On this episode of The Passive Income Attorney, Seth chats with Dina Eisenberg about how she moved out of law and into the passive income world. Dina talks about her background, explains her new business and discusses all the great work she does to encourage people to look into passive income.
“I have products that people need and want and I make their lives better. And that I have a process for being able to sell that whether I’m having a nap or I’m going for a walk or talking with clients, there’s income coming in.”
0:00 – Intro
2:39 – Dina tells us what she loved and hated about her previous law career
5:20 – Dina tells us how she transitioned out of law and mediation
7:54 – Dina retired for a while, but she decided to work for people seeking ombudsmen as she explains her current business
11:39 – Dina explains what kind of people come to her and what kind of mindsets they have
12:34 – Seth asks Dina about how she advises people on passive investing
13:56 – Dina offers 2 examples of some passive income streams that she would recommend
21:18 – Dina helps people find out their real goals and overcome the hurdles
25:03 – Dina helps people realize that delegating is fear as she talks about how she erases that fear
28:05 – When you’re starting out, you need to start with something meaningful but low-risk
31:08 – Dina uses Upwork to promote her services
33:41 – It’s time for the Freedom 4 – In an alternative universe if you weren’t in your businesses what would you be?
34:04 – What do you do to keep your mind and body healthy?
35:39 – Where were you at 5 years ago and where do you see yourself in 5 years
37:11 – How has passive income made your life better?
FIND | DINA EISENBERG:
Earn how an Ombuds can help you: http://bit.ly/SpeakwithDina
Get answers to your delegation questions http://bit.ly/DinaClarityCall
Dina Eisenberg is on a mission to create high-functioning, emotionally intelligent workplaces in the private equity and law space.
Dina is the CEO and Principal Ombuddy at Your Ombuddy, a consulting & design firm that provides Ombuds services. She assists progressive organizations to grow faster and succeed by providing a safe, neutral, confidential and informal space for employees to raise issues, improve their communication and conflict skills, and find resources for workable solutions.
Dina is also a Leader & Emotional Intelligence coach who helps owners to become empathy-driven leaders. Dina was formerly the SVP, Corporate Ombuds for Bank of America and the Inaugural Ombuds for Berklee College of Music. Dina is ramen-obsessed and recently moved from Oakland back to her hometown of New York with her fur interns, Rodney and Cooper to be near her adult children.
Seth: What’s up law nation. I hope as always you are having a fantastic day, a fantastic week. We have an awesome episode for you today. As highly driven, highly successful, and often overachieving individuals you know, we sometimes have problems with delegating. We want to do everything ourselves because, well, frankly, we feel we are the only and maybe at the very least the best person to get the job done. However, if we really want to achieve and prosper and take our business to the next level, we need to learn to delegate and outsource.
Additionally, as attorneys, doctors, engineers, et cetera, I believe that many of us get boxed into our profession and don’t consider what else we are good at and what else we can use our knowledge and skills for to produce another stream of passive income. Well, our wonderful guest today is Dina Eisenberg, the CEO and principal of Your OM Buddy, a leading ombud consulting and design firm. Dina is also a leader in emotional intelligence coach who helps people become empathy-driven leaders and is a master of self-discovery and delegation. All right, here we go.
Seth: Hi, Dina. Welcome.
Dina: Hey Seth, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here and talk to you and your listeners.
Seth: Yeah. Thanks for coming on. I really appreciate you taking the time.
Dina: Yeah. You know, I think the topics that we’re going to cover today are so interesting. Really going to help people change their thoughts about, you know, passive income and delegation. And hopefully, people are going to take action after this. So of course, I want to be here and be helpful.
Seth: Yeah. That’s the key is taking action. I mean, a lot of people listen to podcasts and read books and do this stuff all day long and it’s good for you, but until you actually do something about it, you know, it’s not going to change your life.
Dina: Exactly. We’re all about changing lives, right?
Seth: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you’re a fully recovered attorney, which I think a lot of our listeners are probably jealous of. Tell us a little bit about your previous law practice and what you loved about it, what you hated about it.
