In this episode we speak to Stanislav Roth the CEO of Source Legal. Stan is a disrupter because when he started his business over 10 years ago, he refused to play by established rules. In other words, even though lawyers have been selling us their time for 100 years, his firm do not sell their time! Having worked as in-house legal counsel he felt there was a better way to do things, so he focused on results. Learn how Stan plucked up the courage to back himself, leave a regular paycheck behind and put his idea about value-based pricing into action.
Stan is the founder and managing director of Source. An innovative thinker, exceptional commercial lawyer and pioneer in the legal industry. Stan leads the Source team and continues to evolve Source into a market leader.
For more information, please check out the Source Legal website.
Note: This has been automatically transcribed so is likely to have errors! It may however help you navigate the points of interests for you.
Mike: Welcome to the Troubleshooters podcast with me your host Mike McGrath. Now, my guest today is a great troubleshooter, a lawyer who arrived in Sydney from the former Soviet Union at just age 19. Studied, worked as an attorney, and then took the plunge Stein his own firm, source legal. Stan is a disrupter. He thought he could deliver better results for clients by refusing to sell his time. Yes, a lawyer refusing to sell their time. What almost sacrilege. So sit back as I get Stan to unpack his story. Stan, welcome to troubleshooters, I think the name of this podcast is quite outstanding, because you must be the definition of a troubleshooter in my book because people very rarely hire a lawyer when everything’s going swimmingly snapped. In fact, I once heard that the ideal definition of a client for a lawyer is a very rich guy who’s in deep shit. Is that fair salary? Is that on?
Stan: Thanks, Mike. Thanks for having me. On.
Mike: You’re very welcome. And I’ve been looking forward to this conversation for a while now, you and I do go back a little way. I think we’ve probably known each other for just over 10 years, someone introduced this, and you just started your business source legal at that point. So tell us a little bit about source legal and how you got going and why.
Stan: Yeah, we do go back a long way. And it was really great for me to meet you back then, almost 10 years ago, and you were in a similar position. I think as many just starting out, and also working in professional services. And I guess, looking at how to do things better, actually coming back to your little joke that, you know, ideal client, for lawyers, someone within dipshit. I think there is a lot of truth in it. And I think what I found is that people do avoid going to Lewis for as long as possible, and really tend to resort to legal support. And I’m talking about businesses here in our resort to legal support when they are in some kind of difficulty. And there are lots of reasons for that. Partly it’s to do with with the legal profession, and what always actually do do which is quite often dealing with problems and difficult situations from a legal perspective. But there is also inherent reluctance of people using lawyers. And that’s to do in my opinion with how legal support is delivered frequently by lawyers.
Mike: I think that’s a very good point, because one of the things that struck me about you was that you had a very genuine desire to do a really good job of giving legal advice to small to medium sized enterprise, I remember, and there was, you know, and I was trying to do a similar thing in m&a, I was trying to really be valuable to people. And so one of the common areas where lawyers and accountants were, particularly as a criticises over pricing, and perhaps charging or even overcharging, or where there’s some kind of mismatch between the expectation of a client and what a lawyer ends up charging for some services. I know that’s a kind of hot area of your So tell us a bit about your approach to pricing and how, you know, source legal got founded really as a disruptor, didn’t it? So tell us about that short
Stan: disruption. You’re right, Mike, I really wanted to make legal support, especially legal support for day to day, things for business as usual, if you like, which is kind of the area where businesses avoid using loads Exactly. Because of those reasons. I wanted to make it accessible. And to make it easily accessible, and even enjoyable to work with Lewis was also on a day to day basis. So that’s what I set out to do. And pricing is a big part of it. It’s not everything. And I’ll talk to you about some other, I guess characteristics or how we provide legal support that makes it accessible to people and digestible. But pricing is a big part of it. So our pricing model is a very simple model. It’s a monthly retainer model where we essentially agree a massive price with each potential client, which is exclusively based on the client, nothing to do with us. Nothing to do with our time hours. We don’t have hourly rates, we don’t think like that. We look as a client. So we look at the size, but then show me its industry of complexity, even if personalities might you know, we’ll look we’ll look at lots of things but one thing we don’t look at this time and then we try to come up with a prize that is right for the client for the support that we will offer, which is basically unlimited support, with all day to day, legal needs, you know, contracts, employment, disputes, etc, etc. And we do it on a monthly retainer, and we become essentially an in house legal team, for our clients. And that’s our model, it’s been in house defect in house legal team,
