DMV CEOI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM1003- Principal Attorney Helps Protect Intellectual Property

Podcast Interview with Laila Ghauri

Laila Ghauri is the principal attorney and founder of the Antares Law Firm, focusing her practice on trademarks, small business advising, and government contracts. Previously, she worked for large firms, including Kelley Drye Warren, government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and midsize firms focusing on employment law and civil rights.

She devotes her time to her local community and is currently serving as a fellow with the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center and a dedicated contributor to the DC Bar’s pro bono services for small businesses and non-profits. Over the past decade, Laila has taught as a university professor, is a published author, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in law and religion. In her free time, she loves international travel, painting, meditation, and practicing yoga.

  • CEO Hack: Self-care through meditation
  • CEO Nugget: Have faith in yourself, take the risk when you can
  • CEO Defined: Having the freedom

Website: https://antareslawfirm.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/antareslawfirm/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/antareslawfirm
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/antareslawgroup/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/antareslawfirm

Full Interview:


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Transcription

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00:26 – Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

00:54 – 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 Layla Gari of Ontario's Law Farm. Layla, It's awesome to have you on the show.

01:03 – Laila Ghauri:

Hey, nice to meet you. And I'm really happy to be here.

01:07 – Gresham Harkless:

Definitely nice to meet you as well. I'm super excited to have you on the show. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Leila so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Leila is a principal attorney and founder of Ontaris Law Firm, focusing her practice on trademarks, small business advising, and government contracts. Previously, she worked for large firms, including Kelly Dryer Warren, government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA, and mid-sized firms focusing on employment law and civil rights.

She devotes her time to her local community and is currently serving as a fellow with the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center and a dedicated contributor to the DC Bars Pro Bono services for small businesses and nonprofits. Over the past decade, Layla has taught as a university professor, has a published offer, and is currently pursuing her PhD in law and religion. In her free time, she loves international travel, painting, meditation, and practicing yoga. Layla, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

02:03 – Laila Ghauri:

Yes, let's do it.

02:05 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, well, let's do it then. So to kind of kick everything off, I just wanted to rewind the clock a little bit and hear a little bit more about how you guys started what I call your CEO story.

02:13 – Laila Ghauri

Yeah, absolutely. I think 1 of the biggest things being a woman, being a person of color in today's sort of climate, I noticed that a lot of my supervisors and partners at the firms I was working for, you know, they didn't look like me, they didn't have a story like mine. And I brought something to the table that sometimes I felt, okay, you know what, I could add value, but I don't know how to market that to my supervisors. And so I thought, well, you have a skill set and you bring a very unique point of view. Why not try this on your own? And it was 1 of the most terrifying things I've ever done, but I didn't. I took a leap of faith and sort of in my own self, and I said, let's try this. Let's see if I can contribute in a meaningful way to my local communities with the skill sets that I've gained with all this experience from these larger organizations and institutions and corporations.

Yeah, that's how it started. It was sort of, I grew up, let's put it that way. I grew up out of this fearful mindset of I need to be employed with someone who has a brand name company I want to create my own brand and I want to help other people do it and I also want to have relationships like one-on-one relationships with people. When you're working for large companies, you really never speak to your clients, especially when you're an entry-level person or low associate. If you're a first-year associate, you're not going to get that contact. It's very rare. And so it's been really rewarding to talk to the clients that I'm serving and to see my work produce something meaningful in their lives.

03:53 – Gresham Harkless

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate you for sharing that and, of course, doing the work that you do and being able to have that impact on the community. I appreciate you especially talking about that fear piece because I think so many times, you know, kind of there's a saying is, you know, do it scared as long as you do it because I think so many times that fear sometimes restricts people from even trying to do something and I think if we don't talk enough about that, We don't realize that even those people we see and are successful, they might have had that fear, but they did it scared, they did it fearful. And there are some really phenomenal things that come forth when you take that action.

