Nina Stillman: Sales and Relationships in Networking

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Nina Stillman discuss:

  • Challenges facing new lawyers in new areas.
  • Applying lessons you learn from your coaches.
  • The benefits of a quick no.
  • Finding the right balance between listening and speaking.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the methodology of how to network and ask for referrals then interpret it in your own vernacular will help to grow and evolve your business.
  • You don’t have to take every client – not every client is right for what you are wanting to accomplish.
  • You have to listen and put the client’s needs in front, even if it requires a little bit of patience.
  • All the advice is great, but it needs to be actionable for people to be able to support themselves.

“Everything is sales. Even if you’re an attorney, or an accountant, or a doctor, everything is sales…It’s all in how you treat the people who you want to work with, whether they’re a referral source or a client.” —  Nina Stillman

Connect with Nina Stillman:  


Phone: 312-819-5360




Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.



Book: The Ambitious Attorney: Your Guide to Doubling or Even Tripling Your Book of Business and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

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



client, steve, referrals, lawyer, relationships, networking, people, helped, agenda, listen, nina, referral source, friends, work, teaching, meeting, questions, chicago, attorney, practice


Nina Stillman, Narrator, Steve Fretzin


Nina Stillman  [00:00]

Everything is sales. Even if you’re an attorney or an accountant, or a doctor, everything is sales. If you have a poor bedside manner with a patient, as a doctor, they’re not going to stay with you for very long. It’s all in how you treat the people who you want to work with whether they’re a referral source for a client.


Narrator  [00:24]

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, greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.


Steve Fretzin  [00:47]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. It’s so good that you’re with me today. And listen, it’s another day to consider how important business development is for your law practice. You never know what’s going to happen when I was 26 years old, I was in a terrible plane crash and I survived but he gave me one of those those you know, opportunities to really consider you only have one shot at this and you never know what what twists and turns are going to happen in your life. And you want to make the best of it. And I’ve got an amazing client and friend and attorney that is on the show today. And she’s got an incredible story to share. And that is Nina Stillman owner and managing partner of the Stillman Law Group. How’re you doing, Nina?


Nina Stillman  [01:32]

I am great. Thanks, Dave. I’m glad to know we’re friends, too. Of course, we’re


Steve Fretzin  [01:36]

friends. You didn’t know that. We’re friends?


Nina Stillman  [01:37]

Of course I did.


Steve Fretzin  [01:40]

You’re busting my chops. We’ve been on the show for 30 seconds. Let’s go down with that. All right. Well, listen, what comes around goes around just so you know.


Nina Stillman  [01:48]

It’s it’s the product of being raised, if you will, as a professional in a in a quote unquote man’s profession.


Steve Fretzin  [01:55]

Ah, okay. Okay, well, listen, we’ll, we’ll maybe we’ll table that. But do me a favor and give a little background on your law practice and your, your kind of how you got into law.


Nina Stillman  [02:07]

Sure. So I went to law school, and I completely thought I would be a criminal attorney, until I realized I had to sometimes work with guilty people. That was not going to work, then I thought, maybe family lawyer, and then I realized way too empathetic, and I would get too tied up in the drum. So I went for the fun stuff. And I practice in the area of estate and gift law. So planning people’s estates, helping them pass their assets on to the next generation, helping them keep businesses in their family, things like that. And I love what I do. So that’s and I always am kind of a geek, so I love tax and tax classes. So that’s how I got into it.


Steve Fretzin  [02:51]

And it things been absolutely crazy. With all the different tax changes going on in the in the world.


Nina Stillman  [02:56]

It’s it’s getting there. For me. I think a lot of my clients are waiting to see what the actual results are. And I’m trying to convince them to change their planning without waiting for the results, because it’s probably going to be about a 5 million drop in the federal estate tax exemption, at least 5 million. So get on the stick before it’s too late, is what I’m trying to tell them.


Steve Fretzin  [03:18]

Gotcha, gotcha. And so in practicing for a number of years, what is what what have you seen are kind of the main challenges, frustrations, concerns, things that that lawyers generally have, because you’re a solo practitioner growing growing a law practice, correct. Right. Okay.