Mike: it’s an in house and house sort of scenario and effectively, look, I mean, let’s be honest, if you’re in business, small business, mid business, large business, if you’re in a leadership position in a corporate, you’re gonna need a lawyer at some point. I mean, as sure as night follows day, something’s gonna happen, whether it’s a product recall, or whether it’s a contract dispute, or, you know, having those so you will need a lawyer. So I suppose your point is, okay, rather than going off to find a lawyer each time, you know, get yourself a team, because I presume they’re hiring you and the rest of the team. And so when these things happen, they pick the phone up, and you effectively go to work on whatever that issue might be. Absolutely. But
Stan: it’s broader than that. Because not only we are troubleshooters in that scenario, so not only we, you know, kind of come into play when problems arise. But we are there for normal day to day things before problems arise, for example, making sure that our clients contracts are robust and simple. For example, ensuring that employment law obligations are complied with. And our clients have proper policies and procedures and employment contracts and so on. So there is an element of being proactive and pre emptive. And that is something that businesses small businesses don’t traditionally use lawyers for because they can’t really afford to do that. And traditional model is not really suited for that. But almost is so it encourages use, you know, proactive use of our support.
Mike: Yes, you’re saying, you know, the return on investment is that you mitigate problems, maybe you go to work on the T’s and C’s, for instance, before they’re ever challenged, and you keep them up to date, or you look at you know, HR and the way that’s been conducted in HR in Australia, it’s extremely complicated, you know, you employ more than 10 or 12 people, and you genuinely will need HR input, quite regular care. So I suppose, that kind of value based ahead of time, it’s not always easy to quantify that, but rather than shutting the stable door after the horse is bolted, which is often the way of things with a small firm, you know, they’re coming at the problem when it’s manifest real.
Stan: Yeah, absolutely. It’s also about having a business partner in your lawyer, or your lawyers, you know, and someone who you can pick up the phone, run things past. I mean, frankly, not only legal, you know, broader than that commercial, strategic, and so on. So we built this really deep relationships with our clients, and we become true business partners. to them. The model encourages us and, and our moral operation, unlimited support, with beings being very responsive, etc. It encourages that sort of relationship. So I think our clients get much more from legal support than you would normally think, small or medium sized. That’s what I typically get from a lawyer. Yeah.
Mike: So the disruptive side of this, and what’s really, very stark is that most lawyers, most legal firms are selling time. And even when they’re, you know, providing a fixed price, it’s often with a bunch of caveats. Whereas you just refuse to think about time as a basis for pricing that you just tell us a bit about that. Because I’m, I was struck by that when we first met. I’ve been struck by ever since I think in the right circumstances. It’s very eloquent. And in fact, we’re the same. We refuse to think about selling time as a business. Yeah, it’s just against our DNA. We really about providing value rather than selling time. Yeah. Talk us a bit about that.
Stan: Mike, I think selling time is really selling a wrong commodity for professional services and for Louis specifically or for any professional service providers. Because clients do not really want to buy time. That’s not what they’re buying. They might be buying time because they have no choice. And that’s what lawyers have been selling for 100 years or so. But that is not what they really are buying. What they’re buying is your expertise, your speed, your experience your commercialism your brain, after all, you know, but they’re not buying time, it really is irrelevant how much time you spent on a particular piece of advice, I’m going to give you an example. You know, you could give a lawyer a transformational piece of advice, or a life saving piece of advice for a business in five or 10 minutes, sometimes, why would you charge $40, for that, it’s just not right. Or, on the contrary, you could do a very simple task, which is very time consuming for one reason or another, like, I don’t know, due diligence on an acquisition, not that it’s important, but it’s, you know, it’s kind of going through the motions a little bit, and it’s very time consuming, but you shouldn’t be judging, you know, $300 that you’ve spent, and you find a way to kind of deal with it. So really, what we’re trying to do is to sell what customers want, and that is the value of our service, specifically to them. And we do it on a monthly retainer, that’s our model. But that’s a guiding principle, we want the price to reflect what the value of our service is to that particular client at that particular moment, which by the way also means that it’s not set in stone. And it’s something that can be reviewed from time to time. And it really is from time to time. And we have a dialogue with our clients from time to time to ensure that that equation is right.
