I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM063 – Business Owner Provides Divorce & Family Mediation Services in a Caring & Empathetic Environment

Podcast Interview with Ellice Halpern

Little Falls Mediation, located in Arlington, Virginia, offers divorce and family mediation services. Our mission is to provide a caring, empathetic environment where clients feel comfortable, safe and empowered in discussing and resolving conflict. Ellice Halpern is a graduate of Cornell University and Georgetown University Law Center and is licensed to practice law in the state of Maryland.

Website: http://www.littlefallsmediation.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littlefallsmediation?
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LFMediation
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellice-halpern-j-d-5b81726/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/b/112003363245665603093/+Littlefallsmediationservices
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ellicehalpern/


Check out one of our favorite CEO Hack’s Audible. Get your free audiobook and check out more of our favorite CEO Hacks HERE.

Transcription:

The full transcription is only available to CBNation Library Members. Sign up today!

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Ellice Halpern of Little Falls Mediation. What I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Ellice, so you can learn a little bit more about her, her business and all the awesome things that she's doing.

Little Falls Mediation, which is located in Arlington, Virginia, offers divorce and family mediation services. Their mission is to provide a caring, empathetic environment where clients feel comfortable, safe and empowered in discussing and resolving conflict. Ellice Halpern is a graduate of Cornell University and Georgetown University Law Center and is licensed to practice law in the state of Maryland.

Ellice, Are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Ellice Halpern 1:10

I'm ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:11

All right, let's do it. So the first question I have is if you could just expound a little bit more upon your background, and tell us a little bit more about what led you to start your business?

Ellice Halpern 1:19

Let's see, I became a mediator in 2010. So I was a practicing attorney before then and to get a lot of experience, I started mediating a lot of court-referred cases, where I would go down to DC courts and get handed cases by the judge and people, who started asking me if I could mediate their family issues and their divorces and their separations, but I didn't have that kind of training.

So I went back, and I got a special next level of training for family mediation. I started doing court-referred family mediation cases and then I felt that I needed to start my own business because I would literally be going for walks around the neighborhood, and people would start to talk to me and ask if I could help them. So that is what led me to start my own practice.

Gresham Harkless 2:00

Awesome. It's funny how the universe and everything start to align when you start to do something you're doing along your path, it seems like everything starts to pop out. Yeah, people asking you questions and asking for advice. All of a sudden, you're like, Hey, maybe I should start a business doing that.

Ellice Halpern 2:13

Yeah, It happened very suddenly and overnight. What I was doing was turning people away and saying, Oh, I don't do that, I just do these court-referred cases, I can send you to this lawyer or that lawyer and after I turned away maybe eight people, someone said to me, you need to stop doing that. You need to start your own business. I said, but I've never done that before which sounds so dumb when I say that. But anyway, I started my business overnight, because I realized I didn't want to turn people away, I wanted to help them, and I wanted to handle it.

Gresham Harkless 2:42

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Now I wanted to ask you a little bit more about how you help the people that you work with, could you tell us a little bit about like how you serve the clients you work with?

Ellice Halpern 2:49

Sure. Usually, most of the work that I do right now with Little Falls Mediation I do family issues, separations, and divorces. So usually people will call me, they'll find me through Google or Arlington magazine, or a referral and we'll chat about how I can help them and what's going on in their family, I'll have a confidential conversation with them. Then I'll talk to the other person, the other parent, the other party, and those are confidential conversations and then we'll talk about mediation and I'll explain to them in these phone calls exactly what mediation is.

A lot of people don't know, they asked me where I meditate and a lot of people in their lifetime may only mediate once. So I will explain exactly what mediation is, I will define it and you and I can talk about that in a little bit if you'd like. I like to make sure people understand how divorce mediation works, you identify what the issues are, what the core issues are, brainstorm solutions to those issues, problem solves, reality test, and then write up an agreement for them.

Gresham Harkless 3:49

Okay, awesome. You touched on a little bit on the mediation piece, could you expound a little bit more on what exactly that is?