Nina Stillman  [03:37]

So what are the problems? Yeah. So mainly, you know, I’m a little unique in that I didn’t grow up in the Chicagoland area, and I moved here about eight years ago. So the issue that I faced was networking, really, in which is why we are connected. And our friends, aside from the fact that I love the networking that you’ve taught me. I didn’t know very many people here, and I started out working in a bank. So when I left the bank, I didn’t have clients. And I knew a few people because I was at the bank for a year and had started networking. But I knew that I was good at it. But I couldn’t be better. And I needed help finessing. Let’s put it that way, what I did and how I did it. And to get a better result, I was struggling too much to get that client in the door. And now I’m able to convert referrals and create relationships with new networking partners much more effectively and quickly than I had before. And that is, thanks in part to you.


Steve Fretzin  [04:41]

Well, I have enjoyed working with you so far. And we’ll get into that a little later. But I want to I wanted you to share kind of what’s gone on in your life because it’s pretty unique. What’s what’s happened to you and how you’ve sort of responded to it. Would you mind just kind of telling your story the last year or two?


Nina Stillman  [04:57]

Sure. So last year in 2020 Mi, I still did pretty well, with the pandemic, obviously, everything kind of shut down, I moved, you know, to work from home mode. And I was doing pretty good and still going into the office one day a week maybe. And then in February of 2021, I went in for a routine mammogram, which ladies, I will tell you, please, please, please, if you take anything away from this, do not skip your mammogram, I ended up finding out that I had stage one breast cancer, and it’s not something I would have found on my own. If I had waited till the point where I found it on my own, it would have been way too late. That’s why I say do not skip your mammogram, the earlier you find it the better. So for the last since February, I have found out that I had this illness, this cancer and I then set off on a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments. I ended up having surgery. And then I had chemo which meant everybody has it in that order. But that was that was part of my deal. And so my whole sort of from February through the whole summer, was spent being treated. And now I’m not exactly done. But I don’t have the tough part left. But at the same time, I’m recovering from that treatment and working on building my stamina and strength. That so for example i i was able to work during the time, and I’ll tell you why in a minute. But I was able to work during the treatment time about half time. Now I’m working half to three quarter time because of the level of tiredness that comes over me in the middle of a day. So and I do have to work on weekends a little bit to get everything in for the week. But I want to tell you why I was able to work and why I was able to work was because of the tools that I learned from Steve, and the enhanced and more effective and more, more quickly created relationships and the better networking that I was doing and the better referrals I was getting in the more quickly I was able to turn them into clients I received from I just counted this morning to make sure it was accurate. Between the time I was diagnosed. And today, I’ve received 38 referrals. That is a phenomenal amount. It’s a big man I have it is a big number. And not all of them were the right clients. For me, not everybody needed work. But I have turned 14 of them into clients. And I really did very little networking while I was really in the midst of treatment. So I would say from April, from April 15. To about now. Now I’ve started back up and went with my networking. But for those months, I did nada, reached out to no one and still was able to capitalize on the relationships that I had created before. And I’m so so grateful to see by jokingly have always called him the lawyer whisperer, because he really, he takes what we know intuitively and might be afraid to speak about or say to a prospective client or a networking resource. And he helps you say it in a way that makes everybody comfortable instead of saying, hey, why don’t you send me your referral. He teaches you a methodology to make every relationship a win win, so that you’re providing something they’re getting something and it makes that person in return want to help you as well. So I really wanted to come on to this podcast, really not so much to tell my story. But to thank Steve for helping me stay afloat. I’m not only a sole practitioner, I really don’t have any support staff. But I’m a single woman in the city of Chicago, I’m responsible financially, for my whole everything. I’m the only one who provides the support. So through the things I’ve learned through Steve and putting them into action, even before my diagnosis, I was able to keep myself running and pay my bills, because it was able to keep working. And it really has meant the world to me.