Mike: So I mean, I suppose my first experience of value based pricing really was we’ve got to go back away now. But I sold a business in 1992, my pizza home delivery business, to a Canadian business called Scots hospitality. And they, we had a legal firm called Walker Morris based in Leeds in England at the time we hired and we hired them on the basis, they wanted to charge us 50,000 pounds sterling to do this transaction. And if the deal didn’t go ahead, we were going to be lumped with a big bill that we couldn’t really afford and didn’t really want to pay. So we said to them, we sat down with them, we said okay, here’s the deal. If this deal doesn’t go ahead, we’ll pay you 25,000. If the deal does go ahead, we’ll pay you 80,000 pounds, they took us on on that basis, the deal ultimately went ahead, and then we paid that premium, but that was better for us to sort of manage our downside is that what you mean by
Stan: nothing, I mean, it’s a perfect example, or value pricing, because in this particular case, the same joke, two different values to you, depending on the outcome of the transaction. And that isn’t often the case, like for example, we may engage with a very small business or a startup, which has a very ambitious plan of growth, but at the moment they start, there may be pre revenue, maybe they’ve got a small investment, and we will engage with them on that basis. But as I said, it’s not set in stone. And as they grow, we will grow with them, and our service will have a different value to them.
Mike: So Stan Louise are a bit like soldiers, you know, there’s all different kinds of soldiers, and there’s all different kinds of lawyers. So one of the things that we do in certainly in our non exempt work is we’re always helping people get the right sort of professional advice from the right people at the right time. scoped out, well, that’s like a principle of apps, right? Because you need this input you need, you know, from time to time, you need great input. So my question would be if I hire you stand to work for me as my in house out house attorney, how am I getting the right sort of advice where it might be specially Stan, how do you deal with that with your clients where they might need some specialist work?
Stan: Yeah, that’s a good question. My best all book in house lawyers week try to do as much as possible ourselves, for our clients being strong generalists, for example, very strong risk contracts, which is sort of main thing that businesses need on a day to day basis or employment law, this our key areas of trends. But the important characteristic of a good in house lawyer is knowing when specialised expertise is required, knowing where to find it, and knowing how to get it at the right price at the right scope, and so on. Yes, so I mean, think about after a little bit like a GP, you know, so you want to have a good GP who can handle a lot of your problems, but also who will point you to the right specialist at the right time. So we do we do that as well. So for more specialised service things, there are plenty like in any profession, we work with our partners, people we trust on behalf of our clients and we make sure that our clients get the right support onto a special
Mike: Okay, so just coming back to you, Stan, the person. So if we can go back, I think you can’t Australia, from the former Soviet Union when you’re about age 19. Is that right? That’s right. Okay. And then why law? What got you into the law?
Stan: Hmm, good question. Why law? Look, I think law was always on my radar. And I think that probably comes from two things. One is love of language. Law, to a large extent, is linguistic craftsmanship. And it’s something that I always fly back in my native language, which is Russian. But of course, when I came to Australia, as age of 19, I wanted Yeah, I wanted to ensure that my English is very advanced, and kind of challenged myself to do a degree, which is very language base. And secondly, because I thought that being a lawyer gives you an opportunity to get involved in businesses at a reasonably high level, kind of straightaway and being really bought a business and being quite, I guess, influential in a good way, and really becoming like an advisor to CEOs and business owners and so on. So for me, it was a pathway into business, which is why I became an in house lawyer very early in my career. So I left private, just a couple of years and went in house because I wanted to be part of business be part of decision making.
