Corey is an expert strategist, dealmaker and business consultant with more than 30 years of professional negotiating experience as a successful entrepreneur, and attorney. He is also the founder and president of Authentic Enterprises, LLC and the Authentic Business Academy. You can find out more via his website: Coreykupfer.com
Corey runs his own New York-based law firm, Kupfer & Associates, PLLC. His firm works with foreign companies which are establishing U.S. subsidiaries and operations and which are looking to do acquisitions, joint ventures and other deals in the U.S. You can find out more on the law firm website: kupferlaw.com
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[0:00:24.0] Rob Hanna: Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast, powered by Kissoon Carr. I’m your host, Rob Hanna. This week, I’m delighted to be joined by Corey Kupfer an expert strategist, dealmaker and business consultant with more than 30 years of professional negotiating experience as a successful entrepreneur and attorney. To find out more, you can visit their website at kupferlaw.com or coreykupfer.com. So, welcome Corey.
[0:00:52.4] Corey Kupfer: It’s so great to be here.
[0:00:55.5] Rob Hanna: Thanks for taking the time to be with us today, Corey. There’s a lot we need to get through in terms of all of your achievements and your background today. But before we go through all of that, we do have a customary question here on the speaking, which you may be familiar with. But on the scale of one to ten, ten being very real, how real do you rate the hit series Suits?
[0:01:20.5] Corey Kupfer: Well, I say, probably a five. I have to admit I haven’t watched that many episodes of it and I don’t litigate, so you can take my five with a grain of salt.
[0:01:33.0] Rob Hanna: Good stuff. Good stuff. Well, listen, I’m really keen to talk through your journey I know as of now, obviously you’re an expert sort of strategist deal maker, attorney consultant 30 years, you’ve achieved so much, but what’s most interesting is you are an entrepreneur turned sort of attorney, so I guess it’d be really helpful for our listeners to know a bit more about your sort of life as an entrepreneur before we sort of talk about your legal world and all your other wider initiatives as well. So, take us back and talk us through your entrepreneurial days.
[0:02:05.0] Corey Kupfer: Well, sure. I mean, so I grew up in Brooklyn, New York in the United States and when I was 15, you know, I mean, I had the lemonade stands in the lawn mowing and that kind of stuff that a lot of kids do. But when I was 15, I was working for a company delivering flyers, you know, advertising circular, door to door. And I started stopping on the route and getting my own accounts and hiring my friends to go deliver them. And as a 15-year-old kid and I’m [dating] myself here, but in 1976, through 1978, when I was 17 and left for college, I was making about $300 a week US, it was a lot of money for, in those days for a kid my age. And then, you know, all throughout college, I ran businesses, but I came from a family where it was like, no, you go to school, you get an education, you get a job.
So, I got out of school you know, went to law school, graduated, got a big firm job in New York city. And between that and a medium size firm, I did the best six years getting experience, but my entrepreneurial bug was too big when I was 30 years old, I sort of hung out a shingle and started my own law firm and have had in various forms of a sense along with a number of other businesses and consulting and real estate investing and various other things.
[0:03:20.0] Rob Hanna: And that’s really, really interesting because, you know, you’ve been involved in legal sector and you’ve gone with all of this entrepreneurial flare, but just sort of taking it back. And I know, you know, we’ll talk about your podcast shortly as well. And, you know, I know that’s around sort of fuelling this, but what’s your view, having spoken to lots of entrepreneurs meeting, not so much, do you think you’re kind of born with it or do you think it’s something is part of you? Give me your take on that kind of entrepreneurial aspects?
[0:03:45.1] Corey Kupfer: Well, I sort of break people down into three categories. I think there are people who will work with somebody for the rest of their lives. And I want to make clear, I don’t say that with any kind of judgment. I write, I think self-knowledge where self-awareness is key and there are people who are just not meant to be entrepreneurs. They’re meant to be great employees, you know, number two, three, four, five, six at a company, or among number of 2000 or whatever it is. And you know, if you’re that kind of person and that’s what you get out for, then great go sell there. And then there were a natural born entrepreneurs, which I believe I’m one of them on and I just can’t help myself and my joke and it’s not original other people said, this is that you know, I’m unemployable at this point.
