Today we have Dina Lynch-Eisenberg. She’s a lawyer turned award-winning business leader and an outsourcing strategist for solo and small firm lawyers. She prepares lawyers to delegate, automate and design a law practice that fits their lives. She’s a sought-after educator and podcast guest, and she’s the creator of Dina’s Rolodex, the only on-demand delegation resource library. Her work’s been featured in Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur.
In This Episode
Dina Lynch-Eisenberg has a patchwork quilt of careers that have contributed to her impeccable problem-solving skills, so when she saw a need for lawyers to design practices that better suit their lives, she was quick to find the solution. Now, as an outsourcing strategist and creator of Dina’s Rolodex, she is developing her business technique using market research, message matching and human connection, while urging her clients to do the same.
1:18 Facing Societal Challenges
In school, people are trained to accept overwhelm and burnout, but that doesn’t create a career worth pursuing.
2:26 Making Your Own Way
Your business is personal. It doesn’t need to fit into anyone else’s plans or ideas — make it your own.
3:46 A Patchwork Quilt of Careers
Dina has had a long list of different careers, but her problem-solving qualities connect each one.
4:38 Community Engagement
Being involved in a group of intelligent, like-minded people helps Dina innovate while driving engagement.
6:45 Perfecting Your Messaging
You may think you know what lights up your customers and drives engagement and sales, but market research might tell a different story. Dina talks about quantifying her audience then directing her messaging towards their pain points.
9:53 What the Future Holds
Dina reflects a key ONTRAPORT value, always be learning and growing. Her future plans involve learning to better tell her story, making poached eggs and getting involved in real estate.
10:48 – The Way We Experience the Law
Lawyers sometime miss a key aspect of business in their practice ‒ human connection. Dina claims personal connection, empathy and creating products will help her clients recapture their time and life.
12:27 The Emotional Aspect of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs find a problem in the world and decide to fix it, but modern entrepreneurs add a component of connection and emotional intelligence.
– Dina Lynch-Eisenberg
LR: Welcome to MODERN ONTRAPRENEUR. Today we have Dina Lynch-Eisenberg. She’s a lawyer turned award-winning business leader and an outsourcing strategist for solo and small firm lawyers. She prepares lawyers to delegate, automate, and design a law practice that fits their lives. She’s a sought-after educator and podcast guest, and she’s the creator of Dina’s Rolodex, the only on-demand delegation resource library. Her work’s been featured in Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur. Thanks so much for being here.
DLE: I’m excited to be here with you, Landon.
LR: Good, so tell me about working with lawyers. How often do you get sued?
DLE: Never. It’s so funny. Lawyers have this really bad perception in the marketplace, and people are like, “Oh lawyers,” every time you mention it. My experience is that the lawyers that I know and work with are the sweetest, kindest people, who really their intention is to help others. I want that to be the message that people have about lawyers.
LR: Yeah, and so you’re helping them delegate. What is the challenge exactly that they are facing that you’re helping them with?
DLE: Well, in law school, we are conditioned to accept overwhelm and burnout as our natural condition. Lawyers never want to let go. They’re always feeling like they need to be in control of every single thing. You really can’t do that and run a business.
Statistics are that lawyers spend about a third of their time on business development and administrative tasks that they have no business doing. It’s a very expensive education. Now it’s maybe $100,000 to be a lawyer, but you want to spend your time picking up the phone and dialing for dollars or doing your own graphics online? That’s ridiculous.
Really my goal is to get lawyers to think about how they can better spend their time, bring in team to do the things that they’re not supposed to be doing, like marketing and the admin work so they can really focus on their role, which is helping people with their legal problems, giving them comfort, reassurance, and helping them solve issues that they couldn’t solve on their own.
LR: That sounds basically like the story of all entrepreneurs.
LR: Let’s talk about your business. You’ve been doing this for a while. You’ve decided to switch from being a lawyer yourself to supporting these other lawyers, and you’ve no doubt had the same kind of struggles that we all do growing a business. Tell me about what piece of advice you would’ve given yourself as somebody who’s about to start growing a consulting firm basically that would’ve made that process easier?