Ellice Halpern 3:55

Yeah, so mediation is a team approach to solving problems. So a traditional approach is when you're getting a divorce, the husband, and wife will lawyer up, the husband gets a lawyer, the wife gets a lawyer, the lawyers speak to each other, and maybe a judge makes decisions in their case. The difference in mediation is, in mediation, the people with the power are the parties so, hiring me as a mediator, I happen to be a lawyer, but in my role as mediator, I am neutral. I'm trained as a mediator, my legal hat is off. I can give them legal information, I'm not going to give them legal advice because then I'm not neutral anymore and then I'm becoming an advocate for one party or the other.

So in mediation, the parties have the power. We start a mediation by talking about exactly what the mediation process is, and we sign an agreement to mediate that explains how mediation works. Next, the parties will identify the issues in no particular order. I'll make a list of the issues they may not have come to the mediation with issues so they may start telling me their story of what brought them to mediation and as they're telling me their story, I will hear issues being teased out and I'll put them on a whiteboard. People take turns talking so two people do not talk at the same time after one person talks I summarize and I paraphrase to make sure I got it right when the other person talks we all listen.

So basically, I summarize and paraphrase what everybody says to make sure we're all on the same page. After a list of issues is put together, the parties will decide what order they want to discuss and what issues, so they'll pick an issue. So in a divorce case, the issue may be for example, a parenting plan, if they have three children, who've got custody of the children, where are the children, who do the children live with. A parenting plan is a really big issue that encompasses many, many details. So we may talk about a parenting plan and there's a lot of emotion in a mediation. I'm not a therapist, and lawyers are not trained to handle emotion, but mediators are. So I will acknowledge any emotion but mediation does not look like a therapy session and if you don't acknowledge the emotion, you're gonna get stuck and it's really hard to move forward.

So in resolving the issue that we're talking about, let's say it's a parenting plan, the parties will brainstorm solutions to that issue, and then we'll create a reality test, how exactly will that solution work and ask questions and go through the details and then the parents will make a decision in mediation about that parenting plan, nothing is binding in mediation until decisions are made. I write up an agreement, I advise the parties to have an attorney review the agreement, they may choose not to but it's only when they've reviewed the agreement, hopefully with an attorney, and they've signed the agreement that it becomes binding.

So there's a lot of flexibility in mediation to be really creative and to make problem-solving unique with regard to the uniqueness of that particular family.

Gresham Harkless 6:33

What do you feel is your secret sauce or the secret sauce for Little Falls Mediation?

Ellice Halpern 6:38

My secret sauce, I would say a couple of things. I think kindness is number one, I'm working with people who are in a really, really stressful time in their lives. Conflict is stressful, and getting a divorce is very stressful, it's up there with death, illness, and unemployment. So the first thing is kindness, treating people with kindness. Secondly, warmth and welcome so I think that we always need to be warm and welcoming to whatever clients we're working with. Some people can be really situationally difficult because they're in such a difficult situation so it's very important to be warm, welcoming, and kind.

Another thing that I do is rapid response is really important when people are in a time of stress, it's very hard for them to wait for a response so I have to walk a fine line between immediately getting back to people, so they know that someone is there for them but I also have to balance of not getting burned out.

Gresham Harkless 7:33

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. A lot of times, you have to make sure to make that time to fill your cup so to speak, so that you can be of service and be able to help out the clients that you have. So I think that's incredible that you're able to do that and be in tune with yourself, but also the clients that you work with.

I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. The CEO hack could be an app or a book or a resource, or just one thing that you feel makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Ellice Halpern 7:58

Well, I don't know if you've heard of Arlington Women Entrepreneurs now called Awesome Women Entrepreneurs, have you heard of them?

See also  IAM1879 - Strategist Works With Small Businesses to Manage Their Office operations

Gresham Harkless 8:04

Yes

Ellice Halpern 8:05

They are an amazing group of entrepreneurs that I joined about the day after I started my business in 2015, a friend of mine told me about all and it's the most supportive group of entrepreneurs, all of us are of different ages and we all have very different businesses. Some of us have new businesses, some of us have been in business for a long time, some of us have big businesses, and some of us have small businesses, but we're all in very different stages and what's so wonderful about this group is it's an amazing resource.

