THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 216
Interview on 08.23.2022

Hosted By
Kevin Daisey

Featuring Attorney

David Feldman



Managing Partner of
Skip Intro Advisors LLC

About David Feldman

David Feldman is the Managing Partner at Skip Intro Advisors LLC in New York.

David is the author of four books on finance and entrepreneurship, and is known as one of the leading cannabis finance attorneys in the U.S., having served most recently as Co-Lead of the 60-lawyer Cannabis Practice Group for an AmLaw 100 law firm. In April 2019 the global guide Chambers & Partners ranked David as a leading US attorney in cannabis law and one of only seven US lawyers in “band 1” for corporate and transactional work in the industry. In addition, in October 2018 the National Law Journal named him a “Cannabis Law Trailblazer” and in January 2019 Business Insider named him as a top lawyer in the cannabis industry. Recent win: he conceived financing innovations such as the SEC’s Regulation A+, a simplified and streamlined approach for going public in the US and Canada.

Learn from his expertise and what trends are helping grow his firm on this episode of The Managing Partners Podcast!

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Kevin Daisey:

All right. Welcome to another live recording of the Managing Partners Podcast. I’m Kevin Daisey, and I’ll be your host. And I’m also the founder of Array Digital. We help law firms grow and drive leads using digital marketing. If you need that kind of help, please reach out to us. But today we have a special guest, a little bit of different approach today, a little bit a different guest. I’m excited to hear his story and for you to learn more about what he’s doing, but David Feldman, welcome to the show.

David Feldman:

So happy to be here, Kevin. Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Kevin Daisey:

Absolutely. No. Again, unique background, unique story. Everyone listening, just paying attention to what he’s doing, the way he thinks. We got to talk a little bit backstage. Again, I’m just excited to hear more about his story. David, first off we want to touch on your background as an attorney. First question I like to ask everyone come was on the show, before becoming an attorney, what really was that turning moment that why’d you become an attorney? What was that like? And what clicked where you said, “Hey, this is what I’m going to go do?”

David Feldman:

Well, my Jewish parents said to me, when I was heading to college, “We don’t care what you do with your life and your career, but when you’re done with your education, you need to have a profession. You don’t have to use it. It can be a backup, but that means medicine, law, accounting, maybe engineering. That’s pretty much it.” And my father was a doctor and blood and I do not do well together. That really was not an option. Plus I’m really not like a science guy. [crosstalk 00:01:49]-

Kevin Daisey:

I’m the same with the blood. Not good.

David Feldman:

Yeah. And I tried accounting when I was in business school. Even though I’m good at math, I just didn’t like it. Engineering definitely was not for me. I said, “Okay, I guess it’s law.” And I did have very prominent lawyer family members, including the founder of the largest law firm on Long Island, which is called Rivkin Radler. It was my uncle Lenny Rivkin. And I’m certainly very proud of him and his son was there and others. I said, “All right, I’ll do law school.” And I went to business school, undergrad, and then law school. And I really never expected to practice law. I really thought I was going to be an entrepreneur and do law school as something to do before I go do that. After three years of law school, I said, “You know what? Let me try this thing that I spent three years studying” and initially went to work for my uncle’s firm.

David Feldman:

Even though I had a job in the city that I could have kept from the summer before, but I thought, “Oh, this is my family firm, my family firm,” which was 150 lawyers. And after a year realized what I really wanted to do was more corporate law. The next thing I woke up seven years later and I was still doing it. And that’s when I decided to start my own firm and I realized I can still be entrepreneurial. Let me just do it within the bounds of this industry that I’ve come to learn.

Kevin Daisey:

Absolutely. That’s awesome. When was it that you started your first practice on your own?

David Feldman:

I was 31 years old. Let’s see. We did have computers on our desks, but just barely. And it was a very interesting and exciting time. I had a thousand names in my actual Rolodex at the time, but only a few clients that I had brought in at the firm that I had just left. And you get this amazing grin on your face when you start your own thing and then you wake up a little month or so later, and you say, “Oh, wait, we have to make money and bring clients in and stuff.” And thankfully our first year went much better than we expected. I initially started with a guy named Doug Ellenoff who has since built a separate firm called Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, very successful.

David Feldman:

And that’s where it went from there. I never look back. I love the life of the excitement of hustling and bringing business in and making clients happy. And also seeing the results of your efforts, taking home every month, whatever came in the month before and being okay living on it. It wasn’t exactly my ex-wife’s favorite, but I loved the life, even though it was obviously at times challenging and stressful.