Dina: Ooh. You know, I loved law school. I know that’s a weird thing to say, but I really loved the intellectual challenge of it. I became a prosecutor, and I was prosecuting doctors for sexual misconduct. Now usually, people are like, no, that never happens. I’m afraid to say that happens more than you would expect. My clients have been abused by their doctors in a variety of ways. And it was really noble work. I love being with them. I learned so much about integrity and being self-honoring from those women. But the downside was I started to have some funky feelings about men, and you know, it’s like, I think I still want to like men, so maybe I should get a different job. So, I transitioned from, you know, practicing law into being a mediator. I’ve taken mediation training and was on the postal service panel for mediation. And so, I really still wanted to help people figure out problems, which is what a mediator does and help them get clear on the goals and the things they wanted to accomplish. So, it was kind of a perfect fit.
Seth: Yeah. That’s great. That’s awesome. I’m glad you still found a way to use that law degree and transition to something a little bit more meaningful and kind of suit your personality.
Dina: Yeah, exactly. That’s it. You know, I’m really someone who brings the calm, brings the optimism to my work. And I think people really appreciate that in this day and age when you don’t get a lot of time to actually talk and express how you’re feeling. And most people, when they say, how are you doing what they really need is, next. So having that space to, and a professional to help you sit down and think about what you want, clarify your vision and then make a roadmap to, how can I accomplish these goals, I think is really useful and you know, it’s kind of my superpower.
Seth: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a great attribute to have, especially, you know, going into mediation to keep that calm and to kind of put that on, you know, everybody around you, they have the same.
Dina: Yeah. Now I became an ombudsman, it’s even more so, you know, I used to be doing it individually for people, now an ombudsman I do the same thing for organizations for all our employees. So, continuing to bring the calm, bring the optimism and really empower people to be their own best.
Seth: Oh, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah. Maybe take us down the pathway, how you kind of continue to transition out of the law and into business and, you know, created passive income for yourself.
Dina: Absolutely. So I was a mediator for law practices, particularly partnerships with the partners I had some issues and I loved doing that, but I kept getting these messages from large corporations, like American standard saying, you know, we learned about your conflict work. We’d really like you to come and help us create a conflict curriculum. So, I said not enough times that by the time American standard asked me, I was like, okay, just do it. And so that’s how I got into writing a complex curriculum for organizations that want to become more conflict competent and have their HR teams and er teams be able to deal with conflicts better. That led to working with manufacturers like polaroid and Lexmark, and Coca-Cola helping them help their HR teams, or the er teams be more conflict competent and could help employees that led to banking. So, then I became, you know doing the same thing within a banking context. And one of my best clients was bank of Boston. They were about to merge with fleet. People know both of those names and bank of Boston really truly was a hard client for me, because they totally got it. They were all about the values, improving and empowering people. I could stop anyone in the hall and say like, what are the five values of this company? How do you live them every day? And people could answer me. So that was really attractive. When they merged with fleet, it was more of a numbers company. Very numbers-driven. That was about project over people all the time. And bob was like, you know, they won’t get us. So, we really need you to come in as a corporate ombudsman and sort of help from our side. So, they understand who we are as organizations merge. Because, you know, 95% of mergers fail based on culture problems. Now it makes sense from a business standpoint, but people don’t really take the time to figure out can the people work together. And so that’s how I became a senior vice president and corporate ombudsman for fleet. And then fleet was eaten up by bank of America. And then I was serving about 60,000 employees across the domestic united states. Amazing job, very challenging and taxing, but you know, I loved every minute of it.
Seth: Yeah. Yeah. And then how did you continue to kind of transition out of that? Cause I know that, you know, you didn’t want to stay in that very high, high demand, high-stress type of work.
Dina: It was, so I actually kind of retired for a bit, but then we started getting calls from folks saying like, do you know an ombudsman, or would you be our ombudsman? And so, I decided I had some great Ombud’s francs, I thought, okay, well let me just try and be a matchmaker. And the very first organization that reached out to me you know, I put together a portfolio of my Ombud’s and I sent it off to them. And the president of Berkeley college of music said, yeah, they’re nice, but we were kind of hoping to get you. And I went in to meet with him and it was amazing experience. Cause I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a music college before, but there’s music everywhere you go. Everywhere there’s somebody singing, there’s somebody playing something. And I was just charmed, and I thought, okay, this is a smaller environment. It’s 4,000 people. I think I could be making an impact here. And so that’s how I moved from 60,000 down to four. I also took on a smaller private company, a law firm that had about at tops 10. So, I got a chance to see like, which do you like better, an academic setting or a private company setting. I really liked them both. And so now in my own company, I work with a variety of smaller organizations from an academic institution where I think there’s about 4,000 people to a high cut company where there’s about 350 and then another biopharma company, which is around 500. And that, you know, I’m talking to a networking organization that’s around 5,000, so lots of different sizes, lots of different aims. And that’s what keeps it exciting for me.