04:27 –  Laila Ghauri

No, absolutely. I mean, even public speaking is 1 of my biggest fears. Here I am talking to you and I'm like, I don't know how it's happening, but here we are. And so for you, I think you grow as a person when you put yourself in these positions of entrepreneurship, you grow as a person significantly. I'm sure you know You've done it.

04:46 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I think so many times we don't realize the power that we have within. But I think if we step out and do those things, whether it be public speaking or certain business or whatever it might be, we sometimes can astound ourselves. But I think as you said so well too, is often the things that we do, the gifts that we have, often innately that we're kind of maybe fearful about sharing, they impact well beyond ourselves. They impact our communities and all the different things that we're doing. So that starts to make it all worth it, as you said so well.

05:13 –  Laila Ghauri

Yeah, You put it even better than I did, so thanks.

05:18 – Gresham Harkless:

No worries at all. I could just repeat it. You're doing awesome work so that just makes it a lot easier for me. And so I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more about how you work with your clients. Can you take us through how you serve your clients and what that looks like?

05:29 – Laila Ghauri

Sure. Yeah, so we're a batik law practice. What that means is that we are small enough to give our clients one-on-one time. In a lot of larger firms, you'll talk to the assistant, you'll talk to the paralegal, and maybe you'll get some FaceTime. It's here you get a really enriched experience. You come to us to start a business, we really walk you through the process. We talk to you about everything we're doing. I make sure that I'm talking and responding to my clients throughout that process as frequently as I can, as humanly possible within reason. So a lot of times with new startup spokes, you've got a lot of nervousness. You've got a lot of questions about taxes insurance and licensing.

And so we make sure that we hear you out and then we connect you. If we can't answer that question, then we connect you with the right professional. And so that you can go get the services you need or at least start to shop around and know what to look for. And so that's the added value in terms of actually doing the work for you, but also to kind of educate you on like here's what you need as someone who's starting a company in terms of legally and sometimes we'll also kind of share with our clients, third-party vendors, for example, like graphic designers, you know, all the things that you need in today's market.

And so we make sure that that sort of individualized care is given to our client and we get clients from all different kinds of industries So part of our job is to learn about your industry before we start advising you, especially licensing every industry is different. You know, the restaurants are very different than if you're starting a cooking company, than if you're starting some sort of a publishing company. So it's, it's, it's fun kind of having to work every day and learning about a new industry and really learning about it so that we can serve our clients, you know, 0 to 100. And then of course there's a trademark and soft IP side and that, you know, again you can go to a number of people that do that kind of work.

Everybody can file a trademark application for you, but the reason you would come to a trademark attorney, someone who has experience in that particular field is because more than half of trademark applications get rejected. There are a number of phases that you have to go through. When shopping for a trademark attorney, you want someone who's patient, someone who's going to sit down and talk you through not just the macroscopic process that the United States Patent and Trademark Office is going to require of you, but also how that attorney going to ensure that all of these steps have been accounted for, even at the first stage of filing?

You know, like, I think a good trademark attorney is going to tell you, hey, the chances of this actually making it all the way to the end is pretty high. Okay, fine. Go for it. It's pretty low, but here's how we can do it. And here are all the fees you might incur trying to fight it. And so really being transparent and having the patience to, again, listen and address the particular client's needs because not all legal services are sort of, you know, every business, every individual has different needs. And so you wanna make sure that you're going to an attorney that has the patience and wants to actually figure out who are you? What's your company? What are your goals? What are your values?

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And can we serve you? And that's really gonna help you work well with an attorney instead of, I feel like a lot of people just shop for the lowest price point. And then later down the line, when they end up paying more fees because something did not get filed correctly or something was not advised to them properly, it can become a huge hot mess.

08:46 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I appreciate you for drilling down on that and helping so many clients with that. Because I think, as you said, at least this is what I heard definitely coming up is when you were working with those larger firms, you were kind of, I don't know if the right word is craving, but you really wanted that human interaction, that opportunity to kind of see the impact that you have.

