We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelsey Shofner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kelsey, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I finally decided that balance is the wrong term to use. Ultimately, it is impossible to be balanced all the time. Some days and weeks are particularly heavy for work. In others my family needs me more. Other days I really need some time and space to focus on my own mental health. No one single day or week will be perfectly balanced.

Instead, I try to focus on being present where I am. This is not always easy to accomplish, considering that I work 100% from home and we decided to keep our young kids home with a sitter this year. I am basically within yelling distance of my kids 24/7. Prior to starting my business, I felt like I always had to be “on” for work, my phone had to be on me, and I had to respond to every email right away. Even though my previous employer did not require that, I somehow felt like being a working mom meant that I needed to work extra to show my dedication.

Now with my own business, one of my mantras is that I do this for a reason. My reason is to fulfill my calling to work, serve my clients who I believe are underserved in my industry (lots of business lawyers, not a lot of business lawyers who have fee structures focused on self-funded businesses), and still be able to be present for my family when they need me.

I accomplish this by compartmentalizing. If I am in my office, I am focused on serving my clients, being present for their needs. When I leave my office I am mom. Whether it is for a few minutes to grab lunch or after the work day ends, I leave my phone behind and engage with my kids. I have set up strict boundaries for my business, I do not respond to emails after hours and I only schedule phone calls during the business day. It sounds harsh, especially in our American culture of working all the time, but ultimately it makes me a better lawyer because I can focus on work when I am working, rather than worrying about my personal and family obligations.

I know my idea of balance will continue to change with time, especially as my oldest starts kindergarten next year and I have to start juggling after school activities as well. However, I know that if I stay focused on my goal of bringing my best to my clients when I am working and my best to my family when I am not, then the balance will come.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started Shofner Consulting, PLLC because I wanted to provide small businesses a leg up by setting them up for success from the beginning. Many small businesses, especially self funded start ups, avoid hiring a lawyer early on because of the expense. However, avoiding legal costs upfront tends to lead to much larger legal bills down the road to fix mistakes and resolve disputes. Legal issues tend to compound as time goes on and a small business grows.

I created a flat-fee model that recognizes legal spending is not always at the top of a small business’s budget, but that a small investment can reap great rewards. My clients know up front what the cost will be and what work product they are receiving. I work with my clients to create a 12-18 month roadmap for legal projects. We tackle legal work as it becomes necessary, making sure that the business has the proper legal documents in place before growth milestones are reached.

I also offer an outside general counsel subscription that allows my clients an open line of communication with me for a monthly rate that is the fraction of hiring a full time attorney and significantly less than working with a larger firm on an hourly basis. Through this service, I help my clients manage their employee issues, review contracts with their customers and vendors, and keep on eye out for infringement of the business’s intellectual property portfolio.

Employment policies matter. Protecting Intellectual Property matters. Contracts matter.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Lake Highlands and East Dallas. I have always lived in the vicinity of White Rock Lake and would never consider living in another part of the city. My go-tos are The Arboretum, lunch on a patio on Lower Greenville, and dinner at El Vecino on Buckner.

If I am venturing out of the East Dallas bubble, my family loves visiting Klyde Warren Park and eating at one of the restaurants in Trinity Groves.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout Leslie Hassler of Your Biz Rules. Leslie is a fantastic business coach who has helped me set my business up for success from the get go. She has been an invaluable source of support and encouragement to be over the last 9 months. She really drove home to me that I have to be present where I am and give my all to whatever it is that I am doing in the moment.

Website: https://shofnerpllc.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shofnerpllc/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/shofner-consulting-pllc

Twitter: https://twitter.com/shofnerpllc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shofnerpllc/?

Image Credits
Angelica Marie Photography

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