Seth: Very cool. Very cool. For some of our listeners that don’t know what an ombudsman is, maybe you can define that.
Dina: I’m happy to, it’s a very weird name. I’m just going to go on, it’s a very weird name for a very important service. So, when people are like, how to say it, I just say, say om buddy, right? That’s what the name of my company is, I am Your Om Buddy, which actually really is a good way to think of it because your ombudsman can be like a friend. So, it’s important to know that the role of an ombudsman is to provide a safe, neutral, independent, and confidential resource within an organization. So, employees can raise their concerns. They can get information about resources within the organization. They can get coaching on how to resolve conflicts or how to communicate better. And the organization, because the employee population gets more satisfied. So turnover goes down because I’m there as the ombudsman, I’m able to give them an early warning about issues and trends that make them vulnerable because maybe there’s a gap in the policy or they’re doing some sort of procedure that they don’t know is actually impacting their community in a negative way. And so, they’re actually able to fix these things when there are small problems before they get very big and costly and maybe even litigation problems.
Seth: Sure. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Like I said, I honestly had to look it up and I’ve been an attorney.
Dina: You’re not the only one Seth. I just wrote an article on LinkedIn today and yesterday, you know, basically telling people what an Ombud’s is and what we can and can’t do.
Seth: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it looks like you’ve successfully transitioned into something that you love and you have a passion for, and you enjoy, and it’s not necessarily high stress and all that kind of stuff that a lot of our listeners, whether they’re a doctor or an attorney has to deal with on a daily basis. So that’s amazing.
Dina: Yeah. I think, you know, I would say it’s medium stress because oftentimes people are coming to me when they’re at their wits end. So maybe they’re not behaving in the way that they would love to behave, the issues that they bring almost always have an impact on their life. And so, they’re looking really, really for someone to be able to have that clarity and help walk them through. Often people come with the assumption like this can’t be fixed. No, let’s talk about it. It’s likely to be fixed. And if we can’t, we’ll figure out something else. So, there’s a little bit of pressure. I feel I’m really committed to making sure that people who work with me have a good outcome.
Seth: Yeah, yeah, you also speak with attorneys about how-to kind of create other passive income streams and what they can kind of carve out their existing skills, create passive income streams. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Dina: I do. I can absolutely. I really think that lawyers need to have multiple income streams. And I know that’s not something that they talk about in law school. At least they didn’t when I was there. They never wanted, when I was there, the message was, if you have to sort of sell your services, you’re a bad lawyer. And that’s just not true, particularly in today’s climate. So, if you were in one of the practice areas that when the pandemic hit and you were going to court or you’re seeing clients in person, your practice took a big hit. If you’d had some sort of passive income product, you could have maintained cashflow and maybe, you know, had money saved to sort of tide you over until whenever there’s going to be a change in the environment. Now lawyers are always like, I cannot do that. I’m afraid for my license. And I hear that, I do, I wouldn’t want anybody to do anything that puts their very expensive license in jeopardy. However, there are a couple of different ways that you can maintain your license, educate your target market and your community and make some extra money.
Seth: Yeah. So, give us an example of one of those types of income streams they can create either from a past client or you know, something, a common thing that you see.
Dina: Okay. I’ll give you two. Is that all right?
Seth: Yeah, that’s great.