And that's what I kind of hear coming out. And what you're saying is you're understanding this is what clients are potentially looking for Maybe some of the questions they might have floating around in their head, and you're trying to make sure that you are patient, you make sure you develop that relationship and give them kind of a lay of the land so that you don't have those hot mess situations down the line. And I love that you're kind of able to do that. Would you consider that to be what kind of sets you apart and makes you unique in what I like to call your secret sauce?

09:27 – Laila Ghauri

I think so. I think less far that would be the secret sauce. And every, you know, as what I've learned is a business is like an organic entity like it's a child in a way, you know, it's growing and it's going to show you what it is. You know, you have 1 10 for it. It's going to show you what it is. So every year I learn more about my business from my business. I'm learning from the clients and the vendors I'm working with. So, so far, yes, I think that human one-on-one people crave it. You know, when you're looking for an attorney, you're a little terrified usually because you're going because something's wrong or you're trying to do something that you don't know how to do. And so you want someone you can trust, someone who's transparent, you know. And so, yeah, I would say that's, that's definitely part of our secret sauce. We're still developing the recipe. Let's put it that way.

10:08 – Gresham Harkless

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

10:19 – Laila Ghauri

Right. Gosh, you're going to learn a lot about me today. I think anyone who's trying to do something different needs to really get to know themselves. So having some self-care practices is really important. So entrepreneurship, for me, the way that I have survived and hopefully will thrive is that I meditate every day. I wake up, I get focused, I have a morning routine, and then I start my work that way. And that's not like a legal hack, but that's like a personal life hack. And I think regardless of what industry you're in, having that kind of practice is going to help you thrive.

Because when you're working for yourself and there's no insurance that, hey, you're going to get paid. Every day looks different. You're probably your marketing team. You're probably your accountant. You're probably doing everything between that and actually being a lawyer. And you've got to ground yourself. You've got to know, okay, you've got to have to have, stress management, get the right amount of sleep, you know, get physical activity. And so having those self-care routines in your day, I think is a secret life hack when succeeding in entrepreneurship, you're gonna need it.

11:27 – Gresham Harkless

Yes, absolutely. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something if you were to hop into a time machine, you would tell your younger business self or potentially you might tell a client too.

11:39 – Laila Ghauri

I mean, it's going back to what I was talking about early. Have a little faith in yourself. Give it a try.

11:43 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah.

11:44 –  Laila Ghauri

When you're younger than when you're older, you know, it's, it's, take the risk when you can, as you incur more responsibility in your life, and you know, mortgage, children, whatever, you know, you're gonna be less likely to take, take the job. So do it when you're younger, and you have the ability to take the risk and recover more quickly from it if you need to.

12:04 – Gresham Harkless

Well, I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO or open to having different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Lila, what does being a CEO mean to you?

12:14 – Laila Ghauri

Oh gosh, it's such a loaded question. I'm going to translate that in my head to what it means to own your business, running your own business, and I'm going to say it means having freedom. With, you know, all this stuff we're talking about, like the risk and overcoming the fear, once you're in your groove and you know your product and your service and you know what you're doing, there is freedom and entrepreneurship in a way that no other career, no other title is gonna give you. It doesn't matter what you do. You can be a carpenter. You can be a hairdresser. Owning your own business, knowing how to run it, knowing what product you're selling, and having a faithful sort of loyal group of clients, there's freedom in that.

12:52 – Gresham Harkless

I appreciate your time even more. And what I wanted to do is just 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 an overview and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

13:03 – Laila Ghauri

You got it. Yeah. So reach out to us at www.antareslawfirm.com. I'm hoping that'll be listed somewhere on your links, but you can find us on Instagram. We're adamant about social media folks. We're on Facebook, we're on Twitter, we're on LinkedIn. Follow us, and engage us in conversation on social media. Definitely, you can shoot us an email or fill out our contact form on our website. We do flat fees and payment structures to meet sort of your needs. I understand during the pandemic, our clients are in precarious positions sometimes, especially when they're taking a leap of faith here in themselves and they're willing to work with you. Let's see, did I want to… If you want, I can talk a little bit about trademarks.

