Get in the driver's seat!

Overcome growing pains to scale up! Guest: Erin Cowling

November 15, 2023 Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach Season 1 Episode 11
Get in the driver's seat!
Overcome growing pains to scale up! Guest: Erin Cowling
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Growing pains can be a literal pain. It can be helpful to remember that they're actually a sign of success. In this episode, Erin and I talk about navigating growing pains, at different stages of a firm's life cycle. What worked, what didn't and some lessons learned along the way.

Erin Cowling is a former corporate commercial litigator and now Founder & CEO of Flex Legal Network Inc. (a company that matches busy lawyers, law firms, and in-house counsel with freelance lawyers to assist with overflow legal work on a project basis). 

Previously, she was a lawyer for several years at McMillan LLP in Toronto. Erin has volunteered her time with both the CBA and OBA Small, Solo and General Practice Section Executives and the OBA Women Lawyers Forum Section Executive. She also taught Legal Research & Writing at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and was the Regional Alumni Advisor (Toronto) for the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, providing confidential career coaching to new lawyers. She has an award-winning law-blog (currently on pause) which includes the popular series “Women Leading in Law” and writes for several legal publications. Erin is also a graduate of ELLA Ascend and ELLA Altitude, two entrepreneurship and business accelerator programs offered by York University. 

You're listening to Get in the Driver’s Seat! We’re telling stories about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practices. I’m your host, Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach for lawyers, architects, consultants and other professionals at Bekhor Management.

0:00 Sandra
Hello and welcome to the podcast! This is 'Get in the driver's seat'. We're telling stories about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practices. I'm your host, Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach at Bekhor Management. I'm excited to introduce our guest today,  Erin Cowling a former corporate commercial litigator and now Founder & CEO of Flex Legal Network Inc. Welcome Erin!

0:30 Erin
Thank you for having me.

0:31 Sandra
Erin is also a graduate of Ella Ascend and Altitude, an accelerator program offered by York University where I happen to be an Entrepreneur in Residence. So it was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other even better. I'm so excited for you Erin for all the growth that you and your firm have undergone as a result of this Ella program, but also all the things that you have done over the past 10 years. I saw your post on LinkedIn. And that leads us to our topic for today, growing pains. I just um just want to open with a small tidbit. Did you know that the original meaning of growing pains, do you know what it is?

1:20 Erin
No, I have no idea.

1:23 Sandra
So I'm a bookworm and I happened to come across this in a fiction story. It's actually literally growing pains. Like as children grow, some of them, not all of them, their bones grow so fast that they actually feel pain.

1:40 Erin
Yes, my mother would always say if I was feeling pain in my legs or whatever she'd always say those were growing pains. At the time I thought it was just an excuse. But maybe it is true.

1:53 Sandra
It's true. It's a very nice illustration of what businesses go through, growing pains. I always remind clients, if you are going through growing pains, it means you're successful. It's very important to remember that because growing pains can be painful. So let's talk about some stories. Growing pains can be in reference to you and as the owner of the firm your own growth and the changes in your role. They can also be in reference to your team and their growth and taking on some of the things that you used to do. Or also adopting different things like technology, other resources, changing the functions of your firm and bringing in other resources, external resources, whether it's consultants or other agencies or things like what you did with Ella or financial support, grants, investors and other support that you wouldn't have been able to go to the next level without. So telling stories is brave. I want to acknowledge that. I appreciate you being here. In these conversations, we help other people to face their growing pains too. So why don't we start with yourself and I'm happy to share my stories too. I've gone through some growing pains definitely. So for yourself what comes to mind? I've heard you using this expression which I love how you say it, a recovering people pleaser.

3:39 Erin
Yeah, I don't know if I've grown past that yet. But yeah recovering people pleaser is hard. Especially when you're growing a company, you can't please everybody. As the customers grow and your employees grow and everything, you kind of have to learn to get over that and perfectionism as well.

4:02 Sandra
Yeah. So do any stories come to mind about that or other aspects of your own growth? I you know I said as we were getting on to this podcast that I was listening to some of the other shows that you did. You did a great job of telling your story. Another aspect of that is learning how to promote yourself, which many women have, myself included, so much trouble doing and sometimes don't even realize we're supposed to be doing that. So that's another aspect of your own personal growth right? Any stories come to mind?