DLE: I know the advice I give myself, that I would give to anybody, is really that you make your own way and that you don’t need to have advice from 10 million people to decide to do what you want to do. You can give your own self permission. When I started two years ago with my company, there wasn’t anybody else doing what I was doing. I thought maybe I shouldn’t be doing this, because nobody else is doing it. Then I realized no one else was doing it because no one else saw the need and that I was actually making a path that worked for me. My business is very personal. I needed the services that I’m offering to other people.
The advice is, if you have an idea and not everybody else is doing it, listen to yourself and do the idea. Don’t feel like you need to fit in.
LR: Yeah, interesting. What do you feel like your unique skill set is that allows you to serve these lawyers in this way?
DLE: My superpowers. I have a couple of superpowers. One, I am an amazing creator, problem solver. I’ve had a couple of different careers. I like to joke that it’s my patchwork quilt of careers. I went from being a lawyer, to a small business mediator, to a corporate ombudsman, and now to an outsourcing strategist. When you think about it, the line that crosses through all those things is that I’m, one, serving my purpose, which is giving people power through knowledge, and that I’ve always been about helping people find better solutions for how to live their life, how to be happier, how to make more money.
LR: We have a lot of consultants, coaches, that watch this podcast. Everyone’s always curious, how are you growing your business? What is working now to generate customers?
DLE: Great question. What’s working right now is really being very clear about my messaging and understanding what it is that people want to hear to solve this problem. When I first started talking about it, I talked about it from my perspective, which is, it’s crazy to spend your time doing things that you shouldn’t be doing. The more I talked to my clients, the more they helped me control the message and get it a little bit more clear so that they could appreciate it. Once I got my messaging right, people were like, “Of course, I need that.”
The other more tactical thing that I’ve been doing is LinkedIn engagement pods. Who knew?
LR: I’ve never even heard of that.
DLE: Oh my gosh, they’re fabulous. I’ll just take a minute to describe it. You get together in a group of related businesses. You’re on LinkedIn, and when you post every day, the folks in your group post with you. When I talk about “VAs aren’t just for admin anymore,” everybody in my group comments on that and talks about how admins work in their business or their fears about admins.
It gives me an engagement, more engagement on my comments. Because we’re linked together on LinkedIn, their connections see me, see my messaging and what I’m talking about. It’s been really great to be able to reach out to folks I normally wouldn’t be able to reach on my own.
The other part about it I love so much is I’m a person who loves community. Having this pod is like having my own personal mastermind group, where we get together and we talk about what are we struggling with in our business now. I tried this. You tried that. What worked for you? It’s great to have that community, because sometimes it’s a little lonely being an entrepreneur. You think you have to have every answer yourself. You don’t. I think I grow because I’m in a group of people who are really smart, and they’re innovative. That really works for me.
LR: Awesome. Let’s go back to the first thing you said, because Facebook pods is over my pay grade. You talked about getting your messaging right. That’s one of those things that you hear a lot in marketing, but it’s hand-wavy and not crystal clear. Can you tell me more about, specifically, what you changed in your messaging and then what difference that made specifically?
DLE: Absolutely, happy to talk about that. One of the things I noticed was that, again, I was talking from my own perspective and that there are folks that really resonate with what I’m doing, and some folks don’t. I actually did some marketing research.
I went out and, at first, I thought about who it is that I love to do my work with and gets the best results with me. I was able to quantify who that was. Then I did some marketing research, and I started reading magazines and looking at surveys and hearing the exact words that people were using to talk about their issues with not having enough time or overwhelm, and then started incorporating those words into my messaging. People could be like, “Oh my God, is she in my head?”
LR: Yes. What are the words?
DLE: People will say that, “I’m so really tired of doing everything in my business.” “My spouse hates me and calls me the single parent, because I’m never there, and I feel so guilty.” From a lawyerly standpoint, lawyers would never talk about guilt. They still feel the guilt. They don’t want to admit that they feel guilty, but when I talk about it that way, they’re able to make that connection and think about it differently.