Kevin Daisey:

Yep. A hundred percent. I think any entrepreneur out there can relate to you. I know I can. It’s just something about it. It’s not always easy. It’s not always great, but wouldn’t have it any other way, right?

David Feldman:

Well, and my clients are mostly entrepreneurs and I’m able to feel their pain because I’ve lived it myself and my third book’s on entrepreneurship and the seven things most likely to go wrong in building a business and having watched so many smart people make the same mistakes that other smart people made before them, including me. I realized people want to get some good, helpful guidance.

Kevin Daisey:

I love it. You hinted around a little bit there, but so when you started your own practice or your firm, what was your focus? What was your niche, if you will?

David Feldman:

I’m a corporate and securities lawyer by background and trade. After my uncle’s firm, I went to the New York office of what became the Fulbright & Jaworski New York office. Now Fulbright & Jaworski, Norton Rose Fulbright, and was lucky enough to be in a firm that did a lot of work in the venture capital space. Me as a budding entrepreneur loved the idea of working with venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Got great training in not a only working on giant teams doing massive M&A deals, but also working as a young lawyer with a senior partner where the two of us are just doing a small venture deal together.

David Feldman:

I was very, very lucky to get great training, even though the lifestyle was certainly very difficult from there. I went to a firm called Pryor Cashman, which is still around, about a hundred lawyer firm. Moved more from the investor side to the company side, which was very interesting to me. And it was there that I started to bring in a few clients and so on. Was on the track to be partner, but just saw a firm that was just not for me and I saw the opportunity to start my own thing.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Excellent. Well, thank you. I appreciate the background there, but I do want to get the audience up to speed on what you’re up to now and maybe how you transitioned into what you’re doing now. You still do have a practicing firm as well, but give us a little information on what you’re doing now and how you got into that.

David Feldman:

Sure. When I started on my own, I had been doing a lot of all this venture capital, M&A and IPOs and in a small firm, when I switched to my own firm, I realized big venture capital firms don’t use small law firms. We ended up looking at alternate ways that companies are going public and became fairly well known in this thing called reverse mergers, which is a very well known alternative to a traditional way to take a company public to the point where I wrote two books on it and so on, and was doing well in that business. But then that business went down around 2010. We started working on something called Regulation A+, which is another way to take a company public that is now very popular. But around 2013, I noticed that reverse mergers were becoming popular again in the emerging cannabis industry.

David Feldman:

And that cannabis companies in the US were going public through these alternative means early on because they were concerned that the SEC might not let them go public if they tried to do it directly. We later learned they would’ve been fine with it and have allowed many of these companies to go public traditionally. And after started inheriting a few of those clients, I started realizing there’s an opportunity. I started attending conferences, started getting a few speaking engagements. Then in 2015, where my practice in cannabis was maybe 10%, I joined a big global firm, Duane Morris, 800 lawyer, 30 office firm.

David Feldman:

There they said, “Hey, we’re going to be the first Am Law 100 firm to openly enter the cannabis industry as counsel to these companies, and will you help us build it?” And I said, “Sure.” I was also doing my traditional corporate securities, capital markets work as well and helping them build that, but in cannabis, we really pushed hard in terms of marketing effort and events and thought leadership and so on. And we really built it over five of years that I was there to a 60 lawyer practice. I won’t say what the revenues were, but they were fairly substantial. And I became a co-lead of that 60 lawyer practice and mostly just left because my hourly rate was getting way too high. And my small and midsize clients were complaining a lot about that. Plus [crosstalk 00:09:01]-

Kevin Daisey:

“David’s on the phone again. Watch out.”

David Feldman:

Exactly. And I also realized I wanted to put the rest of my business education to work and be more of a strategic advisor to my clients than just a guy who’s sort of a scrivener of deal docs for people, which I also enjoy, but wanted to work with the opportunity to be a key advisor to companies as well.

Kevin Daisey:

Tell us, what you’re doing now. What’s the name? What’s the approach?

David Feldman:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

And I’ll put the website address in here.

David Feldman:

Thank you. Exactly three months before the world shutdown, we formed Skip Intro Advisors, when I left Duane Morris and also continued practicing law and Skip Intro came to me as a name when my fiance and I were watching The Crown and I said, “That’s it, that’s the name.” And it was really about getting to what matters, getting to the meat, skipping what’s unimportant, but it’s also the fact that the whole cannabis industry has skipped its intro, and zoomed ahead. We like to say cannabis that we work in dog years, that if you’ve been in the industry for a year, it’s like six or seven years somewhere else.

