Redefining Happiness

WITH

Renée Bauer

The Limitless Podcast

Redefining Happiness

with Renée Bauer

0:00
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You may think that you can only be happy if you are in a positive situation and if everything is working out and going according to plan. But did you know that you can still find happiness in difficult situations? Pursuing your purpose and redefining your happiness can sometimes mean stepping outside of your comfort zone in order for you to grow, whether by starting a new business, changing careers, or leaving a toxic relationship or friendship.

Happiness is what Renée Bauer advocates for. She’s an award-winning divorce lawyer and the founder of She Who Wins, where women are empowered to be their best selves and create their own “happily ever after” despite the hurdles and the struggles they’ve been through.

"If you're not uncomfortable, you're not dreaming big enough."

- Renee Bauer
@LimitlessShow @franklyco_

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IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN

  • How to redefine happiness, and learn that it isn’t a destination, but rather a journey.

  • How to dream bigger by getting out of your comfort zone.

  • How to reflect and be clear about what you really want to do and what your purpose is.

  • How to take time off and work on your personal growth in order to give way to new opportunities.

LINKS FROM THIS EPISODE

Johanna Buchweitz:
How would you feel if time and money were no object? Or if you always knew that the answers you sought were at your fingertips? Or that the creative spark you would need for the next project was always going to be there. You would feel limitless. I’m Johanna Buchweitz, and it is my honor to welcome all of you to Limitless, the show where we have open, honest and direct communication with extraordinary women in business to provide you with actual next steps for super growth based on their proven success tactics. Joining me on today’s episode is Renee Bauer, an award winning divorce attorney, published author, and founder of the Happy Even After Family Law. Renee, welcome to Limitless.

Renee Bauer:
Hi Johanna! I’m so excited to be here.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I’m so excited to have you here. Renee I believe that all female entrepreneurs are modern day superheroes. So as a superhero entrepreneur, you are. What’s your superpower?

Renee Bauer:
I love this question. And you know, as soon as you asked it, I’m like, Oh, I have that one. It’s tenacity, because that’s the thing that I think has served me throughout all of the years of doing this is just not giving up on whatever it is. Because I think as entrepreneurs we have to learn how to fail really well and we have to learn how to fall on our face.
But so often people when they fall, they don’t get up and they’re like, oh, it didn’t work. So I’m going to just give this thing up. And I think that my superpower is to really say, okay, it didn’t work. What can I learn from this? Now what can I go do differently to make it work the next time? And I’m just tenacious about every single project that I that lives in my heart and that I decide to execute.

Johanna Buchweitz:
That’s such an important skill set because I think a lot of us always talk about like how to fail faster, how to learn more. And I like how you said when you get knocked down, because my dad used to have this favorite quote, which is like from Muhammad Ali, you know, and like he used to always talk about that.
He loved boxing and he used to say, you know, you get knocked down like seven times, but you get up like eight. You know, you just keep going. So that’s like such an incredible superpower that you have. And I think, like, all of us should definitely, like, keep that in mind even when we get knocked down. So I would love for you to talk a little bit about like what inspired you to create Happy even after.

Renee Bauer:
So I mean, there are so many things. One, I’m twice divorced myself. So before I went through my own divorces, I was a divorce lawyer, but I hadn’t gone through that. And then once I actually went through that, that pain and that grief, in that moment in my life, I realized that there was so much more that I could do with it.
And it wasn’t just helping someone from the skill set of you get a law degree and you can go into court. But it was like, okay, how can I help someone holistically? How can I help someone from A to Z get through that process? And I thought about all of the law firms that were out there and how they were all named with.
I mean, if you think of any law firm that you know of, they have some partners or ten partners names in the title. And I’m like, okay, what can I do that really, really illustrates what it is that we do differently? And I came up with the name Happy even after because that’s exactly what our mission is to help everyone to that next phase. And even though you have a major plot twist, it can still work out okay on the other end. And I wanted that to really reflect the mission, the messaging and everything else. So from that, the firm took a new name, I took my personal branding, became a happy even after, and I really talked about divorce in a different way and not just about how much money can you get and what does your parenting plan look like, but how do you get through this and be okay on the other side?

Johanna Buchweitz:
I love that. And that’s beautiful. And I know I’ve seen like, you know, from your site, one of the things that you’ve highlighted is that you help women reclaim their right to happiness, which is so beautiful. But like, how do you do that? How do you help them do that?

Renee Bauer:
You know, it’s such a process and I see it every day in my private Facebook group. I see it with I have friends who are stuck in really bad relationships. And you have to I mean, this doesn’t have to be a marriage. It can be a relationship. This could be a relationship with a job that is that really sucks the life out of you and isn’t filling you up. And it’s like recognizing that you are you’re worth being happy. Like you don’t have to stay stuck in anything. But so often women are afraid of what’s on the other side and they’re afraid to take risks. So, so much of the work that I do in the conversations I have with women are about how risk is okay. And sometimes you have to take that risk when you know what you’re doing is right and that’s leaving the relationship, leaving the marriage, leaving the job, starting the business, whatever it is.
But like but it’s taking that first leap, even though you’re afraid and even though you don’t know what’s going to happen and you’re scared, but getting really comfortable with doing that, too. And I think that that’s something that women just generally are really uncomfortable with in their they’re a little bit risk adverse and a lot of women are conflict adverse.
So it’s really getting comfortable with those two things in order to move forward. And it’s when you have those conversations and you talk about it, then they start to recognize that, okay, this isn’t so scary and I’ll survive. It might be hard, but I’ll be able to be okay. And guess what? I might even be happy when I leave the marriage or start the business or leave the job I hate.
You know, there’s a possibility for something different out there.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I love that. So you you’re helping them take that first leap. And once they do, like, do you have anything that, you know, you provide them? Like, do you work with them still or is it more so just like with taking that first step?