Whenever I have a question about anything business related, and I think I'm the only mediator in the group, but anything about running my business, there's always somebody in Aw that I can text or email or talk to who gives me great guidance.

Gresham Harkless 8:48

Awesome. Yeah, it's great to be able to have groups that you can lean on and be able to have those resources that you can ask questions about or even things that you might be going through to be able to have that community that you can lean back on.

Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget this might be some of the information you might give as advice to people or members of all, but I wanted to know if you can tell our readers and listeners a piece of advice or word of wisdom you would have for running your business?

Ellice Halpern 9:12

Sure, I think it's really important to mentor others and to also find a mentor. Sometimes mentorship happens very naturally when you're connecting with people and getting to know them, you're talking to them and you see all that you have in common. I think mentorship, whether you're mentoring somebody or whether someone is mentoring you happens very naturally and is a wonderful thing.

It helps me grow, whether I'm in a group of mediators, and we're discussing challenging cases and how we can best help people, or if I'm in a group of entrepreneurs, and we're talking about bookkeeping and accounting and any problems that we're facing and how we overcame those problems or any great successes that we're having and great tips that we can pass on to each other. So I would say mentorship, mentoring others, and finding mentors for ourselves collaborating.

Then one last thing I would say is somehow I never took a finance class, at least I can't remember taking a finance class at Cornell or at Georgetown. I'm not sure how I did not take a finance class, but I would recommend to anybody to take a great finance class, it would be a great background and a great help, I think.

Gresham Harkless 10:14

Yeah, and I love those two nuggets. The idea that you have an opportunity to glean information and learn information from somebody as a mentor, even be able to impart that wisdom and insight to somebody else is definitely a great thing to do. And, of course, I've always heard consistently, you want to make sure you know your numbers. So having that financial background and understanding exactly what's in alignment with your business and how your business is running is definitely important. I love those CEO nuggets.

Now, I wanted to ask you for what is my favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO as you mentioned, with all those different types of business owners big and small, we're hoping to have different types of quote and quote, CEOs on the podcast. So I want to ask you specifically, what being a CEO means to you.

Ellice Halpern 10:56

Well, to me, there are a couple of words that come to mind when you asked me that question. One is flexibility, another one is autonomy, a third one is creativity and a fourth one is freedom. For years, I would get up and fight traffic, go downtown and work all day and work late at night, and then come back home and we all work really hard at our professions. I have three kids and life really changed because it seems that there are so many tasks and so many things to do in a 24-hour period and the question is always how do I manage my life efficiently? How do I manage my home, my business, my family, everything that I need to get done?

so when you're your CEO, you're working harder than you've ever worked in your life, but you're doing it on your terms. I set my mediations for the times that work for me and for the times where I know mediation is going to be highly effective. For example, when people have slept, they've eaten, they've got high energy in the morning, that's when mediation is going to be really effective. If you're going to meditate at four o'clock or five o'clock when the weight of the day is on you and people are tired and hungry, it's not going to go so well. So number one is flexibility in terms of autonomy, I love that I can write my agreements wherever I need to write them if I'm on travel, I can write them all I need is a laptop, and I can mediate remotely.

I've had clients from other countries who have found me thinking of a couple of cases where there were families who used to have an Arlington base, I think that's how they found me and we're living overseas. I've mediated remotely before, I'm willing to give anything a go to see how things will work, you've got the flexibility to do that. Initially, when I was first asked if I could mediate remotely well, we're trained to mediate face to face and to be present for each other in the same room. My initial response was, oh, no, I don't do that, I heard myself saying that and I was shocked and I said, let's give it a go, let's figure out a way how we can make remote mediation work. So since then, I've done several remote mediations, and they've worked out well you just have to make sure that you can all see each other and hear each other really well.

Let's see flexibility, autonomy, creativity, and freedom. Creativity, when you're mediating agreements, you have the creativity to come up with solutions that work for any family whereas if a family was before a judge, that family knows nothing about the judge, does the judge have children, has the judge ever been married? what kind of experiences this judge has working with families, yet this person that families know nothing about this judge, they are giving the judge all that power to make decisions for their family. So I always say to the families I work with, here in mediation, you've got the creativity, and you've got the flexibility to devise any kind of agreement that makes sense for your family and to make decisions that make sense for your family, why would you give that power to a judge.