David Feldman:

And so we built a team of about a dozen amazing A-list folks from both inside and outside the industry. And what we’re doing now is strategic advisory, finance and M&A, branding and marketing, technology, real estate, scientific guidance, and also general regulatory guidance. And we have amazing, very well known, successful experts in all of those areas. And with that is a companion law firm called Feldman Legal Advisors that has five lawyers, that does a lot of what I’ve been doing, corporate securities, but also intellectual property, employment law, regulatory work, psychedelics. That’s the main focus we have now.

Kevin Daisey:

That’s awesome. Yeah, the first thing we’re going to ask you was how’d you come with the name? Which you already told us that, which I think that’s pretty funny.

David Feldman:

Don’t you want to ask how I came up with Feldman Legal Advisors?

Kevin Daisey:

No, the Skip Intro.

David Feldman:

I’m joking.

Kevin Daisey:

Feldman’s a great name by the way.

David Feldman:

Well, it wasn’t easy by the way-

Kevin Daisey:

Pure genius.

David Feldman:

… to find Feldmans that weren’t taken in law firm names.

Kevin Daisey:

Because there’s probably a lot of Feldmans out there.

David Feldman:

There’s way too many. The Feldman Legal Advisors, that was good.

Kevin Daisey:

That’s awesome. No, I love how you came up with the name and I was actually going to ask you about that, but everyone that’s listening on the podcast audio version of this episode, it’s SkipIntroAdvisors.com. If not, it’s on the bottom of your screen for anyone tuning in on YouTube or LinkedIn or on our website. Just an interesting idea here. It sounds like anyone interested in entering into the cannabis sector, no matter what it may be, you’re basically covering all those bases. Someone that whether is it investments, technology, I mean, what do you see with some of the clients that you work with?

David Feldman:

All of that. I mean, in the last couple of years, we’ve been heavily focused on finance and M&A, helping people get their venture deals done. And this is what’s cool, the venture capitalists in cannabis do work with small firms. We’ve been able to work with some of the investors, as well as some of the companies they’re investing in, as well as companies going public, Regulation A+, but also intellectual property. We’re doing patent work in the space. One of our associates is a regulatory lawyer, but also a yoga teacher. She’s moving into this whole cannabis/wellness space and we’re really developing some interesting opportunities there. I have a lawyer who’s one of the top hemp and CBD lawyers, which is not the same as cannabis generally. That’s a specific and different area of regulation, that’s now federally legal, as you may know.

Kevin Daisey:

Yep. Yep.

David Feldman:

And we also have an expert on employment law and executive compensation, a guy named James Hirsch, who also happens to be an insurance broker and he writes insurance for cannabis, which is another thing that’s very challenging for the industry.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Well, you mentioned you guys do some brand and marketing, but since we do marketing, we do digital marketing here, I always like to find out what marketing efforts have you done? Maybe for Skip Intro or maybe for some of your clients. What have you seen that’s been successful in today’s market? That’s worked well either for you or maybe for some of your clients that are bringing up new ventures, new products.

David Feldman:

Well, historically the best sources of business for me have been by being somewhere, by being at a conference, by giving a talk and that sort of thing. And that of course went away the last few years. Yes, we’ve been doing Zoom events and things, but it’s not the same, of course. The other thing I think is important is thought leadership. I do a lot of writing and commentating on the industry, both on my social media, as well as on my blog and my websites.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent.

David Feldman:

I write for a few publications in the space as well. And I think people recognize that, appreciate it, like to see what’s going on. I write about the global scene in cannabis and so on. The other thing in this particular industry, and you have to really focus on who your target market is and where they are and where they want to find you, and in cannabis, it’s all on social media and the cannabis industry is almost entirely on Instagram. We’re on Instagram. There are a fair amount in the industry on Facebook, but that tends to be the over 40 crowd, but that’s still an important sector. LinkedIn is a big source. There’s actually a LinkedIn of cannabis called Leafwire and we get active on that as well. And we’ve worked with social media advisors as well as PR folks who help us design our strategy as well as implement it on a day to day basis.

Kevin Daisey:

That’s awesome, and that you guys are utilizing those things. And that was my thought. I know with what we do, and some of the things that … Advertising for a certain things in that space you can’t do. There’s some limitations, I guess, at this point, but it sounds like what you’re doing makes a ton of sense. And that’s where the people are going to be. And the thought leadership stuff for me, I almost translate that into this content marketing and you’re putting yourself out there, SEO, content that can come up in searches, people out there looking, researching, trying to find what to do next. And it’s a good chance they might come up with something you’ve put out there.