But then I think you do have this middle category of what would I call situational entrepreneurs, you know, I know people who don’t have that sort of natural, like have to be an entrepreneur can’t work for somebody, but they are in a particular situation where, you know, an opportunity comes up or you know, a client either they’re unhappy where they are and a client says, well, why don’t you just, you know, go out on your own, I’ll be your first client. And they, you know, based upon the situation or, you know, they’re in a recession and they can’t find a job and they start consulting or whatever it is, and they become situation entrepreneurs. And so, I think there’s three categories. I think there’s the born entrepreneurs, there’s the people who never be entrepreneurs and then this, the situational entrepreneurs.
[0:05:05.5] Rob Hanna: Yeah. I really like the way you put that and sort of categorize that and you’re absolutely right, no three are better or indifferent to each other. Everyone just has their own journey that they go along and, you know, we don’t just want to talk about all the successes of entrepreneurs as well. I think, you know, myself included failings and what you’ve learned from your failings, are there any things that you’ve been hugely successful and everything you’ve gone on to achieve, but, you know, you’ve got to have a lot of knots and failings along the way. So, what would you say some of your greatest learns as an entrepreneur?
[0:05:33.5] Corey Kupfer: I listen, no question. I mean, you know, I remember I’ll just share something quickly because, you know, just to really highlight this point that you made you know, I think people who are earlier in the entrepreneurial journey and people who aren’t on the actual real journey, you know, only see, you know, it’s easy to only see the successes because that’s what most of the show, right?
But I don’t know a single entrepreneur who’s not been had ups and downs and add challenges. We did something you know, when I was very active in entrepreneur’s organization nationwide, I mean, I actually a global organization of entrepreneurs. You know, we have something golden idol living debt, where every entrepreneur has shared their, you know, their horror stories on the journey. You know, for me, I mean, listen, I’ve been through a couple of partnership breakouts, break ups over the years, which has been challenging. You know, I’ll share probably the toughest time in my entrepreneurial career, which came actually, you know, pretty late.
I mean it was the 2008, 2009, great recession where I, you know, I had been in business for 20 something years. So, you know, I thought I was pretty much sad, you know, run a very successful firm. And then the next thing I knew, you know, my revenues are down 20, 30, 30, 40, 50, $60,000 a month because nobody’s doing with deals, I have clients going out of business, they’re not paying me. And you know, I had to spend a lot of money, money building, they got a new office. I had taken out a line of credit to do that. And, you know, this is what, the days when you actually have to pay for server rooms and, you know, $50,000 in wiring and a bunch of computers in a closet. And you know, and I ended up I mean, I tell the story of my authentic negotiating book and when I do talk. So, when I ended up giving up my apartment, because you know, money was so tight there for a while and sleeping on an air mattress in my last front office you know, and I had to make sure I fortunately had a shower in the office.
I’d make sure I got up, you know, in time to shower and be dressed before my employees came into work. You know, and that was just now what, you know, 12, 11, 12 years ago you know, I ended up through the $325,000 in debt. And in fact, a lot of the principles in my authentic negotiating book that I had developed over the years crystallized for me at that time, because, you know, it’s easy to advise other people on, you know, working for clients on how to negotiate things or negotiate things that are easy yourself. But when you’re in those kinds of challenging situations and it really counts, and it’s, you know, it’s your livelihood and your family and, you know paying the rent and eating, the rubber hits the road.
So, you know, a lot of the what got me out of that with my reputation intact, without declaring bankruptcy, without short selling the house that I had that was, you know my weekend home that was that was on the water economically, like people recommended it to me you know, and to pay everybody back cause that was my commitment was all of the things that I put in my authentic negotiating book and, you know, it was a humbling time.
And you know, what I learned and what I preach to people is to be in communication, be transparent, decide what you’re gonna do. For me, it was my moral compass that had me say, no, I made these commitments. I’m going to pay back every dollar, I don’t judge people and make a different decision, but for me, that was the decision. And, you know, it was a tough time, but we got through it and, you know, came back even stronger.