Dina: Cool. So, for folks who are like, I could not possibly create a product. This is for you. So, you know, I was working with a law firm, a lawyer from a small firm and she wanted to generate more income from her firm, but she was sort of struggling. When we were talking about the fact that she was doing everything. Like every other thing, besides practicing law, she had her fingers on you know, from doing the social media, to doing all the billing. And once we looked, started looking deeply into her practice and realized she hardly had any time to bill. That’s why she wasn’t making any money. So, one way we created some passive income, and I should just say that passive income really isn’t passive, right? You have to do something to acquire the income. So, I don’t want people to think like I’ll hands-off. That’s not the case. It does means a little bit easier to create this income. And it generates itself on an ongoing basis without a lot of effort. So when we looked at her practice, what we figured out was that if she brought in a billing person, a clerk or a legal assistants to do the billing she could actually free up her time and bill more hours. If she brought on a paralegal who was experienced and it could take over some of the other work that she’d been doing on her own, the drafting, blah, blah, blah. She can actually bill out that person at just below market rate. So, by hiring the legal secretary to do the billing, she got more billable hours back into her schedule by hiring the paralegal. She was able to bill for that person’s work. And she was adding like $2,500 a week back to her revenues because she wasn’t doing the things the paralegal was doing. And she was getting, being able to bill for that time. So, for somebody who’s like, I don’t want to be in a project, look about integrating and help, who you can build at a lower rate. Of course, you have to supervise a paralegal. So, it’ll still be some of your time, but you’re going to be able to fill that personnel at almost market rate. So, it’s worth doing. For somebody who’s like, I want to have a product yay for you. I’m impressed with you. So, here’s the tool that you can use. Right now, online education is a billion, “b” billion-dollar industry. And I know lawyers are very careful about not giving advice over, but here’s the thing that you can do. If you can help someone understand their problem through a course or a checklist or a challenge. So, they begin to understand, they do have a reason to seek out a lawyer. And because you been a lawyer, who’s been advising them and making them problem aware, guess who they’re going to come to when they want to solve that problem. You, so, you know, of course it says maybe the estate planning course now because that’s so hot, people are like, oh, I keep getting my will now. I think I better get it now. You could talk about the different instances that someone would want to get when the state planning lawyer and you know, all the different things you would need that person for. So, for instance, if you die without any heirs, what happens to your money? You need an estate planning attorney to help figure that out. Well, that’s something that you could write at small ecourse or eBook or do a challenge on to make people aware of. Those kinds of things are great passive income products for lawyers, because it demonstrates your expertise. It educates that market before they get to you and then make you top of mind choice.
Seth: Right, yeah. I mean, if you can create something like that, where, you know, you get some sort of a residual income from the course, and then also on the backend, they see you now as an expert and they hire you as their attorney. It’s a double whammy there.
Dina: Yeah. Yeah. You get two bites of the apple as they say, this is my intern.
Seth: Super cute. So you know, a lot of attorneys and doctors and, you know, high paid professionals, they just, you know, they put their head down and they’re like work hard and you know, they only know one thing and you know, how do you help them get over that, you know, conservative nature and get over kind of that hump, that mental hurdle.
Dina: Yeah. We’re actually trained as lawyers to kind of abuse ourselves right. In law school it is, no one asks you if you are fine first off. Secondly, you just expect to do, expect to do more and more and more work. And the messaging is, if you have to ask for help, you’re not very good. Maybe you don’t belong here. So, one thing I try to tell to other professionals, including lawyers and doctors, is you don’t need to believe that messaging at all, everybody needs help from time to time. And in fact, if you’re not getting help, are you really serving your clients? So for instance, if you’re a doctor or a lawyer, what your client is coming to you for is to solve a very complex problem that requires your problem solving ability, your creativity, your understanding of the key elements of that. If you are exhausted because you’ve done every doggone thing and you are burn out, how can you really be helpful to this person, honestly? So, you really just need to think about it from a different perspective. And there’s a practical point of view, which is eventually your body will say, we don’t think so. No. And you will develop some sort of illness. And you know, if we’re lucky, it’ll be a minor one, but if we’re not lucky like I wasn’t because I was so stubborn, you develop a major illness and now a lifetime illness that has helped, you know, life-threatening like altering. So if you don’t want that circumstance, the best thing to do is really try to, first change your mindset because nothing else, none of the tactics work, unless you change your mindset and started thinking about yourself as your best asset, something that you want to protect and safeguard. However, that happens, whether it means you delegate more and bring on staff, or it means you devote more scheduled time to self-care, you have to take care of your assets, same way you take care of your car, because you want to keep it longer. You have to take care of your asset, which is yourself makes some sense.