David Feldman:

Absolutely. When I published my first book, it was like 2006 and my publisher said, “We’re going to set up this thing called a web blog for you.” I said, “What’s that?” They explained what a blog was and they said, “And we’re going to write the blog entries for you.” I said, “Great.”

Kevin Daisey:

Even better.

David Feldman:

The first few they did. Then I said, “I think I could do this.” I’ve been blogging since then. And I think blogging has been to some extent eclipsed by this, podcasting and other methods of … I think video and audio are very powerful methods of delivering content. I did a whole YouTube series called The Entrepreneur’s Advocate that you can still find on YouTube. I did it like five years ago, but it’s evergreen topics of entrepreneurship. Five signs you have the wrong business partner, things like … Just little two minute videos we did and probably going to be doing more of that as well. I think all of that adds up. The biggest piece of business we had last year was a company that found me because I was giving a CLE talk to the International Cannabis Bar Association. They called me a week later. They said, “We want to hire you. We’re looking to sell our business” and we helped them sell this company for $70 million.

Kevin Daisey:

That’s huge. I totally agree with you. And I think for anyone out there tuning in, if you just have a normal law practice in a local area even, but repurposing too. Because you mentioned blog, audio, video. You can take that one piece you write, record it as a video, take the audio, put it up as a podcast. There’s a lot of opportunities to repurpose and not think, “I got to make four or five pieces.” Take that original piece and you can make a ton of content out of it and save a lot of time and-

David Feldman:

[crosstalk 00:18:05].

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And you can hire people that can help you. You can do the first piece. “Hey, I recorded this video, make an article out of it. Make a podcast out of it, make a video, make some social posts.” You got tons of content out of one video recording, that’s what we do.

David Feldman:

[crosstalk 00:18:22]. In fact, the YouTube series I did was basically blog posts that I turned into listicles that we recorded on YouTube. I had an intern from Columbia and she would go to the AV Squad and rent lights and sound and all … This is before Zoom, you know? And it was not rent. It was free. She would just borrow it for the day. We would do five of these in a day. My assistant at the time it turns out was a film producer doing TV commercials for the government of Haiti and all this stuff. And since he was there anyway, he was our director and they came out pretty well. He found some music. It was not bad for zero cost production.

Kevin Daisey:

And that’s the other thing these days. I feel like used to 5-10 years ago, it’s like highly produced, hire a company to come in and do all this stuff and write scripts and all that. But the stuff that you can just make yourself on your phone even works just fine. And it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just start doing it. If you just start doing it, get used to it, you’ll get better over time. It may be a little more polished, but just start putting it out there and then you’ll start to figure out what works, what doesn’t. But I think the biggest mistake people make is just not doing anything because they haven’t … It’s not perfect enough.

David Feldman:

I think the biggest challenge with all these opportunities is time and the fact that we’re all busy people, we’re trying to hustle for business. We’re trying to service business, we’re trying to run our business. We’re trying to have lives and at the same time, so then you have to kind prioritize and figure out, like you say, what gets the most bang for the buck? What is the thing that works well? And what are the things that don’t seem to make a difference or move the needle?

Kevin Daisey:

A hundred percent. We have tons of clients in the legal space and we talk to prospects all the time that they just … Yeah, they don’t have time to do it. They feel like the attorneys have to be writing all this stuff. They just don’t do it or they don’t have time or they just … They just don’t have a real focus on it.

David Feldman:

Yeah. Or they’re old fashioned. And I was with a partner not long ago, who said, “I don’t” … I said, “I do this, I do this.” He says, “I don’t do any of that. I get business because I do good work for people. Then they refer business to me.” And my answer is that works too, for sure. I mean, that’s a great way, possibly the best way to get business. And that’s probably where 75% of my business comes from is just the phone rings or whatever, email. And I get a referral, but number one, you want that other 25% and number two, you want the pie to grow.

David Feldman:

I think relying just on doing good work for people is not enough. People have to remember that you’re there. Years ago, I used to do all kinds of email marketing. And before that, literally by fax, and people would call me and say, “I hadn’t thought of you in a while. I know you’re there, but I’ve got this thing on my desk right now. And you just sent me this and you know what? I’m going to give this to you.” And it’s all about staying in people’s face.

Kevin Daisey:

Top of mind. Yes, sir.

