whatever. So I think being able to have that flexibility is so important. And I tell women like you, and I think it’s fair for law firms to tell women to like, if we’re going to do this for you, you have to be there back for us. So when I worked part time, the deal was if you know, I do some m&a as well. So if there’s a deal closing, even though you work three days a week, you’re working seven days that week, so and I had no doubt like that. That’s, that’s just fair. I mean, the truth is, they’re running a business, and you have to be helpful to their bottom line, when push comes to shove, like no one’s giving charity. But you can I think law firms can benefit greatly from amazing women lawyers being able to give them that that part time. I think that’s one that’s like a no brainer. And I think COVID has probably helped a lot with that, because we’ve all learned that people can work remotely. I also think that, and this is, can be controversial, and I’ve gotten out it with some managing partners of firms about this, I think that women need to be people need to be given leadership roles, even if they don’t have a book of business. And I think that it would actually work to the benefit of the firms where they’ll end up developing business easier, if they’re given those leadership roles. And I think, you know, all the leadership roles are ours are reserved for men, it’s usually men who have been books of business. And so women don’t see role models in leadership, they don’t really know what’s going on at the top, they know that there’s these meetings happening with you know, compensations being decided, I think that, that I think that, you know, if you look at like corporations, sales, and, and and all their role, you know, there’s a delineation of roles. So you’re not necessarily I was gonna say sales and management are two separate roles, right? So just because you’re great at sales doesn’t mean that you’re a great leader, and you belong in management. I think there’s some women out there who are probably great leaders and great managers who don’t have a book of business yet. And especially if you do that when they’re young. And you know, and then they’re, again, back to that like thing with the SBA see, like, they’re interacting on a day to day basis with other leaders who do have a book of business. And they probably will pick up some tips and start wanting to build a book. And, you know, I just think it’s, it’s a vicious cycle otherwise,
Steve Fretzin [23:50]
you know, the other thing is that people are built differently, to do different things. Like I took a test years ago that said, that career she was a career test. And it said, the two things that I’m built for number one was sales. Number two is teaching. And at the time, I mean, this was in my 20s, I had no idea that I end up teaching sales, right? Like, that’s just weird that it worked out that way. Okay. But there are aptitude tests and behavioral tests and different personality tests that that will help determine the real science behind who’s built for management, who’s built for sales and not, and there are a lot of these, these things are learned skills. But leadership and management is something that I think most most people that are built for sales are not good managers, because they’re very different skill sets. And so I can tell you, just from personal experience, I am a great coach, and I’m a great sales professional. I hate managing people, and I’m not very good at doing it. So really, it’s interesting that I happen to be a great coach, but if people work for me, that’s why I have no employees. I’ve, you know, a bunch of agencies and people that work under me, but it’s just I just I’m not, I’m not very good at it. I call myself out on it, you know? So I think We have to, we have to clarify what our what we’re good at doing. And if leadership and management is one of those skills that I think, you know, people should be stepping up even without a book of business, I think you’re right on that.
Leslee Cohen [25:11]
Yeah. And I, the other thing I would add is probably including women on an on in pitches in client meetings. I mean, I don’t know if this has gotten better. But like, one of the things that I lived through was, you know, okay, there’s a m&a transaction, and I do all the work, and, you know, comes to closing, and I’ve given my life to this deal for the last two months, and I get it all set up. And then you know, the equity partner walks in at the end, as the six signatures are being, you know, executed and says, like, isn’t she the greatest, I am so lucky, and then puts his arm around the client, and they go out for dinner. And it’s just so demeaning and debilitating, and many more, so just, you don’t learn how to kibitz with client, like, you don’t learn how to like, kind of have that friendship slash, you know, professional relationship. It’s, I think the earlier the better if you want your young lawyers to develop business, and one of the things I’ll say, is, that should be something from day one, it should not be the big firms make this, I think this mistake of saying, like, you just need to learn how to be a good lawyer, we don’t need you to develop business. And then all of a sudden, you know, you’re like a seventh or eighth year and like, you better figure out how to develop business fast. So I think for women and men, it’s just beneficial to say, and I always say like, your job is not just to become a good lawyer, I’m sorry. It’s, it’s, it’s I know, it’s 10 times harder. But you also have to always have that mindset of keeping in touch with your law school classmates and thinking about like, everyone you meet, you’re sitting on a plane, like, who’s sitting next to you tell them what you do, you know, whatever. Like, there’s just from day one. Yeah.
