I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM838- Lawyer Specializes in Estate Planning Law and Contract Law

Podcast Interview with Michael Wakefield

Michael is a lawyer at Wakefield Law, PLLC, a family-owned law firm located in Leesburg, Virginia. Michael specializes in estate planning law and contract law including the collection of debts. He lives in Purcellville, Virginia with his wife, Paige, and daughter, Eloise.

  • CEO Hack: I try to treat those I work with as if they are my most important clients
  • CEO Nugget: Trust yourself more
  • CEO Defined: Accountability, meeting deadlines, and ensuring details are attended too

Website: https://www.wakefieldpllc.com/

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/wakefieldpllc/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wakefield-law-pllc/

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!

 

Please Note: Our team is using the AI CEO Hacks: Exemplary AI and Otter.ai to support our podcast transcription. While we know it's improving there may be some inaccuracies, we are updating and improving them. Please contact us if you notice any issues, you can also test out Exemplary AI here.

 

00:02 – Intro

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.

00:30 – Gresham Harkless

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 Michael Wakefield of Wakefield Law PLLC. Michael, it's awesome having you on the show.

00:39 – Michael Wakefield

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

00:41 – Gresham Harkless

I'm excited. Definitely. I'm super excited to have you on as well too. Before we jump into the interview, I wanted to read a little bit more about Michael so you can hear about all these awesome things that he's doing. Michael is a lawyer at Wakeful Law PLLC, a family-owned law firm located in Leesburg, Virginia. Michael specializes in estate planning law and contract law, including collections of debts. He lives in Perstville, Virginia with his wife, Paige, and daughter, Eloise. And Michael, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

01:08 – Michael Wakefield

Yeah, absolutely.

01:09 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And wanted to start everything by hearing a little bit more about how you got started and all the awesome things you're doing. Could you take us through your story so we can hear about all these awesome things and what brings you to where you are now?

01:18 – Michael Wakefield:

Absolutely, yeah. So my story is sort of, it has some twists and turns to it. So I started actually as a music major at the first college that I went to and wanted to pursue that maybe with the ultimate goal of going into conducting an orchestra or something like that. And I just, as I started to get into that, I didn't find that there was the sort of all-around mental stimulation that I was looking for in the long-term career. So that's, I died for a year and then I transferred to William and Mary down in Williamsburg, Virginia. And, you know, started the path toward law school. My father is a lawyer and he started our firm. It was previously called Charles S. Wakefield Jr. PC.

We've renamed it Wakefield Law now that it's more than just him as a lawyer there. So he had always done law, and I was always interested in it. But there's definitely a great aspect of why I wanted to go forward with it, to have the family business, you know, a good feeling between the 2 of us, which is nice. But so I went to, like I said, William & Mary for my undergraduate. And then when I was thinking about where to go to law school, I sort of wanted a totally different experience from my undergraduate. And so I applied and got into the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clark School of Law, which is a historically Black university in DC. And I really just wanted to get sort of a different kind of education than my peers were getting.

And it was really terrific. Almost immediately at UDC, they drop you into legal clinics where you're, like I said, almost immediately practicing with real people and their real problems, rather than a lot of my peers who were learning cases that occurred in the 1800s. You get a different experience of what law means when you're working with people and you have to solve their problems realistically. So that was my law school experience and then we started out, you know, I started out in my father's firm. One of my most important goals was to become profitable immediately, which was, you know, it's tough for a new associate. So, you know, I took over a book of business from the firm and that's when you're saying in my bio, the contract litigation collection of debt size.

I took that part over and have tried to grow that. But then I sort of started a new area of practice, which was the estate planning arm of our firm. So working with clients on drafting their documents for incapacity planning and end of life and all sorts of, you know, the stuff that you never really want to think about, but it's important to get your affairs in order. So, you know, we started that and it's been going strong. It's been growing and it's been great. That's sort of my story. My wife and I met in high school. We're high school sweethearts and, You know, we've been together 10 years now and are over 10 years and we've said our first our little daughter Eloise in March so she's you know a little coronavirus baby, but Everybody's safe and you know, we're really grateful. We've had some good time to spend with her So yeah, that's sort of that's my story.

04:33 – Gresham Harkless

Nice. So I definitely appreciate you, you know, telling us your story and happy, you know, 10 flesh years, and congratulations on your daughter as well, too. I think that so many times, we forget why we do the things that we do, and to me, it always comes back to family. It sounds like that's very important to you as well.