4:37 Erin
Well I think to provide some context to my entrepreneurial journey is that I kind of refer to myself as an accidental entrepreneur. I didn't really start out thinking I was going to start a company or even grow a company, past me. My company came out as a way for me to find uh a way to practice law that suited my lifestyle and how I wanted to practice law. I found freelancing and then I got so busy. That's when I started Flex Legal. I needed other people to help me with the work. But even when I started Flex Legal, it was just me running the shop and I was adding more Freelancers. But I was still managing the company. I didn't, unlike a lot of entrepreneurs, I didn't come up one day with an idea and I'm going to scale this company. I'm going to grow it. I'm going to um sell it maybe. It was really just a day-to-day need. I'm getting too busy. I need to add this other person on. I need to uh maybe start a company and bring on some more freelancers so when we talk about growing pains, I think I bring a different perspective than someone who started a business knowing their business would grow. Mine has really been a reactive um way to grow the business, which now I'm learning is not the best way. I'm trying to focus more on proactive ways to manage the growth and hit these growing pains kind of head on. Part of that, like you said, is the um self-promotion and talking about ourselves and our journey. I think a lot of that for me is struggling with the identity of being a business owner and being an entrepreneur because as a former lawyer, your identity is really wrapped up in being a lawyer. So for a long time I was wearing two hats, the entrepreneur and the lawyer. I was still practicing but also running Flex Legal. It was not a healthy way to do things. It was like riding two horses with one bum. You can't do that. You need to pick a horse and jump on it. So I think once I did that and fully embraced the entrepreneurial hat, I can never ever get rid of my lawyer identity, but it made the growth and seeing the company in a different light a lot easier.

7:08 Sandra
Well that was so great. I love visuals. I think visuals help us to really get a concept. Two horses, one bum. So if you're if you shift your own role that way, it really implies that you need other people to take on all those things that you used to do yourself, which is the pain right? Then you have to ask them to do it and you have to train them. Can you talk a little bit about what that looks like? That transition?
7:35 Erin
Yeah I think looking back now, I waited way too long to bring on another person and um an employee to help me run the company. A part of it was when I started out I read a book called 'The company of one' by Paul Jarvis. I think is the name. It's all about how you don't have to grow. You don't have to scale up. You can just be a company of one and be happy with where you are. So I sat in that company of one for a long time until I realized I was working too much. I was doing too much. I wasn't bringing in enough money. You have to spend money to make money sometimes. So it worked while it worked and then I think it was really the ELLA program that shed the light on this need that I had. I couldn't be doing it all, especially if the business was going to... It was a little stagnant. I needed to bring on some more clients. I needed to offload some of those responsibilities. So through the ELLA program, one of the goals I set with the first one, which was Ella Ascend, was to hire someone by the end of that year. I did. I had some help from that program, setting up the job ad, trying to find really the perfect person for that role. I hired very slowly. I had a very long, well not that long, but longer, hiring process, just to make sure I had the right person who could help me with the company. I have to say I did an amazing hire. She was wonderful. She did leave to go back to school full-time. But we did make, together, a second hire, her replacement. Then just recently, we hired another person to help us with marketing. We hired a content marketing manager. So we've gone from a team of one managing, to a team of three managing and we have like over 100 freelance lawyers as well. But, yes, so, I think the first thing for me is I waited too long. I think a couple of the reasons I waited too long was the money aspect because I thought well how am I going to pay another whole person's salary and pay my salary? How am I going to be able to afford all this? So what I did was I set aside three months of salary for this employee, just so I knew I had something set aside in case you know I still needed money for me. But as soon as she joined, it's funny when you have two people working on a company, you can grow the business a little faster. So we ended up like getting enough revenue in right away. That I didn't even have to dip into those savings for her salary. I was able to pay her from the start and pay myself the same salary, which led me to think I should have done this sooner. But you know hindsight's 2020. So I think it was really the money. Also just the responsibility of having someone else, you're responsible for their livelihood, but also their training, their mentoring... All that stuff that comes with having a job. I think also just going from being the one person who was in control of everything and then having someone else come into the business and either see it for all of its flaws or trusting that person with something you've built and poured your heart and soul into over time... So I think that was a bit of a hesitation for me as well.