Last freedom, I feel like I have an incredible sense of freedom that I can do my work wherever I am in the world, and I can take on as many clients as I want. If I'm away for a week, I can say to my clients, hey, this is when I'm gone, this is when I'll be back, I'm always here for you but please understand, I'm not going to have connectivity. So those four words are what I think about everyday flexibility, autonomy, creativity, and freedom, anything I'm missing?

Gresham Harkless 14:09

No, I mean, I think that hit the nail on the head. And that's awesome that where you explained through the pillars of what it means to be a CEO and I think that's a phenomenal definition. So I think you hit the nail on the head, so to speak.

Ellice Halpern 14:20

Oh, great,

Gresham Harkless 14:21

Well, cool. Well, at least I truly appreciate you taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic so to speak, to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know and also how best people can get a hold of you.

Ellice Halpern 14:32

Well, one other additional thing that I never really thought of until recently is it's important to have a really good bookkeeper and a really good accountant. So I would say when you're starting a business, I was using the accountant that I'd always used and I just came to the realization that personal finances are one thing but when you're running a business, always think about how you can do things more efficiently and this realization that I just came to was you know what, I need to keep my one accountant for my personal life and I need to have bookkeeper and accountant for my business life as well.

So that was just a new light bulb that went off. And I would say every week or two, I understand something new that I should be doing and maybe that I should have been doing, I try not to beat myself up too much about what I didn't do in the past and just try to move forward in terms of how I can make things more efficient, run more smoothly, be better.

And then you can just call me at 202-256-6428 and take a look at my website, which is www.littlefallsmediation.com There's a lot of information on my website about how mediation works, and what the process looks like, a lot of resources on there and I write a blog, people were asking me to write a blog. So once a month, I usually write about a topic that people asked me to write about, such as dating after divorce, finances, and divorce, or anything that people find of interest.

Gresham Harkless 15:51

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yeah. And we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow up with you and definitely, hear about all the awesome things you're doing and the awesome content that you're creating. But Ellice, thank you so much again for taking some time out and giving us a lot of knowledge and information and being our mentor today. So I appreciate you.

Ellice Halpern 16:07

Thank you so much for having me.

Outro 16:09

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless.

See also  IAM736- Firm Owner Leads in Delivery of Technology Services

Thank you for listening

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Ellice Halpern of Little Falls Mediation. What I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Ellice, so you can learn a little bit more about her and her business and all the awesome things that she's doing and Little Falls Mediation, which is located in Arlington, Virginia, offers divorce and family mediation services. Their mission is to provide a caring, empathetic environment where clients feel comfortable, safe, and empowered in discussing and resolving conflict. Ellice Halpern is a graduate of Cornell University and Georgetown University Law Center and is licensed to practice law in the state of Maryland. Ellice, Are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

Ellice Halpern 1:10

I'm ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:11

All right, let's do it. So the first question I have is if you could just expound a little bit more upon your background, and tell us a little bit more about what led you to start your business.

Ellice Halpern 1:19

Let's see, I became a mediator in 2010. So I was a practicing attorney before then and to get a lot of experience, I started mediating a lot of court referred cases where I would go down to DC courts and get handed cases by the judge and people started asking me if I could mediate their family issues and their divorces and their separations, but I didn't have that kind of training. So I went back, and I got a special next level of training for family mediation, and I started doing court referred family mediation cases and then I felt that I needed to start my own business because I would literally be going for walks around the neighborhood, and people would start to talk to me and ask if I could help them. And so that is what led me to start my own practice.

Gresham Harkless 2:00

Awesome. It's funny how the universe and everything starts to align when you start to do something you're going along your path, it seems like everything starts to pop out. Yeah, people asking you questions and asking for advice. And all of a sudden, you're like, Hey, maybe I should start a business doing that.