I can talk about trademarks all the time. And I feel like every CEO should know a little bit about trademarks, which is that, so people don't think about it until it becomes relevant. Like some other company has your name and it's like, hey, stop using your company name. And you've already built goodwill in your company for the last year, let's say. And all of a sudden you're like, oh, well, that's not good. I have the domain name. I bought, I don't know, pens. And I bought other stationery and my social media handles and all this. I have my business team and what am I going to do? And so all that invested money, and time, whether you hired a marketing company, can go to waste if you don't first acquire your IP rights in a trademark.

So what I would say is when you're looking to start a company, If you have the money, file the trademark even before you start selling your product or services. And so the United States Patent and Trademark Office of the USPTO allows you to file a trademark under what's called Intent to Use, which means that I'm going to use this in the future. I have good bonafide. I am telling you under oath that I'm going to use this. And you just fill it with them. There's a process, of course, to actually get the registration.

It can take up to a year plus, but make sure you get it on that. You get the application in so that if ever there's an issue and you're you are you're already starting to pour money into your product and your branding that you don't have some third party come to you and say actually no you can't use this brand name you can't use this business name you can't use this logo you can't use these colors whatever it might be procure your rights up front have talked to a trademark attorney right at the front of starting the business. So that's it, that's my interview.

15:28 – Gresham Harkless:

Nice. Well, no, I definitely appreciate that. We will definitely have the links and information in the show notes. I love that last part because I think so many times people aren't sure exactly when they should take those actions to procure their rights, even what that process looks like. So even as you said during the interview, 1 of the things that you try to do is give people kind of a lay of the land and understand exactly what they should expect. I think it's so important to kind of understand that and be able to have of course somebody like yourself that has that expertise, that ability to kind of understand what that process is and be able to kind of take those steps for clients. So I definitely appreciate you for doing that. And again, for people who want to get a hold of you, what's the best way for them to do that?

16:06 – Laila Ghauri

You can give us a call at 202-596-2705, or you can email us at info at ontarislawfirm.com. Our website has all this information as well if you can't remember it. And we'd be happy to work with you.

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16:19 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. Again, we will have the link information and phone number in the show notes. Thank you so much again, Laila. I appreciate it. And I hope you have a great rest of the day.

16:26 – 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.

00:26 - Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

00:54 - 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 Layla Gari of Ontario's Law Farm. Layla, It's awesome to have you on the show.

01:03 - Laila Ghauri: Hey, nice to meet you. And I'm really happy to be here.

01:07 - Gresham Harkless: Definitely nice to meet you as well. I'm super excited to have you on the show. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Leila so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Leila is a principal attorney and founder of Ontaris Law Firm, focusing her practice on trademarks, small business advising, and government contracts. Previously, she worked for large firms, including Kelly Dryer Warren, government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA, and mid-sized firms focusing on employment law and civil rights.

She devotes her time to her local community and is currently serving as a fellow with the Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center and a dedicated contributor to the DC Bars Pro Bono services for small businesses and nonprofits. Over the past decade, Layla has taught as a university professor, has a published offer, and is currently pursuing her PhD in law and religion. In her free time, she loves international travel, painting, meditation, and practicing yoga. Layla, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

02:03 - Laila Ghauri: Yes, let's do it.

02:05 - Gresham Harkless

Awesome, well, let's do it then. So to kind of kick everything off, I just wanted to rewind the clock a little bit and hear a little bit more about how you guys started what I call your CEO story.