David Feldman:

You got to do it. To say, “They know I’m here” is not enough.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah, no, a hundred percent. And it’s funny. If we have a prospect or a potential lead that … A lot of people out there, a lot of attorneys anyway, a lot of old school referral only, they don’t want to advertise. They don’t want to market themselves. It’s almost like it’s against their morals to put themselves out there. They have to get referrals and that’s fine, but not a good client for us. We can’t convince them that what we do is going to be helpful for them. It’s nice to have those conversations with those folks. And I love people that do good work and get referrals because of it.

Kevin Daisey:

But you can’t really control how much work is coming in the door. And so for us, we’re always looking for those attorneys that are like, “I want to dominate my market. What do I do to do it?” And we got to figure it out for them because they might not have the budgets the guys have down the street, but that’s the fun part of it. It’s like, “All right, you want to dominate? Where are we going to start? What’s the best bang for your buck? ROI, and let’s start to chip away at it.”

David Feldman:

I always tell young lawyers-

Kevin Daisey:

But that’s just the fun stuff, you know?

David Feldman:

I always tell young lawyers to try to be the king or queen of something. And sometimes it’s better to say I’m the best at something small and narrow than I’m an okay middle level person among thousands. That for me was more interesting. But it’s not easy to just say I’m going to be the king of something, but then you have to do it and you have to see who the competition is and how you can differentiate yourself from them and be competitive without being nasty about it. And I’m not a super competitive person, but I’m very strong in pitching the benefits of what we can offer versus necessarily what’s wrong with the other people in [crosstalk 00:23:49].

Kevin Daisey:

Oh yeah. I think there’s a great tip right there. Focus on something particular. There’s going to be less potential clients maybe in that space that you’re trying to go after, but you have a much better chance of being what you’re specific, was your message. When you do find that right person, they know it, you know it, and it’s just the right fit. And it just makes things so much easier. When we first started out years back in the digital marketing space, I was talking to a friend of mine and I said, yeah, we want to be able to say that we’re digital marketing experts. And that was broad at the time, obviously, but he was like, “Say it now.” He’s like, “Don’t wait until you are. You’re on the way, you claim it now.” And that changed a lot of the way we carried ourselves.

Kevin Daisey:

And probably how fast it took us to get to where we were like, “We’re the best at this,” but then it was niching down further. Because in legal spaces it’s a lot easier instead of like, “Yeah, we can help you with the digital marketing, no matter who you are, a car wash, a pizza shop, a law firm.” It’s very difficult to work with those different types of clients. Versus we only work with law firms. We know how they operate, what they care about, how they make revenue. And we can actually have real business conversations versus just a different client every five minutes we’re talking to, we don’t know how their business runs.

David Feldman:

And I’ll tell you that most of the big law firm do social media and digital media very poorly, still. They are still somewhat old fashioned as well. They just don’t think it’s really necessary to do a lot of that or where you see it, all they’re pushing on social media is things like, “We have these great diversity initiatives” or, “Here’s some wonderful pro bono stuff we’re doing.” Promote the real work you’re doing too. Tell the world some big wins you’ve had and all this. Don’t be afraid to do that. And a lot of these firms just don’t feel that it’s necessary. Now look, if you’re a big giant firm and your clients are big institutions, maybe that’s not the ideal way to market yourself. But I think it is because all those people are sitting on their phones too, while they’re sitting and waiting for meetings or hanging out with their kids or whatever, they’re on social media as well.

David Feldman:

It’s just like you say, it’s about being in their face, keeping awareness up, keeping your name out there. And I think the thought leadership as well, when I was at Duane Morris, we had 30 different blogs that the firm was running and our cannabis blog was one of the most visited. I think that helps, doing webinars, things like that. What’s great now is you can do a lot in thought leadership with basically no cost. You can put on a Zoom webinar for free or for the regular Zoom contract.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah, absolutely.

David Feldman:

And these are things that can really make a difference. But I think the way that big law firms have promoted themselves other than the way they go to industry conferences and things, which they do do pretty well. They just haven’t stepped up in the modern era and it’s not surprising. They’re like big, giant aircraft carriers and it’s hard to … They can go from here to here, you know?

Kevin Daisey:

Oh yeah. And a lot of what I see too, and actually I’ve got to pitch one, I got a presentation or sales pitch with a firm later today and 18 offices and they really focus on personal injury, medical malpractice. It’s probably something they’re really known for, but you go their website, you wouldn’t know what they do because they’re so big. They got so much going on. They had like this tagline, but it doesn’t tell you anything about what they do at all. And it takes a while to figure out if I was that person coming to their website, what do they do? They’re trying to get a little fancy and branding, weird stuff, and it’s just be specific. What do you do? What do you want someone else on the other side to know?