[0:08:57.9] Rob Hanna: Yeah. And that’s a fascinating story. And what I really like about that isn’t that shows that you’re a true entrepreneur in my eyes as well, is that very much that, whatever it takes mentality, you know, you’re talking about sleeping on mash, says talking about sort of, you know, complete skin in the game, you’re talking about staying true to your values at all costs.
Yeah. I think that’s just a wonderful story and hopefully a great inspiration to lots of other people. And we should point out that your, you know, your book is very much available on Amazon and it really is worth people sort of, you know, getting involved in and giving our lesson around that sort of authentic negotiating and getting deals done, which is very much what you’re known for, I think really has sort of helped you and can help so many other people.
And more so in current times, given the current situation, you know, we are in a bit of a global, I don’t like to use the word lightly crisis, but, you know, we are going through a pandemic. Is there anything you would share given you sort of, you know, having been through tough times, maybe resections about experience or that you would give us some advice for people or just to kind of keep people positive at this point in time?
[0:09:56.2] Corey Kupfer: Yeah. Well, I think you know, what you just said is the first key, right? I mean, I believe that our mental state, our spiritual state, our emotional state is where everything starts. Right. Because, you know, you see it now already you know, in these times, you know, I’m sure you you’ve seen it with your business colleagues and friends and whatever. Some of them are in a total panic or depression and some of them and you know, and I actually did a little post on this. I think it was about a week ago where, you know, one of the things I observed is that entrepreneurs and business leaders tend to be in a much more positive mind state than employees and some of the self-employed folks who don’t haven’t really built a business, you know, beyond themselves.
And you know, it’s not a universally true, but and this is anecdotal. I haven’t done a study, but, you know, but that’s what I’ve been noticing. And I think, you know, maybe in part it’s because as entrepreneurs and business leaders would feel, maybe we have more control with just generally more optimistic people in general. But I think mindset, you know, everything for me starts with mindset because I actually, you know, this is going to get to a place where people may not expect it to go on a Legally Speaking Podcasts. But I believe in energy, I really do I believe you know; I don’t believe in the law of attraction and the over simplistic way that some people talk about it. It’s not what you think about you bring about, but it’s based upon what Bob practical is, the law of vibration, it’s the vibration you’re in.
So, if you truly believe that, you know, things are going to be, you know go bad, then they’ll likely to go bad. And that’s because one, I mean, quantum physics has shown that everything is energy. It’s, you know, it’s not like the science for that and sort of come together with these, the spiritual consciousness. So, everything is energy and it does affect each other but even if you don’t believe that, right, if you are in a place of scarcity or fear, or you know, any of those things that come up in these times, then you’re much less likely to be motivated. You’re much less likely to think, really you’re much less likely to lead to take the actions that you need to take that will put you in the best position, you know, in challenging times. So, you know, even if you don’t believe in the energy thing, it’s sort of, you know, your mindset and your actions and you know, you and your ability to be creative.
So, the first thing, I always say to people is listen to work on your mindset and then, yeah, I mean, some of the lessons from, you know, the 2008 recession be in communication with people, be honest with people, be authentic with people. You know, if you can’t pay a bill, don’t hide out, you know, call the creditor, work something out. I remember back in those days, there were people who wanted, you know, whatever, $15,000 from me and I was like you know, I can pay you $75 a month, but you’ll get paid. So, I think you know, start with the mindset and then listen, hopefully you are clear on what your core values are, you know, at this time and if you’re not, please get clear on them.
And, you know, it’s easy to be consistent with our core values when times are good, but when times are challenging, when you get really tested, right because it’s easy to do things out of fear. And so, I would say get reconnected to your core values and you will be much better off in the short-term and in long-term, especially if you act from that place, as opposed to a place of fierce guesses.
[0:12:57.8] Rob Hanna: Corey, in these times, as you’ll know, here in the UK, where we’re now in lockdown, and I know you guys over in the US have been in lockdown as well, you know, how have you been dealing with that as a law firm and how’s that impacted you?