02:13 - Laila Ghauri

Yeah, absolutely. I think 1 of the biggest things being a woman, being a person of color in today's sort of climate, I noticed that a lot of my supervisors and partners at the firms I was working for, you know, they didn't look like me, they didn't have a story like mine. And I brought something to the table that sometimes I felt, okay, you know what, I could add value, but I don't know how to market that to my supervisors. And so I thought, well, you have a skill set and you bring a very unique point of view. Why not try this on your own? And it was 1 of the most terrifying things I've ever done, but I didn't. I took a leap of faith and sort of in my own self, and I said, let's try this. Let's see if I can contribute in a meaningful way to my local communities with the skill sets that I've gained with all this experience from these larger organizations and institutions and corporations.

Yeah, that's how it started. It was sort of, I grew up, let's put it that way. I grew up out of this fearful mindset of I need to be employed with someone who has a brand name company I want to create my own brand and I want to help other people do it and I also want to have relationships like one-on-one relationships with people. When you're working for large companies, you really never speak to your clients, especially when you're an entry-level person or low associate. If you're a first-year associate, you're not going to get that contact. It's very rare. And so it's been really rewarding to talk to the clients that I'm serving and to see my work produce something meaningful in their lives.

03:53 - Gresham Harkless

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate you for sharing that and, of course, doing the work that you do and being able to have that impact on the community. I appreciate you especially talking about that fear piece because I think so many times, you know, kind of there's a saying is, you know, do it scared as long as you do it because I think so many times that fear sometimes restricts people from even trying to do something and I think if we don't talk enough about that, We don't realize that even those people we see and are successful, they might have had that fear, but they did it scared, they did it fearful. And there are some really phenomenal things that come forth when you take that action.

04:27 -  Laila Ghauri

No, absolutely. I mean, even public speaking is 1 of my biggest fears. Here I am talking to you and I'm like, I don't know how it's happening, but here we are. And so for you, I think you grow as a person when you put yourself in these positions of entrepreneurship, you grow as a person significantly. I'm sure you know You've done it.

04:46 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I think so many times we don't realize the power that we have within. But I think if we step out and do those things, whether it be public speaking or certain business or whatever it might be, we sometimes can astound ourselves. But I think as you said so well too, is often the things that we do, the gifts that we have, often innately that we're kind of maybe fearful about sharing, they impact well beyond ourselves. They impact our communities and all the different things that we're doing. So that starts to make it all worth it, as you said so well.

05:13 -  Laila Ghauri

Yeah, You put it even better than I did, so thanks.

05:18 - Gresham Harkless: No worries at all. I could just repeat it. You're doing awesome work so that just makes it a lot easier for me. And so I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more about how you work with your clients. Can you take us through how you serve your clients and what that looks like?

05:29 - Laila Ghauri

Sure. Yeah, so we're a batik law practice. What that means is that we are small enough to give our clients one-on-one time. In a lot of larger firms, you'll talk to the assistant, you'll talk to the paralegal, and maybe you'll get some FaceTime. It's here you get a really enriched experience. You come to us to start a business, we really walk you through the process. We talk to you about everything we're doing. I make sure that I'm talking and responding to my clients throughout that process as frequently as I can, as humanly possible within reason. So a lot of times with new startup spokes, you've got a lot of nervousness. You've got a lot of questions about taxes insurance and licensing.

And so we make sure that we hear you out and then we connect you. If we can't answer that question, then we connect you with the right professional. And so that you can go get the services you need or at least start to shop around and know what to look for. And so that's the added value in terms of actually doing the work for you, but also to kind of educate you on like here's what you need as someone who's starting a company in terms of legally and sometimes we'll also kind of share with our clients, third-party vendors, for example, like graphic designers, you know, all the things that you need in today's market.

And so we make sure that that sort of individualized care is given to our client and we get clients from all different kinds of industries So part of our job is to learn about your industry before we start advising you, especially licensing every industry is different. You know, the restaurants are very different than if you're starting a cooking company, than if you're starting some sort of a publishing company. So it's, it's, it's fun kind of having to work every day and learning about a new industry and really learning about it so that we can serve our clients, you know, 0 to 100. And then of course there's a trademark and soft IP side and that, you know, again you can go to a number of people that do that kind of work.