11:08 Sandra
Wow, you hit on so many of the key points that come up, literally, in coaching meetings with clients who are getting ready to make either their first hire or to expand their team. Even as they're expanding the team, they still come back to these same pain points. I feel like if you know, for those who are watching this, if you're at that point, trying to figure out how to how to overcome this hurdle, just sort of listening to that itemized list, you can look at yourself and say okay can I create a system around this? When you do that you start to calm down all those feelings of doubt. I'm sure you have a lot of systems in place now, Erin, around this team management .

11:57 Erin
Yes, there are days, I'm not going to lie, where I think oh it was so much easier when it was just me because it's just yeah as you add more people you have to make sure your processes are in place, your systems are in place. Then all of a sudden you're adding more software technology to help you with that. Then all of a sudden you have, instead of one login, you have about 50 logins you have to remember. You're paying for all of these subscriptions for everybody to keep everyone organized. It's just, it can be a bit much if you're not organized and you're not on top of it. There are days where I do, I'm like it was so much easier back then. So, for example, part of our growth was when I started Flex Legal, you know you have no money when you're starting a company. So I did my own website. A very user friendly, but not the best website platform. It was that way for the longest time, until last year when we realized we just we can't do with the website what we want to do. We can't have like a separate portal for our clients. We can't... Anyway, so we had to migrate over to WordPress, which was a bit of a headache in itself because, of course, when we went to migrate over we lost our website for a day. Then we realized our SEO wasn't right. Then oh G-d, at one point the website was down for like four days. All I kept thinking was when it was just me on that cheap website builder I never had these issues. But that old website builder wasn't good for mobile. Like people look at their phones when they're looking at websites. It wasn't very good for that. You couldn't do what we wanted to do in order to grow the company. So I just have to kind of keep thinking big picture when all of these little issues keep coming up. But uh definitely growing pains there. I'm sure there'll still be more with this website moving forward. But it was something that you need to do. You need to do in order to grow and scale the company.

14:01 Sandra
Well, and you put it so beautifully because it's the actions that you take to respond to those growing pains that will allow you to be in that new place. You can't go to that new place without taking those steps. You will stay in that old place, even if you try and fudge it.

14:18 Erin
Yeah, I did the most I could with that older website. But at that point you just yeah... If you don't take the, I won't call them risks, but it's change and no one likes change. It was an uncomfortable thing for me to do. But you can't get the rewards without taking the, well I don't want to say risks, but changes. Accepting the changes that are coming your way.

14:46 Sandra
Actually, I like the idea of talking about risk because I think that might be part of the reason why people don't do this even when they're feeling ready. They stay stuck in their you know their previous iteration maybe for longer or maybe for always. It's the facing of that risk. But when you talk about it the way you do, like oh okay so I saved the three months worth of salary, that's actually a way of minimizing the risk. It's pretty smart.

15:21 Erin
I see a lot of lawyers become entrepreneurs. But I don't know how they do that so well. I'm not the type to forget as a lawyer you're trained in all the risks and everything that can go wrong. I'm used to, as a litigator, looking at my business, clients' problems and being like, "Oh my gosh like that was silly why did you do that". You know the litigator avoids all risk possible. The lawyers try to avoid all risk possible. So as an entrepreneur, I've had to kind of quiet that voice a little bit because if I just listen to the oh everything could possibly go wrong litigation voice, I would never take any risks with this company. It would just tell me okay stick with your, you know this basic thing that you're doing here. If you do this, oh you could be liable to this person, you could open yourself to lawsuits from this person. I would never grow. So that's been a huge struggle for me as a litigator, entrepreneur. I just finished reading "Going Infinite" by Michael Lewis, all about the Sam Bankman-Fried cryptocurrency king who has now been fraud and he'll be sentenced soon. I thought oh my G-d the risks this man took and just going out there and building a billion-dollar company. I'm like that is the opposite of me. But a part of me was like I need to be a little bit more like him, not like him obviously. But I need to shed that litigator, no risk-taking side of me a little bit more and take a few more risks. Quiet that people pleaser voice or that perfectionist voice and just say if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out, right? Obviously I will not do anything illegal or fraud. But just you know taking something that's getting yourself into that uncomfortable zone. I think it's needed and it's okay to do.

17:25 Sandra
Yeah, I talked about this on a previous podcast, about taking that 10% outside of your comfort zone regularly, so becomes a natural natural thing. That way you're always stretching.

17:42 Erin
Yes, that makes sense.

17:45 Sandra
Yeah and you can do that in small ways like going to more networking events or you can do it in business planning. Say okay well what has been on this business planning list that I've seen for three years? I'm tired of looking at it. It's time. How can I take one step towards this thing that I'm nervous won't work? One small step. Don't do the whole thing.