Ellice Halpern 2:13

Yeah, It happen very suddenly and overnight, what I was doing was turning people away and saying, Oh, I don't do that, I just do these court referred cases, I can send you to this lawyer or that lawyer and after I turned away, maybe eight people, someone said to me, you need to stop doing that. You need to start your own business and I said, but I've never done that before which sounds so dumb when I say that. But anyway, I started my business overnight, because I realized I didn't want to turn people away, I wanted to help them, I wanted to handle it.

Gresham Harkless 2:42

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And so now I wanted to ask you a little bit more about how you help the people that you work with, could you tell us a little bit about like how you serve the clients you work with?

Ellice Halpern 2:49

Sure. Usually someone will call me most of the work that I do right now with Little Falls Mediation is I do family issues, separations and divorces. So usually people will call me they'll find me through Google or Arlington magazine, or a referral and we'll chat about how I can help them what's going on in their family, I'll have a confidential conversation with them. And then I'll talk to the other person, the other parent, the other party, and those are confidential conversations and then we'll talk about mediation and I'll explain to them in these phone calls exactly what mediation is, a lot of people don't know, they asked me where I meditate and a lot of people in their lifetime may only mediate once. So I will explain exactly what mediation is, I will define it and you and I can talk about that in a little bit if you'd like. And I like to make sure people understand how in a divorce mediation works, you identify what the issues are, what the core issues are, you brainstorm solutions to those issues, you problem solve you, reality test, and then I write up an agreement for them.

Gresham Harkless 3:49

Okay, awesome. And you touched on a little bit on the mediation piece. Could you expound a little bit more on what exactly that is?

Ellice Halpern 3:55

Yeah, so mediation is a team approach to solving problems. So a traditional approach is when you're getting divorce, husband, wife will lawyer up, husband gets a lawyer, wife gets a lawyer, the lawyers speak to each other, maybe a judge makes decisions in their case. The difference in mediation is, in mediation, the people with the power are the parties so, hiring me as a mediator, I happen to be a lawyer, but in my role as mediator, I am their neutral, I'm trained as a mediator, my legal hat is off, I can give them legal information, I'm not going to give them legal advice, because then I'm not neutral anymore and then I'm becoming an advocate for one party or the other. So in mediation, the parties have the power, we start a mediation by talking about exactly what the mediation process is, and we sign an agreement to mediate that explains how mediation works. Next, the parties will identify the issues in no particular order. I'll make a list of the issues they may not have come to the mediation with issues so they may start telling me their story of what brought them to mediation and as they're telling me their story, I will hear issues being teased out and I'll put them on a whiteboard. People take turns talking so two people do not talk at the same time after one person talks I summarize and I paraphrase to make sure I got it right, when the other person talks we all listen. So basically, I summarize and paraphrase what everybody says to make sure we're all on the same page, after a list of issues is put together, the parties will decide what order they want to discuss and what issues, so they'll pick an issue. So in a divorce case, the issue may be, for example, a parenting plan, if they have three children, who's got custody of the children, where are the children, who do the children live, with a parenting plan is a really big issue that encompasses many, many details. So we may talk about a parenting plan and there's a lot of emotion in a mediation, I'm not a therapist, and lawyers are not trained to handle emotion, but mediators are, and so I will acknowledge any emotion but mediation does not look like a therapy session and if you don't acknowledge emotion, you're gonna get stuck and it's really hard to move forward. So in resolving the issue that we're talking about, let's say it's a parenting plan, the parties will brainstorm solutions to that issue, and then we'll reality test, how exactly will that solution work and ask questions and go through the details and then the parents will make a decision in mediation about that parenting plan, nothing is binding in mediation until decisions are made, I write up an agreement, I advise the parties to have an attorney review the agreement, they may choose not to but it's only when they've reviewed the agreement, hopefully with an attorney, and they've signed the agreement that it becomes binding. So there's a lot of flexibility in mediation to be really creative, and to make problem solving unique with regard to the uniqueness of that particular family.

Gresham Harkless 6:33

What do you feel like it's your secret sauce, or the secret sauce for Little Falls Mediation.