David Feldman:

It’s not only what do you do? It’s what makes you different?

Kevin Daisey:

Yes, exactly.

David Feldman:

[crosstalk 00:28:05] competitors. And I think this has been true almost since the advent of the internet and websites is if you look at the websites of any 10 big law firms, you cannot tell them apart. And that means they’re doing it wrong because they’re not differentiating themselves. And I could tell you, if you told me the name of 10 law firms, what’s different and what they’re better known for. Some are more strong in litigation. Some are stronger in M&A and so on, but [crosstalk 00:28:35]-

Kevin Daisey:

But you’re an insider. You know.

David Feldman:

No, but they should be marketing themselves to their strengths because their clients know what they’re strong in. They’re not stupid because their clients are big companies that have in-house lawyers that understand the differences between these firms. We use this firm for M&A, but this firm for litigation, this firm for IP and so on. Very few of these giant companies use one big firm for everything because they find that sometimes the tax people are not as strong as in this other place and so on. And so one of the things I strove to do when I had my boutique firms over the years and I ran my own firms for 18 years, before even starting again now, is don’t be afraid to say what you do well.

David Feldman:

And my feeling, especially as a boutique is I don’t even try to pretend that I do everything. But I do say to my clients, “Think of me as your legal gatekeeper, that whatever your legal issues are, bring them to me.” And probably 80, 90% of them, I can handle. Whatever I can’t handle. I help you find the best person. And you’re better off doing that through me than trying to find it on your own.

Kevin Daisey:

There you go.

David Feldman:

And most of my clients understand that and work well that way.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. A trusted advisor.

David Feldman:

Exactly. I like to say I enjoy being part of the corporate soul and it’s one of the reasons that consulting work is just such a naturally addition to that where we can really help them through their toughest business problems, not just legal problems. And I really enjoy that.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Well, back to the Skip Intro Advisors, for everyone tuning in and listening to this show now or later in the future, what’s a good way to refer your business? If they have a client that’s in need, maybe they’re in the industry and the attorney listening doesn’t handle this type of area, or especially in your case doing the M&A and stuff like that, but what’s an ideal customer or situation that you’d be looking for?

David Feldman:

Most commonly we’re finding companies that are at a key inflection point in their growth, where they have four different paths they can take and they really aren’t sure which to do. And I’ve always said that no matter how smart and experienced you may be, when you’re trying to make decisions about your own business, there’s no way you can be fully objective in looking at that decision. You need to have other people give you advice, tell you what they think. You don’t have to agree with them. You don’t have to do what they say, but it’s a really good idea to listen. It’s sometimes hard with some of these companies to convince them that they need that kind of help and that they need to pay for that kind of help. But we’ve had enough that do. And we typically work on a monthly retainer.

David Feldman:

Sometimes we’ll do a 30 day 360 degree review of your business with a detailed oral report that will cost you a lot less than what like a McKinsey would charge to be coming in. And in particular, in this industry, cannabis and also psychedelics, there are lot of enthusiastic, but relatively business and experienced folks who are creating and building businesses in the cannabis space. They know the science of their product, or they know the technology they’re building or the real estate that they’re doing, but they don’t know how to raise money. They don’t know how to do branding. They don’t know a real estate issue they have to deal with, whatever it is, technology. And so instead of trying to become an expert on everything, you bring in folks who can help you figure all that out.

David Feldman:

Companies, and we’ll work with startups, but they obviously need a few dollars to be able to pay us. Occasionally we will work for equity, but it takes a lot for us to be willing to do that. And we’re also helping companies that are getting ready to think about an exit. And when you say, “Oh, exit, great,” but exit could mean 12 different things. And it’s not always the same. And our industry is changing almost by the day in terms of valuations of companies and all of this. And whether going public is better than M&A is better than raising money is better than swallowing up others versus being acquired. These are the things we help clients figure out.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Well, hopefully that’s helpful of everyone that’s listening on a way they can maybe connect with you. And maybe if you have questions too, reach out and connect with David. I actually connect with him on LinkedIn. Seems like he’s active there. Of course, the [crosstalk 00:33:11]-

David Feldman:

And my regular email’s on my LinkedIn profile.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay. Yeah.

David Feldman:

And on Instagram, I’m DavidFeldman1000. That’s a good place to find me as well. And you can of course message me there. But if you want my email it’s dfeldman@skipintroadvisors.com.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent.