Mike: That’s what kind of drove me. That’s interesting. So, I mean, you haven’t just become a lawyer, but you’ve become a businessman and an entrepreneur. Was there anything in your background growing up in the former Soviet Union that indicated you might have a sort of entrepreneurial?
Stan: Well, I guess, Mike to begin with growing up in the former Soviet Union, you feel fairly suffocated, you know, by the Galit Aryan kind of system. When I was growing up, it was crumbling. So it wasn’t kind of scary as it used to be. But it was still fairly suffocating. And it was really restrictive, people’s freedom, freedom to be whatever they want to be, you know, freedom to create something. So I hated that system, from very early childhood. And I really wanted to kind of break free from it very early, but also a bit of entrepreneurial kind of gene possibly runs in me because my father is an intrapreneur, natural entrepreneur and became a very successful businessman after the Soviet Union, disintegrated and created a fantastic industrial chemical business leader in its field in the former Soviet Union. So I think I was quite influenced by my dad and really helped me belief in myself and in ability. Yeah, do what you set out to do. Yeah.
Mike: This now that that free market, right there. I mean, when did you become aware of that free market? And that growing up in the former Soviet Union, things were different and stifling? You mentioned the word stifling. Tell us a bit about that. And did you come to Australia by yourself? Or did you come with your family?
Stan: I guess my I mean, Soviet Union was, you know, closed off society. But nevertheless, information did filter through. And I think we knew, you know, anyone who was kind of thinking a thinking person in the Soviet Union knew very well, that, you know, we were stuck in a, in a really sort of terrible, suffocating, idiotic sort of system. And, and there is a different way, you know, and you can be free and you can pursue your, you know, your dreams and your talents without government interference, and so on. So, I mean, I knew from very early age, that that’s how normal countries operated, and to be in one of those normal countries.
Mike: Yeah. And did that cause you to travel by yourself, Stan? Oh, well,
Stan: I came with my mother and my grandmother. So just our small family unit. We have some relatives here who recommended the Australian helped us get onto a temporary immigration programme that Australian government helpful the former Soviet Union immigrants, and we were lucky, very lucky to get on to it and to come to this amazing Yeah.
Mike: And why Australia stamp.
Stan: I guess. I mean, always wanted to be in an English speaking country. Yes, in a free country. Also come from a Jewish background. And we have some family in Australia who immigrated kind of early on in the 70s. Yeah, why Israel? So we consider the Australia and also the United States with the two options for us. But Australia is a very welcoming place for immigrants and a very free country. I mean, us as well, of course, but somehow Australia really appealed. And plus the ocean, you know, like it’s, we are blessed here with our ocean. And that is unique, absolutely unique.
Mike: Yes. Stan, is interesting, because, I mean, do you think sometimes we have grown up in a sort of, you know, first world democratic, liberal democracy, do you think sometimes we take it for granted, Stan, that we live in such a free and democratic country where we’re with really free to? Do you know what we choose to the
Stan: Mike Look, I think we do, I think it’s human nature, to kind of take it for granted. Having said that, I feel a lot of Australians, I know a lot of Australians really do deeply appreciate living in a country like this. And I think there is awareness that we are very lucky to have this amazing free country where you can do really what you want, and you can pursue your dreams without interference by by anyone by the government. And the government is almost invisible, not at the moment, at the moment is quite reasonable. But we are in a crisis. But generally speaking, it’s quite invisible, which is what a good government should be.
Mike: Yes. And so Stan, you got here. You did your studies, you pursued what you wanted to do. You became an in house attorney, didn’t you? Yeah, I remember when I sat down with you. You told me about your construction background, I remember identifies you that told me but someone told me that if you ever want to hire a good contract lawyer, yeah. Try and find one that spent some time in construction, because those guys are always suing each other. So you got into that sort of in house attorney work? I think you did that for a decade.