Seth: Yeah. It makes a lot of sense. Yeah and hopefully it doesn’t take, you know, a major health issue to culminate before you make that change.
Dina: I hope, you know, one of the reasons I started talking about my illness was because I wanted the people to see that it’s real. If you don’t pay attention, your body will actually just say no. And you know, as much as lawyers and perhaps the doctors too, we think that we rule everything when our minds, the intellect can solve any problem. And that’s just not true. That’s not true.
Seth: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve seen that, you know, during your consultations that you help you help your clients clarify their real goals and reveal their hidden obstacles. Could you maybe speak about that for a little bit?
Dina: Yeah. You know, we get a lot, a lot of programming and we think about what we want in our practice. And usually, I hate to say this it’s a little bit true. Lawyer’s a little bit are like lemmings, right? We just follow along with the rest of the crowd. And we really don’t think whether or not the things we’re doing are good for us or us, whether we actually want them, we just don’t want to be out of sewage with everybody else. So really when I’m helping someone look at their practice and they’re signed up, hired an associate for instance, they’ll say, I want to go get her. Okay. Everybody wants to go get her. What does it exactly mean to you? And then people have no idea what that means. And then we sort of talk through their ideas, how they got to it. And they were like, oh, what I really mean is I want somebody who’s going to be as dedicated to my practice as I am. I want somebody who is proactive. I want somebody who is detail-oriented. Those are things that you can actually go out into the market and find. It’s hard to find a go-getter. Then you have to be clear about what happens when you get that person. Are you actually going to allow them to do what you’ve hired them to do? Because oftentimes I find that lawyers will hire somebody who seems to fit the mark, but then they don’t let them do anything. You can’t change anything. No, this is the way we do it. Well, there’s no reason to hire anybody if you are not going to let the bring the expertise and experience to you. That’s part of what you’re paying for and being able to let go, it’s really about learning to trust yourself. I made a good decision. This person will be helpful and an asset to me, and then letting them prove it. You can always give them feedback. What I would call observational feedback, not just yelling or the sandwich crap. But really helping, asking them, like, why did you do things differently? Help me understand that. And then you can adjust. If you still don’t agree, you can always just say no, do it my way. But you have to allow someone to have some authority and control over their professional life where they won’t be happy, and you won’t get what you’re paying for.
Seth: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And it’s kind of like, almost like you’re trying to delegate, but you’re faking it. Like you’re making that hire to delegate. And then you, when it comes into practice, you don’t actually do it.
Dina: That’s exactly it. For some reason we love being the bottleneck. We got to touch everything. Otherwise, we feel like it won’t be good. Well, guess what? Something’s, you’re just bad at. And somebody else should be dealing. Like social media, there’s no lawyer who shouldn’t be doing or doctor for that matter, who should be doing their own social media. One, we don’t understand it. Two, if you have to be the one creating the content, then you’re never going to get anything out because you’re too busy to write the content. So, it’s so much better to delegate that to someone who one, understands the social media period. I understand the changes. Because it changes so often what’s effective and actually has the time to do the three things that you need to deal. Like you have to curate and then you have to create the graphics and then you have to distribute to social media. That’s a lot of work that you don’t need to be doing if you’re the practice owner.
Seth: Yeah. Well, let’s dive a little deeper into the, you know, the delegation and the outsourcing. I mean, you know, most of us are competent and intelligent and you know, we think that we can only do these tasks and we’re the best at doing them. So, it’s just really tough for us to get over that, that hurdle to delegate it to somebody else, because we think only, we can do it. How do you help them kind of get over that and just let go.