Renee Bauer:
Well, it’s different avenues. So I have different types of people that I work with. So in the divorce space and the divorce client, it’s we’re helping them from the law firm perspective from A to Z and really start to think about what life looks like after divorce. But I also work with entrepreneurs and in that space I’m helping them to take that. What’s the next thing that they can do to really grow their business? How can they stop spending all of their time working on their craft? The reason why they started the business to begin with and what strategically what those what things can they do in order to really scale the business to create the financial freedom that they wanted.
That was the reason why they started it to begin with. So similar to two different type of life events that each of these women are going through. But it still requires some introspection as to, okay, what’s the next step for them? For one, it’s a personal relationship, and for the other, it’s their their their business health. And which also trickles down to the relationship health and personal health and everything else.

Johanna Buchweitz:
That makes sense. So when this other stuff that you’re doing now with female entrepreneurs as well, what made you want to pivot into that instead of just, you know, staying like with how, you know, how even after and doing like, you know, mostly the the divorce focused work because I think it was incredibly powerful work that, you know, you were doing and obviously are continuing to do. So what made you decide, I want more and I can do more and I can help more and here’s how. And this is what I’m going to do. And now I’m doing it.

Renee Bauer:
I love this question because I think that’s so often when we do something and we do it really well, then we think we can’t ever change. And I was at that point where I said, okay, I’m serving one certain community, but what if I could serve more? And I recognized that divorce was just a really small part of someone’s story.
And really the things that I was hearing over and over again was sense of worthiness and sense of that, that they could big have bigger dreams and think bigger and bolder. And so the relationship that was falling apart was just kind of a trickle effect of something else at play. So I started to shift my focus and say, okay, how can I work with women on their sense of worthiness? And I created a live event called She Who Wins Summit. And then what I realized at this event, you know, this is kind of like the do things imperfectly and you learn as you go. I didn’t know who was going to show up and I said, I’m going to put this event on. And I realized that entrepreneurs were showing up because they wanted to invest in themselves.
They wanted personal development, but they also wanted everything else in their life to be balanced and to be part of what they were working on. And so I then I realized my skill set was really building businesses because I built my own through mistakes and was able to scale it and knew all of the steps that had to be done.
It took me so long to learn all of that. And I said, Wow, what if I could? What if I had someone showing me how to do it in a really easy way? I would I would have cut out years of failing and wasting money. And so my passion just followed me to like, I would love to help a female entrepreneur who wants to scale and wants to earn seven figures and wants to get to the place where they have. They don’t ever have to be stay stuck in a bad relationship or marriage because of money. They’ll have the freedom to make the right decision for them because they can stand on their own two feet. So they’re so different, but yet they’re so entwined.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I love that beautiful evolution of how that happened. And I think that’s like also, just like you said, a super important lesson, like lesson for anyone who’s listening right now that just because you start on one path, that doesn’t mean that your path can’t, like, shift. That doesn’t mean that you’re, like, quitting on what you first started. It just means that what you’re doing is evolving because no matter like what business you’re in, as you continue to grow that business, like, you learn so much more about yourself because you’re put into like all these new, like different situations and how you react, how you create new experiences that all shifts to.
And with that, like you might discover something that you’re so incredibly passionate about, just like you did, and that you kind of want to go into that avenue even further. And I think it’s so interesting. So you really were focused on helping those women in the beginning, but not necessarily female entrepreneurs. It almost was like a happy accident that like you put on this awesome event and you were like, Let’s see who shows up and that.
Like, That’s your target audience came to you. And that’s kind of how you discovered like, Hey, you know what? That makes sense. They came to me and I want to, you know, help them. So like, let’s work together. And I think it’s cool because it’s like a different than what most of us are used to hearing. And, you know, even you and I like because anyone who’s listening, Renee and I met through Brand Builders Group, which really focuses on like who is your target audience? Like, have that focus in mind first with everything you do, everything you say, everything you create. And the reverse kind of happened, which I think is so cool and also just shows us that we should always be open to doing things differently.

Renee Bauer:
Yeah, it’s so funny because I tried so hard to like figure everything out and be like, I’m going to figure this out right now. I’m going to sit down and work it out. It just didn’t work that way, and it really was an evolution of just watching it. And and that’s like the beauty, too, of having, like, the belief that it will come to you, the clarity will come to you sometimes with space, and not by forcing it and not trying to jam it into your timeframe and saying, okay, let me just watch this happen and let me see and see.
And it became so clear so easily, and it was like a light bulb moment, which is really funny because, you know, you and I are the same and it’s like, okay, I’m gonna do all the things it’s going to be in this order. So it was that was quite an experience to allow it all to unfold because I am not and go with the flow type again.
Like, let’s get it done.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Yeah, no, I’m with you. It’s like, let’s plan everything. Like planning is fun. I love organization and then just like being able to even release that and experience that yourself I think is super cool and probably just shifted your own like perspective as well. So I know you mentioned that you went through a lot of like hurdles, you know, in the beginning, and that’s also why you’re kind of doing what you’re doing now. So obviously, like, the legal profession requires a ton of like very focused training. And I’m sure even more specific focus like because you were doing, you know, divorce law specifically, but from the business side of things, how was that learning curve like? Like how did you you know, you said you learned the hard way, but like, how did you even learn? And, you know, to begin with and like, what were some of those mistakes that you made along the way?