04:50 – Michael Wakefield

Yeah, it's sort of everything.

04:52 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And so I know you touched on it a little bit. I love your background and your interest in being in the music and being able to look for that, you know, different experience. Do you feel like that has translated into your I guess your practice and everything you all are doing you know with the business?

05:08 – Michael Wakefield

I think so yeah I hope so I think that my experience you know I was always more focused on the arts than I was on you know I always played sports but I was more focused on the arts and, you know, so drama and music. And I think that exercise is a different part of your brain than getting exercise with sort of day-to-day things. And so yeah, I like to think maybe I'm more of a creative problem solver. It also introduced me to a whole group of people that you know not everybody gets to be introduced to so I think I'm a more well-rounded person because of it and maybe more creative when it comes to problem-solving you know more than just you know you know people will say oh you did drama You're probably gonna be a good trial lawyer in front of a jury. Maybe, I'm not sure, but definitely, I think the 2 parts that I just mentioned.

05:55 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, I always feel like the more kind of different experiences you have in the different lenses you kind of look through provide a more varied experience and helps you like when you talked about coming to that problem solving when so many times people are looking from one vantage point is sometimes hard to get out of yourself, so to speak. But when you have more varied experiences, it's all kind of a part of you and what you have done. So I know you touched on a little bit with you know what exactly you all do at Wakefield Law PLLC. Could you expand if there's anything additional you didn't touch on and what you feel kind of sets you all apart and is your secret sauce?

06:26 – Michael Wakefield

Absolutely. So like I said, my father started it 30-plus years ago, in the same place in Leesburg. He's always served all of Northern Virginia with those areas, and those areas were and still are. The contract law, collection of debts for businesses when they have AR, and things like that, you can use us for that. And then to litigate a contract. He's also always done personal injuries, so car accidents and other types of accidents where the person who hired was not at fault. And then, you know, we do, I do the estate planning, which you know is wills and powers of attorney and trusts and all sorts of documents that you need to get together. When you say what sets you apart, I frequently say be wary when you're working with attorneys.

I don't have necessarily the highest opinion of most attorneys because I think it's maybe people always say they're looking out for the client. But I think the example I always give is a lawyer should be able to, you know, barring some exceptions, a lawyer should be able to win. In most cases, if you keep appealing it, if you keep spending money if you have unlimited resources, then you should be able to win a case. But that's sort of what I was getting back to at the beginning when I said, that's not realistic legal services. Realistic legal services are when a client comes to you and says, I want to hire you for X, you're not just saying, oh great, another client, another sale.

It's what's best for this client in the grand scheme of things in relation to me and my firm. Is it best for me to say, yes, and let's move forward? Is it best for me to say, I want to do an investigation, let's do a free consultation, so I really fully understand exactly what your problem is and see if I'm the right person for you? Or a lot of the time, we turn away a lot of business where, you know, it won't be exactly what we do. And we say, you know, we'll help you find somebody, but, sort of our mantra and sort of, I guess this is where I get into what sets us apart.

See also  IAM493- Founder and Trial Lawyer Uses Modern Technology to Give a Legal Experience

Our mantra is, to stay in your lane. I only, only do things that you are an expert in and 100% comfortable with. I think a lot of attorneys get in trouble saying, I'm smart, I can figure it out on the fly. And clients pick up on that because they're smart and they say, why hire you? And maybe it was a great sale for the attorney at the moment, but it's really bad in the long run because you get a bad reputation and in law just like almost every field reputation was almost everything

08:57 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that's absolutely a powerful kind of mantra that you all have. And it's so funny because a lot of times I'll say, if you run your own race, you'll never lose. And I think we get in trouble when we try to run somebody else's race. And like you said, you know, trying to do things that aren't in your lane, so to speak, and you start to spread yourself. But as you mentioned, that reputation piece is huge all across the board. So, you know, a lot of times people say the way you do one thing is the way you do many things. So that speaks to kind of who you are and what you do. So I love that you guys all are able to focus.

09:25 – Michael Wakefield:

Yeah, absolutely.