Stan: Yeah, I did. Yeah. Yeah. Well, for engineering company, I was very lucky because it was a fantastic company, a French multinational engineering company, and gave me kind of variety. In fact, the idea of source really came from my work in that company, because I was supporting a number of businesses within the company. And they were quite diverse, quite different than I really liked the dynamic of being an in house lawyer for kind of more than one business, essentially. Yeah. Yeah. So personally, I quite liked it. And I guess that’s led me to this model. But you’re right about construction. Construction is a complex area and construction contracts are the most complex contracts you can find. I think a fractional law is indeed very good with contracts, because we’re trained in interpreting and digesting very complex contracts and trying to make sense of them and make them simpler. So it is a very good training ground for contractors, for sure. Was that
Mike : idea of yours? Around value based pricing? Was that evolving? throughout that time that you were, you know, working for the engineering business?
Stan: It was partly, subconsciously, partly consciously, but I guess, yeah, I always disliked the idea of hourly rates. And even if you have lower when I have to work with external lawyers, from time to time on more specialised issues, or with a customer, basically, and procuring legal support, I always managed to negotiate the right level of pricing with lawyers, and really get them kind of away from thinking about all the rates and stuff thinking about right price for the job. Which by the way, doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper. It’s not about being cheap, being right. And on occasion, I increased pricing from providers, because they just didn’t know how to price. I guess it’s been my interest for a long time. But I started soon as I started with this market retainer idea, which of course, evolved over time in the sense that we’re much more confident now in how to price and more our guests in our approach, and yeah, last from many mistakes, of course,
Mike: it’s not just going back, you know, when you decided to start, so that’s always a big leap, right? You go from a paycheck, and then you decide, okay, I’m going to do my own thing. Well, what was going through your mind and how stressful was it to make that call and then jump, you know, one day you’ve got a paycheck. next minute, you need some clients,
Stan: it was very stressful. And in fact, I couldn’t make the decision for quite a long time. I think it took me at least a couple of years to get enough courage to do it. And even then, I left my job after 10 years, this engineering company, which was really fantastic experience for me. And I still couldn’t quite, I was already really wanting to start my own business. And I had this idea, but I didn’t have enough courage to do it. So I went to another job, like a senior lawyer in a very large construction company, and really, really hated it. So I won’t be lost for about 10 months, which is very uncharacteristic for me. And I’m a stickler when I commit to something, but I really hated it. And it became very clear to me that I need to start my own business, I’m no longer really prepared to for another job. And to do it all over again, I really wanted to start my own business. I wanted myself into doing it. If you know what I mean. So it was a very, yeah,
Mike: I suppose sometimes that kind of adversity can be a trigger cancer, you know, you might move, it’s not what you thought it was gonna be. And you know, if you needed pushing, maybe that was the push. So you started Stan, you jumped in holding your nose, and away you went. So tell us about some of the highs and lows in that journey? I mean, it’s not easy. You were relatively new to Australia. I mean, I was the same. I think I started in m&a with Oasis about 12 years ago. And yeah, I didn’t really know anyone. And you know, I had to kind of plough that furrow, if you like. And it wasn’t always easy. There was some times I used to scratch my head and say, What the hell am I done? Tell us about some of those times.
Stan: Look, it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy, because I, you know, I started without clients, like I wasn’t leaving private practice where you have a bit of a client base, and you could, you know, take with you. But I was in house, really. So I started without clients, I started with a relatively small network, but a good network, and knew that I had a network of people who liked me and respected me, and you know, who I would approach. And that’s where I started, I started with essentially looking at my network, writing down names, and calling them and going for coffee, and things like that. But, you know, the way in the first couple of years, especially in the first year, there were some medicines, in retrospect, were not really consistent with what I wanted to do or my model. You know, I didn’t know it back then.
Mike: On that trial and error, let’s have a chat about that. Because it’s always interesting going from the theory and the drawing board into reality, you know, just like I did, I mean, I started really at the beginning of the GFC. I mean, we knew it was bad. We didn’t know how bad I think you were in and around that same time. Yeah, it wasn’t easy around the GFC. There was a lot of uncertainty wasn’t that. So how is it different? So you mentioned business development, right, and having to pick up the phone and meet people for coffee? I mean, that must have felt strange.