Renee Bauer:
Yeah. So I think like most entrepreneurs, like we started young, you know, had the lemonade stand like we were always doing. Like I started a Baby-Sitters club and hitting up like the, the swimming class next door like that, you know. And so I’ve always had that like I wanted to run my own business. And I think that I love being a business owner more than I ever loved being a lawyer. So I found so much joy in like, how do I do things differently? And when I set up my firm, it was like, how do I set myself apart and what can I do that was different? And back then, I mean, it was a long time ago. I’m like, I’m going to have a name that has all lowercase and everyone was like, Oh my God, that’s so unprofessional because you don’t do that, you know, now it’s common. But so it was just like trying to test the waters is like, what can I do to set myself apart and have fun with it? Like let me play with marketing a little bit different. And so it was I haven’t been in business for almost 20 years now, so it was definitely a road of like trying to figure it out. It was testing. So my biggest mistake I ever made was billboards. And, you know, it was like, All right, that’s so cool. We’re going to have billboards all around the state. But the problem is there’s absolutely no way to track your ROI on that. So and back then it was like you can’t couldn’t put a QR code or, you know, drive to a number so that you would know.
It was just like you had the billboard and you put a phone number. It was absolutely impossible to figure out if they were working. So that was a whole a whole year of a whole lot of money that I don’t know if it actually moved the needle at all. So I learned to be strategic about my marketing to make sure that I could track it and look at the analytics and actually figure out if it was working for dumping money into it.
So there were things like that that I had to learn. But yeah, it was just, it was joy, like the whole just being the entrepreneur. And even to this day, like I’m still constantly testing and playing with the business model and that’s fun for me.

Johanna Buchweitz:
That’s good. I think it’s important to be able to like have fun in the business and like have fun with learning because you’re constantly learning anyways. So it’s like you could either be like, I can’t really have an I have to learn something else or like, oh my gosh, I got to learn something else today. This is cool. Like, let’s see what it’s going to be. I don’t know. It’s good to have fun with it. So with the She Who Wins Summit, for anyone who’s listening like, you know, who ever considered maybe putting on an event or even an attending event, right? So you know, you touched a lot about like who it’s for and like what the purpose is.
But like, how do you even think about organizing an event and like how did you do it? Like, I know now, you know, like you’re getting ready for your second event, but for the first event, like it was your first time putting on something like that. Like, how did you even do it? Like what are some of the steps that anyone like should take? You know, whose thinking about it.

Renee Bauer:
So the story about that is I just had this random thought that I would put on this event when I was sitting on my couch one night and I looked at my husband and I was like, Oh my God, I have an idea. And I told him and I was all excited about it. And he’s like, you know.
That’s awesome. But maybe like another year or two because you have a lot on your plate. And then the venue was booked the next day. So I didn’t think about it. And that’s probably the only reason why the event happened is because I just acted really fast. It felt right to me, like I felt it and I just I just pulled the trigger.
And then I reached out to all of my awesome friends and network of people and was like, Hey, do you want to be a speaker? I can’t pay you. Will you show up and do this? And, you know, they all said yes and they were so supportive. So it was you know, I was I was lucky that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And so as I was doing it, I was just like didn’t realize I had to think about things such as the needs and, you know, everything else that takes that was required to go into it. And I just put it on and it was I probably it was probably messy and imperfect, but the feedback was amazing and we sold out. And so for this next year, it’s kind of funny because I’m like, All right, we’re going to level this thing, we’re changing the venue, we’re going to have entertainment. It’s going to be and I had this whole vision and now there’s so many moving parts. I’m like, I don’t remember it being this difficult last year, so it’s fun to it’s all fun.
And like, it’s just looking at the vision of what that day is. I’m like, All right, it’s just, you know, now putting all of those things into place. So I’d say anyone who wants to do it, you just go for it, find your venue and don’t question it. Because if you start to think about the overwhelm, then you’ll never do it.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I love how you just like work with your gut and you’re like, Yeah, I booked it the next day and that is awesome. Like and you know, for someone who says, do you love like, you know, planning and all that stuff, I don’t know because that sounds like pretty incredible to just be able to like not – it feels good. Like, I know that it’s going to be awesome.
I’m trusting it and I think that is such an incredible thing to be able to do. And, and it works like so I, it’s awesome that you had all those people come like speakers, but you said you sold out. How did you market the event? How did you get those people to to buy those tickets?

Renee Bauer:
I wish I had a really good answer for this, but I did absolutely very minimal marketing. I put it out in my own network of social media, and I think I might have run a couple ads, but not a lot. Like I posted some posts, but I really just leaned on my network of people to all of my speakers, got affiliate links, so everyone who was speaking, I asked them to share it if they wanted to offer, felt good to them. And so a lot of the speakers brought in people. I had a speaker who ended up hosting a whole retreat that weekend and bringing in her crew of, I think maybe 20 people or so. So it was just and asking people around me, I held it in the town that I work in. So I had a community of people already there. So I knew I could call people up if I needed to fill seats and be like, Listen, just show up. So I’m not embarrassed. Like if I had to do that, but I didn’t have to. And so I do have to say next year we have a strategic marketing plan. I actually have some help. We have a marketing team on it.
We’re going to run ads, we’re getting sponsorships. So we’re doing it in a much more strategic way because we’re hoping to attract people not just from Connecticut, but really from all over the world. Last year we had someone from South Africa show up which blew my mind, which that was incredible to me. But this year, I don’t want to just let it, you know, just see what happens. I want to like actually put some strategy behind it. So, you know, hopefully we can we can even double the amount of people there.