09:27 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple Book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

09:39 – Michael Wakefield

CEO hack, I think for us, it really comes down to trying to treat someone who you're working with as if they were a family member or as if they're you know your most important client, and again I think a lot of these are sort of cliched by the practice of law and these things are said a lot but done rarely. If you actually treat every client like they are your most important client, I think you're going to benefit from that. And that'll lead me to be spending a lot of time on maybe a case where my maximum fee is not going to be huge or even big. It could be a small fee. But even if I do that, I know I'm going to, in most cases, win over the client, gain their trust, and make them feel like they're important.

Because a lot of the times in law, And what I do, you're meeting with people in a dark time or sometimes the worst time of their lives. So I think I know people get turned off by attorneys thinking that their time is super valuable. My time is valuable, but I always want to give it out as freely as possible to, you know, like I said, realistically help people with their problems. So I think that's a good, a good nugget or, you know, hack too, to keep, keep in mind, you know, treat every client like they're your most important client.

11:02 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, so now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you hop into a time machine, you might tell your business self.

11:13 – Michael Wakefield

I think it would be to trust yourself. One of the toughest points of my practice was, like I said, starting where I was creating this entirely new focus of our practice within the firm. I read every book, and I spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours, thousands of hours preparing for the first client. And that's great. And it's helped me but I think if I would have trusted myself more, you know, I would have been able to start earlier and, you know, serve more clients, because I just really wasn't giving myself any sort of grace or credit for all the stuff I did know. And I think it's something lawyers say a lot, but I think like I've been saying so far, it applies to a lot of people.

If you trust yourself and you're confident that you're going to do the best thing for the client, you're going to be able to help them. One of the most important parts of it is managing expectations, I think, as well, as making sure your client knows where you're going, and where the case stands. I think a lot of lawyers get in trouble saying, well, this is a slam dunk. So being straightforward with clients and being able to manage those expectations, you know, And if I had thought about all those things earlier, I think I would have been more comfortable starting out more confidently instead of taking almost a year before I even took my first client.

12:41 -Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And so now I wanna ask you my absolute favorite question. And I know we touched a little bit upon this and kind of the different perspective, but we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Michael, what does being a quote-unquote CEO mean to you?

12:54 – Michael Wakefield

I think it means accountability. I think it means the buck stops with you. I learned from my father that you need to make sure that everybody knows that you're going to come through, that if you say you're going to do something, you're going to do it, being super ultra-organized and making sure that every sort of deadline and detail is attended to and never sort of pushing it off and saying, well, it was this assistant's fault or, you know, it was the court's fault because they're busy. You know, those things can happen. But at the end of the day, when you're running a business or when you're running a part of a business, you need to be accountable to your clients and honest about where everything stands.

13:38 – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Well, Michael, I truly appreciate that perspective and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a view and find out about all those things you in the same work on.

13:53 – Michael Wakefield

Sure. So I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of the things that I think is really important about just 1 of the areas that I practice. So the estate planning portion, I'll just say, it doesn't matter if you talk to me or if you talk to anybody. It's not just the elderly. It's not just the ultra-wealthy sort everybody, whether they're 18 years old or 110 years old, has documents that they need to get together. You know, it's sort of, I always think of it, it's a responsibility to yourself and to your family, loved ones and people who rely on you. So I think it's a big misconception that you put it off and do it later or I don't have a lot of money, so I don't need a will. It's just one piece of estate planning, which is the transfer of assets.

So I always like to mention that, just to say, just talk to somebody. And I'm someone who always does sort of a free consultation, guarantee that. And if people just have questions, the timer doesn't start ticking when somebody calls me. I just think that's a really bad way to practice, where if someone calls me, they have a question. If I'm able to, I'll take a little bit of time. And where else? Like, can you call me back at a time where I can take a little time to sort of answer your question? Because one of my goals has always been to be an accessible lawyer because a lot of lawyers are certainly not. So call me, call somebody, do some research, but make sure that this portion of things is taken care of.

There's always a hundred thousand things to take care of, but I think this one's important. So, and sort of best way to get in touch with me is either, you know, go into my firm's website, which is Wakefieldpllc.com, And we've got a little contact box or of course, you can email, we've got a Facebook page which has our email and all our contact information online. We'll always take some time and I always try to get back to you all right away as soon as possible.