Steve Fretzin  [09:00]

Well, and listen, I appreciate that so much. And in listen, I say this on a pretty regular basis. But it’s I’m only as good as my player. Right? So I can be the greatest coach in the world. But if someone’s not willing to take in the content and execute on the field and make those relationships happen to generate the referrals, that the introductions then you know, my programs and my my time and my coaching is really no good anybody. So I really try to focus on working with the best attorneys that are interested, coachable and open minded to learning different approaches, different ideas, and I will tell you and everyone knows this, you know what we’re what I’m teaching is not rocket science, right? There’s no There’s no one that teach you how to get into space. However, you’re right. There’s process. There’s language, there’s ways of approaching things that are important. It’s sometimes the subtleties that matter. Right? Is that Is that a big part of it?


Nina Stillman  [09:53]

It’s exactly what I needed. I needed the subtleties, the approaches the language. I was all He’s nervous that I was going to say something wrong, and didn’t always know how to communicate what I was trying to get across. And Steve’s language, although you’re, you know, I will say, I felt funny using it at first, till I was able to put it in my own personal vernacular, it worked, and it helped me. So I might have sounded stiff at first when I started learning it. But now that I understand the methodology and the philosophy behind it, and I’ve adjusted the script, if you will, to my own vernacular, and how to say things, it really has improved my client relationships, my referral partner relationships, and in turn, has enabled me to receive so many referrals and and turn it the ones I want into clients. And that’s actually a really important part of what Steve teaches you is, you don’t, you don’t have to take every client, every client is not right for what you are trying to accomplish. So he also helped me hone where I’m going with my practice, who do I want to serve as my clientele. And those people who are not correct for that, I can refer them to someone else and score a point with that person, because I gave them an opportunity and, and help the potential client of course, which is the main goal in the process, and I even had a referral who’s a great guy, I would have loved to work with him. He had a plan drafted several years ago, when estate tax limits were much lower. And now that we’re in a position where they’re going to be lowered again, he actually didn’t need any work, because his plan, by luck happened to still be older, and covered those limits and where his assets were. So I was able to score a point with him. And so you don’t need any work, I would leave it just as it is and gave him the explanation why. And to round it out and finish the story. His son called me the other day, and I met with him this morning, to work on a plan for him because the father trusted me to give him the right advice.


Steve Fretzin  [12:00]

Yeah, and I to go back to something you mentioned earlier, you know, we all want business, and we all want to try to, you know, get the Yes. However, there’s some benefit to getting someone to a quick No, and not investing more and more time in someone who isn’t a fit. And then again, to your point driving them to another lawyer or another professional, that would be a better fit. So a you’re saving time not working with someone or not following down a path where it’s not going anywhere, really. And then also feeding someone else a piece of business, that’s going to be, you know, potentially a great way to sort of, you know, prime the pump, if you will, to then you know, show your value and, and maybe get something back in return or not. Either way, you’re doing what’s right for the client,


Nina Stillman  [12:41]

right. And that really is the true goal. And if I’m not the right person for them, then that’s fine. I want them to have the right person for them. The ultimate goal is a happy client, whether they’re my client or someone else’s. I can’t tell you how many of my 38 referrals since February, but it’s a good chunk, where people who came from other attorneys that they were dissatisfied with this. And so for one reason or another, and, you know, I think that’s the ultimate goal. There was one case that sticks out, I work with them quite a bit. On older mothers in her 90s, her daughter called me she was referred by her best friend who’s also one of my clients. But Mom is you know, she’s in her 90, she slowed down, she’s still with it, she’s just not quite as quick as she used to be. And the attorney they’d been working with, was concerned that mom was being influenced by the daughter was concerned that mom was losing her capacity. And I sat down and talk with mom, even via zoom, the daughter was nowhere around, I made sure I could see the daughter, but she wasn’t close to mom, so that she couldn’t stand behind the camera and, you know, make gestures or anything. And mom’s just with it. She says with it, if she can issue anybody would be at 92. She’s just slower. And so just taking the patients and finding the right match for the client is what’s really important. And this guy just they had been working with wasn’t communicating with them and just wasn’t patient with mom. And thought because she was slow to answer. She didn’t know what she was saying. So it’s it’s a tricky game, but you have to really listen and put the client’s needs in front.


Steve Fretzin  [14:21]

Yeah, no doubt about it. And let’s go back a step in you know, you mentioned 38 referrals coming in. What are some of the things that you and I worked on together that you that you executed on to build the relationships that led to a number of those referrals? What are some things that you that you’ve been doing that have really helped to to whether we say prime the pump, or just, you know, helping others what would you say are some of the things that helped set the set the right tone for getting those inbound referrals?


Nina Stillman  [14:52]

I would say the biggest thing and is improving my client communication, so that I’m always saying In front of my clients on a regular basis, giving good service giving feedback to the referral source, and asking a lot of questions. So the due diligence part or the discovery part of the process, even with a referral source, let alone obviously a potential client is the part that really, I think, hit home asking the right questions, what are they looking for? Why are they looking for? Why did you choose me? Is there something that I do that you thought would make that client a right fit for me, which also began the process of figuring out whether it’s a good client for me or not, to get the best service for that client? Really, I think the due diligence and just being really present with my referral sources, and then also potential clients, I just, for a brief moment, looked at my list of clientele. And the referrals in some of them are from my previous clients, actually, two or three of them are from my biggest client. And the others are mostly from folks who I network with, and creating relationships, everything, whether you want to think about it or not, I kind of teased Steve a little bit. Everything is sales, even if you’re an attorney, or an accountant, or a doctor, everything is sales. If you have a poor bedside manner with a patient, as a doctor, they’re not going to stay with you for very long. It’s all in how you treat the people who you want to work with, whether they’re a referral source, or a client. And Steve just helped me realize a few things. Everybody likes to talk about themselves, ask some questions, do some show some real interest with your deeper question, not just how are you doing? Really? How did that go? That sounds really interesting. Tell me more about that event or that incident with your child or whatever the case may be really showing that you care. And I think that is one of my trademarks. As an estate planning attorney, most of my clients, almost all my referral sources are also friends. But most of my clients are also friends as well, it becomes a relationship that is long term.


Steve Fretzin  [17:09]

Well, I think part of part of what I’m working with attorneys on across the board is is to stop talking so much and solving so much. And just focus on listening, focus on asking good questions, taking things deeper, letting the person speak. And what ends up happening is you get a lot more information out of them, which is helpful to understand if they’re a good fit or not. And also it builds a stronger bond, it builds that trust. And I, I know even as something as small as my wife and I go out for dinner, and someone asked my wife a question about her job about teaching, and we’ll walk away and she’ll say, you know, I really liked them, they were really nice. And I know, it’s because they asked her about her. And if they just went on and talk the whole time, my wife would, I would have left. And she was said, I don’t think I want to go out with them. Again, I didn’t care for them or whatever. And it’s like, it’s so clear that that’s how we build relationships. But yet, we’re just so anxious to talk and sell and solve and all of that, that we don’t really, we don’t really have that chance to build the same level of trust.


Nina Stillman  [18:09]

Exactly. And it’s hard for me, I’m a talker. So I have to remind myself, I have a little Mina in my head that says, Okay, shut up now. Let them talk. So it’s, especially when I’m meeting with a client, or potential client for the first time I processes that I usually have a phone call, and I let the client that potential client talk a lot. And then I they asked me, Okay, what’s your process? And so I send them a questionnaire, and then we get together for meeting. And they’ve filled out the questionnaire. So they’re sort of at that point, interviewing me about, okay, what’s our situation? And what do you think we should do? So it’s hard because in that meeting, I tend to talk more than the client does, because now they’re asking me for my opinion. But I really try hard to ask, Do you have any more questions? Is there anything else I can answer for you? Tell me more about X, Y, or Z. You mentioned, this was a priority in the values part of the questionnaire. Tell me why. And I really try to make it a point to do that. So that they don’t feel like I’m just a talking head for an hour, telling the very technical information, it can get overwhelming. And reading the room. Also, you can see when a client or potential clients eyes glaze over, because the conversation is getting to be too much. So and there’s a lot to learn from a client perspective, when you’re sitting down with an estate planning attorney. A lot of people tend to think it’s like financial planning, but it’s not. It’s different. It works with it, but it’s not the same.