18:18 Erin
That makes sense. It's breaking it down into bite-sized pieces. I think it's easy to forget the big picture stuff and have it sit on your list forever. You're so caught up in the day-to-day stuff that you forget that there are some things that need to be done in order to improve. Even if your goal is not to completely scale up your company and grow it to be massive, your business can always be improved. Your business can always be better. So you do need to step back from the day-to-day and look at that list. You're right, you'll get overwhelmed if you're like, oh I need to completely overhaul our processes. Or I need to find a completely new way of our accounting software... Little things that you can do to break that down so that you can improve the business over time.

19:11 Sandra
Yeah and you know we've never talked about this but what gave you the idea to to do the ELLA program?

19:17 Erin
I think someone recommended it. I don't remember who, but they suggested it. I think I was at the point where I knew as much as I could about running a business. I thought it'd be a great educational experience. I'm a lifelong learner. I love reading. I love taking courses. So I thought this would be a good way, even if worst case scenario I don't implement anything that they suggest, I'm at least learning something new and meeting other people. So I think I was at that right spot in my entrepreneurial journey where I needed to go outside of my own self-learning to reach out to other experts.

20:01 Sandra
Well and I ask this in relation to our conversation about stretching because sometimes you actually need the support of others to even stretch a little bit. So a program like ELLA, it's just an example of gaining some knowledge about structure or having mentorship or peers. I've heard you know of these mastermind groups that they survived these accelerator programs for years because people find it very helpful to have peers to bounce ideas off of. So they can keep stretching. So they can keep doing that. They feel stronger just because they have the peers that they regularly check in with who are telling them about their own experiences and giving them the encouragement that the risk isn't as big as they think it is.

20:59 Erin
Yeah for sure. I'm still in touch with one of the women entrepreneurs from the first mastermind group, from the first program. We meet the last Wednesday of every month. It's the same thing. She'll say oh you won't believe the week I had. She'll talk about the issue she had. I'm like oh my G-d, I just experienced the same thing last week or last month. This is how I handled it. It feels good just to know someone else is going through that, especially when you don't have a partner or co-founder for your business. You feel like everything's on your shoulders. It's nice to have somebody outside of the business who can kind of see your business a little clearer. As well, when you're in it, you don't see everything you have to. They have that you know thousand-foot view of your business a little better than you can. They can see things that you don't see, improvements or steps you can take. It's always nice to have that other person to bounce ideas off as well.

21:57 Sandra
I have the same experience as a coach. So I I know you've done coaching as well, Erin. I'm getting my certification as a Positive Intelligence Coach. Through the process, you are in a pod with other coaches. Even though we're all learning the same steps... And you know, you choose your own pod, so you do have similar experience. You're at similar stage in your career journey. But everybody's lens on their next steps and your next steps is very different. I recently had one of these experiences of okay I'm getting ready to do something. They're all looking at me like you have no idea how ready you are. You go get 'em. And looking at the Zoom with five peers who are telling me, Go. It's very very powerful.

23:02 Erin
It is. You have that little cheering team ready for you.

23:08 Sandra
...of people you believe in. You actually respect them and you trust that they have your best interest at heart.

23:15 Erin
Yeah, it's a little different than like my husband or my mother or my best friend will say the same things to me. I know they mean it. But like if it's someone who's actually in it and is an entrepreneur and doing the same things, I take their word a little more seriously.

23:28 Sandra
Yeah and it really helps. Well it helped me to say just do it. It's time. Sometimes if you feel nervous about doing something, the nervousness is just a temperament. It doesn't actually mean that the risk is large. So it's very important to have that ability to discern.

23:54 Erin
Yeah, definitely. When you're trying something new, you're going to be nervous. If you're not nervous then I don't know, maybe you're not stretching enough. yeah if everything's easy and whatever, you need to stretch yourself a little bit more.
24:07 Sandra
So you know one of the exercises I love doing with people who are at this point, you know this - I'm in the middle of my before and my after of my business - is to write out their future bio. A lot of owners of professional firms, you know small to midsize, they love doing this. It's really an imaginative exercise with no filters on it right? Nobody needs to look at it. It's yours. But you get to really think, if I didn't have any of these current constraints what do I really want? If you're really honest about what you want, you can build a bridge to get there. Now you have a destination.