Johanna Buchweitz:
So to anyone who is a first time limitless listener, it’s it’s been kind of funny how this is a little bit full circle because anyone who’s listening, who’s been here a couple of times, so many of our guests have talked about, like when you do something that is truly aligned with your purpose, how things just flow. And as you’re speaking, I just can’t help but smile because it is like it sounds exactly like that. It’s just flowed like we’ve talked about it before where it’s like when something is aligned, it’s like pushing like furniture through an ice rink. It’s just like you have to put a little bit of effort, but things just kind of go. Whereas when something’s not aligned, it’s like you’re trying to take it like a house up a mountain and it feels a little bit difficult, right?
Like no matter what you do, it’s not working. So I love that. And not like you learn so much from it because you just did it. Like you just took the leap and you were like, All right, I’m just going to do it. Let’s see how it works. And it was awesome. So now with like the intention, you know, a little bit more strategy behind it this year, what are some like strategies that you guys are implementing to, you know, make this event bigger, better and, you know, everything you’ve imagined and more?

Renee Bauer:
So one of the early things we did was put out a call for speakers to submit applications and we got over 200 applications for speakers. Wow. But what I also realized was that those speakers also then started to follow us on social media, and then they started to join the private Facebook group and then they were engaged and they joined the waitlist. So just from that pool, which was totally organic, just saying, hey, if you’re a speaker please apply, we got like a little community or hub within itself. And so then there was some excitement building as to as the speakers were getting announced and I had just started to announce them and a lot of support from the speakers who weren’t chosen to say, I’m going to attend anyway.
So I thought that was really interesting because that was just really such an organic way of just I put one post out, I boosted it a few times and we got inundated with these applications. We’re going to do Facebook ads as well, where we’re doing some affiliate marketing, we’re doing some influencer marketing as well. So we definitely are covering all of the different avenues in order to to generate income and see which one works really. Because still, so much of this is, you know, we’re testing it out to see what the best fit is for the following year.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Yeah. And how many speakers are you planning to have in total at the actual event?

Renee Bauer:
So we have six amazing main stage speakers and then we have ten workshop speakers that will – for a smaller group of people that people get to choose which kind of niche down topic they really want to go and listen to at a time.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I love that. So this is like really your focus right now, right? Like just putting together she wins or are you still, you know, really working on Happy even after? Are you putting together a program as well in addition to like just this live event? Like what is your avenue right now and like what are you currently working on?

Renee Bauer:
So it’s such another great question because I’m definitely at a crossroads. She who wins is definitely a focus. I have a book coming out in 2023 also called She Who Wins, and I’m starting to launch my speaking career. My law firm is I feel like it’s coming to a slow close and at that time of my life, maybe coming to completion. And so I’m hoping to exit that in the next couple of years when the timing is right. I’m just kind of waiting for that. It’s another one of those, like trusting the timing will work itself out and I’m not going to force like it has to happen at the time that I set. It’s like I’ll know, I’ll know when it’s time to step away from that and to release it and to completely move on into this new space.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I love that and I think it goes back to like really being comfortable with the evolution of your business and the evolution of you like and how things change. And like when you’re ready to to step away, it’s like you’ve built this incredible thing. You’ve done so much good with that. You’ve helped so many women, and now you’re just like expanding that work in a little bit of a different way. And I think that’s so special and it’s such an important thing to remember because so many of us, like, have this, you know, like tunnel vision of like, everything has to go this exact way, like especially as female entrepreneurs. And when we kind of like take those blinders off, it’s good, I think, to still have like that focus.
But when you take the blinders off, like you don’t know, like there are so many other, like magical possibilities that that can kind of happen and that might feel even better than what you’re doing now. Like when you’re actually just open to it, like the magic happens.

Renee Bauer:
And I think that you have to create the space for that magic to happen. So if you’re so busy constantly in the grind and the hustle, then you don’t have space to see what could what opportunity could present itself. And I think that some of the greatest, like aha moments I’ve had is when I’ve had that space to reflect and just allow things to fall into place and to have that clarity. So sometimes it’s just taking a step back. It’s a season of saying, I’m not going to do, I’m not going to figure it out. I’m just going to let things be for a moment and see what happens and like making peace with that. And I think for a lot of type a like that’s really, really hard to do is to have a season of quiet. You know, we’re not quiet.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Yeah. No, for sure. And like, I’m sure also like you, you know, along the way have had so many incredible ideas. I know you mentioned one, but She Who Wins and you just went with it. But when all those different ideas come up, how do you decide which one is the correct one to pursue at the time? Because like there’s so many cool opportunities and I think so many of us like as entrepreneurs, like we just get so excited because we’re like, This would be awesome, this would be awesome. I want to add this to my business. It’s like, how do you kind of filter through and make decisions you know? And that sense of like, what would be the right step for you to take, at least right now?