Steve Fretzin  [19:38]

Right, right. So I think I think we’re talking about you know, whether you’re dealing with a prospective client or you’re dealing with a potential referral partner, it’s going to be a lot more listening. If they if the 8020 rule applies, if that’s if that we take it to that degree. Some might say that’s too much, but I think that’s probably okay. If especially if you’re trying to build a relationship and make a friend to focus on it. Asking the questions and listening 100% And, and then from there, you know, you’re just, you’re gonna be in a much better position to, you know, to go to the next step.


Nina Stillman  [20:10]

Exactly. And, you know, it’s seems kind of silly, because you know, lawyers do this all the time, you think we’d be good at it, and you think I wouldn’t have to remind myself to let the client speak. But I do. So the other tool of Steve’s that has been incredibly helpful is making an agenda for your meeting, and making sure the other side is okay. With following that agenda, just setting it out so that they know they’re going to get to speak, and I know I’m going to get to speak, it sort of mentally reminds me you don’t have to talk all the time, be quiet, you’ll get your turn, the agenda helps immensely. And that’s whether it’s a networking person or a potential client.


Steve Fretzin  [20:51]

Now, some people are going to hear that even there to go, that sounds too formal for any kind of meeting, setting an agenda and, and putting specific points in place. Why why. So I obviously know why the agenda is so helpful. And I know why it’s such a big part of the sales Free selling process that I teach. But what are some of the key elements of the agenda that make a meeting go better for everybody,


Nina Stillman  [21:13]

again, a little bit of what I just said, Everybody understands what we’re going to be talking about. And it doesn’t have to be formal. This is not a formal agenda you’re sending out before, it’s a few points that you write down and you say, well, we’ve got 45 minutes or an hour, is that you still work for you. So that you’re not taking up someone’s time, or you’re not surprised if they say I have a hard stop at half an hour, then you can adjust your, your your agenda, or the ideas you want to talk about fit that time period. Another reason is to get them in the habit of frankly saying yes, yes, that still works for me. How about if I really want to hear about your business? How about if we take the first 15 minutes, and talk about your business, and then I’ll tell you about mine. And then we can figure out ways in which we’re complementary to one another. And then we’ll figure out how we’re going to work together. And so right there, that didn’t sound very formal, it just that I really want to hear about you. I’ll tell you a little bit about me, are we going to be able to make it a fit? Do we have some synergy that makes sense for us? And again, that gets to the Steve point of not, frankly, putting a lot of time and energy into someone who you don’t have synergy with? Who the relationship is maybe just going to end up being friendly, and not business related? And then how do we work together? How can we find a place where I can help you? How can I help you? How can you help me whether you actually say that or not? If I just say how can I help you? They usually tell me how they can help me, they asked me, so it becomes a mutual relationship? Again, you when you’re sort of putting that out there, you say, well, that worked for you. Is that, does that sound good? They’re gonna say yes, again. So again, it it really helps set it up. And people appreciate it. I have found when I’m talking to them, because they understand what we’re going to talk about, they know their time is not going to be wasted. It gives them the ability to say yes or no to certain things. And it respects their time as well.


Steve Fretzin  [23:14]

Yeah. And so I think we’re we’re, we’re what we’re saying is, is that there’s a way to not have a meeting. And with I’ll keep my eyes open, I’ll think about it or this was great. And then you never hear from again, what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to set some ground rules that both parties can agree to do identify a fit to keep within a timeframe to identify where there’s synergies, and to discuss a possible next step. And if that’s of interest to you, as a networker who’s investing valuable time, right, then it’s going to keep things done in a more organized way. That doesn’t be super formal, but at least it’s organized, where both parties are on the same page versus, you know, let me spend the hour showing you you know, photos of my of my 27 cats, or my trip to Disney, or, you know, some things that you’re going to want to just you just kind of want to escape from the room, you know, so that’s really where these agendas come in. And when they’re done properly, by in happens, it’s almost like a verbal contract of sorts that both parties feel would benefit. You know, everybody.