25:04 Erin
Yes, sounds like a great exercise.

25:09 Sandra
Okay so we've talked a little bit about your journey and the growing pains you've experienced. Have you had other sort of more macro-level growing pains? You know just getting awards, getting financial support, grants? Anything else that you want to talk about that's just a bigger picture dealing with growing pains?
25:29 Erin
Yeah, we're bootstrapped. Any money I raised was going back into the company for the first little bit. I think I was afraid of taking on any kind of debt to grow the company until I got to the point where I'm like sometimes you have to spend money to make money. You shouldn't be afraid of you know a strategic business loan that you need in order to grow past where you are. That was once again the risk side of me worrying about stuff like that. But even with the grants. Apply for everything. You do your best. We've been successful with quite a few. Like three or four grants we've been given, which is great and really helps. It kind of also makes you feel like what you're doing is validated because these grant people giving the grants must have some faith in your company, that you're still going to be standing the next month. So those have all been great as well. I don't know what other big picture...

26:46 Sandra
Well technology. I mean I know that your business started as tech friendly in the first place. It's built into the work you do. But you have also had to expand. You just talked about it earlier, about enabling it for your team. So to face growing pains with technology?

27:01 Erin
Yeah oh that's kind of a sore spot here. But we had some grand plans to build a platform that would work. let's just say it didn't quite work out. We're back at square one again. But it's definitely a learning experience. I know what questions to ask next time. I know when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Luckily it wasn't too much of an issue for us. But yeah technology. So that big platform, we're back at square one with that. But even just the choosing which software to use, choosing which programs to use... You have to test them out and figure out which ones are going to work for you. That's a bit of a headache as well. Then seeing if your team is on board with it too. Just because I like the one that would work, maybe it's not intuitive for them to use. There's so much great stuff out there that you can use to make your business more efficient and move things faster through the pipelines. So I think if you're stuck in only using one old way of doing things you're kind of missing out on ways to make your business run a little smoother.

28:26 Sandra
Well okay, so I hear your pain and you know just describing something that didn't work out. I could hear without the words just the errr... But what I love is that you actually described that whole scenario and then you described how you're going to keep going anyway.

28:46 Erin
Yeah of course.Now we're probably you know 10 months behind where we want to be. But I feel like we're in a better place now. We have a better foundation of knowing where we want to be in the next year with the technology.

29:01 Sandra
So sometimes you have to have a false start to learn more about your real needs and the change in the marketplace. But you're describing something interesting, which is I think a difficult spot for a lot of small to midsize firm owners, which is how do you know what's ahead? How do you predict the future right? Growing pains implies that you're moving into some bigger future. But how do you know what that future holds? We just came through a pandemic. So people are even more nervous about what is in the future. So what's your process for projecting forward?

29:44 Erin
Yeah pandemic, recession... No one has a crystal ball. You can kind of gauge where you think things are going. But I always think, I know what I know. I know my business. I know what I'm offering. I know it's a great service. If we don't grow at what I think our financial forecast will be for this year, I know where we've gone. I think that's what I'm trying to say. I know our past. I know it's a solid foundation. I'm not concerned with the future and anything that'll throw at me. I feel like I have a solid base to kind of confront it. Will there be setbacks? Obviously. Will there be great times? Obviously. I've experienced that all with the business where some months you're like oh my gosh we're making so much money is this how it's going to be for the future? Then the next month comes and you're like oh no. So you just get used to the ups and downs. You get used to the okay what's the issue I'm dealing with this month? There's always going to be something stressing you out. I think that helps with the stress level and dealing with being a business owner is that I've come to accept the fact that there will always be something and not stress over it. I think I used to be like okay once I solve this issue everything's going to be perfect. Then I would hit with the next issue and I'd be so devastated because I'm like oh I have to deal with something else now. But it's like no. When you're prepared, things are just going to come at you. So now I'm like okay so what's next? Bring it on. I'm ready.

31:36 Sandra
You know, I heard once this interesting way of getting people used to unpacking difficult feelings about change and making it more normal. That was teaching your team how to do this in a comfortable way. Just an example. If you're sitting in a regular meeting, so you have regular partner meetings or regular team meetings, whatever it is... At the end of your meeting, have a ritual where you ask people, so what went right? What went wrong? You go around the room and you ask them and everybody has to comment. It doesn't matter what their job title is. So then they start getting used to it. Then when something really difficult comes up that people would have avoided, they won't avoid it because they have the language. They have the experience in talking about things and trusting that it won't come across as judgmental and they won't be punished for saying what they needed to say.