[0:13:10.0] Corey Kupfer: Well, you know, what’s been really interesting for us, Robert is that if this were, you know, five plus years ago, it would’ve impacted us significantly, but frankly, for the most part, it has not from a business point of view, operations point of view, it has not affected us really at all. And that seems like a strange comment, but the reason is this about five years ago when I split up a partnership and re-establish my firm, as I sort of mentioned earlier I did sort of an analysis of the business model and I looked at it and I actually track how many times we met with clients in the office. And it was almost never like, and this comes from somebody who most of my career, like, it would like if you didn’t meet with a client, you didn’t meet a prospect, you didn’t get the work. Nowadays, you know, everybody’s busy, nobody wants to try, I’m talking even before, you know, the pandemic or anything, people just wouldn’t meet.
So, when I re-established my firm after the partnership breakup, you know, my own firm five years ago I essentially, I mean, we have an office address. We have meeting space, but we effectively went virtual and so my whole team has been working you know, from home with a place to come in. And if, if we have meetings or if we want to gather already, and, you know, we do a lot on zoom video. We do a lot, you know, obviously on conference call you know, nowadays, listen, if you have a phone line and internet connection and, you know, computer and email for what I do ‘cause I don’t go to court you know, I do deals, I do negotiations, we do contracts, we can work from anywhere.
So, my team has been working remotely you know, we have a great self-starting, you know, team who the get the work done. So, when this happened, we were just continuing to operate under our business model, which is very different than what’s happened with most law firms have to make a major shift.
[0:15:01.7] Rob Hanna: I think that’s a major wake up maybe to some little firms who have been a bit behind the curve in terms of actually appreciating the need to be, you know, more virtually operating or being more with the tech time. So, I think it’s definitely going to kickstart a lot of law firms into rethinking their strategy right.
[0:15:18.6] Corey Kupfer: No question about it. I mean, I think a lot of businesses in general, but certainly law firms, because, you know, frankly, we tend to be behind the times often on technology and on business models and, you know for me, I mean, I think what a lot of the lawyers who have managed people, partners they’re gonna have to get past is, you know, this sorta traditional model of feeling like they need their associates and their staff sort of under their thumb and physically there.
And you know, there are different ways that you can do it you know, virtually but you know, it can work, and it’s worked very, very well. And frankly, it’s also allowed me to get good talent who you know, I have one of my main associates for example, is a mother of two children. And she loves the ability to work virtually because she could be home when the kids come home from school and then, you know make some dinner or spend some time with them and get back to work, you know, later when she wants to, and to me, I’ve always managed not by micromanaging people’s tasks, but by managing by expectations for results. So, you know, we have to satisfy client’s needs, we have to keep them happy, I’m gonna hold people accountable to that, but I don’t care when and how you do it as long as the clients are being satisfied and you’re available, you know, for meetings and that kind of stuff. And, you know, we’ve done that very successfully, virtually for the last five years. So, when this pandemic came, you know, it’s really business as usual for us.
[0:16:39.4] Rob Hanna: Yeah, well said, well said what I’d also wants to talk to you about Corey is, and we kind of like, you gave a light overview of your career today, but, you know, it’s kind of maybe take takes has been in a bit more detail, you know, how, you know, what were the practical steps you took from your time in other law firms to then, you know, how did you set up your New York hugely successful current from where you stand today and give some of the sort of practical steps and things that you did and what you learned along the way?
[0:17:94.8] Corey Kupfer: Sure. So, as I said, I put in about six years that, you know at a very large US firm and then a medium size firm. And the reason I moved from the large firm to the medium size firm is because at the law firm, I was just, I was doing deals, which was great. I mean, it’s really from a lot of the basis for what I do now but it was all huge deals, it was big leveraged buyouts and public securities work and a big mergers and acquisitions. And I knew I wanted to go out on my own and I sort of knew that General Electric Credit Corp and people like that, that we’ll call lines. So, my old firm would not get give me, you know, a business when I hung out my little shingle from day one, right?