Dina: I help people see that’s actually a fear. We’re saying, oh, well only I can do it, because I do it best. What that really means is that you’re saying, I am afraid that somebody else will screw this up. That I won’t be able to communicate to them, how to get it done. And for my clients, the way that we sort of erase that fear is we have them create project legends, which is the story of the project. And it goes so much farther beyond a checklist, right? So, it’s not just do this, do this. It is the rationale. Why are we doing this? What does it impact in the business? Because adults need to have contacts. We need to know that our contribution means something. So, if you do this right, this is what happens. If you do this wrong, this is what happens. That’s part of telling the legend, then giving the step-by-step. If you’re used to doing something on your own all the time, well, guess what? You don’t really know what you’re doing because you’re just doing it on autopilot. So, taking the time to write the project legend gives you a chance to look at each and every step and decide like, am I still doing it that way? Or just, I remember that I’m doing it that way. And if you forget, you know, sometimes we have these tasks where we only do it like maybe once a quarter, then they have to figure out how you did the last time, which is such a waste of time. If you write a project legend, not only can you give it to somebody else and say, here, I’m delegating this to you, but the next time you have to do that project, you’re like, oh, all right, let me just pull out the legend. Oh yeah, this is what I did last time. So, creating that project legend, the story of it. And the reason I call it a legend is because does anybody really want to write a standard operating procedure? No, no, no one wants to write that.
Seth: Don’t like to call it that either.
Dina: Yeah. It’s just so horrifying and boring that I had to give it a different name and human beings are hard-wired for story. We learn that way for centuries. That’s how we learn things. So, we just make this project into a story so that you can hold in your thinking, the rationale for doing it all the prohibitions, like don’t do this, don’t do that. Don’t do this. And here’s where you get the resources if you get a question, cause that’s the other place where people get stuck. They delegate to somebody, but then they don’t give them a place to ask questions and get answers except for themselves. Then they’re mad because the person is coming in every five minutes saying, well, what about this? What about that? Like, just put it into your project legend. And then it’s all there for that person. And if you have more people on your team, you can say, and if it’s not in the project legend and you don’t get your question answered. That would not be me though. Go see your buddy.
Seth: Gotcha. Yeah. So that keeps you from having to reteach yourself and reteach the next person as well. And I think that process, you also can figure out what you should and maybe should not delegate as well.
Dina: Exactly. I always tell people that when you’re starting out, you need to delegate something that’s meaningful. Like you need to get it done, but it’s low. Risk because at the same time that you’re delegating this, you’re learning how to delegate and be good at you’re learning how to be good at giving instructions and feedback. So, you don’t want to stress yourself out by giving them high-level tasks. I mean, you are like checking every five minutes, did you get that done or is it done right? That’s kind of a waste of everybody’s energy. So, start out with smaller tasks that are necessary, but low risk that’s again, why social media is so easy to delegate at first because you need to be on social media. But if someone sends out the wrong graphic on Twitter or Facebook, it’s not the end of the world for other ones. So, they can learn how to be better at communicating your wishes for people. Also, you know, you have to think about the monitoring portion of tasks. So, most of us, like to keep the $10 tasks, we want to keep the $100 tasks. We want to keep the $1000 tasks. And you don’t think about, well, if I do this task, well, how much is it actually worth to me? You want to get rid of anything that’s not a thousand dollars tasks, right? So, a good example of that is Canva. My nemesis. Everybody wants to jump on to Canva and create something. And you know, Canva is designed to waste your time because the design initially looks great, but nobody ever just takes the initial design. Am I right Seth? They tweak something. Then they tweak something else. Then it doesn’t look so good. And they got to keep tweaking it until it kind of like mediocre. And then you don’t use it all. And then that is two hours of your time. I know, I know this is the concern. Because we’re like, you don’t take five minutes. It’s already designed. I can do that. Well, two hours later, that’s two billable hours later. You wasted a lot of time. Wasted a lot of money and you have nothing to show for it.
Seth: Yeah. And it’s doing something that you’re just not very good at anyway. So, the result is not going to be as good as if you delegated it to somebody that does it for a living anyways.
Dina: Yup. I mean, you can hop on to Upwork right now. And I know some other colleagues where, what they sell are branded social media packages. You’re going to get, you know, a brand that looks like your brand. They’re going to give you the Instagram little graphic. They’re going to give you the one for Twitter. They’re going to give you a Facebook ad. And every month they’re just going to replenish those for you. So, you never have to worry about it again. That’s worth paying for, right.