32:38 Erin
Interesting. So that when you asked them to comment on what went right and what went wrong you're talking about just that specific meeting?

32:49 Sandra
So you can adopt it to whatever you want. You can say how could we have done this meeting better? Or you can say tell us about your week, for the firm. What went right? What went wrong? So you're talking about yourself or about anybody here or about all of us or we just did a big presentation or we just completed a big deadline. So you can adapt it to different scenarios just getting people used to doing this. It's practicing conflict. That's what you're doing really. In doing that, you're getting more comfortable talking about things, building that stronger foundation so that you really can respond to changes as they happen right in real time. So is there anything about the team that you've noticed them experiencing their own growing pains?

33:51 Erin
Yeah I think I haven't brought on team members who have any legal background, which was kind of by design. I was more focusing on the skills I needed for those positions. So for our manager of operations, someone who was very organized and who understood people and her role has a lot to do with talking to our law firm clients and our freelancers, someone who wasn't afraid to pick up the phone, some of the skills maybe that I don't necessarily have, so she could fill in those gaps that I had. So I think part of that though, because she doesn't have the legal background, I think there was a bit of a struggle or not struggle but there's a bit of a learning curve, a steep learning curve of learning all the lingo and dealing with lawyers and how they're a bit of an odd bunch sometimes when it comes to certain things and dealing with law firms and all of that. It was easier when I brought the first employee on. It was a very basic company. We had a few logins like I was saying and a few things we use. Now it's a much more robust company. I don't think we've updated our onboarding process to reflect that as much. So I think she's needed a little bit more time to be onboarded into how we do things as a larger company than when it was just me running it. But hopefully we're facing both of those issues. I'm helping them to transition through them as well.

35:25 Sandra
So again we came back to systems. Having the right systems in place helps everybody to address their growing pains as they go through them. But you're also rightly recognizing that the systems always have to be updated. You can't just do it once. Okay this has been an amazing conversation. Erin, is there anything else you want to say before we say goodbye for our listeners who may be facing their own growing pains?

36:00 Erin
Yeah I think really sometimes you just need to hold your nose and jump in and don't be afraid. I think trust your own skills that have gotten you this far. Sometimes that confident voice inside of you that gets drowned out by the people pleaser and by the perfectionist, you just have to let the other voices sit back a bit and let that confident voice shine through and guide your decisions moving forward. That'll help with any growth decisions you make and any changes that you're going through as an entrepreneur.

36:37 Sandra
Do you have any practices that help you to get back into that confident character when you're feeling the self-doubt? You know all of us have our little go-to secret practices. Can you share?

36:50 Erin
Sometimes I just have to step back and remind myself of what I've done. It's like wow Erin you actually built a company. You have employees. You have like a 100 freelancers and all of these law firms relying on your services across Canada. I think just stepping back and looking at that now and again really is like okay Erin yeah no you've done this. I try to do that. I try the last Friday of every month, I take a couple of hours and I go away from my office. I go to a coffee shop without my phone. I just have my little book and paper and pen. I just kind of reflect on being a business owner. I think in those moments as well the confidence comes because you can kind of step back from the day-to- day and really put your entrepreneur hat on. That helps as well. Also you know I keep a little folder in my email account where anyone sends me a compliment or tells me I've done a wonderful thing. If I'm feeling really bad about myself, I open up that folder and I read a few of those emails and it's like see Erin, you're not so bad.

38:06 Sandra
Those are great tips. I love them. Please, listeners, try them out. Wonderful, thank you Erin for your time and for your insights.

38:19 Erin
Well thank you for having me this has been fun.

38:20 Sandra
Yes. To our listeners, if you are interested in learning more about Erin Cowling, Founder and CEO of Flex Legal Network Inc. please go to You've been listening to Get in the Driver's Seat, stories about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practices. I'm your host Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach at Bekhor Management. Take care everybody.

Getting over people pleasing and perfectionism
Being more proactive about managing growth
Updating processes, systems and tech to grow
Facing risk so you can minimize it
Stretching outside your comfort zone, regularly
Leaning on others to grow
Getting honest about what you want
Financial support
Updating tech
Projecting the future
Making change normal
Growing the team
Confidence guides the right growth decisions