"Saying no is a key skill for entrepreneurs. You can’t possibly do everything. You can’t possibly help everyone and you can’t possibly keep everyone happy."
You (and clearly here I’m reminding myself of this as well) NEED to develop the confidence, discernment, and assertiveness to turn things and people down where appropriate."
Ms. Haynes founded Titan Chambers in 2018 in an effort to streamline and further explore areas of the law where she has a keen interest and to promote a client-centric approach to the provision of legal services.
I invited her to share her wisdom so that we can understand how she makes decisions and gives advice.
Read on and enjoy 🥰
- What does creativity mean to you?
For me, creativity is putting a fresh spin on everything to do. Sometimes it is actively wanting to do things differently and sometimes it’s just being led by inspiration when it strikes.
- Have you worked with creative businesses?
A large part of my legal practice is working with creative businesses. I enjoy working for and with startups. People are usually the most excited when beginning a business. The way I see it is that it’s a chance to harness their excitement and energy to shape the company - giving it the right start. I encourage people to start with the end in mind. If it ten years time, they want to be running a professional, compliant and successful business, from the very beginning they should put the hinge in place to be able to do that.
- What’s the main struggle for first-time entrepreneurs?
From what I’ve seen, it’s funding. I’ve had that struggle in my business as well.
People may have ideas that they’re excited and passionate about but do not have the funds to make their dreams happen. From the entrepreneurs or potential entrepreneurs that I have spoken to who have identified funding as a concern, there are three main categories of people...
- those who have no access to funds and/or no idea on how to access funding;
- those who have access to some funds (such as savings) but are afraid to expend those resources behind their idea/product/service because if they spend the money that they do have, it would tap out their resources;
- thirdly, the people who have taken the risk and spent their funds in their business but are not seeing the returns expected. In those cases, people feel stuck - they don’t know whether to push through and if they do that, where access to funds to continue the business will come, or if they should cut their losses and do something else.
- How do you handle brainstorming sessions?
I need peace and quiet for brainstorming. Most times I get ideas first thing in the morning. Either as soon as I wake up or while doing my morning routine (like showering). I make sure to have my phone and notepads at strategic locations in my home and office so that I can take notes of ideas and flesh those out.
- What’s your self talk when approaching a new opportunity?
I get excited and run with things so I need to limit myself. I start by reminding myself of all the other ‘great’ ideas that I have started working on and have not had the time to pursue. I compare the opportunities to existing opportunities that I have that I am in the process of developing. If the new idea is likely to be more lucrative I might bump something else off to pursue the new idea. If not, it will sit in my ‘ideas’ notebook, so that I can review at a later time.
- How do you say no?
I start with ‘nuh’ and end with ‘oh’ 🤣
On a more serious note, saying no is a key skill for entrepreneurs. You can’t possibly do everything. You can’t possibly help everyone and you can’t possibly keep everyone happy.
You (and clearly here I’m reminding myself of this as well) NEED to develop the confidence, discernment, and assertiveness to turn things and people down where appropriate.
- What has been the hardest decision you had to make and how did you do it?
For sure opening up my own practice! I spent six years after becoming an Attorney.
- What's your best advice as a lawyer for someone who is driven by their art and hasn’t thought a lot about the legal side of it?
Don’t take shortcuts or let important matters be pushed aside. They will likely come back to haunt you at some point. Begin as you’d want to finish. Start from a position of strength.
I have a friend who runs a growing events management practice. When she first started up her company, she was still working full time and she did not do much business in the first year. She did not file her compulsory Annual Returns for the company. The next year she didn’t file again because the interest, fees, and penalties would have been quite high. Fast forward ten years, she has a name for herself and a successful business, but she is considering closing the company because of the liabilities owed to the Government.
In addition, your business needs a team. Even if you have a small business and you don’t have a budget for an Attorney, you need to start building a relationship with someone with the skills that can help your business. This is where it’s important to get creative. I’ve had a client who approached me with an offer to barter services and that isn’t something that I usually do, but she presented a strong offer, and it’s been working very well so far. When you need an Attorney is the absolute worst time for you to be looking for one.
You can connect with Saelese (and by all means, should) via her website: