Lisa Anderson Shaffer is one of my favorite people of all time. She’s wicked smart, talented, and has a wardrobe I constantly drool over. I’ve loved watching Lisa’s business grow by leaps and bounds the past several years.
As you might know, in addition to running this blog, I also run a law firm. And I feel super lucky to be part of team Zelma Rose. Lisa’s story today is about one of the times we worked together to elevate her business.
Without diving into the nitty gritty, tell us a little about a time you learned the “legal” ropes…
In spring of 2012 I moved my family and business, Zelma Rose from our home in San Francisco to Marin County. Although it was a small move in terms of miles, it was still a big shift, carting along a business and an 18-month-old! We knew we were going to purchase a home but were not sure where or when, as the real estate game in the Bay Area, even then was a bit of a nightmare!
I had spoken with Kiffanie earlier in the year about the prospect of going LLC but had put everything on the back burner with planning a move. I had wanted to go LLC with Zelma Rose from the very beginning, but the paperwork and fees had always driven the task to the end of my to-do list.
With an upcoming move and a major housing investment in our future, I knew the time was coming to update my business status. Kiffanie made it clear that an investment like a new home deserved to be protected and before we even made the first move, it was critical that I protect my assets and make Zelma Rose a Limited Liability Company.
Huzzah, that’s amazing! How did you feel at that moment?
I learned early on in my business to hire out my weaknesses! While I enjoy the specifics of legalese, there are a ton of other things at Zelma Rose that need my attention. I really needed an outside push, especially during this already busy time to get my *shit* in order so to speak and just do it.
I learned early on in my business to hire out my weaknesses!
Kiffanie was firm with me about the importance of getting the paperwork done as soon as possible so that once we bought a home, it was protected as a separate asset from my business. I knew she was right, she’s always right and having her on my team and leading the charge really made a huge difference.
Did this impact your creative business? How?
Being able to pass the baton off to Kiffanie and have her organize my LLC paperwork and application is what it took for me to get to the next level.
Going fully legit felt great and not having to toss and turn at night about the liability side of my business affecting my personal assets is priceless!
What ropes did you learn from going through this experience?
Going through the process of making Zelma Rose a Limited Liability Company was eye opening. Luckily I had learned early on to surround myself with people that I trust and Kiffanie was such a tremendous help at the time.
I was so overwhelmed with the move both for my family and for the business that I could have easily let the idea stay at the bottom of my to-do list, which would have been a really bad business decision! Kiffanie really encouraged me that LLC was something well within my grasp and would be a tremendous benefit now and down the road.
What I learned more than anything else was to keep my priorities in check and when going through a major life change, business change or transition to check in with my team.
If there are adjustments that need to be made to the business, listen and follow through. Letting others take the lead during the crazy times can keep things running smoothly and keep all your ducks in a row!
Letting others take the lead during the crazy times can keep things running smoothly!
How can you achieve the same success?
I think the key to Lisa’s success is that she:
- found team members that she trusts
- asked for their help
- relied on their expertise
I know that this can be hard. Our businesses are our pride and joy and we struggle giving up control. (Maybe that is just me projecting on you…)
Building a team of experts for our businesses that we can rely on to help us achieve our goals is important.
Sure forming your own LLC isn’t all that hard, you only need to take 7 easy steps. But doing it yourself means you are trading your time. Every minute you spend learning how to form your LLC is a minute you can’t spend:
- with your family or friends
- doing things off your joy list
- meeting new clients or customers
- doing the business tasks you love
Over the past four years, I’ve gotten an insider look at several successful creative businesses. And every one of those businesses understands this principle.
They all build teams of experts that they can rely on to help them achieve their goals.
Which allows them to focus on the parts of the business they love.
How you can easily apply this today
- Make a list of experts that you’d have on your team if you had unlimited funds
- Pick the expert you are going to try to find first and email a friend for a recommendation
Has your team of experts elevated your business? Share your story in the comments. Are you thinking about bringing an expert onto your team? Let us know what’s holding you back.