Nina Stillman  [24:18]

I agree I’m chuckling a little bit because when I started with Steve, the thing I always used to forget was and what’s the next step? And what I’m doing because I forgot to mention that now. Well, listen, I’m a little out of practice. I’m a little out of practice, I will say I’m going to have to read. What’s the non selling book sales, free selling, sales, free selling, that’s the most helpful book for me. I’m gonna have to read that one again. Yeah,


Steve Fretzin  [24:43]

that’s it. That’s it, go back to the well and you don’t have to read the whole thing. And maybe you could but don’t go to the chapter that is on agenda setting, right. So you can just add that most of the stuff I write is either is either tactical or I actually give the language and give like a roleplay or an examples. You can actually either read it or say it out loud and, and then that is, right.


Nina Stillman  [25:05]

So why I work with you, I had an experience a week or so ago at a meeting. And there was a woman who was supposed to come in, and it happened to be a meeting just for women. And she was going to talk about negotiating, and I found her so completely condescending, she did not give any tactics, she just kept saying, you have to have this competence, ladies, she actually use the word girls once. And I about cut out of meeting I didn’t out of respect for the person who invited me. But I found her so condescending because she wasn’t teaching me anything. She was telling me how to be. And to try and trying to tell me, I didn’t have the confidence to do this. And this is how I should get it. And I was really kind of offended by her. So one of the things I love about working with Steve and Steve’s information, which is frankly available to everyone, if he gives you concrete steps and tactics and things to try and use to improve your goal, on your goal, whatever that goal may be, honestly, my goal wasn’t closing, I’m usually pretty good at that it was getting up to bat. So my focus when I started with Steve, was how do I get networking partners to refer me more. And clearly with 38 referrals in the last couple months, I’ve done that. And then I through that process, I also learned to apply it to potential clients, and was able to convert quite a few into clients, even though I wasn’t in the greatest place in my life. So I can only imagine how well I’ll do when I’m back to full speed. And I really owe a great gratitude and debt to Steve for teaching me how to be more polished and professional. And, and to the point.


Steve Fretzin  [26:47]

Well, I wasn’t I certainly wasn’t, I was hoping you’d say some kind words, but I wasn’t expecting this kind of a free flow. But I, again, I appreciate you, I appreciate that you put the work in that you that you take in the content, and then you use it and you’re using it in such a constructive way to get the kinds of results that you were hoping for. And then some and that’s for me, that’s what I why I get up every day is to work with you Nina and, and others like you to to help you get those kinds of results. And I just appreciate your sharing that because I think people listen to this. They may not realize the kinds of results that can happen when two great people get together and partner. But so anyway, so it’s all beautiful stuff. And in much appreciated. Let’s move on to the final part or phase of the show. And that, of course is the three best stuff. Now you’re a local yoga with me here in Chicago. And what’s your in what neighborhood are you in, in Chicago?


Nina Stillman  [27:41]

So I’m sort of in between River, north and Gold Coast. I live sort of in a neighborhood where River North runs into the Gold Coast runs into Old Town. So I’ve got a lot at my disposal. So hit me with your question.


Steve Fretzin  [27:57]

All right, let’s do it. So the first one is I’m taking my wife out for a night in the city. What restaurant? Should I hit? What where am I taking her to blow her mind,


Nina Stillman  [28:06]

I would say there’s a few that I can think of, I would say I’m gonna tell you to start with a drink at a little place called Sparrow en el. And it is an old speakeasy that used to it’s a TV bar. And it used to be connected to a hotel, which is now an apartment building. And it’s very romantic, very special. And you will feel like you’re doing something wrong, which is what you should feel at this place. Because the hotel used to be where high ranking Chicago citizens used to go to have 10 attempts. And so it’s kind of funny, the decor is hotel keeps passing that’s one but the restaurant you should take her to is at a which is very good. And they have a wide variety of foods and the best mushroom pizza I’ve ever had in my


Steve Fretzin  [28:52]

womb. Okay, is that Ed da or EDA? TTA is way off. Okay, att you’re close. Okay, awesome. Well, that’s that’s going to happen. Maybe Maybe I’ll just meet up with you. Leave my wife, man. I’m coming into the city. I’m from out of town or I’m in this North Shore and I’ve been in the city in a long time, whatever. What’s the hot thing to do right now I’m heading into the city.


