Many years ago, someone told me that I was the least lawyer-y lawyer she’d ever met because I helped make legal easier to understand. To this day, it’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received in my professional life.
I’m not just an attorney, but also an experienced business leader who knows what it’s like to be in the thick of small business operations. After getting my undergraduate degree, I worked in loyalty marketing for a credit card company before going to law school. Early on in my legal career, I focused mostly on business and construction litigation and learned the nuances of contract law. Thus, my love for the fine print began.
I eventually left litigation and served as General Counsel and Chief Marketing Officer of an influencer network. With my former business partner, I left to start Businessese and a law firm, which I later left to become General Counsel and Vice President of Affiliate Programs for an online health and wellness company.
In addition, I’ve gone behind the microphone as a guest on other people’s podcasts to discuss legal topics for bloggers and influencers, licensed professionals, and online business owners…which brings me to this podcast. If you’ve ever felt legal was too scary, too overwhelming, too complicated, or just plain incomprehensible, you’re not alone. Simplifying Legal is here to help, and like most podcasts, this first episode is an introduction. I go over my history and talk a little more about what you can expect from the podcast itself going forward.
In each episode, I’ll do a deep dive into a legal topic and give you concrete next steps, so you can apply it to your business. My goal is for you to walk away from each episode thinking, “Oh, that was a lot easier than I thought it would be.”
In this episode:
[01:16] – Danielle tells you a little about herself and what you can expect from the podcast. Her career has changed significantly since the start.
[02:06] – Throughout her career, Danielle has also blogged as a creative outlet. She started in 2004 while in law school.
[02:58] – On nights and weekends in 2011, Danielle spent time working at a start-up influencer network. It allowed her to move on from litigation.
[03:45] – Danielle describes the birth of Businessese.
[04:31] – At the end of 2018, Danielle received an incredible offer from a business that grew from 11 clients to eight figures in less than three years.
[05:10] – Danielle knew it was time to move on in early 2020, and the timing ended up being perfect. She got to be home to support her son and get clear on her business vision.
[06:31] – What’s Danielle’s legal philosophy? As it turns out, her last name makes for a nice acronym.
[07:15] – Danielle may not be like the lawyers you probably think of when you hear the word lawyer.
[07:56] – What can you expect from this podcast? Danielle lays out her goals.
[09:40] – Who is this podcast for? Some of the topics Danielle will talk about apply to a very specific profession or type of business.
Links & Resources:
- BizChix Podcast
- The Enneagram Institute
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Basics
- Businessese on Facebook
- Businessese on Instagram
- Liss Legal
- Liss Legal on Instagram
Welcome to the Simplifying Legal podcast, brought to you by Businessese. I’m your host, Danielle Liss.
Many years ago, someone told me I was the least lawyer-y lawyer she’d ever met because I helped make legal easier to understand. To this day, it’s one of the best compliments I’ve received in my professional life.
If you've ever felt legal was too scary, too overwhelming, too complicated, or just plain incomprehensible, you're not alone. The Simplifying Legal podcast was created to help.
In each episode, we’ll do a deep dive into a legal topic and give you concrete next steps so you can apply it to your business.
My goal is for you to walk away from each episode thinking, oh, that was easier than I thought it would be.
Let’s get started.
Hey there, I’m Danielle Liss, and welcome to the first episode of the Simplifying Legal Podcast. Like most podcasts, the first episode is an introduction.
First, let me introduce myself, then we’ll talk a bit more about the podcast itself.
Building my Career and Businessese
Since the name of the podcast is simplifying legal, it’s probably not going to surprise you that I am a lawyer. I’ve been practicing for almost 15 years.
My career started in business litigation. I live in Las Vegas and a big part of my job was construction law. One of the first big cases I worked on was about drywall in a resort. Riveting, right?
For the first six years of my career, I was a fairly miserable lawyer. I didn’t like litigation. I don’t have that engineering brain that makes people really good at construction law. It just wasn’t a good fit.
Throughout my early career, I was also blogging. I started my blog in 2004 and it was really just random musings and thoughts about life. It was my creative outlet.
While I was working in litigation, a friend, who was also a blogger, told me about her first sponsored content opportunity and asked me to review the contract. I was surprised at the terms included. She said that someone probably should teach bloggers more about contracts since sponsored content was starting to take off. At that point, a speaking career was born. Over the next couple of years, I spoke at a lot of conferences about legal for bloggers and got to know the space really well.
In 2011, I was still working full-time in litigation, but my nights and weekends were spent working at a startup influencer network that focused on health and wellness influencers. By early 2012, we had built the business enough for me to go full-time. For the next three years, I was Chief Marketing Officer and General Counsel at the network.
While there, I handled all of the contracts for both our brand partners and our influencers. I also worked on campaigns and did a lot of things like setting rates for campaigns, prepping reports, etc.
In 2015, I met my former business partner when we were both speaking at a conference. We had both been sitting on an idea about creating legal templates specifically for bloggers. This is how Businessese was born. The next several months were spent preparing the templates and getting ready to launch.