David Feldman:

And always happy to help fellow lawyers. I’m very involved. There’s something called the International Cannabis Bar Association. I’m on their advisory board. They’re the largest cannabis focused bar group in the country, and now focusing on the global scene as well, which is very exciting. I used to not like Bar Association stuff, because I’d go give a talk at the Bar Association. There’s always somebody in the audience who tries to like give you the zinger question that-

Kevin Daisey:

Throw you for a loop.

David Feldman:

You know, “But what about regulation 12-2205B?” And I have no idea what that is and I’ll go like this and it makes me look foolish. Then I look it up and it has absolutely nothing to do with … It was a dumb question. It never should have come up, but now I don’t care if they want to play that game with me. I keep-

Kevin Daisey:

That’s funny. And for everyone listening too, Dave is actually in New York City, New York. In case you are close by, that’s where he’s located. And just to piggyback off what you were saying, we’re a design and digital marketing agency. We help design websites and all kinds of stuff, but we ourselves are hiring right now, a branding company outside because we can’t get out of our own way. And we need outside council for this effort that we’re trying to do. And we decided that, “Hey, we’re the worst ones to do this. We need to bring in someone else to do this for us” and it’s going to cost us. But we need someone else outside of our firm to do this for us. I think that’s a good point is sometimes you don’t want to hear that, “Hey, we can do this ourselves. We have all the team and web developers and everything like that to help us with this effort.” But we know we need to go outside.

David Feldman:

That’s very smart. Sometimes the hardest thing is knowing what you don’t know.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. I’m excited about it too, because I own my business and I have a partner. You want to have some pride in developing our taglines and our positioning statements and whether it’s our logos and identity, I like to have ownership in that stuff. I always have. And I’ve owned quite a few companies, but this time I’m interested. Not interested at all actually. And I want to have someone else go, “Here’s what you need to do” and we go, “Okay, let’s take what they have to show us.” And we have our own input we can put in there, but I’m excited about it.

David Feldman:

And that’s why I enjoy it because as a lawyer, generally my job is to lay out risks of something to a client and say, “Here are the risks. Now you decide.” As a consultant, I will say to a client, “Here’s what I think you should do. And here’s why.” And that’s fun. I really enjoy that. It makes a difference in the company’s future. We’re not just a necessary evil as I often am as a corporate lawyer in the situation. And it’s very rewarding work, for sure.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, I appreciate you again, coming on. Don’t want to take up too much of your time, but thanks for sharing what you have going on. Very interesting. How you got to where you are and still as a practicing attorney, of course.

David Feldman:

Very much so.

Kevin Daisey:

Anything else you’d like to share with the audience before we go? Any projects you got coming, you’re working on? You’ve written a few books, so please look up David and check those out as well. I’m going to check out the … Which is the one? Was the seven mistakes or something like that, you said.

David Feldman:

Yeah, it’s called The Entrepreneur’s Growth Startup Handbook. It’s on Amazon. You can get an audio book of it. There’s eBooks and so on. John Wiley’s the publisher. It’s focused on first it starts with who’s an entrepreneur? What are the nine key personality traits that I think make you more likely to be successful? Then it’s the obvious things like how do you get the right partners, the right employees, the right investors? But also the psychological things. How do you avoid burnout? How do you avoid boredom? Which can happen as a business builds. And what do you do when the next great idea comes, but you’re still over here doing the thing you’re still building? And it’s how do you really make work/life balance work? And I’ve changed the name of it. I don’t even call it that anymore. I call it work/less work balance because there’s no more no work. This is with you all the time, wherever you go. And it’s freeing in a way because it lets you be anywhere at any time, but also means it’s with you always.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, I’m looking up your audio book as you speak. I have a million credits. Trying to burn them up a little bit here, but I’m always [crosstalk 00:38:32]-

David Feldman:

It’s funny. I hate the title of the book. When a publisher hires you to write a book, there’s only two things they get to decide. One is the price and the other is the title.

Kevin Daisey:

Really?

David Feldman:

And I own the copyright to all the content, but all they did was pick words that they thought have high SEO and jumbled them all together and said, “This is the title of your book.”

Kevin Daisey:

What’s the actual title?

David Feldman:

The Entrepreneur’s Growth Startup Handbook, which doesn’t even make sense when you say it, Growth Startup.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

David Feldman:

If anything, to be the other way around, maybe. And then it’s … Here it is.

Kevin Daisey:

Yep, I got it.

David Feldman:

And the subtitle is 7 Secrets to Venture Funding and Successful Growth.