15:45 – Gresham Harkless

Nice. Well, I appreciate that, Michael. We will have the links, you know, and information in the show notes and appreciate you for being that person to talk to because I think so many times there are people, and I'm sure you experienced, where people think that they can kind of kick the bucket or do it later on. And that later on comes a lot earlier than sometimes is anticipated. So it's so important to kind of take care of those, you know, aspects of your estate before you need to because often it can be a messier situation if it's not taken care of. So I appreciate, you know, all the work that you do and the firm does relate to that and appreciate your time, of course, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

16:20 – Michael Wakefield

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

16:24 – Outro

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.

00:02 - Intro

See also  IAM991- Make-up Artist Helps Women Look and Feel Their Best

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.

00:30 - Gresham Harkless

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 Michael Wakefield of Wakefield Law PLLC. Michael, it's awesome having you on the show. 

00:39 - Michael Wakefield

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

00:41 - Gresham Harkless

I'm excited. Definitely. I'm super excited to have you on as well too. Before we jump into the interview, I wanted to read a little bit more about Michael so you can hear about all these awesome things that he's doing. Michael is a lawyer at Wakeful Law PLLC, a family-owned law firm located in Leesburg, Virginia. Michael specializes in estate planning law and contract law, including collections of debts. He lives in Perstville, Virginia with his wife, Paige, and daughter, Louise, and Michael, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

01:08 - Michael Wakefield

Yeah, absolutely.

01:09 - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And wanted to start everything by hearing a little bit more about how you got started and all the awesome things you're doing. Could you take us through your story so we can hear about all these awesome things and what brings you to where you are now? 

01:18 - Michael Wakefield: Absolutely, yeah. So my story is sort of, it has some twists and turns to it. So I started out actually as a music major at the first college that I went to and wanted to pursue that maybe with the ultimate goal of going into conducting an orchestra or something like that. And I just, as I started to get into that, I didn't find that there was the sort of all-around mental stimulation that I was looking for in the long-term career. So that's, I died for a year and then I transferred to William and Mary down in Williamsburg, Virginia. And, you know, started the path toward law school. My father is a lawyer and he started our firm. It was previously called Charles S. Wakefield Jr. PC.

We've renamed it Wakefield Law now that it's more than just him as a lawyer there. So he had always done law, and I was always interested in it. But there's definitely a great aspect of why I wanted to go forward with it, to have the family business, you know, a good feeling between the 2 of us, which is nice. But so I went to, like I said, William & Mary for my undergraduate. And then when I was thinking about where to go to law school, I sort of wanted a totally different experience from my undergraduate. And so I applied and got into the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clark School of Law, which is a historically Black university in DC. And I really just wanted to get sort of a different kind of education than my peers were getting.

And it was really terrific. Almost immediately at UDC, they drop you into legal clinics where you're, like I said, almost immediately practicing with real people and their real problems, rather than a lot of my peers who were learning cases that occurred in the 1800s. You get a different experience of what law means when you're working with people and you have to solve their problems realistically. So that was my law school experience and then we started out, you know, I started out in my father's firm. One of my most important goals was to become profitable immediately, which was, you know, it's tough for a new associate. So, you know, I took over a book of business from the firm and that's when you're saying in my bio, the contract litigation collection of debt size.

I took that part over and have tried to grow that. But then I sort of started a new area of practice, which was the estate planning arm of our firm. So working with clients on drafting their documents for incapacity planning and end of life and all sorts of, you know, the stuff that you never really want to think about, but it's important to get your affairs in order. So, you know, we started that and it's been going strong. It's been growing and it's been great. That's sort of my story. My wife and I met in high school. We're high school sweethearts and, You know, we've been together 10 years now and are over 10 years and we've said our first our little daughter Eloise in March so she's you know a little coronavirus baby, but Everybody's safe and you know, we're really grateful. We've had some good time to spend with her So yeah, that's sort of that's my story.

04:33 - Gresham Harkless

Nice. So I definitely appreciate you, you know, telling us your story and happy, you know, 10 flesh years, and congratulations on your daughter as well, too. I think that so many times, we forget why we do the things that we do, and to me, it always comes back to family. It sounds like that's very important to you as well.

04:50 - Michael Wakefield

Yeah, it's sort of everything.

04:52 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And so I know you touched on it a little bit. I love your background and your interest in being in the music and being able to look for that, you know, different experience. Do you feel like that has translated into your I guess your practice and everything you all are doing you know with with the business?