In 2016, Businessese went live. At the same time, I had requests for legal work, so I also started a small legal practice. My former partner and I later joined forces to build a firm that was focused on digital businesses.
At the end of 2018, I got an incredible offer to go in-house for a client and I accepted it. This was a business that had grown from 11 clients in 2016 to 8 figures less than three years later. I wanted to be a part of that team and I’m so glad I made that move.
I left my former firm and kept Businessese, which I had a lot of exciting ideas for. 2019 was an intense year working in-house. I don’t think I’ve ever learned more in my career about different areas of law. It was an incredible experience, but in early 2020, after being there for about a year, I also knew it was time to leave to concentrate on building Businessese and my law firm, Liss Legal.
The timing ended up being perfect. My last day was Valentine’s day and it gave me a lot of flexibility during the pandemic to be there to support my son with distance learning. Quick note: I am a good lawyer, but I am a very mediocre kindergarten teacher. I am, however, pretty skilled at disinfecting groceries.
Last year, I got really clear about my vision for both how I wanted to work with my legal clients and what I wanted to create for Businessese. For Businessese, we spent about 4 months doing a complete overhaul of the back-end of the business. We added new products and changed the entire customer experience.
At Liss Legal, my primary goal is to help my clients, who are usually small business owners who work primarily online, to simplify legal for their business. It just so happens that my last name was an acronym for my legal philosophy: Legal is Simple. Seriously.
Disclaimer: The Simplified Podcast is meant to provide you with legal information only. It’s not legal advice and does not create any type of attorney-client relationship between us. Please don’t take any action without consulting your lawyer first.
Simplifying Legal for Small Business Owners
I decided to create this podcast for a number of reasons. But, first and foremost, I think legal is still something that most small business owners want to ignore. If I am working on a la carte services for a client at Liss Legal, when we’re done, I often hear things like, “Wow, that was easier than I thought it would be” or “thank you, you really helped me understand why I need this in my business.” I want to help you, as a small business owner, build a solid legal foundation for their business and I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it might seem.
Let me be very clear about something. If, when you think of a lawyer, you want to see a stoic old white man in a navy pin-striped suit surrounded by dark wood, leather, and a library of old legal books, that’s not me. I’m probably a lot closer to legally blonde. My office mates are a hairless cat named Stella and a furry cat named Justice Ruth Bader Ginspurr, who does not share any of her namesake’s intelligence. All of my preferred books are romantic comedies and you are way more likely to find me wearing a silly t-shirt and a hoodie than formal lawyer-wear. Honestly, I don’t own a single suit these days.
What to Expect
Now that you know a bit more about me, let’s talk about what to expect from this podcast.
First, the episodes are short. I’m aiming for about 15 minutes or less for each episode. Although I’m a talker, so if we get into something particularly juicy, it might go to 20 minutes. If you aren’t a law nerd like me, I am guessing you probably don’t want to spend an hour talking about a very specific area of the latest California ballot question on data privacy.
Instead of a lot of boring legalese that takes an expert, a transcript, and a stack of highlighters for color-coding to decipher, these episodes will be made for YOU as a small business owner. We’ll cover the most important aspects of the topic, not the way too detailed bits that don’t really impact you in your business.
A few years ago, when I first discovered podcasts, I did a lot of binge-listening. One of my favorites is Biz Chix. (And I am delighted to say that I have since worked with Natalie in her programs and I serve as their legal coach, which I LOVE.) At the end of every episode, Natalie reminds people to go take some action and this is something I find particularly effective.
After we do the discussion points, each episode will end with action steps that you can take within your business about a particular topic.
Simple, easy-to-understand, and easy-to-implement is the goal of this podcast.
As I pondered whether or not to start this podcast, I said, okay, if I can come up with 52 episode topics, I will do it. In about 30 minutes, I had more than 80 topics, so I knew this was happening.
All of the topics were created with small business owners in mind, but some may be for a specific profession or type of business. If you have an online business, service-based business, or really any type of small business, this content should help.
Our initial episodes will answer some of the most common questions I hear from clients. Then, we’ll do a section on common terms that you see in contracts so you can better understand, negotiate, and improve your own contracts.
For anyone who is into the enneagram, I’m a 6w5. I’m also an INTJ. If you don’t love personality frameworks as I do, this means I am really good at coming up with worst case scenarios. And that is something we will do on this podcast to help you deal with the situations that come up in your business. What should I do if…
If you don’t love my lyrical New Jersey accent and you are excited to hear guests, I will warn you, that’s not going to happen. If 2020 taught me anything, it’s that I should never say never, but I don’t have any plans for interviews at this stage. With every episode, you can expect me to do a deep dive into ONE topic and then we’ll talk about taking action. That’s it.
If you’ve made it to the end, thank you! I can’t wait to talk more about how to simplify legal for your business.
Thank you for listening to the Simplifying Legal Podcast. Please subscribe if you haven’t already.
If you like the podcast, I’d love it if you give the show a review in Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
If you have any questions, you can reach out via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.