Seth: Yeah. Yeah. And since we’re talking about delegation, you mentioned Upwork. I mean, a lot of our audience probably doesn’t even realize what Upwork is and all the different services that you can find on Upwork for, you know, a little bit of money and you can pay, I think there’s even attorneys on there that offer their services. There’s all kinds of stuff on there that you can find for, you know, remote work and remote help.
Dina: Absolutely. I’m so glad you mentioned that. So yes, Upwork is my platform of choice. Outsourcing marketplace probably have heard of Fiverr. It’s not my preferred marketplace anymore. They’ve changed over the 10 years. And so, I can’t recommend them anymore, but I do love Upwork. You’re going to find lawyers on there. You’re going to find paralegals on there. So, if you had like a case of where you just need a little extra paralegal help, just to tie this one matter, you could hop on Upwork, hire somebody. And then when they’re done, you’re done with them right. On-demand help. So, you’re always in control of the budget. People worry like, well, I spend too much, no. Because you deciding how much you’re going to spend and when you’re going to spend it. What I like about Upwork is that they have some built-in tools that make it easier for you to find the right people.
So, I try to recommend to folks that they set the filters. So, every search has filters. So, you can say, hey, I only want somebody who has a 90+ success rate. I only want somebody who’s worked with a thousand hours. I only want somebody who’s made more than a thousand dollars on the site. And I only want somebody who’s worked in the last month, what that means is you’re going to get someone who’s currently working high rated and good at their job. That narrows down the searching for you quite a bit. The other thing that Upwork tries to do, a little bit comical. It’s like, it’s a double side of a platform. So, they’re serving you as a client, but they’re also serving their seller base. So, they’re always trying to push you to do an open listing, which means anybody can apply. Well, the downside of that, I learned the hard way is that everybody does apply whether they’re fully qualified or not. And before I understood how the platform worked, you know, I was writing that to each person saying, oh, so sorry, you know, I can’t know. You just don’t fit. It took me a week to find one person because, and I did an open listing. Now I recommend my clients, don’t do an open listing where you’re posting to everybody. Do an invite-only. So, you’re doing the posting, but then you’ve already screened folks, maybe five or six folks on the platform and you were inviting them to your job. It’s not open to everybody. That cuts down on all that, about having to go through a long list of screening. And you’ve already decided these folks for the most part meet the criteria.
Seth: Yeah. And if you’ve put your legend together appropriately, you already have the steps that you can forward on to those, and that remote help so that they know what exactly what you expect and what kind of product you’re looking for.
Dina: Exactly it. Don’t do hourly projects. Unless you’re feeling really experienced on the platform, do a fixed price and always use the milestones. So, you can dole out the cash as things happen. What I like to do is give someone a little bit of money at the start of the project. And then, I don’t do the next cash payment or online payment until I seen some work product. And I’ve had a chance to review it because that’s when I have a chance to make adjustments with that person. If you don’t use milestones, you might go through the whole thing. They create whatever it is that you want, and then you get it and it’s useless. And then they’re expecting payment because they finished the task. So, it’s hard to correct it at the end. So that’s why I recommend using the milestone.
Seth: Yeah, those are all awesome tips. Awesome. Awesome. Well, let’s jump into the freedom four questions. In an alternative universe where you weren’t in the businesses that you have created for yourself now, what else would you be doing?
Dina: It’s so easy Seth. I would be a food and travel blogger. I love to eat. I love to travel. And so, I just think that would be like the perfect job to have. Thinking now, like, I’d love to go to Hong Kong. I’m a big ramen fan. I’m totally obsessed with it. So, Tokyo yeah, that’d be my job.
Seth: I agree. I’m right there with you. I see like some Instagram accounts where, you know, that’s what they’re doing with their lives. I’m like, oh, that’s so awesome.
Dina: Yeah. I see some downside, but I haven’t seen it yet.
Seth: They don’t show that on the Instagram account. So, I’m big on health and fitness. What do you do to keep your mind and body healthy? Oh, you look fantastic.
Dina: Oh, you’re so sweet. Thank you. So, I am really a big meditation and yoga fan and I practice eft. So, for folks who don’t know what that is. Emotional freedom technique. It actually does work, tapping works. It got me past a fear of flying. So, I really recommend that for anybody who’s feeling anxious in these crazy times and wants a way to recenter.