Renee Bauer:
Yeah, I who are like little puppy dogs. Excited over everything I, you know, so I’m really intuitive and I really pay attention to how my body responds to something. So when something feels really good to me, I know that that’s the thing for me. And when I don’t have that excitement for it, and even though it might make sense on paper, I’m like, Well, now is not the time.
If I’m not excited about it, then it’s not what I want to be spending my time and focus doing. And so it’s really just such a gut check and you know, so much of my like business brain strategy and looking at numbers but for stuff like that, I just, I like, I really go inward and it’s just such a moment of like, like sometimes I’ll meditate and and I’ll get the answer or the clarity I need.
And I don’t do that all of the time, but it’s really just sitting with it and saying, okay, what feels good to me, what’s going to light me up right now? And it’s as simple as that. It’s just taking the temperature. What that idea is.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Have you always been able to do that or is that something you kind of taught yourself and learned more over time?

Renee Bauer:
I think that’s a learned skill. I think I was a much more of let me force it and figure it out like I’ve had. I mean, God, I think about the years that I stressed out about my business, not sure where the cash was going to come in, how I was going to make payroll. Like I was not going with the flow and trusting myself. Then I was so focused and like I had such a scarcity mindset about it, but I did a lot of personal development and did the books and got the coaching and joined the masterminds and did all of that. And I think all of that fell into place. And then I realize when I do something with ease and when I trust myself, it always works out.
It’s like when I’m trying to force something and when I’m like worried about it and I have a fear around it, then it never does. So it’s like do more of what actually works.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Was there like a particular point where you kind of realized, you know, you wanted to make that, like, intentional decision to try to, like, think through things differently, like you just said, like you did like the books, the coaches, the masterminds. Like was there a particular event or particular point in time where you were like, Nah, I’m good. I had enough. It’s time to, like, do something different.

Renee Bauer:
I think that yeah, you know, I would say probably three or four years ago is when I got to the point where I said, okay, I feel, I feel like I built the business to as far as I wanted it to go. And I had this, this thought, you know, okay, we can open up satellite offices. We can have an office in every part of the state. And I was like, all right, that would work. That would be successful. But I’m like, I don’t want to do it like that. Didn’t feel good to me. And so when I got to that point where I wasn’t really excited about growing the business anymore, and I was kind of like, All right, it’s fine where it is. Then I knew I was bored and it was time to do something else, because if I get bored, then that that’s telling me like I’m not challenging myself.
And that was the point where I was like, I always had this dream to speak on stage. It was like, I feel like I want to do it. It terrifies me. So let me look what would happen if I pursued this? And and it still terrifies me. But, you know, I also exhilarated me, too. So it feels like the right thing and it feels like a really good challenge right now.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Did you speak at your first event?

Renee Bauer:
I did, yeah.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Was that your first time public speaking?

Renee Bauer:
No. So I’ve had years of speaking because I’m a litigator. But in so in court it’s different because we’re putting on a case and while we’re speaking, it’s not about us, it’s about the case that we’re putting on. So it’s a very different I’ve taught classes like I’ve taught legal education classes and mediation classes. And again, that was different. But to be a keynote speaker was something new. So at the point that I had my event, I had done it three other times, so not a whole lot, but it was you know, it was such a great place to practice because it was such a supportive room. And no matter what happened up there, I’m like, it was it was I was going to get the support of everyone who attended there. So and I realized it was really fun. You know, it didn’t have to be perfect. It could be it could be imperfect. And in fact, it probably is better imperfect because people don’t want too perfect and too scripted. Like when it flows a little bit more, I think people connect more.

Johanna Buchweitz:
And it’s more authentic. It brings like the humanness into it, right? So it wasn’t as scary as you thought it would be once you got up on that stage?

Renee Bauer:
I mean, I’m not going to lie like when you’re waiting to go on there, it’s terrifying. So and right before that, a couple of months before I had another event and it was like the whole deal with the stage and the backstage and all of that. And I was terrified. Like, I’m like, I’m going to pass out. But the funny thing is like five sentences into it, it wasn’t scary anymore and I realized how much fun I was having and it just like it just felt really right to me and I’m like, okay.
And when I finished, I’m like, That was so much fun. Now I have so much to learn about the craft of giving a really good keynote because there is a lot to learn, like if people take years and years in a lifetime of practice. So it was like, now that’s a challenge. How can I, how can I get up there and even be better? You know, that’s a fun challenge that I’m looking at now is like, how can I continue just to become just to really hone that skill?

Johanna Buchweitz:
Yeah. And like as soon as you were done, not only were like, Oh, how can I get better at this? You’re like, okay, when can I do this again? Like this is fun and I think that’s awesome. So when it comes to like, like legal practice, so I know your specialty is in divorce, but for any of us who maybe are not as familiar with like the whole like legal system in terms of like education and how all that works, are there certain things that kind of translate over until like the basic legalities that we have to think about when starting a business, when running a business, or is it a completely different lane?

Renee Bauer:
Totally different lane. However, a lot of what I did was in the divorce world was were people who had businesses. So I had to have that understanding of how the businesses operated, what the different types of businesses were, and some legalities around that. But in terms of like the practice of it, it really was different.

Johanna Buchweitz:
That makes sense. So like, have you been able to then like at least use some of that piece in that experience? Like as you continue in evolving your business, I’m sure there’s also a lot of contracts involved and like stuff like that. Like or is that something that then is just easy for you because you already know like what to look out for, you know, and like certain language that kind of has to be implemented.