So, I needed to get some of the smaller deal general corporate council contract experience. So, I went to a medium size firm to get that you know, that was sort of day to day corporate and you know, and mediums and smaller firm experience. And then once I had that, you know, it was you want to talk about recessions, it was end of 1991, beginning of 1992, which was a recession in the US when I started my firm and everybody told me I was crazy, you know, and I just was done. I could work for somebody anymore talking about this natural born entrepreneur, you know, thing didn’t leave with a book of business, started with nothing because of the firm I was at, had long-term institutional clients. So, although I had some good relationships, but, you know, they weren’t, the clients weren’t moving at that time and I literally started my firm networking.
I mean, I went to every networking event that there was, I mean, you name it. I was in networking events in New York and New Jersey and Connecticut evenings and mornings and I started building it from there in New York, there was a something called that you need legal plan. In other words, it was a, it was a benefit that the union provided to the teachers and in New York City and they had a panel of lawyers who would work on a significantly reduced fee. So, I got signed up for that so, I’d worked doing some work for teachers at a very reduced rate. And I remember my friends at the big firms were like, you know, why are you working for a third of the rate that you could charge?
And I said to them, because you don’t understand that’s my menu is zero or a third, not a third or triple, right so you take what you can get. And so, you know, I mean, I just hustled, you know, built it up from nothing within a year and a half. I brought in a partner because I had built up enough business somehow that was you know, worth about one and a half attorneys’ worth and I had a friend of mine who we used to work together at a prior firm, and he was a litigator. And you know, in the early days I was doing a little bit of everything. I was going to court, I didn’t know what I was doing, I was getting, calling him for advice and then somehow, I convinced him to leave a big firm and join me.
And, you know, we built the thing over, you know, the next decade to you know, nine attorneys and you know, running a couple million dollars in revenue and all that kind of stuff. And you know, in the beginning it was hustle, over time it’s evolved, you know, I don’t do any of that kind of, and haven’t for many years that kind of a business card to hand out networking any more, but it’s evolved into being a member of various organizations like entrepreneurs, organization, and you know, over the years and things like that, where I’ve made great contacts, it’s just evolved into speaking you know, which is a one-to-many, as opposed to one-to-one, which develops a lot of business to me. And then as you alluded to, you know, books, podcasts, putting out content online and you know, and the business model is continuing to evolve. And we’ve fortunately, you know, with a couple of hiccups during recessions have continued to grow significantly.
[0:20:39.4] Rob Hanna: That’s great. And what I also pick up from that as well, just me on the thing of entrepreneurship is, you know, you’ve always run up the problem rather than running away from the problem and you use the word hustling a lot. And I think, you know, there’s a real difference between hustling and it’s that action, isn’t it, prepare to take action? You know, we’re in a downturn or we’re in a crisis moment at the moment you can’t run away from the problem, you’ve got to take it face on, you’ve got to tackle it, and you’ve got to be prepared to take that action.
And I think that’s really sage advice that you’ve offered there. I think there’s so much else that wants to talk about, and you’ve touched on a few the points as well, because you’re right. You’ve spoken for the entrepreneur’s organization, you know, institutional wealth services, New York state bar moved the crown city, the list goes on and on and on and on and on. Are there any kind of top things that, you know, when you are speaking that you always relate to people that might be quite helpful, people listening in is sort of just takeaways?
[0:21:25.1] Corey Kupfer: Well, yeah, I mean, so there’s a few different things that I speak out. I mean, you know, all the deal in the, and negotiating, I do workshops on that. I speak a lot in the financial services industry because I’ve developed a real niche in that industry and that’s, you know, and that’s not a directly, I see a question, but it is a tip for people that, you know, if you can niche down and have a specific area where you really become known as an attorney is supposed to being a generalist, it really makes a difference. So, you know, but a lot of the speaking I do, and it’s true about the content that I put out. It’s, you know, it’s the reason for the book. So I work with companies to help them grow, right.
And we do that through inorganic growth or deal driven growth and that’s not just big mergers acquisitions. It’s, you know, everything from licensing to joint ventures, strategic alliances, affiliate deals. I mean there’s so many kinds I can go on and on I won’t, but there’s so many types of deals that smaller companies, too large companies can do with, or without capital. And really the message is, Hey, every company you’re focusing on organic growth sales, marketing, and getting more customers, and you need to do that.