Ellice Halpern 6:38

My secret sauce, I would say a couple of things. I think kindness is number one, I'm working with people who are in a really, really stressful time in their lives. Conflict is stressful, and getting a divorce is very stressful, it's up there with death, illness and unemployment. So the first thing is kindness, treating people with kindness. Secondly, warmth and welcoming so I think that we always need to be warm and welcoming to whatever clients we're working with. Some people can be really situationally difficult, because they're in such a difficult situation so it's very important to be warm, welcoming, and kind. Another thing that I do is rapid response is really important when people are in a time of stress, it's very hard for them to wait for a response so I have to walk a fine line between immediately getting back to people, so they know that someone is there for them but I also have to balance of not getting burned out.

Gresham Harkless 7:33

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And a lot of times, you have to make sure to make that time to fill your cup up, so to speak, so that you can be of service and be able to help out the clients that you have. So I think that's incredible that you're able to do that and be in tune with yourself, but also the clients that you work with. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And the CEO hack could be an app or a book or a resource, or just one thing that you feel like makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Ellice Halpern 7:58

Well, I don't know if you've heard of Arlington Women Entrepreneurs now called Awesome Women Entrepreneurs, have you heard of them?

Gresham Harkless 8:04

Yes

Ellice Halpern 8:05

They are an amazing group of entrepreneurs that I joined about the day after I started my business in 2015, a friend of mine had told me about all and it's the most supportive group of entrepreneurs, all of us are different ages and we all have very different businesses. Some of us have new businesses, some of us have been in business for a long time, Some of us have big businesses, Some of us have small businesses, but we're all in very different stages and what's so wonderful about this group is it's an amazing resource whenever I have a question about anything business related, and I think I'm the only mediator in the group, but anything about running my business, there's always somebody in Aw that I can text or email or talk to who gives me great guidance.

See also  IAM1384 - Best Selling Author Empowers Leaders to Pivot their Businesses

Gresham Harkless 8:48

Awesome. Yeah, it's great to be able to have groups that you can lean on and be able to have those resources that you can ask questions about or even things that you might be going through to be able to have that community that you can lean back on. So I'm now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget and this might be some of the information you might give as advice to people or members of all, but I wanted to know if you can tell our readers and listeners a piece of advice or word of wisdom you would have for running your business?

Ellice Halpern 9:12

Sure, I think it's really important to mentor others and to also find a mentor and sometimes mentorship happens very naturally, when you're connecting with people and getting to know them, you're talking to them and you see all that you have in common and I think mentorship, whether you're mentoring somebody or whether someone is mentoring you happens very naturally, and is a wonderful thing. And it helps me grow, whether I'm in a group of mediators, and we're discussing challenging cases and how we can best help people or if I'm in a group of entrepreneurs, and we're talking about bookkeeping and accounting and any problems that we're facing and how we overcame those problems or any great successes that we're having and great tips that we can pass on to each other. So I would say mentorship, mentoring others and finding mentors for ourselves collaborating. And then one last thing I would say is somehow I never took a finance class, at least I can't remember taking a finance class at Cornell or at Georgetown, I'm not sure how I did not take a finance class. But I would recommend to anybody, take a great finance class, it would be a great background and a great help, I think.

Gresham Harkless 10:14

Yeah, and I love those two nuggets. And the idea that, you have an opportunity to glean information and learn information from somebody, as a mentor, even be able to impart that wisdom and insight into somebody else is definitely a great thing to do. And, of course, I've always heard consistently, you want to make sure your numbers. So having that financial background and understanding exactly what's in alignment with your business and how your business is running is definitely important. So I love those CEO nuggets. Now, I wanted to ask you for what is my favorite question, which is the definition for what it means to be a CEO and as you mentioned, with all those different types of business owners big and small, we're hoping to have different types of quote, unquote, CEOs on the podcast. So I want to ask you specifically, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Ellice Halpern 10:56