Renee Bauer:
Yeah. So I actually just finished writing an operating agreement for myself with another partner that I had. So yes. So a lot of that is it’s a lot of the same like contracts are contracts, but it’s also, you know, the thing about being a lawyer is like you don’t know everything. So I’m certainly not going to dabble in any sort of tax law like I can do some basic contract stuff. Yeah. And I have an understanding of some, the, some corporate stuff and in terms of assets that things that people had to divide. But I certainly don’t know everything that there is about in the legal world. So I, you know, for trademark, for example, like I tried to do my own trademark.

Johanna Buchweitz:
And I.

Renee Bauer:
and I did it and it was fine. And then I had to do another one and I did it. And then I messed it up and I’m like, I’m not doing this anymore. And I went and hired someone who knows what they’re doing. I’m like, because it’s just it makes more sense than me trying to figure out and do it wrong.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Yeah, I know for sure that totally makes sense. So at least from like the contract side, like the basics, like you said, like are there any best practices? Because like, I think, you know, most of us have, you know, had had to like get a contract written or like send a contract to someone, whether it’s like a vendor, whether it’s an employment contract. Are there any like general best practices that people should just kind of be mindful of?

Renee Bauer:
Yeah, that’s a good one. I would say be mindful of where the contract there’s usually a provision that says if there’s a dispute of where it actually gets litigate it and then an arbitration clause, always pay attention to what it what it says. Because sometimes those arbitration clauses are written like in a really sneaky way that if you go to arbitration, that even if you win, you still can’t recover any sort of attorney’s fees for it. And so you may end up paying thousands and thousands of dollars to get the win and you’re still out of money. So the arbitration clause is one that I paid particular attention to because I’ve run up against that a few times. And sometimes when you have like someone who’s really savvy corporate or something like a bigger company, they’re going to write an arbitration clause that really benefits them and the small person won’t realize it. They’ll be like, Oh, there’s an arbitration clause in there that’s good, right? That that’s good for both of us and not necessarily.

Johanna Buchweitz:
That is great advice. Thank you. I think some people listening are probably like, what is arbitration? And then they’re like all of a sudden we’re all going to like get out any contract that we have and like start searching for like, where is this clause? So thank you. I think that’s super, super helpful. What is something that has like surprised you in this entire entrepreneurship journey from like everything that you’ve done and how everything’s evolved, like what’s something that completely and totally a surprise to you?

Renee Bauer:
You know, for me, it’s the numbers. Like I’m not a numbers person. I was the person who like hated math and but I actually really enjoy like digging into numbers and looking at like the health and playing with them and and like creating budgets and like, which is really weird to me because I’m also very creative. So I love the creative piece of it, but that’s obvious for me.
So it really surprised me that I would enjoy that part of it as much as I do. And there’s so much of it like I still do myself. And people are like, Oh, you should have someone do it for you. I’m like, But I like to know, like, I like to know like the details and be able to like speak off the top of my head as to like what the financial health of my company is.
And if I had someone else kind of digging in to that, I wouldn’t know it the way that I do. So that part has been oddly fun and satisfying.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I like that. It’s like a fun thing that like, you never would have thought you actually would have enjoyed joining. Yeah, that is awesome. So now like with She Who Wins is there like, you know, you kind of touched upon like your overall mission, but what is the thing that kind of gets you excited every morning with this? Like when you wake up like, what is that thing? Makes you just like want to work on it, like the fun stuff and the stuff that’s maybe not so fun. Like, what is it that lights that fire?

Renee Bauer:
So I’m a, I’m a writer before I am anything else I’ve been that my entire life as when even when I was a kid and when I was writing this book, it was so cathartic. It was the most vulnerable and like the most raw that I’ve ever written where I just laid everything out there. Some stories were really hard, some stories I’ve never spoken before.
Some were funny and lighthearted. But as I wrote it in and I realized like all of the stuff, all of the experience, like for so long I’d be like, No one wants to listen to me. What do I have to offer? And then as I started to actually put it on paper, I’m like, Oh, I’m like, maybe someone can learn something from this. So I am so excited to have this book make it into the world and have people read my words and hope that it resonates with them and it touches them and inspires them to do something, you know, really scary in their life or really bold or to drop the fear or push through it anyway. So right now, it’s it’s the book that’s lighting me up.
I’m just so, so excited. I mean, the whole publishing journey is it is not quick. So, you know, I just turned the manuscript in. We’re working on cover design, but that like really, really excites me because I’ve always wanted to touch someone just with my written word more than anything. So this is a journey that I’ve dreamed about for a really long time.
And now here we are because of tenacity, because I never gave up on it, and I had received so many rejections. So many people say, No, we don’t want to publish it. And then we got the yes. And I’m like, Okay, it’s going to make it out into the world now.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I’m so excited for you because like we, we all have a story to tell. And like, when you get comfortable in telling that story and find, like, the method that feels the best for you, like, yeah, like I, you know, to anyone who’s listening and not watching, like she, she lit up while she was talking and it was, like, so much fun to watch, like the smile on your face and like, that energy that comes through. And it is incredible for anyone who might want to write a book. What is that process like? Like you said, you got a lot of rejections. Like how does that even work?