Stan: Yeah. Yeah, it did. It did. But I also enjoyed it. I also enjoy. Actually, I think one of the things that I found a little bit like a hard missing in being just an employee, even in a senior role is that ability, you know, to kind of go beyond to network more broadly to meet more people. I did enjoy that aspect. Yeah, I found it quite stimulating, you know, getting out and meeting people. I think I gave myself a target. You know, I started working from home, of course, like everyone, I mean, we still work primarily at homes, because it’s part of our model. But I remember giving myself a target of at least one coffee a day with someone. And, you know, try to do more than that. But it was great. You know, he was getting out. Me and my like you, Mike, I think we probably met in the first few months of me staying in our Sydney, right?
Mike: Yeah, no, I remember that. Yeah. Remember, and I suppose, Stan, you know, for our listeners that often small to medium sized businesses or people in corporate there might be thinking of it. I think it’s a really important point that you make about needing to be open to business development. And it’s often referred to as sales. And the trouble with professional services is that we’re often very good at the technical aspects of what we do, but we don’t see ourselves as people that need to perhaps do sales or business development, but there’s nothing like having a business and needing to find revenue to get you to face that one. And like you, you know, we’ve built that into our model and I had a target to meet owners and I never criticise my guys for getting me a meeting with an owner. Even if there was no chance of getting any business, I really made the habit of meeting lots of owners and trying to understand what they thought. And you know, it’s kept us pretty safe that I think it sounds like we did a similar thing.
Stan: That’s exactly right. And that’s another thing that I think I learned from my dad, actually, there is no such thing as a useless meeting, I think, right? You just do it, and you don’t know what will open up. And often it might not be a client, but it might give you an idea, it might give you another contact, it might connect. So you kind of connecting those dots, both time and I think, meaning personal or virtual. And just generally socialising with people is fundamental to running a business and making those connections. You know, connecting the dots. Yeah, yes.
Mike: It’s interesting, because I mean, we’re a testimony to that, because I’ve been going a couple of years I met you, I think we hired you on a small retainer. And then I introduced you to a couple of my clients. One was done, and the other was gcg. I think you’re still the case, thank you kcg, over 10 years later, and I think the only reason you’re not at dynamic is because the business was sold to CGU, four or five years ago session
Stan: dynamic was acquired by another client of ours. So we still with dynamic pricing. Yeah,
Mike: that proves the point in a way, doesn’t it? So Stan, what about the future? I mean, what what’s the future of legal services? I know that you so successful, have you been in the last decade that you’ve merged with another business that are very keen for you to continue with your model and run and expand this idea? So what’s the future for legal services, then we’re going to see more of this value based pricing,
Stan: Mike, we will. And we already are seeing much more value based pricing and, and not just value based pricing, but more focus on client centric models and client centric delivery of legal and professional services support. So there’s definitely more but it’s very slow. And it’s much slower than I anticipated. 10 years ago, I really thought when I started 10 years ago that it will move much faster. And you know, we were pioneers, and back then we still plenty and now 10 is later. Yes, there are many reasons why it’s slow. There are structural reasons with law firms and partnerships. There are reasons around profitability and law firms wanting to keep very high level of profitability and run a very kind of low risk model. With leveraging and selling time essentially, there is probably still insufficient push by customers. And unfortunately, I think it looks like law firms are less likely to change unless there is more sustained push by clients. It’s definitely happening. But it’s I think it’s less intensive than I I would have imagined. Yes, but overall, there’s definitely change. There’s a lot of technology. There are a lot of disruptors, definitely, customers are becoming more sophisticated and more courageous in dealing with lawyers and professional service providers. So there is a shift, it will continue. And it will get to a point where that kind of time based model will become much less common and will eventually die. It’s natural gas. But it will take it will take a long time. But I think it will, yeah. variably happen. Yeah,