Well, to me, there's a couple of words that come to mind when you asked me that question. One is flexibility, another one is autonomy, a third one is creativity and a fourth one is freedom. For years, I would get up and fight traffic, and go downtown and work all day and work late at night, and then come back home and we all work really hard at our professions, then I have three kids and life really changed. Because it seems that there's so many tasks and so many things to do in a 24 hour period and the question is always how do I manage my life efficiently? How do I manage my home, my business, my family, everything that I need to get done so when you're your CEO, you're working harder than you've ever worked in your life, but you're doing it on your terms, I set my mediations for the times that work for me and for the times where I know a mediation is going to be highly effective. For example, when people have slept, they've eaten, they've got high energy in the morning, that's when a mediation is going to be really effective. If you're going to mediate at four o'clock or five o'clock when the weight of the day is on you and people are tired and hungry, it's not going to go so well. So number one is flexibility in terms of autonomy, I love that I can write my agreements wherever I need to write them if I'm on travel, I can write them all I need is a laptop, I can mediate remotely. I've had clients from other countries who have found me thinking of a couple cases where there were families who used to have an Arlington base, I think that's how they found me and we're living overseas, I've mediated remotely before, I'm willing to give anything a go to see how things will work, you've got the flexibility to do that. Initially, when I was first asked if I could mediate remotely Well, we're trained to mediate face to face and to be present for each other in the same room. My initial response was, oh, no, I don't do that, I heard myself saying that and I was shocked and I said, let's give it a go, let's figure out a way how we can make a remote mediation work. So since then, I've done several remote mediations, and they've worked out well you just have to make sure that you can all see each other and hear each other really well. Let's see flexibility, autonomy, creativity and freedom. Creativity, when you're mediating agreements, you have the creativity to come up with solutions that work for any family whereas if a family was before a judge, that family knows nothing about the judge, does the judge have children, has the judge ever been married? what kind of experiences this judge have working with families, yet this person that families know nothing about this judge, they are giving the judge all that power to make decisions for their family. So I always say to the families I work with, here in mediation, you've got the creativity, and you've got the flexibility to devise any kind of agreement that makes sense for your family and to make decisions that make sense for your family, why would you give that power to a judge. And last freedom, I feel like I have an incredible sense of freedom that I can do my work wherever I am in the world, I can take on as many clients as I want, If I'm away for a week, I can, say to my clients, hey, this is when I'm gone, this is when I'll be back, I'm always here for you but please understand, I'm not going to have connectivity. So those four words are what I think about every day flexibility, autonomy, creativity and freedom, anything I'm missing?

Gresham Harkless 14:09

No, I mean, I think that hit the nail on the head. And that's awesome that where you explained through the pillars of what it means to be a CEO and I think that's a phenomenal definition. So I think you hit the nail on the head, so to speak.

Ellice Halpern 14:20

Oh, great,

Gresham Harkless 14:21

Well, cool. Well, at least I truly appreciate you taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic so to speak, to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know and also how best people can get a hold of you.

Ellice Halpern 14:32

Well, one other additional thing that I never really thought of until recently is it's important to have a really good bookkeeper and a really good accountant. So I would say when you're starting a business, I was using the accountant that I'd always used and I just came to the realization that personal finances are one thing but when you're running a business, always think about how you can do things more efficiently and this realization that I just came to was you know what, I need to keep my one accountant for my personal life and I need to have bookkeeper and accountant for my business life as well. So that was just a new light bulb that went off. And I would say every week or two, I understand something new that I should be doing and maybe that I should have been doing, I try not to beat myself up too much about what I didn't do in the past and just try to move forward in terms of how I can make things more efficient, run more smoothly, be better. And then you can just call me at 202-256-6428 and take a look at my website, which is www.littlefallsmediation.com and there's a lot of information on my website about how mediation works, and what the process looks like, a lot of resources on there and I write a blog, people were asking me to write a blog. So once a month, I usually write about a topic that people asked me to write about, such as , dating after divorce, or finances and divorce, anything that people find of interest.

Gresham Harkless 15:51

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yeah. And we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow up with you and definitely, hear about all the awesome things you're doing and awesome content that you're creating. But Ellice, thank you so much again for taking some time out and giving us a lot of knowledge and information and being our mentor today. So I appreciate you.

Ellice Halpern 16:07

Thank you so much for having me.

Outro 16:09

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Thank you for listening

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

[/restrict]

CB

CBNation helps entrepreneurs and business owners succeed with visibility, resources and connections. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button