If you can’t sell a service or product, you shouldn’t be in business, but there’s only a small percentage of companies that also grow inorganically through dealer driven growth. And there’s so many opportunities out there to do strategic alliances and joint ventures and licensing and you know, joint marketing, whatever it is that is a growth opportunity, both in good times and in downturns. And it’s at least something that you should be considering if you’re in business and you want, and you’re not growing as quickly as you’d like.
[0:22:57.5] Rob Hanna: Okay. And then just in terms of you know, modern day attorneys, you know, lawyers maybe they are in a firm at the moment they’re getting itchy feet, you know, what advice would you give to them if they worked, you know, to take the step to maybe set up their own firm, because, you know, naturally there is a conception it’s not all and I will caveat this, it’s not all but you know, most people are leaving. Freshly might be slightly risk averse and, you know, all making that step, is it right? Is it not? I mean, you gave a fascinating example in that moving with not much business whatsoever and just outright hustling, but looking back on people in the modern world, you know, the legal set has changed significantly. What advice would you give to people who may be, you know, encouraging them to set up their own firms?
[0:23:36.7] Corey Kupfer: Yeah. So, I mean, there’s like you said our profession tends to lean towards the risk averse in terms of personnel and training question and, you know, not as many people are going to make. I mean, you know, I was paying my rent on credit cards and had over a hundred thousand dollars in debt when I first started my firm until I started making money and, you know, a lot of people aren’t going to do that. But I would say a couple of things, first of all, we’re in a very different time than when I started. Okay. You know, when I split up a business partnership, you know, a law partnership about five years ago and restarted a firm, it was basically a few laptops, computers and $600 a month in cloud programs and you’re up and running.
So first of all, the investment that you need to make nowadays is a lot less than it used to be, to get started because of technology and because of the fact that there’s not you know there’s not a huge, you know, you don’t need a huge office with books in a conference room these days necessarily, right. People almost never meet in person anymore, so that’s shifted.
The second thing is obviously there are some people who will be able to leave with a book of business, which gives you to which cushions it. But the third thing is, listen. What drove me is that I had a vision of a way that I thought I could do it better. And there were the things that I didn’t like about the way clients were being handled. About the way, definitely about the way attorneys and staff were being treated, at least in the New York city, a big firm you know, worlds in those days, it was very hierarchical. And it was very at times, frankly, abusive you know, in terms of the way the some of the partners would treat the associates and how everybody would treat the staff. And, you know, that was just not in keeping with my values and vision.
So I had a bigger vision of what I wanted to do, and I think a lot of people leave a place you know, or start their own firm because they don’t like you know, that’s a good motivator if you’re unhappy with something, but I would really encourage you to also have that positive pull, not just running from something, but create a vision for what you want to create, because when things get tough and they will, right usually, I mean, unless, you know, you’re leaving someplace with a million dollar book of business and you’re all set and the clients that come with you, and even in those cases, you probably gonna have challenges, right.
You know, but it may get tough and there are ups and downs. And if you don’t have a bigger vision that’s pulling you forward and a way you want to serve the clients, the way that you want to treat employees, in the way you want to grow your business and the impact that maybe you want to have in the community and society with your time and the money you make and the influence you get then you know, then it’s tougher. But when you have that big vision, it’s easier in those tough times to reconnect to that and push through and hustle.
[0:26:15.1] Rob Hanna: Yeah. Well said, well said, you mentioned again, we are in a completely new world, we’re in a tech world, whether people like it or not. And so, you know, one of the things you talked about going back to your journey was, you know, you’re getting out there hustling, handing out business calls, meeting people, you know, that’s almost would be the wrong advice now in the modern world, in terms of the networking and networking, you’re way out there with the modern time. Is there anything you would say, or you do, or you continue to do also, you can never put the price on obviously face to face networking is great, but for people to get mass networking as effective networking, is there anything tips you would give to moving into this sort of world that we’re operating now?