Mike: I think there is a move, slow, sort of steady push to more value really from professional service people. Look, I think there’s a responsibility by clients and by owners and people in leadership to demand more. And you know, to demand more, you’ve got to be very clear what you’re what you’re after and what the problem is and articulate that. Well. I think the better you can do that, the more likely you are to see a lawyer or a legal firm meeting you with a more value based proposition. I think, if we’re vague and we’re not sure. And then I think, you know, the natural thing is to default to time. And I mean that there’s nothing better than getting a legal issue or a commercial issue with legal implications sorted out eloquently started if you if you’re a business. I’m on the board of a manufacturer, a number of manufacturers, but one in particular recently, we had a product recall issue, Stan, and it was a state based thing and I got to the board meeting and I got brief from the product guy about their lawyers in Melbourne and what they were proposing and it just didn’t seem right so they scared the client witless. They were given worse. case scenarios now, if you name it right, you can play going over the top. And I just said, how much work are they doing in this area? Of course, nobody knew. Anyway, we made a few phone calls, I got ahold of a tax lawyer, I use extensively. And I said, do the, you know, that’s doing a lot of product recall, he said it funny, she said that we got a small team in Melbourne. That’s all they do, there’s three of them. So we rang them, put them on the voice box. And they just completely put the client at ease, map What to do? Very simple and straightforward. It’s sort of, we call it simplexity, which is the opposite of complexity, right? Which, when you’re on the receiving end of that stat, it’s a beautiful thing, you know, you’re really not bothered how much you pay for it at that
Stan point, that really sort of reminds me of Michael Phelps, a very important characteristic of what we do with our model. Apart from pricing, value based pricing, it’s keeping things simple. So that is essential for us. its simplicity, or complexity, as you call it, it’s completely essential. And, and look, it’s not easy to keep things simple. You’ve got to be at the top of your game, to make complex things simple.
Mike: You’re right, Stan, because I think it was Einstein That said, if you can’t explain something simply you simply don’t know it well in Spanish summed it up nicely, I
Stan: think it’s entirely entirely true. And, and you also need to be decisive. Like what you just described your experience with previous lawyers making things complicated, but also alarming business without really good reason, would enough reason that is, unfortunately, very frequent. And it’s to do with, yes, partly not being at the top of your game, but also, frankly, covering your back.
Mike: So if you if you stop worrying about that, and really focus on the client call to solve that problem. Yes, Look, I know that’s true. And it’s true for you, because I’ve used your HR guy, Shawn Melbourne for years, I know, as a partner of yours. You know, I just pick the phone up to that guy. And it’s always very eloquent and straightforward. And I’ve been in some, you know, difficult situations on behalf of clients, where I’ve been doing turnarounds, and we’ve had complex HR challenges. And, you know, I’ve just found, the way Shawn goes to work is just how we like it really, which is straight to the facts straight to the heart of it. But that’s not always the case. I mean, we often find lawyers who are, their charges might be lower on an hourly rate. But if they don’t know, the matter very well, they’ve got to go from research staff, and therefore the whole thing’s counterproductive, because there’s no point paying less per hour if you end up paying more hours. And I think this is a common problem that still prevails is that, you know, you think you’ve hired a lawyer. But the lawyer is unlikely to be able to do everything,
Stan: Yeah, and you don’t want to deal with a lawyer who says I can do everything, you really don’t you want to deal with a lawyer who knows their area. Like in our case, it’s really being in house lawyers and covering those kind of day to day matters. But as I said before, knowing who to ask, Where to ask and how to ask, does it kind of flow where you want?
Mike: Yes. Now, Stan, before we finish, right? I’ve got to get the lawyer jokin. How is the lawyer like a rhinoceros, thick skin, short sighted, and charges without warning? Now I know that’s not used. But I can tell you I sent a brief out recently to three lawyers. And sometimes the kernel of the truth in the joke is often got quite a lot of truth in it. Actually, I spent the brief out to three lawyers. One of them won the exercise, it was $100,000 exercise. But I got a bill for $500 from the one of the winning brain. And that was a bit unexpected stamp set. So now I am source legal and you won’t get that. Now, Stan, before we go, I’d like to ask a few questions of the guests with same questions each time. So who’s been a major influence for you, Stan, in your business career?