Everybody can file a trademark application for you, but the reason you would come to a trademark attorney, someone who has experience in that particular field is because more than half of trademark applications get rejected. There are a number of phases that you have to go through. When shopping for a trademark attorney, you want someone who's patient, someone who's going to sit down and talk you through not just the macroscopic process that the United States Patent and Trademark Office is going to require of you, but also how that attorney going to ensure that all of these steps have been accounted for, even at the first stage of filing?

You know, like, I think a good trademark attorney is going to tell you, hey, the chances of this actually making it all the way to the end is pretty high. Okay, fine. Go for it. It's pretty low, but here's how we can do it. And here are all the fees you might incur trying to fight it. And so really being transparent and having the patience to, again, listen and address the particular client's needs because not all legal services are sort of, you know, every business, every individual has different needs. And so you wanna make sure that you're going to an attorney that has the patience and wants to actually figure out who are you? What's your company? What are your goals? What are your values?

And can we serve you? And that's really gonna help you work well with an attorney instead of, I feel like a lot of people just shop for the lowest price point. And then later down the line, when they end up paying more fees because something did not get filed correctly or something was not advised to them properly, it can become a huge hot mess. 

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08:46 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I appreciate you for drilling down on that and helping so many clients with that. Because I think, as you said, at least this is what I heard definitely coming up is when you were working with those larger firms, you were kind of, I don't know if the right word is craving, but you really wanted that human interaction, that opportunity to kind of see the impact that you have.

And that's what I kind of hear coming out. And what you're saying is you're understanding this is what clients are potentially looking for Maybe some of the questions they might have floating around in their head, and you're trying to make sure that you are patient, you make sure you develop that relationship and give them kind of a lay of the land so that you don't have those hot mess situations down the line. And I love that you're kind of able to do that. Would you consider that to be what kind of sets you apart and makes you unique in what I like to call your secret sauce?

09:27 - Laila Ghauri

I think so. I think less far that would be the secret sauce. And every, you know, as what I've learned is a business is like an organic entity like it's a child in a way, you know, it's growing and it's going to show you what it is. You know, you have 1 10 for it. It's going to show you what it is. So every year I learn more about my business from my business. I'm learning from the clients morning and the vendors I'm working with. So so far, yes, I think that human one-on-one people crave it. You know, when you're looking for an attorney, you're a little terrified usually because you're going because something's wrong or you're trying to do something that you don't know how to do. And so you want someone you can trust, someone who's transparent, you know. And so, yeah, I would say that's, that's definitely part of our secret sauce. We're still developing the recipe. Let's put it that way.

10:08 - Gresham Harkless

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

10:19 - Laila Ghauri

Right. Gosh, you're going to learn a lot about me today. I think anyone who's trying to do something different needs to really get to know themselves. So having some self-care practices is really important. So entrepreneurship, for me, the way that I have survived and hopefully will thrive is that I meditate every day. I wake up, I get focused, I have a morning routine, and then I start my work that way. And that's not like a legal hack, but that's like a personal life hack. And I think regardless of what industry you're in, having that kind of practice is going to help you thrive.

Because when you're working for yourself and there's no insurance that, hey, you're going to get paid. Every day looks different. You're probably your marketing team. You're probably your accountant. You're probably doing everything between that and actually being a lawyer. And you've got to ground yourself. You've got to know, okay, you've got to have to have, stress management, get the right amount of sleep, you know, get physical activity. And so having those self-care routines in your day, I think is a secret life hack when succeeding in entrepreneurship, you're gonna need it.

11:27 - Gresham Harkless

Yes, absolutely. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something if you were to hop into a time machine, you would tell your younger business self or potentially you might tell a client too.

11:39 - Laila Ghauri

I mean, it's going back to what I was talking about early. Have a little faith in yourself. Give it a try.

11:43 - Gresham Harkless 

Yeah.