[0:26:46.7] Corey Kupfer: Well, we’re in a world of content, right? So, you know, for many, many years, even though, you know, I built my firm to a very successful firm through very traditional means, right. You know, networking, providing great services for people getting referrals, building good centres of influence, you know, referral sources, that kind of stuff. One of the things that always sort of frustrated me though, was how do I keep top of mind with all my clients, right? And then the old days, you know, attorneys used to send out maybe snail mail, you know, newsletters, and everybody was sort of doing the same thing. And it was, you know, it was just tough, and it would drive me crazy.
Occasionally when I would see a client, I said, Oh, you know, we just did X and it was something we could have handled for them and they didn’t bring it to us just because they didn’t realize we didn’t do it right. Or, you know, would referral sources you know, if you’re not top of mind, they may give it to someone else. So, one of the things that I’ve done recently, and this is, I think the, you know, the best play right now is we put out a lot of content you know, online, LinkedIn you know, Facebook, Twitter, we’ve been starting to do some Instagram stuff. LinkedIn is my biggest, the biggest one for me, where my clients are.
And we put out a lot of valuable content for free, right. You know, just things on deals, things on negotiating things on you know, the financial services and registered investment advisor space, where we do a lot on tech, you know, that kind of stuff. And it keeps you top of mind I can’t tell you, I mean, if I haven’t talked to somebody in a while and I get on the phone with them almost to a person, they will say to me, Corey, I’ve been reading your blogs. Corey, I’ve been looking at what you do on LinkedIn. Corey, I listened to your podcast, you know, your podcasts. So, it’s a way to keep top of mind. Now, here’s the interesting part for the most part. I mean, there was some things that I could directly trace, Oh, I put out the book, I got this speaking engagement because of the book.
And I got, you know, X amount of business from that but for the most part, it’s hard to trace directly back. But what I know is when we started heavily putting out content about five years ago you know, four or five years ago when anticipation of my book coming out and just recognizing the new model our business has grown significantly every year and we were up 60% – 60% last year off of a pretty big base already and I attribute that to having an understanding of the digital landscape and the desire for content and how people will look for you nowadays, which is very different than handing out a business card at an in-person networking event, which I’m not saying don’t do, but you got to be online, you got to be giving value.
[0:29:14.7] Rob Hanna: Absolutely. And that’s what I was going to say is continuous content as value add to your audiences and people, like you say, will grow with you during your… they may be dormant. They may, you may not hear from them for three, six months, but they’re watching you and you’ll be able to articulate your story, you’re adding value to them and it’s so great. And I guess that’s just a great success story and people, again, listening in that is the future. If you fail to, you’ve got to find your platform, LinkedIn is where I tend to go all in because we’ve lots of people listening in and I’m watching. Find your platforms, find out what works for you, put decent content out there that adds value to your networks, and you will see wins in the long-term. And that leads us on to we’ve touched on a few times, but one of my favourite podcasts, and I’m not just saying that because you’re on the show today because I just love doing deals at what’s make me tick as an entrepreneur business owner. So, tell people a bit more who may be new to give us a bit of a…
[0:30:11.2] Corey Kupfer: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, what’s interesting for me is, up until about maybe a three, four years ago, I had never listened to a podcast at all, not a single podcast. And then, you know, I sort of, I won’t tell this story, you know, how I started getting into that a little bit. And then I started studying the model and you know, what I found out is a few things, the average podcast doesn’t even have less 15 episodes. So, you know, what I would say to you is, you know, folks out there’s a list there, if you thinking about doing a podcast, study the model and figure out what works and don’t do it unless you’re committed to it. And that’s sort of the way I operate, I spend a little time figuring out what it is and I’m either all in or I’m not in, right?