Renee Bauer:
Yeah. So the first thing I did was because there’s traditional publishing and self-publishing and neither know it’s the best one that fits for you. But in my mind, I always wanted to traditionally publish a book and I had I had self-published, I had a hybrid book, but I really wanted the traditional book deal. So the first thing I did was try to get an agent and I received 113 agent rejections before I had an agent that said yes. The book that she signed me up for was a fiction, a mystery book, and we never sold it. And I reached out to her about a year ago, and I was like, You know what? I want to write a nonfiction. And she’s like, okay, she’s like, like, put it together to put a book proposal together. And I sent it over to her and it was about divorce.
And about maybe six months into that, I called her up. I’m like, Pull it. I don’t want to write the divorce book. I’m like, That’s not that’s not the story I want to tell. And I gave her the the template for the book proposal for she who wins and that’s what sold. So it was based on two chapters, a marketing plan goes into a book proposal, comp titles go in there, your chapter outline and a general concept of like who you’re trying to attract.
So then you get the deal and you actually have to write the book. So yeah. So when I looked back at the book, I looked at those first few chapters. I’m like, I don’t like those chapters. I’m like, Let me start over. So I completely like scrapped them and just sat down at my computer and just started tapping away and it just flowed.
And my first book took me five years to write and this one took me about seven weeks. Wow. So it shocked me that I was able to do that, but it’s just I felt so good and I was such in the flow with it and I had so much to say. So it just really came out easy.

Johanna Buchweitz:
So when you are trying to find that, that like did you just have like a spreadsheet and a list that like agents you wanted to reach out to and just like cold email them or you ask for like, you know, introductions. How did that work?

Renee Bauer:
Oh yeah. So I Googled every agent that existed in the United States, and I created a spreadsheet that had hundreds on there. And then you start cold emailing them and you watched like the rejections roll in one after another, and all of them were the same. It’s like, Oh, it’s not the right fit for me. And that’s kind of like their standard tagline.
And I’ll never forget the one that was like, Hey, I’d love to see your full manuscript. And I was like, Oh, that’s exciting. And then a few weeks later, she’s like, Hey, can you have a call, can you hop on the phone today? And then that was the one. So it was one person, you know, after 100 over 100 rejections, but it’s just cold, cold sending them out and not getting discouraged because so many writers will get like 50 rejections.
Like, that’s it. I’m done. I’m not meant to be a writer, and I’m just like, it was almost like a challenge. Like every rejection that rolled in, I’m like, All right, like, let’s see. Let’s See how many more agents I can dig up to send to send one to

Johanna Buchweitz:
I like that because I think it kind of reminds me almost like when you’re looking for investors, like I think a lot of us think of it like, oh, like, you know, like, please, just whoever comes first like to say yes to say yes and you get a lot of rejections. And the thing is like we’re also in a position of power because this is like our relationship.
We’re working together. You know, like I get like, hey, I want to get a book published or I want to get funding, like, thank you so much for helping me, but like you’re giving them something to, you’re giving them an awesome book that’s going to like transform people’s lives. Like you get to have the power to like you are providing value.
It is not a one way street. And I think that’s such an important thing to remember. Like, you know, like for anyone who is looking to like write a book or for anyone who is like looking to get funding or like any type of like two way street here, like it’s a partnership. You’re, you’re receiving something and you’re giving something.
And I think that, like, it’s something that all of us, like, could use a little like, hey, don’t forget that, because it’s more often than not, we’re like, Please, please, somebody just like, say yes.

Renee Bauer:
Huh? It’s so, so true. It’s so I’m so glad you said that. I mean, that’s an incredible point, is because when you find yourself, you’re like begging for somebody to take you. And sometimes you have to say no. You know, you have to say, no, this isn’t a good fit. And I’ll continue to wait it out until it is a good fit.
So I’m so thankful. Like my agent is amazing and my publisher’s amazing and I’m so thankful that that was the publisher who I ended up with because just how they operate and who they are and my editor, like, they’re incredible. And I have so much say and what happens with the cover and in so many other things which a lot of times you don’t have when you’re with some of these publishers, it’s like a big business, so they just kind of crank them out.
So I think, you know, it’s such a great point is you get to say no, if the project doesn’t belong to someone who, it just doesn’t feel right.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Yeah, for sure. Because like you, you want someone who also is aligned to you as well. You wrote this book in seven weeks and then how does that work? Like someone has to edit it. Like you go back and forth, like what is that process like from the finishing of the writing to actually like, Hey, I can go preorder your book.
Like, how does that work?

Renee Bauer:
Yeah. So it’s, it’s sent into someone else’s hands, right now to take their red pen to it and kick it back to me. And, you know, hopefully I don’t cry, but, you know, they’ll, they’ll give me all the feedback on the ways that it could be improved. I mean, I think it’s just – anyone who writes a book like that’s the natural step progress, like you can’t ever expect to just send a book out and it gets published the way it is. It just doesn’t work that way. And honestly, you want someone giving you feedback who can look at it from kind of a high level and help you make it better. So that would go back and forth a couple rounds. The cover I think will be done in the next month or two, and then they go through copy edits and line edits.
And it’s it’s scheduled to publish in September, on September 5th of 2023. So almost a year from now, which is crazy. And then the presale opens in the spring. So it’s it seems so far away. But then when you start to add in all of these steps that have to happen in the back and forth that happens, and to go through a, you know, 250 page book, it takes time each time it bounces back and forth. So the time actually goes by fast.

Johanna Buchweitz:
So if the like presale starts in the spring, when is there She Who Wins event?