05:08 - Michael Wakefield

I think so yeah I hope so I think that my experience you know I was always more focused on the arts than I was on you know I always played sports but I was more focused on the arts and, you know, so drama and music. And I think that exercise is a different part of your brain than getting exercise with sort of day-to-day things. And so yeah, I like to think maybe I'm more of a creative problem solver. It also introduced me to a whole group of people that you know not everybody gets to be introduced to so I think I'm a more well-rounded person because of it and maybe more creative when it comes to problem-solving you know more than just you know you know people will say oh you did drama You're probably gonna be a good trial lawyer in front of a jury. Maybe, I'm not sure, but definitely, I think the 2 parts that I just mentioned.

05:55 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, I always feel like the more kind of different experiences you have in the different lenses you kind of look through provide a more varied experience and helps you like when you talked about coming to that problem solving when so many times people are looking from one vantage point is sometimes hard to get out of yourself, so to speak. But when you have more varied experiences, it's all kind of a part of you and what you have done. So I know you touched on a little bit with you know what exactly you all do at Wakefield Law PLLC. Could you expand if there's anything additional you didn't touch on and what you feel kind of sets you all apart and is your secret sauce?

06:26 - Michael Wakefield

Absolutely. So like I said, my father started it 30-plus years ago, in the same place in Leesburg. He's always served all of Northern Virginia with those areas, and those areas were and still are. The contract law, collection of debts for businesses when they have AR, and things like that, you can use us for that. And then to litigate a contract. He's also always done personal injuries, so car accidents and other types of accidents where the person who hired was not at fault. And then, you know, we do, I do the estate planning, which you know is wills and powers of attorney and trusts and all sorts of documents that you need to get together. When you say what sets you apart, I frequently say be wary when you're working with attorneys.

I don't have necessarily the highest opinion of most attorneys because I think it's maybe people always say they're looking out for the client. But I think the example I always give is a lawyer should be able to, you know, barring some exceptions, a lawyer should be able to win. In most cases, if you keep appealing it, if you keep spending money if you have unlimited resources, then you should be able to win a case. But that's sort of what I was getting back to at the beginning when I said, that's not realistic legal services. Realistic legal services are when a client comes to you and says, I want to hire you for X, you're not just saying, oh great, another client, another sale.

It's what's best for this client in the grand scheme of things in relation to me and my firm. Is it best for me to say, yes, and let's move forward? Is it best for me to say, I want to do an investigation, let's do a free consultation, so I really fully understand exactly what your problem is and see if I'm the right person for you? Or a lot of the time, we turn away a lot of business where, you know, it won't be exactly what we do. And we say, you know, we'll help you find somebody, but, sort of our mantra and sort of, I guess this is where I get into what sets us apart.

See also  IAM504- Coach and Podcast Host Helps Women Achieve More

Our mantra is, to stay in your lane. I only, only do things that you are an expert in and 100% comfortable with. I think a lot of attorneys get in trouble saying, I'm smart, I can figure it out on the fly. And clients pick up on that because they're smart and they say, why hire you? And maybe it was a great sale for the attorney at the moment, but it's really bad in the long run because you get a bad reputation and in law just like almost every field reputation was almost everything

08:57 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that's absolutely a powerful kind of mantra that you all have. And it's so funny because a lot of times I'll say, if you run your own race, you'll never lose. And I think we get in trouble when we try to run somebody else's race. And like you said, you know, trying to do things that aren't in your lane, so to speak, and you start to spread yourself. But as you mentioned, that reputation piece is huge all across the board. So, you know, a lot of times people say the way you do one thing is the way you do many things. So that speaks to kind of who you are and what you do. So I love that you guys all are able to focus.

09:25 - Michael Wakefield: Yeah, absolutely.

09:27 - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple Book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

09:39 - Michael Wakefield

CEO hack, I think for us, it really comes down to trying to treat someone who you're working with as if they were a family member or as if they're you know your most important client, and again I think a lot of these are sort of cliched by the practice of law and these things are said a lot but done rarely. If you actually treat every client like they are your most important client, I think you're going to benefit from that. And that'll lead me to be spending a lot of time on maybe a case where my maximum fee is not going to be huge or even big. It could be a small fee. But even if I do that, I know I'm going to, in most cases, win over the client, gain their trust, and make them feel like they're important.