Kevin Daisey:

I don’t know if you can see it on my camera, but yeah, I have it here. Well-

David Feldman:

But it’s fun, I tell my story and hundreds of stories from my practice of law and a lot of things I’ve observed from the 3-400 entrepreneurs I’ve done work for. There you go.

Kevin Daisey:

I got it.

David Feldman:

I think it’s on sale.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. It’s-

David Feldman:

It gets me four bucks, so I appreciate it.

Kevin Daisey:

No problem. Check out the book. It sounds awesome. And I always recommend on the show here, we also have a newsletter called the Managing Partner’s Newsletter, where we recommend books. David, we’ll definitely get that on the list.

David Feldman:

Thank you.

Kevin Daisey:

Or any others that you prefer, but John Morgan’s Can’t Teach Hungry. He’s a personal injury attorney, but it’s about growing a multimillion dollar law firm. But any business would benefit from reading this. There’s just a lot of good books out there. I try to read two a month, at least. Branding Is Sex, another good one, but there’s just a lot of good stuff. But learning from someone like you, that’s been there, done that, built businesses. I always love to read those kinds of books, take in that content. You’re just looking for that golden nugget that can help you. And that’s what this podcast is all about. Something David might have said today, that you might go, “Wow, that’s smart. I should do that.” And that’s what we’re looking for here. David, appreciate you sharing your insights today and some of your tips and letting us know what you’re up these days. Thanks for sharing the book. Please go check that out and download it. Anything else we want to share before we wrap it up?

David Feldman:

No, I think there’s tremendous opportunity in today’s world for smaller firms to really succeed in this advent of technology and so on. It’s no longer about the person power. It’s about the brain power and you can get a lot done in a small firm. It’s an exciting time in the law industry where we’re going to shed a lot of the crazy overhead that’s been required to build law firms in the past. It’s going to be an interesting time.

Kevin Daisey:

A hundred percent. Back to the other thing we were talking about is I see a lot of firms that come on the show here, too, startups. They started in the middle of the pandemic. They’re all very niche and hyper focused. And I think that’s amazing. And I think I see a lot of that happening, which is good. They’re getting a lot of referrals because they do something specific and they’re really good at it. And I think that’s a good way to go, but I see a lot of firms. They’re agile, they’re working from home, they’re software and technology driven, low overhead, and very focused. And I think that’s going to make a lot of these small startup firms do very well.

David Feldman:

I think you want to also make sure to do something you really enjoy or don’t do it because you’re not likely to be good at it if you don’t enjoy it. And for me, it’s always been about being on the cutting edge and that was reverse mergers, that’s cannabis and so on. We write the rules as we’re going along. Some people aren’t comfortable playing in that sandbox, but it’s what I love because I get to use my brain every day. If you get that, you’re very lucky.

Kevin Daisey:

Absolutely. If you don’t love it, eventually it’s going to burn you out, wear you out and you’re not going to want to do it. A hundred percent. Find out what you’re good at, but make sure you like to do it too.

David Feldman:

Exactly.

Kevin Daisey:

I think there’s a book, Traction. I recommend Traction all the time, but in the book, Gino Wickham, he calls it your unique ability. It’s what you’re really good at, but you also enjoy doing, and those two have to be there. And that’s your unique ability if you get that chance to do both.

David Feldman:

Absolutely.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. Excellent. Well, David, thank you so much for sharing. Everyone, you can check out this episode. It’ll be up on our website, on our YouTube channel. It’ll also be shared as a live episode on my LinkedIn and Facebook as well in the near future. It’ll also be featured in our newsletter, which comes out every week. We’ll get one of his books in there as well, but go to ArrayLaw.com/podcast. We interviewed probably 170, 180 managing partners just last year in 2021. We’ve got a lot of good interviews this year, too. We’re excited about all the good content we’re going to have on the show. And hopefully you can pick up some good tips for your practice.

Kevin Daisey:

If you need help grow in your law firm, you can obviously take a look at us, ArrayLaw.com. That’s all we do. We work with clients to develop websites, SEO strategies, content, advertising, social media, and bring all that together to get you some good ROI and grow in your areas that you want. Check us out, reach out to me, ask any questions. David, connect with him on LinkedIn, anywhere. Ask him questions. I’m sure he’d love to connect. David, we’ll say goodbye.

David Feldman:

Thank you so much for having me. Really appreciate it.

Kevin Daisey:

Yes, sir. Can you stay backstage with me for just a moment?

David Feldman:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

Everyone else, have a great day. Get out there. Do what you love.

 

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© Array Law