Nina Stillman  [29:16]

I would say since its fall, one of the great things to do that a lot of tourists don’t always think of is going just go to Lincoln Park. It’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous. You can be by the lake, you can go to the zoo for free. You might need to make an appointment during COVID. I’m not sure if they still have that policy in place, but it’s still free and it’s gorgeous. And they have hot coffee and popcorn and walk around and see the animals and it is an incredible free zoo in the middle of the city. And it’s not just like this rinky dink place. It’s


Steve Fretzin  [29:48]

gorgeous. Yeah, it is really nice. I agree. And in the winter they do the like the holiday lights or something like that. That’s


Nina Stillman  [29:55]

yes they do. They do holiday lights starting around Thanksgiving and it goes to New Year’s and you do need tickets for that. And they even have adult evenings there where they have beverages for adults. So I know for sure you need because you have to prove your age. You need tickets for that part. But it’s not that I think the other nights are free. But the adult nights definitely have a cost but it’s worth it. It’s so fun.


Steve Fretzin  [30:19]

Okay, and then final question, what do the locals in your neighborhood do for fun? What are they into right now?


Nina Stillman  [30:27]

The beach, we’re still trying to we try to in Chicago, because we have such a short season, walking by the lake is kind of a year round thing. And we do not stop just because the weather gets a little colder, and there’s no harm and sitting down on the beach and just enjoying the lake for a little bit. Pretty soon we’re going to be stuck inside. So being outside as much as possible. And it’s nice, you get to tour a bunch of neighborhoods just by walking around the lake and seeing you know, the northwestern campus. The beautiful buildings in the Gold Coast. The all the buildings along the Lakeshore Pickleball is another big one. I know it’s big out in the suburbs for use deep but it’s getting bigger here in the city. And that’s a super fun activity.


Steve Fretzin  [31:11]

Yeah, and I think that’s great for all ages, where some some sports are just more challenging and I’m getting older as well. And I found that pickleball was was was much easier for me for example than like singles tennis or something where for sure, you know, it’s brutal. Well, that’s fantastic in if people want to reach out to you to use you for estate planning and tax if they want to network with you. How do they get in touch?


Nina Stillman  [31:35]

The easiest way is by phone and that is 31281953603128195360. I can also always be reached by email, which is Nina and I N EY at all one word. The Stillman law And Stillman is spelled s t i l l, m a n law


Steve Fretzin  [32:04]

Well, fantastic. Well, listen, I, I just want to say again, how wonderful I think you are shout out to pro visors. We’re both, you know, very involved in that in that networking operation. And we have made a lot of great friends in that community. And just, you know, just thank you for being you and for doing so great for being my friend, my client, et cetera. And, you know, and thanks for being on the show, and just in sharing your time with my audience and telling your story.


Nina Stillman  [32:32]

Well, I’m right back at you, Steve. Thanks so much. It was really not a shock to me in any means. But when I really sat down and sort of look back over the last six months, I was so pleased to be able to realize how much you have helped me and how much you’ve kept me going through this process. And of course, you are a great friend, and you checked in with me several times to make sure I was doing all right. And that honestly, for anybody out there as a side note, you know, anybody who’s going through anything, all they really want from you, other than maybe some physical help with things, all they really want from you is to know that you’re thinking of them and wishing them well. It is that was the greatest boon to me the whole time. And still, that people think of me and think well of me and praying for me or whatever the case may be. It’s just lovely. It boosts your morale immeasurably.


Steve Fretzin  [33:21]

Yeah, we all we all need to feel understood and wanted and loved. And, and I think you’ve got that in spades from from from us, your family and friends and everybody. So listen, everybody, thank you for spending some time with Nina and I today and hopefully got a couple of good takeaways, some thoughts about, you know, what it’s like to go through something challenging and come out the other side and, you know, continue to thrive as a lawyer. You know, you think you’ve got a rough that there’s always people that haven’t refer and just gotta keep a positive mental attitude and keep pushing forward. So listen, thank you for spending time and be well be safe, and we’ll talk again soon. Bye. Bye, everybody. Thanks


Nina Stillman  [33:56]

so much, Steve.


Steve Fretzin  [33:57]

Thank you, Nina. Take care.


Narrator  [34:03]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website 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