So, you know, we’re now 60 some odd episodes in over a year, we do a weekly podcast and what’s been great about the fuelling deals podcast is that it was always intended to be a sort of a niche podcast, right? I’m not looking to get a million downloads, it’s not a general interest podcast, what it is it’s directed towards, you know people like who are my clients will, like my clients, my prospects, and also you know, I’m happy if it gives value to somebody I’ll never ever work with. But it’s, you know, for entrepreneurs and business leaders who are looking to grow and maybe frustrated that they’re not growing as quickly as they’d like through the organic growth route, as I said before. So, you know, we have guests on that are entrepreneurs who have done all kinds of types of deals, service providers, like investment bankers and business brokers, and you know, and consultants and valuation people.
And, you know, we have them share their journeys, their stories, their expertise and where they came from, you know, sort of like, you know, what I’m doing here on your podcast. And the whole intention is, you know with listeners have told me is, you know, it’s a great way for them to really get a feel for the deal landscape to understand what’s out there and then to really hear people’s stories on how they’ve done some very interesting deals to help them grow. And you know, it’s been great for us because, you know, again, it’s a way to touch people, it’s a way to keep the profile up, but it’s also a way to build relationships. I mean, you know, similar to what you did here. I mean, you know, we can act it online and this is a great example, right Robert? You know, we can have it online right through LinkedIn. We, you know, we had a call, you know, we got to know each other you know, as people, as businesses, and then, you know, I’m a guest on your podcast, right? So, now you and I have a relationship that will continue to build, and that’s what I’ve done with the fuelling deals podcast you know, continue to build relationship, produce business for me.
And it’s a way that we give valuable content out to people and you know, it’s just it’s fun, I love doing it. So, that’s the other thing, any of these things, you know, that lists as thinking about doing find what you love to do for me doing a podcast you know, interviewing people. I never, you know, I could do that all day, you know, I don’t write because I have other things, but, you know, I love doing it. So, find that medium where you love doing it, because it’s going to come across to your audience.
[0:33:06.8] Rob Hanna: Yeah. And I love that and you’re absolutely right. You know, if you want to do a podcast, be serious about it, be proactive, have a plan. And you’ve just got to make sure that you’re really targeting the right people and I love that fuelling the deals because some of your guests you’ve had on some of their stories. I think that was the landscape business one of the guests was on, I was hearing one of their highlights and their journey. So, it really, really is inspiring. So Corey, so many of your insights just generally in business, obviously featured in the wall street journal, you know, the New York times, the investment news, financialcrime.com again, the list goes on and on and on. But if we were to kind of close with some, some sort of casing comments or some summary points that would be helpful for people as lawyers, business owners, what would you say are sort of your top three tips to people because to you, because you believe in values and growth and entrepreneurship, what are your three tips?
[0:33:55.5] Corey Kupfer: I would say number one is – get clear on your values and the value that you want to provide, and then number two is – be of service, like I come from a service mentality. Okay. I truly believe that when you are of service to people and by the way you value yourself, right? So, you’re not giving away the value that, you know, I mean, you give it away some things in content and make a difference, but in terms of the service that you ultimately provide you, what, you know, so maybe the third tip is value yourself, right properly but be of service, okay. If you come from a place of just wanting to, you know, make money or a selfish place, that’s actually when you don’t grow, when you are provide value in your service to people then, you know, the money will come, everything will take care of itself. So, get connected with your core values, be of service and then know, and honour your value.
So, for example, you know, we are not the least expensive solution out there by far. All right. We’re not the most expensive, but we, you know, I am, I know that for whatever we charge, whether it’s for our legal services or for my speaking, that I’m going to give value, add all beyond that to the audience. So, I own my value and I provide service.
[0:35:10.2] Rob Hanna: Great stuff. Well, Corey, it’s been an absolute pleasure expert strategist, dealmaker, business consultant, first year’s freshmen experience, negotiating, successful entrepreneurs, et cetera. I mean, I don’t know how we managed to condense that into short timeframe, but people definitely should check out your LinkedIn. If they’ve not they should definitely check out your podcasts. Definitely we’re going to see you again on the Legally Speaking podcast. So, on behalf of all of us, thanks so much for sharing your insights today and yeah wishing you lots of continued success as well.
[0:35:40.2] Corey Kupfer: Sure Robert, it’s such a pleasure to be on. I really appreciate it and hopefully you know I provided some value to your audience and folks this too shall pass.