Renee Bauer:
So the pre-sales not coincidentally will start the exact day of the event. So the events April 28th and 29th, and that’s when our pre-sale will open up.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Wow. Okay. Well, that works well perfectly. Are you able to, like, open up pre-sale like at the actual event? Because like so many people are going to be there, they’re going to see you, they’re going to see the speakers. So how does that work? Like how do you kind of set that up?

Renee Bauer:
Yeah, and it’s so funny because when when I was given my publication date, I was initially disappointed because I’m like, Oh, I wanted it to be available at the event. And then I realized, wait a second, I’m far better off having the pre-sale opened because you want to try to get your book sold and get on lists and things.
So the pre-sale will give me the opportunity to either provide a copy to everyone who attends or to try to sell the book from stage. If I were going to do that and offer some specials, offer some bulk sales and things like that, which I’ll still I still have to work out and put together, but that would be sort of the launch and in the book world is you want to have all of your sales happen for that. You build up all your pre-sales and then everything hits with your book actually officially launches. So and then when the pre-sales go on, that’s when you become an Amazon bestseller. You see so many people like, you know, for 2 hours, they get the Amazon number one bestseller, but it’s because they got so many presales, 300 in an hour or something like that, and it bumps up there for a little bit.
So strategically, in order to get some of those accolades, you want to plan the timing of it. So we’re going to use that. We’re going to strategize and use that day because we’re going to have all those people in the room to hopefully kind of kick off our our presale book strategy, launch time.

Johanna Buchweitz:
Oh, that’s so exciting. Okay, so if you could pick just like one thing that gets to come to the She Who Wins event or like people who read the She Who Wins book can take away like what is your vision? What is your dream for them to be able to take away from that?

Renee Bauer:
I love this question. So I, I want anyone who attends to leave thinking that they are capable of doing whatever huge dream that they have. And so for some it might be starting the business, for other it might be picking up and moving across country or leaving that bad relationship or you know, whatever it is that has been kind of nagging at them that they feel like lives in their heart. I want them to have the guts to go for it. And for me, that feels like a successful event if every person who attends walks out in decides to go for it.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I love that. And are tickets currently on sale?

Renee Bauer:
They are not, they’ll go on sale in November for a pre-sale. And we will have a special bring your friend deal going on. But they’re coming out.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I love that. I’m excited for you. I’m excited to see how everything unfolds. I think it’s going to be incredible. And I can’t wait to read your book when it comes out.

Renee Bauer:
Thank you so much, Johanna.

Johanna Buchweitz:
So you’ve completely evolved. Your business has evolved. So for you right now, what does success actually mean to you?

Renee Bauer:
So, you know, it’s like I feel like as entrepreneurs, we’re always moving the needle for what that is. And it’s always like we’re chasing after that next thing. And it’s like, what’s it – how can we get bigger? How can we earn more money? How can and at this point, success is freedom of time. You know, it’s it’s like the next thing I’m chasing is to be able to work anywhere to decide on any given day, I’m going to pick up and go head down to, you know, Arizona for a weekend.
And I’m going to be able to work there. And I don’t have to worry about checking in anywhere else. And I have a lot of that freedom now, but I’m still sort of tethered to a brick and mortar business. And so it’s like once that Tether’s released, that’s that’s a life changer and that’s everything. So that’s really the next thing for me as to how I would define success and what I’m looking for.

Johanna Buchweitz:
I love that. So for anyone who wants more Renee and wants to learn more about She Who Wins where can we find you? And also like, how can we as a community support you?

Renee Bauer:
That’s awesome. Instagram is my favorite place to hangout because I’m always on there. I’m constantly like answering messages, so head on over to there. And my handle is @Ms Renee Bauer. And then from there I have links to everything else that I have going on. I just just come and say hi. You know, if someone listened to this and something resonated, like just come and say hi and let me know. Because sometimes just hearing that is like the feel that keeps you going on those days when you feel like I don’t have anything more to give or does this make sense? Am I doing the right thing? You know, sometimes just hearing from someone that that your words landed somewhere is – it re-energizes you.

Johanna Buchweitz:
That’s amazing, you know, because, like, sometimes we don’t truly realize, like, the impact that we’re having on someone else’s life. So when they take the time to be like, Hey, you actually impacted me, it’s like such a beautiful thing, because otherwise we’re out here, like, we’re just saying things that mean something to us. Hopefully it lands and you never know.
And to find out, it’s like, Oh, that’s amazing. I’m so happy it resonated.

Renee Bauer:
Yeah, absolutely.

Johanna Buchweitz:
So before you leave us today, can you share some parting words of wisdom that can fit on a tweet?

Renee Bauer:
Ha! If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not dreaming big enough. But that’s something that I’ve always felt. If I’m not uncomfortable, then I’m not thinking big enough. And I need to I need to go for more.

Johanna Buchweitz:
And I think what’s so cool about that is like, once you do, you get comfortable and then you have an opportunity to get uncomfortable again. And that’s how like you keep growing and expanding totally. That is awesome. Thank you so much for coming on today.

Renee Bauer:
Thank you so much. This was so much fun. It’s always a pleasure chatting with you.

Johanna Buchweitz:
We hope you enjoyed hearing from the incredible Renee Bower. And if you did, please leave us a review on Apple, Spotify or wherever you tune in to listen. Please share this episode with anyone who you think might enjoy it. Thank you so much for tuning in to this week’s episode of Limitless. See you next week for a new episode.

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