Because a lot of the times in law, And what I do, you're meeting with people in a dark time or sometimes the worst time of their lives. So I think I know people get turned off by attorneys thinking that their time is super valuable. My time is valuable, but I always want to give it out as freely as possible to, you know, like I said, realistically help people with their problems. So I think that's a good, a good nugget or, you know, hack too, to keep, keep in mind, you know, treat every client like they're your most important client.

11:02 - Gresham Harkless

Awesome, so now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you hop into a time machine, you might tell your business self.

11:13 - Michael Wakefield

I think it would be to trust yourself. One of the toughest points of my practice was, like I said, starting where I was creating this entirely new focus of our practice within the firm. I read every book, and I spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours, thousands of hours preparing for the first client. And that's great. And it's helped me but I think if I would have trusted myself more, you know, I would have been able to start earlier and, you know, serve more clients, because I just really wasn't giving myself any sort of grace or credit for all the stuff I did know. And I think it's something lawyers say a lot, but I think like I've been saying so far, it applies to a lot of people.

If you trust yourself and you're confident that you're going to do the best thing for the client, you're going to be able to help them. One of the most important parts of it is managing expectations, I think, as well, as making sure your client knows where you're going, and where the case stands. I think a lot of lawyers get in trouble saying, well, this is a slam dunk. So being straightforward with clients and being able to manage those expectations, you know, And if I had thought about all those things earlier, I think I would have been more comfortable starting out more confidently instead of taking almost a year before I even took my first client.

12:41 -Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And so now I wanna ask you my absolute favorite question. And I know we touched a little bit upon this and kind of the different perspective, but we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Michael, what does being a quote-unquote CEO mean to you?

12:54 - Michael Wakefield

I think it means accountability. I think it means the buck stops with you. I learned from my father that you need to make sure that everybody knows that you're going to come through, that if you say you're going to do something, you're going to do it, being super ultra-organized and making sure that every sort of deadline and detail is attended to and never sort of pushing it off and saying, well, it was this assistant's fault or, you know, it was the court's fault because they're busy. You know, those things can happen. But at the end of the day, when you're running a business or when you're running a part of a business, you need to be accountable to your clients and honest about where everything stands.

13:38 - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Well, Michael, I truly appreciate that perspective and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a view and find out about all those things you in the same work on.

13:53 - Michael Wakefield

Sure. So I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of the things that I think is really important about just 1 of the areas that I practice. So the estate planning portion, I'll just say, it doesn't matter if you talk to me or if you talk to anybody. It's not just the elderly. It's not just the ultra-wealthy sort everybody, whether they're 18 years old or 110 years old, has documents that they need to get together. You know, it's sort of, I always think of it, it's a responsibility to yourself and to your family, loved ones and people who rely on you. So I think it's a big misconception that you put it off and do it later or I don't have a lot of money, so I don't need a will. It's just one piece of estate planning, which is the transfer of assets.

So I always like to mention that, just to say, just talk to somebody. And I'm someone who always does sort of a free consultation, guarantee that. And if people just have questions, the timer doesn't start ticking when somebody calls me. I just think that's a really bad way to practice, where if someone calls me, they have a question. If I'm able to, I'll take a little bit of time. And where else? Like, can you call me back at a time where I can take a little time to sort of answer your question? Because one of my goals has always been to be an accessible lawyer because a lot of lawyers are certainly not. So call me, call somebody, do some research, but make sure that this portion of things is taken care of.

There's always a hundred thousand things to take care of, but I think this one's important. So, and sort of best way to get in touch with me is either, you know, go into my firm's website, which is Wakefieldpllc.com, And we've got a little contact box or of course, you can email, we've got a Facebook page which has our email and all our contact information online. We'll always take some time and I always try to get back to you all right away as soon as possible.

15:45 - Gresham Harkless

Nice. Well, I appreciate that, Michael. We will have the links, you know, and information in the show notes and appreciate you for being that person to talk to because I think so many times there are people, and I'm sure you experienced, where people think that they can kind of kick the bucket or do it later on. And that later on comes a lot earlier than sometimes is anticipated. So it's so important to kind of take care of those, you know, aspects of your estate before you need to because often it can be a messier situation if it's not taken care of. So I appreciate, you know, all the work that you do and the firm does relate to that and appreciate your time, of course, and I hope you have a great rest of the day. 

16:20 - Michael Wakefield

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

16:24 - Outro

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.

[/restrict]

Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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