We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Grady and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
The quality that has helped me succeed most in life is TENACITY. Since I was a child, I tried out for sports teams, leadership positions, contests, college, law school, the bar exam, jobs, and speaking engagements. While I was successful in many of these endeavors, it was balanced by the numerous times I was not selected or had to try applying more than once. When I was growing up, there were no “participation trophies”–if you didn’t win, you tried again next year! I think it is a fundamentally crucial piece of entrepreneurship to try ideas outside your comfort zone, not to take rejection personally, and to get up and try again until you succeed. Otherwise, it’s easy to quit and abandon your dream. You also have to have a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish and why. They say that “entrepreneurs are the only people who work 80 hours a week to avoid a 40-hour workweek.” In some regards, this is true because you will have to work harder than you did as an employee in order to create something from nothing and to take significant risks while you’re doing it. You have to be able to leave the comfort of your consistent paycheck and benefits in order to stick with building your business. I started my law firm with $100 in the bank, and never ran a business before. That’s an incredible risk! Many of the friends I have encouraged to create their own business over the years were too scared to leave the security of their job. When they continue to complain about their soul-crushing jobs, I wish they could just take the risk and see that they might be happier on the other side working for themselves. In the 9 years since I’ve started my business, I have seen many colleagues go back to working for someone else. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but for those who stick with it, there is the exceptional reward of working for yourself, having a flexible schedule, and endless opportunity for advancement, expansion, and increased income that is not available to hourly employees.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We love to work with businesses–from startup to multinational corporations–to help them with all the “people” issues that arise throughout the lifecycle of a business. This includes advising on contracts between parties; employment onboarding, training, and offboarding; and immigration for employees, investors, and families. We are proud to have retained many clients over the last decade because of our excellent customer service, accessibility, and ability to advise our clients holistically by looking at both the detailed nuances and the big picture. If we can’t help with something, we find someone who can. We’d rather say “yes” than say “no” (unless that’s part of our advice!) In the beginning, I was so nervous to meet with potential clients and undervalued my services. It took working with several business coaches to do the research and see the value in what I’m providing. In time, once you see the good work you are doing, your confidence will grow. There are challenges and growing pains at every stage of a business, but once you survive the first one to two years, you know that you can do it and each opportunity can take your life and business up a level. I was very conservative in my growth and I believe that helped my fledgling business survive the Great Recession and COVID-19. Remember, your personal life and business go hand and hand, so both areas need to be in alignment to continue growing your business.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite tourist spot in Los Angeles is the Griffith Park and Observatory in Los Feliz. I love the Art Deco architecture, amazing view and sunsets over Los Angeles, the tunnel from Back to the Future II, and over 50 miles of hiking trails. In Orange County, my favorite spot includes Crystal Cove and the famous Beachcomber Cafe. Not only does this restaurant have the best view in town (right on the sand), but the food is amazing as well. Crystal Cove has an historic district that is a quintessential but one-of-a kind mid-century California beach village. Other fun spots are the Balboa Island Ferry, Helms bakery furniture shopping in Culver City, Melrose Trading Post, EP&LP for drinks and city lights in West Hollywood, and Solstice Canyon hike in Malibu.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which provides free one-on-one counseling and mentorship to entrepreneurs, along with low-cost classes, for free! This is a fantastic resource that I encourage all entrepreneurs to take advantage of. Find your local center here: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-locations/headquarters-offices/office-small-business-development-centers.
I would like to thank my business coach, Robert Chun, or RSC Business Group, for his many years of guidance.