Lauren Boyd always wanted to be an entrepreneur – even before she knew what her business would be. In 2018, the pieces came together for the Phoenix-based founder and her firm, Guide My Business, was born. Today, her company offers a range of legal services to entrepreneurs, CEOs and founders looking for help with trademarks, contracts or negotiations. The birth of her first child shifted some of Boyd’s long term plans – she is now more dedicated to building a legacy business for her daughter – but her commitment to her employees and her clients still guides her day-to-day decisions and goals.
Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.
Tell us more about why you started your business.
While working in-house at a Fortune 100 technology company I realized that I could leverage my legal experience in corporate law to serve small businesses. Of course, there was the added benefit of feeling in control of the trajectory of my career.
How is your business different from others in your industry?
I think my business is different because I am focused on building a legacy for my daughter and also in terms of how my team feels about the company. By encouraging functional ownership (and aligning our policies to further this) our team has grown in ways we could not have without their passion.
Tell us about your biggest success so far.
Having a family. My family will always be more important than my business. That’s why I think my business has grown to support my priorities, not set them. Second to that, is building a business that offers unique employment opportunities for those who are parents. As a mom, being able to provide a parent the opportunity to have both a fulfilling professional career and a present role as a caregiver is very fulfilling.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Leading a team. While developing standard operating procedures was not a stretch for me, learning how to create an office culture is a practice I continue to grow. I want to ensure that we are creating a workplace culture that values diversity of thought, personal accountability, and ultimately leaves the team fulfilled and inspired. Each year I set goals for how to make our business an even better place to work. In 2022, the goal was to offer medical insurance to all our full-time employees and their families. I am happy to say we have achieved this goal with time to spare. I have a big vision for 2023.
Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?
The birth of my daughter was a milestone that changed everything, in life and business. As the default parent in our household, due to the demand of my husband’s career, I have had to be strategic when it comes to my work schedule. I am constantly looking to create more impact in less time.
What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?
Give yourself the permission to evolve. For some reason we feel the pressure to have it “all figured out” when we start. I want to challenge that, because if you do ‘have it all figured out’, you aren’t dreaming big enough. Give yourself permission to listen to your team and customers and evolve over-time (not overnight). Lastly, dream big.
How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?
Knowing that my decisions are my own. I have the ability to grow personally and professionally in the companies I have built. I also remind myself that one day does not define our success. Rather it is the sum of all of our actions overtime. I have learned with time in these “dark days” to trust the process. I would still bet on myself every day.
What is your go to song to get motivated on tough days?
“Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis. This song helps me put life in perspective, as life goes by quickly so I need to invest time in what really matters. In my father’s speech at my wedding he wished us a peaceful life. This song brings me back to that.
Who is your most important role model?
My parents have been my most important role models – hands down. As entrepreneurs themselves, they gave meaning to the hard work and sacrifice it takes to build a life for your family, but most of all the value of a true partnership. While my husband is not a “partner” in my businesses, he is my most enthusiastic support. I am proud to say that every opportunity and risk we face in our careers is a household decision. I know this was an approach inspired by my parents’ transparency as they built their businesses.◼