11:44 -  Laila Ghauri

When you're younger than when you're older, you know, it's, it's, take the risk when you can, as you incur more responsibility in your life, and you know, mortgage, children, whatever, you know, you're gonna be less likely to take, take the job. So do it when you're younger, and you have the ability to take the risk and recover more quickly from it if you need to.

12:04 - Gresham Harkless

Well, I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO or open to having different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Lila, what does being a CEO mean to you?

12:14 - Laila Ghauri

Oh gosh, it's such a loaded question. I'm going to translate that in my head to what it means to own your business, running your own business, and I'm going to say it means having freedom. With, you know, all this stuff we're talking about, like the risk and overcoming the fear, once you're in your groove and you know your product and your service and you know what you're doing, there is freedom and entrepreneurship in a way that no other career, no other title is gonna give you. It doesn't matter what you do. You can be a carpenter. You can be a hairdresser. Owning your own business, knowing how to run it, knowing what product you're selling, and having a faithful sort of loyal group of clients, there's freedom in that.

12:52 - Gresham Harkless

I appreciate your time even more. And what I wanted to do is just 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 an overview and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

13:03 - Laila Ghauri

You got it. Yeah. So reach out to us at www.antareslawfirm.com. I'm hoping that'll be listed somewhere on your links, but you can find us on Instagram. We're adamant about social media folks. We're on Facebook, we're on Twitter, we're on LinkedIn. Follow us, and engage us in conversation on social media. Definitely, you can shoot us an email or fill out our contact form on our website. We do flat fees and payment structures to meet sort of your needs. I understand during the pandemic, our clients are in precarious positions sometimes, especially when they're taking a leap of faith here in themselves and they're willing to work with you. Let's see, did I want to... If you want, I can talk a little bit about trademarks.

I can talk about trademarks all the time. And I feel like every CEO should know a little bit about trademarks, which is that, so people don't think about it until it becomes relevant. Like some other company has your name and it's like, hey, stop using your company name. And you've already built goodwill in your company for the last year, let's say. And all of a sudden you're like, oh, well, that's not good. I have the domain name. I bought, I don't know, pens. And I bought other stationery and my social media handles and all this. I have my business team and what am I going to do? And so all that invested money, and time, whether you hired a marketing company, can go to waste if you don't first acquire your IP rights in a trademark.

So what I would say is when you're looking to start a company, If you have the money, file the trademark even before you start selling your product or services. And so the United States Patent and Trademark Office of the USPTO allows you to file a trademark under what's called Intent to Use, which means that I'm going to use this in the future. I have good bonafide. I am telling you under oath that I'm going to use this. And you just fill it with them. There's a process, of course, to actually get the registration.

It can take up to a year plus, but make sure you get it on that. You get the application in so that if ever there's an issue and you're you are you're already starting to pour money into your product and your branding that you don't have some third party come to you and say actually no you can't use this brand name you can't use this business name you can't use this logo you can't use these colors whatever it might be procure your rights up front have talked to a trademark attorney right at the front of starting the business. So that's it, that's my interview.

15:28 - Gresham Harkless: Nice. Well, no, I definitely appreciate that. We will definitely have the links and information in the show notes. I love that last part because I think so many times people aren't sure exactly when they should take those actions to procure their rights, even what that process looks like. So even as you said during the interview, 1 of the things that you try to do is give people kind of a lay of the land and understand exactly what they should expect. I think it's so important to kind of understand that and be able to have of course somebody like yourself that has that expertise, that ability to kind of understand what that process is and be able to kind of take those steps for clients. So I definitely appreciate you for doing that. And again, for people who want to get a hold of you, what's the best way for them to do that?

16:06 - Laila Ghauri

You can give us a call at 202-596-2705, or you can email us at info at ontarislawfirm.com. Our website has all this information as well if you can't remember it. And we'd be happy to work with you.

16:19 - Gresham Harkless

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. Again, we will have the link information and phone number in the show notes. Thank you so much again, Laila. I appreciate it. And I hope you have a great rest of the day. 

16:26 - 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.

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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.

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