ConvHERsation With Attorney & Business Consultant Lenise Williams
I had the pleasure of interviewing attorney, business consultant and branding expert Lenise Williams. I honestly didn’t really know much about her, but there’s nothing you can’t find without Google.
After I Googled her, I learned quite a bit about her and even shared some of my ideas with her and will be working with her on my brand myself very soon so I’m looking forward to that.
While chatting with Lenise, I learned so much about my own business ventures and what it is I need to tighten up on and some things I was doing terribly wrong, so it was not only a great interview, but also a learning experience for me and I’m so looking forward to working with her.
Here are some of the things we chatted about during our interview:
THTH: Tell me a little bit about yourself and exactly what you do.
Lenise: I help women with branding. I’m a brand attorney and consultant. I help small to midsize businesses. I mostly work with female entrepreneurs, but I help them make more money helping them to brand their business and themselves. I also help them with the legal side of it as far as trademarks, contracts, and all that stuff that they would need.
THTH: How did you come up with Girl Biz Academy?
Lenise: Girl Biz Academy is a business school for the savvy female entrepreneur. It’s a six month or twelve month commitment. There’s questions kind of like I do them by webinar or there’s worksheets. They’re learning about business and what they need to do to build and protect their brand. There’s also one-on-one calls where they get personal insight on their specific business. They’re learning about how it all works.
I work primarily with people who are already in business and they’re kind of stuck. They’ve reached a particular income or not making an income at all and they just don’t understand how to make it grow. I also work with people who are starting out, but I work with people who know what they want to do.
THTH: When starting a business, do you advise women to get everything legalized first before putting it out to the general public?
Lenise: I would definitely encourage people if it’s something they will be generating money from, just to protect themselves, to go ahead and set up a legal entity whether it’s an LLC or a partnership an s-corp or c-corp they need to make sure they have something to protect them because if they get sued, and they don’t have the proper legal structure, someone can come in and take all their personal belongings. Also, if they’re doing a lot of writing, get a copyright. If you have a business name and you really want to protect your brand, get a trademark. If you’re offering consulting services or any type of services, you need a contract and make sure it’s written to the point where you are protected and there’s not any issues over money. If they’re a partnership or joint venture, make sure you have those agreements in place. You have to make sure that you consult with someone to make sure your brand is protected. The last thing you want to do is spend a whole lot of time and money building a business and having people coming to you and being successfully and losing it all because you didn’t do what you were supposed to do legally.
THTH: What are you most proud of as it relates to how far you’ve come as an entrepreneur and building your brand?
Lenise: I’m so hard on myself. I’m really proud of the fact that this is something that just started as a hobby. I never really intended to have a full fledged consulting business. People were just calling me to ask me questions and I was at the point where I had just walked away from a business where I had invested and lost like $170,000 of my own money. I was kind of in a depression over that situation and people just kind of started calling and they had always called and asked me questions then I realized I was sharing things on social media and people would give me feedback and I realized there were people who were sharing their expertise and getting paid for it. I felt like marketing and branding and stuff has always been my passion because when I started a law firm 11 years ago, I started it from nothing. I didn’t know anybody in the city where I was living. I started it from absolutely nothing and built it into a successful six-figure business. Not because I was the best lawyer, but because I was obsessed with marketing and branding.
When I walked away from it, I realized I wasn’t passionate about that type of law. Then when I hit rock bottom and lost all my money, and people were calling me asking me for business tips, I was like ‘wait this is a business. I see people on social media that have a business just sharing the type of stuff that I’m sharing.’ I kind of did it on a whim when someone asked me if I would work with them and I said yes. That was probably a little over a year ago. Hasn’t even been that long. I never imagined that I could have a business that I love like this.
I’m most proud of the fact that I started a business I can run from anywhere. I can take off with my children, I have so much flexibility and can make more money that I did with two law offices that I had in the past.
We chatted about so much, I will have to make this a two part interview. Be sure to check back later for part 2 of my interview with Attorney & Business Consultant/Branding expert Lenise Williams.
Be sure to check out her website LeniseWilliams.com.