Seth: Interesting. I actually, haven’t heard of that. I’ll have to look that up.
Dina: Ooh. Okay. So eft is just doing this and holding some thoughts in your mind, what it does is reset your central nervous system so that you are able to calm down and then it gives your brain a chance to find a better thought.
Seth: Interesting. Yeah, yeah. Kind of like a distraction. And then, you know, just overcome that fear.
Dina: Yeah. Just reprogram your brain. So, you know when I was afraid of flying and I was pretty sure I am going to be crashing. I learned to sort of think about the fact that even though I was afraid of flying in a clashing that the pilot had training and would know what to do, if there was an issue and just reprogramming myself from being afraid to, it’s not your job to fly the plane. Pilots know to fly the plane that he has a plan, allowed me to fly again.
Seth: Cool. Very cool. Very cool. All right. So where were you at in your business? Five years ago. And where do you see yourself five years from now?
Dina: Yeah, let’s see. Five years ago. I still, I was kind of still enjoying someone retirement. So, you can retire as many times as you want. So, I was retired again when I was getting itchy. Like I needed to have something more to do. So was just beginning to talk about delegation and that’s because we’d had a personal tragedy, it was like top of mind for me, what happens when you don’t have a delegation plan or you don’t have help and how that impacts your family and puts them at risk. So, I was wanting to talk more about that until I got to where it was five years ago, and then five years from now, I will be running a multi-million-dollar Ombud’s consulting service. You know, I see the beginnings of it now because of COVID-19 in lots of ways people recognize that their cultures maybe not what they want it to be. Employees certainly are now saying, this is not what I signed up for. I need to be someplace else. And progressive organizations, companies, law firms are now beginning to recognize that they actually have to pay attention to employee satisfaction and their culture and their values if they would like to continue to function. So, I’m getting more and more requests. And I think, you know, I’m very interested in growing the business larger.
Seth: That’s awesome. Yeah. I’m sure you’ll achieve that even sooner than five years. Last, how has passive income made your life better?
Dina: You know what, I’m laughing because as you said that I heard the sound in my, that I always hear. So, on my phone, I have the stripe app and when somebody buys something. So that sound is so calming. Because I just know that no matter what else is going on in my life, I have products that people need and want and make their lives better. And that I have a process for being able to sell that whether, you know, I’m having a nap or I’m going for a walk or talking with clients, and there’s that ease knowing that, you know what? There’s income coming in. So that’s really how it’s changed my life. Just made it more peaceful.
Seth: That’s great. That’s great. All right. This was an awesome show. I really appreciate you coming on Dina.
Dina: Thank you so much Seth. It was fun to talk with you.
Seth: Yeah. Could you tell the audience where they can learn more about delegation and, you know, talking about passing income streams and a little bit more about your business and becoming an om buddy?
Dina: So, anybody who’s interested in talking more about becoming an om buddy can visit one of my sites. So, there’s a blog from www.ombuds.com, that is the current site. In about two weeks, we’ll have www.yourombuddy.com up, and on both of those sites, you can learn more about working with an ombudsman. How we serve clients and the different services we offer. If you’re curious about any of that, and just want to chat me up, you can hit me up on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to meet new people. I love spreading the word about, you know, what an ombudsman can do or how to become an ombudsman. For folks who want more help with their delegation work you should ask me for a free consult and the way to do that is speak with bitly/speakwithdina. I still do one-to-one consults for folks who want to figure out how to outsource a certain thing. And those, I think those are the main ways to get me. Free consult with bitly/speakwithdina heading over to LinkedIn, to connect with me or visiting law firm www.ombuds.com to learn more about how your organization can benefit from having an ombudsman.
Seth: Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much. We’ll drop all that in the show notes. Thanks Dina. I really appreciate it.
Dina: I appreciate you too. My friend. Bye.
Seth: Wow. Dina is such a pleasure and a truly unique and beautiful soul. We learned so much about self-discovery and finding other ways to leverage your skills and knowledge to create an out of the box secondary income stream, as well as some amazing delegation tips from a true master of the craft. If you’d like to learn more about creating passive income streams, while still succeeding in your career, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get access to our free guide to getting started in alternative asset investing. Until next time, celebrate the journey.