Stan: Mike, the biggest influence in my career and I think in my life is really my father, who I mentioned before, and that kind of intrapreneurial spirit, but also belief, self belief, very much, I think comes from him. And he always told me, you know, even when I was kind of doubting that I would ever start my own business. He always shows told me. You will fulfil your potential one way or another. I know you will. So I think he really is my biggest influence.
Mike: Isn’t that great? A very important job we have as parents, right, probably the most important job in the world. Yeah. And what about a favourite book or film standard? Anything to bring to mind?
Stan: I do read a lot. I’m a bit of a fiction reader, which is, I think, a bit unusual these days, I find people generally don’t tend to read as much or read nonfiction more. I don’t have a favourite book, but I’ve got a favourite writer who, who happens to have my last name, but that is not why he is my favourite writer feeling. Feeling probably. Yeah. Okay. Here’s an American writer. He died a couple of years ago, actually, which was heartbreaking. For me. It’s like losing a family member.
Mike: What’s his genre? And he
Stan: essentially writes in one line, if you like, and that is, it’s kind of Jewish American experience. That’s his. That’s his wrong route. But yeah, he’s a very beautiful rider. Very beautiful, right? Yeah.
Mike: And what about your favourite place in the world?
Stan: Mike? Honestly, it’s Sydney. You know, every time I drive up to, you know, Baltimore or coochie, and every time I see a glimpse of water, I have to pinch myself as to how lucky I am to be in this unbelievable series. So I really love Sydney is my favourite place in the wall.
Mike: Isn’t that great? I mean, to live in your favourite place. I’m the same I’ve I have to pinch myself. I go for a jog. most mornings in manly. I run along the ocean and go, Wow, how did I get here?
Stan: I can swim in manly yesterday. And I think I saw a couple of small reef sharks. Very small one. So that didn’t scare me at all. But I just can’t believe that. You can do that in Sydney that you can, you know, you can swim and see this beautiful underwater life at your doorstep within 15 minutes from the city. There is no other city, I think in the wall. That
Mike: No, no, we’re on the same page there. And what do you love doing outside works, then? I know you’re a family, man. You’ve got two beautiful
Stan: twins. So I do, of course, love spending time with my daughters. And now they’re now at uni, uni and live with University College. And we still kind of spend time together and see each other a bit difficult at the moment with the lockdown. But my passion is actually swimming. I love swimming. I try to do it every day or almost days. At the moment, I can only swim in the ocean, which I love. Anyway, it’s pretty. It’s pretty crazy right now. So I bought a wetsuit to get through the winter. Yeah, swimming is a big part of my life. Because it’s not just exercise. It’s my mindfulness, you know, and yeah, my opportunity to just be by myself with nature. Allow it?
Mike: Yeah, that’s great. Stan send WhatsApp password swinging by or be electronically because we’re in lockdown. And, Stan, I really enjoyed it. I wish you continued success. So if any of the listeners that listen to this podcast, want to get in touch with you and have a chat with you about value based pricing, where can they find you?
Stan: They can find me very easily source legal websites, source legal.com where you can find me on LinkedIn, Stanislav rose, they can find me through you, Mike. I would love to talk to any of your listeners not just about value based pricing, but about starting a business or running a business or anything that I can share my experience with and my lessons, I would love to do that.
Mike: That’s great. So thanks a million. I’ll make sure that your details are in the show notes today. And look after yourself. Stay safe.
Stan: Thank you very much, Mike. Really appreciate the opportunity and enjoy talking to you very much. Thanks, Dad. Thanks.
Mike: I hope you enjoyed my conversation today with Stan. I really love his genuine desire to do things better, which I suppose is at the root of all genuine progress. Now, if you like these podcasts, be sure to tell your friends and colleagues and get them to subscribe from their favourite platform. Finally, if you want to get to know style, you want to have a chat with him about his legal services. then have a look at the contact details in the show notes. And the big shout out to our sponsors our ACS partners, but great business advice guidance support, call the guys at oasis. So until next time, stay safe.