LR: You literally use that word guilt, feel guilty. So you turn that into what, ads, or you put it on your website?
DLE: On my website. On my website, I talk about those exact things. Does your child not really have a relationship with you? They think you’re a relative because you’re never at any of their events? For somebody who has a family, particularly a lot of women lawyers who I work with, that resonates pretty deeply that your child is not getting your quality attention because you think you have to work all the time. That’s a big wake-up call for people, like “Oh, that’s right.” Okay, and now I have a resource to fix that. I’m going to do it.
LR: Yeah, and so you changed that language and just discovered that everything started working better.
DLE: Much better. Once I started talking about the designing-your-life portion of it, that really resonated with people because we don’t think that we have the ability to do that.
LR: As opposed to saving time?
DLE: Yeah. See, for me, saving time makes it go. I’m excited about saving time, but people wanted to have more control over their lives. The idea about designing a law practice that fits the life you have, not the other way around, that if you need to be off because your kid is on the softball team and you’re excited, guess what? You design your practice so that you have that free time, and you can be there for the person that matters most to you.
LR: Right, so really just speaking deeply and specifically about what’s underneath the mechanics of what you actually do.
LR: Yeah, very good.
LR: What’s next for you? What are you learning? What is your cutting edge right now?
DLE: Oh, what is my cutting edge? I think you had Carla Johnson on, and she talked about storytelling. That is my cutting edge. Learning to tell a story in a way that resonates with people, remembering to tell a story, since we’re jumping to the facts about things. That’s really what I’m learning about.
The other thing I’m learning about in my personal life is I’m a lifelong learner, and my passions are cooking. I’m looking to learn how to make the perfect poached egg.
LR: Oh hey, okay.
DLE: I have a big passion for real estate. I started my law career as a clerk for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and I never lost that love of real estate and the different kinds of real estate. I’ve done some flipping. Next couple of years, I really want to learn how to be a real estate developer and have some big buildings.
LR: Wow, how exciting.
LR: Good. When you think about what it’s all for, what would you like to look back and have your legacy be?
DLE: You know, I think about that in a couple of different ways. Of course, I think about my children. I want them to be people who, one, I like, which I do, and that they have a purpose in the world and that they move with a lot of confidence. I think that’s already happened. That legacy has come true.
In terms of business, I’m all about changing the way that lawyers and clients experience the law so that lawyers feel like they don’t have to be overworked and that they don’t have to wear the busy badge all the time, that some of their value comes from the person that they are, not the things that they do. Clients really want your connection, your empathy.
If I get lawyers to embrace that idea that they can be their real selves, connect deeply with their clients and help them, and also that they can create practices that will serve them, both the life that they have in terms of time and financially so that they can create products, because lawyers don’t think about creating products. Most lawyers at the end of their law career, they don’t get anything out of it. I want them to think about the fact that their law practice is actually a business, that they should have products, books, courses, other things that create income that become an asset that they can sell at the end of their run and to really recapture both their time and all that effort in a financial way.
LR: What do you feel like it means to be a modern entrepreneur?
DLE: You know, I love entrepreneurs. We were just a great bunch of folks. We decided there was something wrong in the world and that we were going to raise our hand and fix it. What I think is great about being a modern entrepreneur now is that we’re going to add that component of connection and emotional intelligence. It really takes a lot of deep soul searching to be a really good entrepreneur, to know who resonates with you. Who you don’t want to spend any time with is just as important. Going forward in the future, I think the folks that are going to be the most successful are going to be the ones that recognize and take care of themselves emotionally, look to take care of their clients emotionally, and to build businesses that produce.
LR: Interesting. Appreciate you being here. Thank you so much for spending the time. That was great.
DLE: Thank you.
LR: Yeah. Will you sign our wall for us?
LR: Thank you so much.
DLE: Thank you.
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