Sara J Lee is a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. I was introduced to Sara through a local business women’s network.
As a mom, I’ve had estate planning on my “to do” list for the last 8-10 years. The idea always seemed daunting so I haven’t done much planning. However it was only recently at a parenting conference that I realized how important it truly can be to plan for your future & the future of your family. My goal this year is to talk with a professional about our family’s options.
Fortunately I know someone who is located in the San Fernando Valley that I can contact. Please meet the latest Real Mom of the SFV, Sara J Lee!
How/why did you begin your business?
Sara: My law office officially opened its doors in 2014, but I started planning my business in 2013 while I was expecting my second child. Prior to that, I worked for a law firm learning the ins and outs of estate planning, probate, and trust administration. I also got great experience in complicated litigation cases. However, I knew that once I had my son I wanted to be home as much as possible, and that meant I needed flexibility in my career. Having my own law office has given me that flexibility, and has allowed me to always be available for my children. I am grateful every day for that opportunity.
Having my own law office has also allowed me to customize how I practice law. I’ve chosen to focus my practice on serving families, especially parents with small children. With two small children of my own, I learned early on that the traditional estate planning model didn’t address many of the concerns parents have, and worse yet very few parents are aware of the risk their families run if they fail to plan or if they don’t plan properly.
For that reason, I work a lot with parents to help inform them of the protections they can put into place to ensure their families are always taken care of. I help families fill in the gaps that traditional estate planning tends to overlook.
As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Sara: I would say to never be afraid to ask for help. Running a business is tough, and trying to balance motherhood and entrepreneurship is even tougher. I learned very early in my business that I couldn’t do it alone. I needed help from family, friends, and fellow Mompreneurs. I can’t tell you how important it was for me to join local groups and meet other Mompreneurs. Just talking to other moms going through my experience made things easier for me. Reaching out and asking for help has made me a better mom and a better business owner.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Sara: I grew up in the San Fernando Valley and for me there is no better place to run my law office. There is so much diversity, and I meet so many wonderful and interesting people each and every day. There are also so many great activities to enjoy. The San Fernando Valley is my hometown, and I love having the opportunity to give back to my local community.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Sara: I wish I had known that the rewards of owning a business are greater than the risks. Running my own law office was something I wanted long before I actually took the leap, but I let the fear of all the risks hold me back. I’m grateful that I finally took the chance, and because I did, I now have a business I enjoy and all the flexibility I need to make my family a priority. So for anyone considering starting a business, I would say don’t be afraid to take the risk. Owning a business can be very rewarding if you plan accordingly and don’t give up.
Having a network or circle of friends that you can lean on & get business advice is so important. I’m in one of the Mompreneur groups that Sara talked about & it’s great to be able to share success stories or pick each other’s brains about an idea. People often talk about risk versus reward, so it’s nice to hear that Sara overcame her fear & started up her own practice.
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.