Steve Fretzin [26:53]
And again, I think that’s, that’s going back to the law, the law school culture of, you know, they really don’t talk about business and business development. And then you get into a firm. And again, it’s learned the law. And it’s kind of creeps up on people, but we even have people right in their 50s. And even into their 60s that have been cranking out work, you know, everyone else has worked for so long. And things slow down, or things stop or get tight. And they’re on the chopping block. And yeah, it’s it’s a scary place to be because, you know, at 50 years old, you might have been working for 25 years, great. But guess what, you know, you’re only 50, you have another 20 years to go. And you you don’t have this, this the the control, right, the control and the ability to decide, you know, how you want to spend your time. So it’s it’s crazy out there. I mean, that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. Right, Leslie? I mean, we’re getting out there to try to empower people. And let me ask you this, just because I work with, I work with a lot less women than I do men, and it drives me nuts, because I feel like I connect well, with women. I feel like once I get them in my programs, like we accelerate, we do amazing together. But I’m just not getting that bass. And I’m just wondering, is there something I could be doing different or better to help the women out the women lawyers out there to, you know, to get educated or to get, you know, ask for help or to just be better business developers?
Leslee Cohen [28:15]
Well, I think part of it is it goes back to interesting because you right away said like, Do women not develop businesses, much of what you know why to because of balance. And I think there’s this misconception, again, going back to that, like golf and charity dinners, that that’s the way you’re going to have them do it. You know, I, when I was at the big firm in Chicago, the managing partner happened to have been wonderful. And he came to the women’s initiative meeting, and one of our meetings, and he said, I, I’m telling you right now, if you guys want to, to, you know, advance here, you’re going to need to develop business. And if you want to develop business, I know how to teach you, I’m good at this, I know how to do this, and I will take any one of you under my way for free anytime you want. And like no one took him up on it. And he exactly what you said he came to me said what, what’s going on? And I said, I think what we all picture is, you know, having to go play golf, and having to go to these to these dinners and having to an end it’s there’s so many ways to do it. So I think that’s it doesn’t have to be, you know, I’ve literally built everything from Yeah, the Board of Directors thing, but that doesn’t I mean, what is that three hours a week or something? And then going to meetings, like places like providers, and then having one on one conversations with people and getting to know them and forming relationships. That’s a coffee a day, like maybe that’s an hour a day. I mean, it sounds like a lot. You don’t even have to do it every day. So I think there’s this misconception that it’s going to mean less time away from your family, less time away from anything you could do for you because when you’re working and have kids, there’s no time for you.
Steve Fretzin [29:51]
Well, let me let me just let me just add on top of that, that part of learning business development and again, whether that’s from me or from books or from podcasts or from on your own or whatever From a mentor, it’s all about efficiency. It’s all about like, there’s a process for how to run a trial, you have a process for how you raise money for a business, right? It’s not like you’re just winging it, every time you get something, everything that we’re talking about is are things you either learn on your own, or they’re learned or, or you’re learning from, like, you read the Go Giver, like you learn from a book. And I’ve learned from books, I just got done with this, you are the brand, my chem book, and I’m learning a bunch of things about how I need to better build my brand. So it’s all learnable stuff in to your point, you have to pick what’s right for you. So that could be networking, that could be a podcast that could be writing that could be speaking, like you need to find like what you’re comfortable with or could be comfortable with. And focus on that it isn’t golf, it isn’t, you know, just glad hanging around for everybody. I mean, that’s even more challenging than ever. So I think that’s that’s your point there.
Leslee Cohen [30:53]
I agree. And then the other thing I would add is back to that making the ask and that being that something uncomfortable for for women. And I think, you know, if you could address that somehow, head on that that would be really, really helpful. Because I know that used to make me so uncomfortable. I think like, for me, the aha moment was, when we first started the firm, I was negotiating something against a whole, you know, seven lawyers from a huge firm. And I did just fine. And I hung up and I said, You know what, though, that that hurt that person on the other side, it was it was that I was representing someone selling her business, the buyer is, is paying probably $900 an hour to seven different lawyers to sit on that call. Mine was paying me 430. And I did perfectly fine. Like why wouldn’t everyone be using me? They’re crazy. When that and you know, am I the best lawyer that ever walked the earth? No, not I don’t know anyone who is but I’m just saying like, when I finally like that hit me, then it became so easy because I truly feel when I’m selling myself that I’m I’m giving something of true value to apply it. And that made it so much easier. So I think if women can figure out like, what they bring to the table that’s different. And it’s better. If it’s easy to make the ask because you’re not asking you’re you’re you’re giving someone to get.
Steve Fretzin [32:19]
Yeah, exactly. It’s like, it’s like I want to go to the best doctor, I want to go to the best dentist, I want to go to the best. I want to have a great accountant. And, you know, if I don’t get to meet those people that I’m going to go to mediocre, you know, people for my needs. And that’s not really great for me. So everybody can win when you’re dealing with with really good representation. And by the way, they happen to be fairly priced even better. Right, right. So, Leslie, this has been amazing. And again, I think that the people listening women or or men alike, everybody can get a number of solid takeaways from what you’ve accomplished in the in the lessons you’ve learned in the things that you’ve done. And I just want to thank you again for being on the show and taking your time to do it. And I just appreciate you and being in that same networking group with you and being your friend all that it’s just it’s been a it’s been a blessing. Thank you, I feel the exact same way. And you want to move on to the best three best stuff. You got it. Alright, we’re gonna have some fun because you are in my neighborhood. So we could talk about the best of Deerfield Illinois, we could talk about the best of the North Shore. But what is your favorite like your go to restaurant? If somebody’s traveling to the North Shore? They’re here for a conference. They’re here, whatever. Where would you take them to eat?
Leslee Cohen [33:33]
I would probably Oh, that’s a little different than I thought you’re gonna phrase the question I my go to restaurant is sushi Kushi to it. Okay, but if but if someone was coming into town, where would I tell them? Yeah, you know, Gibson’s in the city. For sure. Just iconic. This is gonna sound crazy to you, but maybe Nightingale and Highwood.
Steve Fretzin [33:55]
Really? I mean, I get it because it’s like a staple of like the North Shore but then I’m just like, shocked because that’s, that’s just like, I guess that like if I was bringing someone here from like, Milwaukee, like I take him there because it’s kind of like, like Milwaukee style bar. Like it’s kind of you know, a lot of wood a little a lot of wood tones. A lot of leather. Yes. old school, old school. It’s old school. A good poor, right?
Leslee Cohen [34:19]
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Steve Fretzin [34:21]
That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And so then what like what would would you say like is a really cool thing to do in the North Shore.
Leslee Cohen [34:29]
I love the drive up Sheridan road to the city. I think it’s been nominal. And you see the Bohai temple and some, you know, really famous homes, you know, architectural homes and Northwestern University and you’re driving on the lake the whole time. I think it’s just a beautiful drive.
Steve Fretzin [34:49]
Yeah, better to be a passenger though. My experience Yes. Yes, um, switchbacks there in Sheridan road. And then what are you into and people that you know are into locally? What are you doing to kind of keep yourself active?
Leslee Cohen [35:01]
I work out of that, believe it or not the very, very fancy sax Recreation Center.
Steve Fretzin [35:08]
Very fancy. But that is where that is where the bulls used to practice so it has some, some notoriety.
Leslee Cohen [35:13]
Yeah, I mean, I think it’s just the best gig in town. There’s classes constantly all different great teachers and people who are there to really work out and not to, like, you know, show their latest workout clothes.
Steve Fretzin [35:26]
Okay. They ever tried The Bar Method in Highland Park? I have not Ah, my wife’s a teacher there you could when she’s not teaching high school, she’s there teaching Bar Method and she loves it. absolutely loves it. Yeah, good stuff. Good stuff. So again, you’re coming to visit in visit Leslie or myself in the north shore of Chicago. We’ve got some things to do together. So again, Leslie, thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and your time and I appreciate it. And everybody listen, it’s all about you know, little takeaways they add up and if you could try to be that lawyer, confident organized a skilled Rainmaker. And it isn’t all just about balance, as we just talked about. It’s also about control. And it’s about having the life that you want to have right Leslie? I mean, that’s really what it’s about. Absolutely. All right, everybody, be safe be well, we’ll talk again soon.
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